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Old 14-12-2010, 08:26   #46
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Originally Posted by SvenG View Post
I think what Dave is referring to is that when a collision is imminent all parties are responsible for taking whatever action is needed to try to avoid it.

Until a collision is imminent you are responsible for standing on if you are the standon vessel, that isn't a right of way, it is a legal obligation.

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Fair enough, but I still think people are focusing on the minute exceptions, and in my mind even those are covered. I've got the rules of the road book next to me here (study materials) and even in rule 8 "action to avoid collision" which is I think what the person above was referring to still makes many references to vessels that shall not impede other vessels, etc. So even in the "throw the book out, time to avoid collisions" you're still supposed to use the book and have an understanding of the pecking order.
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Old 14-12-2010, 08:28   #47
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So even in the "throw the book out, time to avoid collisions" you're still supposed to use the book and have an understanding of the pecking order.
Agree !



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Old 14-12-2010, 08:33   #48
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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post


It really, really, really does. It specifically states in painful detail who has the right of way in overtaking, crossing, head-on, and otherwise situations. I'm honestly shocked.

International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Technically it does not...
It lays out an Internationally agreed set of recommendations to follow... a bit like the Rules of the Road on land however it is not a criminal offence to not follow them.. unlike on land.. so you often find the might is right attitude around... and thats across the scale from big ships all the way down to little speedboats playing chicken.
Do the same on land and you'll be booked.. if seen.. and face a fine, ban, whatever...
COLREGS is maintained/policed co-operatively by us the mariners... and like everywhere/thing else there's always the gap between true believers and followers of common sense..
Head to Head should be both alter to Stbd,, passing Port to Port... yet many times the bigger oncoming yacht holds course and sneers down as you rock in the wake..
On land it'd be dangerous driving and a serious offense... at sea.. its just another A-hole...
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Old 14-12-2010, 08:35   #49
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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
People talking about standing on ate missing the point. First large commercial vessels nearly always communicate their passing intentions by VHF,leisure boats don't. To blithely stand on while getting closer and closer is the height of folly.

People talking about predicability miss the point you may not have been seen. In the first place. IMHO unless you have verbal agreement I would never get into a close quarters situation ( except in fairways)

As I said manoeuvre when the risk doesn't exist and don't put yourself anywhere near these ships if at all possible.

Dave
VHF is generally only used when there is confusion or someone wants to do something out of the ordinary - 95% of the time, commercial vessels just follow the rules with no need to make a radio call.

You seem to be missing the point. You have no way of knowing whether you've been seen or not - just assuming you haven't been seen and acting erratically makes it impossible for the give-way vessel to take the proper action. There is no possible way for you to completely avoid all other vessels in the world, so why not try to gain experience and comfort with using the rules when conditions are benign, so that when it's not-so-benign and a supertanker comes out of nowhere at 26 kts, you'll know what to do.

No-one here has said "stand-on, stand-on, stand-on"; we've said "follow the Rules of the road". If the rules say "stand-on", then stand-on, and when the rules say "stop standing-on", then stop standing-on.
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Old 14-12-2010, 08:46   #50
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Technically it does not...
It lays out an Internationally agreed set of recommendations to follow... a bit like the Rules of the Road on land however it is not a criminal offence to not follow them..
Depends on the country and how they have legislated the Rules. The Colregs conventions require signatories to enact the laws in their own jurisdictions - how they choose to enforce the rules or apply punishments is up to the individual country.
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Old 14-12-2010, 08:48   #51
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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Technically it does not...
It lays out an Internationally agreed set of recommendations to follow... a bit like the Rules of the Road on land however it is not a criminal offence to not follow them.. unlike on land.. so you often find the might is right attitude around... and thats across the scale from big ships all the way down to little speedboats playing chicken.
Do the same on land and you'll be booked.. if seen.. and face a fine, ban, whatever...
COLREGS is maintained/policed co-operatively by us the mariners... and like everywhere/thing else there's always the gap between true believers and followers of common sense..
Head to Head should be both alter to Stbd,, passing Port to Port... yet many times the bigger oncoming yacht holds course and sneers down as you rock in the wake..
On land it'd be dangerous driving and a serious offense... at sea.. its just another A-hole...
What?

COLREGS describes things like lights as well. If you decided to switch out to flashing blue for your running lights, you don't think a law enforcement agency wouldn't stop you in your tracks? COLREGS is not only agreed upon, but in this country (and I believe *all* ratified countries) is enforced. Because of the amount of recreational boaters out there who don't know beans about the rules it's hard to enforce upon everyone, but certainly it is enforced and if you are in a maritime accident your adherence (or deviation) from the rules will be one of the largest indicators of fault.

Here's a British admiralty court enforcing COLREGS:

Quote:
At Channel Magistrates Court, Folkestone on 15th March 2004 the Master of the cargo ship STORMAN ASIA pleaded guilty to entering and proceeding for over 14.5 miles in the wrong direction in the Dover Straits Traffic Separation Scheme. Folkestone Magistrates fined the Italian Master of the STORMAN ASIA, Captain Paulo Ravalico, age 47, a total of £14,000, plus £6,042 costs. In summing up the Magistrates said “Captain Ravalico had been repeatedly warned about the hazards and that he had caused another vessel to take evasive action”. The fine was imposed for a breach of Rule 10(b)(i) of the Collision Regulations, in that the STORMAN ASIA did not proceed in the appropriate traffic lane in the general direction of traffic flow for that lane.
Here's a US case (there are thousands)

Docket Nos.


Yes: COLREGS is enforced. Yes: you are required to know it. No: you can't legally decided whether or not you want to follow it or create your own personal version.
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Old 14-12-2010, 08:50   #52
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I'm checking out of this thread. For the sake of everyone on the water and your passengers, I sincerely hope all mariners read, understand, and follow the rules of the road.
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Old 14-12-2010, 09:03   #53
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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I'm checking out of this thread. For the sake of everyone on the water and your passengers, I sincerely hope all mariners read, understand, and follow the rules of the road.
I thought you were using us to practice for a test.




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Old 14-12-2010, 09:13   #54
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Its all very well chanting Stand On.. Stand On... like religious fanatic's reading their texts but real life situations often call for the opposite..
Being a 'Small Boat' sailor (I mean under 30'... anything over is big) there have been no end of occasions when crossing the 'lanes' in the English Channel, rounding Ushant and during Biscay crossings big ships just don't see me...
I have had them pass 500metres from me and not see me... confirmed by VHF when I called.. especially at night in spite of lights..
Lets face it... a small vessel in a 6metre... or even a 4metre swell is not going to make much impression in the 'Clutter'... so all you guys out there holding to the Stand On rule... don't go offshore in small boats without your 'Brown Trousers' and a powerful engine...
I think this is another example of a cruiser who doesn't completely understand the purpose of designating stand-on and give-way vessels.

Of course, as has been said a few times, all us guys should do our best and do everything possible to avoid being in close quarters situations in the first place. The COLREGS don't help at all if the other guy doesn't even see you, and this is frequently the case in my experience.

the COLREGS don't create a "right of way" like we have on the roads. Both skippers are required to do everything to avoid a collision. This is a frequent confusion -- people think that being the stand-on vessel means you have the "right of way". But you don't. Unlike in a car, if you have a collision, you are guilty even if you were the stand-on vessel.

The purpose of these rules is so that skippers know who is expected to maneuver and who is expected to hold his course. That is exactly to avoid the case where ships manuever into each other because both of them is a moving target. Effective avoidance requires that someone is holding his course so the other skipper can calculate a way to keep clear. If both ships are maneuvering then no one can make a calculation and the risk of a collision is much higher. As some one said -- predictability is needed for safe maneuvering.

So if you don't manage to avoid a close quarters situation, and having crossed the English Channel many times I'm sure that Boatman knows that it is not always possible no matter how hard you try, then you need to give the other skipper a chance to make an effective course alteration by holding your own course steady, if you are the stand-on vessel.

Then if he fails to do anything, and you see that he is holding his own course, because he doesn't see you or is insisting on the "rule of tonnage", then YOU have to take action.

But the whole point is that everyone just making course alterations willy-nilly leads to collisions, sinkings, and death. That's why we have the Colregs, and that is why it is important to know what you are supposed to do in a close-quarters situation.
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Old 14-12-2010, 09:13   #55
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VHF is generally only used when there is confusion or someone wants to do something out of the ordinary - 95% of the time, commercial vessels just follow the rules with no need to make a radio call.
That is a misinterpretataion of reality!

I've communicated with many commercial vessels via VHF, and I've heard many commercial vessals on VHF communicate amongst themselves to indentify there intentions. Offshore, open sea, and coastal.

In the SF bay there is a vessel control facility located atop Yerbra Brana(sp) island (mid way acrossed the Bay Bridge) that operates on VHF. Off the coast of California there is a channel on VHF that is reserved for Traffic control. I'm sure there re other areas that do likewise.
Need I remind folks of the Coast Guards of the world using VHF for one thing or another, like communicating with commercial vessels?
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Old 14-12-2010, 09:46   #56
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I used to run pushboats and tugs when I was a pup... One evening I was southbound in the ICW in Sarasota Bay on the West Coast of FL. The intersecting New Pass Channel had an inbound sailboat. I was 55' of pushboat with two 110' barges on the head for a total length of 275' and nearly 1400 tons. I had 3 engines totaling about 2800 hp. As big boats go, I wasn't very big, yet I was still CBD in a narrow channel.

The sailboat (under power) was crossing from my starboard, and insisted on his right-of-way over the VHF, totally disregarding my CBD and towboat status. Short of running aground to stop, there was no way even at full astern for me to prevent running him down. Being a couple hundred feet astern of the bow, I cannot tell you how close it was, but all I could see of him was his mast as he was blathering on the VHF about being a sailboat.

Obviously a situation where a man felt that being he had the POWER to write the check for an expensive yacht, he was therefore an expert in all things marine. Eventually there was a MSO investigation because the yachtie claimed damages from my bow wave. Fortunately for me I had called the (At the time) FMP as well as USCG and reported the incident.

So in my verbose round-about way I'm saying is that like motorcycle riding, regardless of the law, the little guy ultimately loses; and just because you can write a big check, doesn't make you an expert

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Old 14-12-2010, 09:54   #57
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I think Dockhead nailed it nicely with his last post. Those advocating doing their own thing with regard to collision avoidance are disregarding the liklihood that the watchkeeper on the "huge" ship has a better awareness of the situation than someone sitting at near to water line. He may well be working out a course alteration based on other traffic that those on a small vessel are completely unaware of. If they then go and place themselves in that bit of ocean he was going to make use of to allow a safe passing with say 2 or 3 other vessels, then he'll not be best pleased.
Avoiding a close quarters situation in the first place is a good thing, but remember that the watchkeeper on a large vessel may already have determined that it is a close quarters situation, he may have spotted you at 10 miles out, by radar/AIS/eyeball, but the small boat may be completely unaware that the other vessel is even there until its much closer.
As for using VHF as a means of establishing collision avoidance, that was very much frowned upn when I took my tickets, any candidates who even suggested getting on the VHF would most likely been asked to leave the room and return when they had gained another 12 months sea time. Today, with AIS etc, VHF could be put to use, but both parties must be absolutely 100% sure on positive identifcation. Me, I'm old school and dont use the VHF so much, finding it a bit of a distraction, unless of course it is for communicating with a VTS
Worst I have seen was towing a rig through the Dover Strait and receiving an SMS text mesage via the AIS from another vessel asking what my intentions were.
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Old 14-12-2010, 09:57   #58
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I used to run pushboats and tugs when I was a pup... One evening I was southbound in the ICW in Sarasota Bay on the West Coast of FL. The intersecting New Pass Channel had an inbound sailboat. I was 55' of pushboat with two 110' barges on the head for a total length of 275' and nearly 1400 tons. I had 3 engines totaling about 2800 hp. As big boats go, I wasn't very big, yet I was still CBD in a narrow channel.

The sailboat (under power) was crossing from my starboard, and insisted on his right-of-way over the VHF, totally disregarding my CBD and towboat status. Short of running aground to stop, there was no way even at full astern for me to prevent running him down. Being a couple hundred feet astern of the bow, I cannot tell you how close it was, but all I could see of him was his mast as he was blathering on the VHF about being a sailboat.

Obviously a situation where a man felt that being he had the POWER to write the check for an expensive yacht, he was therefore an expert in all things marine. Eventually there was a MSO investigation because the yachtie claimed damages from my bow wave. Fortunately for me I had called the (At the time) FMP as well as USCG and reported the incident.

So in my verbose round-about way I'm saying is that like motorcycle riding, regardless of the law, the little guy ultimately loses; and just because you can write a big check, doesn't make you an expert

The sailboat driver was a complete tosser. A good example of why commercial skippers often refer to us as WAFIs.
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Old 14-12-2010, 10:00   #59
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Firstly I have thousands and thousands of sea miles in difficult conditions and a commercially endorsed yachtmastet offshore and ocean. I know my COLREGS. Virtually word for word. I have sailed the English channel many times ( ps that's a situation where TSS rules in the main apply rather then steering rules

As others have backed me up I reiterate the colregs do not provide a " right of way". You cannot steam through a set of vessels blindly adhering to the stand on rules and expect everything to get out of your way. You have always the obligation to avoid collision.

Now back to real life.

I never advocated " unpredictable" course changes. Any changes should be " early, clearly identifiable and deliberate". I merely made the point that simply sailing into danger believing you are the " stand on" vessel is foolish. The key word is danger and that is for you to decide. The COLREGS fully support your decision to take avoiding action even if you are the stand on vessel. It is ultimately the skippers decision.

Again mention was made by me and supported and disputed by others about VHF usage. Ships regularly VHF in passing situations I have heard it all many times. Use it and if you can't contact them then decrease your danger threshold.

As to my suggestion that you manoeuvre well in advance of any "risk of collision" and somehow that I am a " frightened ". Too damm right. I have been in too many situations involving large ships where blind adherence to rules would have got us all killed. The rule of tonnage does in reality apply, primarily because if someone goofs you'll be the one dead!!. ( the other guy simply has a mast stuck in his anchor)

The simple rid is do not sail into close quarter situations with large vessels underway unless you really half too.

It's worth noting that that's the attitude taken by large ships as well . They tend to have a standing CPA of 2-3 miles in most cases. I was sailing recently in busy italian waters with an AiS transponder and is was worth noting that large vessels manoeuvred to avoid me by changing course over the visible horizon in some cases

The other issue is courtesy. You may be able to easily alter course with little consequence even if you are the stand on. Some years ago I was off Bilbao and about 3 miles away a big car transporter was on a converging course. Eventually a risk of collision would result ( in which I was the stand on vessel) since I had a free wind I changed course to pass behind his stern. I then got a call from a very nice 2nd officer who thanked me as he would have been forced to do a autopilot course change and that would have meant waking the "old man"

PS someone mentioned sailers killed in the English channel. If your talking about the " pride of Bilbao" incident you might first read the official reports before you make such misleading statements

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Old 14-12-2010, 10:08   #60
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I think this is another example of a cruiser who doesn't completely understand the purpose of designating stand-on and give-way vessels.

I understand perfectly the purpose.. and your being pompous assuming I don't..

Of course, as has been said a few times, all us guys should do our best and do everything possible to avoid being in close quarters situations in the first place. The COLREGS don't help at all if the other guy doesn't even see you, and this is frequently the case in my experience.

Indeed

the COLREGS don't create a "right of way" like we have on the roads. Both skippers are required to do everything to avoid a collision. This is a frequent confusion -- people think that being the stand-on vessel means you have the "right of way". But you don't. Unlike in a car, if you have a collision, you are guilty even if you were the stand-on vessel.

Too bloody true

The purpose of these rules is so that skippers know who is expected to maneuver and who is expected to hold his course. That is exactly to avoid the case where ships manuever into each other because both of them is a moving target. Effective avoidance requires that someone is holding his course so the other skipper can calculate a way to keep clear. If both ships are maneuvering then no one can make a calculation and the risk of a collision is much higher. As some one said -- predictability is needed for safe maneuvering.

But this however calls for an assumption that the other vessel is remotely aware of your existance

So if you don't manage to avoid a close quarters situation, and having crossed the English Channel many times I'm sure that Boatman knows that it is not always possible no matter how hard you try, then you need to give the other skipper a chance to make an effective course alteration by holding your own course steady, if you are the stand-on vessel.

Then if he fails to do anything, and you see that he is holding his own course, because he doesn't see you or is insisting on the "rule of tonnage", then YOU have to take action.

But the whole point is that everyone just making course alterations willy-nilly leads to collisions, sinkings, and death. That's why we have the Colregs, and that is why it is important to know what you are supposed to do in a close-quarters situation.

Having been the 'Stand on Vessel' and T-boned by a Motor-sailing yacht while I was ghosting wing on wing in a light WNW'ly against a head tide that had me just holding ground.... my options were few to 'get out off the way' so I stuck to the 'Motor gives way to sail'....
All would have been great if any of the 4 crew on the other boat had been on deck....
Should mention.. I had no engine.. my electrics had been blown 16days earlier by a near strike...
Should also mention that the vessel then reversed away and shot off when far enough away to blur the name on the stern, refusing to give assistance in spite of shouted request as I'd had my deck/hull join split from just aft of the bow to the cockpit and a 3ft vertical split in the hull at point of impact.
Luckily I had some charge still left in my phone when I switched on so made contact with the CG who put out an all ports alert for a vessel fitting my description of it. They were caught sneaking into Salcombe after sunset... I was towed in by the Lifeboat 4hrs later....
No charges made against them, no court actions... nothing. Only private folks were involved not big$'s so its let go...
Should also add.. before sending out the Lifeboat the CG broadcast a general assist with tow call to vessels in the area of Start Point...
Shortly after tying up one of the 'Gentleman Sailors' strode up and asked if I was the boat involved... on confirmation he said... " I was a mile away and heard the call.. but I figured if your out there without an engine and unable to sail it serves you right.. so I went on my way...."
Yes I am fully aware of the COLREGS and what they say and mean... but I also have a healthy distrust of other Mariners that equals my mistrust of other car drivers... just coz you passed the test and were good for 20 minutes does not guarantee you'll be any good after that brief moment in time...
I'd rather be Alive Wrong than Dead Right...
To those familiar with this tale... my apologies
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