Archive for June, 2012

Look out for ferries

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

On Saturday we met a man who is one of Sydney’s ferry captains. But he’s also a yachtsman, so he understands the sort of people who sail – from the very experienced to the first-timers, from the serious racers to the party boaters. And he also knows that all of these can make poor decisions and put their yachts at risk of being run down by a ferry.

Interestingly, he has offered to take several sailing instructors on one of his ferry runs to show them his view of the traffic, from the height of the bridge. Those instructors will then be well placed to explain how to avoid the dangers faced by yachts that stray too close:

  • Being run down
  • Losing wind and losing way
  • Being swamped by the bow wave

It’s timely to remember that ferries carrying an orange diamond on Sydney Harbour have right of way, as does commercial shipping.

Ferry showing orange diamond signifying right of way
Ferry showing orange diamond signifying right of way. (Image from Boating Handbook 2011-2012, NSW Transport Maritime)

So when you’re out on the water, don’t just look out for other yachts, make sure you keep an eye out for ferries – not all captains have the yachting experience of our new friend.