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Old 26-07-2013, 00:21   #1
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pirate Ericson 32 Mk2 Draft and Sailing in the Keys/Bahamas, etc.

Hey everyone.

As some of you may now know I've been looking for my first boat, which I will be living aboard and cruising. My planned cruising grounds are the east coast us from Maine to the Florida Keys, and the Caribbean. However, at some point I would also like to be able to sail down theLesser Antilles and Grenada, Tobago, etc- perhaps even going through the canal and up Mexico and the west coast.

So my question right now is about draft. As I want to be able to explore all these difference places, I know my draft is going to be somewhat limited. The Ericson 32-2 has a draft of 4'11' (so...5'). How detrimental to my crusing plans will that be? Will I be severly limited in the places that will be available to me?

I would very much appreciate some of your experiences if you have a similar draft and have sailed in the areas I plan on cruising- particularly the Keys and Caribbean.

Thanks all!
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Old 26-07-2013, 01:28   #2
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Re: Ericson 32 Mk2 Draft and Sailing in the Keys/Bahamas, etc.

I have a caliber 33 and the draft is listed at 4'8 but probably closer to 4'10 or 11 fully loaded. I have sailed everywhere from Cape May south to the Carolinas, in the Bahamas and down the Caribbean as far as the Grenadines. Draft is pretty much never an issue in the Antilles but occasionally is in the Bahamas. However, with your draft you wont be limited very much at all. There will be occasional harbors you will want to wait for high water to get into or out of but 5 ft. works just fine in the Bahamas and also in the ICW at least between Beaufort and Norfolk. (and probably south on the ICW also but I have never been on that stretch) I have never sailed on the West Coast so you need to ask somebody else about that but I would be surprised if you had issues there either.

PS - If you plan to go in the ICW then get towing insurance. It is very cheap for what you get and everyone runs aground sooner or later. If you have to pay out of pocket for a tow you will discover who the real pirates are in the modern age.
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Old 26-07-2013, 01:31   #3
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Re: Ericson 32 Mk2 Draft and Sailing in the Keys/Bahamas, etc.

Thanks for the reply sck5. Yeah thats what I figured, but I just needed to be sure before I buy something.

I was already planning on getting insurance from BoatUS so will be covered there
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Old 26-07-2013, 06:55   #4
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Re: Ericson 32 Mk2 Draft and Sailing in the Keys/Bahamas, etc.

I cruised the Keys and Bahamas with a 4'10" draft (closer to 5 with all I was carrying).

The only place I had trouble was coming down the ICW, from Miami, a little north of Marathon, when I ran hard aground in the middle of the channel at low tide.

I actually got braver and went a lot of places in the Bahamas at high tide that I couldn't have made at low tide. Something about seeing so clearly what's under you that does that.
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Old 26-07-2013, 07:24   #5
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Re: Ericson 32 Mk2 Draft and Sailing in the Keys/Bahamas, etc.

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Originally Posted by Group9 View Post
I actually got braver and went a lot of places in the Bahamas at high tide that I couldn't have made at low tide. Something about seeing so clearly what's under you that does that.
Having a soft bottom also helps

I never want to see the bottom while moving here in Maine!
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Old 27-07-2013, 08:24   #6
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Re: Ericson 32 Mk2 Draft and Sailing in the Keys/Bahamas, etc.

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Having a soft bottom also helps

I never want to see the bottom while moving here in Maine!
Yeah, I got lazy when I lived in Annapolis and sailed the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay. I'd start running aground in the mud and say, "If we don't quit plowing mud in five minutes, we're turning around."

Down here, when you hit sand, you get like one or two bumps and then dead stopped.
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Old 27-07-2013, 09:13   #7
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Re: Ericson 32 Mk2 Draft and Sailing in the Keys/Bahamas, etc.

I had a 32' Ericson; great boat. Sailed like a champ, easy to singlehand, didn't take much wind to get her going.
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