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Old 21-08-2015, 21:31   #1
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Deep draft in Caribbean?

Does it really make a different 7' or 5' maximum draft if you sail in Caribbean
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Old 21-08-2015, 21:48   #2
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Re: ???????

Deep draft is fine in the Caribbean, most of the anchorages are all on the deeper side. Bahamas and US east coast (ICW) the shallow draft can make it easier. The deeper draft will let you point higher.

(You'll probably get better responses to questions if you use a real title)
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Old 22-08-2015, 03:33   #3
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

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Old 22-08-2015, 11:11   #4
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

There is no question that the deeper draft will limit your sailing ground. You would be excluding most of SW FL. I draw 5 ft and I have to be especially vigilant.

The ICW has not had proper dredging in many years. I recall one portion nearby that I bounced on the bottom for about a mile with a boat that drew 4ft! I was in the middle of the channel Yes, a deeper draft will allow you to point a little higher but I would suggest you investigate you're proposed destinations before choosing a draft.

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Old 22-08-2015, 12:11   #5
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

Thank you everyone for your responds, appreciate your time.
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Old 22-08-2015, 12:50   #6
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

if it were me i would aim for 5' as a maximum draft and try to find something in the 4' to 4.5' depending on boat length
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Old 22-08-2015, 14:37   #7
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

Depends a lot on where exactly of course ("Caribbean" is a big place). Most of the E Carib not so much of a problem except in the Bahamas. W Carib, will restrict where you can go in places like Belize, but doable.
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Old 22-08-2015, 15:26   #8
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

Since your question was about the Caribbean, the answer is that you will not be limited at all by deeper draft almost anywhere. The wind blows pretty steadily and pretty hard in the Caribbean so a deeper draft, stiffer, boat will stand up better and sail better.

If you count the Bahamas as being in the "Caribbean" for your purposes, they are the exception because they have lots of low, sandy islands surrounded by shallow water. So, in the Bahamas, with a 7' draft boat (mine was 7'6"), sometimes you'll have to anchor further out (that's why a RIB with a motor big enough to plane comes in handy) than many others, or wait until high tide to exit and enter harbors. Frequently, once you are inside the harbor, it's deep enough to accommodate a 7' draft. Also, as I mentioned, the Bahamas are mostly sand. After awhile you get used to "touching" bottom or even occasionally plowing a 50' long furrow until the depth increases slightly, no harm, no foul. As long as you avoid coral heads, you'll be OK there.
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Old 22-08-2015, 15:50   #9
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

How much plowing in sand necessitates a new application of bottom paint?
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Old 22-08-2015, 16:09   #10
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

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Old 22-08-2015, 17:31   #11
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
How much plowing in sand necessitates a new application of bottom paint?
. If you're staying in the Bahamas awhile in a 7' draft boat, the next time you normally haul out will do nicely because you'll scrape any growth off the bottom of your keel on another sandy bottom long before it builds up enough to be a problem.
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Old 22-08-2015, 18:09   #12
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

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Originally Posted by Twoofus View Post
Does it really make a different 7' or 5' maximum draft if you sail in Caribbean
During his ownership, David Crosby's John-Alden-designed schooner "Mayan" spent the majority of it's cruising life sailing around the Caribbean. David is an avid scuba enthusiast, so I image the boat was close to shore many, many, many times.

LOA: 59'
MIN Draft: 4' 5"
MAX Draft: 10' 2"
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Old 22-08-2015, 19:57   #13
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

It's nice when everyone agrees. The choice of draft depends on where you want to go.


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Old 22-08-2015, 21:03   #14
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

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It's nice when everyone agrees. The choice of draft depends on where you want to go.


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If the Mayan is an example, then choices in keels is a lot like choices in life. New opportunities arise and normally hazardous situations become more inviting when you are "adjustable".
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Old 22-08-2015, 21:42   #15
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Re: Deep draft in Caribbean?

Everything is a compromise. Offshore deep draft is nice.
We draw 8'6" and have been all over the Caribbean, Bahamas and even into the ICW for a few miles.
You can live with it and it has pros and cons.
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