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Old 02-08-2010, 09:49   #16
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[QUOTE=Vasco;495302...How "comfortable" you are will depend on your experience. ....but most folks head into the sound once they get past Farmers Cay or Cave Cay...[/QUOTE]


To me this really hits on why the responses here are so varied: Different people have different priorities when it comes to cruising the Bahamas.

Most who say a deep draft is fine are people who like to go where most folks go, and they are right: You don't need shallow draft to do that. Many who promote a shallow draft, enjoying the shallower areas where most people don't go.

The latter is what makes the Bahamas my favorite cruising ground. The highlights of my last cruise were the times hanging out in places where most folks did not go. Having an entire island or even a bay to yourself for days is something you just don't experience in many cruising areas. Often these areas had controlling depths of just 3.5 feet (or less) MLW.

The Bahamas in an enormous chain of islands. How important draft is depends on where in these islands you wish to go and how much flexibility you desire.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:12   #17
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So, what limitations would an 8' draft make were we to go to the Bahamas?
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:44   #18
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It will mean going the long way around and anchoring further out and the better dinghy you have the less it will bother you. Shallow draft is very cool in the Bahamas. Many boats with deep draft go there. There are just many places where you will be draft restricted, but oh well. Anybody who cruises the Bahamas will kiss the bottom sometimes.
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Old 02-08-2010, 13:16   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatsmith View Post
It will mean going the long way around and anchoring further out and the better dinghy you have the less it will bother you. Shallow draft is very cool in the Bahamas. Many boats with deep draft go there. There are just many places where you will be draft restricted, but oh well. Anybody who cruises the Bahamas will kiss the bottom sometimes.
As long as it's sand and not coral, no worries. We have a Dhow with a sail (we have to anchor pretty far out sometimes here on the Great Lakes too).
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Old 18-08-2010, 06:54   #20
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Being a retired Coast Guard Officer we were taught to avoid water less than twice you draft. On that note I was captian of a cutter that had a draft of five feet and often had to go into areas charted at FIVE FEET.
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Old 18-08-2010, 13:03   #21
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Our Botved LA Cruiser drew 5.5 feet, which kept us out of a lot of places in the Bahamas but also provided a very stiff ride when crossing the Gulf Stream, Exuma Sound and other rough stuff. We spent up to 8 months there at a time, constantly cruising, and never ran out of deserted beaches. Every posting so far has made a good point, i.e. the grass is always greener.... A lot also depends on one's dinghy. If you have a really good one with lots of power you can explore more than if you have a deep draft boat that limits your options plus a toy dink that also limits your options.
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Old 18-08-2010, 16:25   #22
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That is such a great picture! Thanks for all of the advice everyone has given, greatly appreciated
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