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Old 08-10-2008, 16:00   #46
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From today's 'Lectronic Latitude, Richard Spindler, publisher of Latitude 38, gives his take on the incident:

* * * * *

Collision between Falcon and Stand By

October 8, 2008 San Francisco Bay

According to those aboard Maltese Falcon, including a Bay pilot, the Nordic 40 Stand By T-boned the Falcon after inexplicably luffing up.
2008 Peter Lyons / www.lyonsimaging.com

Last Saturday there was a collision between the Nordic 40 Stand By and Maltese Falcon on San Francisco Bay. The smaller boat plowed into the 289-ft yacht's starboard beam, damaging a bit of the hull and rail. The top of the mast also punched a hole in one of Falcon's sails. As for the smaller boat, a big chunk was taken out of her bow.


Falcon's cap rail and a little bit of her hull took the brunt of the damage from Stand By's bow.
Photo Latitude / Richard
2008 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.


Falcon's crew was up till 1 a.m. repairing the hole Stand By's mast punched in one of the big yacht's 15 sails. The repair had to be done with the sail in place.
Photo Latitude / Richard
2008 Latitude 38 Publishing Co., Inc.


Stand By heading back to port with a bite out of her bow. Fortunately neither boat was damaged too badly and nobody was hurt.
2008 James Morgan


To read the entire piece, go to:

Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine

* * * * *

When I was young and irresponsible, I enjoyed flying hang gliders, and the mental image of Stand By rounding up after passing Maltese Falcon's bow gave me a flashback to an occasion when I was soaring a cliff face near Hansen Dam in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. I made a rash decision to turn into the cliff face to traverse back in the other direction (a major hang gliding no-no - always turn away from the cliff).

Obviously, had I caught my left wingtip on the face, I wouldn't be posting this now, but the small separation gap induced a high pucker-factor.

When Stand By rounded up after sailing into Maltese Falcon's wind shadow, thereby suffering a loss of control, the persons aboard probably also experienced that same high pucker-factor. I'm sure they've realized since that there were things they could have done in those few seconds of panic to avoid the collision. It will be interesting to learn if the person at Stand By's helm was the owner of the vessel and what his level of experience is.

I hope Tom Perkins chooses to eat the cost of repairs to his magnificant vessel inasmuch as the yard bill will be but a pittance to him, because if those aboard Stand By are let off the hook for the damage, they will be more likely to acknowledge their culpability and provide an honest account of the incident.

Who knows, they may even be posting here in the Sailor's Confessional Forum.

TaoJones
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Old 08-10-2008, 19:34   #47
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They could have tried to stop. Dump sheets maybe? Wouldn't take long.
My boat doesn't have brakes - does yours? Dumping sheets at this point would have done what? - They were pointing into the wind and in MF's wind shadow. Oh and desperately trying to come right about.
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Old 08-10-2008, 19:53   #48
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The photo showing Yellow Jacket turning his head forward coincident with the slap of MF's bow wave over SB's bow convinced me that he didn't have any idea what was in front of them until that instant in time.
Totally speculative. Just consider the time span - a couple seconds. Consider that MF was clearly on course to pass VERY close to SB and at the last second turned to port. Consider that if SB was fine on MF's bow and crossing rather than end-on, SB's best option a la 17(b) avoidance was an hard alteration to stbd. That's a lot more plausible explanation than an unplanned, unexpected turn followed by a 20-knot sprint into the side of MF.

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Take the time to look at the whole photo sequence in hi-res.
Don't make assumptions - I did.
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Old 08-10-2008, 20:03   #49
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Originally Posted by TaoJones View Post
From today's 'Lectronic Latitude, Richard Spindler, publisher of Latitude 38, gives his take on the incident:

"The smaller boat plowed into the 289-ft yacht's starboard beam..."
Good to see some nice impartial reporting

Oh, and there was this brilliant nugget in the article: "And despite being the bigger boat, Falcon often changed course to stay as clear as possible."

Someone's gonna have to show me where in the rules it says the bigger boat would not normally follow the rules. Maybe someone should let Lat 38 know about colregs.
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Old 08-10-2008, 20:19   #50
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Sounds to me like the smaller boat made some radical course changes right before the collision making it nearly if not completely impossible for the Maltese Falcon to avoid a collision.

This is a clear violation of rule 8(a) Any action taken to avoid collision shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship.
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Old 08-10-2008, 20:27   #51
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My boat doesn't have brakes - does yours? Dumping sheets at this point would have done what? - They were pointing into the wind and in MF's wind shadow. Oh and desperately trying to come right about.
SB doesn't appear to alter course in the whole sequence of shots. Dumping sheets would have removed from the equation any sail imbalance which might have been stopping them from turning. (Presuming they were actually trying to turn)
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Old 08-10-2008, 20:41   #52
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Sounds to me like the smaller boat made some radical course changes right before the collision making it nearly if not completely impossible for the Maltese Falcon to avoid a collision.

This is a clear violation of rule 8(a) Any action taken to avoid collision shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship.
Falcon was on a port tack, Stand By was on Stbd. MF was required to stay out of SB's way and obviously failed to make positive action in ample time - otherwise they would have passed at a safe distance and any radical course changes by the smaller, SLOWER vessel would have not made a difference.
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Old 08-10-2008, 20:43   #53
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SB doesn't appear to alter course in the whole sequence of shots. Dumping sheets would have removed from the equation any sail imbalance which might have been stopping them from turning. (Presuming they were actually trying to turn)
Actually it's fairly clear they are altering to starboard throughout the few-second long sequence.
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Old 08-10-2008, 21:16   #54
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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
Falcon was on a port tack, Stand By was on Stbd. MF was required to stay out of SB's way and obviously failed to make positive action in ample time - otherwise they would have passed at a safe distance and any radical course changes by the smaller, SLOWER vessel would have not made a difference.
Do we know that that the stand on vessel did not alter her course radically? No. All we have are photos. No video...not much really except for written descriptions from eyewitnesses who said she tacked onto starboard. Did she tack onto starboard giving MF enough time to get out of the way?

I don't think we know that.

From the eyewitness reports, the small sailboat was pulling some radical turns right before the collision. Its NOT like the small boat was on starboard for quite some time allowing MF to assess the situation to allow the small boat to pass clear.

My guess is the small boat wanted to get right up close to take pictures like every other small boat out there, and they screwed up.
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Old 08-10-2008, 21:17   #55
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*** Total conjecture and total spin follows - SB is right not to talk to the media but the photog and the MF seem to have a good handle on spinning stories. SBs story might go like this...

********************

Like all boats we were out to see MF. We were long on starboard tack with boats either side. MF appeared to alter to port slightly and we thought she was going to give room as she is required to do by the regs.

Then 15 seconds later it became apparent that MF in violation of the regs was not going to yield.

With boats on both sides of us we were faced with the untenable position of tacking into a collision with traffic on our port and starboard, making us clearly in the wrong.

The series of photos covers the last 4 seconds or so before the collision. They do not show the other traffic I was staying clear of due to the zoom level.

My crew in the yellow jacket was watching the traffic that we were obliged to stay clear of and he was to tell me when it was clear to tack so that I might avoid the inevitable collision. We never had water to windward or leward in order to tack or gybe safely so I held course.

MF was carrying full sails and proceeding too fast for conditions and traffic - there were a lot of boats out. Another violation of the rules. Had she been slower she would have been able to maneuver better and avoid traffic she was obligated to give way to.

As to my actions after the collision, I do not know af any rule requiring me to heave to. I had a potentially, seriously damaged boat due to poor seamanship on the part of MF and I was running to port in case my boat was leaking uncontrollably. I knew there was heavy collision damage caused by MF. Heaving to, could have put me my boat and my crew in serious danger had she been shipping water.

See you in court....
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Old 08-10-2008, 21:19   #56
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Oh man... Dan, you should be their attorney!
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Old 08-10-2008, 23:37   #57
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So he claims that MF is passing SB green to green at 200 ft distance and has passed their bow when SB turns 90 degrees and t-bones them. In order for that to happen, SB would need to make the hard turn then cover a distance of 200 feet while MF only moved about 150 ft forward (given the collision at about the midpoint of MF). If that is the case then MF needed to be going about half the speed of SB - complete BS!
To suggest that 200 ft is a safe passing distance given their size and speed shows to me that this guy is an imbecile.

Kevin
1) I don't think it's fair to say Perkins is an imbecile, when maltese falcon sailed into the bay he had HUNDREDS of other boats around and literally dozens within 200 feet at any given time. What's he supposed to do?

2) I got a different takaway from Perkin's statement. I got that MF made a correction large enough to 'try' and pass 200 feet from the guy, for whatever reason it was less than 200' but the point is MF took action to avoid collision and SB did not.

Then guy altered course into MF.

3) I think that having a pilot aboard, and a corroborating independant witness in the form of the photographer should carry a bit of weight in deciding fault.

4) I can imagine that as they passed SB was not trimmed well, maybe they were already at full rudder. MF took all the wind from the jib and their main steered them up into MF. But the photog says they tacked not rounded up.

5)regardless of the rules, I certainly don't go out and expect a cruise ship or tanker to get out of my way when I'm out taking pictures of it. I think Falcon was in the right, and I think the other guy should be transferring assets into his kid's names like crazy. I bet his 500k or million dollar insurance policy is looking pretty meager. They might spend a mill in attorney's fees just to argue over what temperture was that day.

6) Leaving the scene of an accident was a very, very bad move.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:14   #58
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Facts?

Mmmmmmm,It amazes me how people can take sides with so little evidence available. Should we believe the MF pilot whose arse will be in a sling if hes at fault or the MF owner who must have a very small appendage if he finds it necessary to own a boat so large. What about the damaged rub rail photo in latitude 38 article with not a single splinter in sight but many grinder swirls/burns evident from the repair work having already commenced before the photo was taken , but still tendered as damage evidence. Speaks volumes for the research involved in this article.

MF attempted to pass clear by 200 feet according to accounts. Mmmmmm. That's all of just over half a boat length. Is it only me thinking around half a boat-length clearance is too flaming close .WTF. The owner of SB obviously understood the implications of being on-board a lead sled with a hole in it and high tailed it to the closest land before the whole shooting match sank. . Lets give SB the benefit of the doubt and wait for the official inquiry.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:10   #59
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Mmmmmmm,It amazes me how people can take sides with so little evidence available. Should we believe the MF pilot whose arse will be in a sling if hes at fault or the MF owner who must have a very small appendage if he finds it necessary to own a boat so large. What about the damaged rub rail photo in latitude 38 article with not a single splinter in sight but many grinder swirls/burns evident from the repair work having already commenced before the photo was taken , but still tendered as damage evidence. Speaks volumes for the research involved in this article.

MF attempted to pass clear by 200 feet according to accounts. Mmmmmm. That's all of just over half a boat length. Is it only me thinking around half a boat-length clearance is too flaming close .WTF. The owner of SB obviously understood the implications of being on-board a lead sled with a hole in it and high tailed it to the closest land before the whole shooting match sank. . Lets give SB the benefit of the doubt and wait for the official inquiry.
Your first sentence gave me a high option of your objectivity. But your second sentence negated that fairly rapidly. Then your third sentence takes it even further down. Can you spot that "repair evidence" in any of the previous photos? I can't. But I can see it from the distance in the photos immediately after the impact.

Then, your last paragraph, while saying things I don't buy, at least goes back to reasonable objective reasoning. I thought the owners statement was implying more like the MF was steering to attempt a course to expand the gap to about 200ft, not steering a course to attempt to narrow it to that. In other words, due to SBs movements, they were steering away, and what they managed to acheive was a 200ft gap.

As for leaving, it'd take a lot of apprehension to make me leave the scene of an auto accident because I know I'd have to defend my actions to the police. In a boat, if I were scared for some reason, I think I might go off a reasonable distance and then wait, or radio the CG and tell them of my actions.

So, even though I dissagree with your conclusions, I say your second paragraph shows objectivity because it's possible there's some merit there and objective thought requires us to consider those types of possibilities. Same goes for the possibility that MF might have been purposely closing to 200ft.

It doesn't bother me when people take sides on scanty information. (The following applies mainly to other posters above, but it applies to some of your statements, as well.) However, it DOES bother me when people use strong, abusive or accusatory language towards one party or another, when they know they don't have all the facts. That is why I try to say "I think", and "If what they say...", and "If I was in that situation, I think I would" etc.

Oh, and from my understanding of how it works to be a pilot, the captain remains in control and the boat is still operated by the crew. The pilot is on board just as an advisor and observer. The pilot doesn't steer the boat. Their arse wouldn't be in a sling for the crews actions, but it'd certainly be in a sling for not reporting the facts accurately and truthfully. Sure, they could be lying (bribe?), but in court I bet the pilots words will carry weight somewhere between a statement from a licensed captain and a law officer. If I am wrong in a pilots duties, I hope someone will post a correction for me.

I got to run to work, so I haven't edited this post as carefully as I normally do, so I hope it expresses what I meant to say.

-dan
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:24   #60
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I2F, you've got a naughty mind...
Hud,

I know what kind of words would be falling out of my mouth when I realized what I was about to encounter.....yes I have a naughty mouth & mind sometimes

All my years of sailing on the bay. I have noticed much alcohol is involved. That might be reason enough to leave, and make bad judgment calls.

I am sure more people will be stepping forward with more details of what they saw. In my mind I can't find one reason to even get close to a fast moving ship like MF, freighters, or anything else large. I am wondering if the speed of MF through the water helped suck SB into them?
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