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BTR #5.

Refer to your copy of the NAVIGATION RULES and open it at Rule 9 which covers Narrow Channels.  Mostly these narrow channels are in Inland Waters and those sailing on the oceans are not much affected by them.  However to get to the open seas means leaving the confines of the Marina and travelling through "narrow channels".  Both the International and Inland Rules cover these in detail.

International:
Rule 9:  Instructs that a vessel proceeding along a narrow channel shall keep to the starboard (right) side of the channel.  There are seven (7) points to learn and follow some of which address sound signals which must be made.

Inland:
Rule 9:  Similar to the International Rule 9 the Inland Rule gives more detail in the first of the seven (7) points.  (a) has a long paragraph about power-driven vessels operating on the Great Lakes, Western Rivers or waters specified by Secretary (this has a specific legal meaning).  For those of you proceeding in the Intracoastal Waterway along the East and South Coasts this is all very important information to learn, understand and follow.  Remember vessels proceeding downbound with the current have the right-of-way over upbound vessels.  The vessel proceeding upbound against the current shall hold as necessary to permit safe passing particularly of tugs and tows.

If you usually operate on International Rules remember when you enter Inland Waters you cross the Demarcation Lines and only INLAND RULES apply.  The demarcation lines are listed in the NAVIGATION RULES COMDTINST M16672. latest edition.


Tips:

NAUTICAL LOG was checking on some other publications to see what boat tips they have and this is a summary list of what we found. 
  • Be weather wise
  • Follow a pre-departure checklist
  • Use common sense
  • Designate an assistant skipper
  • Develop a float plan
  • Make proper use of lifejackets
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Learn to swim
  • Take a boating course
  • Consider a free Vessel Safety Check

Good Watch.

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