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Deep fried Cat  Bottom

  • I live a few blocks from a boat ramp in Matagorda Bay Area which is awesome because of the ease of launching. Sadly though I’ve never really considered using it for catamaran launch point as a set of power lines (500kV?) span the bay between my ramp and the fun part of the bay. Now my Navionics shows (auth?) clearance of 69’. A beach cat mast isn’t half that but what is the rule about clearance of electrical lines? Is there a safety buffer you allow or did navionics do that for me already with the (Auth Clearance) or should I just steer clear?

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    Joshua

    Texas Gulf Coast
    '82 Prindle 16 (Badfish)
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  • What powerlines give me some coordinates.

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    Captain Chris Holley
    Fulshear, TX
    '87 Prindle 19 "Cat in the Hat"
    '74 sunfish "1fish"
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  • The height of power lines over navigable channels is mandated by law and codes. 69 feet of clearance is appropriate for 501 to 700 KVA lines, and the clearance is based on the mean high water (MHW) which is based on several years of the highest tide marks. Unfortunately, those codes are silent on minimum recommended clearance for watercraft to those lines. It will be interesting to hear what others on the forum say, or you might call the Coast Guard and see if they have recommendations.

    Depending on your boat, you are probably under 40-feet total height and should have no problems with the 69 foot clearance, and the actual height is likely higher unless you are passing under the point of lowest sag at the highest tide.

    I could not find hard guidance for minimum clearance to sailboats or other vessels, but for power lines of 345 - 700 KVA, the OSHA mandated clearance (1926.1411(b)(5)(ii)) is a minimum of 16-feet. https://www.osha.gov/laws…ardnumber/1926/1926.1411 The only other consideration I would personally make is to avoid crossing under in rain or fog.

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    Tom
    NACRA 5.7 (1984 Sail 181)
    Pennsylvania
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  • tominpa
    Depending on your boat, you are probably under 40-feet total height and should have no problems with the 69 foot clearance, and the actual height is likely higher unless you are passing under the point of lowest sag at the highest tide.

    I could not find hard guidance for minimum clearance to sailboats or other vessels, but for power lines of 345 - 700 KVA, the OSHA mandated clearance (1926.1411(b)(5)(ii)) is a minimum of 16-feet. https://www.osha.gov/laws…ardnumber/1926/1926.1411 The only other consideration I would personally make is to avoid crossing under in rain or fog.


    Oh, definitely under 40'. I'm considering a Prindle 16 which is going to have an air draft of what?



    Edited by badfish on Jan 17, 2019 - 11:53 AM.

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    Joshua

    Texas Gulf Coast
    '82 Prindle 16 (Badfish)
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  • Oh, definitely under 40'. I'm considering a Prindle 16 which is going to have an air draft of what?

    26' mast
    let's say the base is 2' above the water 3' tops
  • A Prindle 16 will top out at most 30' above water level with no wind or heel on the boat. You are certainly safe to use the launch and pass under those lines. Large electric lines do create an electromagnetic field, but there is no risk of it arcing to your mast with that clearance.

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    Tom
    NACRA 5.7 (1984 Sail 181)
    Pennsylvania
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  • This is a very good posting, and great information to have concerning power lines. Thank you for posting. Be safe out there, safety first. I remember reading about some boy scouts in Texas who were electrocuted when the Hobie 16 they were on got too close to some power lines, so this is good stuff to think about.



    Edited by martyr on Jan 18, 2019 - 08:37 AM.

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    Marty
    1984 Hobie 16 Redline Yellow Nationals, "Yellow Fever"
    Opelika, Al / Lake Martin
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