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Old 10-10-2006, 12:40 AM
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Default drawbridge rules

Ive been boating since I was a kid, and my fam always had a boat that was too large to duck under any bridges... so this may seem like a dumb question, but its never been covered in any boating eductation Ive been though.

what are the rules about going under a draw bridge when its lowered if you boat can clear it? Maybe a dumb question..but Ive never encountered it. Im heading out in the morn for an intercoastal trip..and just wanted to make sure I was clear on it.
The CG regs dont specify that I can find.

Thanks

Dave
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Old 10-10-2006, 01:04 AM
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Default Re: drawbridge rules

Just go ahead through, of course obeying the normal no wake/slow speed rules.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:36 AM
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Default Re: drawbridge rules

Just remenber,if the tide is out when you pass under,make sure it is still low when you come back in.You can pass under,but there are a no wake zone in the break waters around and under them.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: drawbridge rules

Thanks for the info!
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:42 AM
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Default RE: drawbridge rules

There is no rule other than basic navigation rules when you can fit. Most bridges around here are 6 knot zones which ususally gives enough momentum to maintain headway through the current without throwing wakes at the bridge or other boats.

The bigger issue seems to be the rules regarding what you have to do to make yourself fit if you're close. Bridge tenders will require that all antennas are down and rods out of the rocket launchers so every effort is made to fit without raising the bridge. I have heard of fines being levied for failure to do these things but haven't experienced it.

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Old 10-10-2006, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: drawbridge rules

Around here bridges (and knowledgeable boaters) monitor VHF 13. Always good to make your intentions known with a short transmission.

Example - "Name of Bridge, Name of Bridge this is MamboDave approaching from the west, I do not need an opening".

I believe different channels are used in different areas



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Old 10-10-2006, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: drawbridge rules

You can get fined for opening a bridge that you can clear. I've had a few bridge tenders hail me on the radio swhen I was delivering boats asking me my clearance height. They will look at the highest point of the boat against the other side of the bridge to determine if you could have cleared. The figure you get on clearance height at the side of the bridge is lowest point which is at the side of the bridge not the center.
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: drawbridge rules

Quote:
Elusive - 10/10/2006 7:49 AM

Around here bridges (and knowledgeable boaters) monitor VHF 13. Always good to make your intentions known with a short transmission.

Example - "Name of Bridge, Name of Bridge this is MamboDave approaching from the west, I do not need an opening".

I believe different channels are used in different areas.
In SC it's 09.

Makes one wonder doesn't it?

You can call the bridge tender and ask for the current clearance. And remember that many bridges have restricted opening times during (automotive) rush hours.
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: drawbridge rules

It's VHF 13 around here too, but they'll answer on 16 if you aren't aware that 13 is the bridge channel. Around here, they have square-shaped blue signs with a little illustration of a VHF radio with "13" on one side of it and "16" on the other side.

Since this is the most densely populated state in the union, just about ALL of our bridges have restricted operations - some are only restricted during the summer, some are all year long. The restricted ops bridges mean that the bridge will only open on, let's say, :15 after the hour. So, if you come along at :20 after, you'll be sitting there a while.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: drawbridge rules

It's channel 09 for us here too. And of course 16 if you need to hail them...

Be sure and use the low power mode though. No need to shout at the bridge tender at a full 25 watts!
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: drawbridge rules

Around here it's 13 for bridges, which is the advertised channel. Most radios bump down to low power when you switch to channel 13 anyway. I call the bridge operator and ask him/her what they have for clearance, and if it's too clsoe, I respond with what I need for clearance and ask when the next opening is.

If they do have to open it for me, I wave thanks as I go through, and then once I'm through I call them back and thank them for the opening.

I found that courtesy seems to go a long way.


The one thing not mentioned here yet is that you want to see if anyone is coming the other way. Don't assume they will have their radio on. Generally the person going downstream (with the current) has the right of way (stand-on vessel) as they have less manueverability.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: drawbridge rules

I have to cross under a bridge on my way out, if the bridge is closed. Ch. 9 is posted. You can always hit the horn, but I think that is more rude and aggressive. As for courtesy, yes, this is definitely a case where you don't want to get the rep of being an impatient a$$hole, even if you are one. I keep meaning to drop off some mangrove snappers to my bridge tender so I'll get the benefit of the doubt some time...
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