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Old 20-12-2007, 20:11   #1
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Overtaking vs Port/Starboard Tack

Aloha All,

I really truly believe I know the answer but need a little bit of help. In racing Starboard tack over Port at all times even in a downwind overtaking situation.

When sailing on Starboard tack and overtaking a Port tack boat and not racing, what is the rule? I believe it is that an overtaking boat is the burdened vessel whether port or starboard tack. I'd like to know the rule description and rule number if anyone has it handy.

Thanks in advance.

Kind Regards,

JohnL
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Old 20-12-2007, 20:13   #2
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Overtaking vessel gives way (avoids other vessels)as far as i'm concerned.

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Old 20-12-2007, 20:18   #3
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The International Navigation Rules (which every US Vessel is legally required to have on board) state:

Rule 12
(a)When two sailing vessels are approaching one another, so as to involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the way of the other as follows:
    1. when each has the wind on a different side, the vessel which has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of the other;
    2. when both have the wind on the same side, the vessel which is to windward shall keep out of the way of the vessel which is to leeward;
    3. if a vessel with the wind on the port side sees a vessel to windward and cannot determine with certainty whether the other vessel has the wind on the port or on the starboard side, she shall keep out of the way of the other.
(b)For the purposes of this Rule the windward side shall be deemed to be the side opposite that on which the mainsail is carried or, in the case of a square-rigged vessel, the side opposite to that on which the largest fore-and-aft sail is carried.
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Old 20-12-2007, 20:56   #4
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I should also post rule 13:

RULE 13
OVERTAKING
(a)Notwithstanding anything contained in the Rules [of Part B, Sections I and II / 4 through 18], any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken.
(b)A vessel shall be deemed to be overtaking when coming up with a another vessel from a direction more than 22.5 degrees abaft her beam, that is, in such a position with reference to the vessel she is overtaking, that at night she would be able to see only the sternlight of that vessel but neither of her sidelights.
(c)When a vessel is in any doubt as to whether she is overtaking another, she shall assume that this is the case and act accordingly.
(d)Any subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels shall not make the overtaking vessel a crossing vessel within the meaning of these Rules or relieve her of the duty of keeping clear of the overtaken vessel until she is finally past and clear.
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Old 21-12-2007, 04:00   #5
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Crikey, theres a bit of techno talk above!

You are thinking about an overlap. When an overtaking boat is pluggin up from aft and he is the windward boat you can push him up to windward till he luffs as you have the right of way as you are the leeward boat, but when he has established an overlap, i.e he is now clear ahead, you have to back off. (Masts abreast)

The reason is very weird and has something to do with the leeward boat being allowed to intentionally obstruct the windward boat - which you can't do because of avoiding collisions at sea. But you can when you know both boats are heading in the same direction and a collision is not imminent.


But the overlap rule doesn’t apply when you are on opposite tacks. *burp* Nor can it apply when you are not racing because you don't 'know' where the other boat is going.


Did I explain this well enough? LOL

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Old 21-12-2007, 06:46   #6
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Starboard has rights over port up or down wind. Going around marks within the two boat circle gets a bit confusing though.

When overtaking a boat from leeward on a downwind leg you have rights. The windward boat must move.
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Old 21-12-2007, 08:00   #7
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Good grief, this is scary. Raptor Dance posted the answer in black and white. Overlaps only matter in racing. Any vessel overtaking another is give way. Period. End of story.

Brett
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Old 21-12-2007, 08:35   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joli View Post
When overtaking a boat from leeward on a downwind leg you have rights. The windward boat must move.
I'm confused. Downwind leg -- wind is behind everyone. Overtaking -- catching up from behind. How the heck can the overtaking boat be anything BUT the windward boat? I think "overtaking a boat from leeward on a downwind leg" is impossible.
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Old 21-12-2007, 09:30   #9
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Auspicious - confusing yes, impossible no. When the wind is well aft - to dead down wind, you are correct. However, if the wind is just aft of the beam you are technically downwind. So, picture 2 boats reaching: one boat can be to leeward and ahead and slower to its neighbor to weather; creating that scenario.
IMHO - As pointed out, the rules posted are black and white; and I find, occasionally clear as mud. In reading through I find people are confusing racing and non racing situations; though the original post clearly state non racing. This is an important point, because racing rules dictate a course of action for racing situations such as mark rounding. Navigation Rules make no mention of inside overlap, or proper course! Also, for example, Navigation Rules say that a boat overtaking another must give way; while racing rules say a boat going downwind on starboard tack can overtake with rights, a boat on port tack.
Navigation Rules posted by RaptorDance are clear, but missing one point. You may be technically right on a right of way situation, but if you do not take action to avoid a collision you are just as wrong as the other person. Sounds obvious, but I’ve seen a pile of collisions when the person in the right would not yield – “right up to impact”. Always be alert and ready to take action! I remember one port/starboard T-bone event. What the boat on starboard did not realize was that the boat on port had a winch override. Problem 1) Port tack boat has impaired maneuverability. Problem 2) Port tack boat was preoccupied with fixing the override and did not see the starboard tack boat to signal/evade. Problem 3) Starboard tack boat assumed port tack boat would alter course as they should. They did not. Crash! Problem 4) If I recall correctly, the starboard tack boat skipper was steaming mad right up until he was found liable for not avoiding the collision.
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Old 21-12-2007, 09:35   #10
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Kind of a funny rule.

Imagine you are starboard with the sym kite up at a true angle of 162, there is a boat to the left (to leeward) on starboard also with an assy up sailing an angle of 147 true. They are behind but sailng faster and you are going to meet and a point 300 yards down the course. That leeward boat has rights when you meet. You can: a) go up with them to 147 true. b) slow down a touch (go deeper) and go behind them, c) go bang. The bottom line is, boats diving deep with sym kites must watch to leeward and behind for boats sailing hotter angles at faster speeds (usually sprit boats and multis). Screwy huh.

Then it gets loud at the leeward marke when they try to come in from behind with more speed but no overlap before the two boat length circle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auspicious View Post
I'm confused. Downwind leg -- wind is behind everyone. Overtaking -- catching up from behind. How the heck can the overtaking boat be anything BUT the windward boat? I think "overtaking a boat from leeward on a downwind leg" is impossible.
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Old 21-12-2007, 11:33   #11
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Aloha Bill and Brett,
Thanks for the rules. I have them and have read them. My question is: Does the port vs starboard rule apply going dead downwind for non racers like it does for racers?
If you are a starboard boat overtaking a port tack boat going dead downwind are you the burdened vessel?
I think Brett said yes.
My buddy the retired Matson skipper said yes.
Thanks
JohnL
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Old 21-12-2007, 11:56   #12
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Non racing situation: YES.
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Old 21-12-2007, 12:43   #13
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"The International Navigation Rules (which every US Vessel is legally required to have on board) state: "
Yes they do, but No no no.

Every US vessel is not required to have them on board. Offhand, that applies to commercially licensed vessels and pleasure craft over 38(?) feet OAL, the typical mass of US pleasure sailors (18-28' staying inland) are NOT required to have them aboard at all.

And, in the US we refer to "COLREGS", as shorthand for the "International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea" published here in the US as "U.S.C.G. Navigation Rules, International--Inland" Publication CG-169.

International rules and regulations are all nice and fine--but inside of the demarcation line, we follow our own "Inland Rules" from the same book.

Since COLREGS is available as a tiny HTML download from many sources, there's no reason for any boater not to download a free copy and be familiar with it, required or otherwise.
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Old 21-12-2007, 14:11   #14
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Aloha John. (Feels good to say 'aloha' while I'm sitting here looking at snow out my window). I think you are feeling the same frustration every skipper feels at some point while searching for a definitive answer based on the rules of the road, be they inland or international. The rules mostly give contingent answers, so their application is in large part dependent on the timeline of situation you are in. Nearly every case study I've read involving collision at sea assigns at least partial blame to both vessels. So mental exercises asking "what if's" can only get you so far. Tell me you are approaching another vessel from greater than 22.5deg abaft of her beam, I'll tell you that you are give-way. Wind direstion and sail set is irrelevant. Move further down the timeline until you are in extremis, both vessels are required to maneuver. Should a collision occur, both skippers will be liable. That's about as definitive an answer as the rules will give you.

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Old 21-12-2007, 14:49   #15
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Rule 17

Quote:
Originally Posted by LtBrett View Post
Nearly every case study I've read involving collision at sea assigns at least partial blame to both vessels. So mental exercises asking "what if's" can only get you so far.
Brett
Rule 17
(a)
    1. Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and speed.
    2. The latter vessel may however take action to avoid collision by her maneuver alone, as soon as it becomes apparent to her that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriate action in compliance with these Rules.
(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.




Isn't this rule the reason why partial blame is usually assigned? Even if you're right and you know you are right, slamming into the other doofus who is wrong is going to net you some problems.
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