It is a question of relativity, though...how much space are you talking about -- 100 ft., 1000 ft.? I have found that some skippers have an intense fear of running into the bridge, and tend to stand off much more than I think is necessary. Most of these have deep keel
sailboats which notoriously don't reverse very well, especially when trying to stay within a channel. But sometimes the same type of boat, which often cruises slower than most boats, are happy to let other boats ahead (especially sportfishers, cabin
cruisers and fast trawlers) so that they don't have to do-si-do after the bridge. My best Ann Landers: Keep your place, but try to communicate.