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Old 15-10-2013, 09:17   #256
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
The problem with making assumptions in a shipping lane is that it may get you killed 50% of the time.
The other 50% of the time you’re just lucky.

This captain may now loose his Captains license and his seafaring job.
He may qualify to captain some derelict ship transporting plastic dog sheet from china to the US. All that for assuming he could make it across the big ships bow when he should have just stayed clear.

Exactly. It APPEARS to me from the video that all the other skippers in the race, who also wanted to win the race, gave the freighter a wider margin than the one in the accident did.

I think it POSSIBLE that in the heat of the moment, the thrill of the chase, he did not stop to think that there might be other things the freighter captain had to consider.
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Old 15-10-2013, 09:29   #257
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

Judging from the photo Cotemar posted, the yacht had almost successfully crossed clear of the ship, and would have been well clear had the ship turned to stbd as signalled.

Now, what I'm wondering about, is what would have happened had the skipper of the yacht come up almost head to wind. How many seconds before impact would he have had to "stop the boat" to allow the freighter to pass clear? You can cut a sheet pretty fast, especially when it's under load, and it would put em out of the race for the day, but I was just wondering if that collision could have been avoided, given the ship turning to port. Any of you out there who are facile with the mysteries of maths help me out here?

There are so many targets there in that harbor to avoid.....

Ann
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Old 15-10-2013, 09:42   #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post

The problem with making assumptions in a shipping lane is that it may get you killed 50% of the time.
The other 50% of the time you’re just lucky.

This captain may now loose his Captains license and his seafaring job.
He may qualify to captain some derelict ship transporting plastic dog sheet from china to the US. All that for assuming he could make it across the big ships bow when he should have just stayed clear.
Yep, that's right.

We all make some assumptions sometimes, but making the wrong one in the wrong situation can really bite you, as we see here.

In this case -- IF the facts we now know are a true reflection of what happened - just staying clear would have meant losing the race. Not a decision any racing skipper would take lightly, especially if there seemed to be an entirely safe way across the channel. That is, a way across where that tanker would not normally have gone at all. Remember, this was not Sat night beer can racing, but Cowes Week - the most important regatta in the world.

He got a really bad break. But now he can't complain, because his apparently safe way across required him to violate the MPZ.

I doubt that the tanker captain will get much blame, if the facts are as they seem. He could hardly have been expected to carry on with his turn and plow into the disabled MV. In that particular spot, his options would have been severely limited. Maybe he failed to properly signal his last maneuver; maybe he could have noticed the SV earlier and at least have given five blasts. But would that have prevented the collision? I doubt it. It would have already been almost impossible to prevent, by the time anyone realized what was happening.
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Old 15-10-2013, 09:59   #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Judging from the photo Cotemar posted, the yacht had almost successfully crossed clear of the ship, and would have been well clear had the ship turned to stbd as signalled.

Now, what I'm wondering about, is what would have happened had the skipper of the yacht come up almost head to wind. How many seconds before impact would he have had to "stop the boat" to allow the freighter to pass clear? You can cut a sheet pretty fast, especially when it's under load, and it would put em out of the race for the day, but I was just wondering if that collision could have been avoided, given the ship turning to port. Any of you out there who are facile with the mysteries of maths help me out here?

There are so many targets there in that harbor to avoid.....

Ann
It's speculation, but I doubt there was anything he could do. He would have had only seconds from seeing the situation to crash. The Hanna Knutson has a beam of 42 meters , and is 260 meters long. So looking at her obliquely could be a 150 wide target. You see her coming, now do you know which way to dodge? You're under spinnaker, so "dodge" means get the kite out of the way somehow, losing way all the time, then get the motor on and try to get way on -the seconds are ticking way. How long before you've got way on again, and in the right direction?

7 knots are only 3.6 meters per second, so 200 meters, say, will take you nearly a minute and a half. So to avoid the collision, he would have needed to recognize it and work out the right direction to dodge at least a couple minutes ahead of time.

Looks hopeless to me. And this is exactly why there is a Precautionary Area there.
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Old 15-10-2013, 10:07   #260
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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It's speculation, but I doubt there was anything he could do. He would have had only seconds from seeing the situation to crash. The Hanna Knutson has a beam of 42 meters , and is 260 meters long. So looking at her obliquely could be a 150 wide target. You see her coming, now do you know which way to dodge? You're under spinnaker, so "dodge" means get the kite out of the way somehow, losing way all the time, then get the motor on and try to get way on -the seconds are ticking way. How long before you've got way on again, and in the right direction?

7 knots are only 3.6 meters per second, so 200 meters, say, will take you nearly a minute and a half. So to avoid the collision, he would have needed to recognize it and work out the right direction to dodge at least a couple minutes ahead of time.

Looks hopeless to me. And this is exactly why there is a Precautionary Area there.
Thanks, Dockhead,

Cowes Week, huh. Those poor guys! What a sad incident. FWIW, for those of you who sail with crew, the issue of what do do when the skipper suddenly screams "Stop the Boat!!!" can be a really good discussion to have. Newbies really won't have a clue--I'm not dumb, and I didn't.

Ann
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Old 15-10-2013, 10:23   #261
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
It's speculation, but I doubt there was anything he could do. He would have had only seconds from seeing the situation to crash. The Hanna Knutson has a beam of 42 meters , and is 260 meters long. So looking at her obliquely could be a 150 wide target. You see her coming, now do you know which way to dodge? You're under spinnaker, so "dodge" means get the kite out of the way somehow, losing way all the time, then get the motor on and try to get way on -the seconds are ticking way. How long before you've got way on again, and in the right direction?

7 knots are only 3.6 meters per second, so 200 meters, say, will take you nearly a minute and a half. So to avoid the collision, he would have needed to recognize it and work out the right direction to dodge at least a couple minutes ahead of time.

Looks hopeless to me. And this is exactly why there is a Precautionary Area there.
One more armchair quarterback chiming in. As was pointed out, hard to judge from the perspective and compression from a telephoto lens but here goes anyway.

Someone (you or Estarzinger) mentioned that the ship had signaled for a turn to stbd but did not due to a disabled MV in the way. Considering a ship that size does not exactly turn on a dime I would think that even if the ship had made the turn to stbd the sailboat was cutting it really close. Much closer than I would ever consider.
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Old 15-10-2013, 10:43   #262
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

After reading the last few pages, I think we should change this thread to "big sailor little sailor who can give way to another's opinion?"
But I'm still learning :-)
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Old 15-10-2013, 11:05   #263
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

Originally Posted by Dockhead
...

7 knots are only 3.6 meters per second, so 200 meters, say, will take you nearly a minute and a half. So to avoid the collision, he would have needed to recognize it and work out the right direction to dodge at least a couple minutes ahead of time.

*********

A small quibble: 200 metres at 3.6 m/sec is only about 56 seconds, not 90...
but your conclusion is still valid IMO.

In San Francisco bay, after some close calls with merchant ships over the years the local YRA has standing rules that say if a racing yacht even attracts the dread 5 blasts from a ship, that yacht is DSQ automatically. I haven't raced there for years, but I understand that the incidence of such confrontations has been reduced significantly.

I wonder if such a rule would help in the Solent?

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 15-10-2013, 12:17   #264
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by El Pinguino View Post
'Dead Slow Ahead' on many big container ships is about 8 knots... or so I have been told....
In my home waters (Carquinez Strait), I've paced ships and observed they are typically traveling at 6 to 8 knots. (My boat is capable of just 7 knots.)

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Old 15-10-2013, 12:30   #265
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post

In San Francisco bay, after some close calls with merchant ships over the years the local YRA has standing rules that say if a racing yacht even attracts the dread 5 blasts from a ship, that yacht is DSQ automatically. I haven't raced there for years, but I understand that the incidence of such confrontations has been reduced significantly.
YRA San Francisco racing rule 2.1 states "Boats shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate solely within a narrow channel or fairway ..."

http://www.yra.org/racing/docs/yra_s...structions.pdf
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Old 15-10-2013, 13:10   #266
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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post

One more armchair quarterback chiming in. As was pointed out, hard to judge from the perspective and compression from a telephoto lens but here goes anyway.

Someone (you or Estarzinger) mentioned that the ship had signaled for a turn to stbd but did not due to a disabled MV in the way. Considering a ship that size does not exactly turn on a dime I would think that even if the ship had made the turn to stbd the sailboat was cutting it really close. Much closer than I would ever consider.
Yes, I think that's probably right. I have transited this exact spot hundreds of times (it's the entrance to my home port) and have never intentionally violated any ship's MPZ. I can say from experience that obeying the Precautionary Zone rules is quite possible despite the intense traffic. That gives you 5 cables margin of error - very sensible rule. That skipper seems to have cut it closer than that, with the results we all know

Then again, neither you nor I was contesting a Cowes Week race, either. It does change the calculations, even for non-idiots.
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Old 15-10-2013, 13:16   #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Originally Posted by Dockhead
...

7 knots are only 3.6 meters per second, so 200 meters, say, will take you nearly a minute and a half. So to avoid the collision, he would have needed to recognize it and work out the right direction to dodge at least a couple minutes ahead of time.

*********

A small quibble: 200 metres at 3.6 m/sec is only about 56 seconds, not 90...
but your conclusion is still valid IMO.

In San Francisco bay, after some close calls with merchant ships over the years the local YRA has standing rules that say if a racing yacht even attracts the dread 5 blasts from a ship, that yacht is DSQ automatically. I haven't raced there for years, but I understand that the incidence of such confrontations has been reduced significantly.

I wonder if such a rule would help in the Solent?

Cheers,

Jim
Thanks for the correction.

Yes - great idea. Maybe DSQ for any violation of any anti-collision rule. With AIS should be possible for the the race monitors to monitor it quite effectively.
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Old 15-10-2013, 14:03   #268
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Thanks, Dockhead,

Cowes Week, huh. Those poor guys! What a sad incident. FWIW, for those of you who sail with crew, the issue of what do do when the skipper suddenly screams "Stop the Boat!!!" can be a really good discussion to have. Newbies really won't have a clue--I'm not dumb, and I didn't.

Ann

I don't think I'd shout "stop the boat." If the engine were engaged I'd yell "Reverse! and then rev it up!" Under sail, spilling the sails and turning the engine on for reverse might be the best choice. I believe I would be far enough away from trouble to avoid it, as I don't race, and I'm not destination or time-driven. If I have to spend a little more time out at sea -- oh DARN!

Stopping isn't always the best choice. I did have another sailboat hit me once from behind as he was gaining on us, and that time, the best choice was to hold course, because that was how she would stay the fastest. The engine wouldn't have sped us up (not that there was time for that). Falling off we just would have been hit harder to starboard. Luff up and we'd slow down and she probably would have smacked our stern head on instead of just scraping past it. I was not at the helm at the time but the woman at the helm followed my instructions when I told her to hold course. She has nerves of steel, that woman.

In case you're wondering what was going on with the other boat, someone caught it in photos. The other skipper was sitting away from the helm, leaning against the cabin, in a trance or asleep with his eyes open. There was no one at the helm. His boat was on autopilot and suddenly jerked the boat 90º to port. He scraped bottom paint on the bottom of my sloped stern. His anchor caught the starboard leg of my split backstay. Fortunately there was a pvc cover on it, and the anchor just rolled off. It chewed up the PVC where it hit and I have left that cover on.

One more days' experience ... we were just out cruising. I will never let a cruiser get that close to me again. There wasn't time, but maybe five blasts would have shaken him out of it, i don't know, but in retrospect we should have done that sooner. The skipper of the boat did wake up at the collision, and as he suddenly sailed off 90º off from the destination, shouted, "I have the right of way! I was on course!"

I kid you not.

It's not just big ships we should be watching out for ...
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Old 15-10-2013, 14:12   #269
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

wow Rakuflames, you sure have fit a lot of experience into your short sailing career !
running aground a few times, collisions at sea, broken rudders, numerous tows and what was it last week, leaving the shorepower plugged in when you leave the dock!?

Captain Calamity !!
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Old 15-10-2013, 14:24   #270
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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wow Rakuflames, you sure have fit a lot of experience into your short sailing career !
running aground a few times, collisions at sea, broken rudders, numerous tows and what was it last week, leaving the shorepower plugged in when you leave the dock!?

Captain Calamity !!

It's not really that short a sailing career. Except for my lay-ups this year, since I bought my first boat just about this time six years ago I have taken it out an average of three times a week. Sometimes more. Most people who have sailboats are lucky if they take theirs out once a month.

Yes, Right after I got this boat about 3 years ago, I tried to leave the dock while still plugged in. The boat I had before this one was a simple little thing and did not have shore power. I felt the tug and thought I had left a line on and pulled her back into the slip before any damage was done.

There's no story to tell if nuthin' happens ...

ONE collision at sea, and I was the target.

If you haven't run aground, either you haven't ever left the slip, or you're a liar.

I was really lucky with the first rudder because I was already under tow when it happened. It was a structural failure of the rudder.

So let's see -- I'm estimating that I've sailed (just on my boat, not counting many sails on other people's boats -- 3 sails a week for 5 years (much less this year, unfortunately) -- that's taking the boat out over 600 times, which feels about right, not counting going out on the club boats or sailing on other people's boats ... Starting as a scratch beginner.

I think I've done all right. But if you want to focus on the negative, go right ahead and diminish the time I've spent on the water while exaggerating the problems I've faced.

You go out there, sometimes things are going to happen. I was going to take her out today but there was just no wind. Now the flag is finally flying off the pole, but it's really not that much air. Tomorrow's another day.
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