Join Date: May 2002
Thanked 79 Times in 77 Posts
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I saw a guy with a 6' draft ground in what looked to him and to me (on my own small boat) like the middle of the channel, and I decided then and there that 6' was a little too much for the Gulf Coast. I chartered a boat with 5' draft a number of times, and had very little trouble. When I got ready to buy a bigger cruising boat, I bought one with 4'10" draft. A draft up to 5'6 would have been acceptable to me, but my preference was a little less.
The water depth during a storm can get unusually low, and it's better to err in favor of shallower draft, rather than deeper draft. If a deep draft is important to you, then you should be prepared to wait out an occasional, unusually low tide, and you won't be able to go everywhere you might like.