View Full Version : Right of way question

10-10-2005, 05:19 PM
Earlier this summer I went canoeing in the estuary with my wife. We were at one of the points where the waterway curves a bit, so we did not see two Cal crew boats approaching until they are about 100 yards away. We began to row to the side, but those crew boats were pretty fast, they came up within just seconds. Soon I heard this coach-like person in a motored whaler with a blow horn screaming at us to get out of the way.

There was no accident that day. But I've always wondered who has the right of way in that circumstance.

The channel was about 200' wide, and we were about 50' from the edge.

10-10-2005, 06:09 PM
My understanding is a boat that is not under power IE. "sail or row boats" or any boat that is at anchor are given right of way over power boats that can manuver around a hazzard

10-10-2005, 07:44 PM
Sorry I was not clear enough....

Although the guy in the motor boat did the screaming, I was actually on collision course with one of the crew boats. So it was my row boat against their row boat.

They were coming up from behind us, at a faster speed. Our positions in the waterway as described above. Should they have gone around us?

10-10-2005, 08:46 PM
Hmm..Beyond who has the right of way is common courtesy...:)
Seems to me that they could have easily avoided you.

And...why weren't you fishing!?

Fish On!

10-10-2005, 08:48 PM
Sounds like both of you were moving - rowing. If that is the case and they are coming up behind you, you had the right of way - no doubt.

With that said, sometimes you still have to move out of the way - no matter who has the right of way.

We mooch for salmon in Monterey Bay, and sometimes the commmercial guys will run you over if you don't get out of the way. Many of the boats are manned by one guy who is at the stern of the boat pulling lines, and some of them just don't watch where they are going. It could also be that they just don't care. When you see them bearing down on you, you have to move and sometimes they snag and take all our gear . :-X

10-11-2005, 05:06 AM
This one could be argued both ways.

The way the law is written, the more maneuverable craft yeilds the right of way.

Your canoe, with your wife and you, is very maneuverable, start, stop, turn, back up, all of it.

The crew boats have mounted oars, and a very small skag for maintaining course rather than making turns. Pretty much puts you in the position to yield.

But then, if they were approaching you, it would be civilly irresponsible to simply barge into you rather than stopping.

Like I said, either way.

10-12-2005, 07:48 PM
Good question. When I take my canoe out on berryessa in the big part of the lake with the little trolling motor. IT seems all the power boats love to come by and see if they can tip us. I have always thought They should keep a little distance from us because I can only move out of the way so fast and the waves can be hard on my overloaded canoe.
I have always made it out OK. luckily. Now I have an inflatable boat with a little gas motor so It is more stable and a little faster and I don't think it will be as much of a problem.
But I agree some people can Just be rude! >:( :-/