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Old 20-01-2010, 07:20   #1
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Definition of Coastal Crusing Sailboat?

Will someone please define for me what a coastal crusing boat is? Is it a boat that stays in sight of land or say 50nm out or 200nm? Or is it something altogether different, such as capacity of storage and tankage? Or is it the design of the boat itself? Or does it really mean anything at all? Confused...........
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Old 20-01-2010, 08:42   #2
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I interpret coastal cruising as an activity that only loosely defines the vessel. We are coastal cruisers seasonally traveling from Maine to the Bahamas. Our typical cruising day takes us about 50 miles and we're often anchored in the early afternoon. We only select the best weather and if we take an offshore passage, we don't commit to more than a couple of days. This style of cruising has led people to identify boats as capable for "coastal cruising", but maybe not fit for harsh offshore weather and sea conditions. There are many considerations here; for example, allthough my vessel is strong and sound, she has a shallow draft and is less comfortable in higher waves with a short relative period. One frequently cited criterium for an offshore sailboat is a significant draft, but there is no formula for this classification. Most of the boats that are used for coastal cruising are likely to survive offshore better than their crew. I think the classification is more of a choice of the captain. I doubt if many would suggest that it's related to the size of the boat or it's storage capacity, but it's the structural integrity & sea comfort of the boat. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 20-01-2010, 08:52   #3
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KarlHead,
We are coastal cruisers who sail from the Chesapeake up to New England or down to the islands. I guess in the Caribbean you might call it island hopping instead of coastal cruising. Once we leave the bay we generally stay out of sight of land until we get to our destination as I want lots of room to maneuver if bad weather hits.
Also have sailed to Bermuda but I'm not sure whether this is coastal cruising.
If pressed for a definition, I would say coastal cruising is sailing up and down the coast though not necessarily in sight of land. As opposed to bluewater cruising in which you cross oceans.
The coastal cruising sailboat is just any boat that can do coastal cruising. I realize this covers a multitude of sins, but I don't think you can definite it better than that.
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Old 20-01-2010, 09:49   #4
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As said above, there is no set definition and I think the two above are perfectly valid. To me, it means staying close enough to a safe harbor that you have time to reach it before bad weather. This does depend on how good the weather forecasting is but around here, it is somewhere around 3-4 days reliably. For example, I would include a trip from Boston to Halifax as coastal cruising because you should always have the ability to get into a safe harbor if a bad storm is forecast. However, I would consider a trip to Bermuda to be an offshore passage since you will be far enough away from a safe harbor. That is just my take on it.
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Old 20-01-2010, 10:35   #5
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A passage from anywhere to Bermuda is not coastal cruising. However, it is possible to sail from New England all the way to South America and never be a sea for more than 24 hrs. between anchorages. As long as you include island hopping, CaptForce pretty much nailed it. There are as many oppinions about what boats are suitable for crossing oceans vs. coastal sailing as there are different makes and modlels.

A coastal cruising sailboat is either:

1. A sailboat used for coastal cruising; or

2. A cruising sailboat that doesn't meet someone's definition of a bombproof bluewater boat.
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Old 20-01-2010, 15:35   #6
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My defintion of a coastal cruiser is a boat that does not give you the option of heading off shore in order to ride out weather. It requires that you head in to find shelter. Better hope you beat the weather. Not much is more dangerous than running an inlet in a blow, especially at night in an unfamiliar area. Better to be able to heave to on the offshore tack and go below.
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Old 20-01-2010, 17:28   #7
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A coastal cruising boat is the one that allows for coastal cruising. To my understanding 200 Nm offshore is not coastal cruising. I would mix my own definition with the law a bit and say if you are in range of your coastguards VHF range you are coastal.

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Old 28-01-2010, 09:56   #8
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A boat that can get you there and back-the choices are almost infinate. Any definition of open ocean boat will also fit into coastal use provided it fits under bridges etc.
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Old 28-01-2010, 10:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
A coastal cruising boat is the one that allows for coastal cruising. To my understanding 200 Nm offshore is not coastal cruising. I would mix my own definition with the law a bit and say if you are in range of your coastguards VHF range you are coastal.

b.
Friends of ours were doing the single handed transpac out of San Francisco... about 1500 miles out, they had an early morning chat with another boat in the race... Coast Guard San Francisco came on the radio and asked them to take the conversation off of Channel 16 as it was a hailing channel.. must be using a repeater, but you know the VHF is always in range......
as for coastal cruising.. we've run the west coast between Mexico and Alaska for the past few years.. stopping in at almost every port.. think we've been coastal cruising...
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Old 28-01-2010, 11:07   #10
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For me it has to do with provisioning more than anything else...small water tank">fresh water tank age with no water maker....no problem...in and out of the marina.
I have trouble defining one as being some how less seaworthy than a blue water cruiser....you can get into just as much crap a mile off shore as in the middle of the ocean...and given the wrong conditions, that mile might as well be 1000.
IMHO, unless its a really fast boat...it needs to be every bit as capable as a blue water boat.
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Old 28-01-2010, 11:29   #11
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Thoughts of lee shores really scare me so I tend to keep well offshore while doing my coastal cruising. Going to New England I bring the boat down to Norfolk for final provisioning and then head from the mouth of the Bay to Block Island and then on to Cape Cod or wherever. I would never want to be forced to try to run the inlets on the Jersey shore in any kind of bad weather. Same thing with heading south, I go well offshore to avoid Hatteras and its friends -- IMHO one of the most dangerous areas on earth. But I still consider it coastal cruising as I'm not crossing any oceans.
When faced with bad weather my preference is to give myself lots of sea toom so I can run or heave to without worrying about land. I have confidence in Enchanmtress' capability in bad weather. I'm not near as confident in my ability to make it into an unfamiliar port in bad weather.
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Old 28-01-2010, 12:22   #12
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Surprised USCG San Francisco thinks they have jurdistiction 1500 miles out into the Pacific. They would go nuts on 16 here, only 600 mi. from Florida. People speaking in Spanish on 16, Creole, all the time. Complete conversations..
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Old 29-01-2010, 05:19   #13
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One of the things to me is the fuel capacity. In my mind a 40' boat than only has 30gal fuel tank is a coastal design, unless the boat is a stripped down racer.
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Old 29-01-2010, 07:50   #14
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In my newbie attempt to define a "coastal" cruiser, consider that on Page 2 of Bowditch, "Coastal" is defined as:

Navigating within 50 miles of the coast or inshore of the 200 meter depth contour.

This often (but not always) means easier access to sheltered waters, fuel, repair parts, food and water. This would seem to indicate that a coastal cruiser could have less tankage than a open ocean cruiser, and perhaps be a little smaller.

James is correct when he says that if you get caught with your pants down, 1 mile may as well be 1000 nm from shore, so stability is still a big issue. A solid boat with a sealable cabin, and plenty of ballast is still important. For instance, while browsing through sailboatdata.com, I've noted several boats that are very similar to mine in dimensions, but have a lot more ballast in their keel which would seem to make them better suited to coastal cruising.
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:42   #15
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Here in France inshore boats are termed as a yacht or motor boat that doesnt go further than 6 miles from a safe port. An offshore yacht is one that meets the bureau veritas regulations for going further than 6 miles off shore or ocean passages.
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