- - If Dreaming Yachtsman thinks this thread has gone on "Way too long" why is he still reading it? He also fails to make the bridge between the real world of private citizens sailing the oceans and the military. I would agree that it is appalling that so few sailors have ever seen COLREGS much less read and understood them. In the Military the ability to "force" people to learn "rules and regulations" is vastly different by light years, from getting voluntary civilian students in informal classes
to remember "rules of the road." They are not even comparable. I also have taught "rules of the road" albeit for only 15 years, but to civilians whose only interest was learning
to sail and get a certificate so they could bare-boat charter
. Trying to get them or absorb information that they do not consider to be of any interest or "need to know" is most difficult. So instructors try to instill in them basic concepts and vastly simplified memory aids - witness the "Red Right Returning" memory aid for bouys and markers. In the most common situations (but not ALL situations) that suffices to keep them out of trouble.
- - What occurred before COLREGs was adopted is interesting from a historical viewpoint but is not relevant to current
actual practices. There were reasons "major changes" were made in 1972 and other revisions since then.
- - Dreaming Yachtsman must have some difficulty with the word "slang" as a way of warning the reader that this is an approximation of the actual rules and NOT the actual written rules. Rather than getting all wrapped around the "language" of the rules - which is great for the "do or die" testing present in the military school environment
- he should realize that getting the average citizen to grasp and understand the concepts and purpose of the COLREGS requires using memory aids and vastly simplified concepts. Trying to get them memorize the language in an environment
where "Yes Sir! Aye Aye! Sir! does not exist is futile. Witness Phonics and the New Math in public schools.
- - Of course, there is no such thing as "rule of tonnage" - it is a slang approximation of the concepts of give-way and stand-on. As others have said plainly, in practice they just stay away from anything really bigger than their boats, and that is what the concept
of the slang "rule of tonnage" describes. It is also known as the "800lb Gorilla rule
- - There is real life and there is theoretical life that is argued in the court system. But staying alive to me is a more important concept
than being "dead right." If you are actually out there on the oceans, islands, bays and rivers of the world you will see in real life that virtually none of COLREGS is adhered to or even known to exist. Witness the contributors to this thread and others who admit to never having read them, let alone remember what the actual rules say. They only have "heresay" about them and assume they must be the same as "landside" laws and rules they encounter on the highways and byways. That is a very dangerous (slang: hazardous to your health) situation.
- - We can discuss the actual wording of each rule, ad-nauseum, and "turn-off" or as is said in the educational arena - "lose them" from even retaining any of the basic concepts.
- - What I said is not misleading! It is as I stated a simplification or distillation of the relevant COLREGS applicable this thread's general topic of discussion - Why did Jessica have a collision and is she aware of the "rules of the road" that are designed to prevent collisions? Which all address the more basic question - Is Jessica old enough and experienced enough to safely undertake her quest?
- - More than half of all the civilian students I taught in sailing school
had no interest in reading the COLREGS and expected me as the instructor to "spoon feed" them the "important" ones so they could pass the tests. If not, then they would take their money
elsewhere. That is the reality of life in the private recreational boating
world. Keep it plain and simple - K.I.S.S.
- - What Lodesman posted "Oh, that's a bit harsh. I don't think anyone would wade through this thread to learn the Colregs." is reality. If it is possible to only get a gross simplification understood about COLREGS then this thread has done something positive for the real world of cruising on private recreational vessels.
- - The last paragraph of my post #213 is very illuminating to me anyway, it explains why "out there" very few - if any - vessels adhere to or even know that COLREGS exist -> Their country never signed the convention.