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  #1  
Old 09-18-2012
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Miami & Keys Depth?

Hi Everyone.

I'm looking to make a move to Miami (from Chicago). I'd like to take my Beneteau 36.7, however with a 7.5 foot draft I'm concerned about limiting my destinations.

Two questions:
1) In Miami, what is a reasonable depth for day sailing / weekend sailing out of Miami
2) For the Florida Keys - same question.

I'm thinking that if I can get away comfortably with my 7.5 draft in and around Miami then I might take her. If the draft limits visits to the keys then so be it...

But, if its not going to work for either, it might be wise to sell her here in Chicago and buy a boat with a shorter keel in Miami.

Many Thanks in advance.

Have a great day!
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

You are at the very limit of what can be done. You have 8 to 15 feet all around Miami in Biscayne Bay, it's 10 to 20 feet down Hawks Channel to Key West, you are definatly limited in anchorages and gulf side destinations. 2 1/2 foot less draft would open up about 60% of the key's that you can't get to with that boat.
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Old 09-18-2012
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Miami & Keys Depth?

I draw 5 1/2 would that be a problem in the keys
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

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Originally Posted by beachmont View Post
I draw 5 1/2 would that be a problem in the keys
Na, that's what most people draw. I draw 3 with my board up and 8 with it down and forget how lucky i am, but you can crawl into most any of the major anchorages and marinas with 6 foot draft. any more and you feel left out. The lower key's are deeper, Big Pine and south. Key West has a lot of water.
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckBuck View Post
Hi Everyone.

I'm looking to make a move to Miami (from Chicago). I'd like to take my Beneteau 36.7, however with a 7.5 foot draft I'm concerned about limiting my destinations.

Two questions:
1) In Miami, what is a reasonable depth for day sailing / weekend sailing out of Miami
2) For the Florida Keys - same question.

I'm thinking that if I can get away comfortably with my 7.5 draft in and around Miami then I might take her. If the draft limits visits to the keys then so be it...

But, if its not going to work for either, it might be wise to sell her here in Chicago and buy a boat with a shorter keel in Miami.

Many Thanks in advance.

Have a great day!
Chuck--

We're sailing with 6.5' without too much difficulty but a lot of areas are denied to us as 6' seems to be a break point for a lot of channels/harbors. Your greater depth would be somewhat more problematic but not impossible. It will, however, limit the market for the boat if you ever choose to sell for an up-/down-grade. It might be worth looking into a replacement keel from Beneteau. Frankly, they are not that costly and the removal/re-installation is very straight forward and will certainly be less costly than selling and then replacing the yacht, particularly if she's a good boat.

FWIW...
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Old 09-18-2012
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Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

Typically good posts from SV Hylyte and Capt aaron. Good job guys.

I will add that I would not want to do the keys in 7.5. No way. I have run aground more times than I can count in SW FL with 6. I do think 6ish is very doeable. But for example, when we anchored off of Rodriguez key, we maybe had a foot under our keel at low and that is a likely push offf point for you to go to the Bahamas. Much of the ICW will be really tight for you on the west coast of fl. Key West will be fine, but even the entrance to Marathon might be tricky.

I like SV Hyl's thought about buying a new keel and replacing. You got a great boat for the keys, just change the draft. And I bet he is right that it would be a lot cheaper than selling and buying new. Price it out and see. On the flip side, the cost to ship her south will not be cheap either. Adding that in to also replacing the keel might make selling her worth considering. What about offering her for sell, and if she doesn't sell by X date, then shipping her and changing out keels. COuld the plant in SC (on your way down) do it? Hmmm... maybe worth asking. Would be only a bit out of the way from CHicago and already on a truck. I know Catalina keeps extra keels sitting off the side.

Good luck with it all. Let us know how it turns out.

Take care,

Brian
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Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

On our most recent trip down to the keys, I sounded 5.5 feet *IN THE CHANNEL* at Marker 74a. Definitely would *NOT* do 7.5 ft in the keys. Miami you should be fine except at low tide near Elliott and the Ragged Keys. Those can get shallow. You wont make the entrance to Black Point Marina either.
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Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

WOW - great insights - many tanks to everyone.

I looked into changing to the 'shallow' keel - but even then I'm at 5'11 and that sounds too deep for what I want to do..

Guess I will have to sell her here in Chicago and start fresh in Miami.

Thx again!

CB
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Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckBuck View Post
WOW - great insights - many tanks to everyone.

I looked into changing to the 'shallow' keel - but even then I'm at 5'11 and that sounds too deep for what I want to do..

Guess I will have to sell her here in Chicago and start fresh in Miami.

Thx again!

CB
5' 11 is fine. I am 6. Many other boats are too. 5.5 is better, but 6 is doeable for most of what you want You just wont get the gulf side of the keys, but not the end of the world. You have a tender to run about anyways I would imagine.

Brian
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Old 09-19-2012
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Re: Miami & Keys Depth?

The thing about the key's is, you alway's seem to wish you drew a foot or two less. With my 3 foot draft I have run a ground more times than I want to admit. A couple of years ago I captained a 30 foot cat for charter that drew 2 foot, and I ran aground with that more times than I want to admit. I'm alway's looking at trailerable 6" draft 25 footers for sale and wish I had one. Then you can really get in deep to the back country. Sharpie's and cats seem to be the most versatile boat's around here. The next best thing is a good skiff for exploring, but it's nice to spend a few day's gunk holed up in some secluded lagoon of the lower key's on the back side to really get a feel for the area. You also want something that can sail to Mexico and beyond if the notion strikes you, My Soverel centerboard sloop has done me well in both regards.
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