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Old 09-11-2013
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boat for bahamas, but limited by bridge clearance and draft

We would like to get a larger boat to continue to coastal cruise Florida and spend 2 months in the Bahamas in Feb/March each year, BUT we are limited by the need for a mast that will be suitable for 39ft bridge clearance and the desire for a shallower draft for the cruising areas. Becomes a little tricky too to fit the appropriate gear and have suitable tankage for the liveaboard times for 2 people. The budget for purchase would be flexible, but around 45K including upgrades such as new sails, through hulls or the inevitable stuff that needs to be fixed after purchase....

We researched a bit and came up with:

Island Packet 27
Beneteau 28.5
Bayfield 29
Watkins 27
Tartan 27
Cape Dory 27 (possibly-as found different bridge clearances)
Bristol 29 CB
CS27
Catalina 27

Any thoughts on these choices for what we want to do and have we missed other boats that might work for us.

Thanks
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Old 09-11-2013
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Re: boat for bahamas, but limited by bridge clearance and draft

I'm curious about the bridge restriction. If it's a fixed bridge and you're buying a new boat anyway, can't you just find a temporary spot on the other side of the bridge until you're ready to leave? Presumably, if you're taking off to cruise, you need only get to the other side of it once? Seems like an odd thing to base your hull size on. As for draft, as long as you have a dinghy, it sort of doesn't matter.
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Old 09-11-2013
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Re: boat for bahamas, but limited by bridge clearance and draft

I agree with Donna, I'd shave $1000 off the budget and get a slip on the other side of the bridge. That opens you up to a MUCH more comfortable set of boats.
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Re: boat for bahamas, but limited by bridge clearance and draft

We are sprightly snowbirds and currently put our smaller boat (22)at the local municipal marina which is very convenient and has very reasonable rates and great facilities (except the bridge!). We have very good friends there with smaller boats whom we sail with and socialize with. Because the Bahamas portion of our winter will be only two months we didn't want to give up the marina we have for the occasional jaunt to the Bahamas. We even thought of keeping the boat we have and chartering in the Bahamas but eight weeks each year would be very expensive and still doesn't allow us a bit bigger boat for local weeklong cruise trips to the Florida keys for example. We really like our friends and they won't be interested in changing to a much more expensive marina which is also lot further away.

We almost called our current boat "Nothing's Simple". I am beginning to wonder how more apt that might have been!
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Old 09-11-2013
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Re: boat for bahamas, but limited by bridge clearance and draft

I think my Watkins 27's VHF antenna would scrape the bridge at 39 feet! Masthead is 38 feet. Mebbe at low tide?? bt then ya have 3'-8" of keel ta mind Walt Scott designed her for the ICW.

I'm biased; but fer me, it'd be the Watkins. The "Commodore" and I spend nearly four days a week aboard, whenever possible; but nearly every weekend. With any luck, the Keys are in my proposed future, too
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Old 09-11-2013
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Re: boat for bahamas, but limited by bridge clearance and draft

Are there any ketch rigs that you could consider and end up with a slightly larger boat with a shorter mast? Like a Cape Dory 30 Ketch is listed as having as mast height of 38 1/2.

http://www.capedory.org/specs/cd30.htm

Talk about just barely making it under
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Old 09-11-2013
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Re: boat for bahamas, but limited by bridge clearance and draft

Bridge clearance for the Tartan 27' is given at 38'.
Good old boat for going to the Bahamas in with shoal draft of 3'6".
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Re: boat for bahamas, but limited by bridge clearance and draft

Aha. Never thought of a ketch rig- good idea! We also took another look at info on our bridge. Apparently it is 43 feet not 39 so that opens up a few more options. We added the Pacific Seacraft Orion 27 to our list as well as it has drop dead gorgeous livable interior for its size, although at the high end of our $.
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Re: boat for bahamas, but limited by bridge clearance and draft

Glad you looked again!
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Re: boat for bahamas, but limited by bridge clearance and draft

Our Cape Dory 27's mast is down in the yard at the moment, I'll take a measurement and let you know how long it is. I am pretty sure it's under 39 ft, though.
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