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Great Barrier ferry at Westhaven Marina

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The GB ferries are moving to Westhaven, and will do a big U turn at the Westhaven entrance 11 times per day.

All boats must give way and keep 100 metres clear.

There will be a flashing light system to warn boaties.

This is happening around the end of October.

When they close the western entrance later this year, watch out for a bottleneck and traffic jams!   ;-)





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Just to clarify, we pay a squillion dollars a year to berth our boats at a marina that was originally built by boaties for boaties and now we are being told we have to wait to get out through the only

I'm not sure it's the catastrophe some are thinking? It's a few ferry movements, from what are pretty good operators. Is it really that big a deal to wait a few minutes now & again for a ferry t

The NZ 500 ton rule applies as a specific bylaw in any NZ harbour. The sailboat is required to stay out of the way of a vessel over 500 ton when within harbour limits. However, immediately it become

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Am unaware of any maritime rules that give ferries any special rights apart from might is right. If they are overtaking, should keep clear, should keep clear of vessels on starboard side and should give way to yachts sailing. Common sense should dictate appropriate behaviour however can you see yachts standing by on a Wednesday night race after battling traffic to get there on time only to put up with this. And a two minute period to stand by seems unrealistic - take more than that to get into my marina sometimes in a blow. 


Or am I way out of date and has the Council snuck through a bylaw I am unaware of?

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Must give way to any timetable ferry


Can't see that in bylaws - only restrictions appear to relate only to ferry basin terminal.

Has always been my understanding but here is a NZ article which is open for debate.




A vessel over 500 gross tons, navigating in a Narrow Channel, sights a red light fine on her starboard bow. The Master believes it to be the sidelight of a small sailing vessel, a vessel that is required not to impede his vessel. As a risk of collision is seen to be developing, is the vessel that is not to be impeded the ‘stand on’ vessel required to take action to comply with Rule 22.17?


Does the vessel that is not to be impeded become the ‘give way’ vessel required to keep out of the way complying with Rule 22.18 (1) (d)?

Maritime NZ’s considered opinion was:

??? read on

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Its good to see such clarity with regards to rules for avoiding collisions with ferries. I'm sure this forum reflects a reasonable cross section of general boaties that will be using the Westhaven entrance.


What could possible go wrong with a commercial ferry doing a crazy Ivan 22 times a day in one of the most congested pieces of water in Auckland?



PS, I've commissioned reports from three different consultants (none of whom have actually ever been on a boat) and when they come up with a coherent answer, I'll let you know.

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every boat must keep to the starboard (right) side of any channel. inside a harbour (normally shown on the pilotage limit on the chart) you must keep out of the way of any ship over 500 tons (which is about 50 metres in length). do not create a wake which causes unnecessary danger to other boats or people.


This was drummed in to me about 40 years ago. I am confident it will be documented somewhere just where is the problem.

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