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Old 02-06-2015, 04:01 PM   #1
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Deep draft boat?

I'm considering buying a 31' Albin. When I looked at the specs for this boat (single screw), it lists the draft at 3'-10". Surprised me since that is deeper than I've seen on much larger boats.

I expect it would be great for seakeeping, but I'm wondering how much my inshore cruising would be limited if I needed to stay in 4+ feet of water. There is a lot of skinny water around here (NW Florida) but at least I know where it is. Should I feel uncomfortable taking this boat to S. Florida, the Keys, the Okeechobee Waterway, or other parts of the ICW/Great Loop? I expect the ICW needs to have a consistently deep depth for the commercial traffic, right?

We'd need a dinghy. There will be no wading to the beach from this boat!
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:24 PM   #2
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Ive been all over from clw south with 4.5' without problems. Never planned based on tides either. You do need a good scrolling fish Finder and use it constantly.
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:25 PM   #3
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Howdy Jim, I've done the ICW several times in my sailboat that drew 5' 3", with no problems. Remember that the 3' 10" is all the way aft, so you can probably beach her if the shoreline slopes decently. Lots of people have done the loop in a sailboat. I've crossed Okeechobee many times in my sailing vessel (Pearson 424). You just have to be good at reading the markers and the water, and DON'T be in a hurry! I think you'd enjoy the 31. Good luck, Ben
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:34 PM   #4
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I'm considering buying a 31' Albin. When I looked at the specs for this boat (single screw), it lists the draft at 3'-10". Surprised me since that is deeper than I've seen on much larger boats.

I expect it would be great for seakeeping, but I'm wondering how much my inshore cruising would be limited if I needed to stay in 4+ feet of water. There is a lot of skinny water around here (NW Florida) but at least I know where it is. Should I feel uncomfortable taking this boat to S. Florida, the Keys, the Okeechobee Waterway, or other parts of the ICW/Great Loop? I expect the ICW needs to have a consistently deep depth for the commercial traffic, right?

We'd need a dinghy. There will be no wading to the beach from this boat!
Very few places in the areas which you have mentioned that you will be unable to go with a 3'10" draft. Of course every boat should have a depth indicator (and it should be looked at every now and then -- sailors get so that they always keep one eye on it, but perhaps powerboaters not so much. Still a good idea, though). Not familiar with the Albin, but sounds as if perhaps the prop is protected by the keel, which in my view is a good thing.
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:44 PM   #5
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Thanks all for the comments. I feel much better about this boat. Yes, the prop is protected by a skeg (and I'll have the unlimited towing/ungrounding plan). It's still not my first choice of the boats we looked at, but it's moving closer to the top of the list!
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:53 PM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. J. 3'10"? I should be so lucky. I've also cruised the areas you are contemplating and have run aground with 4'10" (able to extricate myself quite easily) BUT that will not deter me from venturing into those waters again. Advice given so far is sound. When in doubt, proceed slowly. I don't know of anyone who cruises who has not run aground. Not a big deal IMO. Draft should be a consideration but not a deal breaker. Get the boat you like.
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:59 PM   #7
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Greetings,
Mr. J. 3'10"? I should be so lucky. I've also cruised the areas you are contemplating and have run aground with 4'10" (able to extricate myself quite easily) BUT that will not deter me from venturing into those waters again. Advice given so far is sound. When in doubt, proceed slowly. I don't know of anyone who cruises who has not run aground. Not a big deal IMO. Draft should be a consideration but not a deal breaker. Get the boat you like.

How about? 6'? Glad I have a full keel.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:04 PM   #8
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My deepest point is the shoe that the rudder mounts to and it protects the prop is at 3'6" and I have always felt that I have a fairly shallow draft boat.

That boat does not draw that much water, you will be fine.

Stay close to shore as it is not a passage maker they draw 5+ feet and are built to survive storms in a seaway.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:44 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. O. "How about? 6'...". You go first, I'll follow.
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:55 PM   #10
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RTF, that's how it usually goes.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:07 PM   #11
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I would love 3'10 draft instead of our current 5'7" draft.

I have travelled all of the keys on a previous boat with a similar draft as yours and nada problemo.

To quote a down under saying " sheal be right mate"

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Old 02-08-2015, 07:37 PM   #12
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... You go first, I'll follow.
First time up someplaces-shallow Petaluma Slough, we followed closely behind slightly-deeper Mahalo Moi (Grand Banks 42 Classic). We both oozed through a mud bottom at one point.

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Old 02-09-2015, 03:28 PM   #13
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Everyone would love a big spacious vessel with almost no draft.

The reality is regardless of draft ,,,,,,YOU WILL RUN AGROUND.

Single screw with a skeg protecting the prop and rudder will usually have least damage awaiting the next tide..

The cruisers question then becomes NOT what is the draft , but what will be destroyed by a grounding.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:28 PM   #14
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The reality is regardless of draft ,,,,,,YOU WILL RUN AGROUND.
Haha. My skiff only draws about 8" and I've run aground a few times.
I don't do it on purpose, but you don't worry about it as much when you can just hop out and push the boat off when it happens.

Anyways, I decide to pass on this particular boat. Not because of the deep draft but because of other issues. Thanks all for your input.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:29 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=gwkiwi;306034]I would love 3'10 draft instead of our current 5'7" draft.

I have travelled all of the keys on a previous boat with a similar draft as yours and nada problemo.

To quote a down under saying " sheal be right mate"

Was in the VI’s last week the captains in the bars with the deep draft sail boats talked about choosing deeper moorings and traveling a little farther by dinghy. The quote was “No problems Man”
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