Effect of draft on crusing areas - SailNet Community

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Old 03-28-2002
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Effect of draft on crusing areas

I am looking at a boat that has a draft of 5''6" how will that effect crusing in
1. Chesapeake area
2. ICW
3. Bahamas
Thanks for any comments!!
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Old 03-28-2002
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Effect of draft on crusing areas

It''s OK for the Chesapeake, but I recommend something less. You''ll do some bumping getting into some creeks and anchorages, so plan on learning techniques for ungrounding yourself. No biggee usually, just so you are prepared.

I recommend looking for a boat drawing no more than 4.5 - 5 feet, with an emphasis on 4.5 ft or less for the Chesapeake. My 2 cents worth at least.
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Old 03-28-2002
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Effect of draft on crusing areas

5''6" of draft should be fine on the Chesapeake. Boats with drafts up to 7 feet are reasonably common on the Chesapeake and seem to pretty much have the run of the Bay. Of course there will some shallow back corners that you won''t be able to get back into but these would not be accessible all but the shallowest centerboard boats.

The Intercoastal Waterway will generally accept boats up to 6 feet as well. I had a boat that drew 5''6 when I lived in Savannah and never found it to be a problem except for a brief period after Hurricane David when the channel silted in to less than 4 feet at low tide.

You should be OK in the Bahamas as well but again there may be a few places you can''t get into. Again I have had friends who cruised the Bahamas with over 7'' draft.

Regards
Jeff
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Effect of draft on crusing areas

BTW: I am based in and cruising on the Chesapeake with 6''-4" draft.

Jeff
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Old 04-17-2002
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Effect of draft on crusing areas

I have been sailing the all over Bay for twenty years with boats drawing 5.5 with no trouble except from my own poor navigation. You need to be careful, but most of the Bay is soft bottom and wonderfully forgiving. If your boat has a wing, like my current Catalina 380, more care must be taken.
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