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Old 19-10-2014, 15:43   #1
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Colregs: in a canal with current

Another colleges question: seems pretty often in canals you get "vessel
Running with the current has the right of way". I'm not sure how that plays out. I assume vessels are generally going to stay to their starboard side of the channel. If a barge is going with the current but is hugging my right side then I need to dodge him? What if there was a barge right behind him on my port side? Turn around and run?

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Old 19-10-2014, 16:37   #2
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Re: Colregs: in a canal with current

Can't speak for specific canal rules, but there is no such rule in the IRPCS. It is in Canadian colregs and applicable to specific waterways in US Inland rules - in both cases the downbound vessel is required to propose the method of passing and the upbound vessel shall "hold as necessary" to permit passing.
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Old 12-11-2014, 18:53   #3
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Re: Colregs: in a canal with current

Current is relevant more in rivers than canals, and yes, down bound vessel has right of way. Generally speaking a port to port passing is preferred in canals. As Lodesman mentioned there are some funny rules on the great lakes, for example above the Sault locks there is a deep draft channel on the West side of the river, so deep draft vessels (as in deep- not cruisers) always take the West channel regardless.
And to specifically answer your question, if he's not sticking to the right, any where in Canada or the US, he is likely to try to communicate with you some how (even if it's an embarrassing 5 short blasts from his whistle). In most cases you'll be okay sticking to the far right, staying out of the way of much larger vessels as necessary, even if they're crowding your side of the river, they draw 30 ft, you draw 5 ft (or whatever you draw), you can be further towards the right then they can be. Either way a commercial vessel shouldn't be running you down, because at the end of the day- as long as you're not being goofy, the ColRegs, clearly state that it's every mariners responsibility to avoid risk of collision regardless of RoW. Hope this helps.
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