The New River in Fort Lauderdale, Florida is very popular with boats and yachts. There are several boat yards up the river which cater to large yachts as well as many restaurants and entertainment venues. I thought I’d offer a little information for yacht and boat operators who may not be familiar with navigating the New River. This information is directed mainly towards the boat and yacht owner operators who may not be quite as knowledgeable with the communication between other vessels and bridges as the professional skippers who operate on a daily or near daily basis. I am not going in to detail all the way up the river. I just thought the following information might help make traveling on the New River a little bit safer and more enjoyable for everyone if they were a little familiar with some basics. This is not trying to tell anyone what to do and I take no responsibility in any kind of mishaps or accidents which might occur if following this information. The operator of the vessel must always use their own best judgment. The river is rather narrow for larger vessels and when the current is moving it makes navigation a bit more challenging. The current does usually run a bit faster on an outgoing tide. On weekends and holidays boat traffic is heavier which adds to the sport. The tow boats quite often tow 100 foot yachts and larger up and down the New River to and from the yards. Sometimes even yachts in the 140’ range. So you can imagine it can get a bit tight sometimes. All of the commercial vessels, such as the tour boats, tow boats and fuel barge boats monitor vhf channel 9 as do the bridges. Most larger yachts who know the area monitor channel 9 as well. I will be referring to the New River going inbound or up river starting at markers 5 and 6. The river is very straight forward from there to marker 11 where you enter what is known as Tarpon Bend where there is the first “S” turn to maker 12. It is customary and appreciated if you are operating a vessel over about 40 feet in length or with more than about a 14 foot beam that you give a security call on vhf channel 9 giving your boat name, location and size as you are entering the river. Your first security call should be given before you approach marker 11 or in other words before you enter Tarpon Bend. Then again once you pass marker 12. I used the boat sizes only as a rule of thumb. If you happen to be quite new to boating and you are running a 30 footer that you tend to get sideways quite often, it would be nice if you gave a call as well. You might keep in mind that an 80 or 100 plus foot yacht can not stop and get out of the way nearly as easy as a 35 footer. Also keep in mind that the vessel that is going with the current has the right of way. As you go up or down the river, the best places to give at least a brief security call is as you approach the turns where you can’t see other boats coming. You will hear boats calling out nicknames as to their locations such as, “The Girls School” or “Little Florida”. These are spots where rather narrow turns are located. If you are new to the area you won’t know these areas by the nicknames. The best bet is to be aware of your location with a chart and listen to the radio and when approaching a turn, give a quick call on channel 9. You will know areas on the chart where US1 goes under the river. This is quite obviously referred to as The Tunnel. From marker 12 it is a rather easy straight shot for about a quarter mile to the next bend. Please keep in mind when meeting an oncoming vessel, normally it is expected that you will pass port to port which is known as a one whistle pass or each boat keeping to their right. There are times, because of any number of circumstances, where you might pass on the other side or starboard to starboard a two whistle pass. In these cases it is good to make these situations clear between each boat over the radio before you meet. The first bridge you come to is Third Ave. Bridge. Call the bridge tender on channel 9 if you need the bridge to open for you. The bridges usually have a marker or gauge that indicates its lowest point. If you ask the bridge to open and you don’t need it, the bridge tenders are not happy and it could result in a hefty fine. The next bridge is Andrews Ave. Just after Andrews Bridge there is a train bridge. This is always open unless a train is coming. This train bridge is automatic and no one stands by a radio for it. There is an electric sign that indicates if the bridge is coming down. If it is, you just have to wait. After this train bridge is the Seventh Ave. Bridge, and then on to Davie Blvd. Bridge. After this you will come to the train bridge immediately after the tall I95 bridge. This train bridge does have a bridge tender and stands by channel 9. Please keep in mind that I gave an indication as to the size of boat that should give a security call. I am not giving any official rules of the road here. You should keep up with that on your own. If you think you are too small it is still a good idea that you listen to channel 9 so you know if a big boat is on its way toward you and you can take appropriate action.