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Old 09-24-2020, 11:09 AM   #1
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Beam and getting slips

I am looking at 2 boats, one with a beam of 17' and one with one of 14'. My cruising locale is the east coast of the US, from ME to FL and the Bahamas.

How much more difficult will it be to get dock space with the 17' beam?

I am coming from a sailing cat with a 22' beam, which basically meant I always needed a long dock or T dock if I was at a marina.

I remember someone telling me standard slips, if there is such a thing were 14' so the boat with the 14' beam would also not fit in a standard slip?
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:15 AM   #2
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What are the lengths of the 2 boats. In general, longer slips also tend to be wider, so as long as one boat isn't unusually wide for its length, finding slips should be easy enough. Unless I'm trying to go somewhere that primarily caters to small boats, I've never had trouble finding a slip for my boat with a 14 foot beam (38 foot LOA, really about 42 with pulpit and swim platform).
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:18 AM   #3
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Not sure there is a standard slip width...but there might be guidelines for width for a given length.


I am 13.5 wide and fit just about everywhere I go with a few feet to spare (if anything I would say the average 35-40 foot long slip is 16 or so feet wide).


17 feet might be easy as long as the marina has 50 foot slips.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:31 AM   #4
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FP motor yacht 37 which is really 40, or Bene ST 44
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What are the lengths of the 2 boats. In general, longer slips also tend to be wider, so as long as one boat isn't unusually wide for its length, finding slips should be easy enough. Unless I'm trying to go somewhere that primarily caters to small boats, I've never had trouble finding a slip for my boat with a 14 foot beam (38 foot LOA, really about 42 with pulpit and swim platform).
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:37 AM   #5
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We are 18’2” and have never had any trouble finding a slip. Of course we are 70’ LOA so that affects slip width, but even constantly traveling, we have never had beam be an issue. They just stick us on the face dock with all the other transients.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:39 AM   #6
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I don't know your area but beams do matter in many marinas. THe marinas were designed/ built to accommodate the boats of 20, 30 or more years ago which were narrower. If your length fits into a certain length slip but your beam is too wide you may preclude the marina finding anyone that can fit beside you. That is going to cause trouble.

I have a 32' with an 11'4" beam which is narrow now for the length. I get asked about beam because they need to know if I will fit. In my club where we had sheds and open moorage, my beam allowed me to get a shed years before I would have otherwise because all the newer boats were too wide to fit.

I think you have partly answered your own question with your 22' beam sailboat. You got moorage but it was more limited than the opportunities with a narrower beam.
THe wide beam will give you more interior of course but be aware some marinas may not be be able to accommodate you readily.

My opinion, yes, beam matters. Just depends upon what matters to you but be prepared.
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
FP motor yacht 37 which is really 40, or Bene ST 44

A beneteau st44 has a beam of 13.5ft not 17ft which is normal, if not on the narrow side. The FP is a cat, so it will be wide and you'll it will not fit in a standard 40ft slip.
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:20 PM   #8
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The FP has a beam of 16.8, the Bene has a beam of about 14, hence my original post question.
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A beneteau st44 has a beam of 13.5ft not 17ft which is normal, if not on the narrow side. The FP is a cat, so it will be wide and you'll it will not fit in a standard 40ft slip.
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:54 PM   #9
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We’re 43’ with a 15’8” beam and we do on occasion have problems getting into a slip. In Fort Pierce Fl, the new docks are no problem but we don’t fit in all of the older ones rated for 40-45’ vessels. At Ortega Landing Marina, JAX, FL we also have a fit problem. Ortega Landing was designed as part of a condo development and I think they tried to maximize the number of slips for the property.
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Old 09-24-2020, 02:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
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FP motor yacht 37 which is really 40, or Bene ST 44
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Originally Posted by jbinbi View Post
The FP has a beam of 16.8, the Bene has a beam of about 14, hence my original post question.

Yes, that FP is a pretty big boat. Lots of square footage on her. Are the 2 boats even comparable? I always think of a 40 ft cat closer to a 50+ ft mono.


Regardless, the ST will be a breeze to fit in most slips. I know my marina has two 40 ft slips with fingers that would fit that cat. And they charge more for them. Otherwise you are looking at an end tie or a or 60 ft slip..
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:28 PM   #11
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Consider that the beam of a particular boat is usually measured several feet above the waterline. We need to measure the “practical” beam of our boats a couple of feet above the waterline; at dock height.

I haven’t had a need to measure mine. I have a published beam of 13’ 7”, but I’m sure I could get into a 12’ 6” slip.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:50 PM   #12
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We are 18’2” and have never had any trouble finding a slip. Of course we are 70’ LOA so that affects slip width, but even constantly traveling, we have never had beam be an issue. They just stick us on the face dock with all the other transients.
As the owners of another 18'2", this was our experience as well, throughout the entire eastern seaboard over multiple years. Personally I liked being on the face dock, or the first slip in: better views, more privacy, and easier to wash the boat down among other things. We were 60 ft LOA.

Are you going to be cruising, or just based in one port? If the former, most cruising guides will describe the slips, or better yet a simple phone call ahead of time to the dockmaster. If the latter, then call around and go look first hand.

By the way, on a monohull beam makes a huge difference in living space and engine room ergonomics, more so than length in most ways.
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Old 09-24-2020, 06:11 PM   #13
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Many slips here in the Bay Area cater to sailboats, so many 36-foot berths here are too narrow for my 13+feet beam. Am currently berthd in an oversized berth.
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Old 09-24-2020, 09:26 PM   #14
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You will find some of the smaller marinas that cater to boats under 50' may not be able to accommodate the extra wide beam. But if you're willing to plan ahead and make reservations, you'll find plenty of places to stay. If it's your dream boat, buy it.
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Old 09-25-2020, 06:08 AM   #15
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Great Lakes Mid atlantic and New England tend to have older marinas that are narrower. Places with hurricanes and high property values tend to get rebuilt with larger wider slips.
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Old 09-25-2020, 10:33 AM   #16
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We are only 37ft in length, but very fat at 16ft beam (see photo).

We have not had any problems on the SE coast as long as the person on the phone/radio LISTENS when we tell them our beam. Several times, they hear 37ft and just make an assumption on beam - the slip being too narrow.

In order to accommodate our beam, we are usually put in 40-45ft LOA slips - which have typically averaged 18ft wide in our cruising area so far.
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Old 09-25-2020, 11:53 AM   #17
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In the limited number of times we've gotten slips for our EB47 there's never been a problem with it's 15' beam. Those being 40-50' sized slips. A few places have been tight with only a foot or two beam to spare, but they were floating docks so I wasn't too worried about it. The 17' beam would likely have you placed on the T head rather than in a slip.
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Old 09-28-2020, 02:31 PM   #18
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we have a pdq 34 with 16' beam. we've travelled fl/bahamas/ne. definitely easier to get a slip down south. once you get to Chesapeake your options drop a lot. we had a std slip at our yc. it was rated up to 46' and had a real width just short of 18'. if you're willing to shoe horn into a slip your options go up a lot.
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Old 09-28-2020, 02:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodland Hills View Post
We are 182 and have never had any trouble finding a slip. Of course we are 70 LOA so that affects slip width, but even constantly traveling, we have never had beam be an issue. They just stick us on the face dock with all the other transients.
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We are only 37ft in length, but very fat at 16ft beam (see photo).

We have not had any problems on the SE coast as long as the person on the phone/radio LISTENS when we tell them our beam. Several times, they hear 37ft and just make an assumption on beam - the slip being too narrow.

In order to accommodate our beam, we are usually put in 40-45ft LOA slips - which have typically averaged 18ft wide in our cruising area so far.
In both cases, the length to beam ratio is typically fairly close. So, if you're looking for a slip for a 70' LOA, then in most cases the slip will be able to also accommodate a 18'2" beam.

As in the second example, I attempted to bring my boat into a slip last week. I know the marina and they have had my boat before (badged 35, 39'9" LOA with a 14'4" beam). They looked at 'Mainship 35' and directed me to a slip. I thought it was odd that I was taking a slip on the inside. I got stuck between the pilings.

First, I was like WTF??!! But then I thought, you gotta be pretty good to get 6 feet into a slip too narrow before you get pinned between the pilings.
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Old 09-30-2020, 04:54 AM   #20
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I'm 14'4" beam and 42 LOA and haven't had a problem getting a slip anywhere in S. FL
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