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Old 19-10-2013, 15:15   #331
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Some verbal questions from the examiner during my practical exam....(paraphrased from memory from decades ago)

Examiner: a boat is approaching from the right on a collision course. What do you do?

Me: he stands on and I change course to avoid a collision.

E: Correct. And if he is coming up from behind?

Me: He is overtaking, so I stand on and he alters course.

E: correct. Now what do you do if he is approaching from the starboard quarter?

Me: Hmmmm. How far behind the beam?

E: I ask the questions here. Is it a starboard approach or an overtaking situation?

Me: I am not sure. I would use common sense.

E: Incorrect. If his relative bearing lies between 0 and 112.5 degrees, it means he can see your starboard nav light, so it is a starboard approach situation and he stands on. Behind 112.5 degrees, he is considered to be the overtaking vessel and you stand on.

Me: interesting.... What do I do in the day when there are no nav lights visible?

E: Just use your common sense.
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Old 19-10-2013, 15:21   #332
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The argument is a TSS comparing impeding and steering rules are missing the point. If I am in a yacht and in a TSS and no risk of collision exists , I can hardly be accused of impeding. If on the other hand , I am in danger of a collision , or say a power driven vessel approaching me from behind, its clear that the COLREGS require the steering rules to apply.

I would further argue that the USCG , no more then any other organisation, cannot be regarded as the "law" what they have given is an " opinion " albeit a recognisably expert one , however there are clearly alternative " expert" views out there as any half decent lawyer will testify.

I also wonder if the USCG view isn't affected by the much clearer and more definitive US inland rules

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Old 19-10-2013, 15:31   #333
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Sorry, Dave, the point was about common sense when there is doubt over specific rules.
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Old 19-10-2013, 15:44   #334
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo485 View Post
Sorry, Dave, the point was about common sense when there is doubt over specific rules.
Common sense is a very scare resource and is often very uncommon.

I am not suggesting any body of rules gives a priviledged vessel the right to abuse those rules , nor am I advocating that simple courtesy should not apply.

I've read my copy of farwell. He offers no citation to his definition of " impede" , however it would seem that in the US possibily as a consequence of the inland rules there has been a definition of not impeding as get out of the way.

Since farwell tends to US orientated and Cockcroft more UK, it would seem there is significant difference of expert opinion as to exactly what is impeding.


In my " expert" opinion
( a) I am entitled as a small vessel to use a TSS ( not just cross it ) , I don't beleive any one disputes this

(b) by just being there , I am not impeding per say

(c) after that, I suspect a charge of " impeding" would require an examination of the specific facts SHOULD the alleged " impeded" vessel make such a claim.

My original point was that simply being under 20m and being in a TSS is not automatically causing an impediment to larger power vessels, I was not attempting to minutely debate the impede definition ( or lack of it ) per say

After that its all common sense !!


Ps. Reading the " narrow channels section " in farwell he does offer a UK admiralty decision , in respect of a collision between a shrimper and a container ship , while the shrimper was fishing in a narrow channel, causing the container ship to manoeuvre, and then a collision resulted. The shrimper was found to be 25% at fault.

What is clear in that section , is that if a collision occurs, the privileged vessel ( ie a yacht ) cannot seek solace in the steering rules. However nowhere can it be extended to simply suggest that a power vessel merely changing course and or speed to execute a ( say) safe overtaking , is on itself causing an impediment, and farwell cites no reference to support such a claim.

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Old 20-10-2013, 03:19   #335
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

An issue here is that we probably should consider just how big a course alteration a big ship needs to make to safely pass the smaller sailboat. If we assume the helmsman on the big ship would want to be able to see the smaller vessel the entire time during the overtaking maneuver, then the big ship will have to make a very large detour indeed.

I would suggest this is the real reason the impede clause kicks in. The big ship literally has to make a very wide curve to be able to constantly see the smaller boat. In most TSS's, the curve would probably bring them close to the separation.

Whilst not mentioned, there is also the probability that the "Restricted in ability to maneuver" rule would be involved. A big ship making 20 knots in a confined traffic lane, is, to some extent, restricted in its ability to maneuver (even it is not flying those signals).









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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Correct If you look at 8 ( f) which is the only place where a definition of impeded is made , the clause uses the term " searoom"

Furthermore the rules make it clear that despite the impede rules both vessels remain obliged to follow the steering rules. Hence a power vessel or an overtaking vessel must keep out of the way of a sailboat.

Hence given the scenario of a yacht proceeding up a TSS , the power driven vessel would most likely be overtaking the slower sailing vessel, hence it must apply the steering rules and manoeuvre around the sailing vessel. Should such an action ieril or potentially imperil the larger vessel , then a case COULD be made that an impede situation had developed, which undoubtably would require a court to sort out

I quote from a recent email from the head of CNIS which monitors the Dover straits


" ...., a sailing vessel using a Traffic Separation Scheme, is within the Rules though with the requirement under Rule 10(j) that a sailing vessel shall not impede the safe passage of a power driven vessel following a traffic lane. What 'impede' means is often down to the interpretation of the individuals involved in any given encounter between vessels. Some encounters are clearer than others in terms of which vessel did what to who but that again is often interpretation. I am sure you would agree that there are numerous factors that apply in any given encounter though so it is difficult to set out every likely scenario.

In simple terms then, a sailing vessel is entitled to use a traffic lane in accordance with the Rules. Impediment is often a matter of interpretation. The role of CNIS is to monitor vessel traffic in the Dover Strait, not to interpret the Rules as they apply to any given situation. Should a vessel make a complaint about the conduct of another vessel, the facts are established (which includes the views of the Officers of the Watch involved)....."

It clearly establishes that a yacht is within the colregs to use a TSS , what determines an " impediment " is likely to involve lawyers

Dave
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Old 20-10-2013, 03:28   #336
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

Dave,

You may not like it, but the offical commentary to the Colregs, do state that a sailboat (or vessel under 20m), must give way before a risk of collision is "perceived". Which means, when a big is coming down on you, you must give way so he doees NOT have to make any course changes. As soon as he has to make any amneuver what so ever, because of you, you have "impeded"

This is pretty clear language.







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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
I've spent some time reading through my Danish copy of the Colregs including Commentary. The Commentary is interesting. I'll quote and you need to realize I'm completely bilingual Danish/english - English/danish, so the translation should be good enough.

"The regulations in (i) and (j) regarding that a ship, engaged in fishing, a ship under 20 m in length or a sailing ship may not impede the safe passage of a ship within a TSZ, shall be upheld by such ships (fishing, under 20 M , sailing ships), in a timely manner, that is to say, before danger of collision is perceived, through its maneuver show, that it will respect and move away from the other ship's course."

"If there is a danger of collision, the normal rules of steering and sailing shall have effect"

This is quite interesting. The Commentary says that in such a situation, the normal rules of overtaking are no longer i force. The sailboat must give way to the engine powered ship - despite the fact that the sailboat is being overtaken. Unless, there is danger of a collision - then the normal rules take effect. So they want to have it both ways. But I believe Evans answer from the USCG is correct. The above is taken from the IMO Commented Colregs, 9th edition
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Old 20-10-2013, 05:19   #337
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Dave,

You may not like it, but the offical commentary to the Colregs, do state that a sailboat (or vessel under 20m), must give way before a risk of collision is "perceived". Which means, when a big is coming down on you, you must give way so he doees NOT have to make any course changes. As soon as he has to make any amneuver what so ever, because of you, you have "impeded"

This is pretty clear language.
Which "official commentary"? This is interesting. Can you point us to your source?
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Old 20-10-2013, 07:00   #338
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
I was giving a seminar at the Maritime Institute today (a professional mariner training campus in Baltimore) and at lunch sat next to a senior ship captain who gave navigation and colreg seminars. I asked him about "impede" in TSS.

His reaction was threefold:

1. The (ship mariners) don't pay much attention to the "impede" clause. They focus on the steering rules.

2. That said, his opinion was that if the ship had to maneuver (at all) to avoid us in a TSS, that we had 'impeded".

3. Their strong preference was that we try to avoid getting in their way, but more importantly that we act in a stable an predictable way (course and speed) and they will then plan out a small maneuver to avoid us if necessary.
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Old 20-10-2013, 07:07   #339
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Which "official commentary"? This is interesting. Can you point us to your source?
Dockhead, In my previous post, I noted that I have a Colregs, issued by the Danish Maritime Authority, with a commentary alongside all the rules. Basically, the rules explained for dummies like me. I did note in my previous post, that the commentaried Regs, do state that the sailboat, must act BEFORE a risk of collision is PERCEIVED, i.e. ya gotta get outta the big boys way! This infers that if the big ship has to take any action whatsoever, f.eks. slowing down, changing course etc., then the sailboat is in actuality "impeding".

I also noted that the the commentary quotes a number of court descisions on this. Unfortunately, they all involve either sailboats CROSSING the TSS or boats in front of ship making harbour. SO not exactly what we are discussing.

I've asked the Authority for a concrete descision on example we are discussing here.

The Commentary does note that while it is not against the Reg, per se, sailboats and other boats under 20m are strongly advised not to sail in the TSS unless either crossing it or if for some reason, there simply isn't any choice.
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Old 20-10-2013, 08:01   #340
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

This identical to what the Danish Commentaried Colregs say. If the Big ship has to do anything at all, slow down, turn, steer etc - then the salboat has impeded.






Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Ok, so here is the official USCG answer (from their "final authority" at HQ):

"Greetings -
According to Farwell's Rule of the Nautical Road (pg 334), "If the small craft or sailing vessel follows a course that requires another vessel following the lane (TSS) to alter course or speed, the small craft or sailing vessel is guilty of impeding the safe navigation of the other vessel.... If collision results, the vessel's breach of her duty not to impede will be a basis for allocating fault for the collision".


We hope this answers your inquiry and we exhort you to always navigate safely,

U.S. Coast Guard
Office of Navigation Systems
Washington, DC 20593-7851"
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Old 20-10-2013, 12:07   #341
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

I still don't get this.

If I have a sailboat (powered, planing doesn't matter) no matter what length, I'm impeding no matter what. Yet if I have a power boat exceeding 53 feet (16 meters rounded up), all the normal rules apply even if I'm doing 3 knots. Is this correct?
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Old 20-10-2013, 12:13   #342
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

No Frank, if you can safely navigate outside the TSS you would be impeding vessels confined to the TSS. If thats the question? A bit ambiguous
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Old 20-10-2013, 12:20   #343
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Quote:
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I still don't get this.

If I have a sailboat (powered, planing doesn't matter) no matter what length, I'm impeding no matter what. Yet if I have a power boat exceeding 53 feet (16 meters rounded up), all the normal rules apply even if I'm doing 3 knots. Is this correct?
A sailboat is a sailboat only if it is not running with engine assist. If your running the engine even with sails up, your now a motor vessel.

Which makes it a great question that you ask.
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Old 20-10-2013, 12:30   #344
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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No Frank, if you can safely navigate outside the TSS you would be impeding vessels confined to the TSS. If thats the question? A bit ambiguous
Sorry, I meant within the TSS as that's where all the controversy seems to be.

I'm just wondering because the cutoff line seems to be between a 'sailboat or a boat under 16 meters' and a boat exceeding 16 meters.

A 60 meter barque would still have a problem getting up to 20 knots under sail (and probably not much more under power. The whole displacement hull thing.) but I know a lot of <16 meter power boats that could do laps around any freighter in the TSS or open ocean for that matter.

So again, my question is if I'm on my 30 meter power boat in the TSS doing 3 knots, am I impeding traffic or do they just go around me?
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Old 20-10-2013, 12:55   #345
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

well vessels using the TSS are required to go in the direction of the lane. Slower vessels use the outer edge, faster closer to the center. so if you were doing 3 knots at the edge you wouldn't be impeding. Either would a sailing vessel. The impeding is more about crossing another vessel, causing her to alter course. Also a sailing vessel would not be impeding in the same circumstances.
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