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Go Back   SailNet Community > Contributing Publishers > Good Old Boat > Dealing with bridges
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Thread: Dealing with bridges Reply to Thread

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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-31-2012 11:43 AM
Re: Dealing with bridges

brethren; I am considering sailing from the south shore of lake Eire across and looping back to Chicago where I need to enter the Illinois nav. channel and sail it to St.Louis Missouri. I'm sure it will be a problematic sail for a novice such as I , I have a well equipped and good Bristol 26 sloop rigged w/ aux outboard if I need to drop the mast on the Ill . channel. I would appreciate all advice from every experienced sailor, as you all seem very experienced that could be a graduate degree here, eh?
thanks in advance , Don
01-29-2012 02:13 PM
rjcaudle Nice job GoodOldBoat!
01-10-2012 12:59 AM
DrivinSteve My experience is that, for the most part, the bridge tenders are pros that will do what they can to expedite transit, especially if the conditions are extreme. i.e., you are downbound in a strong current, gusty winds, etc. They sometimes are operating with strict scheduling "orders" and can't always operate "on demand" unless you are carrying HAZMAT, a tug pulling 1000' of dredge pipe or are a LNG tanker.
If you get no response after several hails, try calling the local Coast Guard Station via VHF that covers the area, explain who and where you are, what you need, and ask them to ping the bridge via land line and tell them you are standing by on Channel 16/13/9 for the bridge response. That, by itself, sometimes gets you the response from the bridge or they may be able to give you a reason for the lack of response. (tender is greasing the bilge nuts, fetching 100' of shore line, etc.)
That has worked well for me in the past.
10-25-2011 02:46 PM
CapnBilll Not all bridge operators are polite, and courteous. I had to have an extended on air "discussion" with a bridge operator that that insisted my boat, (with 20' flybridge) could fit under a 15' bridge if I removed the bimini, and all antennas, (and I guess my flybridge TOO). Then insisted I was going over no wake speed, (I was going 5 kts), so I slowed to 4kts, He then yelled at me for "taking too long".

The bridge has since been removed, so maybe he was upset at losing job?
10-09-2011 06:53 PM
jmayton Hang tender off the boom, secure fore and aft, fill with water untill your boat lists and puts the rail almost in the water (make sure all ports are shut tight), if possible, have a spotter on the bridge with radio, you can measure the hight of the mast using a line from the top of the mast to the water. I'm sure you already have a view of those. steer close to side of the bridge away from the tender. You can practice at anchor. Let the bridge tender know what you are up to before heading under.
10-07-2011 06:01 PM
SailBerkeley How do you get 80 ft of mast under a 65 ft bridge? %252520AM.bmp.jpg
12-09-2010 05:35 PM
landmineop There is a fireworks store in Dania Beach, Florida that sells everything your little heart could ever thing of. From sparklers to huge mortar shells.
12-09-2010 05:27 PM
hellosailor Can you still legally buy cherrybombs ANYWHERE in the US anymore? I thought everything larger than plain firecrackers had been banned long ago.
12-09-2010 05:17 PM
landmineop Has anyone ever considered a cherry bomb and a slingshot ? It sure is a rude way to wake up a sleeping bridge tender but it is certainly effective.
08-19-2010 01:08 PM
CaptainForce Sometimes all those means of hailing a bridge-tender, as mention above, still won't work. Once we were traveling north of Daytona early in the morning and could not raise the operator of the Seabreeze Bridge (now replaced with a 65' fixed bridge). Fortunately, we were able to call out to a morning jogger and convince him to knock on the tender's door and wake him for us. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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