Small Craft Advisory to Small Craft Warning?

The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) is proposing renaming “Small Craft Advisory” to “Small Craft Warning” in a larger effort to eliminate the term “Advisory”. The criteria for the Small Craft Warning will be the same as the old Small Craft Advisory, so this will just be a name change. NWS is seeking feedback on this proposal through the following survey:](

So change it already. Somebody at the NWS must be awfully bored.

We are proposing the change as part of a larger effort of eliminating the term “advisory”. We are just surveying now. If approved it will not happen for probably a couple years as that is how long it will take to integrate into NWS systems. Right now just seeking input on the idea.


I took the survey and agree with the change.
My 2 cents: Warning carries more weight than advisory. It may resonate more with many recreational boaters who don’t have the skill to deal with anything more than benign conditions. Those with more experience will consider the warnings as they do the advisories and react accordingly.

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Thanks for your input!

I disagreed for the very reason you agreed. A warning does carry more weight, but I think that is absolutely unnecessary for a small craft advisory. Even most small crafts have no issues in those winds if slightly experienced. In fact, those are the breezes that make sailing fun. So the “warning” would only apply to novices. But at the same time, I think that would water down the meaning of a warning for everyone else.

We have opinions based on our experiences. A couple of years ago, a neighbor who claimed to be a competent sailor asked me to go out with him on his Catalina 27. I don’t like small sailboats but against my better nature, I agreed. There was no small craft advisory but while we were out, the wind piped up from 10-15 to 20 - 25 kts.
With a jib and a full main the boat was over powered, we were heeled way over and shipping water over the rail while he tried to keep it from rounding up. He got brain freeze and I could see the fear in his eyes. I instructed him on what to do so I could douse the jib and reef the main. We had a pleasant ride back to the harbor but there’s no telling what would have happened had he been out on his own. The only way I’ll ever go sailing on a 27’ foot sailboat again will be at gunpoint.

I was completely disgusted when you changed it away from Small Craft Warning. Nobody was having a problem with it, and we all knew what the flags meant too. It was just someone feeling his oats and being bureaucratic. Just like when they renamed the War Department.

I’ve spent several percent of my life on a 32 footer which of course is half again the size of a 27 footer. And a decent fraction of that was with the small jib and various sizes of (roller) reef in the main. Actually on a Vanguard you reef the main before you take down the genny.

And did he never hear of sailing with a bubble in the main to move the center of effort forward?

Not this guy. I think he only got a boat to impress “chicks”. There was no fairlead to route the jib sheet between the clew and the cockpit winch so the sheet was pulling up on the winch at an upward angle. I’d been keeping an eye on it as the upward force was flexing the fiberglass up under the winch.
When we got back to the dock I told him he needed a fairlead and backing plates under the winch drum to make sure it didn’t tear out of the deck.
A couple of weeks later he proudly walked over to my house to show me the backing plates he’d had someone fabricate for him from a slab of pure aluminum. They were barely big enough to cover the bolt holes and 3/4 of an inch thick.

Any other questions?

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Sheesh. I guess not.

With a Catalina 27? What kind of chicks was he after?

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TOP chicks. (apologies to Indiana Jones)

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