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Old 16-06-2014, 12:17   #61
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

I've read a lot of great responses, have learned a lot, and am impressed, if not frightened, by the diversity of opinion.

The other boat was a 38' sailing catamaran and the captain works for a company that sells and charters sailing catamarans.

I created this separate thread to discuss only the determination of overtaking in a narrow channel. In the other thread I explained the local custom and "narrow channel" rule interpretation as told to me by three captains who operate dozens of boats a week in the channel.

What is the consensus about my tacking up the channel and the impact of the change of course on the overtaking status? I've lost the sense of the community on that issue. Here is the narrowly defined situation I am considering:

- When sailing to the left side of the channel the other boat is clearly overtaking

- When looking at my CMG in a narrow channel the other boat is clearly overtaking

- When sailing to the right side of the channel with the apparent attempt to pass ahead of the other boat it was 13 degrees outside the overtaking cone.

Let us assume that Rule 13 does apply here in some part of the situation. Let us look at the technical aspects of the ColRegs rather than the proper thing to do.

Does the community of rules experts, or opinionators, agree with the following statements:

??My CMG up a narrow channel has nothing to do with determination of overtaking.

?? my tack from a course where he was clearly overtaking to one where he is "almost" overtaking relieved him of any Rule 13 obligations because he was on a "almost crossing" course?

??The fact that I absolutely had to tack to avoid hitting the dock has no impact on the decision that my change of course moved him from overtaking to crossing?

??There is no "room at the mark" or "seaway at an obstruction" interpretation as in racing

Thanks for all the interesting discussion but let's not forget I did tack away and at no time was a collision imminent.
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Old 16-06-2014, 12:32   #62
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

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??My CMG up a narrow channel has nothing to do with determination of overtaking.

?? my tack from a course where he was clearly overtaking to one where he is "almost" overtaking relieved him of any Rule 13 obligations because he was on a "almost crossing" course?

??The fact that I absolutely had to tack to avoid hitting the dock has no impact on the decision that my change of course moved him from overtaking to crossing?

??There is no "room at the mark" or "seaway at an obstruction" interpretation as in racing
CMG has no meaning in the colregs

No he is not relieved of his obligations under Rule 13, nor his obligations under the steering rules , if he was motoring

No , if you are in a narrow channel, i.e. there is nowhere else for both you and him to go, then you are also obligated under rule 9.

for example, you didn't need to tack all the way across the channel, Rule 9 requires you to keep "as near as practical " to the starboard side, hence if you could short tack, even if more inefficient then thats whats you should have done.

correct there is no room at any mark type calls, under colregs.( of course the "water rule" is not changed by the whole "overlapping" thing)

dave
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Old 16-06-2014, 12:39   #63
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post


Here is the narrowly defined situation I am considering:

- When looking at my CMG in a narrow channel the other boat is clearly overtaking

...

Does the community of rules experts, or opinionators, agree with the following statements:

??My CMG up a narrow channel has nothing to do with determination of overtaking.

I think if I had been behind your CMG, and able to anticipate your probable destination... I would have taken a more holistic interpretation based on where you're going, not based on which direction your bow is facing now... or now... oh wait, or now... oh, rats, now...

IOW, I would have interpreted "abaft the beam" as relative to your overall progress, not your instantaneous course. I would probably have acted as if I'm the overtaking vessel.

I don't argue that's the correct interpretation, just describing what my decision at the time might have been.

-Chris
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Old 16-06-2014, 16:34   #64
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

G'Day all,

An interesting discussion overall, despite the lack of consensus of interpretation.

I would like to ask a slightly divergent question: In the normal practice of seamen, is it reasonable to expect an exchange of whistle signals between any vessel and a 17 foot engineless dinghy? Between any vessel and a 38 foot sailing catamaran? And in particular, between a cruising yacht and a merchant vessel?

In my experience as a seaman, this is essentially never observed, nor IMO is it practicable. First, in the case of the dinghy, most such craft do not have a functional whistle (nor a VHF as was suggested somewhere upthread). In fact, while many cruising yachts carry a sound device for making fog signals, these whistles or horns are not very good for intership signalling. For sure, no cruising yachts carry horns loud enough to be heard on the bridge of a ship.

So, in the discussion about tacking up the fairway, was the suggestion of exchange of whistle signals reasonable? Is it a reasonable expectation at sea? I personally don't think it is, and my observation is that it is not practiced in the real world. I wonder what others, especially the professionals who hold us in such contempt, think about this?

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 16-06-2014, 16:45   #65
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Jim no contempt intended on my part. When I used to sail my 17 foot day sailor on the Connecticut River ( weekends can be quite crazy) I always tried to stay out of the way of traffic. And would carry a simple air horn to signal back to vessels that were polite enough to show their intentions with proper sound signals. On my 40 foot sailboat I have basically the same air horn that I point right at the vessel not sure if a ship can hear me on their bridge but I still respond and have had to use the danger signal on several occasions. Edit: if you operate anywhere that there's waverunners operating an air horn is good to have to snap them out of their tunnel vision
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Old 16-06-2014, 16:51   #66
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

In Puget Sound, I've never heard a commercial vessel use any signal other than five blasts.
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Old 16-06-2014, 17:01   #67
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

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Originally Posted by weavis View Post
Been around Brits too long
No, no...
It has something to do with Charlie Barr...
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Old 16-06-2014, 17:12   #68
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

The difficulty in this discussion is that almost all of us agree that the cat skipper was at fault to "the larger" amount - the act of slowing and turning created a risk of collision.

The idea that that somehow this makes the sailboat "right" is the problem. Blame is almost always apportioned.

The cat skipper was wrong - let's put that aside, as someone has suggested and focus on the sailboat.

We have to agree that the sailboat is not allowed to impede others - that's clear in rule 9. So what is an impediment?

- You can't stay as near as practicable to the starboard side
- You can't make channel speed (5 knots)
- You are going to be zig-zagging up the channel.

As the powerboat guy I have a reasonable expectation per the rules to be able to steam along at 5 knots on the right side of the channel on channel heading under autopilot if I wish

If I come to a 3 knot boat I should be able to give one two blast, receive one two blast and leave you to starboard as I pass. This happens hundreds of times a day in the channels of MDR, Long Beach and San Diego (although my experience is no one signals)

If I have to slow, divert or maneuver to get around you then my "strict" (and selfish) interpretation is that I am being impeded and you are violating rule 9.

There is always a desire to find the one rule clause, apostrophe or period to "hang my argument on."

I think the regs sometimes have to be taken in total context. In the total context of rule 9, sailing vessels and smaller (more maneuverable vessels) need to give way to larger less maneuverable vessels and working vessels To make the channel system work!

Change the dimensions of the boats. Here in our channel 300 foot ships pass several times a day. I don't know any skipper (sail or power) that is going to assert rights over a ship going 10 knots+ current (like 14 knots). They can't maneuver, they take 2+ miles to stop and oh, BTW - They are made of steel and have giant "bulbs" on their noses designed to crush fiberglass...

(edited to fix whistle signal <sigh>)
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Old 16-06-2014, 17:19   #69
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

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If I come to a 3 knot boat I should be able to give one blast, receive one blast and leave you to starboard as I pass.
The way I read the rules, that would make you wrong. It may or may not cause a collision.

It is, however, a perfect example of how unusable the colregs are.
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Old 16-06-2014, 17:27   #70
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

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The way I read the rules, that would make you wrong. It may or may not cause a collision.

It is, however, a perfect example of how unusable the colregs are.
Aside from my getting the whistle signal wrong (before editing) please expand?

I'd like to learn...
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Old 16-06-2014, 17:36   #71
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

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Aside from my getting the whistle signal wrong (before editing) please expand?

I'd like to learn...
Learning is good.

Getting the whistle signal wrong was precisely my example.
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Old 16-06-2014, 17:51   #72
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pirate Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

Sailing boat stand on course... overtaking boat stands clear..
If in a narrow channel one hopes the over taking boat has a skipper with intelligence enough to realise the sail boat will tack on nearing shore/channel markers and make the appropriate allowances..
Else he's just a fender bender and will be treated as such..
Sorry.. can't be bothered reading 5 pages of rools and bluster
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Old 16-06-2014, 18:17   #73
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

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I hope I dont meet any of you in the inland channel
bottom line is for those that know the rules for USA they do it that way. For those that dont know the rules they do it another way.

Personally, I only knew bits of USA rules and a little more of international rules so if it had been me in the sailboat, my decision would have been to allow the motor vessel to pass me and get out of the way. Its not worth the fight over repair or funeral costs. I dont know what size boat it would take to sink me but Im sure he had what it took.

MOST rules are common sense. Big heavy vessels with limited steering capacity need to be avoided.

Another coffee?
Weavis, this is incorrect.

We had a long go around about 10 months ago on exactly this issue and thought.

The COLREGS are there for a reason, and a significant part of that reason is that each vessel knows what to expect from the other one.

Using your own "common sense" could in fact endanger yourself, or others if you are not proceeding as expected.

If, however, those "big heavy vessels" are constrained by draft then the COLREGS already require you to be give way.
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Old 16-06-2014, 18:59   #74
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

....And now they're off and running!
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Old 16-06-2014, 20:13   #75
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Re: When is a Boat Passing from Behind not Overtaking? Narrow Channel Part II

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
We have to agree that the sailboat is not allowed to impede others - that's clear in rule 9. So what is an impediment?

- You can't stay as near as practicable to the starboard side
- You can't make channel speed (5 knots)
- You are going to be zig-zagging up the channel.

As the powerboat guy I have a reasonable expectation per the rules to be able to steam along at 5 knots on the right side of the channel on channel heading under autopilot if I wish

If I come to a 3 knot boat I should be able to give one two blast, receive one two blast and leave you to starboard as I pass. This happens hundreds of times a day in the channels of MDR, Long Beach and San Diego (although my experience is no one signals)

If I have to slow, divert or maneuver to get around you then my "strict" (and selfish) interpretation is that I am being impeded and you are violating rule 9.
I hope we all know that rule 9(b) also says vessels under 20 m (as in a 38 ft motoring cat) are not to impede vessels constrained to a channel. They are both in the same class - vessels that are not to impede (obviously) larger vessels in a narrow channel. It's like peons arguing who has seniority.

If we are going to insist that a 17 ft sailboat is somehow "impeding" a 38 ft PDV, then I would like to know how that is determined? At what point do we make the distinction? What if Tacoma was beating up the channel in his 17 ft boat, and buddy came up behind in the exact same type of 17 ft boat, but with the sails put away and being pushed by a little 1 Hp kicker - is Tacoma impeding him?
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