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Posted By Discussion Topic: Etiquette

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Garyfatbloke
Jun-30-2018 @ 9:55 PM                           Permalink
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Learning The Ropes
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Quick question, and something I'd not really considered previously. We picked up our hire boat (Sapphire Light) this afternoon with the intention of cruising to Stalham, which we did. However, on approaching Ludham Bridge I was faced with a boat coming the other way, I wasn't quite sure what to do and I don't think the skipper of the other boat did either. I carried on and he slowed to a stop, my question is who should have given way? Or did one of us have priority over the other?
(Wanted to edit title for spelling but couldn't)



This message was edited by Garyfatbloke on Jun-30-18 @ 9:59 PM

Helmsman1946
Jun-30-2018 @ 10:02 PM                           Permalink
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No doubt you are looking for a quick answer but I suspect the boat running with the tide (or river flow if non tidal) has presedence as it is easier to stop if the flow is against you.
Someone may be along with the definative answer.

(only admin can change title & spell check has stopped working )

Peter

This message was edited by Helmsman1946  on Jun-30-18 @ 10:04 PM

Steve51
Jun-30-2018 @ 10:04 PM                           Permalink
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If you are running against the tide, you give way. It's easier to hold station with the tide against you, than behind you.

Steve. CM1 and NR12

Steve51
Jun-30-2018 @ 10:05 PM                           Permalink
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Slow fingers.  Smile

Steve. CM1 and NR12

Garyfatbloke
Jun-30-2018 @ 10:08 PM                           Permalink
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Thank you both, I'll bear that in mind for future encounters.

BuffaloBill
Jul-01-2018 @ 7:54 AM                           Permalink
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Also bear in mind that other hirers may not know either
and probably wouldn't give way to you if you're 'running
with the tide'.

The older I get...
The better I was....!!

Cocklegat
Jul-01-2018 @ 10:17 AM                           Permalink
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A good example of a tricky place, Ludham Bridge has some features which make it particularly difficult.  The Bend on the down river side and the increasing tidal flow where the river is restricted.  Good practice is as has been stated, a boat going against the tide clearly has more control. Yet how many hirers approaching that bridge have any idea which way the tide is flowing? From my personal experience, not many!! Upstream the water may be very slow running, and down stream people will have turned into the smaller Ant, feeling that they are now in still waters.  Dropping a sailing boat down there in the Summer is a nightmare and best planned for the quieter part of the day.  As always on the Broads be ready to take action and never assume anybody is going to stick to any rules.

Jeremy-Aslan
Jul-01-2018 @ 9:46 PM                           Permalink
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Yes, Ludham Bridge can be quite tricky.  As someone who goes through it in a yacht from time to time, I am always most cautious, especially as my yacht has about 20 foot of vulnerable mast hanging out behind when it's lowered.

If one boat is a lot closer to the bridge, they would normally go through first, but if you see each other when you are both a similar distance away (as can often be the case at Ludham) then suddenly trying to figure out which way the tide is going might be the last thing on your mind.  There is the instruction to 'Sound Horn', so it might be the first person to Honk  -  if you hear a horn, there will be someone approaching and you may be best advised to slow or wait.  But then, many people only sound their horn as they pass under the bridge (!)

Generally, it would be the boat with more ability to change course, so if you were in a small boat and saw a hulking great thing heading at you, then giving way would be a good plan.  At Ludham Bridge, there is often more room to turn around upstream, but that may also be more crowded.

Substantially, you have asked a very good question, to which there is no easy, universal answer.  

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'We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty' (HHGG)

Torty
Jul-01-2018 @ 10:45 PM                           Permalink
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It is difficult to be specific at Ludham Bridge. Helms may not realise which way the tide is running so the standard that you give way to boats travelling with the tide is difficult to enforce. May I give a plea for consideration to boats that are towing significant craft (not big hire boats with small dighies astern). I regularly come through the bridge, either in a dory with a keelboat alongside or in a moderate cruiser with a dory astern. If you try to stop a dory with a keelboat alongside, the momentum of the keelboat swings you across the river and, even with well rigged springs, it is hard to keep control. If you are towing astern, then, however careful you are, a sudden stop because someone who interprets your slow, cautious approach as an opportunity to dive through will inevitably risk damage to your rear end and throw your tow across the river, risking further damage.

I can't offer a golden rule to solve the problem - only ask for cosideration.

I got an earful from a hire boat helm a couple of weeks ago who was travelling down the Ant, against the tide, when I was coming upstream with the tide in a dory with a YBOD alongside. "You should have given way to me - I am travelling dowstream and have right of way". I didn't bother replying.

I have also come through there in the Wherry Yacht White Moth with a strong side wind where the only option was to keep up the revs and go for it - to do otherwise would have meant total inability to get through the bridge hole.

Phil

Bobdog
Jul-02-2018 @ 8:21 AM                           Permalink
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The underlying principle in right of way issues, whether at Ludham Bridge or elsewhere, is that the more manoeuvrable vessel should normally give way to the less manoeuvrable.  Heading into or with tide is a key factor here, as has been said, and all the pleas and caveats entered here thereafter are based on that same principle.

I’d add one more; I believe it is a courtesy for the more skilled/experienced skipper to give way to the less skilled.  If you are a very competent helm, and you can see that the helm of another vessel is struggling and probably a novice, I believe it’s encumbent on you to use your greater skill to ease the novices passage.

Having said that, my own personal first rule of navigation on the Broads is very simple; never **** with a wherry!  30 tons of oak with momentum will make kindling of just about anything else on the river.

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