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  #1  
Old 06-26-2008
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Bahamas at 6'11"

I have read quite a bit about a 6 foot draft in the Bahamas saying it is possible but Im wondering about a 6'11 draft. Would it make a trip there worth it or would the contraints on this deep of draft be too much.

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Old 06-26-2008
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Sab...7 feet is REALLY pushing it in the Bahamas and a lot of nice places would be closed off to you. I can and has been done...but it will be quite dicey. I have a 6 ft. draft and can go just about anywhere people go but need tidal help in places. 7ft. would put you out of tidal help range in a number of places and much more exposed in many anchorages where you'll need to be quite a way out from the pack to drop the hook.
If I HAD a 7ft. boat, I would still go...but I'd get a dinghy with a big motor that I could use to explore.
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Deep draft

I've done the Bahamas on a 60' Morgan that had a 7' draft. I stayed out of the Abacos because it can get tight in there. I went all the way thru to Mayaguana and had no problem with the draft at all. It seems the farther south you go the deeper the anchorages get. By time I got to West Planta Key the anchorage was 30'. Mayaguana was more like 10 in the shallower spots. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-26-2008
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At 6'11" you can do it, but be REALLY careful coming in and out of the cuts, get really good charts (Explorer are the best IMHO), don't do anything but open ocean passages at night, learn how to judge depth by water color, always post a bow lookout when getting into skinny water and go slow!

We only draw 5'2" on our Caliber 47LRC and still had a few heart palpitations getting in and out of certain anchorages. But it is worth the hassle! Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2008
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Not a problem if you stay away from the Abacos.
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Ummm...lots of the Exumas are really shallow too and those two areas ARE the main cruising grounds.
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draft over 6'

The smaller boats tend to hug the shore while at anchor seems to me. Farmers Cut Key where the mail boat comes thru from Georgetown Has a most excellent anchorage, It's got lots of room to move around and a sand bottom. I rode out 50 knots there and didn't move a foot with only one anchor out. The average depth is about 20-25 feet . If you go out by the sand bar on the west side of the anchorage the depth is much less. Once you are past chicken point ( Georgetown) every thing gets much deeper. Eventually you will find that about 200' of chain is a good amount for anchoring.The nylon rode will just get cut to pieces on the coral.I use 2 sets of charts for when I have a question on an area. One set on the garmin and another set on the laptop. The laptop seems to be the most accurate. Hope this helps. Lastly as I stated before, the farther east the easier it gets.
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Come to Scotland.

Loch Ness has got 100 times that.
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Our boat draws 6 & 1/2 feet and we have sailed all through the Bahamas from the Abacos to Long Island in the south for four seasons. We have never considered our draft to be a problem. Yes there are a few places we don't go; but, very few. We are limited to coming in and out of Hope Town to mid tide or better. You do need to keep aware of where you are at all times and I will second the suggestion of using the Explorer charts. And..DO NOT trust your chart plotter. One year alone we saw three boats go aground off Witches Point just southeast of Marsh Harbor. All three boats were sailing by their chart plotter and were not looking at the water. The only thing is that sailing down the Exumas, you will have to get used to doing six knots with 18 inches to two feet under your keel.
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Old 06-27-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Ummm...lots of the Exumas are really shallow too and those two areas ARE the main cruising grounds.
The beauty of the Exumas is that all the cuts in from the sound have good water. I cannot think of one cut where seven feet would be a problem. A boat I met on our first trip in 1990 has been going there every year since then without missing a year and he draws seven feet. Of course you might not be able to tuck right in in all anchorages but to most folks that's not a problem. Myself, I prefer anchoring a bit out to get the wind for my wind generator. As for getting to the Exumas, there's good water all the way from Miami to North Rock to NW Channel Light to Nassau. From Nassau there's good water on the banks to the Exumas. You could even stop off in the Berrys if weather didn't cooperate in the Tongue of the Ocean. No problem with depths all the way.
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