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Old 14 June 2014, 20:46   #11
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I dunno. Imagine that your engine had broken down in a dangerous place. How fast could a large vessel in the vicinity stop to rescue you?

An uninterrupted run across the entrance takes the chain ferry about 3 minutes.
With a distance of approx 250 yards to travel this gives the ferry a speed
of approx 83 metres a minute.
Slowing down from just over a metre a second in a 125 tonne ferry....
I bet there are some commercial skippers on here who could give you that answer.
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Old 15 June 2014, 02:44   #12
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There are bye laws in Poole that give it right of way. They seem to have managed to stop for this. And a similar incident with a speed boat in 2012 and the incident that created the byelaw in 2001 when an X boat hit them...

If you look at the video of that the tides are crazy... So even if the ferry stops you might hit it at 4kts...
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Old 15 June 2014, 02:50   #13
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someone who knows a bit more about it than me will no doubt correct me, but
I think chain ferries have disc brakes on the wheels that grab the chain. Also
am sure they could hit reverse if not going too fast and slow themslves quicker,
but then as you pointed out - its a 120 foot long floating obstacle in the tidal flow.
need to build a bridge
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Old 15 June 2014, 02:53   #14
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or a tunnel
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Old 15 June 2014, 04:10   #15
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Ouch!

I was told the "Chain ferry" was classified as a floating bridge not a ferry and as such it's not essential for staff to be qualified to drive it. I can't be certain this is true but it did come direct from one of their employees after I asked him if he ever got the chance to drive the ferry (bridge)he replied "we all do" and then explained all this
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Old 15 June 2014, 05:31   #16
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Didn't they have any Oars in the small gray inflatable?
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Old 15 June 2014, 07:15   #17
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Stray the tide runs at 4kts through there at times. Oars would probably be useless. Even an outboard can be a problem!
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Old 15 June 2014, 16:56   #18
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Stray the tide runs at 4kts through there at times. Oars would probably be useless. Even an outboard can be a problem!
Only if you want to go against the tide!

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An uninterrupted run across the entrance takes the chain ferry about 3 minutes.
With a distance of approx 250 yards to travel this gives the ferry a speed
of approx 83 metres a minute.
Slowing down from just over a metre a second in a 125 tonne ferry....
I bet there are some commercial skippers on here who could give you that answer.
83 m/min sounds a lot, but its basically walking speed, 3mph or just over 2.5 knots. Now stopping 125 tonnes at that speed is not instantaneous, but intuitively a chain ferry would be easier to stop than a normal ferry so either the guys in the dinghy were far too close or someone on the ferry was not keeping a good lookout / assumed that they would get out his way.
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Old 15 June 2014, 17:03   #19
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or someone on the ferry was not keeping a good lookout / assumed that they would get out his way.

Knowing Poole harbour entrance, that's far more like it. The chain ferry often just goes charging out into everything, no matter how dangerous it is.
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Old 15 June 2014, 17:46   #20
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A regular ferry with a propeller is braking against water the same as any other propellor drive boat so the laws of mass vs momentum vs thrust apply, however a chain ferry is totally different given that it is tracking itself across the harbour entrance along two rather hefty chains. It therefore has more similar characteristics in braking to a car in my opinion. How quickly would a 125 ton vehicle stop on tarmac at 4mph. Pretty much instantly I'd reckon...
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