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Old 08-06-2008, 01:34 AM   #1
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While we are committed to the sloop that we own, we have passed up a few otherwise wonderful vessels due to a deeper draft. Everyone has an opinion, but I have come to trust the input received here. Others who are searching for their boat have asked us about draft limitations and requirements. Hey, we are not "out there" yet, and will only answer about the few things we have some knowledge of. But it make me wonder also! We have often been told that a shoal draft is necessary in the Bahamas and other locations. That said, most of the "famous" cruisers known to us don't have shoal draft vessels, and they seem to go to all of the destinations we would like to go to. Do the deeper drafted vesels actually sail better to weather? What draft do you consider too deep when cruising? Any input or explanations would be much appreciated.

David
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:16 AM   #2
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A deeper draft vessel is more comfortable in a seaway. Such vessels also have the prerequisites for greater stability but that may be negated in the design stage by more bits and pieces being built in above the centre of gravity or due to later additions, also above the C of G.

The ideal draft is, in my opinion, the greatest draft which will safely permit you to visit the ports and anchorages you want to visit. Typically, boats designed for northern waters, where harbours and anchorages generally are deep, would have a greater draft than those designed for lower latitudes.

As with just much else in the sailing field, it is a case of "horses for courses".

Aye // Stephen
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:56 AM   #3
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A really good question from David - which Stephen in his answer has identified the criteria for draft when cruising.

A reference to boats cruising in waters where coral reefs are the norm and where there are enormous tidal ranges, gives an opportunity to look at these cruising boats which left Darwin - Northern Australia - 26th July bound for Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. see :-See CL- URL

The average length was just over 43 ft.

Here is a representative collection of similar size Cruisers with their drafts

1. Beneteau 423 ----------- 4'9"

2. Sabre 425 ----------- 4'9"

3. 42 Sabre Sabre ----------- 4'9"

4. 42 Catalina C42 ----------- 4'10"

5. Hunter 426 ----------- 5'0"

6. Folkes 42 ----------- 5'3"

7. S & S 42 ----------- 5'5"

8. C&C Landfall ----------- 5'6"

9. Whitby C/C Ketch 42 ----------- 5'8"

10. Gitana Cruiser ---------- 5'8"

11. Young Sun ---------- 5'8"

12. Beneteau Oceanis ---------- 5'11"

13. Gib Sea 126 ---------- 6'1"

14. Kettenburg 42 ----------- 6'2"

15. Bruce Roberts 42 ----------- 6'6"

16. Sam Crocker Cutter Ketch ------------ 6'6"

Average say 5' 7 " (1.72 metres)

Marinas may also prove a challenge to those boats that have drafts that exceed 7ft - as often the marina's design means that they are prone to silting up. Some - you can only get into at high tide.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA View Post
A really good question from David - which Stephen in his answer has identified the criteria for draft when cruising.

A reference to boats cruising in waters where coral reefs are the norm and where there are enormous tidal ranges, gives an opportunity to look at these cruising boats which left Darwin - Northern Australia - 26th July bound for Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. see :-See CL- URL

16. Sam Crocker Cutter Ketch ------------ 6'6"
Hi,

I went to the link, but don't see the Crocker...where did you pick up this particular boat info?

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2008, 11:10 PM   #5
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Hello Red,

None of the boats referenced for draft were selected from the link list of monohulls. That link was given so as to show the type of cruising monohulls in the lower latitudes and get an average LOA.

With that info, I went to my data base for cruising designs of a similar LOA ie. 42/43ft - the reason (maybe simplistic) was an assumption that draft would generally be in ratio to LOA.

I did not include bilge keelers (common in Europe) or boats with bulbs, wings or bilge ballasted. Just a selection that had fairly conventional underparts.

Red, I realise that your Schooner Mahdi is also a Sam Crocker design - but I am not able to provide any more info on the 42' Sam Crocker Cutter Rigged Ketch. I do know of another Mahdi - owned by friends of mine, Rod and Becky Nowlin - They were the couple that fought off pirates in the Gulf of Aden successfully with a pump action shotgun. Which reminds me the name 'Mahdi' in Arabic , is also the name given to the Kalashnikov AK 47 Assault rifle.

Richard
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:04 AM   #6
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Hello Red,

None of the boats referenced for draft were selected from the link list of monohulls. That link was given so as to show the type of cruising monohulls in the lower latitudes and get an average LOA.

With that info, I went to my data base for cruising designs of a similar LOA ie. 42/43ft - the reason (maybe simplistic) was an assumption that draft would generally be in ratio to LOA.

I did not include bilge keelers (common in Europe) or boats with bulbs, wings or bilge ballasted. Just a selection that had fairly conventional underparts.

Red, I realise that your Mahdi is also a Sam Crocker design - but I am not able to provide any more info on the 42' Sam Crocker Cutter Rigged Ketch. I do know of another Mahdi - owned by friends of mine, Rod and Becky Nowlin - They were the couple that fought off pirates in the Gulf of Aden successfully with a pump action shotgun. Which reminds me the name 'Mahdi' in Arabic , is also the name given to the Kalashnikov AK 47 Assault rifle.

Richard
Hi,

Thanks for the response. I've heard about the Nowlin's exchange with pirates in the Gulf of Adan.

Yes, the name "Mahdi" is Arabic, but ours is "Mahdee" with different spelling. The original owners' family "lore" that goes along with the naming of our boat is that she was named after the mother-in-law of the original owner--they called that person "Mama D."

The Mahdee has been written about in a couple of books (Roger Taylor's original "Good Boats" circa 1977) and yachting magazine articles. In those places it has been explained that the original owner said the name was derived from an eastern Indian word for "pretty woman." So perhaps, Mama D was also a pretty woman! In any case, the Arabic Mahdi doesn't seem to be the root of the name. Mahdee was re-named a few times in her past--starting as Mahdee she seemed to have been called Pandora II during the late 30's early 40's and then Privateer between the 1960's and 70's. The fellow who owned her before us renamed her Mahdee in the 1980's. She spent most of her cruising and racing life as "Privateer."

Yes, this is off topic. So, to bring it back:

Mahdee has a 6' draft by design though she drew 6'6" when we got her. With the new planking work, we expect her to return to 6' draft. That is a pretty shallow draft for her length, but we really didn't want to get into a boat with over 7' draft--too many good anchorages wouldn't be available.

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Old 08-07-2008, 03:24 AM   #7
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Hi Red again,

Here is a picture of a Sam Crocker cutter rigged Ketch , which may be of the one given a draft of 6' 6''

Sam_Crocker_Cutter_Ketch_1946.jpg

Sam Crocker's design 310 of a 43ft Ketch "Cousin Elizabeth" has only a draft of 6ft.

I had the privilege of visiting the Crocker yard when I was doing a wooden boat survey course at the Wooden Boat School in Brooklyn - Maine. Most of Sam's sailboat designs had drafts < 6ft.

But really beautiful boats. Looking forward to the full restoration of design 131

Richard
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:49 AM   #8
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Hi Red again,

Sam Crocker's design 310 of a 43ft Ketch "Cousin Elizabeth" has only a draft of 6ft.

I had the privilege of visiting the Crocker yard when I was doing a wooden boat survey course at the Wooden Boat School in Brooklyn - Maine. Most of Sam's sailboat designs had drafts < 6ft.

But really beautiful boats. Looking forward to the full restoration of design 131

Richard
Mahdee was built for Alexander (Sandy) Moffat; as I understand it, Cousin Elizabeth was also built for him many years later. The Crocker yard was founded by the son of the naval architect Sam Sturgis Crocker and most of the Crocker designs were built by other yards. The son's name was Sturgis, The yard is currently owned by the grandson, Sam, and operated by his great grandson, Skip (who is probably also named Sam or Sturgis).

While some of the smaller boats were designed with a centerboard increasing draft, many of the 5' to 6' draft SS Crocker designed boats have a very wide lead keel with a flat bottom on the lead. Our keel extends below the boat about 2.5' and is 14" wide at its widest point. Some of the boats were provided with "legs" to attach to the rubrail or caprail so the boat could sit flat on the keel and easily be worked on between tides. I've heard stories of these legs and wide keels being useful when one is grounded to keep the boat upright. Ours does not have the legs and I would find it a fearful thing to consider the use of such legs in an emergency grounding.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:25 PM   #9
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hey, does anyone have a picture or information on "cousin Elizabeth". My father has recently purchased a Sam crocker boat, and we can't find anything on it. Its 43 feet, with a draft of about 6. Its name is "ardesa" and its in great condition.so, if anybody has any information it wood be greatly appreciated!

ps ( if I put this in the wrong place I apologize, I'm new to this)
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:25 PM   #10
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Hello,

The Ketch "Ardesa" designed by Sam Crocker was built in Lunenburg - Nova Scotia in 1961 -

42ft - beam of 12ft 8" draft of 5ft 4".

Ardesa.png

You might like to ask editor of Tall Ship Canada to publish an inquiry article on this good looking ketch

Lunenburg Boat Builders

Richard
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Old 09-10-2008, 12:52 AM   #11
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Thanks alot! I'm curious where you found that picture and the info? And yes thats definitly my dads boat.Its docked in Hamilton harbour at macdonald marina, about to under go some interior renovations over the winter.
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Old 10-16-2008, 03:41 PM   #12
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In answer to your question, I have sailed all over the Bahamas and further to the Leewards and 7' was only a problem in 1 marina in Puerto Rico. This was a remote spot so not so important. I currently have a 5 1/2' draft and there isn't anywhere that I have not been able to go. I'm not a big fan of anchoring 50' off the beach for many reasons.
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