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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 09-06-2015, 06:18   #31
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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 conachair View Post
Yachtsman fined for sailing wrong way - Yachting Monthly

Skipper fined £20,000 for TSS violation - Practical Boat Owner

These seem to refer directly to the IRPCS, is that what you mean by referencing?

EDIT- More in WIKI - International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
At the bottom of History. The above examples look technically not the colregs, but Merchant Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collisions) Regulations.
No, that's correct. It's not the Colregs. And yes, that's what I mean by referencing.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:25   #32
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

Nothing you do is illegal until you are caught ( a banker told me that ).

Sail around the world solo and don't hit anything.... your watchkeeping standards were obviously ok.... hit something and they obviously weren't.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:27   #33
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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RC, I can't speak for other countries, but in Canada you can most definitely be fined (Administrative Monetary Penalty) for a violation of any code or regulation that falls under the umbrella of the Canada Shipping Act, including "International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 with Canadian modifications".

Your question was about whether it was legal to single hand. Well if it's a legal question you must be referring to some nations legal system. So while you may or not be fined in Australia for violations of the ColRegs- In Canada you can be.

If you are viewing the ColRegs as simply a guideline, not a legal document falling under the umbrella of Port State Control, then maybe your initial question should not have been is it unlawful to single hand. Maybe you should have asked do the ColRegs philosophically support single handing.

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The question is irrelevant to the post tonight. It was a discussion starter.

My post tonight was doing no more than clarifying what the Colregs are and that 'no' you can't be fined under the Colregs. Not even in Canada. If you are found guilty of breaching some legislation in the water in Canada then the law you are breaching is a Canadian law. It will have the Act, Section, sub section. No doubt your Shipping Act you have indicated. As a member state, the laws in Canada are required to resemble as close as reasonable the Colregs, and can even reference the Colregs, which is pretty common. But, the 'complaint' will reference the specific Canadian Law, your Shipping Act or maybe Regulations.

There is no ability under the IMO to appoint penalties or for that matter a structure to bring about prosecution.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:34   #34
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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 El Pinguino View Post
Nothing you do is illegal until you are caught ( a banker told me that ).

Sail around the world solo and don't hit anything.... your watchkeeping standards were obviously ok.... hit something and they obviously weren't.
well, your banker would be giving bad advice. In law a transgression has occurred regardless of being caught. Getting caught begins the justice side.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:36   #35
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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Oh great. Is there a moderator who can delete all of these pocket posts?

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I wondered whether you were out sailing in rough weather.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:41   #36
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

A "thought experiment" here: Let's say that a single hander knows with absolute certainty* that there are no vessels within say 48nm of him. So there is zero risk of collision for the next 10 minutes. Will/does he meet rule 5 if he then takes a 10 minute nap?

I suspect we will still have the same three groups that I presented in post 3.

(a) those who say he clearly still breaks rule 5 - because he is not "at all times" keeping a visual watch

(b) those who say he clearly is complying with rule 5 - because he has made a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions

(c) and those who say it does not matter because he clearly is not going to have a collision


* for this hypothetical thought experiment perhaps the singlehander is an ex NSA/NRO officer and they have just called him and told him the 3cm resolution Sat picture shows absolutely no vessels around him. And 'the office' has agreed to take and scan those pictures (only) every 4 hrs for him - so there will be no eyeballs on him while he is napping, but he can be absolutely sure there are no vessels nearby when he naps.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:47   #37
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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A "thought experiment" here: Let's say that a single hander knows with absolute certainty* that there are no vessels within say 48nm of him. So there is zero risk of collision for the next 10 minutes. Will/does he meet rule 5 if he then takes a 10 minute nap?

I suspect we will still have the same three groups that I presented in post 3.

(a) those who say he clearly still breaks rule 5 - because he is not "at all times" keeping a visual watch

(b) those who say he clearly is complying with rule 5 - because he has made a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions

(c) and those who say it does not matter because he clearly is not going to have a collision


* for this hypothetical thought experiment perhaps the singlehander is an ex NSA/NRO officer and they have just called him and told him the 3cm resolution Sat picture shows absolutely no vessels around him. And 'the office' has agreed to take and scan those pictures (only) every 4 hrs for him - so there will be no eyeballs on him while he is napping, but he can be absolutely sure there are no vessels nearby when he naps.
Well, I'm in your camp B personally. And it seems to me that the authorities at least in Australia recognise that for a single handed sailor, then it is ok to nap. Where as for a big freighter that can have a watch keeper on duty, then they most definately should have a watch keeper "at all times".
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:49   #38
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

*submarine
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:55   #39
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

RC,
We all know the IMO doesn't enforce the ColRegs, the relevant Port State enforces the ColRegs, that's how the system is designed.

If the Captain of a SOLAS convention ship decides that the life rafts are blocking the sun in his tanning area and removes half of the life rafts, he is still accountable to law. When he pulls into Fort Lauderdale with half his rafts missing he will be fined and detained by the USCG, under American Law.

That's how the system is designed to be enforced- they aren't guidelines.

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Old 09-06-2015, 07:05   #40
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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RC,
We all know the IMO doesn't enforce the ColRegs, the relevant Port State enforces the ColRegs, that's how the system is designed.

If the Captain of a SOLAS convention ship decides that the life rafts are blocking the sun in his tanning area and removes half of the life rafts, he is still accountable to law. When he pulls into Fort Lauderdale with half his rafts missing he will be fined and detained by the USCG, under American Law.

That's how the system is designed to be enforced- they aren't guidelines.

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That's not entirely accurate, the relevant Port State or member state enforces not the Colregs, but the local laws. That's how the system is designed.

Your post 17 specifically referred to 'fines' for breaching Colregs. Which is not correct. Though perhaps that's not what you intended. A few others have also referred to 'being prosecuted' for breaching the Colregs, which simply isn't possible. And I didn't refer to them as 'guidelines', they are in fact rules.
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:10   #41
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

An explanation of Rule 5 from the guys who helped prepare the Inland Rules

Rule5.html
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:22   #42
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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THIS has been debated to death in prior threads.

First it is very clear that a single-handed day sailor can meet the reg. The question only arises when the sail is long enough for the single hander to need rest.

There are three schools of thought depending on how you parse the wording.

1. Group one reads: "Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing . . . " and say clearly a single hander napping cannot met that.

2. Group two reads: "Every vessel shall . . . .maintain a proper look-out . . . appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision." And say clearly a careful single hander with correct equipment can keep a watch that is proper and appropriate enough to avoid collision.

3. Group 3 says it does not matter. The authorities clearly allow known single handers to sail. Various officials around the world will prevent voyages for a number of reasons (like the boat not meeting cat 1 in NZ or other sinilar regs in Fr) but none (that I am aware of) use 'single handing' as the reason to prevent or terminate a voyage.

All three groups can endlessly cite official findings from courts and incident reports to support their position.
Nicely put a nutshell, as always...

Seems the only aspect of this issue that has yet to be debated ad nauseum here, is how dependent the "legality/illegality" of singlehanded passagemaking might be upon whether one is sailing a "Bluewater" or "Production" boat...

:-)
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:07   #43
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

The thing I find offensive about all these type threads is its always some 'gatekeeper' trying to stop others enjoying sailing.

Here the arguments against solo sailing are generally by those too gutless to try it themselves, or have some lordy lordy aspect of 'I'm better than you because I have a wife to sail with'... 'You can't sail, but I can'.



To any reading this, or similar threads, who are feeling influenced by the num-nut anti brigade may I sugest you let it drip off like water from a ducks back and go out and have an adventure yourself, by yourself.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:09   #44
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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 Jon Eisberg View Post
Nicely put a nutshell, as always...

Seems the only aspect of this issue that has yet to be debated ad nauseum here, is how dependent the "legality/illegality" of singlehanded passagemaking might be upon whether one is sailing a "Bluewater" or "Production" boat...

:-)
If the production boat has a fryer in its galley - it can be moved to the bluewater side.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:28   #45
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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 Rustic Charm View Post
That's not entirely accurate, the relevant Port State or member state enforces not the Colregs, but the local laws. That's how the system is designed.

Your post 17 specifically referred to 'fines' for breaching Colregs. Which is not correct. Though perhaps that's not what you intended. A few others have also referred to 'being prosecuted' for breaching the Colregs, which simply isn't possible. And I didn't refer to them as 'guidelines', they are in fact rules.
This is not exactly true -- at best.

The COLREGS ARE law. The 1972 convention which created the present version of the COLREGS is a multilateral treaty by which the participating states obligated themselves to implement the rules in their own legislation in EXACTLY the form agreed. Every state has its own constitutional procedure for doing this, but it works much the same everywhere. In the US, Article 6, Clause 2 of the US Constitution -- the Supremacy Clause - makes treaties to which the US is a party the "supreme law of the land", overriding state or local law. Whether or not an enabling act of legislation is required or not to incorporate treaty obligations into domestic law varies by state, but this doesn't matter - the COLREGS are the law of the land in every signatory state, as required by the 1972 Convention, and have the force of law everywhere. The COLREGS don't specify penalties for violations, which is left to domestic legislation, but as far as I know, there are criminal penalties everywhere. In the US, these are found in 33 USC 1608, Penalty Provisions, Violations of International Rules and Regulations, which provides for fines of up to $5000 for every violation of any part of the COLREGS, and for seizure of the vessel involved.

The text of the COLREGS does not appear in either USC (official compilation of federal statutes), nor in CFR (official compilation of federal regulations). Yet the COLREGS are the law of the land, and you can be fined for up to $5000 for violating them. See: http://www.uscg.mil/legal/CGHO/cghoa.../HOA12ART1.htm.

The situation in the UK is quite the same. Here is how the RYA legal department explains it:

"One of the biggest misconceptions about the COLREGS is they are a guidance document, something to help skippers understand who has ‘right of way’ in potential collision situations. Wrong! They are the law and you have to comply with the lot.

"No boat has absolute ‘right of way’ under the COLREGS - even the stand on boat is obliged to take avoiding action in some circumstances. The COLREGS determine who should do what at what point to prevent a collision from occurring.

"Failure to comply with the COLREGS – and by that it means a collision doesn’t even need to have occurred, simply that the regulations have been breached – is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of two years in prison and/or an unlimited fine determined by a Law Court, depending on the severity of the incident."

http://www.rya.org.uk/newsevents/ene...ov13-uptospeed


Don't mess with the COLREGS in UK waters!

What does this mean for single handers? It means you might have a very good argument that sleeping with no one on deck is allowed under YOUR interpretation of the COLREGS, but if the Coast Guard chooses a different interpretation and chooses to throw the book at you, and the judge assigned to your case agrees, and your lawyer can't find contrary precedent or other authority, you might find yourself even in prison. I think that responsible single handing is widely tolerated, and I think it should be tolerated. However, this tolerance can't be found anywhere in the law, so do it at your own risk.
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