The Boating "Law of Gross Tonnage"

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The Boating "Law of Gross Tonnage"

There is an unwritten rule in the world of boating that very aptly applies to kayaking. It is known as the "Law of Gross Tonnage." More simply put, this can also be called the "law of common sense."

The Law of Gross Tonnage is quite simply the idea that on the water the larger boat wins. Larger boats are often less manueverable and have reduced visibility than smaller boats. And, of course, much more damage and danger will come to the smaller boat should a collision arise.

So, kayakers, be sure to steer clear of larger boats. It is up to you to stay safe and out of the way of larger boats, even if you have the right of way.



11/20/2010 1:09:06 AM
jeff said:

to be a bit more clear on this topic as we have had some close calls on our lake in recent years. Kayakers are hard to see from a powerboat/runabout/bow rider. I find that most kayakers are wearing dark wet suits, or wearing a popular dark PFD and their kayak is dark blue green etc, all this blends in to the blue back ground of the water and at at low angle form a power boat, we just do not see you.
It would help those in power boats to more quickly see the kayaker if they were wearing something brighter or a reflective strip on the kayak. a popular time of day for all out the water is late evening, sun is low and you can easily get glare,or if the water is a bit choppy the smaller kayaks will actually disappear in the troughs. Please guys and gals, we power boaters do not want to injury you, but you have to give us a chance to see you.

1/20/2011 4:21:56 PM
George Sayour, Kayaking Guru said:

Thanks so much for the comment. It is great to get the perspective of someone in the motorboat community. As I've spent my fair share of time on powerboats, I’ve experienced firsthand what you are saying.

Thanks again!



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