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Old 14-05-2016, 15:31   #16
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

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Hi jim, we intend to purchase a boat within the very near future and plan to live aboard, we do have the makings of a plan and that does involve a couple of years in the caribbean, as I want to make my first choice a good choice I'm trying to get as much input as possible , thanks for your comment.

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g'Day again, Chris,

OK, the Caribbean it is!! Now you must decide between the experienced folks who say they wouldn't go there with more than 4'6" draft and those experienced folks who say they have been OK with 6 or even 7 feet of keel. Having not been there myself, I won't offer advice!

But here's an anecdote that illustrates how subjective this issue really is:
The Moreton Bay area in Queensland includes a lot of pretty shallow water. When we were attempting to sell our first boat in that venue, we often were told by prospective buyers that it was not possible to sail in Moreton Bay with that draft... just impossible! But, we would say, we've been doing that very thing for ten years now, so of course it is possible. Nope, they would say, not possible, and walk away. So, think about that when listening to those w ho say deeo draft is not feasible in the Caribbean!

Again, good luck with it all. Whatever boat you choose, it is a wonderful way to live.

Jim
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Old 14-05-2016, 15:42   #17
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Thanks Jim I guess I'm looking for the perfect boat for all situations , I know I not going to find that and I will have to make trade offs. There's that many variations and good/bad reviews it just makes my head spin.

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Old 14-05-2016, 15:59   #18
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

We always had boats with a draft of no more than 5 feet just to make things easier and to have more options. That being said, I have even had my relatively shallow draft catamaran aground.

It's not the draft. It's how you use the draft you have that counts.
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Old 14-05-2016, 16:06   #19
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

We are currently boat shopping. Our current boat has a 5' draft. One of our main priorities for the new boat is 4' or less draft.

That being said, we pretty much ONLY sail in Florida and the Bahamas. Given your plans, I would have no qualms about a 7' draft, but I would certainly prefer less, all-else being equal.
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Old 14-05-2016, 16:14   #20
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

I'm in the Bahamas now with a 5'8" draft. There's really not that many areas you'd have to avoid at 7-7.5' draft. Most of the anchorages are 8-9' at low water. The southern exumas get real shallow, but it's too shallow for me too. Down there you need a trawler or cat drawing less than 4'. 8' plus draft would be a hindrance but doable, 9' plus starts to limit you significantly. However there's plenty of superyachts running around here drawing 10'+ ( though granted they have a 30' center console "tender" to get to the beach).

The area I would be concerned with is South Florida. There were plenty of times on the ICW where the chart showed 10' and we were running along in 6'. The shoaling is far worse than the charts show.

I wouldn't worry about 7-7.5' in the Bahamas - get the Explorer charts and trust them explicitly. If they say you'll float at low tide you will. You might anchor a hair farther out and get a little bit more swell, but it's not bad and you'll avoid the bugs that will find you if close to shore.
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Old 14-05-2016, 16:29   #21
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

That's very good to know thanks for the info, no matter what happens we have to get to the island where the pigs are or it could be a deal breaker with my wife and daughter

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Old 14-05-2016, 17:20   #22
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

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That's very good to know thanks for the info, no matter what happens we have to get to the island where the pigs are or it could be a deal breaker with my wife and daughter

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Judging by the number of mega-yachts anchored there, 7' will be no issue
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Old 14-05-2016, 17:37   #23
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Ok sounds good thx

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Old 14-05-2016, 17:49   #24
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

You mean Big Majors Spot, Exumas. We left there yesterday. No worries. The real big boys hug the shoreline just south of the beach and they've got 12+' till 100' from the sand. Most of that (very large) anchorage is 8'+. No worries, other than the wakes from all the pay-by-the-head day trip tourist boats running in and out
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Old 15-05-2016, 05:50   #25
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

I'm assuming you can get internet down that way then whitebread ?

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Old 15-05-2016, 09:07   #26
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

I hear you about Vancouver. I work in mining and have to go there occasionally and the stories are frightening for normal people to try to survive with accommodation costs. Now 7' draft. My boat has 7' draft and I specifically chose the boat for the performance gains. My last boat had a wing keel because I was worried about shallow water. I have had 7' now for 5 years on Lake Ontario and am planning a trip south in the near future. When I pushed my winged keel I found it slipped from the wind. This new boat just digs in and goes into the wind. I love it. As others have said get the boat you want and do not worry about the depth. When I go south I will probably hop off shore a few times. There is a Facebook page for the ICW and I have chatted with Wally Moran a number of times and he says do not worry about 7'. Yes I will have to be careful in the Bahamas but that is what navigation is about. I have sailed the windward islands and did not see depth as a hindrance. I have gone thru the Panama canal on a sailboat and did not really have any problems on the east side. The water in the San Blas is usually so calm, it is a bigger problem finding wind than it is finding depth. I too worry more about shoaling and stupid new rules in the Florida ICW and would probably stay off shore for most of that. I have only sailed the northern Bahamas and did not see it as a problem however I am told to watch out more in the southern Bahamas. Also Florida Keys. Enjoy your new life. And watch out for deadheads around Vancouver when you are learning about your new boat.
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Old 15-05-2016, 09:10   #27
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

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Originally Posted by Chriscook View Post
Hi everyone, my family and I are planning to buy a sailboat on the west coast of BC, ... I have seen a couple of boats I'm interested in but they have 7ft 2 inch draughts, my first priority is the safety of my wife and daughter so I'm thinking a larger draught to give me more stability at sea. I'm also thinking this could be a problem for the San Blas islands and also many areas in the Bahamas etc. Your expertise and knowledge would be greatly appreciated. My home should be selling shortly so I need to narrow my search down. Thanks in advance. Chris
A deep draft is great to trip on it ! In heavy weather, I would rather slide down a big one than be roll over I would choose a centerboard sailboat such as the S&S designed Tartan 37 which is great for cruising, but again a budget should be given in order to get some useful advice ! yachtworld.com/boats/1980/Tartan-37-2860179/Traverse-City/MI/United-States#.VziQJPkrLiw
Cheers !
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Old 15-05-2016, 09:12   #28
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

As long as you don't plan to sail extensively throughout ICW 7 feet will not be a problem though I believe that it is too long for the size of the boat
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Old 15-05-2016, 09:28   #29
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Thanks for the great and informing replys I'm getting. My budget is in between the $50 000 -100 000 range, we like the older beneteau but the galley seems to small for what we plan, the freezer is more or less non existent, any recommendations would be great.

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Old 15-05-2016, 09:50   #30
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

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Thanks Mike that's given me alot to think about, as in stable I meant ad un sailing down the west coast so there's going to be a few days passages. I can't really go the small boat route as we want to liveaboard immediately and gain experience on the boat we choose, the rental properties around Vancouver are very expensive so to keep our costs down and build the cruise kitty we feel it's the best choice,. I will look at those sites and appreciate your response. Thx
Did you say "Vancouver" ? I've lived a year up there before the Hong Kong invasion that made real estate people drink French Champagne instead of water & although I've been in the West Indies since 1980, I'd love to spend a year or two sailing between Seattle & Attu island -the westernmost Alaskan island- stuffing meself with salmons... To make my dream comes true, I would get a sailboat with an enclosed steering wheelhouse, very good insulation & heating/air conditioning such as Fleur Australe:
Expédition - Fleur Australe - Expédition maritime de Géraldine Danon et Philippe Poupon
Fleur Australe was designed for french offshore sailor/racer Philippe Poupon & guess what ... It has an enclosed steering position & it's a centerboard sailboat. Poupon has sailed her with wife & children across the North West passage, down to Antartica etc...

Cheers!
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