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Ok, going under a bridge is not my favorite thing because from the perspective of the cockpit it always looks like the mast is going to hit the bridge. :eek: But at least with a fixed bridge I know the height of the span.

If things work out, this weekend I'll pass under a bascule bridge for the first time (at Knapps Narrows in Maryland). My question is, does the bridge deck on a bascule bridge go completely vertical when open, or does it still angle across the water? If if angles, how far to the open (non-hinge) side of the Knapps Narrows bridge do I need to be to clear with a 55 foot mast?

Other than staying in the channel and watching for shoaling, any hints for passing through this area?
 

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Some bridges go fully open, others don't. I've been through Knapps Narrows and don't recall any issue. Just stay toward the side where it's most open. Since only one side opens (as opposed to draw bridges where two sides open together), it can be a little disconcerting. You'll be ok. There is a lot of traffic through there and there can be a significant current so once you commit, don't decide to bail at the last second.....or you'll end up as a Youtube video.

I found an image by googling the the bridge. Trivia: Watch Failure to Launch and the scene where Sarah Jessica Parker drives over the bridge. Except that she's supposed to be somewhere near Baltimore.

 

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Correct, the operator does not open the bridge vertical and you need to get over. I've got as much stick and more beam, so no problem.

Do consider the tide (look at pilings as soon as you enter the narrows). The operator will NOT open the bridge until you are within easy sight, and there is no point in calling before you enter the channel. Just tell him you are a sloop, which way you are going (east-bound, west-bound), and which marker you're passing. He fast, but he may have to wait for traffic.
 
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