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Old 13-10-2008, 17:06   #136
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I have seen no proof and I doubt anyone else has that the SB short tacked into MF. It keeps getting talked about but as far as I can tell no one on the internet has the facts and we are all just guessing.
Dan, here's the quote I used above that you may have missed. It's from the person (Peter Lyons) who shot the accident:

"I really wish I had a video of the whole thing and at a wider angle too. But I'd swear the smaller vessel had only just altered course. The pictures do not show this, but the reason I started shooting just then was because all of a sudden, this 40 foot sloop started augering towards the Maltese Falcon. I figured they'd rounded up or otherwise lost control, but from the photos, they'd simply tacked without looking, or figuring they'd tack away again, then couldn't."

Other than the persons on the bridge of Maltese Falcon, no one else had a closer view of the incident - certainly not the crew of Stand By, who seemed to be focused on one another to the exclusion of everything else.
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I don't think there have been opinions based on stupid rich guy and to be honest I don't know if the owner was at the helm. I would guess there was a professional captain so the wealth of the owner is not at issue,
I don't know who was at the helm either, Dan, though some posters on Sailing Anarchy refer to "Captain Cris." He's evidently someone they know, and I have the impression he was at the helm. That information will surely emerge eventually.

Although Tom Perkins home is in Belvedere, I believe this was Maltese Falcon's first visit to the Bay. The occasion was the 2008 Leukemia Cup Regatta, held Sunday, October 5, and on Saturday, October 4, Mr. Perkins made his vessel available to anyone who wished to sail the Bay aboard Maltese Falcon for $5000/passenger. All proceeds went to the Leukemia Society, and this year the event raised $662,674.

I don't know Tom Perkins personally, so I can't vouch for his intelligence, but I would not call him a "stupid rich guy" just because he owns one of the world's most incredible sailing vessels and it was centerpunched by another vessel. I would, though, call him "generous" for his contributions to a worthy cause.
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You nailed it Hiracer!
I agree with Pelagic that Hiracer has nailed it, but I believe that when it comes to apportioning responsibility, the USCG will not rule 100% for either vessel. They almost always assign some blame to each: My guess is 67% Stand By, 33% Falcon.

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Old 13-10-2008, 17:14   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post

"I really wish I had a video of the whole thing and at a wider angle too. But I'd swear the smaller vessel had only just altered course. The pictures do not show this, but the reason I started shooting just then was because all of a sudden, this 40 foot sloop started augering towards the Maltese Falcon. I figured they'd rounded up or otherwise lost control, but from the photos, they'd simply tacked without looking, or figuring they'd tack away again, then couldn't."

<snip>

I agree with Pelagic that Hiracer has nailed it, but I believe that when it comes to apportioning responsibility, the USCG will not rule 100% for either vessel. They almost always assign some blame to each: My guess is 67% Stand By, 33% Falcon.

TaoJones

The only concern I have with the photog is that by his admission he is not a sailor. I have done aircraft accident investgations and eye witnesses are the most unreliable form of evidence there is. Someting about human nature is that we will fill in blanks with expected action. We have had Flight Data recorders in 100% conflict with reliable eye witnesses.

However I am happy if there is an apportioning of responsibility. I have said all along that SB should have seen and should have taken action under Rule 17.

We dodge ships, ferries and fishing boats everytime we sail. Even those that are supposed to give way often don't.
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Old 13-10-2008, 17:20   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
I believe that when it comes to apportioning responsibility, the USCG will not rule 100% for either vessel. They almost always assign some blame to each: My guess is 67% Stand By, 33% Falcon.
TaoJones,

Just curious for your basis for your conclusion of 1/3 liability to MF?

If we assume that the eye witness account by the photography is true, that SB changed direction and T-boned MF, what would lead to the 1/3 liability to MF?

Too fast for conditions?

RULE 6

SAFE SPEED

Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.

MF may have been going to fast for conditions, but given the nature of the T-Bone, isn't it hard to connect speed as a causal element to this accident?

Another question: As a practical matter, isn't the allocation of fault a function of the two insurance companies, and then that spills into the court or arbitration system if the two companies can't agree? I know squat about maritime law, so I'm probably shooting myself in the foot here. How does the USGC get into fault allocation? Does USGC do tickets or something like that?

In my neck of the woods USCG seems most concerned about whether you bought any cuban cigars during your trip to Canada. That's real big on their radar screens. I don't normally smoke stogies, but the USCG sure irks me into thinking about some civil disobedience.
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Old 13-10-2008, 17:36   #139
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Dan, I will tell you while the incident report is a consideration, the liability decision by the insurance companies is completely independent of that report, and often times is the opposite to that of the report. You are correct about the process. The insurance companies will assess liability based on their independent investigations. They will then negotiate with each other to try to reach an agreement as to who is at fault, and to what percentage (Ca is a pure negligence state). If they are unable to agree, there are generally two options. One, if they are members of arbitration, they will go before arbitration, and present their case. The decision is final, and can not be appealed. If either, or both are not members of arbitration, either may go to court for damages. In this case, small claims would be the most likely. Limits in Ca small claims court are $7500.00. If either party is uninsured, that party will be at an extreme disadvantage, as he will be responsible for proving his case in court if the other party does not willingly accept liability. The insurance company will only work for him if two things are in place. One, the liability, at least in part, is found adverse to that insured, or, two, if he has physical damage coverage for his own boat. If he has no coverage for his own boat, and his insurance company finds liability adverse to the other party, they will take no action, as there is no claim with them.
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Old 13-10-2008, 18:41   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiracer View Post
TaoJones,

Just curious for your basis for your conclusion of 1/3 liability to MF?

If we assume that the eye witness account by the photography is true, that SB changed direction and T-boned MF, what would lead to the 1/3 liability to MF?

Too fast for conditions?

RULE 6

SAFE SPEED

Every vessel shall at all times proceed at a safe speed so that she can take proper and effective action to avoid collision and be stopped within a distance appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.

MF may have been going to fast for conditions, but given the nature of the T-Bone, isn't it hard to connect speed as a causal element to this accident?
I agree that speed was inconsequential to this accident, John, and had stated that in an earlier post. And my 67:33 numbers were just something I pulled out of my . . . imagination. It's just my way of saying that Stand By bears twice the burden of Falcon.

As to what theory would apportion any blame to Falcon, I believe Rule 16 would come into the picture:

"Rule 16
Every vessel which is directed to keep out of the way of another vessel shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear."

Tom Perkins account of the accident indicates the two vessels were approaching one another on a reciprocal course, and gave way to port.

Perkins: "A few minutes before this photo sequence was taken, the Falcon had turned to port, to give the right of way to the smaller yacht, which was to leeward on the starboard tack. The Stand-By was originally on a roughly reciprocal course to that of the Falcon."

He contends that Stand By bore off, as well, and that these actions would permit the vessels to clear by 200 feet.

Perkins: "Prior to the photos shown here, Stand-By was bearing away, and the two yachts were on safe courses to pass roughly with a distance of 200 feet separation."

He then states that "After Stand-By had sailed past the Falcon's bow, the smaller vessel suddenly rounded up, possibly to tack in order to follow the Falcon, when she lost control. With her main sheeted hard in, the smaller boat was unable to bear away to avoid a collision."

I see this as problematical, because for the smaller vessel to suddenly tack onto starboard, and augur into Falcon, there's just no way that the separation was ever anything like 200 feet. The time/date stamps on the images show that from the time of the first image, it was a full :20 before the vessels made contact, and it appears to me that they were no more than 40-50' apart in the first image.

Peter Lyons concedes that the images don't reveal this, but that Stand By had just tacked into that position. Therefore, under Rule 16, it could be argued that Falcon failed to ". . . take early and substantial action to keep well clear."

Granted, it's a bit of a stretch, but on flimsier threads have men been hanged.

TaoJones
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Old 14-10-2008, 11:41   #141
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TaoJones,

That makes sense to me. Thanks.
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Old 14-10-2008, 12:21   #142
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I don't have the time/expertise/inclination to attempt this, but it'd be interesting for someone to try to determine MF's speed based on the distance moved compared to the photo time stamps. The reason I'm not gonna try is the angle of the camera to the action is awkward for this, and it changes. And the focal length of the camera changes. And the two boats change position in relation to each other. I think to be accurate it'd take a specialist. But, since a boat travels about 1/2 meter per second per knot, if the distance could be guessed with some accuracy, the math is simple.

-dan

1 nautical mile = 1852 meters. 1852/60/60=.514444 meters per second @ 1kt
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Old 14-10-2008, 18:33   #143
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I lied...

OK, I lied. I decided to take a stab at the speeds, after all.
  • 14:32:54 - First photo with SB.
  • 14:33:16 - Best I can tell, this is at impact.

That's 22 seconds.

1 nautical mile is 6067 feet. So, for each knot, the boat moves 1.69 feet per second (6067/60/60).

I'm thinking SB was max 2 boat lengths from MF, and definitely more than 1 boat length, so:
  • 40 feet, 1.82 feet per second, 3.07 kts minimum
  • 80 feet, 3.64 feet per second, 6.14 kts max
Now, how far did MF move? Dang, that's hard to say. But the impact was somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 the way back on the boat. From the photos, I can't imagine SB being even with the bow. Max I can see is that MF might have moved forward 1/3 of it's length. From the photos, I can't seem to figure a minimum distance, so I only figured max.
  • 96.33 feet, 4.38 feet per second, 7.39 kts max.
So, I'd say MF was moving a MAX of about 7kts. I wouldn't have guessed that from the heel, but there ya go.

My actual guess is that MF was going quite a bit slower than that. I think it moved forward less than 1/4 of it's length, so:
  • 72.25 feet, 3.28 feet per second, 5.54 kts.

So, the questions are:
  • First, does this sound at all reasonable from the photos?
  • Second, what bearing, if any, does this have on anyone's opinion?
I know some people have said the speed doesn't matter, and they have good arguments as to why that is the case. And others say it does matter and have their own good arguments.

I am not saying anything on either side. So PLEASE don't try to infer that from any of this post. Since people DID bring up speed, however, I just had fun trying to see what limits, if any, I could come up with for the speed just from the photos. On the other hand, I would WELCOME people attacking my reasoning and/or math in deducing min/max speed. I might learn something.

My SWAG guesses (range):
  • SB: 5.5 kts (5-6)
  • MF: 5.5 kts (4-7)

Interestingly enough, my guess is the same for each boat. But you can see from the ranges I am more confident of the accuracy of the SB guess than the MF guess. 1kt range for SB, 3kt range for MF.

-dan
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Old 14-10-2008, 18:49   #144
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Dan,

Well, you made me go back and look at the pictures again.

Totally unscientific observation: Looks to me like the two boats were traveling at approximately similar speeds. MF maybe a little faster.

We know SB upper speed limit in those conditions, of course, which if I'm right about their relative speeds says a lot about MF's speed.

I had not noticed that before. Thanks.
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Old 14-10-2008, 19:43   #145
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MF...SB....somebody just getting into this thread might think we are cussin
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Old 14-10-2008, 19:52   #146
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MF...SB....somebody just getting into this thread might think we are cussin
LOL! If I went back and read the thread with the proper substitutions, it would probably read better, too.
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Old 14-10-2008, 20:59   #147
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It is really entertaining to hear all the armchair opinions.........

My take is the SomeBeech shoulda stayed outta the way of the Mortal Focker
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Old 14-10-2008, 22:35   #148
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Originally Posted by dacust View Post
<snip>

My SWAG guesses (range):
  • SB: 5.5 kts (5-6)
  • MF: 5.5 kts (4-7)

Interestingly enough, my guess is the same for each boat. But you can see from the ranges I am more confident of the accuracy of the SB guess than the MF guess. 1kt range for SB, 3kt range for MF.

-dan
That's interesting, Dan. Nice work!

Here's the animated version of the still shots again so people can see if your hypothesis seems to match the images.

(IMG:http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/a...drewes_5-1.gif)

Your speed ranges remind me of the one about the three pollsters who go duck hunting. As a duck flies over their blind, the first pollster jumps up and fires, but he aims too high. The second pollster jumps up, fires, but he's too low. The third pollster jumps up and excitedly yells, "We got him!"

* * *

I'm fairly confident in my reading of the images that contact between Stand By's bow, and Falcon's cap rail occurs at 14:33:12. If you trim those extra four seconds off your calcs, what does that do to the speed?

A further complicating factor, it seems to me, is that if Stand By had just tacked into that position in the first image, she would be accelerating from the first image as she closes with Falcon's rail. In other words, I don't think we can assume that she was moving at a constant speed from when we see her in the first image, right up to impact.

I'm inclined to believe that the disruption to Stand By's wind as Falcon sailed through it caused Stand By to weathercock, much to the surprise of her crew, and that may account for their seeming inattention to what they were sailing into. When they suddenly rounded up without providing any input, they would undoubtedly be momentarily confused as to how to respond.

TaoJones
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Old 14-10-2008, 23:52   #149
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Speed is a possible big factor in the event. Back in the day when I was sailing 18ft Skiffs we always had issues with people cutting across our bows while thinking we were going a lot slower than we were. A couple found out that our long carbon prod can easily go clean through their topsides due to the speeds we were actually doing. With our No1 rig up we could do 12kts of boat speed in 6 -7kts of wind speed. I did trap many.

Also these big beasts, like MF, do actually sail quite fast but their size doesn't make it that obvious. MF could easily do 14kts under sail. I think she is doing more than the 5-6 as Dans calculations show though. I'd say she looks to be in the double figure knots in the photos. Just looking at her wake I'd say she is getting along very well.

Maybe SB just didn't realise how quick MF was going so didn't allow the room required.

Just a thought.
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Old 15-10-2008, 06:57   #150
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I'm fairly confident in my reading of the images that contact between Stand By's bow, and Falcon's cap rail occurs at 14:33:12. If you trim those extra four seconds off your calcs, what does that do to the speed?
OK, Tao, that's 18 seconds.

Note: After the Cheif's observation, I insist on using just the abreviations. Supply your own substitutions...

SB
  • 40 feet, 2.22 feet per second, 3.75 kts minimum
  • 80 feet, 4.44 feet per second, 7.50 kts max

MF - 1/3 length figures
  • 96.33 feet, 5.35 feet per second, 9.03 kts max.

MF - 1/4 length figures
  • 72.25 feet, 4.01 feet per second, 6.77 kts.

My SWAG guesses (range):
  • SB: 6.75 kts (6.25-7.25)
  • MF: 6.75 kts (4.75-7.75)

So, reducing the time 4 seconds increased my SWAGs about 1.25 kts.

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Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
A further complicating factor, it seems to me, is that if Stand By had just tacked into that position in the first image, she would be accelerating from the first image as she closes with Falcon's rail. In other words, I don't think we can assume that she was moving at a constant speed from when we see her in the first image, right up to impact.
True. But, that wouldn't change my figures, because they are an average over the 22 or 18 seconds. I don't think I have enough evidence available in the photos to come up with acceleration figures. It's hard enough to guess the distance traveled by SB total, much less guess distances between the first two photos and the last two, and compare.

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I think she is doing more than the 5-6 as Dans calculations show though. I'd say she looks to be in the double figure knots in the photos. Just looking at her wake I'd say she is getting along very well.
Yep, looks like that to me, too. But, I just did the calculations purely mathematically as it came without letting what it looked like change my figures. However, I did a lot of guessing, so it could easily be way off.

I can't see any way MF traveled half it's length in that time, can anyone else? But if they did:
  • 144.5 feet, 22 seconds, 6.57 feet per second, 11.09 kts.
  • 144.5 feet, 18 seconds, 8.03 feet per second, 13.65 kts.
So, to achieve double digit kts, they would have had to travel about half their length.

-dan

PS Tao and GMac, I didn't address the other comments in your posts. Good observations from both of you, though. I was just ignoring them and looking only at the figures.
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