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Old 08-11-2014, 08:28   #1
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What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

We are serious about an Amel Super Maramu, 53' LOA, a 6'-7" draft, 15'-1" beam, and a 65'-3" mast height. We'll be on the east coast, the Bahama's, and then down-island to the Caribbean. I'm more than a little concerned about limitations on anchoring, mooring, and the ability to tour the Bahama's.

We have a long list of good reasons for the boat selection, but the draft worries me.

I plan on getting a planing dinghy so we can anchor at some distance and visit some of the nicer spots in the Bahamas that are too shallow.

Any advice is appreciated.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:33   #2
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

At 6'-7" that is not all that deep for a boat of this size, very good cruiser by the way.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:35   #3
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

Nice boat and a proven world cruiser. Don't get too hung up on buying a boat to fit a specific location, because plans change.

We bought and outfit our boat for the North Eastern USA with ocean crossings in mind. But now after making a left turn instead of a right turn, we find ourselves very happy in the Mediterranean probably for many years. Who knows where your travels will lead you, the Bahamas might end up being one short stop.

If you do plan on spending lots of time in the Bahamas, a catamaran would be a better choice.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:49   #4
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

I agree about plans changing. We're interested in doing a lot of traveling in it and have the option of an Atlantic crossing to visit the Med.

I just want to be sure we're not getting ourselves in a pinch where we are constantly told the boats too big for our moorings, the waters too shallow, etc.

How is the Med treating you? I've heard the bureacracy is tough, but people say that about everyplace.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:53   #5
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

That is a deep draft for the Bahamas. Ours is 6' + and we held our breath navagating them. But the Bahamas are the shallowest of all the Caribbean and they are doable. A good outboard and rib will be in order as you will often anchor way out. The ICW is another issue as the bridge clearance is 65' and it is shallow as well, but with a big boat its better to transit on the outside. less yahoos as well. If your gonna be a cruiser you will want to venture further and a deep keel will serve you well. If your plans are Fla and the Bahamas a smaller boat will be much easier and more appropriate. Best of luck and fair winds.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:59   #6
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

The East Coast would be a bit restricted with you not being able to use the ICW in many places and bridge clearances. So you are going outside from the Chesapeake to the Bahamas. Not bad, unless the weather windows are bad that year. The Bahamas depends a lot on where you go. We draw 6'6" and had no issues in the Exumas, did OK in the Berrys. The Abacos were restrictive but still plenty doable.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:05   #7
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

Well the ICW will be a challenge, both draught and mast height, that will exclude you from some super east coast destinations. Depth will leave you, at the very least, exposed in many anchorages. All very well having a fast dinghy but there will be times when you need to tuck the big boat well in. Deep draught will greatly limit your choices in the Bahamas.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:08   #8
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

C.

The Med is beautiful. Contrary to what you read and hear from folks on these forums, the immigration and VAT issues are easy to deal with and don't create any problems which can't be solved. There are legal ways to stay for many years. Most of the countries bordering the Med encourage visitors like us and personnel at the marinas and government officials will go out of their way to help you.

If you have questions, please feel free to PM me anytime. Chuckr is over there in Tunisia right now, and probably won't mind answering your questions. He also has a long running thread on CF regarding Americans crossing over to Europe for extended stays.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:12   #9
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

Could you give me a few examples of east coast anchorages that would be difficult with deep draft?

Thanks in advance,
Duane
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:59   #10
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

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Originally Posted by carlylelk View Post
Could you give me a few examples of east coast anchorages that would be difficult with deep draft?

Thanks in advance,
Duane
There are 10's of thousands of anchorages, thousands of miles of coast line, a dozen states and 2 countries. Maybe you could narrow the question down a bit.
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Old 08-11-2014, 13:07   #11
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

There are at least 2 of those babies up the Rio Dulce and some people consider that area to have a shallow draft entrance.
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Old 08-11-2014, 13:10   #12
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

Quote:
. But the Bahamas are the shallowest of all the Caribbean and they are doable
The Bahamas are not in The Caribbean, but rather in the North Atlantic...
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Old 08-11-2014, 15:02   #13
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

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There are at least 2 of those babies up the Rio Dulce and some people consider that area to have a shallow draft entrance.
Ah, thanks for that very specific info. I've been thinking of Rio Dulce but have been worried about out 6'6" draft. Super news.
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Old 08-11-2014, 17:03   #14
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

FWIW:

Folk stories about the evils of "deep draft" abound in many areas where there are some shoal areas. Moreton Bay in Queensland is one such place. When we were trying to sell our previous boat, a retired one-ton race design with 7'2" draft, many potential buyers told us that they loved the boat, but that one could not sail it in Moreton Bay because it was too deep draft, so they were passing on buying her. I would patiently explain that we had been sailing the boat in Moreton Bay off and on for a decade by then, and that it seemed that it was indeed possible. Not one of them seemed to grasp this fact, for the folk knowledge was too deeply ingrained in their minds.

So, take such stories with a grain of salt and a quick look at charts for the areas that you propose to cruise. You may find that the worries are all emotional, not factual in nature.

Oh... as to the disadvantages of a 6'7" draft?... the worst one is running aground in 6'6" of water!!

Hang in there with your Amel lust, for they are serious cruising vessels with a well earned reputation... if you like Mr Amel's somewhat offbeat ideas!

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:22   #15
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Re: What are the disadvantages of a 6'-7" draft?

I have a Kelly Peterson 46 with a 6'7" draft and sail the Bahamas. It essentially presents no problem. Sure there are a few spots I can't access, but I can get to any of the places I want to go, sail across the flats, and sometimes I have to anchor a bit further out. As far as needing to anchor where it's not so protected, with a heavy blue water boat, it's never been a problem. I've sat out some blows in the 30+ knot range quite comfortably. On one occasion at Allens Cay, when I couldn't get inside, and that wasn't a draft issue but that the anchorage was crowded, we spent an unpleasant night anchored in the flats. Next morning we learned that it was quite the fire drill for those in the protected anchorage, with boats dragging, one ending up grounded, others fussing all night to re-anchor.
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