Sea / River Courtesy?


New member
10 Sep 2001
Hi - newbie again, what is this fraternity of the sea I've heard about? On Sunday wandering down the river/eustary (6.5Kts) we had to cruise through a small yacht mellee (spelling I think) that appeared to be racing between the channel markers (nr Christchurch) to get the fuel pumps - can't they race on the other side of the river rather than through the main channel, most of them were 2 man so I assume small draft - surely they could play on the other side of the river? Also I lost count of the number of times my pal (who has only a couple of weekends experience) gave way to yatchs of which, only one waved a hand to say thank you. OK sail has right of way - no problem but surely when your on the reach a simple wave to say thank you for giving way is possible?

Signature on a computer?


Ooooh! It's a 4 knot limit in Christchurch harbour... But you have my sympathy - those bloody dinghies are a pain in the nether regions. BTW, where were you hoping to get fuel in Christchurch on a Sunday? Happy to help with local knowledge if required...


Well-known member
7 Jun 2001
Don't despair, there is still plenty of fraternity, its just a matter of understanding how it is exercised.

The old habit of waving at each passing yacht is not now practiced in crowded harbours for obvious reasons, but is still normal in open sea.

Sailing through the middle of a racing fleet will not make you popular, but somewhere like Christchurch where you need to keep to the channel will be understood by the dinghies. What they really will dislike is if you start dodging about, giving an apparently unfair advantage to some boats while fazing others.

If you have right of way your responsibility is to HOLD STEADILY TO YOUR COURSE, unless it becomes quite certain that a collision would occur. If you do decide to give way when you have the right, do so very early. Anything else will cause confusion and not be regarded as a gesture of courtesy.