Originally Posted by peterchech
Is a 5.5' draft pushing it for cruising li sound? How about the keys and tortugas?
You don't need a shoal draft boat for sailing on the LI Sound as most of it has plenty of depth. Having a shorter draft might only help with anchoring in shallower spots. The big concern on the Sound is the 8' tidal range which can be managed with common sense.
Shoal draft boats are common on the Chesapeake where the water is really shallow quite far from shore. Same with the FL Keys. I've never been to the Tortugas but would assume it is similar to the Keys.
That said, boats with 6' draft sail in these places just fine. They may just have to wait for high tide to get in and out of some anchorages.
I too would avoid a winged keel design.