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Old 06-05-2016, 23:58   #1
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Met tugboat; I blinked

Today, heading in the middle of a mile-wide strait, a commercial tug about a mile and a half heading directly toward me, I turned 15 degrees to starboard. Shortly, it was apparent the tug had turned about 15 degrees to his port! And within a few minutes it was apparent we were headed for collision. About 200-yards distant, it was apparent the tug wouldn't give preference to my stand-on status, so I turned 30 degrees to port. ... There was no necessity for the tug to head for port side (to him) of the strait other than to shorten the distance to his destination. Here, small commercial vessels expect recreational vessels to get out of their way.



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Old 07-05-2016, 00:19   #2
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

Hi Mark.

Where is here?

When I arrived in the Netherlands I learned that they have the simple rule that the smaller vessel gives way.

Despite what COLREG says.

Not sure if that's clever though.
Causes confusion to have such local laws.
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Old 07-05-2016, 00:55   #3
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

There are good tug boat crew and also bad, who get a kick out of intimidating small craft when running light and pushing a hell of a lot of water.
The bad ones are real idiots, who get a chip on their shoulder cause everyone passes them when they have a tow and are somewhat constrained.

You were right to blink.
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Old 07-05-2016, 12:22   #4
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

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Hi Mark.

Where is here?
Carquinez Strait (of course), in the middle of the San Francisco, California estuary.
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Old 07-05-2016, 12:43   #5
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

Of(f?!!) course ;-)

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Old 07-05-2016, 13:03   #6
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

I just think of the biggest jerk I know. My brother-in-law. Then I imagine him at the helm of the offending watercraft. Then, it all becomes comprehensible.

There are personalities that just can't or won't get along.
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Old 07-05-2016, 14:05   #7
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

I drove commercial on the SF Bay for Hornblower and the USS Potomac.

Many SF Bay recreational boaters don't know that Commercial Boats using Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) do not have to monitor VHF Channel 16.

They do however monitor both Channel 13 (Boat to Boat) and channel 14 VTS SF Bay or Channel 12 Golden Gate Approach.

Next time try hailing them on VHF Channel 13 and ask their intentions...

Fair winds
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Old 07-05-2016, 14:33   #8
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Today, heading in the middle of a mile-wide strait, a commercial tug about a mile and a half heading directly toward me, I turned 15 degrees to starboard. Shortly, it was apparent the tug had turned about 15 degrees to his port! And within a few minutes it was apparent we were headed for collision.
Had the same thing happen to me a long time ago on the Chesapeake. I kept going starboard to pass him on his port, he followed by turning to port for a collision course. I finally did a 360 to port and let him pass on my starboard side. I thought he was heading into the Solomon's at first, but he turned right back to his original course. I had always been taught to pass "Port To Port", apparently his Port was different than mine.
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Old 07-05-2016, 15:07   #9
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

Well at least you didn't try to sail between that tugboat that other "thing" following behind it like some do...
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Old 07-05-2016, 16:41   #10
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

Northbound in the Hudson we had a tug pass on my port side about 20' away and pushing a helluva lot of water, he then made a sharp turn across my bow missing me by about 15' ........ He had all the room in the world to pass me to starboard and head up the East River.

Securite, Securite, Securite - All mariners take heed. The tug Moran heading north bound into the East River in an erratic and dangerous manner.

Heard the CG call him, they never called me and I never heard their conversation.
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Old 07-05-2016, 19:43   #11
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

We've run into similar a couple of times. When in doubt, the law of gross tonnage wins the discussion. If you are the light one, alter course, smile, and enjoy your day.
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Old 07-05-2016, 20:30   #12
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

Love the security call......

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Old 07-05-2016, 20:32   #13
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

Makes you tempted to bounce some distress flares off his bridge windows....
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Old 07-05-2016, 20:44   #14
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

BTW, the last tug we ran across on the icw had a gray bearded super salty looking skipper at the helm. Looking backwards, said captain had a beautiful fully nude female sunbathing crewmember hidden beneath the forward bulwarks, only visible from a very narrow angle on the stern quarter. Being captain has its perks....
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Old 08-05-2016, 08:40   #15
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Re: Met tugboat; I blinked

Nice pilothouse. What kind of boat? Tonnage rules in reality. Plus tugs can always claim limited in its ability to maneuver. Always a trump card.
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