Skip to content

Tips on Navigating a Channel

Unlike a car, you should not always hug the right side of the road (channel) while navigating with a boat. Of course, in a heavily traveled channel with lots of traffic, you want to stay toward the right side and have oncoming traffic pass to your port side. But, if you have the opportunity, you would be prudent to stay toward the windward side of the channel. Current also should be a factor in the decision on where you should be steering your boat.

Staying to the windward side, or the side from which the current is flowing, is very prudent and can be looked upon as “defensive navigation.” You always want to anticipate what you would do if something went wrong with your power:

1) in a power boat, any engine can stop operating at any time.
2) in a sailboat, any sail can suddenly malfunction at any time
This is basic Murphy’s Law.

By being on the side of the channel that upwind or up current, you have a lot more room and time to handle the dilima. And if you go aground, the wind and/or current will help you get off. Had you been on the leeward side, the wind and/or current would get you stuck even worse.

This helpful boating pointer is provided by Catamaran Sailors Magazine, tips are useful to boaters of all types.

ABA assumes no responsibility or liability for events that occur due to actions you or others on your behalf take based on the information given. You are proceeding at your own risk.


© Copyright - Aloha Outdoors - Maui Boating