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Old 14-01-2009, 16:12   #1
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Will height and depth be factors cruising?

My husband and I are new members here. We have owned smaller sailboats (27' then 35') for 20+ years and are ready to buy the boat to cruise around the world in. We have our eye on a Hylas 54 but some have said the keel (7') is too deep and the mast (about 72') is too high for many places. We like this boat very much but don't want to put ourselves into too small a box when it comes to setting out. Our home is the Chesapeake Bay. We plan to go to the Caribbean in 2010 for our shakedown cruise. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks and glad to be aboard. This looks like an awesome forum.
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Old 14-01-2009, 16:30   #2
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Hello, toadsville.

Welcome to the forum!

Hylas is a great boat, and it will be fine for offshore and the Caribbean, but if you plan to travel the Intracoastal Waterway, you will want a boat with shallower draft and shorter mast. The bridges are mostly 65' clearance, and depths in the ICW can challenge a 6' draft. A 7' draft in the Bahamas is marginal, too.
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Old 14-01-2009, 17:50   #3
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Hud, not to be critical but why would anyone in a Hylas 54 ever want to go down the intracoastal?
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Old 14-01-2009, 18:08   #4
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For 2010 I would consider joining the Caribbean 1500 that leaves out of Hampton, VA in November. You will want to have the bulk of the spring. summer and early fall getting yourselves and the boat ready for the trip. It takes a while to get handy with a new boat even though you already have good experience. It all matters. Lots of time for some great spring and fall Bay sailing in familiar territory too. If you can deal with the shallow water in the Bay you will be ready in other places.

You might bring extra crew as well. Draft and bridge issues will preclude the ICW certainly. The 1500 would be the better way to do the trip quickly with an organized group. I believe they start with an organizational meeting in May. We met some first time big boat sailors that did it this past fall in their Gozzard 44.
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Old 14-01-2009, 20:08   #5
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Ditto on the other comments. The draft would make the Abacos infeasible. Aside from that go for it. I have sailed a Hylas 46, a well built boat.

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Old 14-01-2009, 20:42   #6
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Not a great choice for the East Coast / Chessie and Bahamas in my opinion...but a great boat. It is tough to get into that size range without a deep draft and over 65'mast. One thought is to look at the possibility of a centerboard ketch without compromising on size. Are you looking new or used?
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Old 14-01-2009, 21:29   #7
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Not a great choice for the East Coast / Chessie and Bahamas in my opinion
No one goes sailing to go under bridges. Running aground is a state of mind and there is a shoal with everyones name on it. Good friends sailed a 6-9 boat all over the Caribbean for 7 years. Now they are on the Chesapeake and had a hard time finding a slip, but they did. You do what you have to do. For all the places you can't go there are even more you don't go to. It's a big place with more locations than calendar.
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Old 15-01-2009, 04:13   #8
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That is well said. We draw 9 with a 100 foot air draft and really find no problems anywhere we go but we only go where we can. We too have a limited calander not a limited number of places we want to visit.

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No one goes sailing to go under bridges. Running aground is a state of mind and there is a shoal with everyones name on it. Good friends sailed a 6-9 boat all over the Caribbean for 7 years. Now they are on the Chesapeake and had a hard time finding a slip, but they did. You do what you have to do. For all the places you can't go there are even more you don't go to. It's a big place with more locations than calendar.
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Old 15-01-2009, 04:24   #9
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Hud, not to be critical but why would anyone in a Hylas 54 ever want to go down the intracoastal?
Good point! What was I thinking?
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Old 15-01-2009, 07:01   #10
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Used. Can't afford a new one...
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Old 15-01-2009, 07:12   #11
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Sorry, I'm not used to this format. We are looking only for a used boat, since we can't afford a new one. And actually, we're wondering, in this economy, if we can even afford a used one. The common wisdom we've heard is buy the biggest boat you can afford or you will regret it later... But we want a boat one of us can single hand in case something happens to one of us. So go large, but not too large. Safety is our biggest concern, but we also want a boat we can fall in love with visually. We think the Hylas is a nice looking boat. After a shakedown cruise, I'm not sure we will sail the east coast very much. We want to become more world cruisers...
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Old 16-01-2009, 16:25   #12
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That common wisdom must be tempered by "buy the biggest boat you can comfortably handle given your strength, crew size and experience." Affordability is important and I agree bigger is better (though MANY don't) but the experience, strength and crew size issues MUST be accounted for.
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Old 16-01-2009, 20:48   #13
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Actually, I would disagree with the "standard wisdom".

Do not buy the biggest boat you can afford, buy the smallest boat you can tolerate. You'll have lots more money left over for fun stuff. A 50 foot boat is 2x as expensive in just about everything as a 40 footer, and a 30 footer is half again.
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Old 16-01-2009, 21:44   #14
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Do not buy the biggest boat you can afford, buy the smallest boat you can tolerate.
More time to drink beer and eat fish. Less time doing boat chores. If you have a lot of money you can buy a boat big enough so you never leave the slip or have people hanging around waiting for you to find stuff for them to do.
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