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Old 09-03-2012, 15:08   #1
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Bahamas Cruising

I'm looking to relocate in eastern New Providence and acquiring a monohull 35-38 ft. Was wondering if anyone had viewpoints on keel drafts and types for Bahamas cruising. I've noticed there isn't many monohulls docked or for sale at the local marinas. Thanks
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Old 09-03-2012, 15:45   #2
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Re: Bahamas cruising

Three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half feet are ideal. Six feet is not too much of a problem. Beyond that begins to cut down on your possibilities pretty substantially, I would think.
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Old 09-03-2012, 16:10   #3
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Re: Bahamas cruising

The less the better. Especially if you like to poke around off the beaten path....
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Old 09-03-2012, 16:19   #4
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Re: Bahamas cruising

We just spent 2 months there - with 4'6' and this was OK. I would say we have been able to approach 98% of the places we desired. We have seen deeper drafts (6 and a bit more) and the Owner said its OK but you already much more limited (or at least very stressed).

I personally would say max. 5ft for the Bahamas - and if you ever intend to sell the boat and the new owner would take it back and using the ICW 5ft is the real limit to travel comfortable (and Mast below 63ft) - Can be a big thing when reselling!

cheers Marco
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Old 09-03-2012, 17:05   #5
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Re: Bahamas cruising

Thanks very much everybody. Anyone have experience or heard anything on swing keels? They are coming out on some models.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:27   #6
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Re: Bahamas Cruising

Swing keels, i.e. centreboards? Heavy centreboards have been around for a while, and if you have a draught restriction, they make a lot of sense.

Or swing keels, i.e. canting keels such as those on a Volvo 70? I'm not a huge fan of these for a cruising boat- they add far too much cost and complexity.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:48   #7
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Re: Bahamas Cruising

IMHO shoal draft monohulls, like narrow beam cats, are an abomination. My preference for shoal draft on a mono is definitely a center board/swing keel. They do add some complexity and maintenance issues, but will out sail shoal draft equivalents. And, you can also get very shoal draft with the board up.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:03   #8
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Re: Bahamas Cruising

If you are interested in a swing keel look at the Southerly. 27" to 6' and you can park it on the beach.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:23   #9
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Re: Bahamas Cruising

A swing keel would be wonderful down there. I've done it with 6-5" and it is a worrysome thing! Bumped a few times too. Found myself wishing I could tuck in more in places.
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