Originally Posted by Donsan
Please explain TSS. Can it be assumed you are not supposed to cross the lavender bar?
Okay, found a rather vague description of it on Wiki, but still not sure understand what it means for recreational boaters.
Some vessels are required to participate in the TSS and for the most part they must "stay in the lanes". All vessels, recreational as well, are required observe the TSS rules.
If your boat is under 20 meters then you are generally not required to participate in the TSS. There is no special consideration in rule 10 or any other colregs rule given for recreational vessels. If you are not required to participate in the TSS then in simple terms you must:
- Not impede the movement of a vessel required to participate. This is generally construed as you should not force a TSS participant to give way to your vessel.
- Should if possible not operate in the lanes.
- Should if possible cross the lanes at close to 90 degrees as you reasonably can.
- The magenta line between the lanes is called the separation zone or separation line and all vessels should stay clear except to cross the separation zone.
- Be very cautious around the 'ends' of the TSS
It is also important to know that each port state creates it's own specific TSS rules that go beyond the basics laid out in rule 10 of the colregs. When boating in a high traffic area it is best to get a copy of the current local TSS rules.
The shipping pilots make heavy use of the TSS. The TSS's are generally managed by local authorities over VHF somewhat like air traffic control but more of an advisory service than a control authority. The local rules will specify which VHF channel(s) for given areas. Listening to the VHF channel, observing AIS and with local knowledge you will get a very good 'picture' of what the heavy ships are up to making your crossings and navigating near busy harbors much less stressful.