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Bahamas Cruising with 6 1/2-foot Draft

Thanks to our partner for forwarding this good report to us:

We spent 8 weeks sailing our boat in the Bahamas; have a 6 1/2? draft. Did not have a problem. Pay close attention to tides when you plan on entering “skinny water”, study the charts closely and don’t fixate on your chart plotter – learn to read the water (color changes).

Don’t let the shallow water keep you from going. People run their sailboats up and down the ICW with little more that a foot of water under their keel and can’t see the bottom., but they worry about the depths in the Bahamas. You can see the bottom there and it’s gorgeous! Go! Enjoy the trip. Wish I were there right now instead of northern Michigan!


2 Responses to Bahamas Cruising with 6 1/2-foot Draft

  • bvander66 says:

    We have cruised Bahamas for past 8 years with 6′ draft, never a problem. Have friends with 7′, also have cruised Bahamas regularly.
    Don’t let folks scare you off if you have a deeper draft vessel.

  • Duane & Peg says:

    This is a timely thread, because we were planning on going to the Bahama’s with our 6’8″ draft, and now that the time has come we’re getting pretty nervous about the anchorages.

    We were planning on starting from West Palm Beach and going to West End for a Marina night. Then going to the Berry’s, Rose Island and Eluthera. We’re planning on heading back north in mid-May so we don’t have a lot of time.

    Most of the anchorages we’re looking at have poor holding, or only provide protection for N or NE winds. Given, these seem to be the most likely winds but south and west winds happen as well.

    Is our itinerary reasonable? Are anchorages marked poor holding (sometimes grass, sometimes thin sand on hard marl, or both) tenable holding ground if you hand set the anchor? Should we be worried about exposure to westerlies?

    If someone has a suggestion for a deep draft itinerary for the next 30 days we would be very interested.


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