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Old 12-05-2014, 05:55   #16
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

When outbound once, I met a sport boat coming in, I altered course to starboard as rules prescribed and he altered course to port putting me in a head on condition again, so I altered course to starboard again, and he matched me again and put us into a head on situation. No answer on the radio, so I stopped my vessel and said to myself, well if he hits me, I am dead in the water.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:43   #17
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?



There are cases like in the above chart, where if I were heading south, From R "38" I would cross the channel and favor the green side due to not knowing exactly how far out the shoaling projects between the R "38" and R "40". If there was northbound traffic insisting on remaining mid channel, I would not risk running aground to follow the rules...happens to me often. I also often see, on days with a strong cross wind in a long straight channel that slow moving boats with lots of windage sometimes think they are on the right side of the channel, but if they were to take a range from the markers astern of them they would realize that in actuality they have been set well to the down wind side of the channel.
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Old 12-05-2014, 07:05   #18
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

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Originally Posted by Blue Crab View Post
I was reading something about a tight spot on the ICW that one should go right down the center, and if encountering another vessel the advice was to "take your half out of the middle."
Of course, you don't really have an option of having ".... your half out of the middle", but I understand that there are cases where you are only safe in the middle. There are two places where I make a securite call on the VHF on the US Atlantic ICW. One of these is at North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where there is much rock just at the surface or slightly hidden at a narrow cut called the "rockpile". My VHF securite call is to inquire about any large commercial traffic that I might encounter. I would not choose to deal with meeting a barge on this section. The other is at Elliott Cut just south of Charleston, SC, where the current suddenly increases at a narrow section. I make the securite call here with the same concern about meeting large commercial traffic. If I'm with the current here, then I'd be with little contol,- squirting through like a watermellon seed, and I'd rather wait a bit.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:40   #19
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

So many issues:
- It's written in legalise. I had to read it 4 times because I thought it was saying the opposite of what I thought the rule was. There is a reason for the way it is written but certainly not for ease of comprehension.
- "Narrow Channel" is a somewhat vague term. While there is probalby a definition somewhere, it is open to interpretation. What is very narrow approaching a 1000ft frieghter can seem darn roomy approaching a 20' runabout.
- The is the out of where "practicable". If I can come up with any practicable reason, I don't have to follow this rule. (Is "practicable" a real word?)
- As others have said, there may be issues outside the channel. Where possible, I like the option to turn and run out of the channel entirely.
- A narrow channel with ship traffic may be 1/4-1/2 mile wide. If I have to cross to the far side only to cross back over, doing 4mph, I may be creating more of a safety issue than if I just hug close to the wrong side.

While you get the occasional person who travels on the wrong side, I'd say the vast majority do it just fine. If you are unsure call them to arrange a passing or just plan to dodge them. There are bigger fish to fry than this issue.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:02   #20
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

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So far it seems that Stu might be right and that's very sad.
I couldn't agree more. And I'll take that in the spirit in which it was intended.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:09   #21
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
I'm assuming this is a fairly wide channel, and you are either in the middle or on the starboard side.

These boats obviously didn't want to "Waste" the time or effort to go to the other side.

They look like they are sailing pretty close-hauled, which means that if they had gone to the other side of the channel, they would have ended up having to tack to come back to this side. Tacking in a channel is generally not a good thing to do (if there is big ship traffic)

I appreciate your point, but looking at the conditions (clear, high visibility) and assuming little or no other traffic, I'm not sure the offense is a "hanging offense".

The Regs are clear on small boats in marked channels for big ship traffic. How is the Water depth outside the channel buoys?

carsten
Photo taken from a Panamax ship going outbound from San Diego Bay near mid-channel. The marked channel is wide. Picture shows inbound sailboats on the portside. Photo shows there are situations when it is safe to use the wrong side (as did my earlier photo of my boat avoiding crossing the path of a freighter).
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:36   #22
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

That rule does not exist in isolation.

Rules of the road in general apply when there is potential for collision.

"In determining if risk of collision exists the following considerations shall be among those taken into account: (i) Such risk shall be deemed to exist if the compass bearing of an approaching vessel does not appreciably change.
(ii) Such risk may sometimes exist even when an appreciable bearing change is evident, particularly when approaching a very large vessel or a tow or when approaching a vessel at close range."


"(b) 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."

"(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist."

(c) If there is sufficient sea room, alteration of course alone may be the most effective action to avoid a close-quarters situation provided that it is made in good time, is substantial and does not result in another close-quarters situation.


(d) Action taken to avoid collision with another vessel shall be such as to result in passing at a safe distance. The effectiveness of the action shall be carefully checked until the other vessel is finally past and clear.

Specific to "narrow" channel:

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

(c) A vessel engaged in fishing [may | shall] not impede the passage of any other vessel navigating within a narrow channel or fairway.


(d) A vessel shall not cross a narrow channel or fairway if such crossing impedes the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within such channel or fairway. The latter vessel may use the sound signal prescribed in Rule 34(d) if in doubt as to the intention of the crossing vessel.


I feel one needs to consider the rules in their entirety, not just a single rule in isolation.

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Old 12-05-2014, 13:41   #23
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

Nautical62, Well said.


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Old 12-05-2014, 13:55   #24
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

what's a "narrow" channel? Is the ICW a narrow channel? I think not in most places.
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Old 12-05-2014, 17:09   #25
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Photo taken from a Panamax ship going outbound from San Diego Bay near mid-channel. The marked channel is wide. Picture shows inbound sailboats on the portside. Photo shows there are situations when it is safe to use the wrong side (as did my earlier photo of my boat avoiding crossing the path of a freighter).
Judging from the photo it was taken outbound and that point would be Point Loma which means that is buoy is G "9" . Though the overall channel is wide the distance between G and R is not as wide. Depth is 35 to 45' outside of channel. Its always a gong show coming into that port. Mission Bay is a complete gong show beyond words. 45' sport fishing cruisers with a teenager- 20's type behind the helm full throttle. Laughing at the disaster in his wake. Anyways, enough of that.
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Old 12-05-2014, 17:58   #26
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pirate Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

I believe I've seen an aircraft carrier in there. Reason enough to go outside the markers, eh? A carrier makes every channel a narrow channel.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:00   #27
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

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I couldn't agree more. And I'll take that in the spirit in which it was intended.
Now that you've pointed it out, I see how it could be misconstrued - ain't the English language marvellous? Indeed, no insult was intended.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:11   #28
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Photo taken from a Panamax ship going outbound from San Diego Bay near mid-channel. The marked channel is wide. Picture shows inbound sailboats on the portside. Photo shows there are situations when it is safe to use the wrong side (as did my earlier photo of my boat avoiding crossing the path of a freighter).
With respect, I disagree. Do you understand why the Panamax would be near the centre, rather than as far to stbd as possible? That has to do with the "practicable" part of the rule - in most instances that said Panamax would need to alter course for a colreg situation, it would be to stbd, so they need to give themselves the searoom to be able to go to stbd. Those sailboats are blocking his escape route.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:17   #29
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

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Now that you've pointed it out, I see how it could be misconstrued - ain't the English language marvellous? Indeed, no insult was intended.
Seems like there at least three aircraft carriers in San Diego Bay. One, Midway, is a museum docked downtown, while there are typically two active carriers at dock.




I surely miss the sight of carriers in San Francisco Bay.
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Old 12-05-2014, 18:20   #30
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Re: Why Port Side of Channel?

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With respect, I disagree. Do you understand why the Panamax would be near the centre, rather than as far to stbd as possible? That has to do with the "practicable" part of the rule - in most instances that said Panamax would need to alter course for a colreg situation, it would be to stbd, so they need to give themselves the searoom to be able to go to stbd. Those sailboats are blocking his escape route.
The ship's master likely wanted to avoid the "wrong side" pleasure boats.
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