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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Salem, OR
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SW Florida pocket cruiser
I agree with PBzeer: choose a swing keel sailboat. I first sailed a 24 ft. Laguna swing keel into the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the late 1970's without any problems or fear of the current and/or waves. It gives you the best of both worlds. Keep your depth finder on continuously if you fear shallow waters where you intend to sail. Know the tides around Tampa Bay.
Good luck in your hunt for a decent "pocket cruiser". There are many dependable, capable sailboats. Take an experienced sailor with you on your search for your sailboat. Then weigh their advice before you purchase it.
Have your prospective boat [U]surveyed.