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Old 20-09-2013, 16:06   #211
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Originally Posted by FlyMeAway View Post
Ugh. COLREGS is pretty clear on this one. Can't believe nobody has cited this, because (back in my days as a dinghy sailor on Long Island Sound) it was the first COLREG we learned. Also came up in a very interesting admiralty lecture back in law school.

That's Rule 9 (b)

"Impede the passage" language means that the large vessel in the narrow fairway is stand-on. I can give you a bunch of collision cases which back that up, but I'm too lazy to find them right now.
I think nobody has cited rule 9b because it appears that the larger vessel was not in narrow a fairway.
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:14   #212
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by frank_f View Post
I was just looking at Dockhead's sailing area using Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions.

No wonder you know a thing or two about the COLREGs.

There are hundreds of ships in there at this minute moving between 10 and 25 knots. There's even what looks like a sailboat race coming out of the Solent heading towards France (looks like 15 or more) and these are only the boats with AIS.

It looks like the LA freeway at rush hour.
Wow. I thought I had seen a lot of traffic around NY, Straights of FL and such but I see now I'm just a babe in the woods.
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:18   #213
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I was just looking at Dockhead's sailing area using Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions.

No wonder you know a thing or two about the COLREGs.

There are hundreds of ships in there at this minute moving between 10 and 25 knots. There's even what looks like a sailboat race coming out of the Solent heading towards France (looks like 15 or more) and these are only the boats with AIS.

It looks like the LA freeway at rush hour.
Yes it's a bit different than the Tampa Bay area which has one main clearly defined shipping channel. Boca Ciega Bay of course has no shipping channels, so it's not even an issue. I would suspect all those commercial vessel's masters have a slightly better understanding of COLREGS then do a large number of recreational users that frequent the Tampa Bay area.
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:21   #214
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Wow. I thought I had seen a lot of traffic around NY, Straights of FL and such but I see now I'm just a babe in the woods.
Yep we tend to know our COLREGS crossing the channel, The busiest shipping area in the world I believe.

and 40 knot ferries !!

dave
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:22   #215
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

I sail in Puget Sound, between about Port Ludlow to the north and Quartermaster Harbor to the south.

I deal with at least five Washington State Ferries every time I go out. I deal with them in Eagle Harbor and Rich Passage, both of which are relatively narrow. (Not as narrow as the point this accident took place, but narrow.)

I've watched the ferries and wondered (to myself) "how the hell would you get out of the way of that?"

This thread has convinced me that I need to go study the colregs, and understand them at least as thoroughly as I understand the boats I sail on.

I hate to count on other people-- I try not to count on anyone else when I drive. But I suppose that if you ever go through a green light, you're counting on everyone else to stop at their red light.

So I don't want to count on the ferries to see me, but it may be inevitable.

What would improve the chances of a ferry seeing a 34' Dufour?
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:29   #216
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by FlyMeAway View Post
Ugh. COLREGS is pretty clear on this one. Can't believe nobody has cited this, because (back in my days as a dinghy sailor on Long Island Sound) it was the first COLREG we learned. Also came up in a very interesting admiralty lecture back in law school.



That's Rule 9 (b)

"Impede the passage" language means that the large vessel in the narrow fairway is stand-on. I can give you a bunch of collision cases which back that up, but I'm too lazy to find them right now.

Actually it's been mentioned, although not quoted (thank you). That is the situation where I live. Tampa Bay is quite shallow, and so is the Gulf of Mexico, especially within, say, 25 miles of shore in most places. A very specific channel has been cut for freighters and cruise liners. That actually makes it easier because you know exactly where that big boat is going to be, because if it doesn't, it's going to run aground. There is absolutely no doubt that those freighters and cruise ships are the stand-on vessels. They have nowhere to go except through that channel.

I'm not sure the path for the ferry was that cut and dried in the accident that started this discussion. Nevertheless, something went very wrong that day, and it's the little boat that's going to sink, not the big one. I could be wrong, but I believe I am capable of staying clear of ferries. The guy who lost his boat must also be capable of it, since apparently he sailed those waters for fifty years. I think it was so familiar to him that he didn't think about it being a poor choice to get so involved with his electronics where he was. For fifty years he was somehow able to stay out of those ferries' way, and I believe I would be able to do the same thing -- under sail or under power. It's not rocket science.

This has all been a giant pissing contest to try to prove that some people "know the colregs" better than others. A tremendous amount of ego has been involved. To me it reminds me of tin soldiers marching around. Behavior counts as much as seamanship. I'm not going to stand on my little 31' sailboat and announce "I'm the stand on vessel -- YOU MOVE." I'm going to get out of the way, and YES, I will do it in a timely way so I do not end up under that freighter's bow.

I believe the man who lost his boat has managed to do exactly that for 50 years, and for whatever reason, he had a *really serious* lapse of attention at just the wrong time. Unfortunately for him I think there's no excuse. I think he may have been out of the ferry captain's scope of concern, and his boat shifted direction while he was looking at the electronics, and by the time he was in the path of danger the ferry captain couldn't even see him. That's what I think happened.

I'm not going to pound on it but that's what I think happened. I think the sailboat moved into a collision course in a way that made the collision inevitable.

Talking about the fog earlier was just excuse-making. It wasn't foggy when the accident happened.
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:31   #217
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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I think nobody has cited rule 9b because it appears that the larger vessel was not in narrow a fairway.

Exactly. And that would make it harder for sailboats in the area to predict where the ferry was likely to go.

We do have a "rule 9b" situation here but I don't recall ever hearing about a cruise shp or a freighter hitting a small boat in that channel. We've got it pretty easy because there's no doubt here where they're going to go.
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:34   #218
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
Yes it's a bit different than the Tampa Bay area which has one main clearly defined shipping channel. Boca Ciega Bay of course has no shipping channels, so it's not even an issue. I would suspect all those commercial vessel's masters have a slightly better understanding of COLREGS then do a large number of recreational users that frequent the Tampa Bay area.

I think they make those captains take tests on it.

Sailing on Boca Ciega Bay is like sailing on a lake. You just have to know where the high spots are, because most charts don't show any depth variation. The best chart to have for BC Bay is a fishing chart, because depth variation matters to fishermen. And it does have channels -- just not commercial channels.
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:38   #219
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
I sail in Puget Sound, between about Port Ludlow to the north and Quartermaster Harbor to the south.

I deal with at least five Washington State Ferries every time I go out. I deal with them in Eagle Harbor and Rich Passage, both of which are relatively narrow. (Not as narrow as the point this accident took place, but narrow.)

I've watched the ferries and wondered (to myself) "how the hell would you get out of the way of that?"

This thread has convinced me that I need to go study the colregs, and understand them at least as thoroughly as I understand the boats I sail on.

I hate to count on other people-- I try not to count on anyone else when I drive. But I suppose that if you ever go through a green light, you're counting on everyone else to stop at their red light.

So I don't want to count on the ferries to see me, but it may be inevitable.

What would improve the chances of a ferry seeing a 34' Dufour?

Well, but you don't have to just count on them not only knowing the colregs but in "reading" the situation as you do. Just call them on the radio and find out what their intentions are. It's still much better than the LA rush hour traffic jam on the water Dockhead is dealing with.

Then you state what you're going to do in responses to what he is going to do, and everyone knows what is going on. I think it would make sense to work the colregs in there just so the ferry captain knows he's dealing with a sensible person who will understand what he or she says.
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:39   #220
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

It seems several folks here are getting a little excited and doing a bit too much teeth gnashing about something we sailors have been successfully dealing with on a daily basis for many years. I suspect most sailors DO KNOW how to interact with large fast moving vessels such as ferries.

In the 16 mile stretch of water from the north end of Vashon Island, WA to Kingston WA (central Puget Sound) there are 212 daily ferry crossings - each and every one of them a big fast boat that can, and often does, take an unpredictable route. Additionally, there are many dozen daily transits of ocean going container ships, Alaska bound tug and tow, petroleum tug & tows, cruise ships, and of course the US Navy.

On an given day there are hundreds of pleasure boats sailing those waters and I can remember almost no ferry/sailboat collisions in the 40+ years I've been sailing there. SO - I suspect most boaters do know how to manage a pleasure craft/ferry interaction.

Many of the respondents here seem to have the correct idea

1) Try to stay out of the way
2) Use the VHF to make contact with the ferry bridge
3) Hold your course if you are the stand-on vessel
4) Do not try to outrun or out-manuever the ferry
5) MOST IMPORTANT - keep a constant watch any time a ferry is within sight

Other than that I don't understand the need for more discussion of this topic
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:39   #221
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Yep we tend to know our COLREGS crossing the channel, The busiest shipping area in the world I believe.

and 40 knot ferries !!

dave
My hat is off to you guys.

I get squeamish crossing the Lake Erie lanes where there is only 10 -20 ships an hour traveling at 10 -15 knots.

I would have to have a Thorazine drip in each arm to cut across that channel in a sailboat
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:39   #222
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Some posts here remind that many people do not sail in high density large shipping areas, especially with large high speed ferries doing 35-40 like these boys ( and thats a small one)

Yes of course in simple situations of course you stay away and avoid close quarters , I change course well before the COLREGS apply.

BUT, in close situations , or when one of these boys comes out of low vis at 40 knots, you have no choice but to apply the COLREGS. Not applying them gets you killed, applying them only might get you killed.

And btw the way using the VHF, don't make me laugh the boat would over the stern before you got the working channel sorted out.

Dave
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:43   #223
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

IF HE WOULD HAVE BEEN AT THE HELM. And felt that there was no time to maneuver, there certainly isn't time to call the ferry Skipper on the VHF. He could have shot a flair up which most likely then would have gotten the attention of the skipper/bridge of the Ferry.

But at last, he wasn't at the helm, so he was unable to take any action because he didn't know an action was needed.

I have navigated that very passage at least twice yearly for the past 18 years. I've been there in pee-soup with Ferries, and on bright days with and with-out. I was in that very channel the day before in fog with visibility ranging fro 50 yards to 150 yards the day prior to this accident. There is always a Bayliner or 2 running 20 knots.

But I would never be caught dead in any of the channels up here without being on WATCH.

Lloyd


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Originally Posted by Wraith_Mac View Post
A question keeps troubling me, maybe I could get some resolution on it please from those who support the very simplistic view of 'just get out of the way'?

A large, very fast, highly manouverable ferry is visible, it's daytime, at a dock approx 1nm away from a slow chugger.
The slow chugger is holding it's course, in daylight, the wheel is attended and the pilot has seen the stationary ferry.
I presume the chugger's not in stealthmode and is possible to be located visually.
The ferry begins its journey, ie. ceases being stationary and accelerates setting a course.
The chugger has already set and by accounts was maintaining, its course.
The ferry must be going much faster and coming from astern to run over the chugger in the manner described, in the time frame inferred if not explicitly stated.
The question that niggles me, as an owner of a fast boat and past owner of a chugger, is HOW the hell the chugger was supposed to actually evade the ferry?
My Avon could it, it's much faster than the ferry and way more nimble.
My chuggers could not do so well.
Even if I watched the ferry from the dock and realised at 1/2m it was on a collision course closing at 15-20kn there's very little time left for effective evasion at 5kn.
The ferry,from what the locals say here is 3 to 5 faster than the chugger and coming from astern, so for the advocates of 'just get out of the way', just how would you physically do that, [NB: accelerate to warp speed is not an option, nor is calling a towboat]
Please note:
This is not a Colregs question, I thought I understood them pretty well but as has been pointed out above there's many here to learn more from and I enjoy that.
Cheers,
Mac
Edit: Didn't see Ann T Cate's post quoting Dockhead whilst called away after starting this. Great Posts!
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Old 20-09-2013, 16:48   #224
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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But at last, he wasn't at the helm, so he was unable to take any action because he didn't know an action was needed.
Sorry he was at the wheel in the wheel house!

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Old 20-09-2013, 16:51   #225
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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My hat is off to you guys.

I get squeamish crossing the Lake Erie lanes where there is only 10 -20 ships an hour traveling at 10 -15 knots.

I would have to have a Thorazine drip in each arm to cut across that channel in a sailboat
and lots of it is monitored by UK and French radar, you get your arse handed to you in fines if you don't know your COLREGS.

dave
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