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View Poll Results: Does a vessel ever have Right of Way over other vessels?
No - a vessel does not have 'right of way' 23 36.51%
yes- vessels have 'right of way' depending on the circumstances. 5 7.94%
The COLREGS define who has 'right of way' 4 6.35%
The COLREGS do not refer to 'right of way' at all. 42 66.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-03-2015, 04:07   #181
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Re: All things COLREGS

The imprecise nature of "rules" and implications leads to a conflicted "understanding" of what has actually been stated.

By imprecise, I do not mean that the rule is unstated. Merely that the terminology used to describe its meaning can be lacking in comprehension clarity unless taken in context with other rules.

I have learned a valuable lesson here today. Boating regulations can be as confusing as a written explanation of a medical procedure unless accompanied by a video!

Thanks for the clarification. Now we need to get ALL sailors on the same wave length....
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:28   #182
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

I get this now -- Lodesman is right. It's a very subtle point,

So as it turns out, all the trouble I had understanding Rule 10 a few years ago is also based on the same problem Rustic Charm still has today -- which is an echo of land rules corrupting my proper understanding of the meaning of the steering and sailing rules! Who would have thought it! Bullocks! Just because you had this problem don't prescribe it to me. We have not discussed anything to do with steering and sailing rules for you to make such a judgment on me. All we have discussed is the dogmatic pedantic way you continued to preach about 'right of way' as if it was some kind of absolute.

The idea of a "right" here is quite abstract, as that "right" doesn't have any practical application, No kidding! You have finally grasped that concept have you!

So I think what we can learn today from Lodesman is twofold -- 1. being the stand-on vessel is even further from something like right of way than we imagined; and 2. we should be careful with repeating blanket statements like what the US Coast Guard writes. "There is no right of way at sea" turns out also to be an oversimplification. A useful oversimplification, since confusing standing-on with having right of way is such a common and such a harmful error, which so many of us are stuck on. But an oversimplification, after all.

I am once again humbled and enriched by Lodesman's subtle knowledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Humbled is not a characteristic I'd describe to you.
You are finally conceding something about 'right' because it seems your mentor has corrected you on it. How big of you. Perhaps you are not the god you and your followers think.


Bugger! I didn't want to comment any further but this sort of arrogance was too hard to resist.

Yes, but you were indeed talking about the steering & sailing rules -- you were saying that there isn't such a practical difference between standing-on and having the right of way. That was your whole point. Lodesman was talking about a completely different part of the Rules.

It was a provocative challenge to the conventional wisdom that "there is no right of way at sea", which you made by pointing out that on the road, having the right of way doesn't mean that you have no responsibility at all for avoiding an accident.

It was a damned good question, which did challenge what we all take as read, and provoked some really interesting discussion. You didn't like the answer, of course.
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Old 11-03-2015, 04:40   #183
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Re: All things COLREGS

Questions
Q1 - What shapes should the tugboat be displaying?
Rule 24. None. The tow is less than 200 meters.

Q2 - What shapes should the bulk carrier be displaying
None.
Q3 - Is the bulk carrier "Not under command"?
No. It is under command as no NUC shapes are shown.

Q4 - Is the tanker "restricted in ability to manouver
No. No RAM shapes are shown.

Q5 - What does the cylindrical shape on the tanker mean and is it appropriate?
Vessel constrained by draft. Not for you to decide.

Q6 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the tugboat?
Rule 9. Give way.

Q7 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the bulk carrier?
Rule 9. Give way

Q8 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the tanker?
Rule 9 and 18. Give way.

Q9 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the tug accompanying the tanker?
Rule 9 and 18. Give way.

Q10 - Should the tug accompanying the tanker be displaying any day shapes?
Rule 24. No

Q11 - Are any vessels "restricted in ability to maneuver" if so which ones?
None. No RAM shapes are shown.

Q12 - Who has "right of way"?
The vehicles crossing the bridge.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:02   #184
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duct Tape View Post
Questions
Q1 - What shapes should the tugboat be displaying?
Rule 24. None. The tow is less than 200 meters.

Q2 - What shapes should the bulk carrier be displaying
None.
Q3 - Is the bulk carrier "Not under command"?
No. It is under command as no NUC shapes are shown.

Q4 - Is the tanker "restricted in ability to manouver
No. No RAM shapes are shown.

Q5 - What does the cylindrical shape on the tanker mean and is it appropriate?
Vessel constrained by draft. Not for you to decide.

Q6 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the tugboat?
Rule 9. Give way.

Q7 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the bulk carrier?
Rule 9. Give way

Q8 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the tanker?
Rule 9 and 18. Give way.

Q9 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the tug accompanying the tanker?
Rule 9 and 18. Give way.

Q10 - Should the tug accompanying the tanker be displaying any day shapes?
Rule 24. No

Q11 - Are any vessels "restricted in ability to maneuver" if so which ones?
None. No RAM shapes are shown.

Q12 - Who has "right of way"?
The vehicles crossing the bridge.
It's a quibble, but Rule 9 does not actually talk about "giving way". It talks about "not impeding", and the two things are not exactly the same. Here is the text of the applicable part of the rule:

"A vessel of less than 20 metres in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway."

The difference is that the obligation to "not impede" is unvarying -- does not depend on vessels in sight of one another or risk of collision.

Once the steering & sailing rules come into effect, you may well be, on the contrary, obligated to stand on at some point.
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Old 11-03-2015, 05:20   #185
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
It's a quibble, but Rule 9 does not actually talk about "giving way". It talks about "not impeding", and the two things are not exactly the same. Here is the text of the applicable part of the rule:

"A vessel of less than 20 metres in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway."

The difference is that the obligation to "not impede" is unvarying -- does not depend on vessels in sight of one another or risk of collision.

Once the steering & sailing rules come into effect, you may well be, on the contrary, obligated to stand on at some point.

That's a very good point! Just goes to show just how important the actual wording of the rules are.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:06   #186
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Re: All things COLREGS

Question for Dockhead's ordering of the rules to avoid collisions, specifically points 2 and 3.

Point 2 seems to say move out of the way before the stand on rules apply.

Point 3 then says if stand on rules apply, apply them.

At what distance does one move from 2 to 3? I sail in the New York harbor and seem to always be within ear shot of commercial vessels. I could see how the distance at which a free to move around situation becomes a stand on situation shrinks in busy ports.

I will say that the answer seems clear for the huge tankers as they are constrained by the channel so I would always have to keep clear. But there are a hundred other ferries and such that it doesn't necessarily apply to. I would prefer to not always be in a stand on situation.


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Old 11-03-2015, 07:09   #187
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duct Tape View Post
Questions
Q1 - What shapes should the tugboat be displaying?
Rule 24. None. The tow is less than 200 meters.

Q2 - What shapes should the bulk carrier be displaying
None.
Q3 - Is the bulk carrier "Not under command"?
No. It is under command as no NUC shapes are shown.

Q4 - Is the tanker "restricted in ability to manouver
No. No RAM shapes are shown.

Q5 - What does the cylindrical shape on the tanker mean and is it appropriate?
Vessel constrained by draft. Not for you to decide.

Q6 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the tugboat?
Rule 9. Give way.

Q7 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the bulk carrier?
Rule 9. Give way

Q8 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the tanker?
Rule 9 and 18. Give way.

Q9 - As a sailboat under sail what are my obligations to the tug accompanying the tanker?
Rule 9 and 18. Give way.

Q10 - Should the tug accompanying the tanker be displaying any day shapes?
Rule 24. No

Q11 - Are any vessels "restricted in ability to maneuver" if so which ones?
None. No RAM shapes are shown.

Q12 - Who has "right of way"?
The vehicles crossing the bridge.
Nicely done. I do have a couple of clarifying questions...

1/ The bulk container is currently under tow (push) so I agree. Once the tug is done and the bulk ship is "underway" on her own, she is displaying neither Constrained or Restricted shapes. I'd say at that point sailboat becomes the stand on vessel.

Am I doing that wrong?

The tug accompanying the tanker? I am not sure that the tug can only operate in the channel, she is displaying no Constrained marks. Other than "sailing" alongside a tanker what makes that tug the stand on vessel?

(I did want to avoid the complexity of "harbor rules" and hopefully avoid the "is it is or is it not a channel" debate)

I am guessing that is SFO bay and while big ships go in and out, and clearly the tanker is constrained - I am not sure that all the area between the red and green buoys is a channel.

I agree with Duct Tapes assessment and as a prudent and practical matter, after assessing the speed of the tanker and understanding my own vessels speed I would not hesitate to cross at this distance, although the photo may be deceiving. In Singapore if you waited for this guy you'd wait all day because there is someone right behind him. Also as a practical matter, whether the accompanying tug is stand on or give way it is obvious that keeping clear is the right thing to do.

Once I crossed and presumably headed "down" channel I would reassess the conflict with the bulk container. I have crossed closely with ships in Singapore harbor the were tugging or putting pilots on or off.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:26   #188
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Lodesman, here you are introducing a new element (narrow channel) into the discussion.
The original question was not limited to a specific rule - or from my reading of it, to the international colregs. The poll asked does a vessel ever have 'right of way' - if that vessel is downbound on the Great Lakes etc, then it has right of way. The other part of my original post was that 'right of way' is not written in the IRPCS, but as a concept it could be argued to exist within them - to illustrate that I chose to discuss the 'not impede' rule from IRPCS. I don't know how you think parts of the IRPCS should be excluded from the discussion.
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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Once an obligation is introduced - then we can no longer speak of "rights", simply because the obligations preclude, by their very nature, the concept of "rights".
Oh nonsense - one is not exclusive of the other. I live in a western democracy - I have many "rights", including that of freedom. Do I not have obligations? Of course I do - I'm obliged to obey the law. If I don't abide by those obligations, I might find my right to freedom curtailed.

I said I was out, but I still had wifi this morning. That's likely to change, so it may be awhile before I'm able to respond.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:36   #189
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post

Oh nonsense - one is not exclusive of the other. I live in a western democracy - I have many "rights", including that of freedom. Do I not have obligations? Of course I do - I'm obliged to obey the law. If I don't abide by those obligations, I might find my right to freedom curtailed.
Not to belabor the point - but yes - once you abide by those obligations you will find your rights curtailed.

Which is another way of saying what I said "Obligations preclude rights" My version was perhaps a bit draconian, and should possibly have read "obligations will infringe on your rights"

But we're getting into language nitpicking
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:40   #190
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingeggs View Post
Question for Dockhead's ordering of the rules to avoid collisions, specifically points 2 and 3.

Point 2 seems to say move out of the way before the stand on rules apply.

Point 3 then says if stand on rules apply, apply them.

At what distance does one move from 2 to 3? I sail in the New York harbor and seem to always be within ear shot of commercial vessels. I could see how the distance at which a free to move around situation becomes a stand on situation shrinks in busy ports.

I will say that the answer seems clear for the huge tankers as they are constrained by the channel so I would always have to keep clear. But there are a hundred other ferries and such that it doesn't necessarily apply to. I would prefer to not always be in a stand on situation.
Yes, I interpret that exactly as you do. And most experienced sailors will tell you that in many situations, they hate to be the stand-on vessel. Far from being a "right", standing-on can be a nerve-wracking burden.


At what distance you go over from not impeding to standing on is when you have a risk of collision and vessels are in sight of each other -- the steering and sailing rules are clear about that.

But that's not practical in the case of narrow channels. What kind of giving way can the ship in the channel do? Can you imagine how insane it would be to stand on if you were the sailing vessel? In my opinion, this is a mistake in the Rules.

In my opinion, the Rules should say that the vessel obligated to "not impede" should also give way, when the steering & sailing rules come into effect, at least what concerns sail versus power, and at least in the case of Rule 9.

Rule 10 -- TSS situations -- is somewhat easier, since the fact that a vessel is navigating in a TSS doesn't really prevent the normal application of the steering and sailing rules, but Rule 9, in my opinion, is really impossible to apply literally and would lead to perverse situations.



I guess someone will pipe in and say that there isn't actually a problem, because if the ship in the narrow channel can't give way, you don't have to stand on, either -- Rule 17(a)(ii) -- you are instantaneously freed of the obligation to stand on. I guess that's correct, but I still think it's unnecessarily confusing, and it would be harmful for sailors to be wasting time trying to figure out whether the ship can maneuver or not.
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:07   #191
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by fallingeggs View Post
Question for Dockhead's ordering of the rules to avoid collisions, specifically points 2 and 3.

Point 2 seems to say move out of the way before the stand on rules apply.

Point 3 then says if stand on rules apply, apply them.

At what distance does one move from 2 to 3? I sail in the New York harbor and seem to always be within ear shot of commercial vessels. I could see how the distance at which a free to move around situation becomes a stand on situation shrinks in busy ports.

I will say that the answer seems clear for the huge tankers as they are constrained by the channel so I would always have to keep clear. But there are a hundred other ferries and such that it doesn't necessarily apply to. I would prefer to not always be in a stand on situation.


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Good question eggman. For us the distance and time is relative to the area we are sailing in. Open water is a lot different to a busy harbour. Colregs state the crossing rules come into play when there is a risk of collision. We also don't like to make other vessels alter course or speed for us where practicable so prefer to negate any risk of collision as early as possible. In open water with just us and another ship, where we are the stand on vessel, we would consider altering our course or speed if more than 30 mins or 7 M from CPA of less than 1M ( in round figures, totally dependent on conditions and sea state)
If less than 30mins or 7M we would consider we are the stand on vessel and obliged to maintain course and speed. At that time we would usually attempt to contact the ship and discuss the crossing to minimise disturbance to them, as well as to make sure they have seen us and confirm that we are the stand on vessel. We might mention we are about to tack, or adjusting sails or hard on the wind or anything that might effect our current course and speed.
Obviously in a harbour or high traffic area this needs to be done much more quickly and radio contact is not really an option. Depending on the congestion of the area we may might alter to 10 mins, 2M with a CPA of less than .5M. If inside those parameters we would feel obligated to maintain course and speed if we are the stand on vessel and if safe to do so. Outside those parameters we might feel that a crossing situation doesn't yet exist and alter course or speed to eliminate it.
I should add that AIS is worth every cent in those situations, but a hand bearing compass, pencil and paper, and good judgment of distance will get the job done.
I'm sure others will have a more concise summary and possibly conflicting opinions, but this is what works for us and I believe is in line with the colregs.
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Old 11-03-2015, 08:56   #192
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Re: All things COLREGS

One post before getting underway today. Many thanks to the forum for threads such as this.

I'm not surprised that many boaters simply choose to: "just get out of the way", "remember might makes right", "rule of tonnage", etc. It's much easier FOR THEM than learning and applying the rules prudently. Unfortunately this places a greater burden on other mariners.

I'm only five years into life on the water and work hard everyday to be safe and prudent mariner. However, from the beginning I was determined not to take the easy way out and apply the principles in quotes above. That alone has done more to advance learning and led me to be better at handling my boat in all situations. This has made my experiences more rewarding and the exquisite feeling that I "belong" out here on the water.

Certainly being the stand on vessel can create some anxiety. But it simply cannot be avoided in all cases. And a sailor will be a lifelong WAFI if the challenge is not taken on.

I would suggest all those reading here with less experience (and some with more) take it upon themselves to strive to understand this thread and the COLREGS. And then take what you learn and apply it to the situatuons one finds oneself in on the water.

If one does so, I believe and suspect the results will be a much more rewarding and enoyable experience on the water.
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:15   #193
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Re: All things COLREGS

I think I'll throw another wrinkle into this discussion. That is the difference between a course and a heading. When I learned navigation a course could consist of mutiple legs of different headings. Since the COLREGs require the stand on vessel to hold course, it would seem to cause a problem for the give way vessel if the stand on vessels "course" has a heading change planned. So do the COLREGs really expect the stand on vessel to hold heading and speed or course and speed?
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:34   #194
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
There were no trick questions intended. I'm a little alarmed that not even 70% of people recognised that the term 'right of way' does not appear in the COLREGS.
Might not have intended it to be tricky but I interpreted it as such. As I stated earlier, in my case #4 was a given (as compared to #3) because they specifically referenced what the COLREGS do and do not say.

#1 and #2 did not mention COLREGS and since I do a lot of racing where those rules do specifically mention "right of way", I am one of the 5 who answered #2 as true because in racing circumstances boats do by rule have "right of way".

I realized the title seemed to imply that all the answers were meant to be regarding the COLREGS but the poll itself asked if a vessel ever has the right of way and I chose to answer based upon the way the answers were literally written. Had all 4 answers included COLREGS in their desciptions then I would have answered #1 as true and #2 as false. (Ex-Cali used the word precision and either I was being too precise or the options weren't precise enough).

Good thing this question wasn't on any of my certification exams because I would have out foxed myself and gotten it wrong...I guess

Fun exercise though
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:43   #195
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Re: All things COLREGS

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Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
I think I'll throw another wrinkle into this discussion. That is the difference between a course and a heading. When I learned navigation a course could consist of mutiple legs of different headings. Since the COLREGs require the stand on vessel to hold course, it would seem to cause a problem for the give way vessel if the stand on vessels "course" has a heading change planned. So do the COLREGs really expect the stand on vessel to hold heading and speed or course and speed?
The stand on vessel is required ot maintain course and speed. He will just have to forego the heading change until after the event.

Now we could add another wrinkle

What if the stand on vessel puts itself into danger by maintaining its course - say a reef up ahead.
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