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Old 07-08-2012, 16:29   #1
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Galveston Bay / Clear Lake with a 6' 6" draft?

A boat i am considering has a draft of 6' 6". How would that be sailing around the bay? Yes it would limit where i can keep her in clear lake, but outside of the slip... would i be greatly limited where i can sail inside the bay?

How long does it take to sail out of the bay? an hour or 5?

thanks.
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Old 07-08-2012, 16:33   #2
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Re: Galveston Bay / Clear Lake with a 6' 6" draft?

I've raced extensivly in the bay on a boat with a 7.25' draft. Sailing in the bay was no problem, but the only marina that is reliably entered or exited is the boardwalk.

From the Kemah bridge to the GOM is 3-5 hours depending on wind/tide/desperation.
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Old 07-08-2012, 17:07   #3
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Re: Galveston Bay / Clear Lake with a 6' 6" draft?

We sail out of Kemah with a 6 ft draft. You will find the depth somewhat limiting (especially the upper Bay area) and you will become comfortable with an occasional soft grounding. If you absolutely love the boat in question, then the limitations of the draft will be offset by your enjoyment of the boat. If you are just kind of 'meh" about the boat and you plan on staying in Galveston Bay indefinitely, you might want to consider something with less draft.

If we were going to be staying in the bay, we would definitely have looked for something that pulled 5 feet or less.

Sailmonkey is correct about the marinas. We left Waterford which had really nice amenities because of the undredged channel and frequent soft groundings while crossing the lake.

Oh and if Sailmonkey gets out into the Gulf in 3 hours he is absolutely FLYING. 4 hours or more is more what we have experienced.
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Old 07-08-2012, 18:28   #4
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Re: Galveston Bay / Clear Lake with a 6' 6" draft?

With 6' Draft Boardwalk will be your best best as it sits right on the bay, but it's owned and operated by Landry's corporation. There are a nice group of live a boards there, but it's gotten to be the most expensive marina in the area (for a floating dock that it.) Watergate and Waterford are both nicer and you won't have problems most of the time except with a north wind in the winter. Then you will be bound to the marina with that draft as the lake can get very shallow with those conditions.
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Old 07-08-2012, 20:38   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimsy

Oh and if Sailmonkey gets out into the Gulf in 3 hours he is absolutely FLYING. 4 hours or more is more what we have experienced.
A good solid north wind will do wonders
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Old 07-08-2012, 21:42   #6
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Re: Galveston Bay / Clear Lake with a 6' 6" draft?

The goal / dream is to leave in about 3 years. Thus do i get a smaller draft now and then decide if that is indeed the boat i want to travel with, or get the boat i want to travel with now.
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Old 07-08-2012, 23:24   #7
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Re: Galveston Bay / Clear Lake with a 6' 6" draft?

I am just about where you want to be in 3 years. We've had our home on the market for quite awhile, and hope to close at the end of this month. My wife and I bought our boat 3 years, 4 months ago.

We live in San Antonio, you in Austin. Our boat is at Watergate.

We drive to Kemah every other weekend, putting 1000 miles each month going to and from the marina. Figure gas, slip fees, maintenance, and insurance, we'd be way ahead if we had waited until now to buy our boat. We have enjoyed the time spent aboard of course, and enjoyed sailing on the bay. I'm just saying that you might want to think this through carefully.

If you just want to get out on the water, you might consider something suitable for Lake Travis? You wouldn't have the travel time, and would get a lot more sailing in. If you are working full time, you'd be surprised how little work that you will get done on your boat if you spend 8 hours of your weekend driving. It makes for a long monday too.

A six foot+ draft may not be ideal for our area, but I wouldn't say that would be a deal-breaker. Plenty of really big boats down there.

I will add that Watergate has some nice new floating docks available. They did a lot of dredging when they put those in. We've been there since buying our boat, and the marina has really done a great job since Ike. The staff is very friendly. No complaints at all from me.

If you prefer sailing offshore, you might consider finding a slip in Galveston, rather than the Clear Lake area. It is definitely a long trip to the jetties from Kemah. Just a thought...

Best wishes figuring things out.

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Old 08-08-2012, 03:46   #8
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Re: Galveston Bay / Clear Lake with a 6' 6" draft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xeon_tsd View Post
The goal / dream is to leave in about 3 years. Thus do i get a smaller draft now and then decide if that is indeed the boat i want to travel with, or get the boat i want to travel with now.
If you are planning on leaving in the 3 years, I would buy the boat you think you want to keep just because refitting a boat will take much longer than you anticipate and every boat needs some amount of work no matter what the seller tells you.
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