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Old 29-04-2014, 21:38   #1
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San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

We are looking to buy a boat to sail to Florida from San Diego right now our top 2 are a 2001 hunter 420 or Antigua 44. Both around 100k. I know there are dramatic differences between the 2 my biggest concern is the Draft since we plan on staying near the Bahamas the hunter is wing keeled at 5 ft and the antigua 6.5 ft. Is the 1.5 ft of Draft difference worth choosing the hunter over the full keeled antigua?

Looking for all opinions. Thanks.

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Old 29-04-2014, 21:47   #2
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

Always go with less draft for coastal sailing.
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Old 30-04-2014, 05:35   #3
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

The Antigua 44 is a tank, very well built boat.. I'm living in the FL Keys and I've never found my 6'2" draft to be a problem at all.. The Hunter is,,,, well a Hunter..
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Old 30-04-2014, 08:04   #4
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

A boat with 5' draft is going to make you a lot happier in the Bahamas than one with 6'6".
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Old 30-04-2014, 13:04   #5
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

Thanks for the advice. I'm kinda thinking if my only concern was the trip at hand then draft may not be a huge hold up because its possible to get throught the Caribbean and Bahamas with deep drafts just you have fewer anchorages to choose from. But if I intend to spend several years following cruising the Bahamas the shoal draft should be a top priority.
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Old 30-04-2014, 13:39   #6
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

there are 420s with deeper drafts if that is all that matters to you
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Old 30-04-2014, 14:33   #7
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

No, my concern is having too deep of a draft when we get to the Bahamas.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:34   #8
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuso53 View Post
No, my concern is having too deep of a draft when we get to the Bahamas.
If you have never been there before and see the clarity of the water and how shallow it is on the banks, you might wish for a shallow draft.
6'6 inside the reef along Belize will be stressful.
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Old 04-05-2014, 10:45   #9
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

Thanks for the posts. Think we are going to try to get the hunter with a 4ft 10in draft.

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Old 04-05-2014, 10:49   #10
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

Every boat is a compromise. If you are going to spend most of your time in the Bahamas/Florida area, you may put up with the sub par performance of a shoal draft boat.
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Old 06-05-2014, 19:18   #11
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

Florida has a bunch of sailboats for sell. And from your trip you have to sail thru the Carib to get to Florida. Usually people sail to the Carib from Florida. Not thru it to get to Florida.

I would fly/drive to Florida and buy a sailboat there.





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Old 07-05-2014, 18:32   #12
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

Yeah but we want to make the trip. I know it'll be uphill once we get in the Caribbean and head N. We just plan on making south FL home and will continue to cruise the Bahamas from there.
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:13   #13
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

The trip from San Diego to Panama could be done in almost anything, (normally) downwind in benign conditions; Panama to Florida, not so much.
Panama to the west end of Cuba can be brutal, three out of three times I've done it the seas were 10 to 12 feet minimum and short period with wind in mid 20's from Panama to Roatan. Miserable conditions to say the least.
A well prepped Hunter could do it, but it won't be fun and you'll probably have plenty to repair in Florida.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:47   #14
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

Sounds like you guys have a lot of time to sail. From the above post looks like a nice sail would be to sail east from Panama and turn north and come up thru the Carib in numerous other areas. Do you plan on exploring while you are that area anyway or going to make passage and head straight for Florida?

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Old 09-05-2014, 08:59   #15
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Re: San Diego to Florida through the Panama Canal what Boat to use?

I knew crossing the Caribbean would be rough. I didn't think 20+knts wind and 10' + waves were normal. We better make sure the boat is well prepared. Thanks for the experience post. And to answer tuffr2 yes we plan on taking our time and exploring. If you are patient is it possible to cross the Caribbean in milder conditions? Or how about the northern track vs the eastern to BVI?

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