By Matt Claiborne
A boat’s draft is a published specification, like its length, beam, or height above the water. If you don’t know the draft of your boat, the best thing you can do is search the internet for the answer.
Your next option is to go out and measure your draft. This is easily done when the boat is out of the water. Just find the deepest part of the boat, and measure in a straight line downward from the waterline.
Knowing how much water your boat draws is step one. Step two is staying in water that is deeper than that at all times.
The minimum is when all the boards or keels are fully raised, and the boat is lightly loaded. Maximum draft is the absolute deepest draft it could have with the keel all the way down.
A canting keel is found only on the most cutting-edge ocean racing boats. They swing not aftward, like a swing keel, but instead side to side.