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  #11  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Avoiding The Draft

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirborneSF View Post
WOW, "Flashback"!
I know, I thought someone was makeing a break for Canada.
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  #12  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Avoiding The Draft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayward Drifter View Post
.... many of the best spots to anchor are on the Florida bay side of the keys. Water depth is obviously a big concern. The question I'm putting out there is, just how shallow of a draft must I consider to be able to reasonably maneuver on the NW side of the keys. I know that a swing keel would be great, and I have had one before on an Oday 25' that I owned. But looking for a swing keel only, really limits my purchasing options. ANY input would be much appreciated.
Keel depth is a matter of preference, to some degree - i.e., whether you plan to gunkhole in really skinny waters or just hang out in a few places in the Keys, and how often you mind grounding your boat. I'm further up the west coast of FL, and FWIW my preference is for a minimum draft of 3-3.5 feet or less, but there are plenty of boats in FL with fin or full keels of 4-5 feet that can get around pretty well, provided they use current charts and tides data and keep to the (relatively) deeper areas.

Also look at keel/centerboards, which have ballast in a stub/shoal keel and a fairly light retractable centerboard, or sometimes a lifting keel. There are a number in the 27-35 foot range, from older ones (O'Day, Tartan) to newer ones (Hake/Seaward). Even some of the larger, pricier blue water boats (Southerly, Ovni) are centerboarders. Check out Yachtworld.com and use "centerboard" as a search term.

A swing keel is similar, but has most of its ballast in the keel itself, which puts greater strain on the lifting mechanisms over time and may present more danger in a knockdown. Usually swing keels are found on smaller boats (22-25') such as the older Catalinas and O'Days.

As recommended above, I'd be chary about a wing keel, as most say they are far harder to get unstuck once grounded. And eventually, you (read: "everyone") will be grounded.

Hope this helps. Someone here who sails regularly in the Keys should chime in soon. Good luck, and let us know what you decide.
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  #13  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Avoiding The Draft

Ha! That wasnt intentional?
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  #14  
Old 05-21-2013
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Re: Avoiding The Draft

Wow, good on ya joe for actually providing some useful input to a posters question....
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Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Avoiding The Draft

Another way to look at the problem is to go to a chart http://marine.geogarage.com/
and just noodle around and see what the depths are where you have an interest.

Back in the day 1985 when I was in that neighborhood I had an O'day 22 with a fixed keel 23". Didn't have a depth sounder, didn't need it, used the knees of water foul and a binoculars for depth. Had to know your birds though!
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Last edited by davidpm; 05-22-2013 at 02:34 AM.
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  #16  
Old 05-22-2013
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Re: Avoiding The Draft

A Beachcomber 25.
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