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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at a Pearson 303. Sail data lists the minimum draft at 4'4". I have a high point in the canal I live on that is about that depth at low tide. Problem is high tide is only about 8" more depth. Any idea how do they come up with the number? Is the boat loaded, full water and fuel tanks?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Paul
 

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That 4'4" is empty and the boat level.

The P303 has an 'immersion factor' of about 1 INCH for every 1000lb. extra load ... fuel, water, gear, etc.
Water is ≈ 8.3 pounds per gallon; 38 gallons (stock tank) X 8.3 = 315 lb.
Diesel Fuel is ≈ 7.2 pounds per gallon; 22 gallons X 7.2 = 160 pounds
Two adults @ 170lb. ea. = 340 pounds
Gear and food, etc. / 2 ≈ 100Lb.
Sailing gear and Stuff that 'accumulates' on a boat = 500 pounds.
Total 'cargo' = 1400 lb.

1400 / 1000 = 1.4" additional depth due to 'cargo'.

Total depth 'with cargo' ≈ 4'4" + 1.4" ≈ approx. 4ft. 6inches ... and with the boat 'level'.
 

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S/V Wyndwitch - Morgan 24
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Unless it's soft mud and that canal is man-made flat on the bottom, that would make me very nervous.
Indeed. And then come Oct and. Nov with high highs and veery low lows and you're stuck. And that's hopefully with no wave action. I have a shoal draft Morgan and occasionally I either plow my way through the pre-bottom sludge or wait for incoming. I draw approx 32" and seldom have a problem anywhere but the canals. Point is my clearance is ordinarily far better than what you're considering....so you need to figure on the conservative side to allow for the "stuff factor" and tidal ranges.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk
 

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In my neighborhood, shallow draft is a must. We've owned several shallow draft sailboats, and as others have said, the builder's spec is typically optimistic.

On the other hand, not all bottoms as created equal. Around here, there are lots of small bays with loose muddy bottoms that you can plow through. One way to tell is take a big stick in your dingy, and see how easily you can push it down in the mud. And you can time the tides, even a few inches can make a difference. An inch is as good as a mile:D

Sailing in Maine is frequently just the opposite. If you are on the bottom, you are on ledge. In this environment, an inch just doesn't do it for us anyway;)

It's hard to find a sailboat of 30' or more with less than 4 1/2 feet of draft.
 

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Even around here, if I see anything within a foot or two of our draft, I'm nervous. Could be sand, mud or rock. It just takes a rock, or something dropped on the bottom, etc, to mess things up.

On the other hand, I've occasionally seen depths of 6" less than our draft and assume its reflecting off the top of the grass. Cutty is famous for this. Still, I get the heck out of there, if I see it. There is a rumor of an umarked rock to the west of the outer mooring field and before the breakwater. However, I give some odds that the mooring field owner spreads the rumor. The kid collecting fees has gone over to warn anchored boats and suggest they take a mooring.
 

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Even around here, if I see anything within a foot or two of our draft, I'm nervous. Could be sand, mud or rock. It just takes a rock, or something dropped on the bottom, etc, to mess things up.

On the other hand, I've occasionally seen depths of 6" less than our draft and assume its reflecting off the top of the grass. Cutty is famous for this. Still, I get the heck out of there, if I see it. There is a rumor of an umarked rock to the west of the outer mooring field and before the breakwater. However, I give some odds that the mooring field owner spreads the rumor. The kid collecting fees has gone over to warn anchored boats and suggest they take a mooring.
Yea, I agree with you mini....in fact I'd only do this crazy negative draft stuff in places I really know stone cold. A friend with a 40' center boarder hit a abandoned mooring mushroom and cracked the hull a few years ago doing the mud drag. Can happen. But if it was my home port, and/or I really knew it, I'd chance it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I spent an hour yesterday in a kayak with a pole poking around. The bottom is really soft for the first 8" or so. The canals here are dredged out of the limestone coral, I do not really know the reason why the are much shallower than the majority of the canal. It is 8' deep in front of my house.

The 2 humps are about 5 feet in distance/width. Would it be reasonable with 3 or 4" of keel in the mud to get through? I do not want to go through the expense of getting a boat down here to find it needs to be docked at my neighbors at the end of the canal.
 

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One of None
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where the hell are you? LOL no intro..
 

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where the hell are you? LOL no intro..
Good question, doesn't sound like Maine does it:D

Around here the mud goes on forever in some bays. People wading in have been know to get sucked in and never been heard from again.

I don't know about this limestone coral stuff, once you get by the loose stuff kinda sounds like concrete.
 

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8 inches of water is as good as 8 miles. Especially if it is mud. Go slow though as someone may have pitched something like an engine or large battery. It's your home port so you can get to know it well. I wouldn't let it interfere with your plans. I had a slip for a while that was two feet of mud too shallow. The boat, she kinda planted herself there twice a day. I thought it would destroy the antifoul, but it had little effect. Wouldn't recommend it though.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good question, doesn't sound like Maine does it:D

Around here the mud goes on forever in some bays. People wading in have been know to get sucked in and never been heard from again.

I don't know about this limestone coral stuff, once you get by the loose stuff kinda sounds like concrete.
Sorry I am new to posting on message boards.

We live on Grand Cayman. I would agree that the limestone under the mud is pretty hard. It does not stand up to an excavator but I wound not want to run my new to me fiber glass keel into it.

Paul
 

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What you will have is part-tide access. If it's the boat you want and you can tolerate resticyed use, go for it. (You will be carrying more weight too, as mentioned.)
 
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