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Beaufort Scale

Suggestion - check the small print on your insurance policy regarding the maximum wind force  you are  allowed to use your boat in .

Force Wind
Appearance of Wind Effects
On the Water On Land
0 Less than 1 Calm Sea surface smooth and mirror-like Calm, smoke rises vertically
1 1-3 Light Air Scaly ripples, no foam crests Smoke drift indicates wind direction, still wind vanes
2 4-6 Light Breeze Small wavelets, crests glassy, no breaking Wind felt on face, leaves rustle, vanes begin to move
3 7-10 Gentle Breeze Large wavelets, crests begin to break, scattered whitecaps Leaves and small twigs constantly moving, light flags extended
4 11-16 Moderate Breeze Small waves 1-4 ft. becoming longer, numerous whitecaps Dust, leaves, and loose paper lifted, small tree branches move
5 17-21 Fresh Breeze Moderate waves 4-8 ft taking longer form, many whitecaps, some spray Small trees in leaf begin to sway
6 22-27 Strong Breeze Larger waves 8-13 ft, whitecaps common, more spray Larger tree branches moving, whistling in wires
7 28-33 Near Gale Sea heaps up, waves 13-20 ft, white foam streaks off breakers Whole trees moving, resistance felt walking against wind
8 34-40 Gale Moderately high (13-20 ft) waves of greater length, edges of crests begin to break into spindrift, foam blown in streaks Whole trees in motion, resistance felt walking against wind
9 41-47 Strong Gale High waves (20 ft), sea begins to roll, dense streaks of foam, spray may reduce visibility Slight structural damage occurs, slate blows off roofs
10 48-55 Storm Very high waves (20-30 ft) with overhanging crests, sea white with densely blown foam, heavy rolling, lowered visibility Seldom experienced on land, trees broken or uprooted, "considerable structural damage"
11 56-63 Violent Storm Exceptionally high (30-45 ft) waves, foam patches cover sea, visibility more reduced  
12 64+ Hurricane Air filled with foam, waves over 45 ft, sea completely white with driving spray, visibility greatly reduced  

Just another description

Land Observations Sea Observations
0 <1 Calm Calm, smoke rises vertically Water calm, mirrorlike (.25 ft. waves)
1 1-3 Light air Wind direction shown by smoke but not by windvanes Ripples with the appearance of scales (.5 to 1 ft. waves)
2 4-6 Light breeze Leaves rustle; wind felt on face; windvanes moved by wind Small wavelets on water; crests have a glassy appearance and do not break.
2-3 ft.
3 7-10 Gentle breeze Leaves and twigs in constant motion; wind extends light flag Large wavelets; crests begin to break; maybe scattered whitecaps. 3.5 to 5 ft.
4 11-16 Moderate breeze Wind raises dust and loose paper; small branches move Moderate waves; fairly frequent whitecaps 6 to 8 ft.
5 17-21 Fresh breeze Small leafed trees begin to sway Moderate, longer waves; many whitecaps; chance of spray. 9.5 to 13 ft.
6 22-27 Strong breeze Large branches in motion; phone lines whistle Large waves form; white foam crests everywhere; probable spray. 13.5 to 19 ft.
7 28-33 Moderate gale Whole trees in motion; difficult to walk against wind Sea heaps up; white foam starts to blow in streaks.  18 to 25 ft.
8 34-40 Fresh gale Wind breaks twigs off trees; walking impeded Moderately high waves with crests beginning to break into foam that's blown in white streaks.  23 to 32 ft.
9 41-47 Strong gale Slight damage to buildings occurs; shingles torn off roofs High waves; rolling seas; dense streaks of foam; wave crests begin to topple, tumble and fall over.  29-41 ft.
10 48-55 Whole gale Trees uprooted; considerable structural damage to buildings High waves with overhanging crests; sea is white.  64-72 ft.
11-17 56+ Storm, Hurricane Widespread damage Huge waves; air filled with spray; little visibility
73 ft. +

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