Cruising in & around Hong Kong
It’s not all about racing, sailing can be recreational and relaxing; cruising on a pleasure vessel, whether sail or power, allows you to enjoy sailing as a leisure activity giving you a great opportunity to explore. Whether you are sailing round the shores and outlying islands of Hong Kong, or crossing the sea to the Philippines, sailing is can provide a lifetime of fun and adventure.
It is important that people have the skills, knowledge and experience to be safe on the water and enjoy their intended journey, whether to a nearby island or across a sea. To facilitate this, we run a number of courses throughout the year.
Pleasure Vessel Operators Certificate Grade 2
In order to operate a boat with an engine (not a sailing dinghy) under 15 metres in length, a PVOC Grade 2 Certificate is required. The HKSF runs its own training and qualification programme, providing an alternative to the Marine Department exam. The certificate is obtained by taking a multiple choice test on knowledge of navigation, seamanship, safety and engineering.
Sea Safety & Survival Course
Run by Asian Yachting, this two day course prepares you to stay alive in an emergency. It will show you how to make the best use of a liferaft and you will learn some basic survival techniqes.
Whether you are just starting to think about small boat cruising, or you’re a seasoned sailor or motor cruising enthusiast, the Cruiser Owner’s Association is a great resourse. They organise a number fun rallies and cruises as well as races throughout the year.
From the HK Marine Department:
Guidelines For Boaters – The Dos & Don’ts
- assist any boat in distress.
- slow down when passing dredgers or water areas where divers may be working.
- slow down when making sharp turns or in bad weather.
- slow down, or give a wide berth, when passing small craft.
- learn the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
- carry distress signals, especially when operating at night.
- keep your boat clean. Oil in the bilges or dirty rags are a fire hazard.
- familiarize yourself with the limitations of your boat.
- carry an anchor and sufficient length of cable or rope.
- where practicable, join a boat club and keep yourself fully up-to-date with all the regulation.
- get yourself familiar with the Traffic Separation Schemes in Hong Kong waters and try to stay clear of fairways when large vessels are using them.
- take note of the latest tropical cyclone information and related announcements broadcasted on radio / TV and given on the Hong Kong Observatory’s Internet website and Dial-a-Weather system (Tel.: No.: 1878 200).
- keep to the outer limit of fairways and narrow channels which lies on your starboard side.
- keep the licence number of your boat well painted and unobstructed. If you have a mooring, keep it under repair and make sure the number is clearly visible.
- watch for Marine Department Notices and Notices to Mariners which appears in the web site of Marine Department.
- carry charts of the areas in which you are operating.
- stop immediately if the signal “L” (._..)is made to you by light, sound or flag from a Government or Police launch and wait for instructions.
- learn all important International and Local signals by their flag codes and in some cases in Morse code equivalents where such signals can be made by sound.
- pass close to another craft when underway.
- pass closer than 100 metres from the shore or piers in the Victoria Harbour.
- stand up or change seats in a small boat, particularly when the boat is full.
- mix liquor and boating.
- use a leaky or poorly built boat.
- operate near swimmers.
- cruise at a fast speed near smaller boats, the wash caused could well capsize them or cause damage to the boat or injuries to its occupants.
- leave the tiller or helm unattended, especially when in crowded waters.
- throw refuse into the sea.
- sound your horn unnecessarily.
- wait until last minute before following the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
- anchor near other boats so that they are inconvenienced.
- drop anchor, fish or in anyway make connection with the seabed in areas marked on your charts as “Cable Area”, “Cable Reserve” or similar notation.
- exceed the speed limit in Typhoon Shelter which is five knots (jogging speed).
Articles on HK Cruising
Article by Cameron Dueck