Originally Posted by T34C
"Sometimes you need a "bluewater" grade of boat to handle some "coastal" waters, which can be very fierce indeed"
The Great Lakes are considered inland waterways and yet there are times you need "bluewater" grade (and then some) to handle them.
CD- Seems as good a place to draw the line as any.
That was more or less my point. I have been told more than once that if I can sail in a Lake Erie or Ontario summer line squall or extended spring or fall blow, it's pretty good practice for the open ocean, given that while Great Lakes 'heavy weather' rarely exceeds more than a few hours in duration, the ferocity of the particular type of 'seas' we get here can make for quite challenging sailing. Certainly, I've shot 10,000 lbs. of boat off seven foot waves here and sustained 30 knots of wind, but the waves are very closely packed and just produce a "washing machine" effect that is taxing to safety helm through.
We had 55 knot winds around Toronto last night, along with probable tornadoes, hail and a few inches of rain. I have no idea what it was like on the lake, but judging from what I could see belting across the sky, I suspect a triple-reefed main would've taken you most of the way to the far end last night.
EDIT: On this link Current Weather Conditions at the Outer Harbour Marina, Toronto Ontario
you'll see in the upper right yellow data crawl that this year's top wind speed for Toronto Outer Harbour is nearly 84 knots. If that doesn't produce blue water conditions, I'm not sure what will... I believe that was the storm that knocked down the cradled boats I posted last month.