Tides and Cruising

Sand Dollar Beach, Bahamas


This is what happens when we don’t pay attention to the tides.

The tides affect our lives every day on a cruising boat. Our Lagoon 380 draws 4’. It’s a shallow draft that’s great for tucking into anchorages in the Bahamas, but we still need to know what the tides are doing when we anchor.

Anchoring at low tide is great because we always know there will be enough water below our keels. At any other point in the tide cycle we need to make sure the water will be deep enough at low tide. This includes knowing the water within our swing range. A middle of the night squall can swing the boat 180 degrees and there better be enough water. I don’t know why, but squalls always seem to hit in the middle of the night.

Sailing through cuts is another time the tides are important. Wind against current is a bad thing in a narrow cut.

Back to the dingy . . . does my husband actually think he is going somewhere in the beached dingy?


4 thoughts on “Tides and Cruising

  1. Been there, done that! It’s easier if there’s two people. Try a stern dinghy anchor. That seems to work.

    How are the winds?


  2. Oh to have only a 4′ draft. We have about 1/2 an inch beneath the keel right now. The tides are extra low due to the nearly full moon and this 25k of wind blowing all the water off the banks. Thankfully, low tide is past and the water is rising back up! Will move the anchor a tad before dark.


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