Does a boat sail in the water or on the water?


In describing sailing in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay area, which statement is better?


Join us for sailing in the South Bay.

Join us for sailing on the South Bay.

asked Jan 05 '13 at 03:21 Tim Petersen New member

A boat sails on the water.

sanjayJan 05 '13 at 03:19

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Join us for sailing in the South Bay.  

link comment answered Jan 05 '13 at 03:35 sarasbabu New member

I disgaree. I do not think "IN" the bay is correct. Hopefully your boat will remain on the surface of the water the entire time, only sailing "ON" the bay.


Submarines would be IN the bay. Swimmers would be IN the bay. Boats are usually ON the bay.

link answered Jan 05 '13 at 18:32 Tony Proano Expert

But Tim says the South Bay is part of the San Francisco Bay. If you wanted to make clear what part of the bay you will be sailing on, "in" will indicate the confines of the journey, right?

Patty TJan 05 '13 at 20:15

Part of Tim's problem is the use of a mixed geographic term. South Bay is not the name of a body of water (at least not formally), but is the name of a greater subregion of the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose metropolitan area. South Bay = Silicon Valley = Santa Clara County + southern San Mateo and Alameda Counties. It is similar to the East Bay, the Peninsula, and the North Bay. Sailing in the South Bay could mean sailing on the southern portion of San Francisco Bay, or it could mean sailing on one of the South Bay's freshwater reserviors.

Jeff PribylJan 06 '13 at 16:24

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