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Brian Bissell Newport Beach, CA
Classes: Level 1 , US Sailing , First Aid , CPR [ more ]
I believe a coach's job is to help you reach your goals. The path isn't always clear and the proper steps aren't always obvious. The coach should be there to help guide you through, but in such a way that you end up finding your own answers. [ more ]

 

 
 

BUZZARDS BAY
Marion/New Bedford, Massachusetts

Buzzards Bay is a large oval shaped Bay in Southern Massachusetts that opens out to the SW into the Atlantic Ocean.  It is known for it's
great afternoon Sou'westers and has been compared to San Francisco Bay for strong summer winds.  It's not quite that windy but it's a great venue for the annual Buzzards Bay Regatta (BBR) and other big regattas.
  The enormous BBR is run by eight clubs on the Western shore and is hosted alternately by Beverly YC in Marion and New Bedford YC in Padanaram. The Bay is approximately 28 miles long and 8 miles wide.  It is connected to Cape Cod Bay by the Cape Cod Canal.
 

Wind Conditions: Sail FlowNOAAMA Wind Speed Map

Wind Forecast: NOAA • • WindfinderAviationMeteogramWindcast
Tide Table: WWWTides
 
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WIND

The famous Sou'wester is either a ripping seabreeze or a smoky
pre-frontal wind which kicks up a good chop that's tough on keelboats while dinghies frolic. There can also be be a cool but steady N or NE wind that blows straight down the bay at good strength. The harbors see less wind in their protection but still have enough to get out to the Bay in a hurry. There can be light days in the summer too which can disappoint but, calms do not last long.
- K. Legler,
(x)

CURRENT

The current in Buzzards Bay is moderate in the middle but strong near its portals. One such portal is the entrance to the Cape
Cod Canal at the Northern end. Ever since the canal opened nearly 100 years ago, cruising sailors have made the mistake of riding the
favorable current into the Bay only to be pummeled by the waves where SW wind meets ebbing current. Another portal is the infamous Woods Hole where nuns and cans are practically sucked under by five knots of current.
- K. Legler,
(x)

RACING TIPS

In spring regattas dress for the water temp, not the sunshine. Once that seasbreeze kicks in you'll be well dressed or very cold. Even in summer, and like San Fran Bay, the temperature tends to drop in afternoon, not rise. In NE winds stay away from land for more wind.
- K. Legler,
(x)

SHORE LOGISTICS

The BBR would be even bigger but only so many cars and boats can fit in the small towns near the yacht clubs. Save extra time for launching with so many boats in line; you don't want to be late for the start of these epic regattas. Be nice to the neighbors too. The non-sailors in town don't like the BBR but they put up with it.
There are quite several yacht clubs in Buzzards Bay, and they are as follows:
Beverly Yacht Club; Wild Harbor Yacht Club; New Bedford Yacht Club; Massachusetts Maritime Academy Sailing Club Taylors Point, Buzzards Bay; 830-5000x1504; Community Boating Center Inc. ; Low Tide Yacht Club; and The Buzzards Bay Sailing School , 99 South Road, Pocasset; 508-563-9757 (June thru August).
- K. Legler,
(x)

OTHER

Besides the Western shore clubs that run BBR, there are a number of small clubs on the Cape Cod (east) side of the Bay that have
produced many great sailors. Wild Harbor, for example, earns it name every time another beginner pilots his or her Beetle Cat dead downwind on big waves into the tiny horseshoe shaped harbor.
- K. Legler,
(x)

 
 

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