We're planning on heading toward Mexico, Belize and beyond this
winter. Rio Dulce also sounds tempting to visit. One of the SSCA
members had this to say about maximum draft when I asked him today.
Steve Pavlidis of S/V IV Play wrote:
A 6' can cross the bar at most times, a 7' draft must wait for a
high tide, and tides there run only about 1'-1.5' at times, but it is
doable. I've seen 7 1/2' drafts come in, and one 8' draft that had to
be hauled over the bar. Just make sure you get a good read on the
tides at the mouth of the river, most tide programs will handle this.
I've just sounded the bar again for the 12th time and the results
will be out in my new guide. If you put the sea buoy on your stern
and steer 225 for the center of the canyon mouth you won't have less
than six feet at MLW. But you MUST watch out for the tide here that
when on the flood will push you to the south and on the ebb to the
north where the shallower water lies. Then, when you're over the
bar, continue until you're past the Texaco fuel dock before turning
to starboard to anchor, most folks turn too soon and run aground.
Steve publishes cruising guides. Check out www.islandhopping.com