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Old 11-10-2008, 11:35   #121
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I never intended that picture to depict SB & MF. I was giving an example of how gawkers get close, and pinch boats in. This is clearly another day, and it is on the bay the day before. It is a prime example of being restricted!
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Old 11-10-2008, 15:03   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
<snip>
From seeing the photo sequence of the collision, and from the remarks of the photographer, I believe that the SB was on starboard tack, with clearance appropriate for the conditions. They then turned onto a collision course with MF, giving MF insufficient time to respond. If MF had turned to port, their stern would have swung into the approaching SB, possibly making the collision worse.

Just my opinion, of course, I wasn't there.<snip>
Paul Elliott's take conforms with my understanding of the incident from reading the various accounts.

Maltese Falcon had sailed south under the Bay Bridge at 14:24:20 (picture 296 of 479), came about, and headed back under the bridge, northbound, at 14:26:20 (319) on port tack. She has all three topgallant sails furled, so her sail area is about 80% of what she could fly.

A rough idea of her speed can be ascertained by clicking through from photos 319 (at 14:26:20) through 325 (at 14:26:34). In the fourteen second time frame, the shadow of the bridge moves from the sails on the foremast to a similar position on the mainmast - a distance of less than 100 feet.

The photographer from Lyons Imaging (Peter Lyons, himself) has repositioned the vessel he's shooting from to port of Maltese Falcon and ahead at image 331 (14:31:18). It is from this time that the sequence begins which culminates in the collision. At 346 (14:32:00), the photographer has crossed Falcon's course and is now shooting her starboard side, panning with the vessel as she sails north. At this point, the Bay Bridge is at the left side of the frame, and the city is in the background. The camera is pointing approximately SW.

At image 354 (14:32:20), Falcon's bow is abeam the photographer's vessel - that's the Golden Gate Bridge far in the background and visible under Falcon's bow. Thirty-two seconds later, the photographer resumes shooting when he becomes aware that a collision is imminent. It's apparent from the crowd on the afterdeck of Falcon that they are aware that something's up, as they rush to starboard to watch. An increase in heel as Falcon turns to port, perhaps, or five blasts on her horn? Who knows.

The two crew on Stand By seem unaware, though, that anything is amiss. The first shot in the collision sequence is 356 (14:32:54) with Stand By at what looks like less than a boat length (40') from Falcon. It's evident that Stand By has been on her course for a bit, however, judging by the length and direction of her wake. On October 5th, Peter Lyons wrote, "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."

In the next frame (357 at 14:32:58), Stand By appears to be about twenty feet from Falcon, and her crew seem to still be unaware of the situation. Two seconds later (358 at 14:33:00), Stand By has closed to about fifteen feet. Her crew still seen unaware of the situation and her sails are still drawing, but a member of the Falcon's crew has emerged from her control room onto the bridge deck to get a good view.

Four seconds later (359 at 14:33:04) the two crew aboard Stand By seem to be reacting for the first time as the helmsman appears to be looking upward at Falcon, and the crew in yellow starts to turn his head to look over his left shoulder. Her jib has begun to luff, so it's possible they are reacting to that. At 360 (14:33:06), Stand By looks to be less than ten feet from Falcon.

At 361 (14:33:08), Stand By appears to be less than five feet from Falcon. At 362 (14:33:12), Stand By's bow makes contact with Falcon's cap rail, throwing the helmsman off his feet, and snapping the jib forward, as well.

At 363 (14:33:14), Stand By's bow has dropped off the initial contact point and she has begun to pivot to starboard under the force of Falcon's momentum, and possible by the helmsman pulling the wheel hard a-starboard. The yellow-jacketed crew appears to have been dislodged by the impact and the sudden pivot at this point, as well.

At 364 (14:33:16), Stand by appears to be clear of Falcon, continues to pivot to starboard and the crew in yellow seems to be well off-balance. Her jib begins to backwind. At 365 (14:33:20), Stand By continues to pivot to starboard and the jib is backwinded more fully. At 366 (14:33:22), the vessels are no longer in contact, but Stand By's masthead appears to be only inches from tearing through Falcon's main topsail.

At 367 (14:33:24), Stand By's masthead appears to be in contact with Falcon's sail, though not yet to have torn it, and continues pivoting to starboard with her jib still backwinded, but less fully. The crew in yellow appears to be seated at this point. At 368 (14:33:26), the masthead has ripped through Falcon's sail. At 369 (14:33:30) the masthead has come clear of Falcon's sail, and the torn portion of the sail is evident.

At 370 (14:33:32), the vessels no longer appear to be in contact. At 371 (14:33:34), the accident is history and Stand By has pivoted to an almost parallel course to Falcon. The torn portion of Falcon's sail is very clearly visible.

At 395 (14:57:02), the USCG appears on the scene 23 1/2 minutes after the accident, and then gets Stand By to drop her sails about three minutes later.

To see an animated version of the accident, go to:

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

It isn't my work, but was done by a poster (MpYre) and put up on Sailing Anarchy.

The Nordic 40 is a Robert Perry design, and the funniest line to come out of this was Bob saying, "I'll probably be getting a call Monday morning blaming it all on me."

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Old 11-10-2008, 15:57   #123
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And what shoud MF have done?

I'm curious. To those who think that MF should have avoided the collision exactly what action should have been taken?

And is the contention that large boats must take their sails down and motor slowly? If so, at what size boat, and under what conditions will we start this rule?
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Old 11-10-2008, 15:59   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
<snip>

For one thing, we don't know that the pilot wasn't the same one who ran Cosco Busan into the Bay bridge a few months back. You would be extremely surprised by what is the minimum required certification to be a pilot. The fact that he owns a 40 ft Beneteau is supposed to impress me - I think not. If he thinks that the passing arrangements between two 40 footers going 5 knots will work with a 300 footer going 20 then he too is an imbecile. The photographer admits to not knowing much about sailing and that he was only aware of the situation immediately prior to the collision (about the time he started snapping pictures of it); he didn't know what transpired before then, nor was he on the bridge of (or even aboard) MF so he has no idea what transpired after.

<snip>
The pilot aboard Maltese Falcon last weekend was Captain Peter Fuller. He was donating his time and expertise without charge as a contribution to the Leukemia Cup Regatta. The pilot aboard the Cosco Busan was John Joseph Cota.

From the website of the San Francisco Bar Pilots, the following details the training they must undergo:


"A WORD ABOUT TRAINING

"Since 1986, a comprehensive state training program, administered by the California State Board of Pilot Commissioners, geared specifically to the exceptional demands of the Bay Area waterways has been a prerequisite to becoming a San Francisco Bar Pilot. After apprenticeship and licensing, every pilot continues ongoing professional training to stay current in all vital areas.


"To qualify for the training program, an applicant must, at minimum, hold a valid U. S. Coast Guard Master’s license with radar endorsement. He or she must have at least two years’ command or piloting experience and a federal pilotage endorsement. Those who have become apprentice pilots are already accomplished vessel captains. Training is full time and lasts up to three years; it takes place in the classroom, in simulators, and on board vessels of all types. During their apprenticeships, trainees will typically handle more than 600 ships before entering the ranks as a Bar Pilot, commissioned and licensed by the California State Board of Pilot Commissioners.

"A pilot must have a valid federal license, including the latest requirements for radar endorsement. Pilots must take a bridge resource management course every five years and a one-week training course at the internationally renowned manned model Port Revel Shiphandling Centre in France every five years."

Here's the link to the SFBP website:

San Francisco Bar Pilots > Home

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Old 11-10-2008, 22:02   #125
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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
I never intended that picture to depict SB & MF. I was giving an example of how gawkers get close, and pinch boats in. This is clearly another day, and it is on the bay the day before. It is a prime example of being restricted!
Sorry, I just wanted to be sure that everyone knew this was a different day. Everyone should look at that photo again: there are two sailboats, one to port and the other to starboard. What can MF do except hope that the SBs don't want to committ suicide?



Here is a shot I took from the Golden Gate Bridge as MF was entering the bay on Sept 27. MF has limited options available for avoiding the other traffic, especially carelessly-steered vessels. From the photos of the collision, it looks like the SB would have plowed into MF even if MF had been anchored.

By the way, I sailed by MF today as VALIS was heading into the bay to watch the Fleet Week airshow (Blue Angels, etc -- very nice!). MF was still repairing the damage to her starboard side.
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Old 11-10-2008, 22:20   #126
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I don't know how much of the white caps are wind caused but if so we are looking at 15-20 knots. MF could have slowed down.

Period...
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Old 11-10-2008, 22:55   #127
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I don't know how much of the white caps are wind caused but if so we are looking at 15-20 knots. MF could have slowed down.

Period...
Sorry, I just don't see it. IMO MF's speed was not a factor in the collision. The SB turned into MF, not giving MF the time or space to react. As I said, MF could have been anchored and it wouldn't have helped -- the SB just ran into her.

And yes, the whitecaps are mostly wind (and wakes). The afternoon wind funnels through the Gate and it gets pretty brisk. I would guess you are pretty close on the windspeed estimate.
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Old 12-10-2008, 00:15   #128
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Peter Lyons has written than he estimates Maltese Falcon was sailing at about 12 kts in 16-17 kt winds. I agree with Paul Elliott, once again, however - speed was not a factor in this incident. Except that had Falcon been traveling a fraction of a kt slower, she could have centerpunched Stand By instead. That would have really ruined Stand By's day!

For what it's worth, here's something else to consider, but only as a lawyerly point of information:

Was Maltese Falcon really on port tack?

Rule 12 (part b in particular) reads as follows:

Rule 12
(a)When two sailing vessels are approaching one another, so as to involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the way of the other as follows:
    1. when each has the wind on a different side, the vessel which has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of the other;
    2. when both have the wind on the same side, the vessel which is to windward shall keep out of the way of the vessel which is to leeward;
    3. if a vessel with the wind on the port side sees a vessel to windward and cannot determine with certainty whether the other vessel has the wind on the port or on the starboard side, she shall keep out of the way of the other.
(b)For the purposes of this Rule the windward side shall be deemed to be the side opposite that on which the mainsail is carried or, in the case of a square-rigged vessel, the side opposite to that on which the largest fore-and-aft sail is carried.

Why is this amusing? Maltese Falcon has no mainsail, she's a square-rigged vessel. However, she carries no fore-and-aft sails, so, under 12(b) it is impossible to determine whether she's on either port or starboard tack.

Her DynaRig is capable, due to mast rotation, curvature of her yards and absence of any gaps between sails (making all of the canvas on each mast essentially a single sail) of allowing her to sail almost directly into the wind.

Lawyers love this stuff, and chances are Tom Perkins knows where to find a good admiralty mouthpiece.

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Old 12-10-2008, 07:29   #129
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Sorry, I just don't see it. IMO MF's speed was not a factor in the collision. The SB turned into MF, not giving MF the time or space to react.

Not to single you out Paul but I am curious.

I really have no dog in this race and I have said on more than a couple of occasions that I think both boats are at fault. I don't care who wins or loses.

What I am curious about is why posters think this is black and white.

Some are "defending" MF to the death. Some are defending SB to the death.

Do you just not agree with the port starboard rule?

If so please let me know the names of your vessels and I will be sure not to give way when I am required to.
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Old 12-10-2008, 10:41   #130
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Do you just not agree with the port starboard rule?
Of course I believe in the port-starboard rule. I just think that if somebody tacks onto starboard, on a collision-course, they need to give the other vessel time and space to respond. The necessary time and space will depend on the speed and agility of the vessels, and on the circumstances.

In this case (as I see it) MF was not given the opportunity to respond. This is the primary reason that I feel the collision was solely fault of the SB. There was nothing the MF could have done to avoid the collision.

Also, while MF may not have been constrained by draft (etc.), she very well have been constrained by the positions of other nearby vessels. For example, I was on the San Francisco bay yesterday during the Blue Angels' air show, and while I certainly attempted to follow the rules, there were many cases where the only rule I could follow was the "don't hit anything!" rule -- I was often constrained in my ability to maneuver by the presence of other vessels. We managed to have a great time regardless.

Finally, I am probably reacting to the negative remarks about "stupid rich people on expensive boats" (not that I am any of these, at least compared to Tom Perkins -- well, perhaps stupid). Also the negative comments on the bay pilots were probably uncalled for. To be honest, I don't recall if this forum had many of this type of comment, but wherever they were I thought they were unproductive at best.

But the main thing (IMO) is that MF wasn't given the opportunity to respond to the SB's maneuver.

In case you are still concerned, my boat's name is VALIS, a Pacific Seacraft 44 cutter with white hull and blue boot-stripe. Photos are on the website.
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Old 12-10-2008, 15:39   #131
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Scratches...

Mines the white multi chine steel with scratches on the stem, and many touch ups on the paint.
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Old 12-10-2008, 16:51   #132
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Reading some of the narratives of the pictures is like Zapruder Redux
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Old 12-10-2008, 16:51   #133
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Of course I believe in the port-starboard rule. I just think that if somebody tacks onto starboard, on a collision-course, they need to give the other vessel time and space to respond.

In this case (as I see it) MF was not given the opportunity to respond. This is the primary reason that I feel the collision was solely fault of the SB. There was nothing the MF could have done to avoid the collision.
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.


Quote:
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Finally, I am probably reacting to the negative remarks about "stupid rich people on expensive boats" (not that I am any of these, at least compared to Tom Perkins -- well, perhaps stupid). Also the negative comments on the bay pilots were probably uncalled for. To be honest, I don't recall if this forum had many of this type of comment, but wherever they were I thought they were unproductive at best.

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,
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Old 13-10-2008, 16:17   #134
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Rule 17
(a)

- Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and speed.

Rule 16 & 17: Action of Give-way and Stand-on Vessel

It will be interesting to see if this rule is invoked.

I think it's an either/or situation. Either MF failed to yield the right of way or SB failed to maintain her course.

Rule 17

(b) When, from any cause, the vessel required to keep her course and speed finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision.

I see nothing in the pictures indicating that SB complied with this rule. So, even if MF failed to yield the right of way, SB failed to take action to avoid collision. They had some time to react, but apparently never saw the risk of collision because of their failure to maintain proper watch. Which leads to:

Rule 5
Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

It's real hard to reconcile the pictures with Rule 5. Clearly the people on MF saw the collision developing while the captain and crew on SB were oblivious for way too long.

I'll admit that I've had some navigational buoys sneak up on me, even though I still managed to miss them. But, as an example, just this last weekend I had not one but two large oil tankers come down the straight. Not being sure if they had enough room to manoever, I turned on the engine and got the heck out of their way. And I can assure you I knew exactly where they were every second, even though they never came within 1/2 nautical mile.

That the captian on SB could get that close to MF before noticing that a collision was imminent is very damning in my book. I get close to real ships and I can't hardly take my eyes off.
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Old 13-10-2008, 16:43   #135
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