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troyaux 03-13-2002 08:55 AM

Florida and bahamas boat????
I am looking for info from folks who have sailed in shallow draft areas such as the Bahamas. I am looking for a 28-30 boat to buy that would be good to sail in these areas. Most of my offshore cruising will be crossing the Gulf Stream. I have had a 25''swing keel in the past but the thing sailed like crap as it was way too tender and sailed poorly unless the keel was all the way down and then it had a 6'' draft which didn''t help the fact that I sailed in shallower waters. It was great for beaching but not for shallow water sailing.....

My question is :
In shallow areas such as the Bahamas and Florida and the Keys ... am I better off buying a shoal draft 4''fixed keel boat and be limited as to where I go but have better sailing in open water and across the gulf stream? OR can I find a boat with a combination keel center board that would sail ok and give me a decent ride across the steam and sailing in general. What do most sailors like?

What brands should I look at in the 28-30ft range that fit my requirements. My home base is Charlotte Harbor and it is very shallow. I cannot seem to locate makes that fit these areas well and sail well at the same time.

I am on a low budget so boats newer than late eighties are out....please help..
I am OK with heavy boats if need be and want something I can daysail at home as to stay away from and also cruise with..


Johnhr 04-25-2011 11:39 AM

cruizing shallow draft
Why not look at a Bayfield? they are all heavy full keel shallow draft boats. I sail a Bayfield 25 has a full keel 2'9" draft. I would have no reservations sailing it to the Bahamas. The 32 ft Bayfield has only 39 inches of draft. There are always many for sale. Sail on Simcoe has a few for sale.

bljones 04-25-2011 12:02 PM

A cherubini hunter 30, morgan OI 28-30, a Bayfield as mentioned would all be boats on my list. All are 70s vintage, proven designs, shoal draft and good ones can be had under $15k.

labatt 04-25-2011 12:53 PM

I wouldn't worry TOO much about the draft of a 28-30 foot boat. Generally speaking, most will be under 4'. We had very few issues sailing around the Bahamas (Exumas) with a 6' draft on our 40' boat, and were restricted from very few areas. The Florida Keys would probably be more restrictive than the Bahamas, and only if you want to travel inside the Keys as opposed to outside.

Frogwatch 04-25-2011 01:10 PM

My 8.5 M S2 has a draft of 3'10" and I normally sail her on the NE Gulf cost in the Florida Big Bend area where if you can see land you are aground. I have sailed her across the Gulf 4 times and have sailed her to the bahamas too. She is currently at MArsh Harbor, Abaco. GREAT boat for shallow water, well built too. I am now interested in moving up to a Morgan OI33' because I want to go further afield. I might be interested in parting with her in order to get the OI sooner. She is an older boat, 1981 but I replaced all rigging and sails recently and is outfitted for my kind of spartan cruising. I also replaced the original 6.5 hp 1GM Yanmar with a 13 hp 2GM for extra power to get off the ground.
The S2 has her ballast encapsulated in the hull which is truly what I need cuz I always go places I shouldn't. I figger if I don't go aground at least once a day, I am not trying hard enough to have adventure. Yes, I've been aground in Charlotte Harbor.
If you are interested, I have to go down there next week to have her hauled out at a boat yard for hurricane season.

dsmylie 04-25-2011 01:12 PM

The original post is 11 years old.:eek: :eek: :eek:

LandLocked66c 04-25-2011 01:45 PM

Holy OLD Thread! That must be a record!

labatt 04-25-2011 04:58 PM


Originally Posted by dsmylie (Post 723891)
The original post is 11 years old.:eek: :eek: :eek:

LOL - hate it when people resurrect a thread and I don't notice until later.

MikeinLA 04-27-2011 10:45 PM


Originally Posted by dsmylie (Post 723891)
The original post is 11 years old.:eek: :eek: :eek:

:laugher Well, MAYBE he's still looking.:confused:


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