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Old 13-09-2013, 20:12   #16
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Any one who has seen the ferrys run up in the PNW, be they US or Canadian, knows to get the hell out of the way! They have right of way by the law up there! And commen sence tells ya they are to big to mess with !! And the pleasure boat is always wrong! The only thing that is ahead of them is a fishing boat that is fishing and has the proper lights or what ever to show that there are fishing ! Thats the way it is !! Just cus your under sail the best idea is to forget that crap and give way ! Cus if ya don't sooner or later your gonna end up like this boat did ! Just the 2 cents of a fella that has gotten out of there way for years !!!
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Old 13-09-2013, 20:15   #17
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Go read the CoiRegs and see if each rule doesn't reflect that comment.
I have read them thank you, but yet respectfully disagree.

Example (hypothetical, as we don't know particulars in this case):
If the sailboat and ferry were heading the same direction and the ferry was not constrained by draft into a channel, and ferry was overtaking the sailboat, the sailboat would need to stand on (maintain course) and overtaking ferry stay clear while passing. This would be his obligation even if he is less maneuverable than the sailboat (which no argument he is).

Isn't that the sort of stuff ColRegs say?
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Old 13-09-2013, 20:18   #18
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Here on the Vancouver Island south coast it was pretty darn foggy. I would expect similar conditions in the accident area and I seem to think that at least one news report mentioned fog. It didn't lift here until sometime between 1 and 2 pm. Although visibility was fine for a slow vessel, the ferry would not have seen the sail boat until it would have been way too late to do anything.
Another big thumbs up for AIS on board - even a receiver would have alerted the sailboat to get out of Dodge.
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Old 13-09-2013, 20:23   #19
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Good reminder for all of this. Sounds like the sailor stuck his head down below for a few minutes. The big boats (ships and ferries) sneak up us awfully fast and they expect us to get out of their way.

Hard to criticize. Haven't we all had those "Holy buckets, where did that monster come from?!?!?" moments?

The AIS receiver has been great in this respect, alerted us to high speed ferries beating down on us at great speed.
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Old 13-09-2013, 20:24   #20
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

I'm on San Juan Island, looking at Lopez, and it was somewhat foggy this AM. It was patchy though, and I didn't hear the ferry's foghorns that I usually do when it's really socked in. So, I don't know.
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Old 13-09-2013, 20:31   #21
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Would like to clarify, as I don't want to sound like a jerk disagreeing.

I spent several months sailing around San Juan Islands and always gave ferries wide berth. Also noted ferry routes on charts and stayed clear, treating them as if they were shipping lanes. They should alway be respected.

But the ferries do not stay on the charted routes, they travel several times faster than the average sailboat under power (as is so common in that area is summer), and they are not above the rules of the road. Suggestions that anyone that gets run over by them must have automatically been primarily at fault I think is just wrong.
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Old 13-09-2013, 20:34   #22
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Mmmmm . . . .

First there are no "special rules" in the state of Washington giving ferrys right of way. The standard colregs apply. There is a uscg "recreational vessel manual for puget sound" online that explicitly says this.

Second, in TSS (traffic separation lanes), ferrys and other large vessels do have the right "not to be impeded" by small vessels. That is standard colregs rule 10. There are many TSS around puget sound, BUT there was not in the channel where the accident took place.

Third, The sail boat was under power and to the Ferry's starboard (according to observers), and so was the stand on vessel, rule 15. Speculation is that the ferry captain was not paying close attention and simply did not see the sail boat. The colregs require even the stand-on vessel to take action if a collision is imminent and the sail boat did not ( rule 17) .. . . So both captains were at fault.

That all said, it is prudent and polite for small sailboats to navigate at the edge of channels where ferrys are running rather than go down the middle and expect to maintain stand-on status.
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Old 13-09-2013, 20:35   #23
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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But the ferries do not stay on the charted routes,
I can confirm this. Don't assume that they stick to the dotted lines on the charts.
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Old 13-09-2013, 21:20   #24
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
I have read them thank you, but yet respectfully disagree.

Example (hypothetical, as we don't know particulars in this case):
If the sailboat and ferry were heading the same direction and the ferry was not constrained by draft into a channel, and ferry was overtaking the sailboat, the sailboat would need to stand on (maintain course) and overtaking ferry stay clear while passing. This would be his obligation even if he is less maneuverable than the sailboat (which no argument he is).

Isn't that the sort of stuff ColRegs say?

It would be that way because the boat gaining from behind has more speed and maneuverability or it wouldn't be gaining on the sailboat. However, a multitude of rules come into play, and the sailor who thinks he has the right to stay where he is while a ferry bears down on him may well end up like the sailboat in that photo up there, or maybe even a worse outcome (sailor dies, for instance). You would have to be able to read ALL the regs affecting ferries and ALL the regs affecting sailboats, and have the legal knowledge to sort it out to make that call.

This is what goes wrong when non-lawyers read the law. There's a reason lawyers go to school for a full three years and that their law degree is considered the equivalent of a Ph.D. This fixation on whether or not the sailboat "had" to move misses the point that it SHOULD have moved.

But what the colregs come down to is rules to avoid collision, because the seas don't have things like lane markers and traffic lights. And boats/ships don't have brakes.
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Old 13-09-2013, 21:22   #25
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
Would like to clarify, as I don't want to sound like a jerk disagreeing.

I spent several months sailing around San Juan Islands and always gave ferries wide berth. Also noted ferry routes on charts and stayed clear, treating them as if they were shipping lanes. They should alway be respected.

But the ferries do not stay on the charted routes, they travel several times faster than the average sailboat under power (as is so common in that area is summer), and they are not above the rules of the road. Suggestions that anyone that gets run over by them must have automatically been primarily at fault I think is just wrong.

It's just STUPID not to get out of the way of a ferry. If nothing else, it demonstrates Darwin's "laws."
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Old 13-09-2013, 21:43   #26
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Ferries are working, they don't cut you off, you get in their way .
+1.
That's a tight area for a ferry, and anyone on a boat with a brain knows to give the ferries room, especially right there at the Orcas dock.

The only bonehead was the sailor.
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Old 13-09-2013, 22:04   #27
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

I couldn't agree with you more. It doesn't matter if a ferry hypothetically COULD plot the course of a sailboat to avoid the boat with the stick on it.

Anyone with enough knowledge to be a ferry captain also knows that sailboats zigzag all over the place. They don't always have a destination. Sometimes they're just out there testing their new roller furler or something. Heck, he doesn't know anything except that sailboats are unpredictable. The notion that a ferry boat captain would do such a thing is absurd.

I don't studying is needed here, just a little common sense. That big ferry can break your boat. Stay away from it.
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Old 13-09-2013, 22:04   #28
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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Out of how many ferry runs during that time?
A great many. In one of them, a Captain decided to come close to shore so he could wave at his girlfriend and ran aground. The other cases all involved incompetence of one level or another by the Captain. I should actually think you could run a ferry company without wrecking a few every decade, but maybe my standards are too high. All I know is that when I am in the ferry lanes up here, I get out of their way and never assume they are paying the slightest attention.
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Old 13-09-2013, 22:23   #29
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

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A great many. In one of them, a Captain decided to come close to shore so he could wave at his girlfriend and ran aground. The other cases all involved incompetence of one level or another by the Captain. I should actually think you could run a ferry company without wrecking a few every decade, but maybe my standards are too high. All I know is that when I am in the ferry lanes up here, I get out of their way and never assume they are paying the slightest attention.

Exactly. They are operated by human beings and subject to all the weaknesses humans can have, including being overtired, etc. I'm not going to trust my fate to a completely unknown captain. "I don't have to know what I'm doing because that ferry operator surely does ..." Not a good plan.
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Old 13-09-2013, 22:34   #30
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Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

A bit of a thread drift, a ferry has more maneuvering than a freighter.

We were sailing right outside the ship channel. The freighter to our starboard blew his whistle 5 times. That's when I saw the crazy fishing charter trying to cross the freighters bow. Hard to tell but he was seconds away from complete t-bone by the freighter. Fishing boat spun around and passed to the freighter's stern. That is when I saw the fishing boat was full of kids!!! I wanted to turn our boat around and kick the fishing boats helmsman ass!!

The freighter saved those kids lives, no way he could of maneuvered to avoid collision. But, by being alert and giving warning, he was the hero.
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