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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 08-06-2015, 06:49   #1
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All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

Hi folks, thought I'd put up another one of these questions for your posturing. This time about rule number 5

Rule 5
Look-out
. 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 question is does a single handed sailor break this rule? Is it unlawful to be a solo sailor?

This is just for fun, knowledge and socialising, so be nice.
Don't forget the poll. You can answer as many as you like.
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:22   #2
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

Interesting case study was David Scully on coyote , an open 60, hitting a fishing boat while asleep. The findings I read (as I remember) hammered him for poor seamanship, no radar on, Vhf off, unsafe speed infog over a fishing area, and not stopping after the collision . But didn't seem to bothered about him being asleep or singlehanded.

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Old 08-06-2015, 07:41   #3
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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.
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:03   #4
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

What is not forbidden is legal.

Solo sailing is legal.

The question is incorrect.

b.
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:34   #5
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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 barnakiel View Post
What is not forbidden is legal.

Solo sailing is legal.

The question is incorrect.

b.
Only so long as you can stay awake and alert. Once you need sleep...

After that, it's a lot like speeding...just because you didn't get a ticket doesn't mean it's legal to speed.
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:46   #6
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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 estarzinger View Post
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.
I vote for number 2 as "appropriate in the prevailing circumstances..." The circumstances being single handed.
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Old 08-06-2015, 14:21   #7
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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Only so long as you can stay awake and alert. Once you need sleep...

After that, it's a lot like speeding...just because you didn't get a ticket doesn't mean it's legal to speed.
No.

You are turning the matter upside down. You are putting it the way some politicians like us to think it is the case. But it is not the case.

The case is that what is illegal is set by the law and the rest of our actions are free for us to do. We do not have to ask and we do not have to check any regulations for making sure things are legal. We check what is illegal and once we find what is illegal, the other actions we take up are up to our liking.

Can you see this difference at all?

Now please point to the legal paragraph which states that sailing solo is illegal.

If you cannot find find one, start thinking why you can't.

If you find one, PLS send it to Vendee Globe, Minitransat, Solitaire Figaro and ARC organizers and let us know what their lawyers think of your discovery.

I say this with all respect. We must try to avoid being pushed into unreasonable thinking by people who cannot reasonably think.

It is legal to sail solo. Full point.

b.
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Old 08-06-2015, 14:42   #8
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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
Hi folks, thought I'd put up another one of these questions for your posturing. This time about rule number 5

Rule 5
Look-out
. 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 question is does a single handed sailor break this rule? Is it unlawful to be a solo sailor?

This is just for fun, knowledge and socialising, so be nice.
Don't forget the poll. You can answer as many as you like.
A solo sailor clearly cannot meet the 'letter of the law' while undertaking multi day passages..
This dilemma is no different than most other laws which cannot practically be met. Which is why we have courts and a judiciary to create precedent on what can practically be expected of a reasonable person.

This feeds in nicely to managing risk. And this is what the colregs are aimed at.

A solo sailor outside of shipping lanes and well away from fishing fleets may decide to sleep for 8 hours straight. This could be an appropriate risk management strategy in such a situation.

The risk is composed of 3 criteria. The consequences of a collision. This is typically the highest severity rating. Death and / loss of vessel. The likelihood is where we see great variance. Remote, or unlikely for the example above and absolute close to shore.

The above 2 criteria form a typical risk rating. But detectability is also important in making robust risk based decisions. Using AIS, radar, depth alerts and / or a watch commander type alarm or maintaining a 24/7 watch markedly increase our ability to detect a threat.

These 3 criteria allow us to calculate a risk probability ranking (RPN). High RPNs will often require remediation until we are happy to accept a specific risk.

An RPN for sleeping 8 hours while coastal cruising would rate an unacceptable 1000. No reasonable person would or should do this. The same for mid ocean might rank at 80. Almost an acceptable risk for me but not quite.

This is the approach taken to scheduling maintenance on submarines, aircraft, oil rigs and other safety critical systems for example. Its how we engineers make risk based decisions when working under the normal constraints in the real world.

The process begins by deciding how much risk you are prepared to accept. Then you conduct your risk analysis and derive your RPNs. Any RPN above your threshold then requires remediation. Simple, proven technique which abstracts away opinion, bs and management stupidity. Its how I sign my name to safety critical systems and still sleep at night.



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Old 08-06-2015, 14:49   #9
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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 valhalla360 View Post
After that, it's a lot like speeding...just because you didn't get a ticket doesn't mean it's legal to speed.
In Germany it's legal to drive as fast as you want on the Autobahn. But if you get in an accident and it is deemed that your speed contributed to it, you will be held responsible.

It's the same with solo sailing. If you get in a collision you might be held (partially) responsible for not having maintained a proper lookout. That does not mean that solo sailing in itself is illegal.

AFAIK the colregs are enforced after the fact. I have never heard of a solo sailer being stopped or fined solely fore being on his boat by himself.
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Old 08-06-2015, 17:21   #10
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...-2009-008.aspx gives the report of Jessica Watson's collision. Some mention of being singlehanded, but mostly focuses on AIS and radar useage. They skirt around the whole rule 5 part rather vaguely.

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Old 08-06-2015, 18:44   #11
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

Educating others. Oh. Whatever.

Look: These are "...regualtions for preventing collisions ..."

When there is no collision (and no risk of collision), they do not apply.

Fair winds,
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Old 08-06-2015, 19:16   #12
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

If one performs a search on COLREGS by DOCKHEAD, it'd save a lot of retyping.
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Old 08-06-2015, 19:35   #13
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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Educating others. Oh. Whatever.

Look: These are "...regualtions for preventing collisions ..."

When there is no collision (and no risk of collision), they do not apply.

Fair winds,
b.
Well, this is the most bizarre statement I've seen to date. So, if I follow this logic,

Rule 5 you don't have to keep a look out if there is no risk of collision.
You don't have to display any lights, or have anything to do with sound signals.
You don't need to follow the distress signals

Have you thought this out at all?
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Old 08-06-2015, 19:37   #14
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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If one performs a search on COLREGS by DOCKHEAD, it'd save a lot of retyping.
Stu, you don't have to respond. There are new people on CF all the time who want to get involved in discussions and not just read what others had as a discussion one, two or five years ago. CF is not a once it's stated, it's time to move on. And as much as I have a lot of respect for Dockhead, he's not the final statement on the subject.
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Old 08-06-2015, 19:42   #15
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Re: All about the Colregs no 3 - single handed sailing and keeping a look out

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Educating others. Oh. Whatever.

Look: These are "...regualtions for preventing collisions ..."

When there is no collision (and no risk of collision), they do not apply.

Fair winds,
b.
The only time there is "no risk of collision" is when you are hauled out. At any other time, I can think of a situation where another vessel could run in to you.

So as long as your bottom is wet, they do apply.
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