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Old 01-18-2003
Stede Stede is offline
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Gas Vs. Deisel (are we crazy?)

808, I sailed some of the area that you mentioned of interest last year aboard my 26ft, shoal draft trailerable boat.I''m planning on returning this year and continuing on down to Key West,and out to the Dry Tortugas.It''s a great area to sail in. I put my boat in at Ft.Lauderdale,single-handed as far South as Key Largo,crossed the Gulfstream to N.Bimini,and then returned to Ft.Lauderdale.IMO,smaller shoal draft boats are ideal for the Keys. I was able to sail Hawk Channel or the Bay side very comfortably.My boat has an inboard diesel and it developed a minor problem close to Key Largo.I took the outboard off my dink and used it on the stern bracket that I had installed prior to the trip.The outboard did fine.There were a couple of times that following seas did cause some problems with the prop jumping out of the water though.I noticed this particularly at large harbor entrances.With shoal draft/centerboard type boats,there are several areas to cut between the ocean side to the bay side,and thus avoiding most of the problem.On the issue of gas vs.diesel, I personally wouldn''t take a boat off my "possible" list because it had a inboard gas engine.I think you have to be aware of safe practices for such an engine, and maintain it accordingly.I envy your move to the Gulf coast.A friend of mine keeps a boat at Punta Gorda and tells me the sailing around that area is great.Good luck with your move,and sailing.
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