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Old 26-11-2010, 11:43   #1
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BlueWater vs Coastal

From time to time we hear the two terms, bluewater and coastal, and being from Northern California, and Racing San Francisco Bay,
The two term have often bothered me, as I've always found Calmer and safer waters a two or three hundred miles offshore..
So the terms seem to be opposed to what actually is.. Coastal waters or water within 30 to 40 miles are much worse than open ocean..
And then again, withing the 15 mile mark, they get even worse, and at 5 miles, its like a washing machine..
All I can speek of is the water between Alaska and Mexico..
Any coments?
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Old 26-11-2010, 11:46   #2
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Yes...although the common thought (including mine) is offshore must be super strong and coasties less so, I think coastal waters are much much more dangerous. So, how do we reconcile these misconceptions in boat designs?
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Old 26-11-2010, 11:47   #3
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Any comments....???
Yes.... thats why I crack up laughing every time this enquiry/arguement starts....
As Ladies 'alledgedly' say... "It aint wot you got.. its how you use it.."
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Old 26-11-2010, 11:59   #4
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That's quite a graphical reference there boatman...one that I cannot quite get out of my head for the rest of the day

I suppose the argument though is difficult given all the variables. For me, I think its just down to affordability of owning and outfitting a boat...just about any boat! Im not sure California is the place for one either.
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Old 26-11-2010, 12:13   #5
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Well, as the rest of the US knows, California is a little different.

Around the east and gulf it is usually a bit rougher offshore. However, at least in my opinion the main difference between coastal and bluewater is the fact that you are a lot further away from a port and need to be more self sufficient and able to take whatever the ocean throws at you.
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Old 26-11-2010, 12:29   #6
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The terms are relative rather than absolute. You need to think outside your local area. There are a lot of rough stretches of water in the world and a blue water implies an ability to cope with these conditions.
A blue water boat should be independent, as rescue services may not be able, to reach the vessel..
Weather forecasting means costal sailors should rarely be caught out in bad conditions, but the longer passages undertaken by a blue water boat are too great for reliable forecasts.
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Old 26-11-2010, 12:32   #7
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Skipper Mac, being from the east coast I think that west coast coastal is much more tricky and dangerous...gulf stream aside. I assume you mean in the bowling alley of the waaay offshore north atlantic?

Well bother...maybe we are talking tankage and enough displacement to carry 3 months of supplies? So, displacement - ballast = room for snacks?
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Old 26-11-2010, 12:38   #8
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Never sailed west coast but from all information I can garner, from frequent observation of the size of the waves breaking on the beaches and the winds I have seen I say without a doubt coastal cruising in CA is way more demanding than east or gulf coasts.

Add the long distances between ports in most of CA and you've got coastal cruising that can be very demanding.
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Old 26-11-2010, 12:39   #9
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Ahhh... there you have me guys... I'm from Europe where we only have the Irish sea/English Channel/Biscay and Atlantic coasts of Spain and Portugal to deal with......
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Old 26-11-2010, 12:41   #10
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Thats why every english sailor born gets a free government sponsored bicycle helmet.
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Old 26-11-2010, 12:47   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Thats why every english sailor born gets a free government sponsored bicycle helmet.
Thats so we can 'HeadButt' the Merchant Shipping when it gets in the way....
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Old 28-11-2010, 16:53   #12
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I think potentially, bluewater can get way lumpier than coastal. However, that does not mean coastal is always smooth or safe. The bay near where I live is protected by the barrier reef way out and is shallow. Smooth? Sometimes but often the wind whips up short steep confused waves which are aweful. I have been off the coast down south in two metre waves in my kayak and felt safer than off the coast near home with one metre washing-machine stuff.
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Old 28-11-2010, 17:42   #13
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I'm my experience Coastal is rougher scarier and more demanding then bluewater. I hate the term
Bluewater anyway it's a complete misnomer

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Old 28-11-2010, 17:50   #14
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Certainly coastal sailing can be rough & demanding. But do you really need a parachute sea-anchor when coastal cruising? A watermaker? Spare alternators? A 12' RIB with 25hp outboard? A backup dinghy? 10 spare oil & fuel filters? Pactor modem? Sewing machine? Multiple SSB antennas? Woodworking tools on a fiberglass boat? Satellite EPIRB?

Yes, it's a bit about weather, because our forecasts out here are poor to nil so we have to take what comes at us. Coastal racers often go out in appalling conditions, but coastal cruisers can usually duck into a safe haven, & the good ones will already be there when it hits the fan.

I think it's more about being self-reliant because most of the time we have no rescue services at all, & we're often a LONG way from support services. For instance, I'm now down to my last 5 GPSs: 2 built in & networked, the AIS, a hockey-puck backup, & a handheld for the ditch-bag.
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Old 28-11-2010, 18:06   #15
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Quote:
Certainly coastal sailing can be rough & demanding. But do you really need a parachute sea-anchor when coastal cruising? A watermaker? Spare alternators? A 12' RIB with 25hp outboard? A backup dinghy? 10 spare oil & fuel filters? Pactor modem? Sewing machine? Multiple SSB antennas? Woodworking tools on a fiberglass boat? Satellite EPIRB?
Yeah well so called bluewater doesn't need much of that stuff either.

Dave
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