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Old 21-01-2011, 22:16   #1
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Right of Way in Narrow Marina Fairways

Example: A large sailboat or powerboat is underpower in a narrow fairway adjacent to slips and a small 15 foot sailboat sudenly appears, creates a crossing situation, and insists on the right of way since they are under sail, creating a potential collision coarse and immediate danger. I know that the large vessel under power should do everything possible to avoid the immediate danger. My question is does the small sailboat under sail really have the right of way in a restricted area like that when it is extremely difficult for the larger vessel under power to maneuver or stop and lose steerage with significant wind? It seems that common sense would call for the small sailboat to avoid the larger vessel, but I don't see anything in the rules to that effect. Does anyone have a reference on this specific topic?

Thanks,

Bob
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Old 21-01-2011, 22:37   #2
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No such thing as right of way. Both boats have to take action to avoid collision. A boat "popping out of nowhere" needs to take care. Every boat needs to consider the ability of the other vessel to maneuver.

http://www.uspowerboating.com/USCG_Navigation_Rules.pdf
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Old 21-01-2011, 22:44   #3
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9b of the collision regs deal with sailing vessels not impeding other vessels that can safely navigate only within the fairway or narrow channel. So whilst no vessel has strict right of way over another, the dinghy in Rabend's example, should avoid the guy in the channel.
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Old 21-01-2011, 23:26   #4
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Since there is frequently restricted visibility in a marina (all those masts and boats there) and many narrow, connecting channels, who out there objects for a boat routinely sounding a prolonged signal when there is a reasonable possibility of boats meeting to let everyone concerned know "here I am"? I also believe a vessel exiting a "blind" channel onto another should signal if there is a possibility of another vessel in potential harm's way.
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Old 21-01-2011, 23:50   #5
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First: All marinas forbid sailing in their fairways as per their insurence.

Second: isn't there some rule about operating in a restricted condition? I know shipping in the SF Bay uses this rule all the time.
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Old 21-01-2011, 23:56   #6
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Second: isn't there some rule about operating in a restricted condition? I know shipping in the SF Bay uses this rule all the time.
Rule Number 9.
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Old 22-01-2011, 05:04   #7
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In OP's scenario I would expect that some sort of local regulations / by-laws apply, probably along the lines of whoever in the main channel has right of way - and removing the sail over power rule. and probably also a speed restriction.

Whether or not local laws apply, if as restricted as OP suggests and with the likelihood of vessels entering "his" channel then I would expect the large motorboat to be at displacement speed and not at full throttle ........to be prudent. A decent hooter is good for signalling intentions

Otherwise, simply run the f#cker down Sometimes Darwin needs a helping hand
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Old 22-01-2011, 07:39   #8
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Thanks very much! Rule 9B makes it crystal clear.
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Old 22-01-2011, 07:53   #9
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any boat operating in a narrow fairway would be restricted in their maneuverability and the sailboat right of way would not apply.

Stupid to be sailing in restricted waters of a marina. Do the rest of us a favor; run em down.
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Old 22-01-2011, 09:00   #10
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He was right, dead right, as he sailed along.
Now he's just as dead as if he had been wrong.

As a general rule, the boat coming out of the fairway gets the right of way. This based on the assumption that the boat in the main channel has more sea room thus is less restricted in ability to maneuver.

Lots of marinas have small sail boats zipping around. Most of those I have seen readily get out of the way not wishing to be a hazard to navigation.

The order of priority in right of way is:
Not under command
Restricted ability to maneuver
Constrained by draft (international but not included in US inland water rules)
Fishing
Sail
Power
Sea Plane

Every skipper has the responsibility to avoid collision.

George
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Old 27-01-2011, 11:52   #11
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Originally Posted by rabend View Post
Example: A large sailboat or powerboat is underpower in a narrow fairway adjacent to slips and a small 15 foot sailboat sudenly appears, creates a crossing situation, and insists on the right of way since they are under sail, creating a potential collision coarse and immediate danger. I know that the large vessel under power should do everything possible to avoid the immediate danger. My question is does the small sailboat under sail really have the right of way in a restricted area like that when it is extremely difficult for the larger vessel under power to maneuver or stop and lose steerage with significant wind? It seems that common sense would call for the small sailboat to avoid the larger vessel, but I don't see anything in the rules to that effect. Does anyone have a reference on this specific topic?

Thanks,

Bob
What side was the sailboat coming from?Port or starboard.Just curious but you know where I 'm goin'...And without the size of the basin and other details,especially from the other side,it's just a whole lot of opinions.Common sense varies boat-to-boat.But the opinions are indicative.I like the sound signal idea but it's ESPECIALLY pertinent if you listen and are able to HEAR the reply.....
However,The sailboat INSISTING on right of way may indicate they had very good reason to.Maybe Depthl,or often room to gather steerage and maneuverability after a tack...Also,paying off to pass "considerately" astern of you may also put them at risk as would a crash gybe.On a sailboat,it often seems a little work with a throttle or clutch is not too much to ask....

There's sure a lot of this "small-boat-gives-way-to-larger-boat" stuff goin around now.
"Common sense" USED to say,"gee that little boat must be having a harder time of it in this wind.Her vulnerability exceeds my own" ...but now,they're often assumed to be just plain inconsiderate of the Constraints Of My Big Boat.But they're all JUST Boats.Not Ships.
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Old 27-01-2011, 12:22   #12
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Here again I find myself at odds.... in '07 I was in Portimao (Portugal) and the Dutch ladies teams had their boats down in the marina for training in local conditions in the Algave (they were gorgeous)... major competition the following month...
Anyway... all 5 boats always sailed out and back into the Marina and on occassion I'd meet them either coming in or going out...
I... and others always used our motors to make way for them as they were restricted by wind direction etc... whereas us folk under motor had much more manouverabilty and options... forward/reverse/stop... you should be travel through with/at a suitable speed to respond to ALL/ANY situations....
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Old 27-01-2011, 22:27   #13
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any boat operating in a narrow fairway would be restricted in their maneuverability and the sailboat right of way would not apply.

Stupid to be sailing in restricted waters of a marina. Do the rest of us a favor; run em down.
RAM vessel MUST show the appropriate day shape or lights. Rule 27 B (http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=Rule27)

Agreed sailing in a marina is stupid but necessary sometimes.

9B may be in effect.

There ought be a harbour regulation.
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Old 28-01-2011, 11:44   #14
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I've sailed in and out of many marinas and had very few problems that weren't anticipated and avoided.Because a sailboat is wind-driven it is actually more maneuverable (in turning) than many motorvessels that blow hither and yon requiring huge turning circles and excessive speed and so on...An argument can be made that Motorvessels are dangerous in confined waters and need regulation...They are a hazard to rowing and sailing vessels.
But I sure don't need any more Regulation.
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