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Old 04-09-2004
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Coastal or Bluewater...

Here''s one set of standards there are others:
International Marine Certification
Institute Recreational Craft
Directive 94/35/CE
Boat design categories as defined by Institute Recreational Craft:

Design Category A - "Ocean"
Beaufort Scale,(knots)exceeding 8 (over 40 kts.)
Significant Wave Height in meters (feet)
exceeding 4 (over 13 ft.)
Design Category B - "Offshore"
Beaufort Scale,(knots)up to and including 8 (34-40 kts.)
Significant Wave Height in meters (feet)
up to and including 4 (13 ft.)
Design Category C - "Inshore"
Beaufort Scale,(knots)up to and including 6 (22-27 kts.)
Significant Wave Height in meters (feet)
up to and including 2 (6.5 ft.)
Design Category D - "Sheltered waters"
Beaufort Scale,(knots)up to and including 4 (11-16 kts.)
Significant Wave Height in meters (feet)
up to and including 0.5 (1.5 ft.)

A. OCEAN: Designed for extended voyages where conditions may exceed wind force 8 (Beaufort scale) and significant wave heights of 4 meters and above, and vessels largely self-sufficient.
B. OFFSHORE: Designed for offshore voyages where conditions up to, and including wind force 8 (Beaufort scale) and significant wave heights up to, and including, 4 meters may be experienced.
C. INSHORE: Designed for voyages in coastal waters, large bays, estuaries, lakes, rivers and canals where conditions up to, and including wind force 6 (Beaufort scale) and significant wave heights up to, and including 2 meters may be experienced.
D. SHELTERED WATERS: Designed for voyages on small lakes, rivers and canals where conditions up to, and including wind force 4 (Beaufort scale) and significant wave heights up to, and including 0.5 meters may be experienced.
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