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Old 01-06-2016, 09:28   #1
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CRUISING WITHOUT DINGHY

We (me,wife,and three teens) have a 37' Fountaine Pajot Louisiane that we use as a day-charter boat. We're headed to the Bahamas at the end of June for a family trip. We currently have no dinghy - nor do I want to invest in one. We draw 2' with boards up. We regularly sail Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala with no dinghy.
We've not been to the Bahamas; I'm wondering how possible is it to find temporary docking, or beaching, for our catamaran - as you would with a dinghy.
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:36   #2
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Re: CRUISING WITHOUT DINGHY

Welcome to the forum, interesting question.
Where are you from? I ask as the tidal change may not be as much as your used to. in reference to beaching.
With a 2' draft, I guess you could anchor in 3' of water and wade ashore?
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:03   #3
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Re: CRUISING WITHOUT DINGHY

Bahamas covers a lot of territory. There are areas where you can beach a cat but in many spots this would not be possible. Tidal range can be up to 4 1/2 feet. Many of the anchorages have no protection from the west. Most of the anchorages do not have 360 degrees protection. As for docking, once you get out of the major centers marinas are few and far between. If you're serious about no dink Abaco would be your best bet.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:03   #4
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Re: CRUISING WITHOUT DINGHY

When cruising the Bahamas solo, I often didn't want to launch my dingy and would just swim to shore on many off the deserted islands with a dry bag.

Personally, If I had a 37-foot Cat I'd invest in at least a cheap dink. On my last solo cruise, I took a 2-person inflatable kayak.

Most of the towns I've been to in the Bahamas have a courtesy dinghy dock, few have a courtesy dock for a boat that size, but in most of the mid sized to larger towns you can pick up a slip. At many, you could probably pull up to the town dock or ferry dock just long enough to allow people to disembark.

As Vasco said, tides are not conducive to anchoring in 3 feet of water for any length of time and letting people just hop out.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:46   #5
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Re: CRUISING WITHOUT DINGHY

Jeff - welcome and a couple considerations.
End of June is right into hurricane season.
You are going to want to use a dingy and OB to get around seeing places that you do not want to anchor the mothership. Especially some dive spots. At the very least, a sit on top kayak.
End of June, the water temps will be very nice so you could swim in, Abacos would be the better choice as Vasco suggested. I believe you can get the Louisiane into less than 2 feet, correct? boards and rudders up.
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Old 02-06-2016, 04:39   #6
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Re: CRUISING WITHOUT DINGHY

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jeffscott.
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Old 02-06-2016, 05:14   #7
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Re: CRUISING WITHOUT DINGHY

We just got back from a month in Exumas, plus some time in Berry's. Unless you're checking in or fueling up, there is no temporary dockage except for some dinghy dockage. We can beach our cat, but most of the beaches with nice sand were very gradual slope. With 3-4 ft tides, you might either float off or be there until next tide change. Some beaches looked clean but had rocks or conch shells, you would have to miss. The only boat we saw beached the entire time we were there was another seawind 1000 that belonged to a friend, and only at two spots he knew very well. At chat n chill in Georgetown, and at pirate cove on big majors. That's it.

Buy something to get yourself ashore. My recommendation. Row the dinghy if you want to keep cost down.

Oh, and there are a few marinas. Staniel, Highborne, Chub, Compass. Plan to pay $3-4+ per foot plus a charge for electricity, and water by the gallon. IF they have room for you. I didn't look into marinas at Georgetown.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:10   #8
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Re: CRUISING WITHOUT DINGHY

Thanks for the input!
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Old 02-06-2016, 18:22   #9
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Re: CRUISING WITHOUT DINGHY

Simply put....don't do it...
Even if you buy a el cheapo dink...you will want one and recognize the value in a decent dinghy once out cruising. Even if I planned on "Marina Cruising" going from Marina to Marina, I would still have a dinghy. We cruised with two kids and the Dinghy was a critical part of our cruise activities.
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