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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 10-03-2015, 10:32   #121
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Re: All things COLREGS

I think the correct language discussion very much does matter. If you talk to any commercial seaman who frequents busy yachting destinations they will tell you that poorly informed yachtsmen are one of the most frustrating parts of their jobs.

Dodging yachts all day is down right exhausting in a place like the Detroit river. Most will tell you that by far the most frustrating type of yachtsman to dodge is the sailor. Power boats tend to be much much more respectful of commercial traffic.

Even though commercial ships are much faster and thousands of times the displacement they are much much easier to deal with- from a traffic management perspective, because, you know the other ships navigators standard of training and you know he both knows and understands the application of the regulations.

I don't think this has anything to do with propulsion type. It has to do with attitude. A key element to that attitude is their PERCEIVED rights as sailors.

Nobody here (I don't think) is trying to bully or intimidate any body, they truly care about this topic because it is important. All commercial seaman have had to stand on stern propulsion- 10 000 or 20 000 hp engines worth millions of dollars because some sailboater didn't know the rules- many times. Many have actually been to court or had to suffer through an investigation because they or one of their team has actually collided with a sailboat and in some rare cases actually cost some one their life because they ran down a vessel that wasn't properly applying the ColRegs.

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Old 10-03-2015, 11:16   #122
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Re: All things COLREGS

I always enjoy these discussion threads, laborious as they are to read and stay on top of.

When I first saw the poll my immediate response was #4 since I know that to be true. When I subsequently realized one could choose multiple answers it became, in my mind, a "trick question" - dependent upon conotations vs. denotations, literal vs. semantics, and subject to colloquialisms; the kind of question/debate one might pose after a race while sitting in a YC bar after a few beers.

Seems to me that as long as the skipper and crew use the same language, with the same meaning and everyone onboard understands the essence of the COLREGS and Racing Rules with the caveat that at the end of the day everyone on the water must do whatever they need to do to avoid a collision, does it really matter what words they use to communicate to each other?

I race more than I cruise (albeit exclusively in So. California) but I don't think I've ever heard anyone use the phrases "stand on" or "give way" during a race, even though we all know what those phrases mean, but we do frequently discuss who has "rights' or the "right of way".
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:20   #123
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Re: All things COLREGS

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I race more than I cruise (albeit exclusively in So. California) but I don't think I've ever heard anyone use the phrases "stand on" or "give way" during a race, even though we all know what those phrases mean.
Thats cause racers race under ISAF rules that have rights of way, even if such rules are actually not legal and the colregs technically remain in force during a race.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:24   #124
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
I think the correct language discussion very much does matter. If you talk to any commercial seaman who frequents busy yachting destinations they will tell you that poorly informed yachtsmen are one of the most frustrating parts of their jobs.

Dodging yachts all day is down right exhausting in a place like the Detroit river. Most will tell you that by far the most frustrating type of yachtsman to dodge is the sailor. Power boats tend to be much much more respectful of commercial traffic.

Even though commercial ships are much faster and thousands of times the displacement they are much much easier to deal with- from a traffic management perspective, because, you know the other ships navigators standard of training and you know he both knows and understands the application of the regulations.

I don't think this has anything to do with propulsion type. It has to do with attitude. A key element to that attitude is their PERCEIVED rights as sailors.

Nobody here (I don't think) is trying to bully or intimidate any body, they truly care about this topic because it is important. All commercial seaman have had to stand on stern propulsion- 10 000 or 20 000 hp engines worth millions of dollars because some sailboater didn't know the rules- many times. Many have actually been to court or had to suffer through an investigation because they or one of their team has actually collided with a sailboat and in some rare cases actually cost some one their life because they ran down a vessel that wasn't properly applying the ColRegs.

To anyone who subscribes to the view that you don't need to follow the COLREGS, just remember "Johnny O'Day" and follow the "rule of tonnage" -- have you ever thought about asking a real commercial mariner, like Family Van? Instead of guessing about what the guy on the ship's bridge is thinking?

Their main complaint about us WAFIs is that we don't understand the rules, and that we maneuver in unpredictable ways. They would never encourage you to disobey the COLREGS.


I have a theory, actually, about why some people disdain the COLREGS -- they think that the COLREGS give you some right to "challenge a ship for the right of way" -- the exact phrase which someone used in a recent discussion. They correctly understand that you shouldn't do any challenging, either with ships or any other traffic. So far so good. But they fail to understand that the COLREGS don't actually give any such right, and so what is basically a good idea unfortunately is applied too broadly and is used as an excuse to ignore the rules.

Staying out of the way of commercial traffic is eminently good sense and absolutely proper seamanship. Where there are channels or established sea lanes -- stay out of them, and don't interfere with commercial shipping. Cross channels and sea lanes when there's no traffic -- to the extent possible. Nothing in the COLREGS contradicts this -- on the contrary, it's required by elementary good seamanship under Rule 2.

The question of who stands on and who gives way arises only after a risk of collision exists and vessels are in sight of one another. So all of this good seamanship must be exercised prior to that happening. I think a lot of people arguing against following the rules, misunderstand what phase of a crossing they are talking about. When they are getting out of the way of commercial shipping, if they are doing it in a seamanlike manner, they are doing it prior to the phase when the steering & sailing rules take over, so they are not actually violating the rules; on the contrary, this is correct and good and what we should all be striving to do.

But once you get into a steering and sailing rules situation, you do not have any right, for a certain period of time, to maneuver, if you are the stand-on vessel. You are obligated to hold still -- to hold course and speed -- so that the other vessel can work out a solution to the situation. If you don't hold still, he can't do it -- and you are not only violating the COLREGS, you are in a very practical and direct way creating a dangerous situation. It's really important that you do this as required by the rules. It's not a "right" you can use, or give up, as you please.

If you never get into such a situation -- if you always manage to stay so far out of the way so that the steering & sailing rules never come into effect -- good for you. In some inshore waters this might be possible. But once you get into a steering & sailing rules situation -- you'd better know the rules, and follow them. You must know and make the right steps in the dance. In open water, at least, it's inevitable that this will come up at least once in a while.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:39   #125
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Re: All things COLREGS

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
I race more than I cruise (albeit exclusively in So. California) but I don't think I've ever heard anyone use the phrases "stand on" or "give way" during a race, even though we all know what those phrases mean, but we do frequently discuss who has "rights' or the "right of way".
Those are special rules of racing, which have no legal significance.

Racers do not behave like normal mariners do -- which follows from the nature of racing. In a race, to cut off the other guy and force him to maneuver out of your way is great -- successful tactics. For ordinary mariners, on the contrary, this is horrible seamanship and forbidden by the Rules.

Naturally the rules between racers are different. But don't forget that they have no legal standing.

Remember also that tangles between racers don't involve steering and sailing rules in any case -- they are far too close to each other. The COLREGS technically apply, but any encounter between racers is in extremis according to normal standards -- and it was a violation of the COLREGS to even be in that situation. That's why there are special racing rules -- because the COLREGS just don't cover those situations.
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Old 10-03-2015, 11:59   #126
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Re: All things COLREGS

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Originally Posted by Duct Tape View Post
The use of the term " right of way" was specifically excluded from the ColRegs.

US Inland rules are not governed by ColRegs as per Rule 1.
The poll asks if a vessel ever has 'right of way', it did not specifically state within the international colregs. The term 'colregs' also does not refer specifically to the 1972 Conventions on the Regulations to Prevent Collisions at Sea and its amendments, and it can be used to refer to the collision regulations that are in force within any regime.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:03   #127
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Re: All things COLREGS

Been away for a day and find you people have gone on at length. As I said previously, one could make the argument that the concept of 'right of way' is arguably covered in the IRPCS. If you look at any of the situations where 'not impede' applies, then the vessel that shall not be impeded could be said to have the right of way.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:06   #128
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Re: All things COLREGS

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Let's look at Websters Unabridged dictionary for the meaning of the two terms (here I've used right of way versus obligation

Right of way:

a : a precedence in passing accorded to one vehicle over another by custom, decision, or statute
b : the right of traffic to take precedence


Obligation

something that you must do because of a law, rule, promise, etc.

So in terms of the Colregs, a "stand on vessel" has an obligation to maintain course and speed (due to law/rule).

A "stand on" vessel does not have a right (precedence in passing accorded to one vehicle over another).

This is why we refer to the "burdened" vessel. The vessel is burdened with an obligation - not released from an obligation by any "right"
Your dictionary definition of 'right of way' doesn't support your argument. And when we refer to 'burdened' vessel, we are usually talking about the give way vessel, not the stand on vessel; that vessel is often referred to as 'privileged.'
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:08   #129
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Re: All things COLREGS

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
Been away for a day and find you people have gone on at length. As I said previously, one could make the argument that the concept of 'right of way' is arguably covered in the IRPCS. If you look at any of the situations where 'not impede' applies, then the vessel that shall not be impeded could be said to have the right of way.
No its couldn't , because the vessel that might be impeded always bears the responsibility ( and obligation) of acting if it believes a collision could occur.


compare say right of way at a major road junction. I simply speed through without really even acknowledging a driver waiting to exit from the minor road. I am under no obligation to take any consideration of his actions. In fact if he acts incorrectly , a crash most likely occurs and he is completely to blame

The same process does not exist at sea. AT all times and in all circumstances, the onus to avoid collision remains with all vessels in sight and in danger of collision. all have obligations, none have rights, in your situation, one vessel is under an obligation not to impede another. that obligation however confers no " rights" onto the other ship.

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Old 10-03-2015, 12:25   #130
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Re: All things COLREGS

Rustic, this may help explain the situation :

In most waters when not racing is the responsibility of ALL vessels to act (or not act) to avoid a collision. If both vessels manoeuvre (with each being unaware what actions the other is about to initiate), the chance of collision can escalate dramatically.

So how do we know who should hold their course and speed to avoid collision and who should manoeuvre if necessary? Colregs tells you this . Neither vessel has right of way, they just have just different responsibilities.

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Old 10-03-2015, 12:28   #131
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Re: All things COLREGS

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In most waters when not racing is the responsibility of ALL vessels to act
the responsibility remains even when racing. The COLREGS cannot be suspended , no matter what the race committee says !!!!!
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:35   #132
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Re: All things COLREGS

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
I always enjoy these discussion threads, laborious as they are to read and stay on top of.
...
I have been trying make that statement but work intervened.

I always learn something from these discussions, so to all of the regulars who jump into these discussions, let me say Thank You.

Your time is appreciated AND NOT WASTED!

Thank you,
Dan
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:40   #133
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Re: All things COLREGS

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the responsibility remains even when racing. The COLREGS cannot be suspended , no matter what the race committee says !!!!!
Try telling that to some skippers .
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:48   #134
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Re: All things COLREGS

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
Try telling that to some skippers .

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Old 10-03-2015, 13:00   #135
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Re: All things COLREGS

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
........ clearly defines that the COLREGS are not the sea version of the rules of the road. Also I would have dismally failed my coxswains certificate if I didn't know the COLREGS verbatim so why not learn and teach the right way from the beginning.....
When I went to sea they were never refered to as COLREGS...always 'Rules of the Road'....
I'm not sure when people started calling them COLREGS and 'Rules of the Road' slipped from common usage but it is relatively recent. 'Recent' of course being relative.

So is it COLREGS, Colregs, or IRPCS? Best we all try to get it right for the avoidance of confusion

They say that those that can - do, those that can't - teach, and those that can't teach teach teachers work for the WA Department of Transport Collision rules (rules of the road)
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