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Old 14-03-2016, 13:45   #1
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Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

Greetings and apologies in advance if this topic has been covered ad infinitum - please feel free to post links to threads - I will not be insulted. I just have a few questions all at once and it would be hard to search...and I'd rather not.

My husband and I are in the process of planning a move to Florida that will likely occur by the end of this summer. We are going to purchase a mono either before or after the move, depending on whether or not we find something that we just HAVE to have...I'm hoping not since I think we'd be better off moving first....

That said, our primary objective is to have a boat that we can spend weekends on - cruising - and maybe a sail to the Bahamas and a move to the BVI for a while at some point for a month (or 2...or 3).

It seems like the east coast of Florida is our best bet for the above -- but I've heard the west coast offers a lot to people who are basically weekend sailors....which...let's face it, is the majority of what we will be doing.

Most of the boats we're looking at are between 40 and 45 (since one day we'd like to liveaboard and not kill each other ) and have drafts of about 5'6....do we need to rethink that???

The more I read...the more I think we need to move first before we end up buying a boat we can't take anywhere...LOL.

Any and all helpful comments welcome...bear in mind that my husband is really the more knowledgeable when it comes to sailing...he's trying hard to convince me we can DO THIS.
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Old 14-03-2016, 14:02   #2
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

For your purpose, I'd look for a shallower draft to extend your cruising possibilities.

It's all tradeoffs, though.
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Old 14-03-2016, 14:07   #3
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

True...that's my concern....it might be better for us to not be so concerned with the "liveaboard" capabilities as much as the "where the heck can we GO with it??" capabilities....
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Old 14-03-2016, 14:09   #4
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

Shallower draft than 5'6" in a 45' boat? That depth is fine and probably called shoal draft by the maker of anyone you are looking at.
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Old 14-03-2016, 14:13   #5
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

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Shallower draft than 5'6" in a 45' boat? That depth is fine and probably called shoal draft by the maker of anyone you are looking at.
Yes - agree - but will that limit us to certain sailing areas?
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Old 14-03-2016, 14:17   #6
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

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Shallower draft than 5'6" in a 45' boat? That depth is fine and probably called shoal draft by the maker of anyone you are looking at.

I suppose you missed the 40 part of the range, and you can certainly do it with those.

If it's really important to have a 45' boat, then the shallower draft is certainly optional. Everything is negotiable.

You can get anywhere in your dinghy.
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Old 14-03-2016, 14:19   #7
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

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Yes - agree - but will that limit us to certain sailing areas?
You can still probably get almost anywhere, you'll just have to pay attention to your charts and anchorages. You'll be looking at those anyway.

Perhaps it's better to move first, so you'll know the limitations of your local area, and exactly what you're trying to negotiate. It will also save you the cost and hassle of storage in the mean time.
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Old 14-03-2016, 14:23   #8
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

Thanks! I really appreciate the input - I'm for moving first for both of those reasons!

And yes, God knows we will be looking at charts!!
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Old 14-03-2016, 14:25   #9
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

Yes keep the draft reasonable and search the east coast. Lots more cruising without going long distances and shipping is high cost now days. The shallow areas are the Bahamas and Fl mostly. it is nice to be fairly shallow for that. I've done the Bahamas in 6-5 draft, but had to exclude some places for sure. 5-6 would be a lot better, 5 even better yet! But you learn to deal with what you have. If you find the right boat buy it. No big deal either way.
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Old 14-03-2016, 14:29   #10
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

Hi WP,

I think you have a pretty good plan started. Shoal draft is good but I don't think the depth you can save in a 40-45' boat without seriously compromising sailing performance will change Bahamas cruising that much. I've done the Bahamas in 3.5' and 5.5' and didn't really change my plans significantly. If you're planning a trip to the VI in the future a boat with better windward performance will be a big plus and draft is always a help in that area.
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Old 14-03-2016, 14:43   #11
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

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Hi WP,

I think you have a pretty good plan started. Shoal draft is good but I don't think the depth you can save in a 40-45' boat without seriously compromising sailing performance will change Bahamas cruising that much. I've done the Bahamas in 3.5' and 5.5' and didn't really change my plans significantly. If you're planning a trip to the VI in the future a boat with better windward performance will be a big plus and draft is always a help in that area.
Thanks - yes, the plan would be to bring the boat to the VI at some point.

We are keeping our boat searches in the Southeast at the moment...
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Old 14-03-2016, 15:16   #12
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

Lots of good advice here. The Bahamas are basically no major problem at the depths discussed. Ample dinghy, gps, good charts and you'll do fine! Buy in S Florida and you'll also enjoy Biscayne Bay and south as a friendly train-in venue.


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Old 14-03-2016, 15:41   #13
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

Yes, Jack, we're trying to look at boats already located in Florida. We don't have a huge budget but we're finding a few out there that we like!
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Old 14-03-2016, 19:51   #14
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Re: Monohull for Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean

a centerboard boat might help with the draft issue in the bahamas. but I am in the Bahamas right now with a boat which draws close to 5 1/2 and though I have to watch the tide for some places it hasnt been too limiting. Some friends have 6 1/2 and that starts to be a problem
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Old 14-03-2016, 19:59   #15
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You'll not find much shallower draft than with this baby.. or her big sister the 47...
If you cannot afford new there's equally good older models around..


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