We bought a boat in 2001 to live on in the short term and ultimately to sail from Florida
. We picked a 1991 Hunter
433 as it was a fit for the budget
, had air con, and was ICW friendly - but only just. The bridge clearance was 64.5' but with VHF
we used to ping the bridges between Jax and Fort Pierce. The first trip was nerve wracking and even though we had relatively shallow draft
, still bumped in a few places. With 2 of us sailing, we managed to get back to Oz.
Fast forward, recently came back to the US to buy a boat, something larger than a 43 and more substantial than the Hunter
build. We ended up wit the Tayana 52 as it was a beautiful, solid boat, cutter
rig with all of the mechanical stuff we wanted. The downside was it has a 72' bridge clearance and a 6'6" draft. As I said before, you can go up the Fl coast from Fort Pierce to Jax for example and still find places to duck into if the weather
kicks up so not being on the ICW isn't such a big deal - UNLESS the trip down the ICW is part of the adventure.
We decided that the 65' ultimately wasn't worth keeping in the criteria because it excluded so many great boats. You would have to then wonder how many of the boats with 65 clearance are just a compromise to cater for the ICW and weekend sailors? IMHO