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Old 06-03-2012, 12:33   #31
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

What I mean any vessel crossing any channel or shipping lane should beextremely cautious..
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Old 06-03-2012, 15:19   #32
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrivinSteve View Post
While it is perfectly OK for any vessel to cross a channel, there are rules that apply.
Rule 9, USCG COLREGS Inland: (The International Rule is essentially the same; but does not seem to apply here.)
(b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel
shall not impede the passage of a vessel that can safely navigate only
within a narrow channel or fairway.

(c) A vessel engaged in fishing shall not impede the passage of any
other vessel navigating within a narrow channel or fairway.

(d) A vessel shall not cross a narrow channel or fairway if such
crossing impedes the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only
within that channel
or fairway. The latter vessel shall use the danger
signal prescribed in Rule 34(d) if in doubt as to the intention of the
crossing vessel.

This does infer a burden to the "stand on" vessel to claim Restricted in Ability to Maneuver (Constrained by Draft) status by displaying the proper lights or shapes.

+1 to Evan for reminding us all about such situations.
When crossing, I'll always give way to a vessel in the channel/fairway on the assumption that they may be unable to or unfamiliar with navigating outside the ATONs.
In fact, staying in or near the channel can be safer because that is where, theoretically, you are most likely to find traffic and, especially, that is where the big boys are looking hardest!
It sounds like had the vessel in the channel been a container with limited visibility and no time to maneuver, this could have been a serious accident.

Rebel is right, head on a swivel and no distractions at the helm.
Just my $.02

DrivinSteve, you're kidding right? Read the highlighted in red bits mate, because they are the key words to this rule! Rule 9 is essentially saying that smaller vessels should not impede the passage of large ships because in most of the worlds major harbours, they are the only vessels that can "only navigate safely within a channel".

This incident involved a 2 small vessels, not a ship and a small vessel. Obviously, there are many ColRegs that apply to many situations, like keeping clear of a vessel 'constrained by draught' or 'restricted in manoeuvrability', etc but none of these rules OR Rule 9 apply to 99% of recreational vessels because they can navigate safely all over the harbour.

My reply was to address the poster saying that the cruiser shouldn't be crossing the channel from either side, and that is totally incorrect in this incident.

Keep it relevant to this thread guys, not every possible permutation on the high seas!
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Old 06-03-2012, 15:32   #33
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

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Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
Good on you for pointing this out. Rule 9 is one of the more widly ignored and misinterpreted rules in Colregs.

Vessels navigating in a restricted fairway are not in a "crossing situation" as described by the rules.

Again, this does not apply to 99% of vessels in the harbour. The key word is "restricted" and your powerboat or my yacht and Joe Blog's ferry are not restricted to the channel. If the average vessel is driving up or down the fairway of a channel, it does not automatically have right of way. Not at all! The main 5 ColRegs still apply - and (for 2 power vessels) if someone is crossing on your Starboard bow, you must give way.
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Old 06-03-2012, 20:13   #34
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

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Originally Posted by Surfer Girl View Post
Again, this does not apply to 99% of vessels in the harbour. The key word is "restricted" and your powerboat or my yacht and Joe Blog's ferry are not restricted to the channel. If the average vessel is driving up or down the fairway of a channel, it does not automatically have right of way. Not at all! The main 5 ColRegs still apply - and (for 2 power vessels) if someone is crossing on your Starboard bow, you must give way.

I dissagree, assuming a vessel in a channel can go anywhere to get out of your way, is making several dangerous, and mistaken assumtions, both about the channel, and the draft of the other vessel, unless you are either psychic, and can read his depth finder at a distance, or have X-ray vision, and can see his keel shape through the water, you cannot assume the other vessel of ANY size can operate anyWHERE, IT IS NOT CURRENTLY Located.

The COLREG rule 9, Does not apply nor does it mention ANY draft, or size limits, It does not say you must only not impede vessels of 300ft or greater on a channel, Nor does it say you must not impede vessels of draft of 30Meters or better in a channel. What it does say is "you must not impede ANY vessel in a channel that cannot operate outside the channel", (the reason it cannot operate is irrelevant). If the vessel CAN operate outside the channel, then ipso facto you are NOT impeding it.

In MY area the channel is often the only safe navigatable water, That is why it is there. They are marked, by spoil banks on one side, and shoals on the other. They are not just for the convenience of shipping traffic, although we have one of those too, (it has a barge shelf for vessels 12meters or less draft to safely navigate).

In this case I would rule on the sailboat, it was in a channel, and the power boat could not have known it's draft, and should have looked for traffic in channel, BEFORE crossing.

Original point in original posting is well taken, beware of light pullution, that can obscure navigation lights. Keeping a good watch may mean doubling the watch in areas of poor visibility, even for visibility due to light pollution.

.

I once missed a critical turn in a channel,...that I knew well and had navigated both day and night many times,...on Chrismas Eve. I saw what I thought was the red light on the marker for the turn only to realize as I approached it was a red light on a Christmas display on shore. An all stop, was just in time as I heard scraping as the boat stopped, and I was able to slowely back, back into the channel,...that I could only safely navigate in. That channel doesn't get much cross traffic though...maybe a dinghy?

On the horn; it takes a pretty loud horn to be heard over two wound up 200's, and a few more seconds to figure out where the noise is coming from
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Old 06-03-2012, 20:27   #35
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

I have seen a disturbing trend, both on this board, and in the general boating public, that since the COLREGS apply to container ships, they must ONLY apply to container ships, and the rest of us can IGNORE them.

The COLREGS were thought of and codified long before the first container ship got itself wet, and will be applicable long after we are all sailing solar powered hovercraft.

Unless the COLREG specifies a ship size, it means ALL vessels. If it doesn't it will specify a size it doesn't pertain too,.
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Old 06-03-2012, 22:17   #36
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
I dissagree, assuming a vessel in a channel can go anywhere to get out of your way, is making several dangerous, and mistaken assumtions, both about the channel, and the draft of the other vessel, unless you are either psychic, and can read his depth finder at a distance, or have X-ray vision, and can see his keel shape through the water, you cannot assume the other vessel of ANY size can operate anyWHERE, IT IS NOT CURRENTLY Located.

You don't need to assume anything about the other vessel, or need X-ray vision or be psychic - you just need to navigate your vessel safely and obey the ColRegs. Whether you are in a designated channel or not. The other vessel doesn't have to "operate anywhere", it just has to take early & substantial action to give way to the stand on vessel. Pretty simple stuff.
The ColRegs also state that to have priority because you are "restricted" to the channel due to constraints of draught or restricted manoeuvrability, you must be displaying the appropriate shapes or lights. So again, no need to assume anything. And let's be honest, only very large vessels are constrained by draught or restricted in manoeuvrability in a channel and sensible & prudent skippers don't play chicken with very large vessels.
But this is getting silly - the original incident reported in this thread is between a 40' sailing vessel and a small motor yacht; Rule 9 doesn't come into play because EvanStolze's yacht was neither constrained by draught or restricted in manoeuvrability, or a fishing vessel and that was my point.



The COLREG rule 9, Does not apply nor does it mention ANY draft, or size limits, .... read below
Rule 9
(b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel
shall not impede the passage of a vessel
that can safely navigate only
within a narrow channel or fairway.
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Old 06-03-2012, 22:55   #37
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanStolze View Post
I'm not concerned with being " dumped on " or I wouldn't have posted....that's how forums operate. In fairness, without actually being there it's tough to evaluate and make a solid judgement. I chose to post about my experience to see if anyone had any good ideas to aid in prevention, and as a reminder that there are people out there that we need to look out for. It is easy to relax and get complacent when you are close to your slip, especially after a long open water sail that's typically made in big water/wind, current, fog, and with really fast moving big " boats " to watch out for.

1) We were under power doing about 3-4 knots, nav lights on (including steaming light). We were the give-way vessel. Two of us on deck(myself included) and one at the helm. We were in the channel (5 knot max) and it was dark.

2) The stand on vessel cut through the channel at 90 degrees making at least 10 knots. It was partially on step and about 35' in length. They appeared " all of sudden " because they blazed through a # of anchored boats and emerged from behind them. I agree - yes, we should have seen them a little sooner than we did, but not much. Hence the reason I will have a dedicated lookout on the bow to assist the helmsman - with people on deck visibility is impaired.

3) Realizing that a collision was imminent, I took over the helm (I know my boat better than anyone, you would do the same), cut power and put her hard over to avoid them. They made no effort at all to avoid us or slow down. So, either they 1) still had not seen us or 2) intended to ram us. Yes, it is conjecture, but my guess it is the former.

The other vessel clearly violated the regs I cited earlier and would have been at fault - no question, whether or not the operator was drunk or not.

Certainly though, in the future I plan to:

1) Be more visible/ready to signal/attract attention .

2) Expect this sort of thing and have someone dedicated to looking for it (in addition the the helmsman).

3) As mentioned, in addition to the horn I keep at the ready (which they either did not hear or ignored), I'll keep a spotlight. Perhaps I'll run my new forward facing floodlight (position very high and angled up), but I want to get a look at Alsager from afar with it on to confirm that it doesn't make my nav lights any less distinct so I comply with the colregs.

Thanks for the suggestions regarding " pinging " and flaring up one's on boat. Certainly I will incorporate that.

OK Evan, a couple of observations from your points above and your original description of the incident...

1. You say the other vessel was not operating at a 'safe speed' but was travelling at approx. 10-12 knots. Why? Is there a speed restriction in that part of the harbour that the other vessel was ignoring? You say that the other vessel was manoeuvring through or behind anchored or moored vessels. So yes, 10-12 knots is too fast in that situation....

2. You mention crew on the foredeck preparing lines/fenders for docking obscuring the helmsman's vision. But only his forward vision; the motor yacht approached on your starboard beam so the helmsman's vision was not obscured in that direction. But in any case, the helmsman needs to move around or ask crew to move to maintain 'proper look out' at all times. Evan, you are a sailor - the genny (and sometimes mainsail) always obscures the helmsman's forward vision. This does not absolve a skipper from keeping proper lookout and giving way to other sailing vessels to leeward or on starboard tack. It just means you have to get busy and gymnastic to look under or around the sail...
The fact that the other vessel was sometimes out of view behind anchored boats is also kind of tough - the fact that you were motoring past anchored/moored boats means the helmsman should be extra vigilant.

3. If a collision did occur between the 2 vessels, don't assume the other vessel would have been found negligent due to not "navigating at a safe speed". That is your opinion and not necessarily the outcome that an investigating officer or court of law would come to.


Personally, rather than getting extra spotlights or sounding horns, etc. I would suggest to get your crew to prepare lines & fenders, you stay at the helm - it's your vessel & you have the experience to navigate safely; especially on a dark night with bright background harbour lights. None of those things can replace an experienced skipper travelling at a safe speed and keeping proper lookout....
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Old 06-03-2012, 23:16   #38
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

1) I don't know why the other vessel was not operating at a safe speed - you'd have to ask them.

2) Agreed, and I've mentioned this several times, including in my first post.

3) Refer to rules cited previously. Putting the speed issue aside at your request, even a stand-on vessel must maintain a proper lookout and make every reasonable attempt to avoid a collision. To reiterate, the fact that they made no effort leads me to believe that they never saw me, even up when just missed each other. Conjecture, yes - they could have been trying to hit me too....

Last point - agree to that, but will also make myself more visible etc.

Thanks for the feedback everyone. It's been a good exercise for me, but at this point I'll bow out, as for the most part, we seem to be going in circles now.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:46   #39
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Re: Narrowly Avoided Collision with Motor Yacht

While I won't turn on any other lights than what is required and specified, I will light up the sails with a spot or "ping", as it was stated earlier, another boat. Background lights and the iisue with Nav lights getting lost in them is a real problem. I've had entire tugs with their trains disappear that way.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:09   #40
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unbusted67 View Post
Good on you for pointing this out. Rule 9 is one of the more widely ignored and misinterpreted rules in Colregs.

Vessels meeting while navigating in a restricted fairway are not in a "crossing situation" as described by rule 15. You do not have to be showing RAM or CBD for these to apply.

I would also like to point out that if there had been a collision and the other vessel's skipper had been drinking COLREGS would be thrown right out the window and that guy would probably just go to jail.
Bro you're telling me that this guy on a ~40' was restricted to the channel for safe navigation? The guy probably draws 6'. Rule 9 was the improved version of "the law of tonnage" and provides for vessels for who are truly using a channel because they cannot safely operate outside of its boundaries.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:22   #41
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Re: Narrowly Avoided Collision with Motor Yacht

And sorry I'm missing you when you're coming to San Dizzly; I'm headed up to LA today and coming back late Friday for some work related shenanigans.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:03   #42
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

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Bro you're telling me that this guy on a ~40' was restricted to the channel for safe navigation? The guy probably draws 6'. Rule 9 was the improved version of "the law of tonnage" and provides for vessels for who are truly using a channel because they cannot safely operate outside of its boundaries.
Maybe.
For example, take a look at the chart for Bogue Sound NC leaving south from Beaufort NC.
Driving a 6' draft keelboat, am I not CBD? Damn skippy!
Are these boats equipped with the proper RAM lights/shapes? Not really!
That said, if I encounter another deep draft boat, approaching, crossing or overtaking, I'll hail her and we'll work it out.
If a vessel is in the channel, I assume that there is a good reason (draft, lack of local knowledge, company policy, just because that is where you are expected to be, etc.)
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:08   #43
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Re: Narrowly Avoided Collision with Motor Yacht

That the guy was going faster than you would like would be a factor in the event of a collision but it does not absolve your vessel from failure to give way.

Looking at a chart I see that the larger portion of the bay is shallow but it should be noted that this other vessel was able to operate there and at 35' the draft would be around 3' or 4' and who knows what for the prop(s).

Back to the chart it appears that there is at least several hundred feet of 12' or deep water from the western shore to the red marks. Plenty of room. Or perhaps it is beacuse I mostly (now days) sail on a river that I cannot see that you were RAM, CBD (which does not apply here anyway) and I would presume that you were not showing lights for the same.

Thus it appears to me that you were the crossing vessel in relation to the power boat, that your lookout(s) failed to see the stand on vessel, that you did not have a lookout, that you failed to take early, positive action to avoid a collision.

That they were going "fast" would be up to the "courts" to decide and some proportion of the fault would be placed on that.

So what to do... 1) You were not short handed. There were at least 3 of you so a dedicated lookout would be desired if not required. THe helmsman is only typically considered a lookout if you are shorthanded.

2) change your thinking about that "channel". I think that you fell into the trap of thinking that you were in the channel and thus others need stay clear of you.

3) I'm not sure and could be wrong but I thought that I detected a hint of I'm a sailboat (operating my motor, powerboat beware). You were a powerboat in a crossing situation with another powerboat.

The attitude of the Coast Guard is that if there is a collision everyone broke the rules.

Regards!
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:17   #44
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Re: Narrowly Avoided Collision with Motor Yacht

One thing about a boat "lit up like a circus"... it gets seen! Pretty hard to miss a cruise ship on the sea at night isnt it? City lights are a real issue for sure. The rules were evidently written for boats at sea. Maybe a new rule requiring strobes in congested city waterways would solve the problem.... at sea, If I was in doubt if a tanker saw me I would turn on my spreader lights. If I had further doubts, I would hail them on the radio.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:27   #45
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Re: Narrowly avoided collision with motor yacht.

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Maybe.
For example, take a look at the chart for Bogue Sound NC leaving south from Beaufort NC.
Driving a 6' draft keelboat, am I not CBD? Damn skippy!
Are these boats equipped with the proper RAM lights/shapes? Not really!
That said, if I encounter another deep draft boat, approaching, crossing or overtaking, I'll hail her and we'll work it out.
If a vessel is in the channel, I assume that there is a good reason (draft, lack of local knowledge, company policy, just because that is where you are expected to be, etc.)
I really have no idea what the depth and bottom surface is all about in the area the thread-starter was operating. But that would have to be a mighty tight area for him to be limited to his path. So tight in fact that the possibility of a vessel approaching abeam that draws maybe a few feet less is nearing improbable.

A vessel transiting a channel is not necessarily and rarely is a vessel that can only transit in a channel.
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