Operating in Narrow Channels
The rules for operating in a narrow channel are found in the Collision Regulations.
A vessel in a narrow channel must keep as far to the edge of the channel on the vessel’s starboard (right) side as is safe and practical.
If you are operating a power-driven vessel and are heading upstream, all power-driven vessels coming toward you from the opposite direction (heading downstream) have the right-of-way and you must give way.
If you are operating a vessel less than 20 metres (65.6 feet) in length, a sailing vessel, a vessel engaged in fishing, or a vessel crossing the channel, you may not get in the way of vessels that can only navigate within the channel (such as a large ship). Narrow passageways restrict movement for large vessels and make it dangerous for ships to alter their courses.
You must not anchor in a narrow channel, unless the circumstances require anchoring.
You must use the appropriate sound signals and use caution while operating in a narrow channel when:
- Overtaking or being overtaken
- Your view is obstructed such as when you approach a bend in the channel
If you are leaving a dock, slip, or tie-up mooring, you must give way to all approaching vessels.