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Playing chicken


Tony1
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Move off the centre line by 4ft no more, less if you feel able.

Do it less than a boats length from the other boat.

Dont reduce speed

 

Or am I pushung the limits?

 

Many moons ago i was steering a friends 70ft boat came to a bridge hole on the Regents, boat coming the other way, asked the owner if I should yeild, he advised against, passed the other boat in the bridge hole both she andI kept our nerves and neither of us touched each other or the bridge!

 

That's pretty much the approach I adopt although as mentioned above many oncoming boats insist on hugging the canal bank a considerable distance before passing point, stirring up the mud in the process.

 

Drawing over 27 inches I rarely have the option to move over too much from centre anyway although usable canal width and/or oncoming boat often force me further over than I would like. In such cases lowering power a little reduces the stern dig in, removing or reducing likelihood of any temporary grounding.

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That assumes a bit too much trust and faith for my liking.

Just like driving a car: do not assume the other driver knows what they're doing, always expect the unexpected, and hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

 

I think that is a really key point - you have to make a judgement about the other boat and the experience/competence of the person at the tiller. If you've watched it zig-zagging towards you, you'll probably want to give a bit more than 3" clearance!

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Some really good points have been made here. MARQUIS is is 36" at standstill and a few more on the move. So sorry to anyone who thought she didn't look that deep and thought that I was being inconsiderate. But there is another issue. Why nowadays do boaters seldom take off any way when passing oncoming boats? So often I'm sent up the bank by another boat simply pulling the water from under me. 25 tons well aground takes some shifting single handed!

 

James

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I believe the old working boatmen used to aim to pass within 3 inches of each other. It was a matter of pride to pass a close as possible without touching. They would also hold the centre of the canal until they were about a boat's length apart.

 

 

 

Matter of pride to pass as close as possible? Don't be silly! It is/was purely to stay in the deep water. I suppose pride would come into it in some ways as you wouldn't want to move over too far and be seen getting stemmed up!

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My greatest bug bear re. Oncoming boats is the inexperiencend/timid boater, who applies reverse, to stop/get out of the way. Inevitably, they end up accross the cut, making themselfs a serious blockage.

 

Having said that, don't judge a book by it's cover. Yezterday I was waiting to go through a swingbridge, when a hire boat approached, not speeding, but fast. Past me, towards the closed bridge.... I could not help, but think they had not spotted the bridge?, otherwise, why would they not have slowed down to moor up, to put somebody on the bank, to open the bridge?

Turned out, these guys knew what they were doing. They approached the bridge, slowed just before it, one got of the bow, next to the bridge, opened it, and we all went through. Full marks..

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You only really need to move apart as far as not to touch.

 

In reality it depends on the circumstances. 2 boats who know what they're doing will stay heading towards each other until nearly the last minute when the water pushed in front of the boats helps to push the bows apart, and then cut in behind each other when they've passed with no need for anyone to head into any bushes or run aground.

 

This is correct, and if I could have every boater learn one thing, this would be it.

Why people voluntarily put themselves in the trees/on the mud in order to give an oncoming boat six feet when they only need six inches is beyond me.

 

When I come towards you in Chertsey, it will look as if I am actually steering towards you. This is so I can swing the front out when I get near enough to you, making a gap for you to move into. Once you are halfway (or so) along me I will swing the back out and the front in behind you, and thus we pass.

 

If you do likewise, you will get a big smile.

Edited by Chertsey
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When I come towards you in Chertsey, it will look as if I am actually steering towards you. This is so I can swing the front out when I get near enough to you, making a gap for you to move into. Once you are halfway (or so) along me I will swing the back out and the front in behind you, and thus we pass.

 

If you do likewise, you will get a big smile.

 

 

This is also a way of passing boats in different directions when the channel is restricted by moored boats and the gap (between moored boats) is less than a boats length but more more than approx half a boats length .Assuming the moored boats are on your side, adjust speed so that both boats bows would reach the gap at about the same time. Just before the gap, swing the bow round in towards the gap. The other boat when being presented with a view of your broadsid will swing his bow away as much as he can. When the stern of the oncoming boat is level with your bow start swinging out into the channel again bringing your stern into the gap.It works I have doe it a few times. However, if you are not extremely familiar with how your boat handles, or the other boat steerer not understanding what is happeing panic's, it can all go horribly horribly wrong. Don't ask how I know this. :mellow:

 

Someone mentioned "head on collisions" being near impossible because of the water build up between boats. That is probably correct. It is the damage caused by actions taken to avoid this that worries me. My Harborough boat has a very high prow, these are known to many boaters as "window smashers" Need I say any more :excl:

Edited by Radiomariner
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Reading this and other threads as a newbie without a single NB mile under my belt is fascinating. It really helps to have an idea of how more experienced boaters expect you to behave. If I was on a 70ft boat in my first mile and another one headed straight at me up until it was 25-30ft away I'd be shitting a brick even having read this thread. So if I get it right, then you smile but I don't, it'll be because I'm thinking about how soon I can change my underpants. :cheers:

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I am often amazed how much space people leave me to pass, sometimes I say "I don't need that much" I usually give a little early indication by turning the bow that i've seen them (how could I not) but stay close to the centre of the cut as possible for us to pass safely. But why people need to move over when we're many boat lengths apart I don't know.

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I am often amazed how much space people leave me to pass, sometimes I say "I don't need that much" I usually give a little early indication by turning the bow that i've seen them (how could I not) but stay close to the centre of the cut as possible for us to pass safely. But why people need to move over when we're many boat lengths apart I don't know.

Because they don't know what they're doing? Because they have never read a discussion like this? Because their families haven't used the canals for generations? Ignorance is no crime. Perhaps you should turn round, follow them to a pub, buy them a pint and have a chat on boat handling. :) Maybe, they don't know anyone else with a boat to talk to. Or maybe all their friends do the same and think the canals are full of rude people who don't move aside a bit! :lol:

 

Experience takes time to acquire!

Edited by boathunter
  • Greenie 1
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You only really need to move apart as far as not to touch.

 

In reality it depends on the circumstances. 2 boats who know what they're doing will stay heading towards each other until nearly the last minute when the water pushed in front of the boats helps to push the bows apart, and then cut in behind each other when they've passed with no need for anyone to head into any bushes or run aground.

Well said. Working boaters headed for each other and then slightly steered right so the water pressure pushed them apart and they didn't ground.

We were taught this by Mr Marsh when we met Kingfisher on the Shroppie on our first outing and stemmed up.

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Because they don't know what they're doing? Because they have never read a discussion like this? Because their families haven't used the canals for generations? Ignorance is no crime. Perhaps you should turn round, follow them to a pub, buy them a pint and have a chat on boat handling. :) Maybe, they don't know anyone else with a boat to talk to. Or maybe all their friends do the same and think the canals are full of rude people who don't move aside a bit! :lol:

 

Experience takes time to acquire!

 

 

As a hirer of many times I can relate to this.

 

I used to see another boat coming and immediately move over trying to be helpful and ended up in the mud a couple of times.

 

After a while I sussed it (i think this forum helped) and have pulled others off the mud.

Edited by mark99
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