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Course Outline

Pilots of large vessels have limited views from the bridge and require long distances to come to a full stop—often 1.2 to 2.4 kilometres (¾ to 1½ miles). When crossing shipping lanes or traveling in shipping lanes, pleasure craft operators need to watch for large ships and keep the following in mind.

  • Watch out for other vessels, and be ready to slow down and yield to large vessels. Use radar and a radio if you have them.
  • Make your pleasure craft more visible by operating in a group with other small boats.
  • Stay off the water in fog or high winds.
  • Stay clear of docked ferries, ferries in transit, vessels in tow, and working fishing vessels.
  • Remember that there may be an unlit space of several hundred metres between the bow and stern lights, such as when a tugboat is pushing a barge.
  • Allow ample room when crossing or traveling behind a ship or tugboat. Dangerously strong underwater currents created by engines can extend for hundreds of metres behind the ship or tugboat.
  • In commercial shipping channels:
    • Avoid commercial shipping traffic lanes by as wide of a margin as possible.
    • Do not obstruct commercial navigation.
    • Cross channels at a right angle to the flow of vessel traffic or as practical.
  • Never anchor in a shipping lane.
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