- The rule
that everyone should avoid hitting everyone else is given
- It is unclear in the following quotes whether we are still talking boats in channels. My responses assume were are not and no one is RAM or constrained.
A couple of comments...
Originally Posted by markpierce
Yes, the courteous/wise motorboater needs to anticipate movements of sailboats due to the nature of their power source. That's easier for us former "rag" sailors.
- This wise powerboater should anticipate the movements of sailboats but is not obligated to do so in a passing situation
- The sailboat being passed is obligated to hold course and speed and the powerboater has a right to expect that
- Sailboater should plan his tack so he is not changing course while being passed. If he finds himself pinned he may choose to hail the powerboater for room or luff up until passed
- Bad planning on the sailors part should not result in an "emergency" for the passing boat
I am not banging sailboaters but remember most all of us are powerboaters when our sails
are down so it is important to understand each obligation even if that is not how it usually works out in reality.
Originally Posted by hummingway
If the sailboat is already on a tack they maintain course, as far as is safe of course. The motor craft should pass to the stern. If the sailboat is already tacking when the motor vessel approaches the same thing applies.
However most courses, bays and channels are not in a straight line. It is not unusual for everyone to be "turning the corner" at the same place to go home.
A sailor is tempted to reach an inside corner, find 3 powerboats passing him and say, "Why don't all these jerks go out a ways and give me more room?"
Simple - We all know the shortest distance is a straight line home.
- The courteous motor boater passes to stern but is not obligated to do so. He is obligated to pass safely as not to interfere with the boat holding course.
Originally Posted by hummingway
Under most conditions it's not going to happen really quickly and the operator of the MV should be able to chart a course that isn't going to greatly inconvenience them when they see someone begin the maneuver. The operator of the SV should be able to plan tacking at a time when it's also not going to cause problems.
Originally Posted by Teeto
So - tacking downwind- they basically chose to slowly zigzag in front of other vessels gybing I assume as they went. They could easily have dropped the main and sailed a straight course on headsail alone.
Basically lazy sailors causing annoyance and not deserving of such earnest defence.
If this is in fact what was going on then best to say, "bad form old chap."
However there is nothing to preclude the sailor from lackadaisically sailing downwind with inpredictable gybing.
- Until a passing situation arises. Just when that happens can be a debate but when it does the sailor is obligated to hold course and speed.
- The prudent powerboater if he cannot determine if the sailboater has recognized a passing situation exists and thinks a collision
situation could exist "shall assume one does exist" and should offer two long and one short blast or 2 long and two short as appropriate.
- If he gets no L-S-L-S reply he should assume the sailboat is clueless and has no idea what those signals mean and act accordingly to avoid.
In that case were I a non-courteous and mean spirited power boater I might accelerate to full displacement
speed so as to make those idjits spill their martinis.
"However there is nothing to preclude the sailor from lackadaisically sailing downwind with inpredictable gybing."
Except in a channel.
The regs aren't written to cover every situation but IMO this is a reason that they decided to write a special rule
for channels and specified sailboats in 9(b)
In the example above the sailboat is specificaly burdened to stay out of the way when sailing in a channel if the other vessel can only navigate in that channel.
I know the sailboaters don't want to hear it but you do have a choice to not sail in that channel or not enter that channel.
Take a look at the north part of SFO bay. I was amazed that there are channels leading from marinas
that are a mile or more long. Both the power boater and sailor must use these channels. To sail in these channels would be extremely difficult if not just dumb.
When looking at the regs it is easy to sort of get local blinders on. However entering a new port with a 2 mile channel that is 300 meters wide is a dumb place to assert your sailing rights or to assume because you are a sailboat with "specific" maneuvering issues that everyone else should "get the hell outta my way"
Semi interesting side note about towing -
This weekend we were sailing. Great wind
5+ knots boat speed and we saw a big grey ship (70meters?) on a diagonal course up the channel that looked like it would cross us. Normally ships go straight up and down the channel and I always endeavor to give way to any work boat as they are in it for money
However as we prepared to take evasive action he made a noticeable turn to port. He held course for 30 seconds or so and then turned back to starboard. He clearly maneuvered to give us room as we were the only boat about.
As he approached closer and passed astern he was better identified as a really fancy barge, where the pusher "plugged" into a recess at the back. It was clearly a tow, clearly not constrained or RAM and clearly gave this sailing vessel room.
We talked about it quite a bit as it is such a rarity around here. Hats off to that guy.