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Old 04-25-2014, 09:29 PM   #21
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Thanks all, I really appreciate the insight you've offered.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:38 AM   #22
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> Sometimes when heading north or south on the ICW, big Sport Fishers honk on it between bridges, but most of the time I catch up at the next bridge, and there they go again, only to be caught at the next one. <

YES!

The big hassle for boats that cruise common waterways like the AICW is they are going in spring or fall, with everyone else.

The bridges become bottlenecks as the operator doesnt wish to do endless openings.

So the furthest boat out he can see in the gaggle , say a 5k-30 ft sail boat , will have to get close before the opening.

Depending, this can trap faster boats for 15 or 20 min as they wait for tail end Charley.

15 -20 min of driving in circles or wet the 12H Danforth and relax.

You choose.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:48 AM   #23
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>............The bridges become bottlenecks as the operator doesnt wish to do endless openings..............
I don't think it's so much the bridge tender's wishes as it is balancing the needs of boaters with the needs of motorists. I would expect that these people are operating under written guidelines from whoever is in charge of the bridge.
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:01 AM   #24
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Bridge tenders and bridge commissions have a strict set of rules from the USCG...but as all operations that can appeal to politicians...they gain back a lot of latitude.

The Little River Swing and the Socastee have the..open on demand reg...unless just opened ...then maybe 15 minutes they'll do it again. I've seen that plenty of other times too.


So like in most things in life..the only rule is "there are no rules"...
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Old 04-26-2014, 11:11 AM   #25
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I don't like to open bridges if I can avoid it so I usually drop my Bimini top before I head up the Miami river to my store. There is one really low bridge that I can usually squeeze under, but once on a really high tide I got close and changed my mind. I turned away and asked for an opening. At other times I've had the tender of this bridge open for me without having to ask.

When I make the turn up the Tamiami Canal to reach my store, there is a very low swing bridge that I have to open. The tenders are always nice. Up until a few years ago it took a long time to open this bridge. The tender would put the gates down, walk to the middle of the bridge, flip a big lever on one side, walk to the other side, flip another big lever and then while standing on the bridge use the controls to open it. To close it was just the reverse. Now it can be opened and closed from inside the tenders house. All the fun is gone.
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Old 04-26-2014, 01:08 PM   #26
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Fact: Bridge tender cannot have bridge closed for cars 100% of the time and open for boats 100% of the time.

So it's all compromise and balance. Probably when he's doing it best neither cars nor boats are completely happy, but neither terribly angry either. Schedules and rules that are set, but then judgement too. You're in the distance, haven't checked in with him, he's not likely to consider you. But if you've checked with him, he might say to keep it coming and he'll try to get you in, might even ask your speed.
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Old 04-26-2014, 02:50 PM   #27
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I'm working on a cool tool for bridges. I hope to be able to start on it this summer. What it will do, among other things, is take your planned route and give you an "up ahead" list of things coming into your path. One of the first things added to this list will be bridges. As you move along your path, the up ahead list is updated. For bridges, it'll allow you to specify the restricted opening time you can make - we maintain that for bridges around the world - North Carolina and Sydney, Australia. Then the list will continually count down the average speed you need to maintain to make that opening (minus, let's say, 10 minutes for safety). So it'll let you know you have to make 7.2 knots even if the bridge is 18 miles ahead. Hit a no wake zone and now it'll show that you now need 7.4 knots. Because it knows your route, it isn't doing these calculations as the bird flies. It's actually doing them along your path.

An added enhancement is the need to correlate current effects on ETA as well. I wrote about that last year in a newsletter. I have some technology for that which allows some current modeling along a path away from other current prediction stations. Good ETA modeling is key to making this work well.
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Old 04-26-2014, 04:42 PM   #28
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Excellent idea, provided the software is also flexible enough to alter for a new bridge, changed opening times, seasonal changes, or even temporary closures. It sure would be great to get aboard, head up the ICW with a comprehensive data readout like you've described. Man, I guess I'm really getting lazy.
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Old 04-26-2014, 06:49 PM   #29
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Pretty much takes care of itself if you plot the bridge as a waypoint in a route.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:09 PM   #30
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Pretty much takes care of itself if you plot the bridge as a waypoint in a route.
You're able to tell the time to go for a waypoint along a route that's 18 miles ahead? What software does that?

It's pretty simple to see how far the next bridge is when you're approaching it. That's also often too late to make enough of a change to actually make the bridge in a comfortable way.
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Old 04-26-2014, 08:37 PM   #31
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Spit Bridge,Sydney`s only currently opening bridge, opens at scheduled times only. It carries a large volume of road traffic to northern harbour and northern beaches areas. Maximum closed clearance is 6 metres, Doriana is fine, I know a GB52 with mast modified for hydraulic operation to fit under. Several complimentary moorings are provided either side of the bridge for boats arriving out of sync with opening times. The openings are well patronised, waterways upstream have many moored boats, marinas, and popular cruising anchorages.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:27 PM   #32
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"Several complimentary moorings are provided either side of the bridge for boats arriving out of sync with opening times."

I like that. Good idea.
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Old 04-26-2014, 09:37 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Bridge tenders and bridge commissions have a strict set of rules from the USCG...but as all operations that can appeal to politicians...they gain back a lot of latitude.

The Little River Swing and the Socastee have the..open on demand reg...unless just opened ...then maybe 15 minutes they'll do it again. I've seen that plenty of other times too.


So like in most things in life..the only rule is "there are no rules"...
Never had to wait more than 15 minutes for either of those bridges. Both of them are directly adjacent to a 65' high rise bridge, so there is an alternate route for cars. The alternate route is 4 lanes and the swing bridges are 2 lanes. I've wondered why those two bridges aren't removed altogether since they are essentially redundant.
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:00 PM   #34
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Lake Simcoe is in the middle of the Trent Severn waterway and as such it is necessary to have an air height of no more than 6.1M (20ft.) to clear the fixed bridges and as well there are many draw and swing bridges along the way. Bridge tenders are not in communication with the boats at all. Some say 3 short blasts of your horn when approaching while others are reliant strictly upon the tender keeping a keen eye. Waits are generally not too long but if a scheduled train is coming, boats just have to wait. No sense in hurrying around these parts, just relax and enjoy!
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Old 04-26-2014, 10:13 PM   #35
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Spit Bridge,Sydney`s only currently opening bridge, opens at scheduled times only.
Here's a link to all the info we have on it including the phone number:
https://activecaptain.com/X.php?lat=...46225&t=h&z=15

I quickly looked around and you're right - this seems to be the only bridge that isn't on demand. That's pretty amazing for a populated city. Most at least limit openings outside of rush hour.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:00 AM   #36
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You're able to tell the time to go for a waypoint along a route that's 18 miles ahead? What software does that?

It's pretty simple to see how far the next bridge is when you're approaching it. That's also often too late to make enough of a change to actually make the bridge in a comfortable way.
Jeff, MacENC is one example. Once you are on a route, selecting he Route dialog box in the Navigation window will show you each waypoint in order, how far it is and time to go to get to it, dynamically.

In practice almost all the bridges or locks I was ever concerned with are pretty much in a straight line on the A, G, or O ICW. I'd simply set the next bridge as a "Go To" on the Furuno. I am still able to do simple arithmetic in my head and figure out what speed over ground (takes care of the current issue) i need to set to. I could tweek the speed to get it more precise if I liked as time went by. As noted in another post, a cushion of a few minutes is needed anyway. I disliked having to stand off any more than I had to, especially in Southeast Florida on a weekend.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:44 AM   #37
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That's interesting. I didn't know MacENC did that. Of course, there's no integrated capability to get the bridge opening times in that software but there are certainly other ways to manually do that.

My goal is to provide a comprehensive "Up Ahead" list that dynamically changes as you move. There are dozens of things that can provide - bridge openings are just one but it's one that I want so it'll be early!
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:57 AM   #38
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What I did was include the times (for instance :15-:30) and the air draft in the waypoint name. Worked pretty slick.

First time I started using the bridge as waypoint (but not nearly so elegantly) was when we were chartering in SW Florida. Had this Maptech App on my Palm Treo, the guy who invented it turned me on to it on T&T ... ;o)
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Old 04-27-2014, 09:15 AM   #39
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That was where the original idea came from!

And meeting in New Bern...that was almost a decade ago, George. Feels like a blink...
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:53 PM   #40
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Coastal explored can give you the eta to a bridge that is an arbitrary distance away. Like MacENC, you can look at all the waypoints on your route and see the distance and eta. Just place a waypoint at the bridge, and it works as well as any eta calculator. Varying speed, either by throttle control or current influence will of course impact the eta calculations, but in my experience you are either running at a pretty constant speed, or the speed changes due to current cancel each other out over the route, so arrival time calculations tend to be pretty accurate. There will of course be exceptions, but so far I've found it works well.
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