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Old 26-01-2011, 00:02   #46
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Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
WRONG. Cal40 John has it. The sailboat unneccesarily impeded the passage of the power boat as well as forced to power boat to make not one but two emergency reverse power stops to avoid a collision.
As I understand it, a sailboat was tacking upwind through the channel. The power boat was going down wind. The powerboat should have anticipated the movements of the sailboat, and as the burdened vessel, the powerboat should have maneuvered to avoid the sailboat. Sorry, CapnBill, a couple of early movements of your rudder could have easily avoided the situation without the drama.
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Old 26-01-2011, 00:56   #47
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I own and sail both an 18 foot beach cat and a 43 foot yacht. Until last year, both boats were at the same marina. To leave the beach on our cats, we had to sail across the channel. I cannot think of a single time when a boat under power did not give way to us; and am very surprised at the OP for confessing to such discourtesy anywhere other than in the confessions forum.

Oh, and as for 'sticking the fans on'; I assume you're talking about the engine? Did this iddy widdy little 20ft sailboat have an engine? We don't on our cats.

If OP had tried to use his brain to anticipate the tack (and being a sailor, hopefully he knew such a thing would happen), he could have shown a little bit of courtesy.
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Old 26-01-2011, 00:57   #48
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Capn Billl, Not that it matters since no harm was done, but was this fairway in a marina? I know of several where canvas on the sticks is illegal and warrants a county citation. It doesn't matter who is in the wrong if there is a collision, it's a bad day. Avoidance is ALWAYS THE SKIPPERS RESPONSIBILITY . We here in the NW have a new intriguing rule, if we don't lay off ferrys and military craft, the coast guard shoots flare guns at us. So much for sail right of way, I won't risk burning my sails.
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Old 26-01-2011, 03:19   #49
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Four pages in 9 hours. Not bad. Slow day at the office ?
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Old 26-01-2011, 03:26   #50
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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
my palm-racer hands were in the same position. Boatman61, alternately, saw the powered vessel having its wind on the nose. I don't see how that is possible, given the initial scenario, if it was on the right side of the channel.
If they were travelling in opposite directions then there would only be time for one pass across the bow... opposing speeds would have prevented a second encounter.... furthermore same direction is the only way the sailboat could come from the port side on that tack... and recross from 'Powers' starbd...
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Old 26-01-2011, 06:18   #51
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I found this quote a few years ago on the USCG website. It has since been taken down, so I can't attribute it to an author, but this pretty much sums it up:

Quote:
The International Navigation Rules do not confer upon any vessel the right of way; however, certain vessels in sight of each other are responsible to keep out of the way of others…Navigation Rules should be regarded as a code of conduct and not a bill of rights. They do not bestow rights or privileges, but impose the duty to either give-way or stand-on, dependent on the circumstances…Finally, all this said, the ordinary practice of seamen requires precaution under all conditions and circumstances and not strict adherence to the rules or any other practice. Although strict adherence may not always be prudent, the Rules are very precise in stating that nothing shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect (Rule 2). Neglect, among other things, could be not maintaining a proper look-out (Rule 5), use of improper speed (Rule 6), not taking the appropriate actions to determine and avoid collision (Rules 7 & Rule 8) or completely ignoring your responsibilities under the Rules
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Old 26-01-2011, 06:38   #52
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the sailboat's initial tack was improper. As the stand-on vessel in that crossing, it should have maintained its course and speed, which would have carried it over to the side of the fairway away from the power vessel.
Exactly! It's a subtle question -- a good exercise.

Forget the words "right of way" -- there is no such thing on the water. There are stand-on and give-way vessels -- a different thing, especially in a situation like this.

Being under sail, the smaller boat was the stand-on vessel unless the larger boat was constrained by draft etc. -- a different problem. Let's assume that the fairway was wide enough for maneuvering and there was no constrained by draft problem: he should have maintained speed and course in order to allow the give-way vessel to maneuver out of the close-quarters situation. He had no right to create a close-quarters situation by tacking right into the path of the other vessel.

If, on the other hand, the larger boat was restricted to the channel by constraints of draft, and the smaller boat was not, and the channel was not wide enough to maneuver, then the larger boat was the stand-on vessel, and the smaller vessel would have been burdened with maneuvering first to get out of the close-quarters situation, while the larger boat maintained course and speed. So the same result: the smaller boat should not have changed course in a way to create a close-quarters situation.


I think few sailors quite understand any of this. I have had more than once a similar situation in Poole Harbor in England, which is an enormous natural harbor with lots of dinghy sailing. But unlike Plymouth, say, or others of the larger natural harbors of the South Coast, Poole is very shallow, and a boat like mine, drawing about 2.5 meters, cannot venture outside of the dredged channels except at high tide. The local sailors fly back and forth oblivious to the traffic in the channels, often tacking right under your bows. They seem to have a death-wish, or else they simply don't understand that a crash stop in a 20-odd ton vessel travelling at 6 knots takes a few boat lengths, or a couple hundred feet of space. I once gave the regulation horn signal in such a situation and got a royal cursing out from the dinghy skipper, complete with the waving of fists.
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Old 26-01-2011, 06:52   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saucy Sailoress View Post
I own and sail both an 18 foot beach cat and a 43 foot yacht. Until last year, both boats were at the same marina. To leave the beach on our cats, we had to sail across the channel. I cannot think of a single time when a boat under power did not give way to us; and am very surprised at the OP for confessing to such discourtesy anywhere other than in the confessions forum.

Oh, and as for 'sticking the fans on'; I assume you're talking about the engine? Did this iddy widdy little 20ft sailboat have an engine? We don't on our cats.

If OP had tried to use his brain to anticipate the tack (and being a sailor, hopefully he knew such a thing would happen), he could have shown a little bit of courtesy.
You might want to brush up on Rule 9, Narrow Channels.

"b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway."

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=Rule09

To cross a channel in your beach cat in such a way as to force vessels which can safely navigate only within the channel to maneuver is a violation of the rules of navigation.

Besides that, it is a discourtesy, in my opinion, to cross a channel in your beach cat in a way that forces other boats to maneuver. You should have been heaving-to, or sailing around, to let bigger boats pass through the channel, before crossing, and you should have been taking that action in an obvious and early way so that the other skipper could clearly read your intentions, so that he could maintain his course and speed as required by the rules, and pass on out of your way.


I am often in the opposite situation with my deep draft boat. Following the rule (which I think is more important than any of the formal Rules of Navigation) that it is good seamanship and good manners to avoid close quarters situations from ever forming in the first place, without regard for who is the stand-on vessel, by taking early action, I will always alter speed or course very early to avoid a situation with, say, a Hobie Cat which I can see is trying to cross my channel, even though I am the stand-on vessel.

But I am not even allowed by the rules to do this unless it is early enough that a close quarters situation is not yet imminent. After that, I am required by the rules to maintain my course and speed so that the other skipper can calculate an effective maneuver to stay out of or get out of a close quarters situation. The rules are written that way to avoid situations where both skippers are maneuvering at the same time so that neither can calculate an effective maneuver.

By crossing channels in front of vessels constrained by draft, in a small sailboat not constrained by draft, you were creating a bad situation. The other skipper would be required to maintain course and speed until your intention to violate the rules became obvious, then he would be forced to take emergency action to avoid a collision. I think, not very considerate, IMHO.
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Old 26-01-2011, 07:31   #54
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Have a headache trying to work out what was going on

But thought I would just throw in that going up a fairway a good chance that the wind direction will not be a constant, as winds funnel down the channel and also from down the surrounding hillsides / valleys..........maybe not a 180 change, but I wouldn't rely on the sailing vessel doing exactly as expected on a return Zag, or even all the way accross on the initial Zig

IMO the powerboat should have kept a steady course and speed (but been prepared to stop or change direction quickly, albeit I don't think slowing down was improper - and depending on original speed would have been prudent). IMO the sailing boat should have anticipated the possibility that the powerboat may decrease (or increase) speed (and been prepared to deal with - even if not conveniant). If the Sailing boat felt that crossing under the bow was dangerous (or relied upon the powerboat slowing / taking avoiding action) he should not have done it (and therefore blame down to him, even if not exclusively - other Captain is trying to avoid a collision, but is not your keeper) - even if the price of that is inconveniance from stopping / reversing course.

Of course size is important - no matter what the col regs may say
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:26   #55
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Besides that, it is a discourtesy, in my opinion, to cross a channel in your beach cat in a way that forces other boats to maneuver.
It seems I didn't phrase myself very well, and I seem to have incited some unnecessary anger. At no stage did I say we forced boats to maneuver. What I said was that they'd give way to us. I implied that was a courteous action, by stating that for the OP to not do so was discourteous.

Secondly, at no stage did I say they were limited in their ability to maneuver. I'm not stupid, or headstrong; neither do I have a deathwish.

Oh, and here the 5 knot speed limit within the marina channels imposed gives the boats under engine plenty of time to slow down - which I believe is not possible in theUS where apparently you all hare around like lunatics
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:28   #56
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Having said all that, I do think it is fairly prudent to cross behind the larger boat's stern, where possible. On account of not being an idiot or having a deathwish.
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Old 26-01-2011, 10:09   #57
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Having said all that, I do think it is fairly prudent to cross behind the larger boat's stern, where possible. On account of not being an idiot or having a deathwish.
Yes, certainly, and that is what I would recommend.

I did not intend to express any anger, nor did I think anyone else did, and I'm sorry if anything I wrote seemed to imply that.

If the boats you were encountering were deep enough draft that they could not operate outside the channel, then you would have been the give-way vessel at all times. It does not matter that they were making only 5 knots or could slow down. The idea of "restricted by draft" has nothing to do with speed, and has only to do only with whether or not you can maneuver outside of a channel. In any case, a larger vessel travelling at 5 knots can take hundreds of feet to crash-stop.

If they were maneuvering to let you pass ahead of them a long time before a close-quarters situation became imminent, then there was no problem. That's the way I behave in a channel where it is reasonable and practical. But if you were creating a situation where they needed to maneuver to avoid you, then this is problematic for the reasons stated above. Vessels travelling in a channel which cannot maneuver outside that channel are not supposed to "give way" to sailboats not so restricted. They are the stand-on vessels in that case, and they are required by the ColRegs to maintain their course and speed while you maneuver to resolve the close-quarters situation, once the close-quarters situation has become imminent.

The ColRegs don't create anything like a "right of way", like we have on roads. They specify who is supposed to maneuver, and who is supposed to hold course and speed, in order to avoid a collision. In this case, it is the smaller sailing vessel not restricted to the channel which is supposed to maneuver and avoid.

Therefore it is not good seamanship and it is not in accord with the ColRegs to blithely sail across a channel, expecting bigger vessels to manuever out of your way, which is what I thought you were advocating. I apologize if I misunderstood what you were saying.
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Old 26-01-2011, 10:31   #58
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Old 26-01-2011, 10:54   #59
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A 45 foot sailboat is under power moving down the right side of a fairly wide fairway. The vessel under power slows as a 20 foot sailboat tacks from port to starboard directly across its bow. After the small boat passes and is well to starboard, the larger boat speeds up to cross behind the smaller boat's stern. The smaller boat under sail then tacks back across the channel in the opposite direction directly in front of the vessel under power creating immediate danger in a crossing situation. I would appreciate thoughts on who is at fault.

Thanks,

Bob
I do this a lot here,where "Channels" of all sizes and lots of traffic are the norm.As described,the sailboat is inconsiderate but not exactly "at fault" Don't assume the sailboat did it from malice or stupidity -there might be another reason.
Staying clear means staying clear.Given "fairly wide channel"The motorvessel could wait until there was no possibility of the closehauled sailboat EVER being able to hit it..ie as she begins a tack on the other side of the channel..The motoring sailboat could also toot her whistle"I am going to starboard / port" etc..To inform.The sailboat might even respond-one long blast and two toots =port tack?

That said,when I am the sailboat,I generally time it and otherwise make it easy for the motorboat.after all, time is not the essence?abrd a sailboat.One way is to short tack to centerchannel and back...but I must choose the best wind-side ahead of time.Also, handy sailboats (that can regain way quickly)even have the option of tacking on the far side and feathering slowly to considerately let a larger boat by....

Given both boats were going the same way "downchannel" the motorvessel can as well be seen as "Overtaking" .I mention this because I have had tacking sailboats overtake me in a similar situation and then look snarky when I don't easily give way to starboard tack....
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Old 26-01-2011, 15:25   #60
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WRONG. Cal40 John has it.

I might be a bit biased, as I was the power boat driver in that exact situation. But In both situations the sailboat had the option of waiting just a few more seconds until the power boat was clear, and both vessels would never have crossed paths. As it was the captain of the sailboat chose to intentionally force a near collision based on a very dubious interpretation of the rules that put both vessels in danger...Unnecessesarily.
In my case just as the sailboat which was headed away from me on a wide fairway it suddenly changed course and cut across directly in front of my bow, while chanting on the radio, "sailboats have the right of way, sailboats have the right of way"...then the wind died, leaving the sailboat stopped dead in front of me. I had no time to cut throttle only a second to pull both shift levers in reverse, risking engine, transmission, and drive shafts, to do a full reverse power stop. I missed hitting him by less than a foot, my bow pulpit scraped his shrouds. A slightly heavier boat, ... a few more miles an hour, ... full gas tanks, ...water tanks, 1 more second of reaction time... and there would have been two more boats of the bottom of that bay.

Be safe folks.
If you bicycle don't swerve in front of traffic, if you are walking on a sidewalk don't jump in front of a bus, and if you sail a sailboat don't tack in front of a power boat going 5-10 times your speed.

There is enough water out there for everybody, simple courtesy and common sense will make everyone safer.

The behavior of the sailboat operator in your example was reprehensible. Is that behavior frequent in your area? Did you follow them to their mooring and give them a piece of or mind or better yet, call the incident in to the marine police? In my waters up here in NJ, the local CG station and marine police keep tabs on mariners with frequent anti-social incidents on the water. Unfortunately, it reflects on all sailboaters.
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