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Old 23-05-2010, 17:51   #1
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Stand-On-Boat Chicken Game

Seems sometimes that being the stand on boat is like playing a game of chicken. Today I got to play a few times and it was always with another sailboat (because we always blame the powerboaters, who today acturally slowed down a few times). And most times when it happens I really don't like the course I'm on because I'm heading for the rocks and would have liked to have tacked etc, but couldn't at the time because I needed to stand on. But just like motor boats it seems sailboats don't what to give way once they get moving along and will try to beat you to a point.

The best today was when a big J boat was running up behind me squeezing into the channel, because he was interested in blazing in the last 1/2 mile to the mooring field. I stood on while watching him, taking comfort in knowing the channel and that I could leave it if need to. But the other small boat that I was passing about 100 feet over going parallel to me must not have been aware of the J boat running up his butt and turned to stay in the channel proper. This was the closest I've seen a collision from occurring.

Guess being of the water is just like driving on the highway during rush hour; everyone is just in such a huge hurry!
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Old 23-05-2010, 18:39   #2
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Not everyone know the rules, not everyone abides by the rules, and some people will run you down if they feel that they are in the right. Some people aren't paying attention, some are out of control, and some have impaired judgment because they are operating under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

When someone behaves in an erratic or agressive manner, I will adjust accordingly, because it just isn't worth a collision. It's much easier to furl a sail, start an engine, stop the yacht, or change course to avoid all the complications associated with a collision.

It would be nice if all the crazy people stayed on shore, or at least left their problems on shore. Until that happens, it's up to each sailor to assume and prepare for the worst when there are close encounters in situations with limited maneuverability.
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Old 23-05-2010, 19:09   #3
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I don't mind giving way when I am stand on if it comes to that. Don't like being boxed in to the point that when I break it is to the only direction they will turn if they decide to finally.

In the end rules be damned, it's watch out for your self.
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Old 24-05-2010, 05:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
In the end rules be damned, it's watch out for your self.
No, that's part of the rules. Stand on until it's clear that the give way vessel is not going to do so, then take action to avoid a collision.

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Old 24-05-2010, 05:43   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Seems sometimes that being the stand on boat is like playing a game of chicken. Today I got to play a few times and it was always with another sailboat (because we always blame the powerboaters, who today acturally slowed down a few times). And most times when it happens I really don't like the course I'm on because I'm heading for the rocks and would have liked to have tacked etc, but couldn't at the time because I needed to stand on. But just like motor boats it seems sailboats don't what to give way once they get moving along and will try to beat you to a point.............
I have never considered the stand on aspect as forcing one to keep on a particular heading just because you are the stand on vessel.

If there is some valid reason alter course, then do so (assuming this doesn't cause an immediate collison) and then depending on the circumstances of new situation, you are either still the stand on vessel or now the yielding vessel - take appropriate action for the new situation.
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Old 24-05-2010, 07:25   #6
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I have never considered the stand on aspect as forcing one to keep on a particular heading just because you are the stand on vessel.

If there is some valid reason alter course, then do so (assuming this doesn't cause an immediate collison) and then depending on the circumstances of new situation, you are either still the stand on vessel or now the yielding vessel - take appropriate action for the new situation.
Thats correct, and is accepted by the maritime courts. The case I recall involved two cargo vessels, the one being overtaken was approaching a pilot station, and displaying the correct signals, and slowed down to meet the pilot boat. The over taking vessel ran into her. The court acepted that the overtaking vessel should have realised the situation.
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Old 24-05-2010, 08:33   #7
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The number one rule in the rules of the road is to take whatever steps are necessary to avoid collision no matter who has the right away. If you insist on holding course and a collision occurs and it could have been avoided by you changing course, then regardless of the situation you could be found partially or completely at fault. US Admiralty courts will typically assign a percentage of blame for each vessel involved if it goes that far.
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Old 24-05-2010, 08:38   #8
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In the end rules be damned, it's watch out for your self.
you'll cause more accidents acting that way than you'll prevent. Chances are that the skipper of the J boat was a racer and, as such, was more comfortable with the proximity of the two vessels than you were. We'll have navigational chaos out there if people adopt the "rules be damned" approach. If you are the stand-on vessel, than you are obligated to hold your course and speed until, in your mind, you must take steps to avoid an immanent collision. You have two options otherwise, the first being communication with the other vessel of your desire to make a course change (we actually have sound signals to do that), the second being to stay off the water entirely.
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Old 24-05-2010, 08:55   #9
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The #1 rule is to avoid a collision for all parties. Sometimes the stand-on vessel needs to take action other than standing on. We exist in the real world, not a perfect one.
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Old 24-05-2010, 09:11   #10
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When I cross Highway 80 uptown, I slow down and look both ways even if I have the green light. Once I saw a 1975 Cadillac blow a light and T-Bone a little Mazda who had the green light. The same goes for the water. There are rules and they should be followed, but be alert for the turkey who doesn't. A few minutes delay is far superior to death, injury, property damages, and lawsuits.
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Old 24-05-2010, 17:30   #11
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you'll cause more accidents acting that way than you'll prevent. Chances are that the skipper of the J boat was a racer and, as such, was more comfortable with the proximity of the two vessels than you were. We'll have navigational chaos out there if people adopt the "rules be damned" approach. If you are the stand-on vessel, than you are obligated to hold your course and speed until, in your mind, you must take steps to avoid an immanent collision. You have two options otherwise, the first being communication with the other vessel of your desire to make a course change (we actually have sound signals to do that), the second being to stay off the water entirely.
Maybe you should start the read at the beginning before trashing a single comment! The whole start was standing on when the give way boat never gives way till you forced to act!
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Old 24-05-2010, 18:18   #12
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Maybe you should start the read at the beginning before trashing a single comment! The whole start was standing on when the give way boat never gives way till you forced to act!
To give you every benefit of the doubt, I've just reread your original post. I honestly don't see anything there that justifies the "rules be damned" advice in your second post, with which I continue to have issues.

As I previously stated, it seems to me that this is a situation where the skipper of the Cal 39, who I assume--perhaps incorrectly--has little or no racing experience, was fretting over the proximity of the second boat, herein described as a "big J boat," whose skipper I'm assuming has considerably more racing experience and therefore was not at all alarmed by the situation. Indeed, I imagine that were he to read this thread now he'd be wondering what the fellow in the Cal 39 was so upset about since he was still a boat length away when he tacked.

I don't write to rationalize in favor of the J boat's course. J boat skippers have a reputation for being overly aggressive, and in our area the J30 fleet has been aptly described as a fleet of "bumper boats." Chances are that you and the big J boat were racing and you didn't even know it. HOWEVER, even given my generalization of J-boat aggressiveness, your observation "In the end rules be damned, it's watch out for your self" troubles me. It doesn't sound like a solution an experienced mariner would recommend, and I'm hoping that people with less experience than the original poster won't take it as gospel. There's enough chaos out there currently that we need to be advising newbies to learn the rules rather than throw them away.
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Old 24-05-2010, 18:30   #13
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"Chances are that the skipper of the J boat was a racer and, as such, was more comfortable with the proximity of the two vessels than you were."
Ayup. Any regular racer will tell you, if there's room to drop a playing card between the two hulls, there's sufficient clearance.

Among non-racers, that may be considered an excessive pucker factor though.
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Old 24-05-2010, 18:43   #14
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Among non-racers, that may be considered an excessive pucker factor though.
Indeed, such "pucker factor" exists within the racing community as well. I used to run the beer can race program at a former yacht club, and we welcomed a large number of beginner racers in Merit 25s from the local sailing school. I don't know how many times I'd be bearing down on a Merit in my 46-footer--him on starboard and me on port--figuring to duck his transom only to have him tack away at precisely the wrong time.

Aaaaahh! (Which is my way of instructing the crew to blow the sheets, and quickly, please.)

I don't know how many times I had to buy one of these newbies a beer after a race and then patiently explain that it doesn't matter if I'm twice your speed and six times your displacement--when you're the stand-on vessel, stand efffing on!
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Old 24-05-2010, 19:39   #15
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Well I don't know what the "racer" crap has to do with anything! I never said I tacked and I wasn't the boat that almost got run down, because your "racer" wasn't paying attention in a NON RACE, in a 50 yard wide channel entrance to a mooring field (and I never said he was a racer at all because it never occurred to me that it made any difference). I never have understood how the racer types assume they are the only ones who know how to steer a boat. If you read it AGAIN you will see I said I was standing on as he ran up and another boat turned in front of him (the J boat). But I don't feel that makes the J-boat blameless for sailing the way he was in the spot we were in!

I'm just fine with racers placing each other at risk when racing with each other. But that doesn't mean they own the water at other times, which is the point I guess of playing chicken.

And in the end it is rules be damn watch out for yourself. If some A-Hole is isn't going to act correctly: later saying you stood on while you got run down isn't going to be much!
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