Fair go in the fairways
“I had a difficult experience when returning to our berth around midday last Sunday,” writes a Westhaven customer. “There was a fresh SW blowing. I was coming slowly down the fairway and about 50m from entering my berth when a launch came out of a berth on the opposite side and proceeded up the middle of the fairway towards me. I had no alternative but to stop, go into reverse and back out into the main fairway until the launch, a white one named (name deleted) left the fairway.”
Westhaven has so far had a season free of collisions in the marina fairways. There have however been some close calls and raised blood pressure resulting from rushing to get out on the harbour and an equal urgency to get home again.
The writer continues, “It is possible that the launch driver had not looked into the gap before pulling out but I think it is more likely that he had seen me coming but thought I was some distance down the fairway, moving slowly and he had time to get by. I have a Davidson 42, with lots of windage and not much under the water to hold a course. We have no bow thruster. I suspect the guy driving the launch had no idea of the limited manoeuvrability of a boat like ours moving slowly in a gusty wind, or of how it does not steer particularly well backwards.”
We’d like to ask all skippers to please manoeuvre thoughtfully and look carefully for other vessels.
Check port and starboard before departing your berth
Check behind and for any other vessels prior to turning
Stick to the starboard side in any fairway
Maintain a speed less than 5 knots that does not produce a wake.
Be aware of dinghies, kayaks and SUP’s that use the transit ways
If you are at all unsure of how to manoeuvre your boat, get some good advice or training