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Old 13-04-2015, 09:38   #76
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
....
Remember that Rule 2 considers cases like this --

"In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger."

That means that a much faster vessel must consider the fact that a much slower vessel is much less able to take effective avoiding action, to the point of actually making a departure from the other rules if necessary.

You see this in action every day in the Channel with the high speed monster cat ferries, which travel at 40+ knots, or in the Solent with the Red Jets. These ultra high speed vessels do not do any standing-on, and thus depart from the Rules. They steer around all the rest of traffic like it was standing still -- which it is, in relative terms. This is correct, allowed, and even required by the Rules.


One thing that leisure sailors often fail to understand -- especially those of the "aggressive ignorance" school ["I don't need no stinkin COLREGS; I just follow the rule of tonnage, which is all you need to know"] -- is that very often they have no clue about the limitations of their own maneuvers. They are often not capable of detecting a potential collision in the first place; they are not aware of what is happening 10 miles and more away from them; and they don't understand that they are far less, not more maneuverable than a large ship, in open water. They think they will just "dart out of the way" when they see a "big scary ship", without understanding that this "darting" cannot be effective because of the difference in speed. This type of WAFI behavior is very well known to professional mariners, who generally maneuver early not just to avoid a collision with the WAFI, but actually to avoid even being in a configuration where the WAFI can dart into his way, when he suddenly wakes up and sees the ship three or four miles away. This is often the same guy who congratulates himself on "giving up his right of way", when in fact his maneuvers for "giving up his right away" are far too late and totally ineffective, because of the relative speed between the vessels, and he has not had problems only because the pros were anticipating his stupidity, and maneuvered early to avoid any problem (typically more than 10 miles out).

This same kind of sailboat skipper will often tell you that he's "never seen a ship maneuver to avoid a sailboat" -- LOL! That's because by the time he is even aware that ships are there, the maneuvers are long over already!

Sorry for again being so boring on this subject; as you can tell it's one of my pet peeves -- that we should all really try much harder not to be WAFIs. For that, you need to understand the rules and techniques of collision avoidance at the same level which is required of professional mariners. Unfortunately few of us do. Which would not be a problem if people were at least willing to learn.
I am very aware of that and as a sailor that sails a considerably number of miles on high density traffic zones I am very careful about that and when it seems to me that there is some possibility of collision course I always call the Ship by radio and till know they never failed to respond even if like on the last one the reply was just "I see you" in bad English

Sometimes when does make a big difference I just let them pass, giving way and passing on the stern. Last year having doubts with a Turkish cargo ship I just opened the course and passed on his stern, so close that when I was passing I saw half a dozen sailors running to the stern to see if I had made a clear passage. You should see their frighten faces and the big laughter when I waved and smiled at them

I have confidence on their skills as professionals what I am always concerned is they had see me or not, specially in bad meteorological conditions or at night. I have much more confidence on their skills and knowledge than in what regards other fellow yachtsmen.
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:42   #77
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
I don't know about a 'Yachtmaster' course in the UK. But I do know that doing a 'Coxswains' here you can have no problem. You will not fail it. And yes, I have a Coxswain. As long as you know what it means. (But, I acknkwedge that perhaps I'm wrong and 'right of way' in the US is absolute. That would explain the US attrocious mv stats). Here, I suspect you would 'fail' a Yachtmaster course, not for using the term 'right of way' but because you don't know what a 'stand on vessel' is. If you can't explain the term, that would certainly get you a fail and so it should. And frankly, if the Brits are still so stuffy that 'terminology' matters more than understanding and comprehension, then I'm glad us convicts have evolved to a higher understanding.

Mate this is exactly Incorrect. A large component of the Coxswains course is learning and understanding collision and domestic regulations verbatim. Failure to understand and have the ability to answer any questions using the terminology found in the COLREGS would lead to failing the exam. Of course there's a difference between doing the course, understanding the course and also passing the final exam, which is a one on one verbal and practical examination with a ships master. Many people simply do the course and don't do the exam.
The COLREGS are international so there's no point claiming Tassie or anywhere else is exempt when sailing international waters and also no point slanging off at other mariners that have it right, regardless of their nationality. So by all means continue to argue blindly that you have 'right of way' but please don't claim that's it has anything to do with being Australian as it's embarrassing for the rest of us.
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:47   #78
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

Excuse my use of 'right of way' - old school - replace taht with 'Stand on' vessel.

And the regs are *clear*

Rule 2, which provides that "[i]n construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger." Rule 2(b).
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:49   #79
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Originally Posted by med View Post
That signal does not mean danger. It means "what are your intentions?".
It means "danger".

This thread (argument) will probably go on for a dozen pages, but trying to get the public to understand the term "stand on vessel" rather than "right of way" is about as useless as getting them to stop saying "Kleenex" when they are talking about any facial tissue or "Jet Ski" when they are talking about personal watercraft.

The term "right of way" is often seen on websites and in rule books. It's something that's easy to understand and already in the public's vocabulary.
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:50   #80
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
I am very aware of that and as a sailor that sails a considerably number of miles on high density traffic zones I am very careful about that and when it seems to me that there is some possibility of collision course I always call the Ship by radio and till know they never failed to respond even if like on the last one the reply was just "I see you" in bad English

Sometimes when does make a big difference I just let them pass, giving way and passing on the stern. Last year having doubts with a Turkish cargo ship I just opened the course and passed on his stern, so close that when I was passing I saw half a dozen sailors running to the stern to see if I had made a clear passage. You should see their frighten faces and the big laughter when I waved and smiled at them

I have confidence on their skills as professionals what I am always concerned is they had see me or not, specially in bad meteorological conditions or at night. I have much more confidence on their skills and knowledge than in what regards other fellow yachtsmen.
All sounds like good practice

I think the single most important thing in collision avoidance is probably awareness. Being able to detect a potential collision at all (!), and then also far enough out (10 miles plus) to plan your maneuvers properly. AIS is a revolutionary tool for this, of course. Without AIS, you really have to work, in high density areas -- it can be almost unfeasible for a single hander (I'm the witness -- having once single-handed into the Elbe Estuary ).
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:54   #81
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Originally Posted by med View Post
That signal does not mean danger. It means "what are your intentions?".
In fact it means both things:

When vessels in sight of one another are approaching each other and from any cause either vessel fails to understand the intentions or actions of the other, or is in doubt whether sufficient action is being taken by the other to avoid collision, the vessel in doubt shall immediately indicate such doubt by giving at least five short and rapid blasts on
the whistle.
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Old 13-04-2015, 09:57   #82
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Originally Posted by nekkidsailin View Post
Excuse my use of 'right of way' - old school - replace taht with 'Stand on' vessel.

And the regs are *clear*

Rule 2, which provides that "[i]n construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger." Rule 2(b).
Until 1972, you would have been right, so if you learned before then, you might have even been taught like that.

Before 1972, there was no concept of "stand on" and "give way" vessels -- it was called "privileged" and "burdened". These terms were abolished together with anything else which implied a right of way at sea -- specifically for this purpose. It was one of the main issues of the 1972 IMO conference in London which formulated the new rules.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:00   #83
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
This thread (argument) will probably go on for a dozen pages, but trying to get the public to understand the term "stand on vessel" rather than "right of way" is about as useless as getting them to stop saying "Kleenex" when they are talking about any facial tissue or "Jet Ski" when they are talking about personal watercraft.

The term "right of way" is often seen on websites and in rule books. It's something that's easy to understand and already in the public's vocabulary.
You may be right, but the consequences of not understanding these concepts are a lot more serious than the consequences of misusing trademarks.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:01   #84
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Under US Inland rules 5 blasts means Danger, under international rule in means what are your intentions. I don't know what it means in Thai inland rules or whether the skipper in question was operating under international rules or some local rules. As an American I think that its unfortunate that there should be different meanings and more unfortunate that some people don't know there are different meanings. So for all you non Americans, if you come to visit us remember that once you cross the colregs demarcation line, 5 blasts means danger.
I think inland rules are only valid for interior waterways and I am sure Colregs are the same on the US as in the Europe (except separation traffic scheme).

Regardind the Colregs, has I have said, the 5 blast means both: "what are your intentions" or a danger signal in case one considers that there are collision risk.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:10   #85
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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All sounds like good practice

... AIS is a revolutionary tool for this, of course. Without AIS, you really have to work, in high density areas -- it can be almost unfeasible for a single hander (I'm the witness -- having once single-handed into the Elbe Estuary ).
Probably you know that but some care has to be taken with AIS on some situations. The signal for yachts is not the same as for ships and in really big density traffic, like the Solent, ships disconnect the yacht AIS information simply because it is too much information. That can give a false sense of security to a yacht that has AIS on that situation. The skipper will assume that it is been seen clearly and it may not be the case.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:24   #86
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Probably you know that but some care has to be taken with AIS on some situations. The signal for yachts is not the same as for ships and in really big density traffic, like the Solent, ships disconnect the yacht AIS information simply because it is too much information. That can give a false sense of security to a yacht that has AIS on that situation. The skipper will assume that it is been seen clearly and it may not be the case.
I agree with this -- naturally one should not rely on this system, or on a radar reflector, or on one's nav lights, or anything else, to ensure that you've been seen.

You cannot assume that you've been seen really under any circumstances, and the Rules don't require any such assumption for the rules to function correctly. That is why there is controversy about whether you should use the VHF or not -- theoretically, if you are following the rules correctly, you never need to talk to the other vessel and it doesn't matter much whether he sees you or not. If you are the stand-on vessel, and the give-way vessel doesn't maneuver, and it seems he hasn't seen you, this is not a problem if you are doing all this early enough -- you just make your own move. In fact I do use the VHF (contrary to recommendations of the MCA), but usually limit it to cases where I am stand-on and it would be inconvenient for me to maneuver because I'm hard on the wind, or would have to gybe, etc.


Where AIS is the killer app is for receiving voyage data from ships you encounter. You also can't assume that you have received AIS data from every ship or every object which could be a danger to you, so AIS does not replace a watch. But once you see a number of ships around you, AIS is far more efficient and far more accurate than other techniques in determining whether you have a risk of collision or not.

At 10 miles or more out, you simply cannot accurately determine a collision risk using only a hand bearing compass or recreational-grade radar set. That is why so many people think that ships "never maneuver to avoid recreational vessels" -- they are simply unable to detect these maneuvers at the range they are made.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:25   #87
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post
Probably you know that but some care has to be taken with AIS on some situations. The signal for yachts is not the same as for ships and in really big density traffic, like the Solent, ships disconnect the yacht AIS information simply because it is too much information. That can give a false sense of security to a yacht that has AIS on that situation. The skipper will assume that it is been seen clearly and it may not be the case.
I hear this quite often stated but have yet to speak to a ship's master that will corroborate it. AIS systems on commercial ships are quite sophisticated. They automatically call attention to any potential collision situations. Their systems already ignore yachts that are no danger of collision so there is no need to turn off the yacht (class B) signal.

There are some recreational AIS systems that cannot cope with hundreds of AIS targets due to memory constraints. But I don't think any ECDIS systems aboard commercial vessels have this problem.
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Old 13-04-2015, 10:35   #88
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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I hear this quite often stated but have yet to speak to a ship's master that will corroborate it. AIS systems on commercial ships are quite sophisticated. They automatically call attention to any potential collision situations. Their systems already ignore yachts that are no danger of collision so there is no need to turn off the yacht (class B) signal.

There are some recreational AIS systems that cannot cope with hundreds of AIS targets due to memory constraints. But I don't think any ECDIS systems aboard commercial vessels have this problem.
Some Class "A"sets do have this function, Dan, but I have never met a commercial mariner who admits to ever having used it.

It would be reckless in the extreme to intentionally shut off warnings of potential collisions, and I don't know of any professional who would ever do such a thing.

But Polux's larger point -- that you shouldn't assume that anyone sees you -- is correct, and with or without AIS is the way you are supposed behave, anyway.

If you are stand-on, you only do it for a relatively brief period, and all the while you are analyzing the encounter to see whether the potential collision has been unwound, or not, and if you are not completely sure that you have a safe CPA, then you start maneuvering yourself. You really should rarely even care very much, whether the other guy sees you or not.

You are never allowed to think to yourself "Oh, I have the right of way, so I'm just going to sail on and let others get out of my way." Which kind of gets back to the original topic.
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Old 13-04-2015, 11:49   #89
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

I do date from when the converging vessels were referred to as Privileged and Burdened. I also understand (yes, I do TransmitterDan) the Give Way and Stand On principal. I also know better than to get into such a dangerous situation, relying on "The Rules" to protect me, especially in a third world country (as opposed to a round the buoys club race).

I agree there are no absolute "rights" on the waterways (other than very specific situations enumerated in earlier posts).

At the same time, I don't recall the use of the word "obligation" anywhere, though I concede that some might interpret that from the official use of the verb "Shall". It (the term "obligation") might be a useful term to help understand the actions a skipper should take in certain situations, which is the crux of the matter.

The Stand On vessel in this case failed to act in a responsible or seamanlike manner. "The Rules" did not cause this accident. The operators involved caused it! This semantic "pissing contest", while clearly satisfying to some, fails to address the root cause. This could have been avoided by the simple actions of either party.

I agree very much with the points raised by Pollux, TransmitterDan and Dockhead. However, totally irrelevant.

Why would one ever assume that the dive boat operator understood and would follow the Colregs??

Why would one ever operate in close quarters under autopilot while away from the wheel?

Why would one not begin to take appropriate action once the first horn signal was not answered?

While bothered by the actions of both boats, the most egregious act was the pushing of the sail boat crew from the dive boat into the water and then leaving the scene. Why has this not been the focus of this discussion?

And as to the so-called American view of "rights", some of the comments have been truly off base, if not simply stupid. To try to turn this into a US bashing thread speaks poorly of many of you.
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Old 13-04-2015, 11:56   #90
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Re: Phuket! I have "Right of Way"

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
You may be right, but the consequences of not understanding these concepts are a lot more serious than the consequences of misusing trademarks.
I think it's most important to understand that unless you're dealing with a professional mariner (not a professional fisherman or crabber), it's most likely that the other boater will not be intimately familiar with the fine print of the COLREGS.

To me, that means to know what you are supposed to do and what the other boater is supposed to do but assume that he does not know it and will not do it.

Blindly heading towards a crash point, assuming the other boater will give way is stupid, just plain stupid.
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