Florida and bahamas boat????
I am looking for info from folks who have sailed in shallow draft areas such as the Bahamas. I am looking for a 28-30 boat to buy that would be good to sail in these areas. Most of my offshore cruising will be crossing the Gulf Stream. I have had a 25''swing keel in the past but the thing sailed like crap as it was way too tender and sailed poorly unless the keel was all the way down and then it had a 6'' draft which didn''t help the fact that I sailed in shallower waters. It was great for beaching but not for shallow water sailing.....
My question is :
In shallow areas such as the Bahamas and Florida and the Keys ... am I better off buying a shoal draft 4''fixed keel boat and be limited as to where I go but have better sailing in open water and across the gulf stream? OR can I find a boat with a combination keel center board that would sail ok and give me a decent ride across the steam and sailing in general. What do most sailors like?
What brands should I look at in the 28-30ft range that fit my requirements. My home base is Charlotte Harbor and it is very shallow. I cannot seem to locate makes that fit these areas well and sail well at the same time.
I am on a low budget so boats newer than late eighties are out....please help..
I am OK with heavy boats if need be and want something I can daysail at home as to stay away from and also cruise with..