Rule of the Road on the River

The rule of the road on the river.

With the tide—the middle of the stream.

Up-stream—either shore.

The rights of anglers.


There is a rule of the road for the river, and those who boat on the Thames on crowded days fervently wish that it were better understood. There does not appear to be any means of acquiring the necessary information. If such means exist they have never come under my notice, and, for at least one summer, I spent many hours daily in that agreeable form of exercise. Boats coming down with the tide keep the middle of the river; those going against it hug the shore on either side, but in passing other boats coming in the same direction they must go out in a semicircle, leaving the front boat the shore. Tow-boats are always given this advantage. In meeting other boats coming down-stream which really have no right to the shore, but are mistakenly kept near the margin by inexperienced steerers, the boat going up- stream should not go out, but keep towards the land, The rights of the numerous anglers should be respected; and it is not only courteous but politic to do so, as it is disagreeable to have the lines entangled in the boat. Row-boats give way to sailing-boats on the river, especially when the latter are tacking to use the breeze. As to steam-launches, their motto too often appears to be that “Might is right.” Occupants of small boats keep a sharp look-out for these.

Passing through locks.

In passing through the locks the usual politeness of refraining from shooting ahead of boats in front should be observed. Any active emulation of this kind is a very risky business in the same way when pulling a boat over the rollers. A man is bound to yield the pas to ladies or to any boat containing ladies. In fact, the courtesies of the river may be summed up as similar to those on land.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.