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Old 01-15-2008
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Someone like Jeff H can give you a much more technical review, but from a PNW perspective there's not a real need for shoal draft, as you say.

However, you have one so:
You will have an advantage in many anchorages in that you can "sneak" in behind the pack and anchor tighter to the beach of the end of a cove - this will be especially handy in the busy summer season. If stern tying, with caution you can tuck in closer and maybe get out of a breeze or current. You'll still need to keep an eye on the tides, of course.

As far as performance goes, there will be a bit of a penalty, mostly in progress to weather. Your numbers may well look OK, but if you are sailing upwind in close proximity to a similar boat with deeper draft, you will probably find you lose ground on each tack as you will suffer more from leeway. (Assuming both boats equally well sailed, of course)

At sea it will likely be a less noticeable difference unless, again, you need to fight your way to windward, or "claw" your way off a lee shore somewhere....

Many "shoal" versions carry some additional ballast weight to offset the righting-arm loss, so depending on design there may not be a huge difference in "stiffness".

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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