How far out is classed as the ocean?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by djwkd, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    In Spain we consider "Oceanic" recreational boats the ones matching design category A, being allowed to sail further out than 60 miles from the coast. Up to 60 miles ("open waters") for category B ones. Category C boats are allowed to sail within 12 miles from the coast and category D boats are only permitted to sail in protected waters, such as harbours, protected bays, rivers, etc. Those areas are further divided into 7 zones, depending on safety equipment carried. Colloquially I'd say 'going into the ocean' when sailing out of the 12 miles.
    Cheers.
     
  2. ALowell
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    ALowell Junior Member

    What is the smallest category B boat you've ever seen?
     
  3. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    I don't remember the link now, but it is an italian rib, only 5 m and so in length. It's said to be category B by the manufacturer. Quite surprising.
    Cheers.
     
  4. Vega
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    Vega Senior Member

    :p :p :p

    Other way of looking at it, it’s from the legal competence of the sailor. I know that in some countries it is not needed a license to sail a boat, but in the EC, with the exception of Great- Britain, all the other countries (I think) demand that sailors have licenses that differ in the attributed competences. Here there are 6 different licenses, being the last one an unrestricted one, the only one that permits you to cross oceans. The last one before that is the one that gives you unrestricted competence in the size of the boat, but that doesn’t allow you to go more than 25 miles off the coast. So it seems that is what it is considered coastal around here. That is also the limit of a VHS radio, so it seems to have some logic.
     
  5. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    Good one, Poida! LOL:D
     
  6. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    Check your forum title/description. I'm surprised the Ozzies haven't commented yet.
     
  7. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Why do you ask? Are you confused? I always use the old duck rule. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, it's a duck! If you stand on the shore and it looks like an ocean it probably is.
     
  8. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    You don't get ducks in the ocean:confused:
     
  9. PI Design
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    PI Design Senior Member

    We'd never guessed!

    I thought there were 5 oceans - Indian, Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic and Antarctic? But I don't know where, say, the Atlantic ends and the Caribbean Sea begins. When it begins to get warm, I guess. Or is it something to do with currents and tidal flows?

    I reckon you are 'offshore' (as oppose to coastal) if you can't get back to land before bedtime. But then I guess that depends on the time of day and how old you are.:)

    Seems the Iranians don't know where their waters end.
     
  10. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Ducks dont swim in sea water,--do they?
     
  11. PI Design
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    PI Design Senior Member

    So - if you can't see a duck, you're in the ocean???
     
  12. DanishBagger
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    DanishBagger Never Again

    Not so here in Denmark. No license unless you have a fast going motor boat* then you need to. Otherwise you can do whatever you want. Fortunately. I believe it is so in the other scandinavian countries too (i.e. you can go as far as you want.

    At one point I contacted a french boat's manufacturer and asked if I could buy the hull (i.e. the shell) instead of a nearly fitted boat. "No," they said, because by law they needed to know that the watertight chambers were indeed watertight, and if I did it myself they were liable, and the boat wouldn't be able to carry the category it had. I guess they weren't talking about EU-rules, but french rules. Too bad. it would be perfectly legal for them to do so, and I would be one nice hull richer.


    *the rules and legal requirements are for wha we call the "speed boat driver's licence", and you need it if your boat:
    – is planing
    – LOA is more than 4 mtrs.
    – The engine is bigger (in kw) than the length squared plus 3. The example given is a boat with a loa 4,8 mtr which results in a boat with a max of 26,06kW or 35,41HP before you need to get the card.
    – you need to be at least 16 in order to get the certificate, which has certainly stopped some of the idiots making big waves, playing loud music and being all round obnoxious.
     
  13. DanishBagger
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    DanishBagger Never Again

    I don't know if I would call it swimming but I have seen them bob up and down while sea gulls around them were acting like the annoying bigger brother with ADHD on speed.
     
  14. rayk
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    rayk Senior Member

    Iran has rules about where the ocean starts. No point asking Brits about it.
     

  15. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    Okay here goes:

    Traditionally there were 4 winds, 5 oceans and 7 seas. The oceans were the North Atlantic, South Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern Ocean.

    The Arctic waters were originally thought not to be that extensive, so they were just assigned to bordering seas such as the Norwegian Sea and the White Sea, etc. However after it was proved that the sea extended all the way under the ice, the idea of an Arctic Ocean was proposed, which would then make six, unless the Atlantic get rolled into one so we can stay with the traditional notion of 5. Is the Vellux 5 Oceans so called because it crosses all 5 oceans, but not the Arctic Sea, or because it crosses 5 of the 6 oceans? I think RKJ is probably a traditional 5 oceans plus the Arctic sea man.

    The only precise definition is from geologists. They consider an ocean to be any water that covers the oceanic crust. Therefore the ocean starts at a point above where the continental shelf tumbles down and become the abyssal plane. A single ocean covers the full extent of this crust, so there are only 3 oceans in the world: The World Ocean, The Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Although the Black Sea is connected to the Med via the Bosporus this is a canal through the continental crust, whereas the Med is part of the World Ocean because the oceanic crust is continuous through the Straights of Gibraltar.

    Legally things varies with the context. There are various territorial limits to 'waters' around the coast including for fishing and mineral rights, but none of them (AFAIK) refer to 'oceans'. The various Merchant Shipping Acts also don't mention oceans, being more concerned traditionally with the High Seas, Home Waters and Placid & Smooth Waters, although they now have had all the romance taken out of them and are divided into Sea, and Cat A, B, C and D Waters. The Pollution laws merely divide everything into two, with tidal waters being the 'Sea' and everything else 'Inland Waters'.

    If you want to voluntarily become qualified with the RYA, you are a Day Skipper along the coast, then an Offshore Yachtmaster when making longer multi day passages, and finally an Ocean endorsement is only achievable once you have completed a passage of more than 500 miles in a straight line clear of land.

    The ISAF with its Offshore Special Regulations has CAT 0 for 'Trans-Oceanic' races, but this doesn't include the OSTAR with its 3000 or so miles of up wind North Atlantic slog. This, it considers only CAT 1, ie being 'long distance and well offshore'.

    As had been said the EU with its RCD assessment for new boats considers the ocean to be any waters subject to force 8 winds and 13 foot waves.

    But for the information of the OP, if you have built a craft for your own use, and don't plan to sell it within the next 5 years, and aren't going to enter into charter or trade, there are absolutely no regulations what so ever to control what you need, or can do with it irrespective of whether its the 'ocean'.

    But if you decide not to go to sea, and would rather go inland, then the British sense of perverse logic kicks in. If you want to take the said vessel into a canal or on some of the rivers, where the water is so shallow and the bank so close that you can walk away from any trouble and you are limited to 4mph maximum, then your vessel must be built to certain standards, inspected every few years for compliance and registered with the authorities. But on salt water; you can go where you like, do what you like, in whatever you like at any time of the year.
     
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