Draft Issues for Cruising

Thanks Steve, for the comments on teak decks. I am just about to make an offer on an 85 ft Formosa, and I know the decks will need doing in a few years, so I will adjust my offer. The other misgiving I have is the 9′ 6″ draft. I sailed half way round the world a few years ago, going East. This time I am going through the Panama Canal and then the Pacific–could you comment on the draft , please? John

Hi John: 9’6″ is a bit deep for my taste, unless you are going primarily for performance. Several issues: hauling out will be more limited (although with a boat that big and heavy, you will be pushed to the very biggest travel lifts or the use of marine railways). If you need to get into the mangrove swamps for protection in a hurricane, it is too deep. And then there is cruising in general. For the W. Coast of Baja and Mexico, Central America, Panama and the Caribbean (except for mangrove protection) it will just affect how far you have to anchor out. To offset this, get a really nice RIB. Having made the above statement, I would not hesitate to user nine or ten feet for my own cruising boat, if I wanted the performance enhancement more than the access to cruising areas. Good Luck–Steve Dashew

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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