Originally Posted by JonEisberg
In my opinion, No... I cruise the Bahamas with about 5'2" fully loaded, and rarely feel especially "left out", and I think many people make way too much of an issue re shoal draft down there... I know it sounds trite, but the key to finding "secluded anchorages" in the Bahamas, is simply to go where few other cruisers go... Draft is rarely the deal breaker, it's simply the willingness to explore, sail beyond the Exumas, and venture into places like the Bight of Ackins, or Samana Cay...
Certainly, there are many times where I would kill to have a 3.5' draft over there... But you still need a weatherly boat for the Bahamas as well, I'd caution on erring too mightily on the side of extreme shoal draft... There are many, MANY instances where a nimble, good performing boat to weather under sail might make the difference between getting out of a tight spot, or not...
Excellent info and points. Thank you Jon!
Smaller boats are also easier to get 'unstuck' when you run aground. That makes you a bit more willing to take risks when looking for a nice anchorage.
I have heard that tides in Bahamas average about 3 feet difference. Is that your experience as well?