Originally Posted by Seafari
Graham, I agree one gets used to it but if you're driving a left hand drive car on the right hand side of the road as you do in USA with rules of road, right of way etc designed to accommodate left hand vehicles on right hand side then that's cool. But if you drive a left hand drive car on roads and road rules designed for the left hand side of the road (like in Aus) then it's weird
When it comes to boating
the 'rules of the road' are international. I see it here I Aus when traveling along a seaway. I often see people (obviously inexperienced) steering
down the seaway keeping left because in Aus we keep left on the road. On the seaway you're supposed to keep right with oncoming traffic passing to your port side.
So hence my question about port vs starboard helm position on a catamaran. My way of thinking (remember I've been doing the catamaran sailing thing for 5 mins) is that in congested waterways like seaways, harbours etc if you're keeping right (international rule) and traffic moving in opposite direction is to your left then on a vessel as wide as a catamaran it may be an advantage to have the helm position on the port side, that way making visibility to judge oncoming 'traffic' easier.
Not quite international as I understand: I'm sure I'll be corrected if Im wrong.
The world is divided into zones A and B. A is most of the world except America (North and South). America is zone B. On entering a harbour (following the direction of a flood tide). In zone A; New Zealand
/ Australia Europe
etc we keep the red buoy to port. That is red to red. In zone B; the Americas, the rule
is red right returning (home) so it is the other way around.
(I just googled that to confirm it was as I thought) I think there are other differences in the shapes of buoys and markers that I haven't learned
I seem to remember that many years ago NZ (Aus?) followed the American system but we changed to the international standard at some point. America being very large presumably didn't want to change all the millions of buoys.
It is annoying when, especially motorboat drivers in NZ and Aus think they are on the road and keep left. I understand keep right on the water
is international. And in the air when planes are heading towards one another each goes right.
Incidentally I once had the privilege
of being shown over the US Pintado a nuclear submarine. They had 2 helms like aircraft control columns with the helmsmen sitting on sort of bar stool chairs and the navigator standing behind them giving orders. One helmsman only did up and down the other did left and right. The orders were left or right as the helmsmen could react more quickly without mistakes
than to port and stbd. But nuclear submarines don't give way to anyone. Must be weird helming a vessel at 30+ knots underwater not seeing where you're going
Ive never helmed a wide multihull
though you would need to look out to Stbd to see the boats you need to give way to, and you also need to see the boats on your left that are giving way to you and may require sea room.