I am not certain, but I believe 16ft and under is considered a small craft. Usually they are issued when waves are 2-3ft or more, but I have seen small craft advisories when they say waves are 1-2ft, which is not much. I would look at the wind speeds and waves, and know what you and your boat can handle when debating on going out. Good boating
You can always check the Canadian weather buoy (or St. Clair Sputnik) for real waves height reports every hour. I haven't done the on-site conversion from it's reported wave height to 'how big these darn waves sure look to me' yet, but it should give you an idea if you check it and then go out. It's about 6 miles SSE of the Firecracker if I remember right.
East Coast: I quoted what the coast guard told me when i called them to ask. I surfed a bit and couldn't find anything discribing the size refered to small craft. So the Coast Guard told me anything under 50 foot is a small craft. Also there's near shore and off shore difference's. Just tryed to help you on the answer to your question. And like i said common sense is the best decision maker there is. When you hear small craft advisory, i think the best thing is to oil your reels or do maintence, why take a chance, ruff conditions are no fun to fish in anyways.
The weather on the LSCN home page are actually links to the NOAA services. I also have notice the reported wave heights don't always match real observation. My original thought was the measurements were in metric, but on investigating further, NOAA does the conversion before they display the data.
The real issue is in the way the wave height measurement is taken. (1) They only use a 20 minute measurement period in any given hour and (2) there are no wave sensors but sensors that measure the up surge velocity of the buoy itself.........so I have been using the same rule of thumb, add about 1 foot onto the displayed heights.
And those south channels waves can be down right scary with a stiff southerly wind
QUOTE(djkimmel @ Sep 25 2003, 08:30 AM)It's about 6 miles SSE of the Firecracker if I remember right.
5 nautical miles due north of the tip of the Belle River Hump is also another way I have heard it described to find the Sputnik.
Also Marke....the wind will get worse as the year goes on....heck you will see it tomorrow before you read this!