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Old 17-06-2014, 20:19   #76
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
That's the most revealing statement I've read about the colregs.
The conflict nothing to do with the regs...

In a crowded channel there are going to be passing situations that need to be worked out - conflicts.

As someone said way earlier - this is a conflict between 2 boats. Add 50 more boats.

Which sparks a new thought - What if as some say 9 does not apply to small boats.

I could then simply steam up the left side of the channel and hope everyone coming in using 9 understands they are wrong. Of course I would leave 20 feet of my left side open so they could apply 14 and not hit me - I have my "rights" dontcha know
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Old 17-06-2014, 20:45   #77
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
- What if as some say 9 does not apply to small boats.
No-one said rule 9 doesn't apply to small boats - it just doesn't apply in the OP's situation.
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Old 17-06-2014, 23:02   #78
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Just remember that under the Colregs as interpreted by fully trained professionals, ships have averaged 15 collisions per year in the last 10 years--ROTFLMAO at the people who 'think' the Colregs mean this or that.
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Old 17-06-2014, 23:29   #79
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
Just remember that under the Colregs as interpreted by fully trained professionals, ships have averaged 15 collisions per year in the last 10 years--ROTFLMAO at the people who 'think' the Colregs mean this or that.
I think the statement above is an excellent summary of what I have learned here and a guide to how to deal with these situations in the future.

I'll assume the other guy wants to use a different rule and will do whatever it takes to stay out of the way.

Luff Up - Bear Off - stop at the dock till they pass - try to talk to them so we can agree what we are both going to do

OR - stay home and drink beer
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Old 17-06-2014, 23:43   #80
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
No-one said rule 9 doesn't apply to small boats - it just doesn't apply in the OP's situation.
I disagree. The sailboat while tacking back and forth across the channel should make short tacks or other action, if necessary, to allow passage of other boats.

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. ...

(d) A vessel shall not cross a narrow channel or fairway if such crossing impedes the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within such channel or fairway. The latter vessel may use the [sound | danger] signal prescribed in Rule 34(d) if in doubt as to the intention of the crossing vessel.

So, there's nothing wrong to sound the danger signal if another boat is hogging the channel so to risk safe passage. More likely needed if there is a bunch of sailboats criss-crossing a narrow channel.
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Old 18-06-2014, 02:43   #81
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
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..
That must be a tradition in Poole Harbour! Much the same thing happened to me, except there was no shouting, as I cut power to let him pass ahead. In fact it's happened more than once. It's just the way things work in Poole Harbour, methinks
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Old 18-06-2014, 03:28   #82
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
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.

There is very broad consensus on the substance of the situation -- on everything which is important about it, and that's what I said. Everyone without exception found the cat driver to have been wrong in many ways, and more wrong than you, and I think everyone apportioned blame to you, also. This is unusual, by the way, in any group like this.

Whether Rule 13 or Rule 18 applied in this way or that is wholly immaterial to the result. You are still looking for the rule which shows clearly that someone is right, and someone is wrong, and I say again, the Colregs don't work that way. It's not a race where a winner is chosen; it's collision avoidance where no wins when it goes wrong.

I don't know myself whether there is any application of Rule 13 in this case and thought it a very interesting question, which provoked some very good discussion. There are some extremely knowledgeable people on this board, including former professional mariners like Lodesman.[/QUOTE]

But whether or not Rule 13 applies changes nothing. You're missing the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
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.
That's right! They are not indeed intended to provide specific rules for every situation. But that does not mean they are vague or incomplete, and you will see that if you grasp their purpose. The Mother Rule is Rule 2 -- and all the other rules just add detail to Rule 2 in some areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
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.

Yes! That's exactly right.
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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
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.

Good for you! But most boaters never collide with anything. I'm not sure sure that it proves anything. I bet that jackass in the catamaran you tangled with never collided with anything yet, either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
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?

It is absolutely valid, interesting, and valuable to ponder the exact meaning of the different rules and discuss and argue about them with smart people like those on this board. But it's also important to keep it in context -- to understand what the purpose of those rules is. Finding a violation of Rule X by the cat guy does not indeed make you right, and you can't, by interpretation of the rules, find a guilty and an innocent party. I learned an enormous amount about the Colregs (and I by no means claim to be an expert, N.B.!), and indeed on collision avoidance, by reading MAIB reports on real collisions. I highly recommend it to you. The reasoning of the inquiry boards really shows the way the Colregs are used and what they really mean. I think everyone appreciates the Colregs more after delving into those.



Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
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.

Well, no one appointed me the judge of Colregs questions, and might even (gasp!) be wrong, but I think most good mariners would object to comparing Colregs to land rules of the road. There are plenty of bad books in print. This one may not be just wrong, but the author may have thought that using road analogies will make the subject more accessible to beginners. And our Coast Guard is known for making some incredibly wrong public statements -- like the infamous instructional video with outlandishly wrong explanations of how DSC works. But of course -- you have the right to choose who to consider authoritative.




Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
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.

That sounds good and seamanlike, and remember, no one of us here saw the incident, so no one knows everything about what happened. We presume you must have "pressed your rights" at some point to end up in such close quarters in the first place, and many of your statements seem to confirm that you were doing that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
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.

Sorry -- really no offense was intended. Tacking and clearing the scene is exactly the right thing to do when collision avoidance is not working for any reason, and especially when someone is behaving like a dick. Query, however, whether you did it early enough?

But anyway, if you can be so gracious as to imagine no vehemence in any of my remarks -- I think you may find something valuable to you in them. And since virtually everyone in this thread saw the situation the same way in its basic essence (if not on the details of Rule 13 application) -- I think you may see there are some bigger ideas in there, even if I alone am no authority of any kind.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
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.
Uh-oh Just remembering the USCG instructional videos on DSC Well, naturally, you have the right to choose your own authorities. But you came on here to ask your questions, and you got your answers -- now it's up to you to decide what to do with them.
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Old 18-06-2014, 06:13   #83
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
I disagree. The sailboat while tacking back and forth across the channel should make short tacks or other action, if necessary, to allow passage of other boats.

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. ...

(d) A vessel shall not cross a narrow channel or fairway if such crossing impedes the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within such channel or fairway. The latter vessel may use the [sound | danger] signal prescribed in Rule 34(d) if in doubt as to the intention of the crossing vessel.

So, there's nothing wrong to sound the danger signal if another boat is hogging the channel so to risk safe passage. More likely needed if there is a bunch of sailboats criss-crossing a narrow channel.
Is it really "practicable" for a sailing dinghy to make short tacks just to stay right of the centreline of the channel, when there's no opposing traffic? The purpose of 9(a) is to ensure an orderly flow between opposing traffic, and this meshes with the requirements of rule 14 (head-on). When overtaking, the rules allow you to pass on either side, so there is no effect on overtaking vessels, if the overtaken vessel is port in the channel.
I have said it repeatedly, that a 17 ft dinghy can't possibly impede a 38 ft cat in a channel that is 55 yards wide and deep throughout. The fact that the cat got past the dinghy is proof of that.
I agree about the use of the danger signal.
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Old 18-06-2014, 07:36   #84
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
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?
Sure -- it means pretty much what it says --

You have to use the right side of the channel if it's reasonable to do so, meaning if it leaves you enough room to tack and does not create unreasonable dangers or inconvenience to you or others. That is to keep the other side of the channel free for traffic coming in the other direction. But you can use up to the whole channel if you really need to. But you shouldn't impede larger vessels which cannot safely navigate outside the channel (Rule 9), and you shouldn't create dangerous situations or unreasonable inconvenience to vessels navigating in the other direction (Rule 2) (probably really keep clear altogether of traffic from the opposite direction, if you are using the "wrong" side of the channel), you shouldn't tack under the bows of other vessels or otherwise create sudden close quarters situations (Rule 2), and you certainly must stay clear of slower vessels when overtaking regardless of anything (Rule 13). Furthermore, you shouldn't be in the channel at all if you've got safe water outside it (many local regs; Rule 2).

Is that more clear?

A couple of other points: Remember that Rule 9 obliges you to "not impede", which is a different concept from "keep clear" or "give way". And thanks again to Lodesman who educated me about this years ago. "Not impeding" is something you do prior to the time that vessels start maneuvering under the steering & sailing rules. There is a lot of discussion in this thread about Rule 9, but nothing that I can recall about this aspect of it. There is some controversy about what Rule 9 really means and how it interacts with the steering and sailing rules -- this is indeed one of the hazy parts of the Colregs -- but Rule 8 says:

(i)
. A vessel which, by any of these Rules, is required not to impede the passage or safe passage of another vessel shall, when required by the circumstances of the case, take early action to allow sufficient sea-room for the safe passage of the other vessel.

(ii)
. A vessel required not to impede the passage or safe passage of another vessel is not relieved of this obligation if approaching the other vessel so as to involve risk of collision and shall, when taking action, have full regard to the action which may be required by the Rules of this part.

(iii)
. A vessel the passage of which is not to be impeded remains fully obliged to comply with the Rules of this part when the two vessels are approaching one another so as to involve risk of collision.



It means that you are supposed to take action so early that you never get to the steering & sailing rules. So you stay far enough out of the way of ships navigating in narrow channels that no one ever has to maneuver.

However, if you fail to do so, and the risk of collision arises so as to trigger the sailing & steering rules, then all the regular obligations stay in force. So it means that if you find yourself under sail in a narrow channel with a large ship, whether through violation of the rule, ignorance, or accident, then the large ship will be the give-way vessel during the maneuvering stage of collision avoidance, and you are supposed to stand on. This seemed so illogical to me when I first learned it that I got into a big argument with Lodesman about it years ago, which lead to my reading up on it and figuring out that it really is this way. This will probably be purely theoretical in many cases, because the give-way, stand-on phase of maneuvering will probably be short, and both vessels will find themselves in extremis, and so already in the phase where both vessels have to maneuver. That's this bit from Rule 17(b):

"When, from any cause, the vessel required to keep her course and speed finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision."


So you see, the Rules characteristically don't give anyone any right to sail with impunity on one side of a channel, and don't forbid anyone categorically from sailing on the "wrong" side of the channel. Here again it's not like a highway. Different rules come into play in different ways, and as always both vessels are always fully responsible for avoiding a collision. So the Rules, rather than creating burdens and privileges, actually more provide a order of maneuvering for unwinding a potential collision situation, at least the steering & sailing rules.

So when Rule 18 says that a motor vessel shall keep clear of a sailing vessel -- it doesn't mean that sailing vessels have the "right of way" over motor vessels, that is, that they can sail with impunity, leaving all the responsibility on motor vessels, like it is on the highway. It means that when you get to the phase where maneuvering to avoid a collision starts (vessels in sight of one another; risk of collision exists), the order of maneuvering is such that sailing vessels are required to hold their course and speed, and motor vessels are to calculate a solution and make the first move. If that doesn't work -- so either the motor vessel obviously doesn't execute a maneuver capable of unwinding the situation, or gets so close that it's already not possible for the motor vessel to execute an effective maneuver, then the sailing vessel is obligated to maneuver itself. It's a bit like a dance.

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Old 18-06-2014, 08:44   #85
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

So here we are!

Let us review the players in this drama

Dockhead who is an obviously knowledgeable and experienced commentator and interpreter of the the rules.

Me - a very experienced sailor with some knowledge of the rules

The professional captain observer with many hundreds of transits of the specific narrow channel in only large powerboats

The 32-year professional captain in the other vessel who has been thru the channel one time.

The professional captain with 26 years experience in and thousands of transits of the specific narrow channel in large and small sailboats

The professional captain who manages the 6-boat handicapped dinghy sailing program which has used the channel for many years and has seen or executed many thousands of transits

And there seems to be very little consensus about which rule applies and how to interpret any rule that might apply

Those captains with thousands of transits seem to think Rule 18 and 13 are applicable. Those captains have managed hundreds of interactions between relatively large powerboats and 15' sailing dinghies with absolutely no problems.

The Captain new to the channel, in his first transit, insisted only Rule 9 applies and in his first transit of the channel comes into conflict with a dinghy sailor who is now very confused about the rules.

The observer captain has now filed a complaint with the marina management about the actions of the captain new to the channel. The marina management has talked to all the captains involved, and me, and has said:
"we have had dinghy sailing in that channel for many years with no problems - you guys get your acts together and figure this thing out! It was not a problem before Saturday and it should not be a problem in the future if you act like reasonable adults rather than spoiled children."

Dockhead, who has not seen the channel takes an intermediate position which highlights the problems with determining which rule applies

- can a small dinghy impede an almost small boat under power in a channel that is nine times the beam of the boat under power?

- is a boat doing 3.5 knots in a 5 knot channel impeding anyone?

- should a dinghy sailing up a channel be expected to short tack within the starboard side of the channel (27 yards or 87 feet) that is only five times the length of the dinghy?

It appears impossible to find any objective determination here! And the marina manager, also a USCG captain with considerable experience, has offered the proper solution.
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Old 18-06-2014, 09:55   #86
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

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It appears impossible to find any objective determination here! And the marina manager, also a USCG captain with considerable experience, has offered the proper solution.
Drum roll! And the proper solution is? (we wait with bated breath - no, we are still breathing)
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Old 18-06-2014, 10:06   #87
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

He doesn't get it, won't ever get it. He convinced against his will, remains unconvinced still. He must be right. 100% right. I guess now we understand completely that he only wanted the views of those who agreed with him. He found a couple on shore who he says did. Wonder if their interpretation matches his. We're getting theirs third hand. Still the views expressed by knowledgeable boaters here on this site are consistent and nearly unanimous, but unacceptable to Tacoma. Makes you wonder, if he finds the views on this site so wrong, then why does he come here to discuss it. Obviously no one here, in his opinion, knows anything about what they're talking about.

But then none of us have boated 42 years without ever coming close to colliding with another boat. Of course I guess close in his view is within 3 feet, since obviously 45 feet isn't close. Well, I admit, I've come close as I've had boats cut in front of me where I had to back off and turn. Well, I considered it close and it wasn't even under 45 feet. But then my definition of close is way different than Tacoma's.

All I know is if I saw Tacoma in the waterway in front of me, I'd stay way back, because he's going to be busy reading his Colregs and taking whatever path he then interprets within his rights to take and just ignoring what might be going on around him.

Do you drive the same way on the road? Guess I learned defensive driving in driver's training and it's stuck with me. Defensive driving principles do still apply on the water. More important than all the Colregs ever written. That is if your true intent is to avoid accidents instead of just being able to argue in court after one.
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Old 18-06-2014, 10:44   #88
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Having read the first post and a few after, and the last few, I am wondering why this has so much mileage. If you are tacking in the channel and a vessel wishes to overtake you, why not just luff up for a few seconds and let him pass? Under the overtaking rules the stand on vessel has the obligation to hold course and speed until the overtaking vessel has gotten clear, the overtaking vessel has the burden of staying clear of the stand on vessel, which in this circumstance might be more difficult due to the fact the stand on vessel is continuously moving back and forth across the channel. Regardless, both vessels have the obligation to avoid a collision. Were I in this situation aboard the sailing vessel, I would have luffed up and let the power boat by and went on my merry way with a smile and a wave. A little courtesy goes a long way.
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Old 18-06-2014, 11:09   #89
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

For those interested in voting on the poll question, it is multiple choice which means you can select more than one rule.
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Old 18-06-2014, 11:38   #90
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Re: Narrow Channel Overtaking and Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
So here we are!

Let us review the players in this drama

Dockhead who is an obviously knowledgeable and experienced commentator and interpreter of the the rules.

Me - a very experienced sailor with some knowledge of the rules

The professional captain observer with many hundreds of transits of the specific narrow channel in only large powerboats

The 32-year professional captain in the other vessel who has been thru the channel one time.

The professional captain with 26 years experience in and thousands of transits of the specific narrow channel in large and small sailboats

The professional captain who manages the 6-boat handicapped dinghy sailing program which has used the channel for many years and has seen or executed many thousands of transits

And there seems to be very little consensus about which rule applies and how to interpret any rule that might apply

Those captains with thousands of transits seem to think Rule 18 and 13 are applicable. Those captains have managed hundreds of interactions between relatively large powerboats and 15' sailing dinghies with absolutely no problems.

The Captain new to the channel, in his first transit, insisted only Rule 9 applies and in his first transit of the channel comes into conflict with a dinghy sailor who is now very confused about the rules.

The observer captain has now filed a complaint with the marina management about the actions of the captain new to the channel. The marina management has talked to all the captains involved, and me, and has said:
"we have had dinghy sailing in that channel for many years with no problems - you guys get your acts together and figure this thing out! It was not a problem before Saturday and it should not be a problem in the future if you act like reasonable adults rather than spoiled children."

Dockhead, who has not seen the channel takes an intermediate position which highlights the problems with determining which rule applies

- can a small dinghy impede an almost small boat under power in a channel that is nine times the beam of the boat under power?

- is a boat doing 3.5 knots in a 5 knot channel impeding anyone?

- should a dinghy sailing up a channel be expected to short tack within the starboard side of the channel (27 yards or 87 feet) that is only five times the length of the dinghy?

It appears impossible to find any objective determination here! And the marina manager, also a USCG captain with considerable experience, has offered the proper solution.
ROFLMAO.

The marina manager of course is right. Because he's applying Rule 2!!!

The only one which really matters in this case.

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