6.0' vs. 6.5' Draft in Florida and Bahama's

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Bahama, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Bahama
    Joined: Jun 2010
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    Location: Minneapolis

    Bahama Junior Member

    Right now my design is at 6' draft for my boat, but I've stretched her and increased her sails, which makes me want to increase her draft. But I do want to spend quite a bit of time in the Bahama's (hence the nickname) and the Florida Keys as well.

    Is that 6" in added draught of stability and comfort going to be a pain in the butt for me in North Bimini, Hawk Channel, Dry Tortugas, the Keys and Bahama's in general?

    I've read some people post that they have 6.5' draft and have done fine in these areas--they report having to wait for high tide in certain areas like North Bimini, but were able to navigate in there.

    If anyone has credible first or second hand info on this I'd appreciate it.

  2. kenJ
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    Location: Williamsburg, VA

    kenJ Senior Member

    you would probably get more knowledgeable answers if you asked this on one of the cruising forums. If you are increasing the draft for righting moment, have you considered a bulb or wing arrangement?
  3. bruceb
    Joined: Nov 2008
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    Location: atlanta,ga

    bruceb Senior Member

    Too much draft?

    Even 5'6" is a lot in the upper keys, but not so much in the Bahamas. Most of the harbors can carry 6' but you will probably spend some time waiting for the tide to get in or out. Viewed from the air, many of the channels have long keel drag marks on the sand bar that always seems to be un-charted. We left several tracks with a 5'9" draft. The next boat with 6'10" really limited us around Florida and the Bahamas. The 43' with the 5'9 draft was a wing keel so heeling it didn't do much but we found we could "power sail" (genoa and 80hp turbo diesel) through 6" of sand or mud. We never got stuck for very long, and it opened up more options. If you can possibly get by with 6' or less, I would try, many areas are not maintaining their channels very well. B

  4. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    Twin keel with half the draft would be just as stable.
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