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Old 11-06-2015, 13:50   #361
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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The difference is that someone not seeing a motorcycle and colliding with it is unlikely to hurt anyone badly except for the motorcycle rider, but when you are talking about collisions between boats of similar size, the boat you collide with is as likely to sustain serious injuries as you are. If, as is the case with motorcycle collisions, it was only the singlehander who was likely to get hurt, my attitude would be to each his own and I would vehemently defend your right to take any risk you choose to take. But that's not how it is, it's not just about you. You have to share the ocean with other sailors, all of whom are required by Colreg 5 to "at all times" keep a proper watch.
If you collide with s solo sailor who is sleeping, what's your excuse for not maintaining a proper watch?


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Old 11-06-2015, 13:52   #362
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Don't forget that mono hulls should have 2 hulls.

I wonder if the col regs quoting anti solo people are the same people who stand at a pedestrian crossing at 2am waiting for the green man when there is zero traffic. I once stood in the middle of the road to wait for them to cross.


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Nope, I'm a 2AM jaywalker from way back, but if I'm still up that late and jaywalking it's probably because I'm drunk so there's my excuse. You see, when I choose to do that, any danger posed is entirely to me and to no-one else. I only do it when I feel it is safe to do so and if someday I miscalculate, it will be MY broken and dead body that goes flying into the ditch and the other person involved will only have wash the blood off his bumper and call his insurance company to get the dent fixed. When you ignore the requirement to at all times keep a proper watch at sea, you endanger others in your area as much as you endanger yourself.
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Old 11-06-2015, 13:58   #363
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
The difference is that someone not seeing a motorcycle and colliding with it is unlikely to hurt anyone badly except for the motorcycle rider, but when you are talking about collisions between boats of similar size, the boat you collide with is as likely to sustain serious injuries as you are. If, as is the case with motorcycle collisions, it was only the singlehander who was likely to get hurt, my attitude would be to each his own and I would vehemently defend your right to take any risk you choose to take. But that's not how it is, it's not just about you. You have to share the ocean with other sailors, all of whom are required by Colreg 5 to "at all times" keep a proper watch.
My experience so far has been that when singlehanding or otherwise, two small boats "out there", whether solo or crewed, are more likely to be of assistance to each other.

I think you really have to stretch it to think that a properly seaworthy solo boat with a competent sailor is more of a threat than a benefit to other mariners.
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Old 11-06-2015, 14:00   #364
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What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Nope, I'm a 2AM jaywalker from way back, but if I'm still up that late and jaywalking it's probably because I'm drunk so there's my excuse. You see, when I choose to do that, any danger posed is entirely to me and to no-one else. I only do it when I feel it is safe to do so and if someday I miscalculate, it will be MY broken and dead body that goes flying into the ditch and the other person involved will only have wash the blood off his bumper and call his insurance company to get the dent fixed. When you ignore the requirement to at all times keep a proper watch at sea, you endanger others in your area as much as you endanger yourself.
Your drunken jaywalking could easily kill or seriously injure a motorcycle or scooter rider and there is always the remote possibility that you could go through a windscreen and injure a cars occupants

Btw I'm still waiting to hear what your excuse is for colliding with a sleeping solo sailor

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Old 11-06-2015, 14:07   #365
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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If you collide with s solo sailor who is sleeping, what's your excuse for not maintaining a proper watch?


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I can think of a few times when that could have happened. One was when I had a fuel tank of micro-organisms in big seas so had to replace and clean my racor filters with a tooth brush every 15 minutes so I paid less attention to the radar than I should have. Another was when I got an in-mast furling sail stuck partially out with increasing winds and I was VERY focused on getting that unstuck for almost an hour. I'm sure there are many many other times when I've unintentionally become distracted for more than 15 minutes so have kept a less than stellar watch but they all snuck up on me despite my best intentions. It's not something that happens every day or something I plan on happening before I even leave port. I think that most watchkeepers on small boats intend to keep a good watch at all times, but for reasons such as I just mentioned, "occasionally" fall short. But if everyone is doing that, then the likelihood of two boats in the same area being simultaneously being distracted by something unusual happening aboard is pretty slim, and collisions can be avoided. But if some boats out there are falling short of keeping a proper watch on a pretty regular basis, the risk to everyone increases.
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Old 11-06-2015, 14:09   #366
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

First, what I react strongly to is one person wishing to impose his view of the world on another. Banning solo sailing would be a loss of freedom, something Americans seem to be in a rush to do lately. Whether it is single-handing, or abortion, smoking pot (legal next month here), not wearing helmets on motorcycles (and bicycles), walking dogs in public festivals (ya gotta love the new immigrants from CA "cleaning up" the country folk), fireworks (it better not go "bang"!), HOAs enforcing the board's ideas of what a yard should look like, it has become the new normal to arbitrarily ban other people's activities. Land of the free - not!

Secondly, the argument is purely a legalistic one, and brings to mind Shakespeare's call to kill all the lawyers. In all of my years of sailing/cruising I have never heard of anyone else losing their lives, being injured, losing their vessel, or even having damage as a result of a single-hander not being on watch. In other words, it is a non-problem that is not looking for a solution. OTOH I have known of multiple instance of boats (solo and crewed) run down by commercial ships - that really is a scary problem. In the last few years we have seen new CF members buy boats, apparently for the first time, and sail off without adequate preparation or experience only to come to a bad end - that is a real problem that we as a forum should be doing more about discouraging - but I am not calling for banning novices or requiring licensing.

I appreciate that those who haven't acquired years of experience need to fall back on theory, rely on the rules until they get a feel for the way things work. But the goal is not to win an argument in a Coast Guard Court of Enquiry after an accident, it is to take practical steps to avoid accidents. Banning solo operation does nothing to reduce the real world risks of cruising, and there are a lot of risks out there. Solo sailors represent a risk to themselves - that is their decision to make - but not to others.

Put away the law books and go cruising - the reality is a lot more relaxed.

Greg
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Old 11-06-2015, 14:11   #367
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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I can think of a few times when that could have happened. One was when I had a fuel tank of micro-organisms in big seas so had to replace and clean my racor filters with a tooth brush every 15 minutes so I paid less attention to the radar than I should have. Another was when I got an in-mast furling sail stuck partially out with increasing winds and I was VERY focused on getting that unstuck for almost an hour. I'm sure there are many many other times when I've unintentionally become distracted for more than 15 minutes so have kept a less than stellar watch but they all snuck up on me despite my best intentions. It's not something that happens every day or something I plan on happening before I even leave port. I think that most watchkeepers on small boats intend to keep a good watch at all times, but for reasons such as I just mentioned, "occasionally" fall short. But if everyone is doing that, then the likelihood of two boats in the same area being distracted by something unusual happening aboard, then collisions can be avoided. But if some boats out there are falling short of keeping a proper watch on a pretty regular basis, the risk to everyone increases.
Why didn't you have a crew member maintaining a proper watch whist you were distracted?


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Old 11-06-2015, 14:15   #368
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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My experience so far has been that when singlehanding or otherwise, two small boats "out there", whether solo or crewed, are more likely to be of assistance to each other.

I think you really have to stretch it to think that a properly seaworthy solo boat with a competent sailor is more of a threat than a benefit to other mariners.
That's true, but they would be at least as much help to each other if they each had an additional crew member aboard. I'm not advocating that current singlehanders don't go sailing, just that they get at least one crew member to "cover" for them while they get their much needed rest.
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Old 11-06-2015, 14:15   #369
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

jtsailjt-

Please provide examples of collisions by single-handers not on watch [where the other boat was damaged/lives lost, etc].

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Old 11-06-2015, 14:16   #370
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

"At all times", so while watchkeeping let's all be sure not to blink. :-)
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Old 11-06-2015, 14:20   #371
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

The defining part of the rule is “so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and risk of collision.”

If a visual scan does not reveal vessels on the horizon, and hearing does not indicate anything, then beyond our human abilities we turn to RADAR, AIS and other electronic means.

If RADAR reveals the closest vessel is 20 miles away and traveling at 7 Knots in an non interfering direction, if AIS indicates that no vessel is in the vicinity, then an appraisal is made for a worse case scenario. Worse case is that it will take over 2 hours, nearly three for the closest vessel to approach IF it changed direction and came toward you.

On this basis, a solo sailor is deprived of relying on sight and hearing to maintain a proper lookout in the prevailing circumstances and conditions due to the absence of close vessels.

The solo sailor is forced to use “available means appropriate’, ie the electronics to make a “full appraisal of the situation and the risk of collision”.

I would deem it “in the circumstances” appropriate to set alarms and take a 30 minute sleep as the risk of collision has been assessed to be what it is.

30 minutes later, the situation will be looked at again and a new appraisal of the situation is made.

There is no reason to alter or change Colreg 5. It is what it is and covers all eventualities.

Pedantic holding to maintain a proper look out’ by sight and hearing’ negates the obvious that if you are looking in one direction you are not looking in another.

Taking the totality of the scope of the regulation, it is up to the individual to assess the situation using all means available AND in the present situation and circumstance. Giving an individual that responsibility negates hard and fast law of operation, but includes all regulatory procedures.
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Old 11-06-2015, 14:27   #372
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Why didn't you have a crew member maintaining a proper watch whist you were distracted?


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Because I screwed up and became so focused on one thing that I didn't pay attention to the other important things (such as watchkeeping) that needed attention. I'm only human, and make no claim to always doing things perfectly, but I don't set out intending to ignore important priorities such as keeping watch. I suspect that most other small boat sailors are similar in that way. They schedule a proper watch and intend to always keep a proper watch but then crap happens and for a period of time their watchkeeper gets distracted by whatever unusual is going on and in that time, they are vulnerable to colliding with someone. But, luckily, thanks to the wisdom found in the colregs, there is duplication of effort so that when one watchkeeper has a momentary lapse, there is another vigilant watchkeeper out there ready to cover for him. As I've explained before, it's possible but unlikely that you and I both, intent on keeping a proper watch at all times, but on a collision course in our separate boats, will both be distracted by something unusual and unexpected at the same time.
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Old 11-06-2015, 14:31   #373
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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As I've explained before, it's possible but unlikely that you and I both, intent on keeping a proper watch at all times, but on a collision course in our separate boats, will both be distracted by something unusual and unexpected at the same time.

Sort of sounds like jtsailjt single hands a bit....

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Old 11-06-2015, 14:35   #374
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

A 47' boat is about 40% more likely to be hit than a 30 footer just by size alone.

I'm not sure the odds of finding a sailboat mid pacific let alone running into it (if it's out of shipping lanes) during that 5 hours out of 24 that the skipper is asleep, and while neither boat has radar or AIS alarms on. I'm guessing a lot of zeros after the decimal.

Here's another mariner not keeping watch.

Video shows moment mother humpback whale rams into boat off Hawaii | Daily Mail Online
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Old 11-06-2015, 14:37   #375
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Re: What Is The Big Deal About Single Handling?

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Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

The defining part of the rule is “so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and risk of collision.”

If a visual scan does not reveal vessels on the horizon, and hearing does not indicate anything, then beyond our human abilities we turn to RADAR, AIS and other electronic means.

If RADAR reveals the closest vessel is 20 miles away and traveling at 7 Knots in an non interfering direction, if AIS indicates that no vessel is in the vicinity, then an appraisal is made for a worse case scenario. Worse case is that it will take over 2 hours, nearly three for the closest vessel to approach IF it changed direction and came toward you.

On this basis, a solo sailor is deprived of relying on sight and hearing to maintain a proper lookout in the prevailing circumstances and conditions due to the absence of close vessels.

The solo sailor is forced to use “available means appropriate’, ie the electronics to make a “full appraisal of the situation and the risk of collision”.

I would deem it “in the circumstances” appropriate to set alarms and take a 30 minute sleep as the risk of collision has been assessed to be what it is.

30 minutes later, the situation will be looked at again and a new appraisal of the situation is made.

There is no reason to alter or change Colreg 5. It is what it is and covers all eventualities.

Pedantic holding to maintain a proper look out’ by sight and hearing’ negates the obvious that if you are looking in one direction you are not looking in another.

Taking the totality of the scope of the regulation, it is up to the individual to assess the situation using all means available AND in the present situation and circumstance. Giving an individual that responsibility negates hard and fast law of operation, but includes all regulatory procedures.
I would say that if I had to choose, the defining part of the regulation is "at all times."

In your example above you forgot to mention the smallish wooden boat in the trough of a wave with a hardly noticeable radar return between you and the big ship. He won't be visible on radar until you're within about 5 miles from each other and you won't see him visually until within half a mile in rough seas. So, you avoided the big ship with AIS but you plowed into the little guy that was still too far away for you to see when you "thought" you had made a full appraisal and began your 30 minute nap. Sometimes "full appraisals" aren't, and that's probably why the colreg says "at all times" and doesn't say "every 30 minutes." Seriously if you've EVER been to sea, you have to be aware of just how much can change in 30 minutes.
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