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Old 23-05-2016, 19:26   #61
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

That centerboard was probably the key to the windward ability--deep draft with the board down.

I am surprised by our windward ability in heavy air. This boat just points up there and goes w/o as much leeway as we thought she'd have. For what is considered a very shallow draft for the length, we do well to windward if given enough wind to work with. If winds are light, working to windward is just pitiful for us. I don't know if this is the case for most shallow boats or not. Shallow without a centerboard that is. Centerboard boats are not shallow drafted going up wind because they use that centerboard down.
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Old 23-05-2016, 20:58   #62
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

I think the stability you speak of, and are seeking, will be coming from a heavier boat, not really a deeper keel. As has been mentioned, the deeper keel is needed for improved performance upwind, and IMO, you should definitely get a boat with good upwind performance. There are many stable boats, with good upwind performance that don't run so deep. I am thinking of a Freya 39 or Baba 40. I have a friend with the Freya and I have heard good things about the Baba, but never sailed on one. If I were in your shoes, with your schedule, given where you are starting from I would plan on having experienced crew along to San Francisco, or perhaps even Santa Barbara, and have your wife and daughter take the train down and meet you there. No insult intended, it's just that right out of the gate you could be hitting seas and weather that might make you all want to stay home.
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Old 24-05-2016, 09:52   #63
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Yes Don from what I've read I have said the sa.e thing, I want the experience straight out of the bat in heavy seas but it could put my wife and daughter off and that won't be good, I know it's early days for us but I have suggested the same thing. I will look into those boats you suggested, thanks everyone for your excellent replys.

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Old 27-05-2016, 17:51   #64
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

I wouldn't worry about 7' draft unless you planned to do almost all of your sailing in south Florida and the Bahamas and ICW.

In boats of otherwise similar design, deeper draft does give you better stability and you will LOVE that feature of your boat when you're far from shore and you REALLY wish the waves were much smaller and the wind would ease off by about 40 knots or so. You may not actually think about the draft of your boat in that situation but you will be pleased to notice that it seems quite determined to not capsize even in very strong gusts and big waves, even if you realize you didn't shorten sail quite as soon as you should have. If you're never going to go there, then it's not important but if you are planning to do some offshore sailing, good stability is an important consideration.

Even in the Bahamas, in most areas it's only very shallow near the islands where you'll be anchoring, not where you'll be actually sailing. Think about it, if it's THAT shallow where you planned to sail so you would worry about your 7' draft boat touching bottom, wouldn't you also worry about your 5' boat touching bottom too? Could you enjoy a sail knowing that you only had 1 or 2 feet clearance? In areas where it's that shallow I'd be motoring VERY carefully and slowly with someone on the foredeck whether I drew 5' or 7'. Yes, in the Bahamas there are places like that where the depth varies very little and is only about 8' deep for many miles in every direction such as on the banks or in Abaco Sound, but you're not going to do a very big percentage of your sailing in depths in that range. I had my 7'2" draft Nordic 44 in the Abacos and Berry's for a year and crossed the bank just north of Bimini and had no trouble at all. Yes, I paid very close attention to ranges and channel markings in harbor entrances and I plowed a few shallow furrows in Marsh Harbor on my way to the fuel dock but it's just soft sand and other than scouring off some bottom paint, no harm, no foul. With a deeper draft boat you'll have to plan to enter and exit some harbors at nearly high tide so you have to plan your arrivals/departures accordingly or anchor further out than you could with a shallow draft boat but that's what they make RIB's and outboards for.

There's been a fair amount of discussion here about needing a shallow draft boat in the Caribbean but I' can't imagine why, unless they primarily mean the Bahamas when they say Caribbean. Once south of the Turks and Caicos, draft isn't a problem at all, and if you are planning to actually sail in the strong trade winds that blow nearly night and day down there, you want a boat that will stand up to a strong breeze and sail to windward when you need it to, and that means shoal draft is NOT a desirable characteristic in a monohull in the Caribbean.

The whole rest of the time you spend aboard your boat, especially offshore, you'll enjoy deeper draft. One concern I have is what kind of keel you are considering. If you are considering a 35'ish boat, about 6' or even 5.5' is probably enough to give you very good stability. You don't want or need a 35' boat with a tall, skinny, racing keel because they don't do well when you inevitably "touch bottom." So, beside considering the draft of your boat, it's also important to make sure you get a boat that's appropriate for what you're planning to do with it, with a full keel or a reasonably strong fin keel that can "take it" when (not if) you touch bottom. So ,while I wouldn't have any problem with a 7' draft boat in the Bahamas, you don't need that much draft to have good stability and ability to go to weather if you keep it under about 40' LOA.
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Old 27-05-2016, 18:15   #65
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
I wouldn't worry about 7' draft unless you planned to do almost all of your sailing in south Florida and the Bahamas and ICW.

In boats of otherwise similar design, deeper draft does give you better stability and you will LOVE that feature of your boat when you're far from shore and you REALLY wish the waves were much smaller and the wind would ease off by about 40 knots or so. You may not actually think about the draft of your boat in that situation but you will be pleased to notice that it seems quite determined to not capsize even in very strong gusts and big waves, even if you realize you didn't shorten sail quite as soon as you should have. If you're never going to go there, then it's not important but if you are planning to do some offshore sailing, good stability is an important consideration.

Even in the Bahamas, in most areas it's only very shallow near the islands where you'll be anchoring, not where you'll be actually sailing. Think about it, if it's THAT shallow where you planned to sail so you would worry about your 7' draft boat touching bottom, wouldn't you also worry about your 5' boat touching bottom too? Could you enjoy a sail knowing that you only had 1 or 2 feet clearance? In areas where it's that shallow I'd be motoring VERY carefully and slowly with someone on the foredeck whether I drew 5' or 7'. Yes, in the Bahamas there are places like that where the depth varies very little and is only about 8' deep for many miles in every direction such as on the banks or in Abaco Sound, but you're not going to do a very big percentage of your sailing in depths in that range. I had my 7'2" draft Nordic 44 in the Abacos and Berry's for a year and crossed the bank just north of Bimini and had no trouble at all. Yes, I paid very close attention to ranges and channel markings in harbor entrances and I plowed a few shallow furrows in Marsh Harbor on my way to the fuel dock but it's just soft sand and other than scouring off some bottom paint, no harm, no foul. With a deeper draft boat you'll have to plan to enter and exit some harbors at nearly high tide so you have to plan your arrivals/departures accordingly or anchor further out than you could with a shallow draft boat but that's what they make RIB's and outboards for.

There's been a fair amount of discussion here about needing a shallow draft boat in the Caribbean but I' can't imagine why, unless they primarily mean the Bahamas when they say Caribbean. Once south of the Turks and Caicos, draft isn't a problem at all, and if you are planning to actually sail in the strong trade winds that blow nearly night and day down there, you want a boat that will stand up to a strong breeze and sail to windward when you need it to, and that means shoal draft is NOT a desirable characteristic in a monohull in the Caribbean.

The whole rest of the time you spend aboard your boat, especially offshore, you'll enjoy deeper draft. One concern I have is what kind of keel you are considering. If you are considering a 35'ish boat, about 6' or even 5.5' is probably enough to give you very good stability. You don't want or need a 35' boat with a tall, skinny, racing keel because they don't do well when you inevitably "touch bottom." So, beside considering the draft of your boat, it's also important to make sure you get a boat that's appropriate for what you're planning to do with it, with a full keel or a reasonably strong fin keel that can "take it" when (not if) you touch bottom. So ,while I wouldn't have any problem with a 7' draft boat in the Bahamas, you don't need that much draft to have good stability and ability to go to weather if you keep it under about 40' LOA.
Good post, JT, and good advice all around.

Jim
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Old 28-05-2016, 07:50   #66
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Re: 7 ft draught or smaller ?

Excellent information thank you all.

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