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Old 05-07-2011
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small craft advisory

what does that mean exactly? What is considered small?

I know that sailboats can take far more than the crew can and most are over engineered on purpose, and one mans storm is anothers breezy day.

but in general for sailing/boating public at large( you know the weekender herby homeowner etc..what is the target market?

Sailboats under 30 feet, power boats only, dinghies etc.
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Old 05-07-2011
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Here ya go, official definition from NOAA: Glossary - NOAA's National Weather Service
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Old 05-07-2011
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in my experience on southern vancouver island a small craft advisory means, "Sir, its time to go sailing". I would not want to see a child out in an Optimist but my forty footer needs some push. A small power boat or other small playboats would be a little less comfortable. Watch the water on these days, make your own observations but from what I see, go sailing.
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Old 05-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVPrairieRose View Post
in my experience on southern vancouver island a small craft advisory means, "Sir, its time to go sailing". I would not want to see a child out in an Optimist but my forty footer needs some push. A small power boat or other small playboats would be a little less comfortable. Watch the water on these days, make your own observations but from what I see, go sailing.
This is true... Usually a small craft advisory simply means good sailing. Interestingly Environment Canada has stopped using that term, now issuing a 'Strong Wind Warning' in advance of Gale and Storm conditions. I believe the threshold is the same as the old SCA, 20-25 knots or so.

Local geography plays a part too. We lived and sailed for over 20 years in Squamish BC at the end of a Coastal Fiord where 20+ knots was a regular summer daily event. However, with the twists and turns of the fiord big seas were extremely rare and that made for marvelous sailing conditions and a steep learning curve. (Big wind/Flat water.... yay!!)The same kind of winds in an area with extended fetch would quickly build an uncomfortable chop and waves, as can strong currents, which are more difficult to adapt to - especially for beginners.

Different areas also have different thresholds as to what their warnings mean so knowing those will help.
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Old 05-07-2011
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Well ..... When my son was younger in HS. We usually like to pick the days with small craft warning to go out to sail in our 14 ft Capri. We just wanted to have plenty opportunity to turtle our boat. Those days we had one specific objective to learn to survive at the adverse condition in a relatively controlled environment in the Bay. It was fun. We learned a lot about our short coming. We stopped doing it after the coast guard towed us back in the marina. We were not in any danger but they did not want us out there again. LOL.
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Just as an example I went and dug this out... This is a bit of an extreme day with winds topping 35 knots at the end of the sound. It's definitely choppy but considering the breeze it's still incredibly flat.

Apologies to those of you who've seen this already....

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Old 05-07-2011
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Apologies to those of you who've seen this already....
Not necessary to apologize ...although I've seen it before, I could watch that a hundred times...great video.

I would tend to think Environment Canada's reasoning for dropped the "small craft advisory" term would be in response to this very same confusion we're seeing here with the negative effect of keeping certain vessels off the water unnecessarily. I've met people that would use that as an excuse to stay put without really understanding what it's like out there. This type of weather can be ideal for many sailing vessels and quite manageable for other types. A "Strong wind warning" simply seems to imply a person should check the weather and make their own decision...better terminology IMHO.
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Old 05-07-2011
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lol,, broach much? THose poor boats! Hey what's the deal with broaching anyway? Some folks seem to not care about ripping the sails apart,, Others I would imagine might have an entire weekend ruined.. If the sail does not rip apart after the broach is it still salvageable? I would think it would destroy the eyelits (What's the real term i'm looking for here?) for the rope?
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well in the video I suppose these were racing. I was under the impression that spinnakers were meant for light air.

now with he winds that high I think I would be reefed (prob 2 reefs) or maybe jib alone.
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Old 05-07-2011
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Just love this

Quote:
Any vessel that may be adversely affected by Small Craft Advisory criteria should be considered a small craft.
typical gov. speak.

A typical spi for a sub 40 foot yacht would be 1/2oz ripstop nylon with 3/4oz being a heavyweight spi for higher wind conditions.

The sailmaker would suggest something like 15 knots max for the 1/2 and 20 for the 3/4. That would be apparent wind or the wind over the deck.

Those guys that broached would be doing something like 10 knots with the wind in a 30 knot wind so the apparent wind over the deck is 20 knots but if you broach the boat spaeed drops to maybe 2knots in the direction of the wind so apparent wind will jump to 28 or more and the spi blows apart.

Perhaps a more experienced crew might have been able to get the spi over behind the mainsail without broaching and get it down but it did look like the boats were running on the ragged edge and as they say disaster was inevitable. Great video and it remeinds me why I only ever raced OPBs

Sellers of spis love these conditions!

Flying a spi in winds higher than it was designed for stretches it and it will not set as well.

If you read the accounts of some of the early Whitbread round the world races the crew had a sewing machine on board and would repair the spinnakers as they sailed MANY TIMES!
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