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Old 10-06-2015, 09:43   #301
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

Generally in the law, sailboat accidents are treated with a lot less voracity than motor accidents because the probability of loss of life is far lower. Over the years I've seen all sorts of silliness occur, but enforcement doesn't take it nearly as seriously as they take personal watercraft operators or power boaters because there's just a lot less risk.

In the U.S., the 2013 USCG stats show that sailboats are involved in just 1% of accidents total. (53 accidents out of 5400+ reported). And with regards to fatalities its even lower, with 15 out of over 3000 fatalities (about 1/2 of 1%).

Occasional minor collisions are also viewed as somewhat more routine with sailors, especially when racing, precisely because they usually do no harm. I've come out to my boat in the marina and found strange shoe sole marks along the transom. I just thought "hey, thanks for pushing off with your foot instead of your rub-rail".

I stupidly snagged a spreader on a permanent channel marker sign that jumped out in front of me once, which bent my mast and spreaders. I hailed the CG to report. They asked if there were any injuries (no), if my hull was sound (yes), and if I could make way (yes), was the sign damaged (no), then said thanks for reporting goodbye. Wasn't anything like a car accident.

50/50 liability for a collision does seem a little unfair, but if neither boat is maintaining a proper watch and I was listening to both sides lying about what happened, then I'd probably adjudicate the same way. That's just an insurance adjuster's take as well, not a judge.

This board reports anecdotes worldwide, but sailing is statistically one of the safest past-times on the planet. It has to be respected, but the risk to life is quite minimal for anyone who knows what they're doing and exercises prudence.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:45   #302
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Weavis, Ivť only just realised you said it was written by a member. Would you mind putting me in touch with the member who wrote this? Maybe PM me or get the writer to?
known as Foolish on this board.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:46   #303
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Of course both vessels are obliged to do whatever is necessary to avoid collisions. I didn't forget that for a minute. But how is it fair for one of the two involved to deliberately put himself in a state (asleep) where everyone else in his area must do all of the collision avoidance?
Whales sleep on the surface, and are sometimes injured, killed and or the cause of sinking boats. Shipping containers lost from ships float just beneath the water's surface along with logs and every sort of flotsam and jetson capable of holing your boat. There are abandoned boats... Fishing boats so brightly lit you can't discern their direction of travel, crewed by folks who will not answer your call on the VHF and are engaged in retrieving nets while the boat is steered by AUTOPILOT. So, you and anyone else who sets out on an ocean passage has a lot more to concern themselves with than sailors who sail alone. At least we're on watch most of the time.

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What makes you say that singlehanders get in "far fewer collisions" than crewed boats? Of course there are far, far fewer of them so I guess it's true in a literal sense, but I think it's pretty clear that a boat with no-one at the helm or on watch is much less likely to maneuver to avoid a collision than a boat with someone on watch and at the helm.
My own observation is most sailors who are alone and get into trouble put their boats on the hard while asleep. Why? Because of fatigue and poor decisions promulgated by the fatigue. I believe most will agree collisions are rare.

Quote:
You're right that human error thingy is always out there trying to get us, so how does it make sense to exempt a certain class of boats crew from even being aware of what is going on around them or from taking collision avoidance measures that are required and expected of everyone else?
Unaware? Depends on what kind of equipment they have aboard to alert them of impending danger.

Quote:
I'm not a lawyer and am not an expert on maritime law either, but the failure of one law enforcement entity to enforce a law doesn't make that law void. It's not exactly a Supreme Court ruling! But to me, even more important than the legal question is the moral one. We're all out there and are all equally obligated to keep a constant watch to make sure we don't run into each other and that seems right to me. How does any one group of sailors get to declare that they are so "special" that the rules requiring a constant watch doesn't apply to them, just because they prefer sailing by themselves?
Your view in the matter. Nobody is saying the Colregs don't apply or they are somehow special. We've elected to sail alone, come hell or high water while taking the best precautions we can to avoid collisions with others.

Being human, we, like anyone else who drives a car or engages in anything subject to local ordinances, state and federal laws consider the odds we'll suffer consequences for having ignored them... And in my experience over 25 years and 40,000 n.m. of sailing alone, I've never been in a mishap while underway. Nor have I been cited for doing so.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:51   #304
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

mstrebe made this ridiculous statement:

I've always been awakened by their engine noise

Think about it.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:28   #305
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
Whales sleep on the surface, and are sometimes injured, killed and or the cause of sinking boats. Shipping containers lost from ships float just beneath the water's surface along with logs and every sort of flotsam and jetson capable of holing your boat. There are abandoned boats... Fishing boats so brightly lit you can't discern their direction of travel, crewed by folks who will not answer your call on the VHF and are engaged in retrieving nets while the boat is steered by AUTOPILOT. So, you and anyone else who sets out on an ocean passage has a lot more to concern themselves with than sailors who sail alone. At least we're on watch most of the time.

My own observation is most sailors who are alone and get into trouble put their boats on the hard while asleep. Why? Because of fatigue and poor decisions promulgated by the fatigue. I believe most will agree collisions are rare.

Unaware? Depends on what kind of equipment they have aboard to alert them of impending danger.

Your view in the matter. Nobody is saying the Colregs don't apply or they are somehow special. We've elected to sail alone, come hell or high water while taking the best precautions we can to avoid collisions with others.

Being human, we, like anyone else who drives a car or engages in anything subject to local ordinances, state and federal laws consider the odds we'll suffer consequences for having ignored them... And in my experience over 25 years and 40,000 n.m. of sailing alone, I've never been in a mishap while underway. Nor have I been cited for doing so.
Great post!
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:31   #306
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Originally Posted by jongleur View Post
mstrebe made this ridiculous statement:

I've always been awakened by their engine noise

Think about it.
Well, I suppose a few could have slipped by without waking me up and I wouldn't know.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:41   #307
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pirate Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Originally Posted by sailpower View Post
Ouch! Does this mean I have to sell my guns?
No.. just saying us Brits love to get in close and dirty..
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:00   #308
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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No.. just saying us Brits love to get in close and dirty..
That's a relief as Brit season is right around the corner.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:06   #309
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pirate Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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That's a relief as Brit season is right around the corner.
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:11   #310
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

Well, turns out I'm wrong about the legality of indicating "Not under Command" so you can sleep while single-handing.

According to Farwell's Rule of the Nautical Road, page 64, a vessel not under command truly does mean some circumstance that prevents the vessel from maneuvering, mere inconvenience or difficulty is insufficient. The focus is on the vessel's ability to maneuver, not the master or crew. Furthermore, flying incorrect markings could potentially lead to liability in an incident, so it's not legal cover.

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Old 10-06-2015, 11:36   #311
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
Well, turns out I'm wrong about the legality of indicating "Not under Command" so you can sleep while single-handing.

According to Farwell's Rule of the Nautical Road, page 64, a vessel not under command truly does mean some circumstance that prevents the vessel from maneuvering, mere inconvenience or difficulty is insufficient. The focus is on the vessel's ability to maneuver, not the master or crew. Furthermore, flying incorrect markings could potentially lead to liability in an incident, so it's not legal cover.

Matt
I'm not sure anyone playing dodgem cars with ships, really care about legality. That may have come out wrong. Not trashing singling just saying legality will be the last concern with the top of the prow being higher than your mast. If you get past it and hear the chop, chop chop of their prop. your thoughts about legality, non existent. St. Elmo looked out for you.
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Old 10-06-2015, 15:30   #312
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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You are right! Brain fart on my part. The difference is important. Thanks for the correction.
Another part that you left out is that it starts with "Every vessel shall at all times..." which singlehanders seem to want to interpret to mean "sometimes" or "most of the time."
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Old 10-06-2015, 15:45   #313
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Another part that you left out is that it starts with "Every vessel shall at all times..." which singlehanders seem to want to interpret to mean "sometimes" or "most of the time."
Actually, no. We ignore the fact it exists at all, doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done.

No point in fretting over a rule you can't possibly accommodate.
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Old 10-06-2015, 15:51   #314
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
Well, turns out I'm wrong about the legality of indicating "Not under Command" so you can sleep while single-handing.

According to Farwell's Rule of the Nautical Road, page 64, a vessel not under command truly does mean some circumstance that prevents the vessel from maneuvering, mere inconvenience or difficulty is insufficient. The focus is on the vessel's ability to maneuver, not the master or crew. Furthermore, flying incorrect markings could potentially lead to liability in an incident, so it's not legal cover.

Matt
Given that solo sailors ignore rule 5 I don't think they would be too fussed about the finer points of NUC.

That said how many yachts have NUC lights and can display them correctly? Somewhere south of zero would be my guess.
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Old 10-06-2015, 15:54   #315
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
Whales sleep on the surface, and are sometimes injured, killed and or the cause of sinking boats. Shipping containers lost from ships float just beneath the water's surface along with logs and every sort of flotsam and jetson capable of holing your boat. There are abandoned boats... Fishing boats so brightly lit you can't discern their direction of travel, crewed by folks who will not answer your call on the VHF and are engaged in retrieving nets while the boat is steered by AUTOPILOT. So, you and anyone else who sets out on an ocean passage has a lot more to concern themselves with than sailors who sail alone. At least we're on watch most of the time.

My own observation is most sailors who are alone and get into trouble put their boats on the hard while asleep. Why? Because of fatigue and poor decisions promulgated by the fatigue. I believe most will agree collisions are rare.

Unaware? Depends on what kind of equipment they have aboard to alert them of impending danger.

Your view in the matter. Nobody is saying the Colregs don't apply or they are somehow special. We've elected to sail alone, come hell or high water while taking the best precautions we can to avoid collisions with others.

Being human, we, like anyone else who drives a car or engages in anything subject to local ordinances, state and federal laws consider the odds we'll suffer consequences for having ignored them... And in my experience over 25 years and 40,000 n.m. of sailing alone, I've never been in a mishap while underway. Nor have I been cited for doing so.
Whales on the surface and shipping containers are hazards to navigation, but that doesn't justify you choosing to join their ranks by not keeping a proper lookout.

I do agree with you that collisions are rare, but that doesn't justify not keeping a lookout for anyone. I'd be perfectly happy to let you roll those lucky collision avoiding dice of yours all day long....if it were only YOU who stood to be injured or killed, but that's not how it is. Colreg rule 5 still requires "at all times" that a proper lookout be kept. It stands to reason that the odds of 2 boats colliding with each other goes down exponentially when both are keeping a proper lookout, you are depending entirely on luck when neither is keeping a proper lookout, and safety is somewhat degraded when only one vessel is keeping a proper lookout.

You ARE saying that you are special because it is your choice to go to sea with no intention of following a rule that everyone else is expected to follow and you don't seem as enthusiastic about defending others rights to not follow the Colregs. I don't hear you arguing that it's OK for oil tankers or cargo ships or anyone else to only keep a proper watch "most of the time!" If you really were serious about "taking the best precautions you can to avoid collisions with others," you'd start by having an extra crewmember aboard to stand a proper watch while you slept. Instead, you are choosing to keep a proper lookout "most of the time" even though you can clearly read the Colreg that says "at all times."

Despite all I've written here, it's not something I stay up all night worrying about. I realize that the odds of me getting hit by a sleeping singlehander is slim to none. I just wish that singlehanders would have the intellectual honestly to admit right up front that what they are choosing to do DOES pose an additional danger and burden on other vessels in their area and that they just don't care. Their wish to enjoy singlehanded sailing is obviously more important to them than the safety of others they might run into while sleeping. Why not just come out and admit it and stop all this silly tap dancing around what "Every vessel shall at all times...." means.
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