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Old 01-01-2014, 07:09   #1
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Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

About to write the check for the live aboard boat. Love everything about it except it draws 9'. Laying awake at night listing the places I can't go - Keys & Bahamas on the Atlantic at the very least. We'll pick the boat up in British Columbia & our West Coast experience is next to nil, so will someone please tell me how important/not important this issue is in the larger picture? Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:38   #2
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' draft?

9' is pushing it for draft but then again depends on what you'll do and where you want to go. There are many many places you will be able to go as well as many you won't. Crossing the oceans and various Pacific locations would be fine as well as European waters. The carribean will have places for you with that draft but you'll be limited. Just think about where some of those big yachts that draft more than you visit and anchor.

Btw, happy new year.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:48   #3
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' draft?

Can't speak to further south on the west coast, but we've anchored in many coves from the San Juans up through BC and SE Alaska. In only a handful out of 200 or so would 9' draft make things difficult.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:53   #4
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

For sure, the US West Coast would not limit you as much as the US East Coast.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:10   #5
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

The Bahamas will not be a major problem. Last year when I was there one of the largest superyachts and the billonaire owner were cruising plenty of the places I was in. Maybe not so close to shore, but in excellent locations. Also transiting across the banks is possible. It may take a good look at your electronic chart, or another way is to watch the big boats on AIS as they cruise and add routes over their tracks.
Class A AIS shows the draft so its easy to work out which boats to follow.

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Old 01-01-2014, 08:42   #6
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

And I thought 4 1/2 on our mono was allot!. There are just to many places that I want to go that would be impossible with that draft. What kind of boat?
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:14   #7
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

You will have troubles in some anchorages and marinas in Mexico.

You will also have troubles on the Caribbean side of Panama, Roatan, Honduras and most of Western Florida. Someone said you won't have trouble in the Bahamas, but that is relative, since you won't be see much of them with a 9 foot draft.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:26   #8
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

Stick to a keel NO GREATER than 5 feet. You may never need anything bigger, in your cruising life. You'll be missing out on much of Florida, Bahamas and the Caribbean, just to name a few places. Happy new year!

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Old 01-01-2014, 10:28   #9
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

It's not that you can't do the east coast or the Bahamas but you will be limited in your routes, anchorages and marinas.

If it's a really good deal, go for it. If it's not that great a deal, I would suggest looking for a boat that can get in shallower areas.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:02   #10
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
It's not that you can't do the east coast or the Bahamas but you will be limited in your routes, anchorages and marinas.
+1

I notice you're from Long Island. If you return to the Northeast US, you will be able to go to many of the usual southern New England cruising areas. However, you'll be making a lot of routing and harbor decisions based on your depth sounder.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:09   #11
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

I dont think you will have too much trouble on the west coast (other than marinas), but if you head west, 9 foot will limit you. The Marqueses are no problem since they have no lagoons or passes to go through, but the Tuamotus and Tahiti have very nice anchorages that you would not have a chance of getting into. I cruised Tahiti with 4.5 foot draft, and was able to go places that larger yachts could not. It was great for exploring, and for getting away from the many large boats of the Milk Run mentality. My next 2 boats both drew about 6.5 foot, and there were numerous times when I missed the lesser draft. If you want to do the Milk Run, and stick to the major harbors you should have no problems. I just reread your post and dont see the size of the boat, but it must be very large, or an ex race boat. There are so many boats that dont have that radical a draft that you might do more research and see what you can find. I will be back in the boat buying market as soon as my house sells, and I will consider a centerboard boat if price, size and condition all come together, simply because I like the freedom to explore less popular places. Go with what your needs are!!!! Best of luck, _____Grant.
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Old 01-01-2014, 13:21   #12
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

So much good info. Thanks. We have been looking for the right boat for 2 years - at first we were naive about the boat loan situation after the recession - missed out on two boats. Now, older, wiser and more funded we have found several but the market is picking up and another boat sold the day before we saw it. The boat is large (50+) but after looking for a solid 2 years it meets 90% of our needs. Been sailing the East Coast for 20 years but no experience on the West other than a few day sails in SF Bay. Starting out in strange sailing grounds was not the plan so another layer on the challenge. House sales in our area have picked up and retirement starts in 6 weeks, so all things considered we're good.
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Old 01-01-2014, 13:31   #13
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

Quote:
Originally Posted by redhead View Post
So much good info. Thanks. We have been looking for the right boat for 2 years - at first we were naive about the boat loan situation after the recession - missed out on two boats. Now, older, wiser and more funded we have found several but the market is picking up and another boat sold the day before we saw it. The boat is large (50+) but after looking for a solid 2 years it meets 90% of our needs. Been sailing the East Coast for 20 years but no experience on the West other than a few day sails in SF Bay. Starting out in strange sailing grounds was not the plan so another layer on the challenge. House sales in our area have picked up and retirement starts in 6 weeks, so all things considered we're good.
Redhead

Don't let the Yacht Brokers talk you into something because they believe the market is going up.... It isn't going to go much in the next 6-12 months, but if you get the wrong boat you will pay for it later.

A 9 foot keel for a cruising boat will limit you in many ways, except racing upwind.

Remember cruisers try NOT to go to wind... Find a nice boat with a wing keel and a draft 6 feet or less.
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Old 01-01-2014, 13:39   #14
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pirate Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

I would not let the places I can and cannot go influence my decision if I found 'The' boat... I'd just plan my cruising accordingly..
Many times I've found places some rave about to be the absolute pits.. they're not there for the same reasons.. I want to get away.. they want marina's with all the services and restaurants and social get together's.. the 'in crowd'..
Buy the boat to fit your dreams and ambitions... want to hang out where its crowded.. buy shoal draft.. wanna go where the aforementioned will likely never get to.. get a serious boat
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Old 01-01-2014, 13:55   #15
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Re: Where can't I go with 9' Draft?

If the boat makes you happy, go for it! I wonder if the 9 foot draft will force you outside the ICW?

There are some places in Queensland, Australia, that you wouldn't be able to go, or possibly okay on king tides, but we've never missed those shallow places we avoided. Usually they are associated with sandflies. Our draft is a measly 7'2" (2.2m), and we just anchor a little further offshore, a necessity that leaves us usually out of reach of mosquitoes as well as sandflies.

As others have mentioned, some marinas, some places, will not be able to accommodate that draft.

Enjoy your new boat.
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