Navigating a Channel


Boating it is an excellent activity to do overseas and also over lakes and rivers. If you want to take the most advantage of your time onboard, then there are essential things you have to know. Those things include knowing navigating a channel. While navigating, you must bear in mind some recommendations and instructions that can be helpful for you at the time to drive the boat. Knowing how to navigate a boat in a channel, definitely it is a crucial thing to enjoy of a trip in a boat.

Navigating a channel

When driving a boat, you shouldn't always try to navigate for the right side of the channel as you do when driving a car (depending on the country - there are countries where cars go for the left side). But when there is a lot of traffic and you are on board, you can try to go for the right side. One important thing to take into account is the current; this has to be a critical factor to decide where you should be steering the boat. Also staying toward the windward side of the channel is a thing to remember. A defensive navigation, among other things, refers to staying to the side from which the current is flowing.

You must always be prepared to deal with difficult situations that can happen when you are navigating a channel. For instance, in a sailboat something can't work well at any time or any engine can stop operating at any time in a power boat.

How to navigate narrow channels?

One of the most important things to consider is never anchor in a narrow channel. Some other recommendations are staying as far to the outer limit of the narrow channel as practical on the starboard side.

If you need to make a channel crossing, then do it at a right angle and try to avoid traffic.

There are some special situations that can happen, for instance when operating on lakes and rivers, the boat that is going with the current will have the right of way over a boat that is going upstream. The reason is that a boat going upstream can maneuver easily than one that is going downstream.

Furthermore, the boats that are crossing a river will keep out of the way of boats that are descending or ascending the river.

If you are navigating in a river in which it is not easy to see the surroundings and you are approaching a bend, then you would sound one prolonged blast, this way you will alert other boats that are approaching the bend from the other side. If other boats are around that bend, they should answer with a prolonged blast. It will be the same if you hear a blast when you are approaching the bend, answer in the same way. Doing this, many accidents can be avoided.

Of course that practicing will be the key in order you learn how to navigate in a channel. If you are going on board soon, then remember the things we have named here.