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Old 14-06-2011, 15:39   #1
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Challenge of a 6 Foot Draft in the Keys and Bahamas

I was wonder how much of a challenge it will be to navigate the shallow water of the Florida keys and Bahamas. A buddy of mine is showing some concern.

Thanks,

Brian
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Old 14-06-2011, 15:44   #2
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

dont sail florida sound--is very shallow.. my draft is 6'6"..lol. there are many places to sail--just watch yer depthsounder. and charts.
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Old 14-06-2011, 15:58   #3
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

six feet is not a problem in the Bahamas.
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Old 14-06-2011, 16:01   #4
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

my formosa has no desire to go to bahamas. toomaany touristas from noooo york.
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Old 14-06-2011, 16:05   #5
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

How about an 8 foot draft?
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Old 14-06-2011, 16:30   #6
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

In the Bahamas, it will depend on where you want to go and how much it bothers you to wait for tide. Many delivery ships have an 8-foot draft or more and visit many towns. You certainly can hit many popular destinations with a six foot draft.

However, if you want more flexibility and enjoy gunkholing, 6 feet will have some limitations.

In the Abacos for example, the Indian Cay passage has a controlling depth of about 5ft. MLW, The normal entrance into the Carter's Cays is about 4. Getting into my favorite bay on Manjack requires at least 5 feet MLW. (My 4.3 draft boat is pushing it sometimes.) The entrance to Black Sound on G.T. is about 4.5 as is the entrance White Sound. Hope Town and Man-O-War will have similar restrictions. The Don't Rock Pass is about 4 as is this Lubber's pass. Little Harbour has a controlling depth of 3.5 feet. Obviously wave action, safety margins and other factors may increase the depth you feel you need to safely transit or anchor. High tides vary from about 2.3 feet above MLW to over 3.5 feet during spring tides.


My overall feeling is that 6 feet will restrict you in some ways. If you are considering purchasing a boat for Florida and Bahamas cruising, I'd personally want much less draft. However, a 6 foot draft should not discourage you from visiting the many wonderful Bahama islands you can visit with a boat of that draft.
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Old 14-06-2011, 16:33   #7
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

We were based out of the Florida Keys for ten years and sailed all of the Bahamas with a 6 foot draft. Yes there are some places you can't go, but there are some places you can't go with a 5 foot draft. It was never a problem for us. Chuck
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Old 14-06-2011, 16:36   #8
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

Mine is six feet... I just have to swim a little further to get to shore.. The keys do become limited but then again keeps me from going where everybody else is..
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Old 14-06-2011, 17:14   #9
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

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my formosa has no desire to go to bahamas. toomaany touristas from noooo york.

Zee, go to the Bahamas, I felt the same way until I finally went there this year. The Virgins and, particularly St. Maarten, are much worse. Just skip Nassau. In the Exumas everyone you meet is on their own boat.

We did the Bahamas comfortably with an almost 6 foot draft but have to watch the tide and do passages on the ocean side.
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Old 14-06-2011, 17:20   #10
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

hannah-...-i dont wanna go there--they hate my kat, and charge too much ...i will abstain. i liked st croix and st thomas and puerto rico's culebra a lot..was gorgeous in culebra...i will return there--nd st john and peter island and norman , and jost van dyke--only for foxy's old year party--just one time..lol...and cane garden bay... for the rum and coconutz..LOL..
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Old 14-06-2011, 17:24   #11
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

Oh Zee tis aint so bad, I hang out there every now and again
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Old 14-06-2011, 17:31   #12
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

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Oh Zee tis aint so bad, I hang out there every now and again
would be ok if they didnt hate my kat...he is not gonna be placed into any kind of hell away from his momms, so i wont go there-----he is best crew i have found short of juan lu....and tom and david, but bubba is bestest,even if he cant steer a course--....i will go back to fla tho--i liked western fla a lot--and tortugas.
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Old 14-06-2011, 17:31   #13
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
my formosa has no desire to go to bahamas. toomaany touristas from noooo york.
Wow, no offense, but I've found quite the opposite in the places you've mentioned. I find it very challenging to find a place without tourists in the Caribbean,(including Culebra) but have often spent a week or more in the Bahamas without seeing anyone outside of my crew- tourists or locals.

Maybe it's a factor of that draft?
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Old 14-06-2011, 17:33   #14
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

mebbe is a factor of my gato and bahamas doesntlike him or any other cat. aswellas noo yorkers i dont like. had toomany of em growing up onlong island lol (that is in NY, btw) whenye dont do marinas, there are plenty of places to see without tourists even in heavily travelled places.
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Old 14-06-2011, 18:24   #15
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Re: Challenge of a 6 foot draft in the Keys and Bahamas

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mebbe is a factor of my gato and bahamas doesntlike him or any other cat. aswellas noo yorkers i dont like. had toomany of em growing up onlong island lol (that is in NY, btw) whenye dont do marinas, there are plenty of places to see without tourists even in heavily travelled places.
Well, maybe it's the fact that there's a Long Island, Bahamas too, that's the problem...

Each to their own. It's great we have such a variety of cruising destinations to choose from.
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