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Old 15-05-2016, 09:59   #31
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Hi Chris,

In my opinion, a 41 footer is too small to live aboard if you have children. Obviously, I do not intend to offend those who have done it with smaller vessels but there are perhaps too many compromises... as for a 7foot draft, you can get larger vessels which are under the 7 foot mark..

Our boat has 6 1/2 feet yet it is a 53 footer.

GL with your search and do give us an idea of budget and time line
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Old 15-05-2016, 10:11   #32
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

There will be myself my wife and my daughter who is 8, my home is for sale now, 12 viewers in 4 days so I think it will sell fairly quick.

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Old 15-05-2016, 11:13   #33
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

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

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Get an unlocked smartphone before you come, buy a BTC(Bahamas) SIM card here, prepaid data is $50 for 5GB at supposedly 4g speeds (it's really more like 3G, maybe a hair faster). Coverage is good at all the popular spots and tapers off as you get farther off the beaten path.
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Old 15-05-2016, 11:16   #34
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

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Hi Chris,

In my opinion, a 41 footer is too small to live aboard if you have children. Obviously, I do not intend to offend those who have done it with smaller vessels but there are perhaps too many compromises... as for a 7foot draft, you can get larger vessels which are under the 7 foot mark..

Our boat has 6 1/2 feet yet it is a 53 footer.

GL with your search and do give us an idea of budget and time line
We have a 41 footer and 2 kids full time liveaboard. There's enough space. I wouldn't want to go much smaller, but it works fine for us.
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Old 15-05-2016, 11:22   #35
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Yep. Fully understand. If it works for you.

As you state, it would be a tight fit.. luckily its family
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Old 15-05-2016, 11:23   #36
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Difference between Amel models

Here is another
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Old 15-05-2016, 12:56   #37
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

At the February Strictly Sail Miami show, we attended a seminar by Pam Wall on sailing the Bahamas. She talked about sailing her boat there, which has a 7 ft draft, and she gave details on the course she followed and anchorages she used. Since our initial ambitions include sailing there and all the other shallow waters of the east coast, we had originally focused on Island Packets. IP's are also very AICW friendly with their shallow drafts and under 65' mast heights.
I have heard a lot about how cruisers don't need to focus on windward sailing ability, yet so much of my sailing experience has been that wherever I want to go, it's upwind. Not that IP's can't go upwind, but a deep draft fin keel and the ability to sheet tightly are advantageous to sailing well upwind. I avoid motoring, since I want a sailboat!
There are a lot of deep draft boats on the market, and people seem to be able to get around in them, so I would lean towards the deeper draft, especially since most of your sailing will be in big water, unless you have an overwhelming desire to poke into every shallow gunkhole there is. Besides, Pam absolutely loves the 7' draft boat we are currently considering.
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Old 15-05-2016, 23:24   #38
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Highly recommend an investment in a Practical Sailor subscription. It's pretty much the Consumer Reports of sailboats. The subscription gives you full access to the magazine website which includes extensive reviews of many, many sailboats, including reviews of older boats with evaluations of problems encountered by owners and things to look out for when shopping. The subscription isn't cheap like Cruising World or the other mags that live off of their ad revenue, but it accepts no ads so you won't find it pushing the latest fads in yacht design. No glowing reviews of boats that a competent seamen wouldn't take out of the harbor.
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Old 16-05-2016, 01:25   #39
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Just back from tree months in the Bahamas on a 7+ draft. No problems as long as you have good ground tackle and plan ahead.
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Old 16-05-2016, 01:31   #40
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Just back from tree months in the Bahamas on a 7+ draft. No problems as long as you have good ground tackle and plan ahead. Pam Wall gave us a tutorial on where to go and it was very helpful.
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Old 16-05-2016, 02:52   #41
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

In the Caribbean, we have met several boats with 9' drafts who had no problems at all. The vast majority of the islands are steep-to, with depths dropping to hundreds of feet just a quarter mile off shore. In fact, sometimes the difficulty is finding water shallow enough to anchor in. In other places, you just have to pick and choose a bit where you go. We have a 6.5 foot draft, and have spent a few weeks on the Chesapeake. There are a couple of harbors we couldn't visit, but dozens more where we had no trouble.

If your plans included a lot of time on the ICW, I think a 7' draft would be an issue. Everywhere else you have mentioned should be completely doable.

David
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Old 16-05-2016, 03:51   #42
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Hi Chris, keel length is only one of many parameters that contribute to boat stability, so it's problematic to focus on just one factor when considering which boat to buy. Even the concept of stability is problematic. Do you mean stable as in flat? If so, you need a multihull. They're "stable" till they're not . If you mean stable as in slower sea motion, then size matters (both keel and hull, as well as form design). If you mean stable as in lower tendency to get knocked down, then again it comes back to hull, keel and even rig design.

I guess what I'm saying is, I wouldn't focus on just one aspect. Find a boat that well designed, well built, does what you need it to do, and most importantly makes your heart beat a little faster.

Seven foot draft shouldn't pose significant problems -- certainly not on the PNW. Now, it is true that deeper keels will be a limiting factor in some areas. The Bahamas is one are which purports to be a challenge for us deeper-draft boats (mine is 6'). I've not been there yet, but I accept I may not be able to get into all nooks and crannies. But that is true everywhere. Here on the Great Lakes my 6' draft puts some anchorages and harbours out of reach. And it means I sometimes can't anchor as tight into shore as I'd like. So be it...

All boats are a collection of compromises. The trick is to understand what is important to you and your sailing family, and to then find a boat that best fits those criteria. This is why I usually recommend that new sailors/boat owners first buy a solid, simple monohull in the 25 to 32 foot range. Get one with all the basic systems (inboard engine, galley with cooker, plumbing, electrical) and then get out and cruise for a while. This boat will teach you what is really important for you and your crew.

Here are a couple of websites that list raw boat data. This first one lets you compare specs head-to-head.

Sail Calculator Pro v3.54 - 2800+ boats

While these other two let you search the database for various designs and then view their specs:

SailingJoy.com - Resources - Sailboat Specifications
Sailboatdata.com is the worlds largest sailboat database.

It's fun to compare specs, but this is in no way a replacement for actually getting out and cruising on various designs. Specs only tell a limited story. It's how they all fit together that makes each boat unique.
This is good advice.

Deeper draft has the most direct influence on ONE aspect of the boat's behavior, and that's performance upwind.

Stability is usually not a function of draft, depending of course on the design, but shallower draft boats are usually no less stable -- they just have more ballast to compensate.

In fact deep draft might even be a disadvantage of safety in really bad conditions, as "tripping" on the keel is one of the mechanisms of a knockdown.

7' will limit you in some places like the Bahamas and the ICW, also on inland waterways in a lot of places, but it's certainly not out of the range of "normal" cruising boats, so I doubt it will be a really horrible limitation. My draft is nearly 8', and there are more than a few yacht harbors I can't get into. It's more often a problem, than our length. Usually not a big deal -- just anchor out, or use the fishing harbor. But I suppose it could be a problem for someone, somewhere.

In my own case, my greatest regret is not being able to use some of the canals in Northern Europe, but would I give up upwind performance for that? Nah . . . .
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Old 16-05-2016, 08:11   #43
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Thanks again for the great replys, from what you've all said it doesn't sound like it would be a problem, I'm finding on the west coast alot of the boats for sale have deeper draughts so with the information provided it's opened ip alot more sailboats to us. Thx

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Old 16-05-2016, 09:03   #44
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

I draft 7 and I'm looking for a shoal draft keel to swap. My primary cruising area is from Virginia to the Florida Keys, Bahamas
Under 6 would be ideal. Over 6 is a pain. If I was on the west coast however I would think 7 or greater would be no issue.
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Old 16-05-2016, 15:14   #45
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

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Thanks Jim I guess I'm looking for the perfect boat for all situations...
This sounds suspiciously like those too frequent "What Kind of Boat Should I Buy?" threads from a neophyte who has the cruise all mapped out in his mind, but has never taken the time to learn to sail. My questions are what is your sailing experience and how large is your family? And have you given any consideration to how you will get from the Pacific Northwest to the Caribbean?

As to your original question: boats are like women: you buy the package, not the part. If some part--or parts--is so egregiously off to eliminate her (a pronoun which once referred to both women and boats), you move on to a better choice. As for draft, I, for one like it, but it has been written that for every foot of reduction in draft, the number of harbors available to you increases by one order of magnitude. True? I don't know, but it is something to think about.

Paul
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