The Point Of Shallow Draft


We used to envy the folks who cruised with shallow draft for the benefits it conferred. There is the obvious, extending your cruising opportunities to areas like the Bahamas (above), but there other significant advantages as well.

Take grounding risks, for example: the shallower your draft, the more tolerance for navigation errors.

Shallow draft boats are easier to haul out, are able to make better use of tidal grids and are easier to dry out along a sea wall if there are high tidal ranges.

In heavy weather, shallow draft typically lets you slip more easily to leeward with wave impact.

What is shallow enough? We used to think that Beowulf’s 8 foot (2.4m) was shallow. but Wind Horse at five feet (1.5) has opened up a new world of possibilities. Today we’d say 4.5 to 5.0 feet is ideal, with 5.5 being the maximum with which we’d want to cruise.

The new Wicked FPB draws five feet / 1.5m

Posted by Steve Dashew  (February 6, 2012)

12 Responses to “The Point Of Shallow Draft”

  1. Alain M Says:

    Hi Steve,
    Definitively agree about shallow draft, and sure that every sailor knows it… Even I am not so sure they understand all the impact in heavy weather…
    I believe that raising the Great Room have open you some interesting new design possibilities for the level below, Right? These seven portholes are making my brain don’t stop since one week.
    Waiting for the next info…
    What a teaser, somebody said before, he was fully right…


  2. Ken Sylvester Sr. Says:

    Glad to see u are going back to original without pilot house. Can,t wait to see what new lower level will be like. Maybe u can give us a hint what a Triton Sub on aft deck would like.

  3. Pedro Says:

    Hi Steve and Linda,
    There is something I always feel on your FPB’s, they are, on my Med point of view, very unbalanced to interior life. This is something very understandable when look at the kind of live and cruise you do. I know there is the aft deck and BBQ on the 64 with all the embarrassing dinghys, the small fly, great to pilot and meal, but not for small party etc. With the new design this is a wonderfull place. At least for me. Me and my wife both love the sun, but for different reassons. I love the sun because he make shadow. My wife love the sun to stay as a burger on the BBQ. And this is the point, the new “Gran Mirada” deck fullfill my needs, but still I can’t find the sun pad-BBQ for my wife and her friends. Consider it, please, for Caribean and Med cruisers.

  4. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Pedro:
    There is a large foredeck for baking, and even bigger after deck. We’ll have some renderings up soon on both. You won’t be dissapointed.

  5. Ken Sylvester Sr. Says:

    Also wondering if this Wicked 115 will be limited number and how many,and when is expected start date to begin build?

  6. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Ken:
    Todd Rickard can fill you in on t he details (

  7. James Masters Says:

    It may be that, way-beyond “teasing us”, by his re-creating, and including us in, a la SetSail, his experience of “the process of designing-creating” — Steve is simply “allowing us to experience what he has”.

    Being aware of his and Linda’s generous and inclusive nature — as evidenced by the inordinate-mass of inestimably-valuable, personally-gained experience-data available on this website and in their books; and, by their so-graciously being personally-available to each of us — my experience is that this manner of including us in the “unfolding-process of the Wicked-FPB”, is heart-felt intended as, “A Gift to each of us”; in that, it’s an opportunity for each us to share-in the incredibly-enlightening experience of creating-designing. Which, for a Creater-Designer, IS, an “emerging into consciousness”-process.

    For Steve, who has such an extensive body of personally-gained experience with each of the inter-related elements of a cruising-boat — this “emerging” accrues … step-by-step … and piece-by-piece … as “the best-possibility” of each element gels in his consciousness; each step/piece synergizing with the others, on the path toward its complete expression.

    So, however remarkable this boat is (and, as usual, it certainly is) — my bet is that, for Steve, “The process of its coming from Everything/Nothing”, is EVEN-MORE remarkable.

    What i’ve noticed, thus far, in my 65yrs here this time: Once one attains such excellence in the art of Creating-Designing, what’s left for “ultimate thrills” is “having someone-else experience how-remarkable the experience of ‘the design-creation process’ is”.

    Thus, given his multi-decade track-record of designing remarkable-boats, both sail and unsail, i’m not surprised that he’s sharing this process with us. On behalf of all of us who are so enriched and enlightened by Steve and Linda, i’m extremely grateful.

    In the context of “receiver or buyer”, this “process” does experience as “a teasing” (which, is “wicked”). For the Creater-Designer, it’s actually merely “a natural unfolding as it-all emerges”.

    Am i “Wickedly”-tracking with you, Steve …?

  8. Alain M Says:

    100/100 Agree with all you said!

  9. Bill Says:

    Hi Steve and Linda,

    To switch topics a bit, I have a concern about the enormous mirror just ahead of the yet to be named pilot deck. The glass on that array will reflect and hit you right in the face just when you don’t need it. Have you seen the roll down covers on dump trucks and large dumpster trucks?

    Regarding draft, I prefer around 4′ or less on my multihulls, stressing less…..


  10. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Bill:
    Our understanding is that reflection off the black surface angled down and away is not a major issue. But this is on the list to check up on.

  11. Scott Evangelista Says:

    Steve, hard to tell without knowing scale, but it seems with house overhang, negotiating fore and aft transit will be awkward

  12. Steve Dashew Says:

    Headroom aplenty, Scott: