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Old 01-07-2015, 07:10 AM   #1
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6' draft in the Bahamas and Caribbean...

I'm looking at a 55' steel hulled full displacement beast. I like everything about her, except the 6' draft. I'm in the Abacos right now and feel like she might be problematic here. On the other hand, I like knowing she has the potential to go anywhere, in any kind of seas. If her draft were 4.5 or 5', I wouldn't hesitate, but that extra foot gives me pause...
Any thoughts?
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:14 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Welcome aboard.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:33 AM   #3
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I wouldn't hesitate we make out just fine in the Abaco's. Just can't get in Man O War.

What kinda boat?
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:32 AM   #4
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I wouldn't let a 6ft draft stop me from making the purchase. in fact thats actually what we draft. It does make me feel a bit better knowing the prop and rudder are somewhat protected by the keel. But so far it hasn't been an issue.

The few marinas where I couldn't get into, I had a boat sturdy enough to keep going, or find a spot to anchor and wait.
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Old 01-07-2015, 01:33 PM   #5
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If you're apt to do some offshore passages, 6' will be a huge benefit.

We draw 6' now. We've done the entire Abacos and are heading to the Bahamas again next month. I tend to skip much of the Georgia ICW, the ICW between Southport and Little River Inlet, and the ICW from Winyah Bay to Charleston. But I've done all of those inside multiple times too.

I think that 5.5' to 6' is the sweet spot for North America cruising. If you go lower than 5', you probably won't go outside much. If you draw more than 6.5', you probably won't go inside much. 6' is...well...just right.
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Old 01-07-2015, 02:09 PM   #6
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You will be fine in the Bahamas. There are several harbors that you can't get inside of, or you have to anchor just outside of, or play the tides just right to get inside. But you will find lots of spots to go to. (Lot's of hanging prepositions here ;-).

And as Jeff just said, a draft of 6' is better for sailing offshore, best if it includes some ballast.

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Old 01-07-2015, 02:28 PM   #7
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As long as prop tips are well above bottom of keel, you can push over some stuff. Especially steel!! Sure the barnacles will then grow there, but next time you do it, they come right off!!

I would not be very adventurous if prop tips are below keel, but that would be rare on such a boat.
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Old 01-07-2015, 03:44 PM   #8
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Sorry I cannot help with your direct question but we currently own a 55', 55 ton steel trawler with a 5.5' draft. Not many issues to speak of on the west coast through we certainly don't have the same skinny waters.

I'd echo the other poster, I sure feel comfortable with that fully protected prop.
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:58 PM   #9
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People sometimes act like there's a huge difference between 5' and 6'. But if you have 5', how often are you going to cruise where you have less than 1' clearance? And yet that's the only time it makes a difference. Only depths between 5 and 6'. And that's really not much. We've done the Bahamas with 5' and 6'6". There were very few situations where it made a difference. Most of the areas we either would go with both boats or wouldn't go with either of them.

You learn to work with what you have. So the extra foot impacts you once every 30 days. Does that really matter that much?
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Old 01-07-2015, 10:45 PM   #10
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I don't know anything about the Bahamas. But I ask, if 6' draft is an issue how do all the sailboats make it in the Bahamas?
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:20 AM   #11
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I don't know anything about the Bahamas. But I ask, if 6' draft is an issue how do all the sailboats make it in the Bahamas?
By drawing 6 foot or less. Or if they draw much more, by staying out of many of the good anchorages and/or playing the tides.
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:38 AM   #12
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The Carib is a cake walk , its not a barely awash sand bar , but mostly mountains sticking up from the depths.

Lots of places you will be 1/4 mile offshore with 200-400 ft of water.

Steel boats require Steel Boat surveyors ,,,
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:55 AM   #13
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Thanks to all for the words of wisdom! Survey and sea trial scheduled for next Thursday and Friday. Moving up from a 38' Sabre Salon Express.
Can't wait to go slow!
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:03 AM   #14
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So what are you purchasing? Any photos would greatly be appreciated if you don't mind sharing with us.
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:04 PM   #15
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I'm looking at the 2010 Bering 55', Mila, in Fort Lauderdale.
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:11 PM   #16
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Mimi best of luck with it! Keep us posted.
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:16 PM   #17
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I'm looking at the 2010 Bering 55', Mila, in Fort Lauderdale.
I have no knowledge of the specific boat but love the model, the 55' Bering. If we were after full displacement it's absolutely one we would consider. Only thing not perfect is height is too much for loop, but hinge the arch and that's solved. Love the length of the flybridge and it's use of space. Also the choice to have two staterooms which makes them both very nice.

The accommodation of a nice tender will help make the exploration of the Bahamas nice. I'm guessing maybe a 15' Rib.
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:56 PM   #18
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I'm looking at the 2010 Bering 55', Mila, in Fort Lauderdale.

Wow. Nice engine room. Wrong anchor though. 😂
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:57 PM   #19
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She is a beauty!
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:28 PM   #20
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Mimi-beautiful boat! The listing noted "Not for Sale to U residents in US waters". Do you have to take it into international waters to close the sale?
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