Best Shallow Draft Boats – Catamarans

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Advantages Of A Shallow Draft Boat

The draft of a boat is the measurement between the waterline and the bottom of the boat. Draft depths depend on the size of the boat and are designed to displace the necessary amount of water for navigation. Catamaran vessels rely on the buoyancy of their parallel hulls as opposed to a single hull, meaning they can incorporate a shallower draft without sacrificing stability or the ability to navigate effectively. Monohull vessels, by design, rely on a deeper draft to ensure both stability against capsizing and heeling.

Shallow Draft Boats For Beginners

Having a shallow draft is an advantage for beginners and experts alike. For beginner boat buyers having a shallow draft means one wrong turn won’t have your family stuck until the towboat comes. This is also a matter of safety, if you get off course at a high rate of speed, running aground can mean injuries or loss of boat control. Water navigation is one of the most daunting tasks for a new boater. If you’ve ever had to push your boat off a sandbar, you’ll also know it just ruins the day. Having more room for cushion under the water line is something you’ll be grateful for. Many experienced boaters after years on the water turn to catamarans for this increased functionality and safety. For an experienced boater, a shallow draft means easier navigation and accessibility. This becomes even more important around coastal or tidal areas where water depth can change throughout the day. If you want more information about boat drafts contact us or continue reading.

Why is a shallow draft important?

Shallow drafts are important because many areas you wish to navigate your boat may require navigation through shallow waters of varying depths. Shores, intertidal areas, coral reefs, and sandbars are just some of the locations which can easily prohibit access to monohull vessels with deeper drafts. Additionally, many popular activities are accessible only to watercraft with shallow drafts: shallow-water swimming and snorkeling, for instance, are among the most enjoyable past-times for boaters and their families, and in order to make these events a frictionless experience, you’ll need safe access to shallow areas.

Shallow drafts are also important because several types of fishing require the reliability and readiness of a catamaran: clamming, oystering, and mangrove fishing for snook, trout, and red drum are activities which become effortless when you can navigate shallow waters without fear of running aground or striking underwater objects which protrude at random and can cause serious damage to monohull vessels designed with deeper drafts.

If you’ve heard people talk about skinny water this is where a shallow draft is really important. Skinny water refers to areas consisting of a thin amount of shallow water, up to five feet. Skinny water is most often heard in the context of coastal, or river fishing.

Advantages To A Shallow Draft Boat

-No waiting on tides or winds to shift  to get your boat on or off of lifts in shallower canals

-Access to more fishing areas

-More safety and less risk of running aground

-Ease of navigation in unfamiliar areas

-Sight fishing on the flats

-Clamming & Oystering

-Mangrove fishing for snook, trout, red drum.

-Maneuverability in shallow water with ever-changing depths.

-Access to prime swimming and beach areas

-Snorkeling or freediving

-Ease of sandbar hopping

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