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Old 16-06-2014, 19:57   #61
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

I have really enjoyed reading and participating in this discussion. If nothing else it has resulted in my reading the COLRegs again.

As I interpret rules 9 and 10, fairways inside a marina not designated as "restricted" to power boats only, or having mid-channel buoys indicating inbound and outbound traffic lanes, or are "dedicated" shipping lanes, are, for all practical purposes, exempt from the mandate that a sailing vessel under 20 meters shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a (prescribed) narrow channel or fairway - if for no other reason than with few exceptions boats over 20 meters are not in those marina fairways to begin with.

I think the spirit of rule 9 is that all vessels under 20 meters, including sailing vessels, shall not impede much larger vessels in commercial shipping lanes even though terms such as "dedicated" and "restricted" are not used in the regulations. I don't think rule 9 was intended to apply to marina fairways leading from a channel to slips and docks inside the marina which are almost exclusively utilized and populated by boats under 20 meters.

Container ships motor in and out of Long Beach Harbor and cannot be impeded by smaller vessels but they are nowhere near the marina fairways that lead to private docks and slips.

Long winded way of saying that I don't think rule 9 or 10 applies in this situation so we are left with interpretations of 13, 18, and the Corinthian spirit.
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Old 16-06-2014, 20:14   #62
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
so we are left with interpretations of 13, 18, and the Corinthian spirit.
Rule 18
Responsibilities between vessels
!
A sailing vessel shall keep out of the way of:


A vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre


A power-driven vessel navigating within a
narrow channel or fairway

?
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Old 16-06-2014, 20:24   #63
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lojanica View Post
Rule 18
Responsibilities between vessels
!
A sailing vessel shall keep out of the way of:


A vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre


A power-driven vessel navigating within a
narrow channel or fairway

?
Rule 18 - Responsibilities Between Vessels Return to the top of the page

Except where Rules 9, 10, and 13 otherwise require

<snip>

Rule 9 - Narrow Channels Return to the top of the page
(a) (i) A vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway shall keep as near to the outer limit of the channel or fairway which lies on her starboard side as is safe and practicable.


Unless we are taking the discussion out of the channel rule 18 does not apply.
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Old 17-06-2014, 00:47   #64
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Ex-Calif quotes the following:
Rule 9 - Narrow Channels
(a) (i) A vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway shall keep as near to the outer limit of the channel or fairway which lies on her starboard side as is safe and practicable.


If you take the above rule literally - then no boat under sail could proceed up a narrow channel into a head wind! Is that really the intent of the rule?

Does Rule 9a (i) mean a sailboat tacking into the wind must stay on the starboard side of the channel. Wouldn't that mean they were tacking twice as often and thus being even a greater impediment?

OR - does the "practicable" at the end allow a sailboat to use the entire channel to tack?

My copy of Handbook of Nautical Rules of the Road says this about the word "practicable":

"If that is not "safe or practicable", however, the mariner is justified in moving closer to the center or even moving over the center to the left side (providing the traffic permits such action)."

Doesn't that allow a sailboat to tack back and forth?
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Old 17-06-2014, 00:59   #65
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Lojanica quotes rule 18 as:
Rule 18
Responsibilities between vessels
!
A sailing vessel shall keep out of the way of:


A vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre


A power-driven vessel navigating within a
narrow channel or fairway


That quote seems to add a line that I do not find in my Rule 18 ColRegs
"A power-driven vessel navigating within a narrow channel or fairway"

The online USCG ColRegs website does not contain the line about "a power-driven vessel"

Am I using an out-of-date ColRegs Rule 18?
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Old 17-06-2014, 01:08   #66
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Thanks for all the comments - it has been enlightening as I read the variety of interpretations of rules 9, 13, 18 and maybe 2 and 8. Who knew there were so many ways to read those rules or even when to apply them?

In the future I will remember that so many thoughtful and experienced boaters can have such drastically different interpretation of Rules 9, 13, 18 and when they can or cannot be applied.

In the future, I will always assume the other guy sees the situation in a far different manner than do I!


Two local captains with a total of 45 years operating experience agree that Rule 18 applies in the channel in question.

One local captain with 32 years operating experience says only Rule 9 applied.

A captain with 20 years experience who observed the incident from a distance of 30 yards clearly stated Rule 18 was in force.

Three US Naval officers who observed the incident felt Rule 13 and 18 were the applicable rules.

If four captains with about a century of experience can not agree to the proper rules and maneuvers - what are we mere mortals to do?

And, what to make of the three Naval Officers who were on the catamaran under power?

I suppose that is about enough on this topic?
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Old 17-06-2014, 02:41   #67
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
Thanks for all the comments - it has been enlightening as I read the variety of interpretations of rules 9, 13, 18 and maybe 2 and 8. Who knew there were so many ways to read those rules or even when to apply them?

In the future I will remember that so many thoughtful and experienced boaters can have such drastically different interpretation of Rules 9, 13, 18 and when they can or cannot be applied.

In the future, I will always assume the other guy sees the situation in a far different manner than do I!


Two local captains with a total of 45 years operating experience agree that Rule 18 applies in the channel in question.

One local captain with 32 years operating experience says only Rule 9 applied.

A captain with 20 years experience who observed the incident from a distance of 30 yards clearly stated Rule 18 was in force.

Three US Naval officers who observed the incident felt Rule 13 and 18 were the applicable rules.

If four captains with about a century of experience can not agree to the proper rules and maneuvers - what are we mere mortals to do?

And, what to make of the three Naval Officers who were on the catamaran under power?

I suppose that is about enough on this topic?
I can't speak for the people off this forum who opined, but in this thread, I cannot agree that there was "no consensus". On the contrary -- there was unusually broad consensus on the substance of the issue. There was vigorous (and for me interesting) debate on some very fine points which did not in any way change the overall conclusion.

If I may say so, with respect, it seems to me that you deeply misunderstand the spirit and the purpose of the COLREGS. You came here looking for a rule which would prove that the other skipper was wrong and you were right. You couldn't find it, and thus the COLREGS are hopelessly vague, no one can agree, etc., etc., etc.

The problem is that the COLREGS don't work at all like the rules of the road on land, and they don't work at all like race rules. You should forget your race protest committees and read MAIB reports on real collisions. Here you will see how the COLREGS are really used and interpreted. They are never used to show that this skipper was right and this skipper was wrong. In 99.99% of collision cases both skippers are wrong.

That's because that's actually the way it is at sea. It takes mistakes on both sides to have a collision at sea except in the rarest of freak cases (a fishing boat at anchor run down by a fast ferry with the OOW asleep on deck, say). And to have a conflict over a crossing situation, one jackass at the helm is not enough -- it takes two. Everyone in this thread understood that except you.

It's not like on the road, where in a crossing situation, one car has the "right of way", and the other car is supposed to "yield". That is not a philosophical difference -- it's a fundamental difference in the way maneuvers are done at sea versus on the road. On the road, both drivers cannot practically do collision avoidance at once. Drivers have seconds or fractions of a second to make a move once in sight of each other; not minutes and hours like we have. So on land, one driver is given the right to go ahead with impunity -- that's what's meant by "right of way", while the other has the complete responsibility to avoid a collision. It doesn't work that way at sea because we maneuver differently. No one ever, never ever, gets any right to go ahead with impunity, at sea. There is a certain order of maneuvering to avoid collisions, is all. And if it doesn't work, everyone is at fault, with exceptionally rare exceptions.

You came here looking for the rule which would show that the cat skipper was wrong. Well, you got that. That was the easy part. The cat skipper was wrong on so many counts that it's hard to count them. But the worst thing he did was his violation of Rule 2 in slowing down and turning in front of you -- intentionally causing a close quarters situation and intentionally interfering with you. Flogging round the fleet, as Carsten said. That's about as heinous as it gets. But as I said -- that was the easy part.

The harder and more interesting part was what you did wrong. Everyone participating in this thread, notwithstanding some disagreements on fine points of the Rule, saw what you did wrong -- I think there was total consensus on the essential things in this thread. Only you didn't see it. Too bad.

If there had been a collision in your case, I can guarantee you that the inquiry board would have apportioned part of the fault to you. Less than to the heinous cat skipper, much less, but you would have gotten your 40 lashes at the grate, to use Carsten's apt phrase. I have the impression that if that happened tomorrow, you would be totally astonished and have no idea why. That's because you stubbornly insist on seeing the situation as a case where someone has to be right, and someone has to be wrong, in total black and white. Collision avoidance at sea doesn't work that way; and hence the COLREGS don't work that way. And you simply cannot have a conflict over a crossing situation at sea with only one jackass at the helm of only one boat.
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Old 17-06-2014, 03:22   #68
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Can't add anything to what Dockhead said...

I know Tacoma doesn't see it like land based navigation and cars but I will add that cars are restricted to roads and lanes and at each intersection there is a traffic light, stop sign or yield sign - if not floor it! The road is also painted to indicate where you may pass and where you may not pass.

The better analogy is flying (harder because its 3d not 2d) where in busy terminal areas (harbors) there is full time traffic control to tell people what to do, where to turn and who gets to go next.
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Old 17-06-2014, 12:04   #69
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Dockhead said:
"I can't speak for the people off this forum who opined, but in this thread, I cannot agree that there was "no consensus". "

WOW - I guess you and I are reading different threads. You might note that the 20-year captain who OBSERVED the incident stated clearly that Rule 13 and 18 were the applicable rules. I can understand how others might disagree but it is a fact that a professional captain, who makes his living navigating the channel in question, disagrees with many of the statements made on this thread.

A 2nd professional captain who has operated a dozen charter boats in the channel for 26-years also disagrees with many of the statements posted here.

HOW can you possibly say there is consensus?

I am not trying to say any ONE interpretation is correct but I am positive there is no consensus on what rules and what interpretation were in effect.

Dockhead said:
"If I may say so, with respect, it seems to me that you deeply misunderstand the spirit and the purpose of the COLREGS. ... You couldn't find it, and thus the COLREGS are hopelessly vague, no one can agree, etc., etc., etc."

Again, your blanket statement is confusing. EVERY ColReg interpretation book I read, and several responders here, state that the ColRegs are vague, incomplete, and not intended to provide specific rules for each specific situation.

I do understand that the fundamental principal is that all vessels must take the necessary actions to avoid collision and before that to avoid situations that can lead to collisions. The rules establish the operating principals for avoiding those situations.

As I repeatedly said - during 42 years of sailing a wide variety of power and sailboats in very crowded waters - I have never collided with another boat, have never come close to colliding with another boat, and have never heard the danger signal aimed at my vessel. I would have thought that indicates I do understand the principals you keep saying I do not understand.

Dockhead said:
"You came here looking for a rule which would prove that the other skipper was wrong and you were right."

I am puzzled why you would say that. I stated that I, an experienced boat operator, and the other 32-year captain had very different opinions about the situation we found ourselves in. I asked the community here to help me understand how the various rules might apply or not apply. I provided my interpretation and asked what was incorrect or not applicable in that interpretation.

I consistently acknowledged the validity and merit of other interpretations and apparent facts.

As I tried to gather more and more facts and interpretations I had to ask detailed questions and posit alternative views. Is that not how an inquiry such as this should proceed?

Dockhead said:
"it's not like on the road, where in a crossing situation, one car has the "right of way", and the other car is supposed to "yield". That is not a philosophical difference -- it's a fundamental difference in the way maneuvers are done at sea versus on the road."

WELL - the Handbook of the Nautical Rules of the Road uses the analogy of cars on the road and often uses the term "right-of-way" to describe situations. They also use the terms "the boat on starboard was in the right" and one vessel must "yield" so I guess at least one professional author would disagree with your statement.

Dockhead - I do agree completely with the concept that boat operators must cooperate and must do everything possible to avoid creating collision situations. I thought it obvious that I understood that because I twiced talked to the other skipper and did tack away despite the fact I felt that I was correct in my actions.

The problem occurred when I asked the other skipper, in a face to face communications from about 15 yards, what were his intentions? He did not respond but continued to slow in front of me. When I realized he saw the situation differently than did I - I tacked away.

Others suggested I should have luffed up or bore away to pass him astern. At the point I tacked my sails were not drawing and I was hardly moving as I talked to him.

As I said - bearing away to pass astern would have made it head-to-head IF he, at the last minute decided to try to pass me astern, something I could not know since he did not respond to my question.

I chose to tack and clear the scene.

I am really puzzled that you are coming down with such vehemence on both my actions and my questions.

NOTE: Handbook of the Nautical Rules of the Road Acknowledgement section contains a statement saying the USCG helped them prepare the book and thanks specific USCG officers for their assistance and reviews. I have always thought that made the book pretty authoritative.
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Old 17-06-2014, 12:34   #70
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pirate Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

This thread has brought to mind an occasion I was coming outs Poole... there's a large well dredged channel for the big cross channel ferries.. and a small ships channel on the S side of it dredged to around 3 metres... anyway I was motoring out on a Sat evening against a rising tide and the usual day trippers were bombing back in to their showers and suppers..
So there I am doing around 4kts against the tide when this guy heads straight at me on a port tack.. the channel (both) are 7 deep in boats motor and sail and I'm as close to the mud to stbd as I dare yet this dickhead is determined to play the rule.. motor gives way to sail.. I turn right I'm aground in 10 seconds.. I go to Port I risk collision with at least 3 boats and creating panic which could lead to mass destruction mid channel..
I held course and when he started bellowing in his Yachty voice I gave him the finger...
You guys would get on really well with him.. just your type.. rools.. rools.. flock common sense and knowledge of the harbour/chart..
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Old 17-06-2014, 13:38   #71
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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You guys would get on really well with him.. just your type.. rools.. rools.. flock common sense and knowledge of the harbour/chart..


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Old 17-06-2014, 19:04   #72
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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As I repeatedly said - during 42 years of sailing a wide variety of power and sailboats in very crowded waters - I have never collided with another boat, have never come close to colliding with another boat, and have never heard the danger signal aimed at my vessel. I would have thought that indicates I do understand the principals you keep saying I do not understand.
I can't believe in 42 years of sailing you haven't had this happen before.

I have a channel conflict every time I am in a channel. Especially on weekends.


No one is changing their mind (typical of a thread), there are the rule 9 guys, the rule 18 guys, and the 13 guys. Let's throw in 15,16 and 17 for good measure and the rule 2 guys just want everyone to play nice.

Oh and some folks think if we hoisted the right signal, made the right horn blast and got on the radio it could have all been avoided.

See you all in court - LOL...
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Old 17-06-2014, 19:31   #73
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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I have a channel conflict every time I am in a channel. Especially on weekends.
That's the most revealing statement I've read about the colregs.
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Old 17-06-2014, 19:41   #74
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

And what to do with the "zoomer viewer" who goes out of his way/makes a sudden course change to head directly toward one to get a better view? This boater didn't seem to take the race too seriously, heading toward me far (nearly 90 degrees) from the race-course plumb line. This happened with two boats that day, both high-speed catamarans. Both boats turned 90 degrees to starboard some 30 yards from me.

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Old 17-06-2014, 19:42   #75
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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You guys would get on really well with him.. just your type.. rools.. rools.. flock common sense and knowledge of the harbour/chart..
No we wouldn't. This is another example of a moron, like the cat skipper, who thinks one rule works in isolation from all the rest. The irony here, is that this is the first situation described in this thread where rule 9 applies.
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