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Old 27-06-2007, 08:47   #1
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amusing boat handling

hi all,

Just wanted to share something how the different degrees of boat handling people may have!

Case in point: friends of ours, they are pretty new to boating in the aspect of bigger boats. They never owned a big boat before, so despite my urging to start with something reasonable, they opt to buy a 30' Grampian. Ok, barring that issue. Here in Green Bay, we have a shipping channel that leads out several nautical miles out to Long Tail Pointe. There are shallows on either side of the shipping channel, which has a draft of anywhere between 2-4'. The channel itself has a draft of 25-28'. His 30' sailboat draws 5' draft, yet despite my experience and advice, on when motoring out or returning..just like driving, he should stay to the right side of the channel/within the buoys to avoid issues with other boats (ie motorboats etc). Yet, every time, he always drives down the center of the shipping channel. He makes me nervous. (not to mention his docking abilities which we won't get into! LOL). He insists since his draft, he gets right-of-way to drive the center. Which I fully disagree with. I consider this a major safety factor, considering other boat traffic etc.

Go-fast boats buzz him on either side no matter if he's returning to port or leaving. Should I let him find out the hard way about navigation rules or should I push harder for him to boat responsibly?

Mind you, i'm not a professional mariner, but I have sailed since I was 13 yrs old, I'm also a Navy vet and have been across each ocean. My previous boat was a 23' and now I sail a 27' sailboat.

I've also taken the Coast Guard safety sailing courses, as well as have worked on the Coast Guard Aux during my Navy reserve drill weekends.
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Old 27-06-2007, 09:06   #2
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Send him over here. We'll learn him who's got right of way in a channel.

If he insists on hogging the center make sure he brings his own boat.

BTW - An empty tanker went by the club last weekend. The prop was half out of the water and was throwing a plume of water about 20 meters out the starboard side.
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Old 27-06-2007, 10:20   #3
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yeah, I make sure he's on his own boat. He knows I don't feel 100% comfortable with his decisions.

I give room and respect other boaters, but sadly, his hogging of the shipping lane will get himself into trouble.

Nice pic! we have great lakes frieghters who come and go in the channel. which is wide enough to let them in and out with only a little bit of space for smaller pleasure craft to navigate around. If he's smart, he'll move aside for the great lakes ships. I had one coming into green bay in the channel as I was heading out..I made sure I hugged the right side as best as I could in the channel to give him room and clearance.
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Old 27-06-2007, 10:36   #4
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There are a lot of folks that don't understand about large ships or rules of the road. You just don't mess with the big boats. A "barge on a string" is also a very dangerous thing. They don't maneuver well or fast and you just don't get between a tug and a barge connected with a cable. In all those situations you just never have the right of way. They can be constrained by both draft and/or maneuverability. Either gives them the right of way over you no matter what your draft.

Around here you can get large ships running 25 knots or better and they look like a skyscraper and are on top of you in seconds. Then you have the US Navy mandating a 500 yard protection zone where you do not enter except with permission. They don't take no for an answer either.

There are still other people that think because they don't paint lines on the water you go where ever you please.
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Old 27-06-2007, 10:55   #5
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My guess, shellback, is that your friends are most afraid of going aground. So far, hogging the center of the channel hasn't caused them to change their points of view, because they haven't encountered a vessel large enough to make them move.

That day will come, though, and I hope you are not a guest on their Grampian when it does. I doubt your wise counsel will ever get through to your friends, and they may even resent your bringing it up again and again. If you drop it, though, and they have a potentially tragic encounter in the future, you will probably never forgive yourself. So, damned if you do, damned if you don't . . .

It might be better to encourage your friends to take the kinds of educational courses that you did - if they hear good advice from some authority figure they can't ignore, perhaps they will see the light.

Good luck!

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Old 27-06-2007, 11:15   #6
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Case in point:

In the July issue of Sail Magazine, on pg 42 there is an article by
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Old 27-06-2007, 11:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shellback

He insists since his draft, he gets right-of-way to drive the center. Which I fully disagree with. I consider this a major safety factor, considering other boat traffic etc.

Go-fast boats buzz him on either side no matter if he's returning to port or leaving. Should I let him find out the hard way about navigation rules or should I push harder for him to boat responsibly?
Depends how much of a mate he is..........

I would agree with you that this is a potential major safety problem........if it was a good mate I would dig up the regs, highlight them and "discuss" them with him. Maybe take him out aboard your boat.

If not a great mate, I would explain it to him once, and then leave him to get on with it. But I would politely decline invitations aboard.

FWIW my take is that he is probably genuinely confused as others appear to him to be doing pretty much what they want (and some may well me doing so!).........but no doubt his perceptions are not helped by always seeing others reacting late to some tit in a small yacht hogging the centre of the channel.
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Old 27-06-2007, 11:21   #8
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Case in point:

In the July issue of Sail Magazine, on pg 42 there is an article by Stan Stroga. He details an encounter with a commercial vessel from which the reader is supposed to walk away with a learning experience.

What really got me reading this article is how he mentions that his little sailboat was the "stand on vessel", and how he should have held his course.

He is not clear in the least about what he should have done (aside from being better prepared with a working engine, etc...). I was so frustrated reading this because you can't just expect a tug pushing ahead (or especially towing astern) to abruptly change course for your "stand on" little sailboat.

Not only does it take these boats a great deal of time to make abrubt changes, but you can KILL the operators of the tug if the tow load continues past the tug while they're trying not to hit you. It's called "tripping" and the load passes the tug, then starts pulling at the tug from a forward beam capsizing it. It's one of the most dangerous things about operating a tug in general.

Anyway, the real sick part is... the guy who writes the article TEACHES OTHERS at a sailing school he owns. Made me a little sick to read that. To say you are a "stand on vessel" at night in a 34 foot sloop when there is commercial traffic around is just insane. I hope nobody is listening in the classes this guy teaches.
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Old 27-06-2007, 11:24   #9
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Quote:
shellback, he say:
Go-fast boats buzz him on either side no matter if he's returning to port or leaving. Should I let him find out the hard way about navigation rules or should I push harder for him to boat responsibly?
The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice. Psalm 12:15

He seems to be the type of guy who is "right, dammit." One can talk to these kind until blue in the face without a noticeable behavior change. The ego won't allow concession. At the risk of practicing psychology without a license, this is likely tied to a deeply-seated insecurity. Fear prevents listening.

Modeling good behavior will give him the option of changing his ways under the guise of it being his own idea. I think your best shot at influencing him is to invite him to go out with you, so that he can see what a prudent mariner does. Don't talk about it; just show him. Maybe have him steer, but tell him where you want your boat in relation to the markers. If he has respect for you, he may begin to emulate your piloting when he gets back on his vessel.

Tell me, I forget, show me, I remember, Involve me, I understand.

Good Luck.
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Old 27-06-2007, 12:51   #10
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Perhaps you could show your friends this item from the regs:"Rule 9(b): A . . . sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel that can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway."

Or, if it's having their piloting abilities questioned by you that has made them dig in their heels, perhaps some mutual acquaintance whose opinion you both respect could help them see the error of their ways. Sadly, if they think being under sail trumps everything, then they will undoubtedly only learn the truth the hard way.

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Old 02-07-2007, 08:20   #11
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Thanks for the comments! Yeah we're know them well, but not "best of friends or mateys." All the suggestions are excellent ones. I'm definitely not going to talk till I turn blue with this guy...I've warned enough and will let it go. Often, when my wife 'n I go out, he'll have his wife out at the same time, every-so often, he'll be follow behind me as we motor out the shipping channel. Amusingly, I'll stay on the right as I am motoring out, he'll be behind me 75-150 yards motoring down the center. LOL
I'm going to urge him to take a boaters course, but until then, yeah I try not to be aboard his boat all too often. I'll watch from a distance. The Bay of Green Bay looks deceiving, cause it appears to be open water on either side of the 4-5 NM channel, but it is 1' to 4' of water only.


We don't have barge traffic too often here in Green Bay, but the Great Lakes ships do come in and out often. I've passed them in the narrow channel before, just keep clear and all is good!

He makes me nervous but I'm hoping in time he'll improve. All your responses show me that this group has some good, polite and respective boaters!
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:21   #12
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Originally Posted by Pblais
Then you have the US Navy mandating a 500 yard protection zone where you do not enter except with permission. They don't take no for an answer either.
The pamplet the CG handed out at my boat yard mentions an 'quick and intense response" for breaking the 500 yard limit. Yikes.
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Old 02-07-2007, 09:39   #13
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The pamplet the CG handed out at my boat yard mentions an 'quick and intense response" for breaking the 500 yard limit. Yikes.
Being that I'm a Navy veteran,having served aboard USS Constellation and we've had to ensure GreenPeace keeps away from us alot when visiting Vancouver or Seattle stop-overs. LOL Nowadays, it's more important than ever to keep other "undesireables" a safe distance. Amazing how well a .50 cal can be for a "quick and intense response."
FYI greenpeace, we used firehoses, which did wonders against Zodiac boats.
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Old 02-07-2007, 12:49   #14
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Originally Posted by shellback
Being that I'm a Navy veteran,having served aboard USS Constellation and we've had to ensure GreenPeace keeps away from us alot when visiting Vancouver or Seattle stop-overs. LOL Nowadays, it's more important than ever to keep other "undesireables" a safe distance. Amazing how well a .50 cal can be for a "quick and intense response."
FYI greenpeace, we used firehoses, which did wonders against Zodiac boats.
Overheard last July off Cape Hatteras somewhere while sailing right through the middle of a "screen". That's where the Navy runs a perimeter around an aircraft carrier...you see helicopters, Frigate warships lowspeed jets...you name it and they are SERIOUS!!!...anyways...we over heard this on CH16 in the middle of the afternoon....

*USCG* "USNavy USNAVY this is US Coastguard over."
*USNAVY* "US Coastguard This is US Navy go ahead over"
*USCG* "US Navy just trying to confirm that you fired on a fishing vessel earlier this afternoon at (co-ordinates given)? over"
*USNavy* "US Coastguard standby"
....Obvious cunsultation with a senior officer going on for a minute or two....
*USNavy* "US Coastguard that's affirmative"
Dead silence....not another word from either party....

It was interesting what they were doing with EVERY vessell (including ours) while running the screen...it went on for a couple of days with loads of radio traffic....they would ask each individual vessel within a defined area for vessell name hailing port and intentions...obviously logging it....we were hailed at 5.45AM too...I was on watch and answered promptly and courteously of course!.....they were maintaining a 10,000yd perimeter for any small vessel....some of the replies for that request for information just astounded me....we heard one guy from some game fishing boat tell the Navy to "F*** off we are in international waters"...literally...the response was a curt "Keep a 10,000yd perimeter or you WILL be fired on" and they meant it too....things are a bit different after the USS Cole incident....I wouldn't mind betting that that fishing vessel was boarded by the USCG...just because......Don't mess with the US Navy.....
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Old 02-07-2007, 15:33   #15
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