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Old 20-10-2013, 14:02   #346
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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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.
Now this makes sense. I didn't realize that it was faster towards the middle.
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Old 21-10-2013, 00:36   #347
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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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?
The cut-off length is not 16 meters, but 20 meters, or roughly 66 feet .
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Old 21-10-2013, 04:59   #348
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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The cut-off length is not 16 meters, but 20 meters, or roughly 66 feet .
I stand corrected. Thank you
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Old 21-10-2013, 05:21   #349
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Originally Posted by frank_f View Post
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?
This is the question we are all debating. Evans has quoted the USCG and I have quoted the Danish Maritime Authority. Both say that if you are in the TSS and a ship has to make any maneuver, WHATSOEVER, because of you, including having t change course to overtake you, then you are impeding.

Curiously, the Brits seem to have a different interpretation. I'd really like to see Dave come up with a quote from the British Maritime authority (or whatever its called ) on this. I have difficulty believing they are at odds with other countries (especially within the EU)
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Old 21-10-2013, 05:28   #350
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

The rule actually says 'impede the safe passage'.... if I alter course to avoid a yacht and am at all times in safe water and am not put into conflict with another ship then no-one has 'impede(d) the safe passage' of my ship.

Lets stick with open water TSSs ... not harbour approach TSSs.
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Old 21-10-2013, 06:06   #351
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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The rule actually says 'impede the safe passage'.... if I alter course to avoid a yacht and am at all times in safe water and am not put into conflict with another ship then no-one has 'impede(d) the safe passage' of my ship.

Lets stick with open water TSSs ... not harbour approach TSSs.
The Danish ruling is also in regards to open water TSS and so is the USCG ruling Evans provided.

Whilst I certainly agree with you, I'm afraid the rulings don't.
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Old 21-10-2013, 07:00   #352
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Anyway why would a yacht need/want to be in the lane of an open water TSS? Are we arguing about a hypothetical that ought never to happen?
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Old 26-10-2013, 06:38   #353
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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The Danish ruling is also in regards to open water TSS and so is the USCG ruling Evans provided.

Whilst I certainly agree with you, I'm afraid the rulings don't.
Yes, I did not post the specific question I posed to the USCG. It is just below. You can see I explicitly defined the situation as having a very wide TSS with plenty of sea room for the ship to manouver. The USCG interpretation was very crisp and clear that I still impeded even when there was room for the ship to manouver.

Based on both this very clear USCG interpretation, and my discussion with the ship colregs instructor, I think we have a quite clear indication both how a court might rule in an impede situation and (perhaps more importantly) what the officers on the bridge of an approaching ship might be thinking.

My question:

"What does the term "impede" in rule 10 mean?

Let's say we are in a very wide TSS, and I (on a small pleasure vessel) am the "stand-on vessel' per the steering rules, and I force a ship to make a small maneuver to avoid me, but he has sea room to safely make that manouver and he does not have to slow down, have I impeded him?
"

And to repeat the answer:

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 26-10-2013, 07:05   #354
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If one reads farwell, he's does not cite his comments that the USCG refer too in page 334. Furthermore Cockcroft makes no such similar claim and refers to sea room.

Farwell under narrow channels , does cite an British admiralty decision in regards a collision between a shrimper that was fishing in a narrow lane , the ship attempted to avoid the shrimper but the channel was such that a collision occurred , the shrimper was 25% blamed for the collision. (Note 25%) This seems to be the sum total of Farwells basis for the get out of the the way approach.

There has never been a case that I have come across , where merely causing a manoeuvre , which then occurred safely , resulted in a claim of impeding. Furthermore the COLREGS do not define impeding in any specific way.

Hence what's clear from both Farwell and Cockcroft I believe is the following

(A) you certainly have the right to sail or motor in a TSS.

(b) by simply being there you are not in itself impeding

(C) you cannot use the privileged status to argue you were in the right

(D) where your manoeuvres cause a collision , you cannot seek solace that the steering rules have precedence over the impeding ones. You are required to manoeuvre to ensure you do not endanger the safety of navigation of the larger power vessel. You will be assigned blame in this regard.


Nowhere but no where in any citation or legal case to my knowledge has it been established that merely causing a change of course or speed is AUTOMATICALLY a case of impeding. In my view we would need a admiralty law case where impeding was claimed , yet no danger of collision or actual collision occurred to resolve the issue. To my reading , no such case has ever been taking. Hence the comment in farwell as quoted by the USCG has no basis in COLREGS law as interpretation by law.(IMHO)

For example , I am sailing or motoring along on the starboard side of a TSS and a ship approaching decides in its wisdom , that while it could pass me , it decides to change course to open the passing distance. There is no other traffic. I cannot see where any admiralty case law could ever back up a subsequent claim that I impeded that ship. In this regard it could be regarded the same way that single handlers break the COLREGS. Ie it's only an issue if a collision occurs and even them it's only an apportionment of blame

If however a risk of collision exists and I continue to exert my privileges status under the steering rules then I am in a TSS not exonerated by such rules as it is clear that I should equally have manoeuvred to prevent the situation from occurring.

By the way a small vessel could easily find itself in a TSS. Often it's a long way to the ITZ , and due to weather etc , you can only sail in certain directions.

Evans might is right in a busy TSS is more or less true , it behoves a small vessel in a TSS to act courteously and ensure it does not interfere with the safe operation of a TSS.


Dave
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Old 26-10-2013, 08:14   #355
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I just don't get this tread. Tonnage rules. Say all you want about a stand on vessel - I'm going to move before my boats gets in 'extemis'
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Old 26-10-2013, 12:37   #356
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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I'm going to move before my boats gets in 'extemis'
I think that is exactly what this thread is about.

When I'm supposed to stay where I am but scamper off (pick a direction) because I don't want to get in anybody's way (bigger than me at least), what situations am I causing?
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Old 26-10-2013, 13:09   #357
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I can't imagine an Admiralty law case arising for impeding where there hasn't been a collision. Ships are being paid to get from point A to point B and in a VTS, I can't imagine that they would maneuver more than is minimally necessary to avoid an accident in such an incident. It's easy to imagine the situation would be much more uncomfortable for the small vessel to have avoided a collision by 30 - 40 yds than it would be for the ship though the ships bridge would be swearing at the small boat. A lawsuit would only arise to sort out liability after the fact in the event of a collision where the judgement of liability would likely be split to some degree because in the event of being in extremis it is each vessel to maneuver to prevent a collision.
That situation doesn't change the definition of "not to impede" by a sailboat or 20 meter power vessel. Which is clearly to avoid causing the larger vessel transiting a VTS to maneuver. Small vessels crossing or using a VTS just need to use good judgement as to their position in the scheme to avoid issues.
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Old 26-10-2013, 14:32   #358
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

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Goboatingnow
I can't imagine an Admiralty law case arising for impeding where there hasn't been a collision. Ships are being paid to get from point A to point B and in a VTS, I can't imagine that they would maneuver more than is minimally necessary to avoid an accident in such an incident. It's easy to imagine the situation would be much more uncomfortable for the small vessel to have avoided a collision by 30 - 40 yds than it would be for the ship though the ships bridge would be swearing at the small boat. A lawsuit would only arise to sort out liability after the fact in the event of a collision where the judgement of liability would likely be split to some degree because in the event of being in extremis it is each vessel to maneuver to prevent a collision.
That situation doesn't change the definition of "not to impede" by a sailboat or 20 meter power vessel. Which is clearly to avoid causing the larger vessel transiting a VTS to maneuver. Small vessels crossing or using a VTS just need to use good judgement as to their position in the scheme to avoid issues.
Again, it's all about the "impede" issue. The "sailboat or vessel under 20 meters" is a BS clause. Any vessel could be traveling less than your speed and thereby be "impeding" you.

Let's move this land based for a minute. There are thousands of transports (lorries) on the highways. They are surrounded by thousands of private vehicles (sailboats or under 20 meter vessels) and, on country roads in Canada at least, tractors. These transports are being paid to deliver their cargo as well.

I 'm here to tell you, the tractors (or the private vehicles) don't get out of the transports way. The transport is required to pass them (safely if possible but that's another thread) if they want to make their delivery on time.

As long as the cargo vessel has the room, depth and ability to maneuver around a slower vessel, there shouldn't be a problem. They would do it if the slower vessel was the same size as them.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 26-10-2013, 15:33   #359
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BS? Is it that yachties would prefer a free for all? A big reason we go out is for the freedom. I don't know.
I function on both sides of this as a professional mariner and small boat sailor.
There are very few instances that slower or even faster shallow draft vessels don't have room to operate shoreward of the lanes and when necessary cross.
And with good seamanship from all parties, it works well. There are a lot of areas that are incredibly busy and congested; the approaches to the Bosphorus Straits come to mind where small vessel traffic and commercial traffic interact very well. Each party understands what the other is doing and while at first glance it looks like total chaos, it isn't in large part because the mostly small vessel crossing traffic knows how to interact.
Taking your time to cross a street as a pedestrian or even walk down the street just takes some thought and patience. I think this is a better analogy. On the sea for the most part the lorries are much faster and less maneuverable and that's the principle reason for the schemes (smooth flow of traffic).
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Old 26-10-2013, 16:11   #360
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Re: Big Ship Little Boat, who Gives way

Sorry, I'm just probably having a bad day. I guess the point I was trying to make is that any vessel can be an impeding vessel but it seems that only sailing vessels or vessels under 20 meters can be found guilty of it.
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