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Old 03-12-2015, 06:54   #46
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

Lived aboard sail and power for over 10 years, USCG helo pilot for 20, Assistance tower for 13. Raced a decade on blowboats, ran deliveries on power for a decade.

Have crossed paths with probably as many boaters as but a few on here.

Clueless powerboaters outnumber clueless sailboaters by a long shot...but as a percentage....maybe not as big of a deal as with the number of sailors.

Pound for pound...sailors are as big of a PIA on the water in many locales as powerboaters. The only truism is because power is faster...they cover more territory as a clueless boater as a clueless sailboater.

There is plenty of cluelessness to go around....just read through this forum.


Note....I speak of US waters only...my apologies to areas of the world where boating isn't just an occasional pastime for chuckleheads with more money than they know what to do with....both power and sail.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:35   #47
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Pound for pound...sailors are as big of a PIA on the water in many locales as powerboaters. The only truism is because power is faster...they cover more territory as a clueless boater as a clueless sailboater..
psneeld, you seem like a guy who has his facts straight. Do I have it right that the faster guy has to give way to the slower guy?

When you say that sailboats are as big of a PIA as many power boaters you seem to be saying that sailboats are somehow responsible for inconveniencing powerboats because of the fact that they are slow?

Does this explain why powerboats often go out of their way to cut in front of sailboats when they could otherwise just hold their course and avoid a crossing in the first place? I still can't get my head around that one.

Sorry if my asking for clarification is annoying. I'm a little slow myself sometimes and need a little help on occasion.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:14   #48
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

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Shrew, if it is as difficult and dangerous as you suggest, then perhaps those powerboat jockeys are incapable of operating at a "safe speed".....
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:26   #49
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
I didn't start the thread to rag on powerboaters in general, only to understand why some will go out of their way to cut in front of sailboats since this is a phenomena I have observed on and off for the better part of more than thirty years spent on the water and yet I still have no logical explanation for.

For example the guy in this photo came from wayyyy over on my starboard side and returned there after passing me. If he hadn't changed course we would have continued to diverge as we had not been on intercept courses despite being headed in roughly opposite directions. I just don't get it.
Well since you put it that way…

Here's a sweet little sequence I shot in the Singapore Straits last year. This little two man fishing skiff from the Indonesian side came running back South, on a convergent course with the large unladen tanker heading East in the tightest part of the world's busiest shipping superhighway. They could very easily have altered course by 10 degrees to starboard and cut behind the tanker, which was making around 18 knots. Instead, they decided to alter by 90 to port and run in parallel for as long as they judged necessary to make it across before being absolutely annihilated. In the first image you can see them heading in the same direction as the tanker, which at this point had realised their bizarre intention, and was blasting its horn continuous short blasts to attempt to dissuade them. They carried on, a bare 3 or 4 knots faster than the tanker, and as you can see, cut back across with just enough clearance to ride the bow wave feet from the tanker's bulb…

You can see them giving me a cheery wave as they passed me a few seconds later.

Crazy, or just an ordinary day out in SE Asian traffic, be it ships or cars?
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:37   #50
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

Yeah. First Shrew then psneeld complain about sailboats being slow and unpredictable. I address them specifically if they feel this is some kind of explaination as to why powerboaters feel justified in ignoring the fact that they are obligated to give way to slower vessels and all I get are crickets chirping.

And still no explaination for why they do it. Are they hiding some dark secret? Are they really just power tripping or ego extending or compensating for feelings of inadequacy but don't want to admit it to themselves or others.

I wouldn't want to either but you know what they say, the first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one......


.....perhaps there is an underlying mental health issue after all. I noticed a couple duck hunters took my stern the other day. They obviously had places to go and things to do and didn't have time to waste or things to prove by going out of their way to cut in front of me. You know, like a normal person would.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:41   #51
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

… and then there are the WAFIs who constantly go about trupeting the same old nonsense: "We have RIGHT OF WAY"…

I notice there remains a lot of confusion about this, even on this thread. There is no right of way. Both vessels are burdened with responsibilities. for the "give way" vessel this is to maintain course and speed until the risk of collision has passed. In the case of a situation where no risk of collision in fact exists, passing ahead is entirely reasonable. It may, however, be a trifle impolite…
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:43   #52
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

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Yeah. First Shrew then psneeld complain about sailboats being slow and unpredictable. I address them specifically if they feel this is some kind of explaination as to why powerboaters feel justified in ignoring the fact that they are obligated to give way to slower vessels and all I get are crickets chirping.

And still no explaination for why they do it. Are they hiding some dark secret? Are they really just power tripping or ego extending or compensating for feelings of inadequacy but don't want to admit it to themselves or others.

I wouldn't either but you know what they say, the first step in solving a problem is admitting you have one......


Perhaps there is an underlying mental health issue after all. I noticed a couple duck hunters took my stern the other day. They obviously had places to go and things to do and didn't have time to waste or things to prove.
I wasn't referrng to your post in my last one, Delancey. Indeed it appears clear that you are clear on the rules, at least by your language in reference to them.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:56   #53
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
psneeld, you seem like a guy who has his facts straight. Do I have it right that the faster guy has to give way to the slower guy?

When you say that sailboats are as big of a PIA as many power boaters you seem to be saying that sailboats are somehow responsible for inconveniencing powerboats because of the fact that they are slow?

Does this explain why powerboats often go out of their way to cut in front of sailboats when they could otherwise just hold their course and avoid a crossing in the first place? I still can't get my head around that one.

Sorry if my asking for clarification is annoying. I'm a little slow myself sometimes and need a little help on occasion.
No I am not complaining about sailboats being slow...heck going to Florida every year on my trawler I get passed by more sailboats than I pass....

I am just saying that a whole bunch of sailboaters are as clueless as powerboaters...probably for as many that are tempted to get into sailing, way too high of a percentage. It's not about being slow...it's about not understanding the rules or even common courtesies.

The comment about powerboaters being faster was to say that they cover more ground faster and a clueless powerboater can piss off more sailboaters than a clueess sailboater can piss off powerboaters....

Just generalizing abut one group versus another shows a total lack of experience with all boaters or boating in general....even if you have 100,000 sea miles in your "XXX" sailboat.


And did I read where faster is to give way to slower????? Where is that in the rules or even courtesies?
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:57   #54
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

I believe the overwhelming majority of us believe it's the idiot driving the boat, not what kind of propulsion it has that is the determining factor in play.
However as a former power boater myself, I believe it's easier to operate a powerboat with very little knowledge so maybe less experienced people on average may be at the helm of a powerboat.
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:14   #55
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

Hey, I am asking for help here. Just trying to understand.

Overtaking vessel must keep clear of the vessel being overtaken. Maybe I am not understanding but how can an overtaking vessel not be going faster than the vessel being overtaken?

How is passing in front of a vessel being overtaken keeping clear. It sounds to me like just the opposite.

And why the hell don't you just take the slower boats stern in the first place when the shortest distance is a straight line unless there is something wrong with you or you have something to prove?

Why would you go out of your way to cut in front of someone?
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:21   #56
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

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You are not alone.

And why do they need a 55' sport fisherman when they are 100 miles from the ocean?
Yes indeed. Why in that scenario the largest boat they should be allowed to own is.....?

Sorry, what is the correct answer?
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:04   #57
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

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Hey, I am asking for help here. Just trying to understand.

Overtaking vessel must keep clear of the vessel being overtaken. Maybe I am not understanding but how can an overtaking vessel not be going faster than the vessel being overtaken?

How is passing in front of a vessel being overtaken keeping clear. It sounds to me like just the opposite.

And why the hell don't you just take the slower boats stern in the first place when the shortest distance is a straight line unless there is something wrong with you or you have something to prove?

Why would you go out of your way to cut in front of someone?
I didn't know it was just specific situations that you were discussing.

Sure an overtaking vessel should never cut in front of another...but some peoples definition of "in front of" can be quite a distance.

Each situation can have a few variables and things skippers are pondering that the other guy may not be thinking of...so it's hard to generalize beyond the specific Colregs.

Not sure that people go out of their way to cut in front of someone other than they re much faster and would be in a situation where not cutting in front could mean a situation where they would want to pass and it might be more hazardous or even just inconvenient later on.

I can't excuse bad or dangerous behavior by any boater, power or sail...just like I won't let either side generalize and trash mouth the other without shooting some right back....been both, like both and dislike the gross generalizations.
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:32   #58
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

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I didn't start the thread to rag on powerboaters in general, only to understand why some will go out of their way to cut in front of sailboats since this is a phenomena I have observed on and off for the better part of more than thirty years spent on the water and yet I still have no logical explanation for.

For example the guy in this photo came from wayyyy over on my starboard side and returned there after passing me. If he hadn't changed course we would have continued to diverge as we had not been on intercept courses despite being headed in roughly opposite directions. I just don't get it.
I'm quoting myself here because I feel like I have to. You want to drive around in a powerboat. Great. Have fun. I couldn't care less. Go out of you way to cut in front of me for no reason in the fashion I have encountered countless times in my years on the water, I'm gonna think there is something wrong with you. You are overtaking me unnecessarily and creating a dangerous situation without cause.

I am usually sailing at a constant rate and speed. If your engine quits unexpectedly while you are right in front of me, well then I will do my best to avoid hitting you. Of course you could just not go out of your way to cross in front of me and avoid this possibility altogether. I will not think less of you or your manhood by not doing something stupid in the first place.

In return for this consideration I promise I will not unexpectedly and without warning make way in reverse at an excessive rate so as to causea potential collision where you will have to concern yourself with hitting me.

Is that fair?
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:41   #59
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

As if to make the point.... heard this on the radio :

Boat gets hung up on breakwall in Oakland-Alameda Estuary - SFGate

Now the "breakwall" was invisible, due to a particularly high tide. But the buoys every 50ft weren't. The chart is quite clear on the point, too.
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Old 03-12-2015, 13:02   #60
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Re: Powerboater Mental Health

For me it was the 1200 HP center console center punching the restaurant, at high speed, in a dense fog



Yeah, weather was the cause of the accident
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