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Old 10-05-2007, 16:04   #1
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newbie question

greetings from a soon to be converted deep sea fishing addict to wind chaser.

you must please forgive this newbee for the question which I am going to ask.

how would yall define water sailing">blue water sailing?

because in the fishing world it is defined strictly the color. which depending on where you are could be 50' offshore or 15 miles offshore.

so I am reading through these posts and seeing "blue water" I just wonder what it means.

if I were to sail from savannah down to the bahamas and on the the virgin islands would that be considered blue water/ or cruising?

many thanks in advance. and please don't flame me.
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Old 10-05-2007, 16:16   #2
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There may be different definitions, but the course you recommend could almost be called "Island Hopping."

When I think of "blue water" sailing, I generally am talking about major passages, like from the Azores to the Caribbean, or Califonria to Hawaii.

These sorts of passages get you a long way from shore for long periods of time. No weather forecast can predict what you're likely to encounter. You and your vessel are alone on the sea and may be severely tested.

George
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Old 10-05-2007, 17:43   #3
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I agree with George. There probably is no real definition - or worse, it's probably easy to start an argument about definitions. But, for sailboats the term 'bluewater sailing' implies multi-day passages. Perhaps, routinely sailing more than 24 hrs. from land or safe harbor would do for a working definition. You can coastal sail/island hop from Savanah through the Bahamas down the thorny path and on to the Virgins and even South America without ever being more than 24 hrs. at sea. This is challenging enough for me, but people who cross oceans probably do not consider it bluewater sailing.
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Old 10-05-2007, 18:29   #4
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you must please forgive this newbee for the question which I am going to ask.

how would yall define blue water sailing?
I think anything in the big waters of the world counts. The idea is you may be in circustances that preclude your arriving at land in a short period of time. Depending on how serious the conditions are (in your opinion) and how you feel about the whole idea (if you really are scared) that might allow for a degree or so of lattitude. You might get lucky but it would still count.

If you want to extend that to "blue water boats" that can meet that criteria now you have added a whole lot more lattitude. Persoanlly, I feel any boat you are "out there" in is a blue water boat. There may or may not be any blue water sailors aboard however. Any sailor that you might call "blue water" would know if the boat was "blue water" without having to ask them. Even at that they may not be correct. The term "blue water" does not assure "performance results".

Conditions can always be worse than you are preapred for and / or the boat capable. Improving the odds is never a bad idea. Being lucky beats being good most all the time.
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Old 10-05-2007, 19:38   #5
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I define bluewater as being in the open ocean with at least 24 hours between you and the NEAREST land...not your next landfall. So going down the thorny path would not qualify as blue water but going offshore directly from Savannah to the Virgin Islands would.
The concept of a blue-water boat includes the notion that it must be constructed to stand up to days and weeks of 24x7 pounding and be stable in ocean storm conditions....a single blue water ocean crossing may be the equivilent of years of coastal cruising in terms of wear and tear. Tankage and safety issues need to be addressed differently on a blue water boat as well.
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Old 10-05-2007, 21:26   #6
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Just to catch you up on all the terms.......

There is "Inland Cruising" (waters), which consist of lakes, rivers and bays.

Then there is "Coastal Cruising" (waters), which are Sounds, Straits, up to 24 hours from land (sailing speed), following the coast to other destinations and island hopping.

And "Off Shore" (blue waters), crossing oceans/seas, venturing out more then 24 hours fairly perpendicular to land and as in the last posts......................_/)
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Old 10-05-2007, 21:54   #7
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Savannah down to the bahamas. If the route is via the ICW to Miami and then hop across. This is coastal.

The Virgin Islands and more south may be a bit more harder but you could still waite out the weather and cross in "Fair" weather.

I do believe that the term "Blue Water" has been pushed over the limit several times to many.
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Old 10-05-2007, 22:23   #8
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FWIW - The >24 hours from nearest landfall makes sense to me as does the coastal and ICW cruising. I reckon you can put island hopping in the coastal category as well.

If you wanted to make a further distinction how about an "Ocean Crossing" or "Ocean Passage" as a single voyage that exceeds the 5 day forecast?
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif
If you wanted to make a further distinction how about an "Ocean Crossing" or "Ocean Passage" as a single voyage that exceeds the 5 day forecast?
So crossing the atlantic is not an ocean passage? Maxi catamaran "Orange 2" crossed in 4 days, 8 hours, 23 minutes and 54 seconds.

I think an "Ocean crossing" is easy enough to define : its when you cross an ocean - Atlantic, Pacific, Southern or Indian.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:13   #10
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We seem to be getting caught up in semantics (one of my personal character flaws).
There are a number of similar, yet subtly different terms, including the original query:
For instance:
Blue Water ~ could be (geographically) defined as deep oceanic water, off the continental shelf.
Semi-Protected/Coastal ~
Offshore ~
Passage/Voyage ~
Trans-Oceanic ~
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:21   #11
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thanks for the info. appreciate it.
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Old 15-05-2007, 17:31   #12
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Coast Guard Definition

One of the great debates amongst sailors. I just read a definition today from the Coast Guard that I will start using:

Coastal: 1-24 miles offshore.

Offshore: 25-199 miles offshore.

High Seas: 200+ miles offshore.

I can see some justification to this. At about 24 miles or so, you lose VHF (at least, in theory, huh?). At 200 miles, you are a solid 24 hours from land in a typical sailboat. Of course, this all depends on boat type, etc... I am not trying to start up a debate on NM/day... just generalizing.

Thoughts?? I like their definitions. So, what would blue water be? Hmm, maybe somewhere between offshore and high seas?

- CD
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Old 15-05-2007, 19:17   #13
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So, what would blue water be?
On a nice day it's where ever you are. There is nothing magic about how far you are away from land. Close can be as dangerous as far away. The other standard definition could be considered the limits of your insurance policy. I'm good to 90 miles. If you have insurance nothing is dangerous or maybe not.
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Old 29-05-2007, 14:05   #14
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hmm..

Thats not a bad question, Blue water sailing, I sometimes feel like I am blue water sailing, from Culebra Island to St. Thomas , the water can get bigggggggg, but I agree with everybody, I think it also depends on experience.

Power boater to Sailor, join the club and enjoy

Danny
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Old 29-05-2007, 17:12   #15
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Any sail far enough off shore that the skipper can no longer pick his weather.
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