Hello, Paddler!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

How much is too much

Commercialism on our waterways is a necessity and the vessels engaged in this activity must be given some right of way, but when do they go too far with expecting others to be totally deferential to their intentions. I'm not talking about Ships--naturally they must be given special attention. It's the tugs that I think take it to the limit and sometimes beyond. There is no reason that they should not use reasonable etiquette when operating around other boats, but I see them bully their way as if whatever mission they might be on is the most important thing happening. All too often it turns out their mission is to hurry up and wait, or just goofing off while they have nothing better to do.

I know the rule of common sense says to stay the heck out of the way of bigger faster boats, but sometimes a situation will develop where just a bit of consideration on the part of larger vessel operators could be the right thing to do; Personally, I don't care how large a wake any of them make, it only bothers me that they act like you don't exist and if you happen to be in their path--well too bad. This seems to be the case with large yachts as well as tugs and service boats. It really gets dicey where sports fishermen are anchoring to fish in busy waterways. Locally, most of the fishermen will only anchor outside of marked (buoyed) channels and ranges, but they are not beyond pushing it when the fishing is hot and there are literally hundreds and sometimes thousands of boats vying for the same fishing areas. Sometimes the Coast Guard gets called in and then it really gets interesting.

Anyway, it's getting to the point where simply paddling past a large docking facility is a daunting adventure.

Comments

  • I think you may need to find another place to paddle..............
    The problems you speak of are NOT going to change.
    Anywhere you can find a service boat, freighter, offshore racing boat, tugboat, or barges pushing lengthy loads; you won't find me.
    Way too much hassle.

    BOB

  • @thebob.com said:
    I think you may need to find another place to paddle..............
    The problems you speak of are NOT going to change.
    Anywhere you can find a service boat, freighter, offshore racing boat, tugboat, or barges pushing lengthy loads; you won't find me.
    Way too much hassle.

    BOB

    Second that thought.

  • No, I will not give up the absolute best paddling in the area to anyone, or anything. It's a very big river and there's plenty of room for everything, but there is no reason everyone can't be considerate. I see a lot of tugboat operators since one of the best kayak launch spots is right next to a tugboat mooring area. Some of them are friendly enough, so maybe I'll have a talk with them if the opportunity comes up.

  • Paddlecraft have to by law cede the ROW to commercial traffic and towed barges and vessels of limited maneuverability

    You can talk to tugboat captains but the law is the law.. Talk to the Coast Guard.

    and have a look see. https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navRules/CG_NRHB_20151231.pdf

  • What I'm talking about has nothing to do with right-of-way and really nothing to do with commercial traffic that is actually engaged in their work. To put it plainly, it's tugboats and other large power boats screwing around and generally not acknowledging that other boats have a right to be on the water too.

    As I have stated, I couldn't care less how large a wake any of these boats make, but for instance when they pass very nearby to a pleasure boat dock facility, you would think it reasonable to slow down a bit to reduce the wake so boats that are tied up there wouldn't be knocked around so severely.

    Recently I've noticed that when I'm in the area where a very large yacht club docking facility is, the power boat operators always slow down when passing by me. I think most of these folks have the right attitude and treat others as they would like to be treated. Of course there are idiots in every crowd. I have spoken to a few of them and told them, "Don't slow down for me, but I don't speak for all paddlers, so thank you for your thoughtfulness."

    I've had a word, or two with the Coast Guard also in the past with regard to them trying to tell me what I should be wearing and where I should be seated while sailing my 30' sailboat (which I no longer have). Obviously, not all of them are familiar with sailing.

  • What I'm talking about has nothing to do with right-of-way and really nothing to do with commercial traffic that is actually engaged in their work. To put it plainly, it's tugboats and other large power boats screwing around and generally not acknowledging that other boats have a right to be on the water too.<<

    In Arizona we have that same problem with speedboats.
    Usually stupid kids trying to impress some brainless girl.
    BUT, I have also seen the sheriff zip past without slowing as required by law.
    Or those large displacement boats that do not belong on such a small lake or river push past and slam we paddlecraft all over the place.

    If I remain near the shore to keep out of the lanes, I get slammed by the wake, then the displacement wave, then the echo wave bouncing off the beach.
    If I get away from the shore, I get the big boats swamp me.

    There is no solution but to deal!

  • I remember the days when I was Stoopid, but I didn't care for brainless girls. My loss, I guess.

  • Like Magooch, I haven't been bothered by large wake for quite some time now. But when I'm in rocky shallows, even smaller wake can surprise me and sometimes drop the boat on a rock if not careful.

    I'm more concerned about getting run over, and I'm always on heightened alert in high traffic areas, which there aren't much of where I paddle.

  • edited September 13

    It's when reading discussions like these that I stop taking it for granted that at most of the places I paddle, it would often be a surprise to see even one other boat (unless they are part of the group I'm with), and at worst, it would be normal to see two or three small motorboats and a half-dozen paddle craft in one day, though on the river I'm thinking of in that case, I avoid the stretch that's popular with river dorks in rental boats. Even on big lakes here in town where I expect there to be dozens of motorboats on the water, the idea that one could expect conflict with any of them seldom even enters my mind. I tend to forget that highly urbanized areas are much different from what I know here. The only traffic problem I ever see is on those occasions I need to cross the main channel of the Mississippi on a summer weekend, which is sort of like dashing across a busy street without the help of a traffic light. But then, the backwaters away from the main channel are a quiet world, worth the trouble it can take to get there.

  • I've encountered a new kind of idiot . Lately the National Park Service has taken to jet boating their way up the upper new through grassy shoals and other rapids. Just because something is possible doesn't make it a good idea. Especially when you are leading a bunch of novices down a rapid while they are simultaneously jet boating up. If nothing else they are a distraction and intrusive. In general the national river status has been an asset (better roads, access, bathrooms, campgrounds) here in southern wv but there are times when I get tired of their bs.

  • Another month and most of out joy riders will put it up for the winter, relative term. Personally though I like playing in the wakes.

  • edited September 15

    I have had idiots past me at 35-40 by 8 feet in 35 foot boats when they have a 300 foot channel available. Went out Labor Day weekend in my Libra XT 22' tandem. It was insane with everyone buzzing around and intersecting wakes. The water was like whack a mole popping up three feet high plus piles instantly. Totally confused water from idiots who won't even veer of course slightly to give you a break. She was totally done for the day after that. Lucky we were in the 32" wide tandem or she would have been over and possibly me also.
    Now is my time of year most of the idiots are gone. If you pass a sitting boat closer than 200 feet you're supposed to be at 5 miles per hr.
    Two weeks previously 35' charter fishing boat came between me and the local water taxi ( big flat pontoon boat low free-board) with 25 people on board. Bay Constable was also there and told idiot to slow down but he really showed no regard. Can't believe he didn't pull him over. When paddling back to the house I see the boat with 8 guys at the gas dock. I told her paddle hard so I could get there. I unleashed a barrage of %$&(*&@^% only one guy stayed facing me as the captain was hiding at the wheel. He finally admitted he was driving meekly. Then there were two Suffolk County Marine police another 150 feet away in the store listening from afar. I ended it there before I was the one in trouble.

    Classic move for many if not most idiots is to slow off plane just as the reach you then go literally 20 - 30 feet and punch it leaving the maximum wake possible. I mean I like wakes but I think they have zero knowledge if I have a pray to handle their wakes. They don't even look back. Then you have packs of jet ski's 5 to even 20 coming at you as you wave the paddle in the air. All while they stare at each other racing and not looking forward. The last 3 years jet skiing has really exploded with a few rental places here. I need to start carrying small air horn to get their attention. I have the whistle right near my mouth at all times.

    It's like when I had sport bikes I would go for a ride and come back furious. When I drove then I NEVER cut in and out, went up the side, tailgated, or acted like an idiot unless the road was empty. People here all did what I mentioned to me. I finally sold them because I felt I was going to get in a big fight. One guy was beyond anything I could imagine so when I caught up to him in traffic I sent my foot into his fender for a nice dent for his memories.

    Even some of the 80 foot charters here are totally idiots throwing huge wakes where they are not suppose to. I can get them on the VHF but they never respond. GC on 16 hears as I call out the boats name and ask why they are going fast in 5 mph or reduced wake zones we have here to protect the marshes.

  • Well, one consolation is that no matter how bad it gets on the water, it's still way better than driving on the freeway with idiot truck drivers who won't comply to the speed limit and try to run you off the road. It boggles my mind that the state is always wanting more revenue, but yet they will allow trucks to drive like maniacs and make driving on the freeways a nightmare--especially when it's rainy.

  • People here on Long Island are crazy on the road. Horrible accidents every week. Seems nearly every week a biker gets killed in a horrific way, usually a sport biker. They really could do so much to halt this. I'm not even talking about a person exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph. I see people doing 15-50 mph over the limit and cutting off people one after the other by 2 feet.

  • edited September 20

    I live and paddle near Lowell, Massachusetts. There were two deaths caused by Jet Skis this summer on the Merrimack River. As a result, Lowell has banned the use of "Personal Watercraft" in the section of the river the city is on. I can still paddle there but no more jet skis. Part of me is doing a happy dance over this but the real result will be that the idiots will simply move up river to the next town (which is where I put in) and continue with their stupidity.
    Here's a link to a story about the ban:
    http://www.fox25boston.com/news/jet-skis-other-personal-watercraft-banned-on-merrimack-river/608469409

    The ban was made law last week.

  • @WB John,

    Then why not lobby your local council to have the jet skis banned on your river too? There would seem to be enough reasons to.

Sign In or Register to comment.
Message Boards Close

Hello, Paddler!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!