Georgia Boater Education Course


OPERATING WITHIN NARROW CHANNELS

Whenever you’re operating your boat in or near a narrow channel, you need to take the following extra precautions.

First, when you approach a narrow channel, make sure to keep to the starboard or right side of the water and announce your approach to vessels that may be around the bend with a single prolonged blast. Much like approaching a blind corner, you need to warn other vessels of your approach.

Second, when in the channel, keep as close to the shoreline on your starboard side as is safe and practical. You need to leave as much room as possible for other boats to navigate.

Third, be aware of larger boats using the channel and keep the channel clear for them. Sailing vessels and boats less than 65 feet, or 20 meters, should not block the passage of a larger vessel that may have no other room to navigate. A recreational boat traveling in a narrow channel should always give way to larger vessels such as tugboats and commercial vessels that may be restricted to operating in the channel.

Finally, in order to comply with Homeland Security Measures, you should always avoid anchoring in narrow channels and beneath bridges.