Aground! Shallow Water Piloting in the Bahamas

Published on March 25, 2021

Find New Posts Relevant to sail boats and fun, excellent dinghy plans, and Bluewater Sailors, Aground! Shallow Water Piloting in the Bahamas.

Many of you have been asking why we love variable-draft Southerly Yachts. Afterall, we’ve owned three of the them throughout the 30 years we’ve been cruising. So in this latest video, we answer your questions, giving you our completely biased view on Southerlies 🙂 as we sail from the Turks and Caicos Islands to cruise the shallow seas of the Bahamas, before Hurricane Dorian hits. We sail in company with other 6 other Southerly Yacht owners and demonstrate the freedom the variable-draft keels give us to explore shoal-draft anchorages and bays that deeper draft yachts can’t get gain access to. At the same time, we share our techniques for shallow-draft piloting in the islands, no matter what your boat draws. The Bahamas is one of our very favourite cruising grounds and in this video we show you why.

00:00 Shallow Water Piloting in the Bahamas
07:31 Lifting the keel to beach the boat
12:53 Navigating Hog Cay Cut Exumas
18:18 Hurricane Dorian Update

Resources for cruising in the Bahamas:
A summary of our cruises through the Bahamas over the years.
“The Explorer Chartbooks are the best cruising guides we found and are used by most cruising sailors in the Bahamas.
HD downloads and DVDs of the many half-hour Distant Shores television programs we filmed about the Bahamas cruises we have made.

#sailing #sailinglife #bahamas #exumas #hurricanedorian #Southerly480 #offshore

Principal photography by Paul and Sheryl Shard.
Additional photograpy by Nick Gill.

Current Boat:
Southerly 480 by Discovery with variable-draft swing-keel

Discovery Yachts Group / Southerly Yachts:

Brunton’s Propellers:
Elvstrøm Sails:
Epex Sail Technology:
Seldén Mast / Furlex:
Navionics Charts:
GN Espace Ocean Chef:
Highfield Classic Inflatable:
Honda Outboard:
Integrel On-Engine Generator:
Ultra Anchor (35 kg):
Pantaenius Yacht Insurance:

Get an introduction to the cruising life and join Paul and Sheryl on a leg of their Around the World voyage. Learn more about their Sail Away Weeks including the Southern Bahamas here:

Gifts for Sailors! Own the whole Distant Shores collection:
All 130 full half-hour episodes of the Distant Shores Sailing Adventure TV series are available as a collectors set as HD downloads and also on DVD through the Distant Shores website. The Distant Shores DVD Super Pack box set includes both DVDs and bonus HD downloads. It is perfect for binge-watching and makes a great gift for the sailor in your life! Info and order here:


You can also connect with us on:

Thank you for watching!

Sheryl and Paul

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Preferred times are March, April, May, late November and early December. Make certain the chartering business supplies a correct cruising guide. This is a digital download item that you sell on a particular subject.

Aground! Shallow Water Piloting in the Bahamas

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We set out for Norman Island. We unfurled the jib, however never ever raised the mainsail. It was a good introduction to cruising without too much tension, and I got my very first chance sailboat hire to man the helm.

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