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post #1 of 43 Old 12-27-2015 Thread Starter
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What's the optimum draft for a...

blue water boat that you intend to do a lot of traveling with???

I've read on this site that 7' was too much draft for many areas...so what would be the optimum draft for an all around liveaboard blue water sailboat??? I'd like to be able to get into most areas... Thank you!
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Re: What's the optimum draft for a...

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Re: What's the optimum draft for a...

Very dependent on where you sail. Deep fin keels are standard on the West Coast of the US where where shoal draft is pretty important for Florida and the Bahamas.

Deep fins tend to sail better for Mono's.

If you have the money, multihulls are nice.

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Re: What's the optimum draft for a...

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Very dependent on where you sail. Deep fin keels are standard on the West Coast of the US where where shoal draft is pretty important for Florida and the Bahamas.

Deep fins tend to sail better for Mono's.

If you have the money, multihulls are nice.
Do multi-hulls fair well for blue water sailing? I was wondering how well they hold together in rough conditions??? I like the fact that they offer a LOT more space for living aboard but I can see where they might not handle the stress of cresting waves as well as a mono-hull.?.?

I greatly appreciate all your feed back.
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post #5 of 43 Old 12-28-2015
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Re: What's the optimum draft for a...

You will find the term "bluewater" problematic. Be more specific about where you intend to travel.

Many say "bluewater" with the Caribbean as the intended cruising grounds. That's far different than a circumnavigation or running the Pacific chain which is what I feel constitutes a "bluewater" boat.
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Re: What's the optimum draft for a...

There is no easy answer.
You will find people who will assure you need a long keel. Others who will recommend a long shallow fin with a skeg to protect the rudder. Most modern post 70s production sail boats have fin keel and spade rudders.
Which many would suggest are unsuitable for offshore, yet many successfully sail offshore.

If you are going to be in an area with lots of shallow water and drying harbors twin keel or even raising keel can be an advantage.

I am happy with my fin keel at over 6ft for a 35ft boat. I get better light wind performance and sail better to windward. I sail in the Pacific North West where its deep, and sheltered. You can find a lot of boats of this type. Most offshore, trade wind, boats don't need this advantage. A 7ft draft for a 40 ft. boat is OK. For most places, you will be restricted from a few.

To know you need to decide where you want to sail.
If you donít know. I would suggest a longish, shallow fin with a skeg, would be a good all round choice. They tend to be expensive. I donít know much about cats they tend to be old ugly D.I.Y. specials or very expensive.
Your best research is to get out on the water.
A full spectrum of live aboard courses from beginner up to offshore sailing would cost only about 1% to 2 % of your overall budget. You donít need to do the lot. Most people get on fine with just the beginner courses and some experience.
Advice to pick a small cheep sailor to learn on is also good.
Or Just by a 40ft boat, you may find you donít pick the right one for you though.
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post #7 of 43 Old 12-28-2015
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Re: What's the optimum draft for a...

For boats under 40' 6' draft works well.

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Re: What's the optimum draft for a...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAAC View Post

I've read on this site that 7' was too much draft for many areas...so what would be the optimum draft for an all around liveaboard blue water sailboat???
Well what size boat are you talking about and what are you more interested in, sailing or getting into harbors? In theory two boats of the same model with different drafts should sail about the same if designed right if it has a bolted keel because the keel design and shape is considered as part of the draft choice (I'm sure the crowd will start arguing about this). I find the biggest difference is that the deeper draft stands up to wind gusts more with less heeling.

But if I just need to throw out a number I'll say - 6 feet

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Last edited by Donna_F; 12-28-2015 at 07:28 AM. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Re: What's the optimum draft for a...

If you have a dinghy, it usually doesn't matter.
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Re: What's the optimum draft for a...

I was not "throwing out" a number. My 6' draft comes from the fact that almost all the Valiant 40's draw 6' or 6'2" depending on load trim. They built a few with reduced draft but 6' has worked well.
There is no substitute for draft.
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