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#419863 - 10/26/11 08:52 AM Ambergris Caye - Maximum Draft?  
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
LarkCayeRes Offline
LarkCayeRes  Offline
Does anyone know the maximum draft (for boats!) available at Ambergris Caye? Reef side/Lee side? Which docks? What route?

#419864 - 10/26/11 08:54 AM Re: Ambergris Caye - Maximum Draft? [Re: LarkCayeRes]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,642
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
I have this in my notes....

the main San Pedro cut has an 7 ft controlling draft. The water is 7-10 ft deep for anchoring in front of San Pedro, with a sand bottom - no rocks.

No problem with San Pedro up to 7ft. draft, but one cannot go far once inside the reef.

TMM monitors CH08 from 8am to 5pm and can assist mariners coming through the cut during daylight hours subject to availability of staff (our clients needs have to be taken care of before we can assist).

Make sure you have the Freya Rausher cruising guide which gives an accurate co-ordinate for the cut ( 17 54 21 x 87 57 31 ).

Folks should never attempt our cut in the dark, but can hang on the "Tuffy" divesite buoy (which is about 1000 feet out) safely for a nap if your timing is off. The coordinates for that buoy are – 17 57 14 x 87 57 17.

Last edited by Marty; 10/26/11 04:44 PM. Reason: update TMM contact info
#419867 - 10/26/11 09:09 AM Re: Ambergris Caye - Maximum Draft? [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
LarkCayeRes Offline
LarkCayeRes  Offline
Wow that's good information.
I'm looking at comming up from Placencia. By ... "but one cannot go far once inside the reef" ... are you suggesting accessing SanPedro from the south within the reef is going to be a problem at 6.5ft (2m)? I've been looking at the NOAA charts .. charts 28162 , 28167, 28190

And they suggest it could be a problem. Do you have any better information on that?

#419886 - 10/26/11 10:23 AM Re: Ambergris Caye - Maximum Draft? [Re: LarkCayeRes]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,154
Phil Offline
Phil  Offline
Bare in mind that while some of above info is likely still accuarte it appears at least three years old as Paul Steele passed away several years ago. Contact Simon on these board's and I'm sure he'll help with some local info - but he'll be pretty busy right now with Rina threatening as he's a manager at TMM.

If your draft is 2m you will def struggle North of Belize City and likely need to come outside the reef from there North and it will be worth hiring a local Captain to guide you in as we have more than once seen boats lost on the reef trying to approach unaided. We don't need it again and neither do you!

#419923 - 10/26/11 01:01 PM Re: Ambergris Caye - Maximum Draft? [Re: LarkCayeRes]  
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 259
PROBUS Offline
PROBUS  Offline
There are many shallow coral heads inside the reef in the southern approaches to AC, and you either need to go dead slow in daytime and have a bow lookout, or as Phil suggests get an experienced local boat captain to pilot you.

#419932 - 10/26/11 01:44 PM Re: Ambergris Caye - Maximum Draft? [Re: PROBUS]  
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
LarkCayeRes Offline
LarkCayeRes  Offline
Sounds like I'll have to make a run up with a friend, and verify things first hand. The crusing forums suggest that Porto Stuck is the most serious limitation from Belize City to Ambergris Caye at 7 ft. What is the best available chart of the area? Does it give the necessairy detail?
No I don't want to get stuck either..

#419940 - 10/26/11 03:46 PM Re: Ambergris Caye - Maximum Draft? [Re: LarkCayeRes]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,458
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
With a draft of 6.5' you'll need to go outside the reef at English Caye and come back in at Ambergris Caye. You might make it through the inside but I'd be willing to bet you'll spend a lot of time bouncing off the bottom and going aground.

The cruising guide is about the best chart you can get. There are no truly accurate charts and no chart plotter chips that are truly accurate. Once the waters are fully charted which is "supposed" to be happening right now it will get better.

#419942 - 10/26/11 03:57 PM Re: Ambergris Caye - Maximum Draft? [Re: SimonB]  
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
LarkCayeRes Offline
LarkCayeRes  Offline
It looks that way. I just have to think about the shoals up here in Lake Huron, and my heart starts going. I remember looking down and thinking it was getting shallow (it can be really clear here too), and it turns out it was 30 ft deep. Of course that was rock not sand. It's just hard to believe that it is that shallow.

#419971 - 10/26/11 07:26 PM Re: Ambergris Caye - Maximum Draft? [Re: LarkCayeRes]  
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 259
PROBUS Offline
PROBUS  Offline
I was in a dive boat a while back, one with an internal engine and experienced local captain, trying to come back from Hol Chan one night. With the glare of the town's lights in his eyes, the captain made an error of perhaps 20ft and ran onto a coral head. It ripped off both the propeller and rudder and holed the boat. You need to take these waters seriously.

#419977 - 10/26/11 08:20 PM Re: Ambergris Caye - Maximum Draft? [Re: PROBUS]  
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 19
LarkCayeRes Offline
LarkCayeRes  Offline
Wow, TMM has some nice boats. The Mahe 36 has a draft of 4ft11in (4ft10.8in) I don't know if that is loaded or not. Most of the other boats are 4ft6in (or about). That is for charter boats. According to the web page TMM charters take the route I'm talking about. What draft is going to be OK in your non legally binding opinion if you are careful?

Also 20 ft error.. I hope everyone was OK. How wide is the channel there, or are you saying that there are random coral heads popping up? It would not surprise me. I wish I could post a picture of some of my favorites.

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