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Old 14-08-2011, 09:23   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boasun

The SAFE Distance to cross the bow of a large ship is: NEVER!!

You never cross the bow of another vessel because Murphy's Law is in effect an you could lose power, lose wind, Find that the vessel whose bow you're crossing is going faster than you thought... And a Myraid of other things that can go wrong. You do know Murphy's Law don't you??
Murphy and I are long time shipmates. He used to ride with me when I was windsurfing across SF Bay back in the 80's. Not possible to cross the Bay without crossing a ship's path. When he decided it was time for me to crash and burn in the channel, I tried not to think about how fast the ships move as I got everything lined up for my water start.

Your point that stuff happens at inopportune times is valid. I always try to cross shipping channels at right angles to minimize exposure and, if the winds are light and I'm dawdling, I have the engine on if there's any traffic to be seen.

Thanks to all for your perspectives. I will probably be a bit more conservative in the future.
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Old 14-08-2011, 11:38   #47
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

Windsurfers in the SF Bay.

One time I was out for a daysail with a crew of two on the Bay. I was crossing the gate from Yellow Bluff toward the City front when I noticed a tanker up by Angel Island make a turn toward the Golden Gate. I knew from past experience that within 15 minutes he was going to be where I was, so I turned on the iron genny.
I passed a windsufer treading water and clinging to his board. As I passed I yelled if he needed help and he yelled back that his rudder had broken and he was unable to get back on his board. I spun my boat around and came up into the wind and held my stearn to his board using throttle and transmission. My crew threw him the bitter end of one of my sheets and pulled him and his board over my stearn rail while the tanker was going crazy with his horn. I don't know how close we came but I could hear the sound of the tankers engine as he passed. If the tanker had slowed down he would have lost steerage-way in the deep water channel to safely approach the bridge.
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Old 14-08-2011, 11:40   #48
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

Hope he didn't scratch the anchor
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Old 14-08-2011, 12:39   #49
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

The 265-meter tanker Hanne Knudsen was not going at full speed, but was maneuvering in very restricted waters on her way into Frawley and just beginning a turn to follow the channel. All the racers were well informed of their obligation to keep clear of large commercial traffic whilst racing. One of the two sailors who went in the drink was sent to hospital and released, I have heard said, and the sailboat skipper could be facing a L 1 000 fine, among other things.
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Old 22-08-2011, 10:45   #50
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

Quote:
Originally Posted by boasun View Post
The SAFE Distance to cross the bow of a large ship is: NEVER!!

You never cross the bow of another vessel because Murphy's Law is in effect an you could lose power, lose wind, Find that the vessel whose bow you're crossing is going faster than you thought... And a Myraid of other things that can go wrong. You do know Murphy's Law don't you??

You can take that one to the bank. The wind can stop at any time, the freighter cannot. The big ships may have a minimum steerage speed that is more than double the top speed of a sailboat.

COLREGS prohibit "steering into a collision", passing the bow of a ship bigger, and faster than you falls into that category.
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Old 22-08-2011, 11:18   #51
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

Matbe the so-called skipper of the sailboat didn't like the anchor color of the anchor and decided it would look better in pink.
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Old 30-08-2011, 19:12   #52
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

OMG!!!! I cannot believe what my eyes saw on that video!

The skipper doesn't deserve kind words - he/she recklessly endangered the lives of the crew, is guilty of gross negligence (not misjudgement) and should be prosecuted to the full extent of Maritime Law and banned from racing!

Let me see, change course to pass safely astern OR sneak across bow and risk killing everyone?!? Tough decision....

I tried to see if the ship was displaying day shapes for "constrained by draft" or "restricted in manoeuvrability" but it doesn't matter. Obviously in a channel, the ship has right of way anyway because it will be constrained by draft AND restricted in manoeuvrability. But even forgetting legalities, common sense & survival intelligence says don't play chicken with freaking big ships!!
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Old 31-08-2011, 05:07   #53
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

What Southampton water authorities should consider is a restriction or temporary ban on sail races, That would soften everyone's cough

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Old 31-08-2011, 06:19   #54
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

We were crossing from Key Biscayne to Bimini and saw an oil tanker bearing down on our port side from about 1/2 mile away, pretty much on a collision course. As I was getting ready to turn to pass behind his stern, he begins a big 90-degree turn to starboard to pass behind me. I was feeling awfully important, to see such a humongous ship turned to avoid little old us. Then it occurred to me that he must've been turning to head in for the port of Miami. . . .
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:35   #55
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

Ok. You've ALL got it wrong. It's obvious this skipper is a HUGE fan of Cruisersforum and woke up that morning thinking "Now what's the best way I can become the topic of a discussion thread on CF? Aaah. I know!!....."
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:46   #56
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

Some of you guys are making some pretty harsh judgements based on very little information.

We can't judge distances or perspectives in a shot like that.

The incident took place about a mile or two from where my boat is based, and I sail right past that spot everytime I go to sea.

The tanker is making a very sharp turn to starboard -- about 120 degrees -- to get from the Eastern Solent into the Thorne Channel, in order to get around the infamous Bramble Bank into Southampton Water. The turn is so sharp, that there is a tug pulling him around.

The skipper might have been trying to avoid the Bramble Bank himself -- we don't know what the state of tide was. There are viciously strong currents there when the tide is runnng -- we also don't know what role that played.

The skipper might have misjudged the tankers rate of turn -- the tanker was turning to starboard very hard and turning into the sailboat's path. The sailboat might have been constrained by the Bramble Bank.

It might have been a stupid-ass maneuver, but we can't tell for sure just from this -- and it was certainly not a case of a reckless skipper simply cutting off a tanker travelling at 25 knots -- no one was making 25 knots. I think you guys are assuming too much and jumping to conclusions.
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:48   #57
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Some of you guys are making some pretty harsh judgements based on very little information.

We can't judge distances or perspectives in a shot like that.

The incident took place about a mile or two from where my boat is based, and I sail right past that spot everytime I go to sea.

The tanker is making a very sharp turn to starboard -- about 120 degrees -- to get from the Eastern Solent into the Thorne Channel, in order to get around the infamous Bramble Bank into Southampton Water. The turn is so sharp, that there is a tug pulling him around.

The skipper might have been trying to avoid the Bramble Bank himself -- we don't know what the state of tide was. There are viciously strong currents there when the tide is runnng -- we also don't know what role that played.

The skipper might have misjudged the tankers rate of turn -- the tanker was turning to starboard very hard and turning into the sailboat's path. The sailboat might have been constrained by the Bramble Bank.

It might have been a stupid-ass maneuver, but we can't tell for sure just from this -- and it was certainly not a case of a reckless skipper simply cutting off a tanker travelling at 25 knots -- no one was making 25 knots. I think you guys are assuming too much and jumping to conclusions.

Dockhead, you are absolutely kidding mate! Surely! Can't judge the angle?! The ship is massive, he shouldn't have been anywhere near it! The run of the tide, the speed of the tanker, misjudging the rate of turn, the Bramble Bank - all excuses! He should be nowhere near that tanker and he should've factored those things into his course way before that moment. A few more things he should have factored in - wind always bounces off large ships unpredictably; waves and the ship's displacement also will initially push a vessel away but then quickly suck it in.

I have sailed on Sydney Harbour as a professional skipper/sailing instructor for many years, including corporate and twilight regattas. Sydney Harbour on a busy summer weekend is one of the busiest harbours in the world! At any given time, there may be upwards of 10 different regattas from maxis to dinghys all criss crossing each other, there are hundreds of large charter vessels, ferries going everywhere, power boaters, launches, hundreds of private yachts. And amongst all this, car carriers, ships, maybe even the Queen Mary might be entering the harbour. I have seen so many sail boats in regattas try to sneak ahead of a ship or the Manly Ferry because they don't want to loose position in the race!
A good skipper is assessing constantly in heavy traffic (and while racing even more fun) and making good decisions based on everything including the run of tide, wind strength and direction and the vessels that have right of way - done properly, course changes are minimalised, boat speed is kept fast and last minute, heart in mouth moments avoided.

I don't like excuses, I like people to sail to their ability, and if they don't possess good seamanship, they can possess prudence and always err to the safe side.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:29   #58
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

Having spent many hours playing in the Solent, I'm really not surprised at this incident.
The only surprise is that it doesn't happen more often.

The Solent is full of weekend warriors full of their own self importance, the sticks and rags brigade really do think they have right of way over everyone when they have a sail up (even when motoring).
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:37   #59
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

Nothing like a good game of Chicken to get the blood flowing in the morning. Or a case of the Murphy's. Or it could be that, under the right circumstances, with the right medicine, you can cure stupid. At any rate, I bet he won't do that again.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:47   #60
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Re: Cowes Week Yacht Hits Bulk Tanker

You never know what people will do. I watched a 10,000 ton ferry doing 20 knots down a channel yesterday. There was a little runabout who had positioned themselves very close to the path of the ferry. BC Ferries always get top marks on their ability to look down a channel and plot a course that respects all craft on the water but this is a 7 deck vessel, not something easily maneuvered. He sounded a blast. They have mates forward on lower decks and likely one had phoned the bridge and indicated they were going to clear this little boat. I'm pretty sure the runabout wanted to ride the wake the ferry produces! What a thing to put the Captain of the ferry through though.
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