Skippers Guide EN 1
The Göta Canal is serviced by a number of passeng
er vessels, each covering a different section of the canal. The ships are a spectacular sight to behold as they glide through the landscape, and they attract attention wherever they go. If you are travelling the canal aboard a pleasure craft of your own, there are a number of important things to remember when you meet, or end up behind a passenger vessel. Do not go too close The passenger vessels often keep to a speed of 3-4 knots. The limited depth of the canal prevents them from going faster. For safety reasons, you should not get too close behind a vessel, as it may need to stop or reverse. Because of the currents that arise around the vessel, it is also highly risky to overtake. Meetings Primarily, follow the directions given by the vessel’s captain. If the captain does not instruct you on which side you should pass, standard maritime navigation rules apply. Pass at a distance of 2-3 metres from the passenger vessel at a speed of about 4 knots. This will give you good steering ability and control. Also, try to avoid getting too close to the canal bank, as the depth is limited there. If passing the passenger vessel on a bend, the passenger vessel will often want to stay on the outer curve. This means that you can pass each other starboard to starboard, i.e. with the passenger vessel “driving on the left”. The vessel may indicate its intentions with two short sound signals (turning to port). Meeting in narrow passages At Billströmmen, the Spetsnäs Canal and the Berg Canal, the canal has been blasted through the bedrock. Here, the canal is Passenger boat meetings | 21 Passenger boats will give the following signals before entry in narrow passages: Billströmmen Two long blasts and one short blast — — • (going east), two long blasts — — (going west) The Spetsnäs Canal one long blast – (going east), three long blasts — — — (going west) The Berg Canal one long blast — (going east), two long blasts — — (going west) narrow and at its maximum depth only at the very centre of the waterway. This means that you cannot pass a passenger boat in this section. Between Lanthöjden and Tåtorp, vessels can only pass at the marked meeting places. Position yourself in the middle of the canal about 30 metres from the oncoming passenger boat, veer slightly starboard or port and pass the passenger boat at 0.5 metres apart at a speed of 1–2 knots. Pay attention to signals from the skipper of the passenger boat. Secure your boat properly Pleasure craft at a jetty or dock must be securely moored at both bow and stern when a passenger boat passes by. As the larger vessel passes the water sinks and there is a strong undertow effect. Therefore make sure your boat is securely moored, no one is strong enough to hold the ropes by hand.