Consider shallow draft
Consider shallow draft and how much the 'fun world' of boating expands when you can slip into the little bays and creeks. Consider how much more secure you will feel when the list of possible 'safe shelters' expands to double or triple or more in size. Consider the cost savings if you can beach the boat on the tide and check, repair, paint the bottom. Consider the comfort, ease if you can let the boat dry out with the tide for storage of when anchoring for the night. Consider the peace of mind when running the ICW that is now underfunded and shoaling up. Consider that with marinas becoming fewer and MORE expensive that a boat that can sit at a dock most other folks (4'+ draft) can't use has many more options and can save a LOT of money on dockage.
Consider that Commodore Monroe (friend of L.F. Herresoff) sailed his round bilge sharpies from FL to New England regularly. James Wharrm cats cross oceans regularly. Most boats don't sail the North Altantic in the winter time, in fact most boats don't sail regularly. The dream is to sail from A to B to C. The reality is that 99% of the boats life is spent sitting (hopefully, beautifully/comfortably but never-the-less SITTING) at A or B or C. Deep draft does not EQUAL seaworthy or capable by itself and most folks get deep draft for the wrong reason and pay dearly for it. Ever notice the boats in the marina that JUST SIT! No where else to be/sit and too hard to use. Imagine a home that can slip up a creek like a big kayak and can be left almost anywhere.
Shannon shoal sailer
Westerly bilge keel model
Reuel Parker sharpie design
Right now we draw just under 6' and it is VERY limiting and VERY expensive and we are not doing justice to the boat. We expect that to change but in the long run for live aboard (as opposed to traveling/voyaging) we will change to shallow draft. That is not at all to say that shallow does not voyage. We have a character boat (gaff pinky schooner) and that is a big part of it. Trying to make the 'piece of history' work and figure out the 'old ways' is our goal for now and that drives the choice of design/deep-draft.
Last edited by sailandoar; 08-27-2006 at 08:03 AM.