WATCH: Multiple Boats Find Out Why You Should Abide By Small Craft Advisories
Small craft advisories are commonly issued for portions of Lake Superior, warning against waves that are hazardous for small watercraft. While you might consider a 16-foot fishing boat "small" for Lake Superior, even larger fishing vessels found out over the weekend that those advisories are worth paying attention to.
Roger Truscott of North Pier Photography captured a series of videos of boats attempting to handle the waves on Saturday (June 9). It's a strong visual reminder why taking those advisories seriously is a good idea. Even the biggest of these boats looked to be tossed around and surely everyone aboard was getting at least a little sick from being thrown about.
Check out these videos:
The National Weather Service issues small craft advisories for coastal waters (along the great lakes or the oceans) when conditions are not safe for small watercraft. They do explain on the definition page for small craft advisories that the criteria for these advisories varies depending on the geographic location. While often tied to wind and waves, sometimes hazardous sea or lake ice can be a factor in issuing such an advisory. Specifically when issued for Minnesota, here is a key component of the criteria for issuing a small craft advisory: "Sustained winds or frequent gusts (on the Great Lakes) between 22 and 33 knots inclusive, and/or seas or waves greater than 4 feet."
What exactly is a "small craft"? There is no specific definition. Beside the size of your vessel, the National Weather Service does say it largely depends on the skill level of the boat's pilot and their ability to navigate turbulent waters.