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Old 17-12-2014, 22:56   #46
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys-What Boat?

I have sailed 20yrs in the keys and I get tired of hearing how little water the keys have.if you keep in the main shipping channels you can take any boat you want there don't forget they have 1000ft cruise ships there geeze ya worry worts.
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Old 18-12-2014, 06:29   #47
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys-What Boat?

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Originally Posted by gah964 View Post
if you keep in the main shipping channels you can take any boat you want there...
Yeah. Of course. But how much fun is it to always have to stay in the main shipping channels?

Answer: NOT MUCH!

Sure. There are lots of places that you can go in the Keys with a deep draft. The real point, though, is that there are a whole lot MORE places you can go if your draft is not too deep. To me, at least, most of the really interesting places, are places where you are not going to run into any 1,000 ft. cruise ships.

Same is true in the Bahamas, of course. It's not that you CAN'T go there with a deep draft. Of course you can. It's that you will be limited, and you will have to pass up a lot of the really interesting places.
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Old 18-12-2014, 09:52   #48
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys-What Boat?

Personally, I think a performance cruising gemini cat is a near perfect Keys/Bahamas/ICW boat. Thin so you can pay 1 slip for marinas, 2 foot draft or less, etc.
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Old 27-12-2014, 08:26   #49
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys-What Boat?

My farther and I spent years sailing the keys and the Bahamas in our Seafarer 38 ketch. It had a 4.5' draft and is considered a blue water boat. If we were limited on where we could go, we sure didn't notice. SHe sailed like a dream in blue water and got within dinghy range of every island we visited. IMHO was the perfect Caribbean vessel. Great liveaboard too.
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Old 27-12-2014, 08:50   #50
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys-What Boat?

My personal experience living in Ft.Lauderdale and making the trip to the Abacos in the northern Bahamas ( google Regatta time in the Abacos) many times in my Hunter33.5, 4 1/2 draft, is that a boat similar to mine, Catalina 30 for example, is well suited to get across the Gulf Stream and then onto the banks with little or no issue with running aground.
Both the Hunter and the Catalina are reasonably priced and are comfortable to stay on.
Just my personal experience............
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Old 17-03-2020, 20:07   #51
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys-What Boat?

We cruise a few months every year on a Shannon Shoalsailer 32 - beachable, 30" draft, big cockpit and wide beam. But not for crossing oceans - but very comfortable for a small boat. Sails decent.

www.shoalsailer32.blogspot.com

(check older posts - past 2 years more focussed on cruising up the Atlantic ICW and on to Maine on our Tiara 3100)
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Old 23-01-2022, 14:05   #52
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys-What Boat?

Are the recent production monohulls with shallow keels good choices for the purpose?
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Old 23-01-2022, 14:07   #53
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys-What Boat?

Also IP349 and Gemini Legacy35 may be good options if pointing is not a big concern.

A big fan of Meadowlark here. I like Southerly too.
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Old 23-01-2022, 14:09   #54
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys-What Boat?

This post was created to help provide some suggestions about shallow draft boats. You may find it helpful. See the many boats posted as examples, with specifications (draft is mentioned), etc.

It has 300 comments with many boat designs discussed.

Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ke-174548.html
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Old 25-01-2022, 14:57   #55
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Re: Cruising Florida Keys-What Boat?

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Look at a Catalina 34, shoal draft. There are plenty of them for sale, they have been manufactured for many years, parts are easily available, reasonable sailing speed, very comfortable aboard.
You couldn’t go far wrong with any Catalina, ideal for coastal cruising and reasonable prices.
The 34 is a very comfortable boat. Sails nice as well.
You don’t want a heavy boat where the winds are often nice and light. And most of your sailing will be fair weather.

If a hurricane shows up you don’t want to be out on the water in any sailboat.
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