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Old 10-07-2010, 10:18   #1
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Do Power Boats Always Cut Across Your Bow, Too ?

I have been sailing in the Fishers Island/Long Island Sound area for about 25 years.

One thing I have noticed is that most powerboats will cut across my bow at a close distance. Some alter their course significantly just to do this. My wife thought I was crazy until she started to pay attention.

Do they think that they are doing me a favor or just trying to show that they are faster than a sailboat?

Is this a local phenomenon, do I attract power boats like bugs to a street light or is this just the way it is?
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:31   #2
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Is this a local phenomenon, do I attract power boats like bugs to a street light or is this just the way it is?
I'm sooooooooo glad to hear this is happening to you, too. I thought it might just be me.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:34   #3
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I think they just want to get a closer look at a pretty, real boat



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Old 10-07-2010, 13:33   #4
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The COLREG's do not state a power boat is required to pass astern of a sailboat.

Spending most of my time running a powerboat for a living, if its an equal choice to pass astern or ahead, I will choose astern of a sailboat because its safer. If its advantageous to pass ahead I will do so. I don't see passing ahead as a big deal unless it is so close as to be unsafe. The sailboat will eventually be crossing my wake regardless of which side I cross.

As far as courtesy is concerned, I see no problem passing ahead as long as my intentions are clear and I do not create concern with the sailboats skipper.
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Old 10-07-2010, 14:15   #5
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try one of these

If you have room you could place one of these up there... it might deter those that venture too close but then again some might come closer not believing their eyes.
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Old 10-07-2010, 14:20   #6
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There used to be a powerboat in my marina, that put stickers of sailboats with red x's over them on his bow. It was his list of sailboats that he had swamped or otherwise been a jerk to. it normally does not bother me when they cut across the bow, unless they are in throwing distance.
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Old 10-07-2010, 15:13   #7
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it normally does not bother me when they cut across the bow, unless they are in throwing distance.
... in which case, these boats are called "targets".
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Old 10-07-2010, 15:25   #8
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Originally Posted by Opie91 View Post
I have been sailing in the Fishers Island/Long Island Sound area for about 25 years.

One thing I have noticed is that most powerboats will cut across my bow at a close distance. Some alter their course significantly just to do this. My wife thought I was crazy until she started to pay attention.

Do they think that they are doing me a favor or just trying to show that they are faster than a sailboat?

Is this a local phenomenon, do I attract power boats like bugs to a street light or is this just the way it is?

They don't always do this, only 90% because sometimes they weren't paying enough attention.
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Old 10-07-2010, 15:53   #9
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Quote:
There used to be a powerboat in my marina, that put stickers of sailboats with red x's over them on his bow. It was his list of sailboats that he had swamped or otherwise been a jerk to. it normally does not bother me when they cut across the bow, unless they are in throwing distance.
Used to be? Did his boat mysteriously sink one dark night?
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Old 10-07-2010, 17:47   #10
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Yes, powerboats, particularly sport fishing boats, will go far out of their way to cross ahead of a sailboat. I thought this was some weird macho thing until I considered that they probably just habitually avoid fishing lines. And trailing lines on a sailboat are not obvious because of the usual lack of a pole.
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Old 10-07-2010, 18:10   #11
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I don't see passing ahead as a big deal unless it is so close as to be unsafe. The sailboat will eventually be crossing my wake regardless of which side I cross.
Ah, David, allow me to illuminate. If you pass ahead of a sailboat going 4 knots in light air, you will stop it dead in the water. If you pass behind a sailboat going 4 knots in light air, you will suddenly double its speed.

(Looking forward to demonstrating this principle soon.)
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Old 10-07-2010, 18:35   #12
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The COLREG's do not state a power boat is required to pass astern of a sailboat.
My original thought had nothing to do with the COLREG's, just it seems more like a psychological thing than anything else.

By the way, sometimes these are sizable boats 40 ft+ within 100 ft with no other boats within a mile. Just seems not necessary.
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Old 10-07-2010, 18:59   #13
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My original thought had nothing to do with the COLREG's, just it seems more like a psychological thing than anything else.

By the way, sometimes these are sizable boats 40 ft+ within 100 ft with no other boats within a mile. Just seems not necessary.
I agree, but there again my boat is full displacement and at a crazy full speed does 10.5 knots. If I'm crossing someone it's no problem to slow down early enough for them to be aware of my intentions. I take it you're talking about the idiots who bought a high speed power boat because they could and think that the sea is just the same as a freeway.

P.
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Old 10-07-2010, 19:13   #14
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I also think they do it to each other so they don't think about how the effect sailors. Or they are being jerks. Prob a little from both.
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Old 10-07-2010, 20:28   #15
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This is what most small powerboats think they are in:
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