Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-09-2013, 22:40   #31
Registered User
 
kthoennes's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Boat: Carver 3207 Aft Cabin, 32'
Posts: 289
You colreg debate guys are hilarious. Arguing about stand on vessels and slinging the rule numbers and citations around in a situation like this. It's not much different than when I was a teenager sailing my Bluejay on the Connecticut River. If there was no wind or the current was timed badly, then you don't cross the Hadlyme ferry path because you might get run over - and that ferry was a baby (as ferries go) with about 10 cars on a half mile trip. If you're in a measly boat and there's a giant anything charging through the vicinity, then you stay the heck away.

Next time a tanker is crossing my path and doesn't yield to me when he should I'll just stand on the bow waving a copy of the colregs - until he turns my boat into splinters in the prop wash.
__________________

__________________
kthoennes is offline  
Old 13-09-2013, 23:02   #32
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Quote:
Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
You colreg debate guys are hilarious. Arguing about stand on vessels and slinging the rule numbers and citations around in a situation like this. It's not much different than when I was a teenager sailing my Bluejay on the Connecticut River. If there was no wind or the current was timed badly, then you don't cross the Hadlyme ferry path because you might get run over - and that ferry was a baby (as ferries go) with about 10 cars on a half mile trip. If you're in a measly boat and there's a giant anything charging through the vicinity, then you stay the heck away.

Next time a tanker is crossing my path and doesn't yield to me when he should I'll just stand on the bow waving a copy of the colregs - until he turns my boat into splinters in the prop wash.
__________________

__________________
Rakuflames is offline  
Old 13-09-2013, 23:19   #33
Registered User
 
TacomaSailor's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Burnt Store Marina, SW Florida
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,148
Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Several minor observations from a sailor who has spent many years transiting Harney Channel and dodging Washington State Ferries. I have anchored in Blind Bay on Shaw Island for weeks at a time watching the ferries run to both Shaw and Orcas

- If you have not navigated Harney you have no idea how confusing and troubling the water and traffic can be

- many folks on this forum have a very dangerous misunderstanding of the rules of the road as it applies to sailboats and a total lack of appreciation for practical and safe navigation practices.

- Harney channel is a challenging and often dangerous environment for sailboats. I have sailed thru and across the channel hundreds of times as a single hander in a 40' boat, a captain on a crewed bigger sailboat, and crew on many smaller sailbats.

Please note the dimensions and locations of the ferry landings on the attached image - click on it to get a bigger image

The channel has some strong currents that vary greatly from side to side and from east to west.

The wind is very erratic and swirls and twists as it moves thru the channel

The Washington State Ferries always take different routes depending on their destination. Sometimes a ferry coming from the east will go to Orcas first and then to Shaw, other times they go to Shaw first and then Orcas, and sometimes they go to only Orcas and then head back east while bypassing Shaw.

There is no way to know where the ferry is headed since they might take a path on one side of the channel, pass their destination, and then circle back to their destination in order to have a favorable angle to the dock while struggling with the current.

I have, on many occasions, been very surprised when I passed a ferry I thought was headed to Orcas which then seemed to make a 180 degree turn and head back toward me while trying to dock at Shaw.

On a given day, in seemingly identical conditions, I've seen the same ferry transit the channel on the far north side, in the middle, and on the far south side.

There have been times, when sailing, that I have tried to hold my course while having the right of way, made contact via VHF, with the ferry, told them my intentions and they acknowledged those intentions, and then had the ferry pass within 10 yards of me while I had rocks just five yards to the other side.

It is confusing and difficult and I can easily understand how both boats where sure they were doing the correct, and safe, thing.

However, a single hander (which I am more often than not), going below for even a minute in Harney with a ferry in sight is just asking to have a serious problem.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	HarneyChannel.jpg
Views:	190
Size:	347.4 KB
ID:	67175  
__________________
TacomaSailor is offline  
Old 13-09-2013, 23:19   #34
Registered User
 
Dennis.G's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Sea of Cortez and the U.P. of Michigan
Boat: Celestial 48
Posts: 750
Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Quote:
Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
Next time a tanker is crossing my path and doesn't yield to me when he should I'll just stand on the bow waving a copy of the colregs - until he turns my boat into splinters in the prop wash.
OK, if that works for you.

I have not heard anyone here say that you should not try to stay away from a ferry and its path of travel, or that you should not do everything to avoid a collision.

But that's a long way from some automatic claim that anyone run over by a ferry must have been in the wrong. Ferries have to follow the rules too.
__________________
Dennis.G is offline  
Old 13-09-2013, 23:27   #35
Registered User
 
Dennis.G's Avatar

Join Date: May 2011
Location: Sea of Cortez and the U.P. of Michigan
Boat: Celestial 48
Posts: 750
Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
...
However, a single hander (which I am more often than not), going below for even a minute in Harney with a ferry in sight is just asking to have a serious problem.
Agree 100%

Thanks for the thoughtful analysis.
__________________
Dennis.G is offline  
Old 13-09-2013, 23:30   #36
Registered User
 
sabray's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Wash DC
Boat: PETERSON 44
Posts: 3,169
If you can avoid being run over by a ferry even a tame old hadlyme ferry you should take all actions necessary to avoid being chopped mat and sawdust. You communicate if you can. You make a decisive clear maneuver when necessary. hasnt failed me yet.
One time though this big power boat loaded with freight train boxes really quietly snuck up on me in a channel.never heard the thing. We both realized at the same moment that we were not going to be a happy couple. Ms powerboat made it clear that she was puss in boots by rapid horn blasts. I made it clear that I was getting the hell out of her way. Hard starboard engines on full bore. No college degree necessary.
Doesn't mean a ferry has outright zero responsibility if it turns your boat and crew into salmon chum. They could be held responsible.
Even do time in the can. . They will be eating pasta salad with chicken of the sea. You will be in a can labeled chicken of the sea
__________________
sabray is offline  
Old 14-09-2013, 00:04   #37
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Ventura, CA USA
Boat: Catalina 22 - 22'
Posts: 7
Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Having ridden the ferries in Washington State and as a sailor, I know to stay out of their way at all times. They are massive, move very fast, and are not nearly as manueverable as you might think. (At slow speeds while docking, they can use the props and rudders on both ends, but not at high speed.)

The ferry routes, especially in the San Juans and the Seattle/Bremerton run follow narrow, twisting channels, hemmed in my submerged rocks/reefs and often tall cliffs on shore. Radar doesn't work so good under these conditions, especially when your target is mostly plastic. There is almost zero room for avoiding collisions in certain parts of the routes. Add to this, the strong currents and winds (ferries have a LOT of windage) and it makes navigating these channels extremely challenging.

And yes, I believe there is a state law regarding ferries and other boating traffic. Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands fall under state jurisdition (within the 3 mile limit), allowing the state to add their own regulations in addition to the ColRegs.

This sort of reminds me of a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Sure you have the right of way, but I wouldn't step off the curb directly into the path of a bus and expect it to stop.
__________________
Gust14882 is offline  
Old 14-09-2013, 03:19   #38
Registered User

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 143
Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
This fixation on whether or not the sailboat "had" to move misses the point that it SHOULD have moved.
Indeed, however common sense is a commodity that has always been in short supply...

I certainly would not be sitting there watching a bigger ship bearing down on me, but I suppose it all comes down to visibility in fog. It could well be that the two vessels could not see each other until avoidance was too late.
__________________
beverley is offline  
Old 14-09-2013, 04:50   #39
Senior Cruiser
 
Kenomac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Somewhere in the Adriatic Sea
Boat: Oyster 53 Cutter
Posts: 8,516
Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Regarding Right of way situations: The captain of a large powerboat gave me some good advice from the bow of his vessel over 30 years ago while I was sailing in a crowded Newport Beach, CA harbor on our O'Day 20. We were under sail and crossing his bow on a light wind day forcing him to stop.

"Son, you can be right, and you can be dead right... but you're always gunna be the looser if we crash." Good advice.

I continue to heed that great advice to this day. In most cases, the larger powerboat or sailboat is less manueverable than the smaller sailboat.
__________________
Kenomac is online now  
Old 14-09-2013, 06:38   #40
Registered User
 
Group9's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,599
Images: 7
Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

I have adapted a personal right of way rule I devloped when I was an avid bike rider and it has worked just as well for me as a boater.

"Always assume that anyone with the capability to run you down and kill you will do so at the first opportunity, and govern yourself accordingly when maneuvering."
__________________
Cruising again!
Group9 is offline  
Old 14-09-2013, 06:40   #41
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,030
Very sorry to hear about this accident. Both the sailor and ferry captain will be affected forever and that's terrible.

We've sailed these areas a little. The ferry routes are clearly charted and schedules are posted everywhere. The ferries always announce departure loudly. They get up to speed quickly and they cannot stop or turn on a dime. No one who has sailed in that area more than a few hours can be unaware of the ferry traffic.

We should wait to read the accident report before rendering opinions. I would just say that anyone sailing that area of PNW must plan around the ferry courses and schedules. There are few situations where the ferry is not the stand on vessel. Sailors need to understand that.
__________________
transmitterdan is offline  
Old 14-09-2013, 06:43   #42
Registered User
 
Blue Crab's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Hurricane Highway
Boat: Cal 29
Posts: 3,883
Red face Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Another rehash of the obvious. With lectures and finger-waving. I'm only surprised that these collisions continue to happen.
__________________
Blue Crab is offline  
Old 14-09-2013, 07:12   #43
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,755
Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gust14882 View Post
And yes, I believe there is a state law regarding ferries and other boating traffic. Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands fall under state jurisdition (within the 3 mile limit), allowing the state to add their own regulations in addition to the ColRegs.
This is just incorrect. Here is a link to "Boating regulations in the state of Washington" and here is a State PDF on the same topic. And yesterday I posted a similar document from the Puget sound USCG. The navigation rules described in all three cases are standard colregs with zero mention of any special rule about ferrys. They describe in detail Washington's specific whale watching rules, moorage permits, pump-outs, mandatory boating education, and TSS zones. Don't you think they would even mention it if they had changed the colregs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
You colreg debate guys are hilarious. Arguing about stand on vessels and slinging the rule numbers and citations around in a situation like this.
There was a lot of sloppy discussion about "right of way" in the thread. The colregs are not difficult and it is important to know them. There was particularly confusion about TSS and ferry rights.

In a 2 vessel closing situation with a commercial vessel it is usually prudent to get out of the way - as I said very clearly said in my post yesterday that you are disparaging. However, sometimes in multiple vessel situations, if you are the stand on vessel you must stand on even with a large commercial vessel in order to eliminate confusion for all the vessels involved. That's what "stand-on" means. To know when and how to do that you need to understand the colregs.
__________________
estarzinger is offline  
Old 14-09-2013, 07:13   #44
Wayfaring Mariner
 
captain58sailin's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Homer, AK is my home port
Boat: Skookum 53'
Posts: 4,045
Images: 5
Washington State Ferry Collides with Sailboat

I just came across this news item. Glad no one was hurt.


State ferry collides with sailboat in San Juan Islands | Local & Regional | Seattle News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KOMO News
__________________
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
captain58sailin is offline  
Old 14-09-2013, 07:29   #45
Wayfaring Mariner
 
captain58sailin's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Homer, AK is my home port
Boat: Skookum 53'
Posts: 4,045
Images: 5
Re: What can happen when you cut off a ferry

Back when I rode motorcycles, the rule was "Drive like you are invisible and there is a bounty on your ass." I employ that same thinking when engaging with a larger vessel. I never get in front of them if I can help it, regardless the Stand on / Give way status, unless I have radio contact and a clear understanding with the other captain, to insure safe passage. Even then, I am not afraid to pull a 180* turn if it doesn't look / feel right.
__________________

__________________
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
captain58sailin is offline  
Closed Thread

Tags
Ferry, sail, sailboat, washing, Washington

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.