Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-05-2017, 11:56   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: SE Pennsylavania
Boat: shopping
Posts: 69
How limiting is draft?

I have been eye balling a beautiful sailboat for a short time. it is really everything I would like in a sailboat, save a 6'6" draft. I hope to be keeping it on the Chesapeake bay and sailing mostly the east coast and the Bahamas/ Virgin islands, for the first few years. How limiting will the draft be? I understand I will be anchoring or mooring out farther. How limiting is this for destinations primarily for the Bay, secondarily for the islands?
__________________

icedog11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2017, 12:13   #2
Registered User
 
s/v Moondancer's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Japan heading for Alaska
Boat: Tayana 55
Posts: 1,383
Re: how limiting is draft.

We have sailed all those areas with a 7ft 9in draft and the only place it was severely limiting was the Bahamas. Never a problem in the Caribbean and anchoring further out gets you further from the noise.

If you plan to go off-shore you will appreciate the stability from the draft.
__________________

__________________
Phil

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
s/v Moondancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2017, 12:24   #3
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: how limiting is draft.

It'll be an issue, yes. As to how much, that depends on where you want to go. So do yourself a favor & buy a cruising guide for the Chesapeake, & one for some of the Bahamas, etc. And then check the charted depths for a lot of the areas to visit there; popular, and off the beaten path. You'll also find info on activecaptain.com & via any of the free navigation programs & charts.

There a couple of members here on CF who live on the Chesapeake. Thinwater, on a PDQ catamaran, & Suijin on a Valiant 40'. And they're both real straightforward kind of guys.
__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2017, 12:32   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Columbia, MD
Boat: Seawind 1160 Lite
Posts: 90
Re: how limiting is draft.

We sail primarily on the Chesapeake (out of the South River). Sailing on the bay, just accept that it is a matter of when not if you will run aground. I've literally gone from 18' to 2' of water in about a boat-length. As long as you don't try to go too far up into the many rivers/streams, 6'6" should be okay. You'll have to be mindful of tides and plan some trips accordingly. Make sure you have good towing coverage and you'll be fine. The nice thing about the Chesapeake is that it is for the most part soft bottom so you probably won't damage much more than your pride if (when) you do run aground.

Having recently gone from a mono that drew 5' to a cat that draws just over 3', I am looking forward to a little less drama in some of the skinnier waters around here.
indimini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2017, 12:43   #5
Registered User
 
thomm225's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Hampton Roads
Boat: 1974 Bristol 27
Posts: 4,277
Re: how limiting is draft.

In the Bay, you'll be forced to pretty much use the mainstream Marinas.

You won't be able to sail up many of the creeks and enjoy some very nice anchorages. My draft is 4' and I have sailed in passed where the channel markers have ended. This can get interesting.

I'm on the very Southern end by the Atlantic though where we have plenty of deep water but exploring up the bay the creeks on the West Side get shallow quickly and on the Eastern Side down this way there's only Kiptopeke or Onancock Creek.

Onancock Creek though is 8' all the way in (about 5 miles) and you can anchor within about 200' of the wharf.
thomm225 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2017, 13:06   #6
Registered User
 
svseachange's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: East Coast of Australia
Boat: Custom Steel 43 ft
Posts: 781
Re: how limiting is draft.

6'6" is going severely limit your cruising opportunities in the Chesapeake, the ICW, Florida and the Bahamas.

I would not want to cruise those areas on a boat with more than 5'5" draft.
svseachange is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2017, 13:18   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,771
Images: 122
Re: how limiting is draft.

I believe Florida would be the biggest challenge for deep draft. I have 7' draft but I'm on the West coast so no problem except in SF Bay, there are parts you have to watch for.
__________________
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful! ........
A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves!

Unprepared boaters, end up as floatsum!.......
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2017, 14:14   #8
Registered User
 
Bill O's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2015
Boat: Bruce Bingham Andromeda 48
Posts: 281
Re: how limiting is draft.

We have a 6.5' draft and there are plenty of places to go on the east coast including the Chesapeake carrying that much draft. Since we do need to watch the depth a bit closer, I'll say we've gone aground less than when we were more caviler in our earlier days with a shallow draft boat and we took more chances.

With the deeper draft, we may anchor out a little further, but this helps avoid bugs and usually a good breeze as compared to when we were gunkholing in smaller boats.

I'll agree with a previous post, the deep draft keel is nicer offshore. The biggest limitation is in the Bahamas, but it isn't that bad with proper prior planning.

Cheers.
Bill O.
__________________
Bill O.
KB3YMH
http://phoenixketch.blogspot.com/
Bill O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2017, 14:36   #9
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 5,043
Re: how limiting is draft.

I like shallow draft--it is rare that I anchor in more than 6', so 6'6" would change my style. But as strongly as I feel about it, if I really liked a 6'6" boat, I would simply make sure it had an RIB on davits; there are longer dingy rides in your future. But that's OK.

For example, I sail out of Deale, MD. I head straight out of the creek, where at 6'6", you will need to take a 2-mile detour to the south around Long Bar. Some of it is only 4' at low tide.

There will be a few times when you need to watch the tide. Even some popular areas have bars that will require respect.
__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing
Writing full-time since 2014
http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2017, 18:53   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cayuga Lake NY - or on the boat somewhere south of there
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,111
Re: how limiting is draft.

I wouldnt want to go to the Bahamas in a boat with that deep a keel. In the VI or almost anywhere else in the Caribe it isnt an issue. If you sail much in Chesapeake Bay just get the unlimited towboat insurance and go have fun. If you dont have insurance towboats are truly shockingly expensive. You will run aground but it will be mud. Lots of places to go so just avoid the shallower ones and watch the tides.
sck5 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2017, 08:03   #11
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St Augustine
Boat: '87 Irwin 43
Posts: 166
Re: how limiting is draft.

6'6" draft will not be a problem anywhere - (except in water 6'5" or shallower). If you love this boat don't let the draft bother you (embrace it - it's a sailboat!); you will be fine anywhere (except < 6'6"deep water)....unless you're a devote gunkholer.
malyea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2017, 08:12   #12
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Southport, NC
Boat: Pearson 367 cutter, 36'
Posts: 334
Re: how limiting is draft.

I just came back from the Bahamas (Abacos), and I have a 5'6" draft. If you use Explorer Charts, and plan your trips with tide in mind, you can go most places, though as others have said, you'll anchor out more. But that saves money, and avoids the stress of docking in wind....;-) With an RIB on davits, I think you'd be fine in the Bahamas - my son and I went from Memory Rock to Green Turtle Cay on the recommended routes on Explorer Charts and never saw less than 4.5 feet under the keel - for you, depending on tides, that would be 3.5'.
AJ_n_Audrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2017, 08:17   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Switzerland
Boat: Outbound 46 -Callisto
Posts: 172
Re: how limiting is draft.

We sailed up and down the Chesapeake with our 6'6" draft, and never had a problem. The one time we went aground, a 3' draft would have been too much.

In the Caribbean, it is NEVER an issue, I think an 8' or 9' draft would be completely workable. Usually the problem is hoping you have enough anchor rode to get a 5:1 scope.
DMCantor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2017, 10:10   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ormond Beach, Florida
Boat: 1988 Wilbur 34
Posts: 169
Re: how limiting is draft.

The ICW
Seighlor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2017, 10:13   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Ormond Beach, Florida
Boat: 1988 Wilbur 34
Posts: 169
Re: how limiting is draft.

The ICW through the Carolinas may be problematic. No problem in Georgia and Florida waterways. Going down through the Florida Keys, the gulf side would not be an option. However, no problem at all on the Atlantic side. As mentioned, there should be no problem in the Caribbean and little problem in the Bahamas so long as you plan ahead and pay attention.
__________________

Seighlor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
draft

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Limiting Liability decktapper Dollars & Cents 30 16-02-2013 19:55
Ideal Draft for Bahamas Cruising Restless General Sailing Forum 24 09-01-2012 18:58
Eight-Foot Draft irwinsailor Monohull Sailboats 21 26-08-2010 21:40
Valiant 40 Shoal Draft vs Full Draft CaptainBW Monohull Sailboats 7 11-08-2010 15:06
6.5 foot draft volier Other 2 01-12-2006 16:31



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:42.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.