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Old 26-07-2013, 08:15   #31
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Re: Sailboat vs Bridge

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Originally Posted by sailvayu View Post
The only thing worse is trying to judge the height of power lines. I captain a 65' sailboat with a mast that is 78' from the water and it freaks me out every time I go under power lines. Bridges are pretty stable but power lines can sag and it always looks like we are going to hit when going under lol
Yea Wilmington!

Your post brings new meaning to term "boiling seas."
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Old 26-07-2013, 08:38   #32
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Re: Sailboat vs Bridge

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It still would have broken.
No doubt, and it might have holed the boat.
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:09   #33
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Re: Sailboat vs Bridge

Don't boat transiting under bridges talk to the bridge operator anymore? Apparently not! Phil
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:18   #34
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Re: Sailboat vs Bridge

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Don't boat transiting under bridges talk to the bridge operator anymore? Apparently not! Phil
Oh, they do. We transited one last week, and the bridge started closing behind us. Then another sail boat comes around the corner from the marina next door at a good speed and heads directly for it. A female voice comes across the VHF hailing the tender requesting an opening, and the tender replied it was in the process of closing. She then replied saying something to the effect of "can't you see we're coming". The bridge tender's reply was "step on me again and see what happens".

After a pause, the boat apologized. We we very entertained by the entire exchange.
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Old 26-07-2013, 09:35   #35
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Re: Sailboat vs Bridge

From the deck of a boat, bridges can be scary. But what scares me most is the person at the helm who likes playing chicken with bridges.

It almost looked like the guy at the helm thought, "Oh well, at least we don't have to wait for the bridge to go up again. I'm guessing the speedster behind him just accepted the loss.

"Next race is MINE!!!"
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Old 26-07-2013, 11:08   #36
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Re: Sailboat vs Bridge

Years ago I used to transit beneath the railroad lift bridge at the Second Narrows, east end of Vancouver Harbor in British Columbia. We were towing float camps aboard barges up to logging locations on the north coast. Many times the height of logging equipment on the barge was higher than clearance of the rail bridge. With tides running at over 6 knots on full flood or ebb through the narrows once you were committed with the tow, it was very difficult to change direction or hold position awaiting a bridge opening. I recall the skipper cursing the bridge tender many times when he failed to raise the lift section after calling him before we left the dock with the barge in tow. We were always careful to alert the bridge tender before we left the dock and hooked up the tow as it had to be coordinated with tides as well.
I happened to run into the bridge tender in a pub one evening close by to where the bridge was and he explained his side of the issue. Being a rail bridge, he was guided by the railway needs of incoming and outbound trains, many of them miles long coming into Vancouver with loads of grain from the prairies. Holding a train because a bridge lift was required had to be balanced against keeping the rail track clear upstream and downstream from the bridge. If he stopped a train for the bridge lift, he could block both eastbound and west bound rail traffic because in those days the trains ran on a single track, unable to pass except several miles east of the bridge.
It brought a whole different perspective on bridge liftings, particularly rail bridges, to me.
Folks out for a pleasure sail who call or request for a lift need to keep in mind there are other factors that bridge tenders are dealing with than getting the sailboat to their marina in time for sundowners or meet some friends. Just sayin' there are more issues to be considered when passing beneath a lift bridge, either road or rail. Cheers, Phil
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Old 01-08-2013, 17:10   #37
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Re: Sailboat vs Bridge

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No problem on the second try


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Practice makes perfect.
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Old 05-08-2013, 19:57   #38
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Re: Sailboat vs Bridge

That clip reminds me of an incident I witnessed back in the early '80s when I was living aboard on Spa Creek in Annapolis, directly across from the Annapolis Yacht Club and just fifty yards downstream of the Spa Creek drawbridge.

I was on deck working on the boat one nice afternoon when I spotted a beautiful Hinckley Bermuda 40 yawl motoring up the creek toward the bridge with the helmsman the only soul visible on deck. My attention sharpened when he passed the stern of my boat without even slowing down. I glanced over at the bridge and noted that it was down as usual... and he hadn't signaled or otherwise moved a muscle. Despite my own warning shout and those of other witnesses, he continued steaming toward the drawspan, seemingly in a trance.

He was probably doing 5 knots or more when he hit the bridge, and it wasn't a pretty sight. The mainmast came down on one side of the boat and the mizzen on the other. I didn't have a clear line of sight past the bridge, but it looked like he coasted well beyond it before he got her stopped and realized what had happened. The paper the next day said that he was a delivery skipper singlehanding the boat down from Newport and hadn't slept for days. I suspect there was drug testing after the incident, but I don't recollect the result. What I'll never forget, though, was the zombie-like look on his face as he motored blithely toward the closed bridge.
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