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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > How much draft ?
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Thread: How much draft ? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-27-2007 11:57 PM
flomaster I sail an Islander 32--the shallow draft model. She draws 4 feet even. I'm in FL right now, but my old stomping grounds were NC. I racked up alot of miles up and down the coast (not in the ditch, either), and I can say that having 4 feet of draft is an exceptional advantage. Being able to duck in the inlets up there (please don't try it without local knowledge up there) is real nice. Also, if you ever get the whim to sail to Bermuda, you can believe that having 4 feet of draft is a good thing if you hit the island at night (reduced pucker factor--some of you have been there--you know what I mean). On the sea, when the waves get steep she doesn't tend to trip on her keel, so I don't get those nice, half-sideways landings at the bottom.
In a bigger boat, say 37-40, there will be some concessions you'll have to make for a shallow draft boat. Most deep draft boats point better. Most deep draft vessels get better VMG.
I'll be honest here--lot's of people on the dock think I'm crazy. I singlehand, and I'm not afraid to sail in all but perfect weather because I know how to sail my boat. Most people on the dock never get out past the inlet, either, so you have to take some of the dock-talk with a grain of salt.

I also read in one of the posts that you have to spend alot of money to get a seaworthy boat. I think that's a misnomer. An Allied Princess can be had for under 35K--about 45K in sailaway condition, and I'd sail one of those anywhere.

Sorry about the long post. Good luck with whatever boat you buy. Not sure if I missed it, but what are your prospects sofar?
10-25-2007 10:48 PM
Iflyka200s
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
I want to fly around the world in a plane, should it be red or white?

I once flew a red & white one across the atlantic AND I fly a white one with red, silver & black stripes right now..

Sorry I couldn't resist...
10-25-2007 09:49 PM
Cruisingdad
Quote:
Originally Posted by USCGRET1990 View Post
Let us post the "Richard Cranium" award for another thin skinned sailor.
If you can't hack sailnet, best not sail into unfriendly waters whilst circumnavagating....
USCG,

He later apologized.

- CD
10-25-2007 09:11 PM
rennisaint First post here on SailNet, but I've been lurking for a while.

I sailed dinghies and windsurfers as a kid, but have recently started cruising and racing (albeit poorly) larger boats as crew.

The boat I have sailed the most is my father-in-law's, a Pearson-Invicta. She has a combination shoal keel and swing keel. With the keel up her draft is just a hair under 5' and down it is around 8'. I am not sure if there are many modern boats with this kind of design, but may help split the difference a bit between safety and being able to gunkhole.

Another idea is to carry a sailing dinghy and use that to get up the really shallow areas. This can be loads of fun.

I sincerely hope you can make your dream happen of long term cruising, whether it is just continental or circumnav. Good luck! And don't forget to write so that all us beginners can learn from your mistakes!!
10-25-2007 08:23 PM
gonesailin40 I say 4 foot because sailing the gulf coast of the US over 4 foot resticts most of our favorite places to anchor. Having only once had the pleasure of the Bahamas I found a few places we could not enter because dads' Hunter drew to much. So that is where the 4 foot idea comes from.

When we (wife and I) think about sailing we look at ocean crossing as a needed evil to get to the cool places. We want to be able to duck in to places others can't.

My personal experience with center board,dagger board, swing keel is all in protected waters and I do not find sufficient writings on there use as true bluewater boats. (I am Sure you guys can give the names of some books I just hadn't really found enough info.)

I am comfortable in close quarters in a 33 footer. A decent amount of experience. Much larger than that and well you know married coouple in their late 40's, slow reflexes and all.

Thoughts on multi hull vessels. Well sailing flat to me is a very uneasy feeling. Tried it a couple of times with friends and it just isn't me.


To anyone jumping in late to this thread, please disregard my earlier ramblings. Obviously I forgot to take my Midol this Am.
10-25-2007 08:22 PM
dave6330 Cruisingdream: Thanks for the link to a great article.

Gone Sailing: Does your original question on Draft have to do with references to the advisability of a shallow draft when sailing the Caribean?

To All: I'll have to admit, I'm a 'leap before I look' or 'ready-fire-aim' kind of guy. I've been that way all my life. I suspect that if I had sat back and coldly examined the risk of an undertaking when compared to my relative inexperience or lack of preparation, I would have missed all of the BEST experiences in my life. I wouldn't have married my Bride of 32 years when I was 19, I wouldn't have had children, I wouldn't have joined the Army as a PFC when I was 27 and I wouldn't have bought a sailboat (my first boat whatsoever) when I was 47. Will I be ready to cast off when I retire? Probably not, but I suspect I will anyway. God willing, I won't be another one of your statistics but here's to the dreamers like Gonesailing40! Keep giving him (and me) your doses of reality. We really do need it from time to time.
10-25-2007 08:04 PM
chris_gee To go to the original questions. I wonder really how many places are restricted to a 4' draft. The French canals can take around 5'- 5'2". I understand the ICW is about the same, and in the Caribbean 6' draft will limit some of the places, but mostly you can anchor out a bit. Besides there is a wide choice of places to go. However, those are not my waters.

From a safety point of view, I don't know that strictly it makes too much difference but most offshore boats are 5' 6" to 6'. The greater depth gives a greater righting moment so less ballast is required lessening sail area for a given SA/Displ. That makes it easier to handle to a degree. Conversely the SA could be increased making it faster in the light.

The deeper draft could go to windward better which could be useful and a safety point but most cruising is downwind and longkeeled boats can go to windward if not as well.

The shallower draft models, say where it is an option, would tend to have more ballast to compensate for it being higher, and thus tend to be a bit slower, again SA/Displ.

Full keels are shallower slower in the light and make more leeway. Arguably they have a more comfortable motion, although there is some dissension on this. Probably a compromise of a cutaway forefoot is the middle ground.

Extra speed might have some benefit in less potential exposure to storms, but for a given size assuming trade winds the difference is probably under 5% which is 21 days not 20 on a very long passage. You could well more than make that up by reasonable sails and say a folding prop, and good trim.

Although there are areas of lighter airs this may be more of an issue in coastal sailing and downwind you have the option of a cruising spinnaker.

Offshore comfort and the ability to hold a course makes selfsteering easier and thus less tiring, which tends to favour the cutaway or full style.

I don't know the detail of centreboard styles but some qualify as ocean going. They would save leeway, be slightly faster through less drag, but because of less weight down deep have the disadvantages of shallower drafted boats in other respects. You could anchor closer but it is another thing to jam or go wrong.

One thing like draft cannnot be taken in isolation, because for a given righting moment displacement sail area, speed leeway and drag come into it. I think if you look at a designer like Perry or other successful designs you will find he uses mainly 5' 6" - 6' maybe down to 5'. This seems to represent the best compromise. Four foot is out of the ballpark, unless you go into cats or sail in a restricted area.

As someone pointed out most Americans can and do end up doing that.
10-25-2007 07:05 PM
Cruisingdad
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonesailin40 View Post
I was out of line. Sorry bout that.Sure you all meant well. Sorry I asked such a generic and simple question. I was trying not to preload any thought into your heads and was attempting to be vague on purpose.
Many of you guys come off as a bit pompous and condescending.
And the notion that such an expensive vessel is required to safely navigate through the waters of this world (at least that is the way it sounds on this board) is just nonsense.
Most of the reading material on my shelf suggest otherwise.

Anyway sorry I ruffled your feathers.
Thank you for the apology. Accepted here. Pease accept mine for a poor assumption.

- CD
10-25-2007 07:03 PM
Cruisingdad
Quote:
Originally Posted by labatt View Post
Out of curiosity (and I'm sure I'll get flamed here, but it's turning cold here in the Northeast so I can use some heat )... I posted almost the exact same question last week (and it was even linked to here) and none of you jumped on me the same way you jumped on gonesailin...? Everyone answered my questions thoughtfully and gave me an honest opinion. With gonesailin people seem to be questioning his goal instead of answering his question... IM (very)HO, I actually could interpret some of the comments as inflammatory and not representative of how caring this group actually is. OK... come run me off my soapbox now!!!! I'm ready!
I know your sailing experience. To the best of my knowledge, I have never spoken to him. In other words, I have some background on you. We have talked before.

I am not sure which way I came across like 'that', honestly. It was not my intention. I traditionally word my phrases carefully. SHort of photoshopping a few people here, I go out of my way not to ruffle feathers - even whien I probably have the right to do so.

I ASSUMED, incorrectly I guess, that he had little/no sailing experience and wanted to sail around the world in a shallow draft boat. I could not count the number of times I have had people that have never set foot on a boat come to me about buying a Valiant to circle the globe a couple of times. Now, is their dream stupid. No. Hell no. That is what it is all about. But MANY people dream of doing it and end up getting the wrong boat - only to find out they would have been happier with a Catalina (for example) cruising North America or South America or the inbetween in comfort. THey end up frustrated and broke.

I personally would rather keep them around and invite them over for a sunset drink of my tub.

I cannot speak for everyone, but only for me. I hope that answers your question.

- CD
10-25-2007 07:02 PM
Freesail99 Gosailin40 was posting in the off topic area. I found his post so far out in left field, I wasn't even sure what part of the world he was from, never mind this country.
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