Originally Posted by Drifter2drifter
Greetings all. This is my first post on this forum so go easy on me. I have learned so much from reading the threads here. Thank you all so much! I own a Seaward 25 built in 1997. I have been sailing it on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior
for the past 6 years. Have sailed larger boats in the sea of Cortez
, Bvi, and grenadines. My boat has a high freeboard, draws 2ft, and weighs only 3,600lb. It has a Westerbeak 18 ph diesel
. It is the boat I can afford and I love it.I am comfortable sailing in up to 25 knots. Have been on the hook at 60 knots. I have thought about taking the boat south to the Bahamas or farther south. My 2 questions are...... If a person waits for weather, are the conditions mentioned above available in the Bahamas and farther south. Besides being more buoyant, will the boat sail differently due to salt water
? Any comments will be helpful. Cheers to all.
will remain essentially the same. By that I mean you will not notice a difference. You are probably looking at around 1/2" or so difference between fresh and salt. But you can do some calculations... your boat weight 3600lb. It will therefore displace 3600 lbs of water and come to equilibrium, which is a fancy word for floating. That is 3600lb of either fresh water or salt water. The difference is in the volume. The 3600 lbs of fresh water will have a volume of about lets see... around 62.3lbs/ft^3, so 3600 / 62.3 = 57.78 ft^3. That's cubic feet. Metric is for sissies. A cubic foot of seawater weighs... depends on salinity but 63.98 lbs is gonna be close to a good average. Around 2.7% heavier. Now, 3600 lbs / 63.98 lbs is 56.27 ft^3 for a difference in displaced volume of... 1.56 ft^3. Now your boat is 25 feet and I don't know the beam but if I just guess it is 8' and just pull a block coefficient out of my @$$ of 2/3, 25 x 8 x 2/3 = 200 x 2 / 3 = 400 / 3 = 133 ft^2 waterline plane area. 1.56 cubic feet divided by 133 square feet = .012 feet depth
, or .14" or 9/64". A hair over 1/8" difference in draft for you. Okay my 1/2" guess was wildly off by a factor of 4 but anyway it isn't gonna make a difference.
Yeah I could certainly see a 25' boat crossing to the bahamas but it won't be very comfortable. Nevertheless it has been done in smaller boats than that. The Gulf Stream
can get pretty wavey and you can expect to get knocked around a bit. Are you going to trailer it down to Florida
? Have you sailed this boat in heavy weather on the Lakes?
Depending on where you are sailing in the Bahamas you will usually have some protection from the wide open North Atlantic. If you try to island hop down the Caribbean
you will have stretches of totally unprotected water. In a bigger boat, the Trades are your friend. Something the size of your boat, they are inexorable and unrelenting. After a Bahamas cruise
, you will probably be wanting a bigger boat for a Caribbean
adventure but if you are tough enough and the boat is tough enough and you are very, very smart about spares and stores and boat handling, it could be done in your 25. I just wouldn't. My boat is about the minimum I personally would want to sail down there and it is only 2' longer but it displaces over twice as much.
The Trades can BLOW, and they can go for weeks without a letup. The more powerful Northers are a factor in the winter and then there is hurricane
season. By the first of June you are also getting a lot of local thunderstorms and they can get pretty vicious, though thankfully they usually blow over in hours rather than days. Only problem is the next day might feature more of the same. Get way down south, like Trinidad and Aruba
, pretty much all hurricanes will pass well to the North.
Try the Bahamas if you must. I wouldn't make any Caribbean plans until after that. I am thinking you might not like the ride in that boat.
You might be tempted, because of your shallow draft
, to dare to sail where bigger boats won't in the bahamas, but I will also point out that there is a lot of coral
, and your boat is probably pretty thin skinned. Be careful in skinny water!