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View Poll Results: Can you legally sail solo single handed
Yes, as long as you use all available means to keep a look out 66 62.26%
No, all solo sailors are in breach of the Colregs 29 27.36%
The Colregs are intended for two handed sailors not one 3 2.83%
What's the Colregs? 9 8.49%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 106. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-06-2015, 11:57   #166
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

COLREGS, Rule 2(b):

In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.


This, along with similar language in other parts of the Colregs, seems to support the suggestion made above about lighting your boat to be as visible as possible should circumstances warrant. The whole point, after all, is to avoid collisions, and so if this can be accomplished by a common sense departure from the strict letter of the Rules then that course of action would in fact be in compliance with the Rules!

Notwithstanding, I personally would not use my masthead strobe light in a hove-to or other non-emergency scenario since it seems all too often associated with a distress communication. I would also personally not opt for a NUC signal since the Colreg on that suggests an incapacity involving the vessel vs. the operator, red lights are apparently not as visible as white, and it is a signal uncommon to recreational vessels and thus potentially confusing. As an aside, the first thing I'm thinking about in this scenario is avoiding collision, and the last is protecting myself from some after-the-fact blame or liability!

In the typical hove-to situation to catch some sleep, your vessel remains "underway" (i.e. not affixed to land) and should therefore display running lights. As a practical matter, and one which I don't believe is violative of the Colregs as discussed above, I would be inclined to also show, at a minimum, a 360° anchor light if I was concerned about encountering traffic.

Corrections, critiques, suggestions, etc. welcomed.
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Old 11-06-2015, 13:50   #167
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exile View Post
COLREGS, Rule 2(b):

In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.


This, along with similar language in other parts of the Colregs, seems to support the suggestion made above about lighting your boat to be as visible as possible should circumstances warrant. The whole point, after all, is to avoid collisions, and so if this can be accomplished by a common sense departure from the strict letter of the Rules then that course of action would in fact be in compliance with the Rules!

Notwithstanding, I personally would not use my masthead strobe light in a hove-to or other non-emergency scenario since it seems all too often associated with a distress communication. I would also personally not opt for a NUC signal since the Colreg on that suggests an incapacity involving the vessel vs. the operator, red lights are apparently not as visible as white, and it is a signal uncommon to recreational vessels and thus potentially confusing. As an aside, the first thing I'm thinking about in this scenario is avoiding collision, and the last is protecting myself from some after-the-fact blame or liability!

In the typical hove-to situation to catch some sleep, your vessel remains "underway" (i.e. not affixed to land) and should therefore display running lights. As a practical matter, and one which I don't believe is violative of the Colregs as discussed above, I would be inclined to also show, at a minimum, a 360° anchor light if I was concerned about encountering traffic.

Corrections, critiques, suggestions, etc. welcomed.
The anchor light is not appropriate. Hove-to is still underway

Quote:
The word "underway" means that a vessel is not at anchor, or made fast to the shore, or aground.
Get a tricolor.
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Old 11-06-2015, 14:59   #168
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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The anchor light is not appropriate. Hove-to is still underway



Get a tricolor.
Got one, and it would certainly be illuminated at night or in low visibility when offshore. Should have referred to that when I mentioned "running lights."

You are of course correct that an anchor light is not explicitly indicated under the Rules. I thought I already made that clear. But the Rules are also clear that a departure from literal adherence may be appropriate under certain circumstances that are consistent with good seamanship. If hove-to in an area where vessel traffic is contemplated, then a 360° white light 64' off the water (in my case) -- in conjunction with preferably a tricolor or running lights -- seems consistent with maximizing visibility to other vessels. Unlike potential confusion from displaying a NUC signal, there's no mistaking a vessel offshore being "at anchor, made fast to the shore, or aground." There's also the benefit of not destroying your night vision by running spreader lights. A securité call on 16 with your lat/long would also be appropriate.
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Old 11-06-2015, 15:06   #169
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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No - because they are able to maneuver.
Not if there is no one at the helm..... which to me is the crux of the situation and describes exactly .. Not under Command
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Old 11-06-2015, 15:30   #170
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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Jim I'm a bit surprised about 10-20 ships off the east coast at anytime displaying NUC signals. A quick look on marine traffic shows none at the moment. Where have you experienced this?
Attachment 103570
Monte, I don't know anything about your "marine traffic" source of info, but sailing across Stocton bight (the area shown in your screen shot) we have frequently seen NUC ships on our AIS receiver. They tend to be further offshore than the exact area you show, but sometimes are within 15 miles or so of Pt Stephens.

To be honest, I've never seen more than ~5 at once. My 10-20 number was extrapolated to the whole east coast (as stated) and was perhaps exaggerated. Not anticipating this discussion, I never saved a screen shot. None the less, they are there in plain (AIS) view and the authorities know about them and condone the practice.

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Old 11-06-2015, 15:31   #171
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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some interesting thoughts on solo sailing and the COLREGS here for you RC
Boldly Go Sailing
Good morning. Thanks, but whilst I found a really interesting read on chartplotters or rather lack of them, I couldn't find the thoughts sailing solo and Colregs.
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Old 11-06-2015, 16:13   #172
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
If hove-to in an area where vessel traffic is contemplated, then a 360° white light 64' off the water (in my case) -- in conjunction with preferably a tricolor or running lights -- seems consistent with maximizing visibility to other vessels. Unlike potential confusion from displaying a NUC signal, there's no mistaking a vessel offshore being "at anchor, made fast to the shore, or aground."
With running lights and an anchor light you will appear to be a power-driven vessel when seen from ahead.

With a tricolor and and anchor light, you will be confusing.
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Old 11-06-2015, 16:16   #173
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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Not if there is no one at the helm..... which to me is the crux of the situation and describes exactly .. Not under Command
The vessel has the capability of maneuvering, the crew is choosing not to do so.

"The term "vessel not under command" means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel."

It has to the vessel that is unable, not an unwilling crew.
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Old 11-06-2015, 16:57   #174
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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The vessel has the capability of maneuvering, the crew is choosing not to do so.

"The term "vessel not under command" means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel."

It has to the vessel that is unable, not an unwilling crew.
Again... Just as a thought exercise...... Would you consider a solo sailor totally incapacitated by fatigue and sleep deprivation.....
Unable or Unwilling?
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Old 11-06-2015, 17:18   #175
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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With running lights and an anchor light you will appear to be a power-driven vessel when seen from ahead.

With a tricolor and and anchor light, you will be confusing.
Yes, but hopefully VISIBLE!

I'm not necessarily condoning it, and have never actually done it. Given the alternatives, it seems to make some sense. But so does having a spotlight shining on your mainsail I suppose. Halfway down the Charleston, SC ship channel one dark, lumpy night I was hailed by a pilot who informed that there were five huge container ships heading my way out the channel. I had my tricolor on but the pilot suggested I additionally display my running lights. I obliged the request, even though I don't think the Rules explicitly authorize having both a tricolor and running lights illuminated at the same time. This experience suggested to me that the Rules should generally always be followed but, should circumstances warrant, common sense should also prevail. The Rules are in place to promote safety, consistency, and collision avoidance. It would be a perversion if overly rigid adherence to them puts a vessel in a situation that is any more vulnerable than it needs to be.
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Old 11-06-2015, 17:19   #176
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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It has to the vessel that is unable, not an unwilling crew.
That's always been my understanding as well. FWIW . . . .
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Old 11-06-2015, 17:37   #177
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

I confess to not having read this thread from the beginning because generally speaking any discussion of the Colregs bores me to tears.

But, I was curious enough to see what was being said on this, currently the last page.

Comments about which lights should be used when hove to caught my attention.

An experience I had awoke me to the reality of how vulnerable I am when hove to.

Underway off the north coast of Brazil in relatively shallow water I watched as two fishing boats about 1/2 n.m. away passed, going parallel to my track in the opposite direction. They were showing single white masthead lights.

Ahead I noticed a single white light I judged to belong to another similar fishing vessel. It appeared to be at some distance away, certainly of no great concern.

It was not long after the ghostly shape of a stopped boat emerged from the haze. Straight ahead. Because there was relatively light wind I wasn't travelling very fast and maneuvered around and pass the boat wearing the single white light I previously judged to be a safe distance away.

Certainly got me to thinking - what if the light had been mine judged by a ship's captain to be a considerable distance away. In my favour would be the possibility the radar reflector would alert the ship's captain of my position. The boat I passed was wooden, so I don't know that if I'd had radar it would have helped.

The point is that if wearing the masthead running light when hove to, moving at a rate of less than 1 knot, the red and green lights if visible to another boat or ship imparts more information than a single all around white masthead anchor light. Granted, the stern masthead light is all that would be seen if being approached from astern.

In reality a boat when hove to moves more in a sideways direction relative to the direction the boat appears to be going in when viewing the hull and deck. In any case, given the slow speed, as long as an approaching vessel steers to clear either your port or starboard side - there will be no hazard of collision.

My view and why I believe using the masthead running light is probably the best and safest choice when hove to.
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Old 11-06-2015, 17:55   #178
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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Originally Posted by Wrong View Post
I confess to not having read this thread from the beginning because generally speaking any discussion of the Colregs bores me to tears.

But, I was curious enough to see what was being said on this, currently the last page.

Comments about which lights should be used when hove to caught my attention.

An experience I had awoke me to the reality of how vulnerable I am when hove to.

Underway off the north coast of Brazil in relatively shallow water I watched as two fishing boats about 1/2 n.m. away passed, going parallel to my track in the opposite direction. They were showing single white masthead lights.

Ahead I noticed a single white light I judged to belong to another similar fishing vessel. It appeared to be at some distance away, certainly of no great concern.

It was not long after the ghostly shape of a stopped boat emerged from the haze. Straight ahead. Because there was relatively light wind I wasn't travelling very fast and maneuvered around and pass the boat wearing the single white light I previously judged to be a safe distance away.

Certainly got me to thinking - what if the light had been mine judged by a ship's captain to be a considerable distance away. In my favour would be the possibility the radar reflector would alert the ship's captain of my position. The boat I passed was wooden, so I don't know that if I'd had radar it would have helped.

The point is that if wearing the masthead running light when hove to, moving at a rate of less than 1 knot, the red and green lights if visible to another boat or ship imparts more information than a single all around white masthead anchor light. Granted, the stern masthead light is all that would be seen if being approached from astern.

In reality a boat when hove to moves more in a sideways direction relative to the direction the boat appears to be going in when viewing the hull and deck. In any case, given the slow speed, as long as an approaching vessel steers to clear either your port or starboard side - there will be no hazard of collision.

My view and why I believe using the masthead running light is probably the best and safest choice when hove to.
By masthead running light, I wasn't quite sure if you were advocating use of what is commonly called the tricolor, or perhaps the steaming light? If it's the tricolor, I take it you mean that running that alone when hove-to -- i.e. without the anchor light & therefore in compliance with the Colregs -- signals another vessel which direction you may be drifting. Assuming I understood you correctly, my only comment would be suggestions some have made that white lights are generally more visible. In your case (if I got it right), it may therefore be difficult to see you except from astern.

Btw, thanks for your earlier suggestion (from one of these current singlehanding threads) about routing yourself 5-20 nm off commonly traveled rhumb lines. That sounds like a prudent & sensible course of action, especially for a singlehander.
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Old 11-06-2015, 18:56   #179
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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Again... Just as a thought exercise...... Would you consider a solo sailor totally incapacitated by fatigue and sleep deprivation.....
Unable or Unwilling?
A solo sailor puts them self in that situation intentionally. It is not exceptional.
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Old 11-06-2015, 19:30   #180
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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. The risk of being run over by a solo sailor is very small, I would say even negligible. If that is already over your risk threshold, what are you doing sailing?
We should all follow the same rules. No?

If 100s of solo sailors are good to cross oceans while a asleep at the same time, and that is perfectly good in your book, where do we say stop?
Merchant ships up to 200 feet are good to go 24/7 with no look out?
Or just 100 feet?
Heck, with modern technology they can sleep up to 500 feet.
(No risk because it is a big ocean)
Might as well make it 1000 feet, big ocean it is.

Or should we all keep a look out as per the current regs up the point where satellite based Sea Traffic Control will be in charge of your auto pilot and will prevent collisions at all times while you are goofing off and not paying attention?

In the mean time, why not keep a visual look out as per the rules for your own safety and others?

Sail solo all you want, but don't endanger fellow Mariners by sleeping on watch.
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