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Old 23-01-2016, 09:45   #31
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Re: New Member - First Question

...or a dory like this one perhaps?
27' St. Pierre Dory, one of the most seaworthy wood boats ever designed.

I have seen those with centrboards rigged to sail too, they are more stable than they appear.

it is possible to cruise intracoastally with a very shallow draft boat.

1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
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Old 23-01-2016, 10:31   #32
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Re: New Member - First Question

Marshall Catboats are popular in the Northeast here. 18' & 22' lengths that I know of. I believe they were designed for the shallow Chesapeake Bay(?) shallow draft, center board setup with large cockpits and a wide beam. Stable. Single sail rig (some gaff some not)so easy to learn with. No jib to haul around. They have a small two berth cabin in most, and a small galley for prepping meals. Not a long haul cruiser for sure, but I know folks who cruise coastal in Maine with them. They are well built and some have small diesel inboards. Used would be in your price range. Draft may be too much. Typical 24-30" with center board up. Nice boats and perfect for a day sailer with guests.

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Old 23-01-2016, 10:37   #33
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Re: New Member - First Question

You may find a small New England Cat Boat to fit your needs. Not to be confused with a catamaran. The beam may be tight?
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Old 23-01-2016, 10:55   #34
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Re: New Member - First Question

Another consideration is the Telstar 28. Folding amas fit in regular slip and 14" draft.
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Old 23-01-2016, 12:12   #35
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Re: New Member - First Question

Originally Posted by Perdido Bay View Post
Hello Friends,

My wife and I are complete novices with no experience in sailing. We're reading everything we can find and now are getting to a place where we have questions and need help.

So, our first question has to do with our location. We live in a townhome on a very shallow section of a bay (which has navigable waters out to the ocean.) The Home Owners Association is building a dock and selling slips but the slip length will be 25' and width will be 12' and depth could be as little as 18" due to the shallow area we live on and that reaches so far out into the bay. Can something sea worthy for cruising along the shoreline of the gulf be stored in such a restricted space or are we going to have to consider other options?

We want to buy a sailboat we can grow into and work up to longer trips over time (no interest in blue water - just shoreline and intercostal waterway travel.) We're budgeting $30k but could go a bit more if needed.

This seemed to be a logical first question since we have an opportunity to buy a slip at a good price if we can make it work for us.


Welcome to the forum, Perdido.

I can add to the boats you may want to consider for your shallow dock constraints.

When landlocked due to work for a few years, we sold the cruising sailboat we had at the time and- after much research- bought a MacGregor 26M with a 70hp outboard.

We used it for weeks and months at a time in Prince William Sound, Alaska and had a ball with it.

It sails well, planes at 18+ knots loaded for two people for a month, and was very comfortable as a short term live aboard.

The 18" draft [with daggerboard up and rudders and engine partially up] let us access some areas we would otherwise have had to miss. Given what you have described, I wouldn't hesitate to keep her in such a dock [with hard bottom paint on the hull...] I would, however, only come and go at higher tides if feasible...

When we put her up for sale [she is sold...] we created a very detailed website with lots of links and photos. [The website is still available because we have been repeatedly asked to keep it available by other MacGregor fans, and it still gets a fair amount of traffic...]

Therefore, if you want access more first-hand information from someone who owned and used one of these fun boats for several years, see our introductory blog post- which has links to the web site.

In case this is of interest.

Best wishes with your search.


SV Denali Rose

Short on opinions; focused on research, facts & experience [yours and ours...]
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Old 23-01-2016, 12:13   #36
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Re: New Member - First Question

I'll second the Nimble's, I own a Nimble 20 and as far as trailerable boats go it's quite burly (within reason). If you are interested in them happy to share more info.

But one thing to consider is not just floating in 1 1/2 feet of water but trying to get anywhere... a sailboat that draws that little with the board up still won't sail anywhere with the board up, except dead downwind. And the propeller on many outboards would extend deeper than that. The Nimbles, for example, have their outboards in a well (IMO a great safety improvement over a stern mount because the motor's deeper in the water, less likely to cavitate, and you don't have to hang over the stern to mess with it) and the prop sticks down lower than the centerboard trunk/keel:

-- Bass

Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
Take a look at Nimble boats. They are flat bottom centerboard boats based on traditional sharpies. Ted Brewer is the designer. The Nimble 24 draws under 1.5' with the board up.

Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
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Old 23-01-2016, 13:27   #37
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Re: New Member - First Question

Perdido, welcome to the forum.

If the HOA plans to restrict use of the docks to resident owners, I suggest you rent a slip. There will be a marked difference in slip fees in your community if the new slips have those use restrictions. Secondly, as others have mentioned, the low depth makes the slip unusable for many boats unless you have a center/dagger board sailboat or an outboard or I/O which can rest on the bottom. There will probably be many slips available to rent.
Unless you see a potential economic gain when you sell your unit by owning a slip, rental is the best option. You will also avoid the additional insurance charges and governmental fees which accompany owning a piece of waterfront.
I rent a slip in Southern California which is restricted to residents of the island where I live. I pay the equivalent of the annual state lease assessment for the land under the slips. Because of the use restrictions the moorage cost is about 1/2 of other public or private rents.
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Old 23-01-2016, 13:35   #38
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Re: New Member - First Question

Once again, a special thanks to all of you for taking time to share your experience and expertise. It is much appreciated and was carefully considered.

One of the other factors about Perdido Bay, well beyond any concerns of a 12" tide, is that water height is influenced by the feed (or lack thereof) of the Perdido River dumping into the bay. For the past few days, any boat in any slip here would have been resting on the bottom. It doesn't happen too often but it I would hate to see it happen a day or two before we plan to launch for a week long (or month long) trip.

Of course until we learn that's a ways off, but I'm thinking I would be wise to sacrifice convenience and savings for a more dependable situation that allows us to launch and return when we want to and that also allows us more options for selecting a sailboat.

Again, many thanks to everyone who responded.
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Old 23-01-2016, 16:55   #39
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Re: New Member - First Question

I live just up the road from you in Destin, and we have similar skinny water.

If you want a sailboat, I second your choice to keep it nearby in deeper water. That depth isn't going to support one that really fits your stated goals.

If you want a powerboat, you can find a smallish one that would work there, but you'd need to put in a boat lift.
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Old 23-01-2016, 20:00   #40
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Re: New Member - First Question

A gemini will fit fine. Sleep two in comfort and 2 more for weekend trips. Boards up, about 15"

Look for a 3400, 3200k, or 3000 with an outboard - even if you replace the outboard, you can get in for $35k for a 3200 or 3000 and about $50k for a 3400 in fairly good condition.

They are easy to self maintain with over a thousand sold, most to owners who are glad to help.
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Old 23-01-2016, 21:29   #41
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Re: New Member - First Question

Perdido, come closer my friend....let me tell you a secret that no one here is telling you...cause they don't know what I the slip while it is dirt cheap and wait for global warming to raise the ocean level by another foot in the next hundred years. You can bequeath it to your progeny and they will look at you as a saint.

I am just hamming it up. Corsair 27 foot have super shallow capabilities as do the Wharram Tiki like Boatman said. But even 18 inches is a joke beyond belief. As others have already have to account for tides raise and fall.
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Old 23-01-2016, 21:53   #42
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Re: New Member - First Question

I'd suggest looking into a trailer-sailer. There are a few forums but where you are I suspect you can find a bunch on the market that you can either decide to purchase or at least sit in and decide what things you'd like and what you can live without.

I suspect the 18" water at low tide wont be an insurmountable issue, just plan your sailings with the tides or find a pier with some deeper water you can move your boat to a couple hours before you need to use it. Another nice thing about having a trailer, in addition to opening up cruising areas, is you can easily pull your boat when a bad storm is forecast. I was in Destin last
October when the remnants of that hurricane came through with the 60kt winds and had to drive back to Illinois in all that junk and being able to pull a boat out would alleviate a bit of wear and tear on a boat.
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Old 23-01-2016, 21:54   #43
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Re: New Member - First Question

BTW, welcome to the forums!
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Old 24-01-2016, 04:06   #44
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Re: New Member - First Question

I am finding it hard to believe that the Army Corp Engineers are allowing a 500 foot structure to get to 18 inches of water ? Years ago Again Years ago Permits could be obtained for dredging. Very tight regs on this !!!.
As far as the many boats people listed here they forgot one thing ( Beam ) many of those boats listed require more then 12 feet. So if you can buy a slip get the one on the very end or Buy two slips and remove the Piles. I would however BUY a slip as it will ALWAYS add to your BOTTOM line AT SALE Time.

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Old 24-01-2016, 07:47   #45
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Re: New Member - First Question

Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Depends where you come from:

Oxford Dictionary
Dock: North American a structure extending alongshore or out from the shore into a body of water, to which boats may be moored.

Cambridge Dictionary
Dock: US a ​longstructurebuilt over ​water where ​passengers can get on or off a ​boat or where ​goods can be put on and taken off

Merriam Webster3 a : a place (as a wharf or platform) for the loading or unloading of materials b : a usually wooden pier used as a landing place or moorage for boats

And then of course, there was Otis Redding's "Sitting on the dock of the bay"
It does indeed depend on where you come from.
Forgive me for being a pedant, but Oxford Dictionary gives your US English definition as item 1.3, whereas it gives the British English definition (item 1.0) as:
1. An enclosed area of water in a port for the loading, unloading, and repair of shipsIn non American-speaking countries the words "dock" and "basin" are interchangeable. They are usually enclosed by "quays" and may, or may not be closed off from the larger body of water by gates, for the purpose of keeping vessels afloat at low tide. If you log on to Google Maps or look at the relevant charts, you will find many examples of these, for instance in Liverpool, which has a considerable tidal range.
Over here, marinas have "pontoons", the pontoons have "fingers". Owners of small boats launch them from "slipways", not "ramps" and the owners of bigger boats have them "lifted out", rather than "slipped", when they want to paint their bottoms with "anti-fouling".
We're definitely not speaking the same language

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