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Old 12-12-2015, 02:35   #61
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Re: Accident report

What a sad account. I have found it useful to assume that others in their boats (power or sail) are not keeping a proper watch and/or are not competent. Sounds negative I know. Many years ago I knew a guy who worked on an urchin boat (fast fishing powerboat) who used to claim his particular skipper was occasionally inebriated or high and would take a nap while the boat was running full-throttle on the way home. He woke up once to find the fully loaded boat speeding in enormous circles in the middle of the shipping lane with no skipper at the wheel. He told the story with lots of jovial laughter. That story left an impression on me.
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Old 12-12-2015, 09:54   #62
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Re: Accident report

A few years ago here in Brittany, a motor boat running at 20kts rammed a small sailing boat and somebody was killed (again!). The motor boat was on autopilot while the owner tried to repair the cabin door. He was probably sober but certainly stupid.

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Old 12-12-2015, 19:57   #63
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Re: Accident report

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
Changing course for the other vessels stern in open water makes discussion of the colregs moot.
Hardly moot. That would have involved turning dead into the wind. If he fired up the engine to do it, then he would have acted contrary to rule 17(c), which for obvious reasons is not a good idea.
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Old 12-12-2015, 21:07   #64
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Re: Accident report

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Hardly moot. That would have involved turning dead into the wind. If he fired up the engine to do it, then he would have acted contrary to rule 17(c), which for obvious reasons is not a good idea.
That's completely illogical

Your suggesting, that if he complies with 17(b) he then transgressors 17(c) because he's turned into a motor boat instead.. rubbish
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Old 12-12-2015, 22:10   #65
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Re: Accident report

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
Hardly moot. That would have involved turning dead into the wind. If he fired up the engine to do it, then he would have acted contrary to rule 17(c), which for obvious reasons is not a good idea.

The prime directive is avoiding collision. If it had been avoided, this discussion would likely not be be happening.

Read 17 again. "If circumstances admit"

Staying course and turning to starboard were not options.

And yes, I will crank the engine in a New York minute if vessel is bearing down on me and I need it to rabbit out of the way.


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Old 13-12-2015, 00:30   #66
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Re: Accident report

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Originally Posted by Cap Erict3 View Post
The prime directive is avoiding collision. If it had been avoided, this discussion would likely not be be happening.

Read 17 again. "If circumstances admit"

Staying course and turning to starboard were not options.

And yes, I will crank the engine in a New York minute if vessel is bearing down on me and I need it to rabbit out of the way.


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Old 13-12-2015, 00:41   #67
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Re: Accident report

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I have found it useful to assume that others in their boats (power or sail) are not keeping a proper watch and/or are not competent.
Colreg is crap. The only rule to follow is above. I learned this with cars. It saves the day 1 in a 1000. And now apply to boats: always assume the other driver is under drug influence or on suicide mission.
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Old 13-12-2015, 00:43   #68
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Re: Accident report

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
I know those waters very well. The area is not particularly complex at all. The course of the powerboat (if viewed on a larger chart) shows that she would make a 15-20 degree course change on the autopilot after passing Ile Fourchue to make the passage between Ile Tintamarre and the northwest headland of St. Martin; or just south of Philipsburg if continuing on that course. There is clear water absent of any obstructions and little sailboat traffic once passing the Anse Colombier anchorage on St. Barths.
This means that once the autopilot is set on that course there is just boat traffic to take watch out for - big boat traffic such as megayachts, other powerboats or the St. Barths ferry; all of which broadcast on AIS. I've passed big boats such as this several times on the trip between St. Barths and St. Martin and I have never seen them deviate from their set course to avoid my sailboat or give us a comfortable separation and have felt their wash/wake many a time (the big St. Barths ferry being the exception).
So my gut feeling is that the crew did what seems to be customary, especially in well-known waters, and didn't keep a watch. The talk about looking at charts is to be taken with more than a grain of salt - those waters are deep and have no obstructions and there's just one large island to avoid halfway to Philipsburg and I know of no sailors who have sailed around that area, and especially no commercial captains of shallow draft powerboats, who will consult a chart after the 3rd or 4th trip on that passage.
Here's a picture taken around where the accident occurred, with "Zanshin" on course between Ile Fourchue and Anse Colombier (looking back at St. Barths)
So do I, my friend. I said somewhat complex. And it is. There are a good number of headlands and bays, and at least a dozen islands from behind and around which many vessels appear suddenly. The picture changes rapidly at 20 knots, and the presence of these various headlands and islands, many with busy anchorages, makes vigilance a paramount consideration, and certainly complicates the situation more than, for example, if it were simply a straight coastline with no such obstructions and bars to clear lines of sight. I dispute your claim of "little sailboat traffic". The entire area is an extremely busy one for leisure traffic. I really don't know why you would even suggest it is not.

As to commercial captains not consulting charts… I consult charts ALWAYS even in waters I have sailed in for decades. I am a commercial captain. Now you know at least one. And frankly it is, or should be, standard practise. The mind is not infallible. Neither is the memory. Nothing replaces good practise, and the most experienced navigators may fail precisely because they assume they know the area or what to expect. Just ask Team Vestas…

However any chart consultation/plotting should have been completed prior to departure and not at nearly 20 knots in and amongst some of the busiest yacht anchorages in the Eastern Caribbean!

The failure to have AIS aboard is even more extraordinary. The traffic around there generally does transmit AIS, as you note, especially fast ferries and power yachts. The closing speeds with this vessel can reach towards 50 knots! Not having it when it is so easy to have is incredible for such a vessel. But not keeping a constant watch even more incredible, in those waters especially!
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Old 13-12-2015, 01:05   #69
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Re: Accident report

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Originally Posted by arsenelupiga View Post
Colreg is crap. The only rule to follow is above. I learned this with cars. It saves the day 1 in a 1000. And now apply to boats: always assume the other driver is under drug influence or on suicide mission.
Anyone who thinks the colregs are 'crap' clearly has no understanding of what they are and should not be on the water in charge of a vessel.

It is a very good practice to remain always 'defensive' when in the water. But the problem is, if you are always just keeping out of the way, you will be driving those abiding by the expectations of the colregs nuts. They won't be able to anticipate what you will do. Such as when your meant to be 'standing on' and your doing everything but! It's really frustrating if your in a high traffic area.
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Old 13-12-2015, 01:46   #70
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Re: Accident report

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Anyone who thinks the colregs are 'crap' clearly has no understanding of what they are and should not be on the water in charge of a vessel.

It is a very good practice to remain always 'defensive' when in the water. But the problem is, if you are always just keeping out of the way, you will be driving those abiding by the expectations of the colregs nuts. They won't be able to anticipate what you will do. Such as when your meant to be 'standing on' and your doing everything but! It's really frustrating if your in a high traffic area.
i take action very early. At least there will be no accident, except if the other party intentionally going for hit.

I followed colreg fully for a while, believing in what you say above but after couple of close calls - no more. It does not work 100 %.

I also dont follow rules on the road, and expect driver to cross red light. That saved me from accident couple of times. There is bunch of drivers that do not distinguish left/right, expecially in AUS with large % of recent imigrants.
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Old 13-12-2015, 01:51   #71
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Re: Accident report

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Originally Posted by arsenelupiga View Post
i take action very early. At least there will be no accident, except if the other party intentionally going for hit.

I followed colreg fully for a while, believing in what you say above but after couple of close calls - no more. It does not work 100 %.

I also dont follow rules on the road, and expect driver to cross red light. That saved me from accident couple of times. There is bunch of drivers that do not distinguish left/right, expecially in AUS with large % of recent imigrants.
I think there is a language barrier going in here

Good driving practice is always to drive defensively, everyone is meant to do that. But you must be following 'all' the road rules? Surely you mean something else?
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Old 13-12-2015, 01:54   #72
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Re: Accident report

the colregs are rules for interaction between skippers, they don't work if one of the 2 chooses to ignore his duties.

i'd call not keeping a proper watch at 20 knots criminal.

as for the powerboat not having this or that equipment:
it was his duty to adapt to the tools available, not blame the lack of tools for his shortcomings.
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Old 13-12-2015, 02:02   #73
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Re: Accident report

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
I think there is a language barrier going in here

Good driving practice is always to drive defensively, everyone is meant to do that. But you must be following 'all' the road rules? Surely you mean something else?
let me elaborate with driving example:

if i get a green light in crossroad and see driver not slowing down on the the other road, i will not proceed but wait until I see this guy is slowing down or passing red light.

this saved me accident twice. Be my guest, you believe all people always stop on red light. I do not and will not. So no break of rules as not starting immediately on green light is no offence.

Same approach with boating.

I agree with other poster that not keeping watch at 20 kn should attract severe punishment.
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Old 13-12-2015, 02:12   #74
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Re: Accident report

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Originally Posted by arsenelupiga View Post
let me elaborate with driving example:

if i get a green light in crossroad and see driver not slowing down on the the other road, i will not proceed but wait until I see this guy is slowing down or passing red light.

this saved me accident twice. Be my guest, you believe all people always stop on red light. I do not and will not. So no break of rules as not starting immediately on green light is no offence.

Same approach with boating.

I agree with other poster that not keeping watch at 20 kn should attract severe punishment.
Well good then. That's how everyone is meant to drive at least in Australia.

You realize that 'keeping watch at 20knotts' is strait out of the colregs? Them things you called crap
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Old 13-12-2015, 02:20   #75
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Re: Accident report

I'll stick my neck out here and say that a large majority of boaters in this country may follow unwittingly some of the rules but have never even heard of the Coregs
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