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Calling the bridge tender

Old 10-11-2006, 03:26 PM
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Default Calling the bridge tender

All the bridges where I live are high enough that I can get under them, so I've forgotten:

When you call a bridgetender on the VHF to raise a bridge, what is the right way to do it?
Old 10-11-2006, 03:31 PM
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Default RE: Calling the bridge tender

Johns pass bridge,
This is ‘name of your boat’ approaching from west, when is your next opening?
Old 10-11-2006, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Calling the bridge tender

Thanks. I guess "open immediately, or I'll be late for happy hour" is bad form? You made me think of another, probably dumb, question: my boat doesn't have a name, do I just make one up, or use my initials, or say 24 Hydra Sport - what would you recommend?
Old 10-11-2006, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Calling the bridge tender

No, just say you are requesting passage, you do not need a boat name
Old 10-11-2006, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Calling the bridge tender

I guess in Florida they are doing some sort of statistics, or marketing (the tax thing, you know?). The bridge tenders ask for your boat name, and if there is none, you need to indicate if the boat is power boat (fishing), or sail boat.
Old 10-11-2006, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: Calling the bridge tender

WishFish - 10/11/2006 3:08 PM

I guess in Florida they are doing some sort of statistics, or marketing (the tax thing, you know?). The bridge tenders ask for your boat name, and if there is none, you need to indicate if the boat is power boat (fishing), or sail boat.
They ask for name and home port in the Charleston, SC area. I guess they just look to see if it's a sailboat or power boat.
Old 10-11-2006, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Calling the bridge tender

FWIW, I say, "Bridge Tender, Bridge Tender, Bridge Tender, this is the Margaritaville, approaching from the west/east and requesting opening of the 41st St. bridge (in case there's another bridge tender within vhf range)."

And, I ALWAYS thank the bridge tender for opening it...
Old 10-11-2006, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Calling the bridge tender

Most, but not all, bridge tenders are accommodating.
They don't like when you come up silently and hang out. They prefer you request an opening and which way you're headed. Some are sticklers and make every boat in line request an opening, even tho everyone is going to pass together. But most, up and down the ditch anyway, are as courteous as you are to them.

O
Old 10-12-2006, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Calling the bridge tender

WishFish - 10/11/2006 4:08 PM

I guess in Florida they are doing some sort of statistics, or marketing (the tax thing, you know?). The bridge tenders ask for your boat name, and if there is none, you need to indicate if the boat is power boat (fishing), or sail boat.
they do that in Florida so that the Dept of Revenue has another means of investigating larger "offshore-documented" pleasure boats that are supposed to only reside in US waters for part of the year....be careful. Down here in sofla, there are cameras as well, but they have yet to cross-reference the list of vessels that check into the bahamas and fail to check in state-side.
Old 10-13-2006, 08:13 AM
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Default RE: Calling the bridge tender

Speaking of bridges:

Yesterday, I heard a boat captain request an opening. The bridge tender politely asked him what clearance he needed. He answered "I don't know, this is my first trip down south". The bridge tender again politely informed him that Coast Guard regularions required him to lower his antenna and outriggers and only request an opening if he still could not fit under the bridge. She informed him that if she did open the bridge at his request and it turned out that the boat would have fit under without an opening, she would be required to turn him over to the US Coast Guard. All of this was very polite and professional. I didn't get to hear the rest of the conversation because other radio traffic walked on the channel but I believe I heard that he cleared the bridge by "5 or 6 feet".

You really need to know your clearance if you're asking for bridge openings.
Old 10-13-2006, 08:19 AM
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Default Re: Calling the bridge tender

If you do not have a official boat name and they insist on ID my state registration number was sufficient.

"...this is fishing vessel NC xxxx WW...."
Old 10-13-2006, 08:44 AM
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Default RE: Calling the bridge tender

rwidman - 10/13/2006 8:13 AM

Speaking of bridges:

Yesterday, I heard a boat captain request an opening. The bridge tender politely asked him what clearance he needed. He answered "I don't know, this is my first trip down south". The bridge tender again politely informed him that Coast Guard regularions required him to lower his antenna and outriggers and only request an opening if he still could not fit under the bridge. She informed him that if she did open the bridge at his request and it turned out that the boat would have fit under without an opening, she would be required to turn him over to the US Coast Guard. All of this was very polite and professional. I didn't get to hear the rest of the conversation because other radio traffic walked on the channel but I believe I heard that he cleared the bridge by "5 or 6 feet".

You really need to know your clearance if you're asking for bridge openings.
Good to know !!!

What is the easiest method to determine your overall height ?
Old 10-13-2006, 09:30 AM
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Default RE: Calling the bridge tender

BW23 - 10/13/2006 9:44 AM


What is the easiest method to determine your overall height ?
Measuring from the water line to the highest point on the boat is a good start...

Dubble
Old 10-13-2006, 10:30 AM
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Default RE: Calling the bridge tender

Captain Dubble - 10/13/2006 8:30 AM

BW23 - 10/13/2006 9:44 AM


What is the easiest method to determine your overall height ?
Measuring from the water line to the highest point on the boat is a good start...

Dubble
For some boats that could be a little difficult as the highest point is not directly over open water. A little imagination may be needed.

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