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Old 21-10-2016, 15:22   #46
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

I will post a listing this weekend with specific information and pictures on our Leigh 30.
More info here...
http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1158
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Old 21-10-2016, 15:47   #47
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

Hi Steady,

I would take a strong look at the French aluminum centerboarders: Boreal, Garcia, Ovni.. In that order, depending on budget. Van De Stadt also has lift keel variations of many of their stock plans.

My previous boat, a 48' aluminum cutter, had a variable draft from ~3'6" to ~7' (I never measured precisely). It had a hydraulic vertically lifting keel with a lead bulb on the bottom. I believe the advantage of this, over a centerboard, is that the boat has the performance of a normal boat at sea.

We loved the variable draft. It was fun to be able to anchor super close to shore, in the crowded anchorages of the Caribbean we went right up to the 'front of the pack', where there was plenty of empty space, and had an easy swim or row to the beach (without needing to bother with the outboard). But, by far, the biggest thing we miss is the view when anchored close; it's fun to feel 'in the trees' and have birds flitting around the back porch. Additionally, it's also nice to haul out with the keel up and have a very short ladder to climb. Shallow draft also opens up many options for hurricane holes: one can enter protected inner lagoons that many other boats can't.

Our current boat has a 9' draft (which we also love, for the mellow and powerful ride she yields at sea), but it does limit us. We can't go into all marinas or fuel docks, or in some cases only can if we watch the tides carefully. Also, since most boats have less draft, I have to double check the depth at many docks, to be sure that the dude who says "Bro, it'll be OK" is in fact right. It's more stressful to so often be playing it close with the depth, to sometimes only have 1' of water under the keel. Here in poorly charted Fiji, cruisers share their track files, but with our draft we can't be sure what worked for them will work for us. And maybe I've been spoiled by being able to come unstuck by just hitting the 'up' button on the keel: on our previous boat we ran aground in the poorly marked mud passage on the French side of the St Martin lagoon, and it was a non-issue to bump the keel up and drive away. Now I worry more.

However, one caveat is that our previous boat did not manoeuvre well with the keel and rudder up. Without anything sticking down into the water, she tended to skid along sideways to the wind, and would make wide sweeping turns. Think of driving a dinghy in a strong wind, but only being able to tilt the motor about 10 degrees to port or starboard. So we only went super shallow in light wind or when there was plenty of space to manoeuvre.

Also, for negatives, there is a new kind of maintenance. The bearings wear, and when they do the keel will knock slightly as the boat rolls. I've met swing keel folks who had a heck of a time replacing the bearings in their keel, to get everything lined up again but also to make them tight enough that it didn't knock but loose enough that it still moved. I don't know if some designs are better than others. Our vertical lifting keel had slightly worn bearings and would move a tiny fraction of an inch, but this was easy to work around by shoving a delrin board in from the top. I believe the Van De Stadt lift keel designs have a clamp that you tighten inside, to eliminate this problem.

Some people prefer swing to lift keels, the theory is that they can swing up if you hit something. Some of the French centerboarders have a hydraulic pressure relief valve, or some other mechanism, that generally keeps the keel down but allows it to swing up under force. I'm not sure how well this works in practice: a boat went aground in the Tuamotus this year, and the swing keel evidently only partially retracted. I don't know the details (only what I heard on the radio), but they were very worried about it and this limited their options when trying to pull off.

Photos are of the lift keel mechanics, as seen from deck, and the keel down when on the hard.
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Old 21-10-2016, 16:02   #48
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Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

http://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/boa/5793803817.html

The Beneteau 311 cruising sailboat with swing keel and twin rudders is a rare model....SAILS IN LESS THAN 3 FEET OF WATER!

Minimum draft: 2 ft 7 in. Maximum draft: 7 feet 1 in. Ideal for Florida coastal waters, Bahamas, ICW, Okeechobee Waterway and other shoal water regions. This US Coast Guard registered sailboat is a strong, safe, watertight and very clean sailboat that is well maintained with regular servicing.

Rigged for single-handed sailing or couple. Excellent sailing performance at all points including beating. Swing keel and twin rudders really help in enhancing sailing performance, particularly in strong winds & currents with high waves. To get through shoal channels and for anchoring near beaches and in cays, simply raise the swing keel. The B311 is able to settle on the keel and rudders at low tides, without tipping over!
The
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Old 21-10-2016, 18:44   #49
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

I thought that 1982 Catalina 38' looked like a good deal for $19,500, but when you read the listing, the engine doesn't work. Not such a good deal, but a clean looking boat.
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Old 21-10-2016, 18:55   #50
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I usually anchor in 5-6 feet.

When I read shoal draft, I thought we were going to be talking 18-36"
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Old 21-10-2016, 19:01   #51
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Seward Eagle 32

Seaward Eagle 32

DRAFT = 3' 6"

Seaward Eagle 32', 1998

32' Seaward Eagle 3'6" draft. Designed by Nick Hake for the Bahamas/Keys.

Specs
Keel: Wing
Hull Shape: Monohull

Dimensions
LOA: 32 ft 2 in
Beam: 10 ft 6 in
LWL: 28 ft 6 in
Maximum Draft: 3 ft 6 in
Displacement: 9000 lbs
Ballast: 3000 lbs
Headroom: 6 ft 3 in
Dry Weight: 9000 lbs

Tanks
Fresh Water Tanks: (66 Gallons)
Fuel Tanks: (24 Gallons)
Waste (20 Gallons)

Stats:
D/L 129
B/D 30%
Comfort 16.9
SA/D 18.0
Capsize 2.08
L/B 3.3
________

Asking Price? $55,000
SOURCE: Sale Listing 10/20/2016
http://tampa.craigslist.org/hil/boa/5782979849.html
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Old 21-10-2016, 19:16   #52
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

Classic blue water sailor.... 41.1 Bristol draws only 4.5 feet and built to take oceans...
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Old 21-10-2016, 21:40   #53
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

How about this monohull, the Hake 46?
I think this is one heck of an innovative design
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Old 22-10-2016, 02:37   #54
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

Too funny. 6' is shallow draft.

If water is above mid-thigh it's no longer a shallow water anchorage.

Gemini Catamaran 18" with boards and rudders raised. Price ranges from $30-250k depending on age.

If you are in the 4-6' range, that's more like "tolerable" draft. You can cruise the areas in question with that draft without major drawbacks but still have to watch I in areas.

Even the deepest cats can typically get into 4' waters.

I can't find the name (I think it was something like shamrock) but there was a flat bottom cruising boat I recall that could raise the boards and get into 18". I remember they had adds showing it pulled up on a beach.
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Old 22-10-2016, 02:40   #55
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

If you get too shallow a draft you are vulnerable to a storm at sea. You risk survival.
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Old 22-10-2016, 06:41   #56
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

Man, the Seaward 46RK is my dream boat.
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Old 22-10-2016, 07:25   #57
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

Found it Shannon Shoal Sailor with 30" draft. No on prices or such.
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Old 22-10-2016, 07:31   #58
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

Have a Slip on Clear Lake, Tx. Have a 27 Cat T2, that can't leave most of the time, looking for a bigger shallow draft boat.
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Old 22-10-2016, 08:01   #59
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

MSPONER,
THanks for taking the time to write that detailed and informative post and for posting the photos of your lifting keel.

You have had (and have) some interesting and admirable boats.
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Old 22-10-2016, 08:03   #60
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Re: Boats with Shallow Draft for Florida, Bahamas, Chesapeake

THE ALPINE,
Thanks for adding the Beneteau 311 Swing Keel. That is a good example of a major production boat builder's version. Thanks for adding the details and photos to your post.
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