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Old 21-09-2012, 16:12   #316
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman

Sorry, you misunderstand the situation. You are sailing on a course of north at 5 kts. At a bearing of 282, range of 5 miles there is a freighter on a course of east at 25 kts. You are closing on a steady bearing, and in 12 minutes will be trying to occupy the same piece of ocean - that is now 1 mile in front of you. Do you turn to port? What about TonyB or Dockhead?
Ok this is just a re-statement of the classic fast cat problem. In effect you are within a cone of error. It's a bad place to be.

Usually I stop.( if I have searoom or no threatening traffic) Because if he sees me he can easily compensate for that , if he doesn't then he will pass ahead of me. At that speed we are already past the give way/stand on, and into saving your hide as he should have executed a turn well before that. I also will start my engine and have it ready, I'll also remove any sail that hampers my ability to turn and get ready to motor sail. ( because of potential wind shadow effects etc)

Otherwise I would be forced stand on, until I reverified no adjustment in the give way vessel. At two miles I would execute a turn to starboard to reduce the relative velocities and present a smaller target while still allowing the give way vessel an ability to turn also to starboard. at that speed you will end up in a close quarters situation. This case you mentioned is a classic speed mismatch issue.

At night or in fog this situation can become dangerous real fast, ( as in SV road kill)

I would be using the radio etc to ensure my presence was verified.

What I wouldn't do is just sail on assuming the COLREGS of my boat is stronger then his hull.

Dave
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Old 21-09-2012, 16:18   #317
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
First quiz question

Which vessel is at the bottom of the "pecking order"?
As I recall, seaplanes.

The best action is to give way to the big guys. Even at sea they are harder to maneuver and slower to respond. Possibility is always that they don't see you. Forget your testosterone and avoid the encounter well in advance. If you have AIS and can get a response from the big guy and arrange for a passing (probably to HIS liking), more better. You will have the peace of mind that the big guy is aware and sees you.

Remember, no mater the rules, the inquest, (if you are alive) will ask, "Captain, you were within your rights but, did you do everything you could to avoid the collision?"
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Old 21-09-2012, 16:25   #318
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

If I understand your situation--own ship sailing north, approaching ship steaming east at 282*--then the approaching steamer is the give way vessel since my vessel is in his danger zone (0*--112.5*). He would be the give way vessel in any case if I am under sail alone. He should, if following the rules of the road, turn to starboard sufficiently to cross my stern--and probably should have done so when still on my horizon.

Assuming he hasn't seen me or for some reason has chosen deliberately not to alter course then I should take evasive action. Wind permitting either a sharp turn to port or to starboard so as to bring the approaching steaming into my stern quadrant.
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Old 21-09-2012, 16:31   #319
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

[QUOTE=Dockhead;1041226]I don't know why this tickled my funnybone so much, but I laughed for a long, long time when I read this. Commercial mariners' joke about Colregs and sailboats:

What are the four cases where sail gives way to power?

Answer:

1. When the sailboat is in the shadow of the ships side and is becalmed,
2. When the sailboat is confused about what he sees.
3. When the sailboat is smaller that whatever else it is about to hit.
4. When the sailboat is exhibiting sound judgment.


ROTFLMAO.

Stern note to the beginners on here -- this is a JOKE. Lest we next get into a heated debate about the precise meaning of "confused about what he sees".[/QUOTE]

Being slightly smarter than a rock, are you inferring something or implying something?
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Old 21-09-2012, 16:35   #320
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Ok this is just a re-statement of the classic fast cat problem. In effect you are within a cone of error.

Usually I stop.( if I have searoom or no threatening traffic) Because if he sees me he can easily compensate for that , if he doesn't then he will pass ahead of me. At that speed we are already past the give way/stand on, and into saving your hide as he should have executed a turn well before that.

Otherwise I would be forced stand on, until I reverified no adjustment in the give way vessel. At two miles I would execute a turn to starboard to reduce the relative velocities and present a smaller target while still allowing the give way vessel an ability to turn also to starboard. at that speed you will end up in a close quarters situation. This case you mentioned is a classic speed mismatch issue.

At night or in fog this situation can become dangerous real fast, ( as in SV road kill)

I would be using the radio etc to ensure my presence was verified.

What I wouldn't do is just sail on assuming the COLREGS of my boat is stronger then his hull.

Dave
I prefered your version before the edit. I wouldn't stop, as his plan may be counting on your making 5 kts and it makes you a bit of a sitting duck. I was looking for the turn to starboard answer. Reduces closing speed, impact speed, glancing blow vice t-bone and still leaves you manoeuvrable. Radios, lights, flares etc.

I've not heard of the 'cone of error'; could you explain that please? Maybe it should be 'cone of terror.' I don't know about it being a classic fast cat scenario; it's exactly what has been discussed throughout this thread - a merchant doing merchant speed and a sailboat sailing at sailboat speed, crossing in open ocean. Up until know there has been a lot of yakkety yak about pointing at sterns, without any consideration of what that entails in the real world.

I wish you didn't end with that last statement. Colregs does not require you to stand on until you impact - all of the actions you stated were well within the scope of colregs. Gold star for you.
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Old 21-09-2012, 16:49   #321
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by Astrid View Post
If I understand your situation--own ship sailing north, approaching ship steaming east at 282*--then the approaching steamer is the give way vessel since my vessel is in his danger zone (0*--112.5*). He would be the give way vessel in any case if I am under sail alone. He should, if following the rules of the road, turn to starboard sufficiently to cross my stern--and probably should have done so when still on my horizon.

Assuming he hasn't seen me or for some reason has chosen deliberately not to alter course then I should take evasive action. Wind permitting either a sharp turn to port or to starboard so as to bring the approaching steaming into my stern quadrant.
Thank you Astrid,

I would avoid a turn to port if possible. I know it's not verboten for SVs, but should be avoided for the same reasons it's discouraged for PDVs.

The gist of my question was to point out to all the posters that advocate pointing to the stern and/or bailing out at 5 miles, that in a situation where the merchant has a 5-times speed advantage over you, you are basicly in front of him - and if a risk of collision exists, then that relative aspect stays the same from 30 miles out, until fibreglass is shattering on his bulbous bow.
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Old 21-09-2012, 16:51   #322
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Apparently someone couldn't wait to take Nigel up on his offer to give a view from the bridge and went for it themself - Drunk woman steals ferry and shouts "I'm Jack Sparrow" | Motorboat news | MBM

Who was it now? Go on - fess up
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Old 21-09-2012, 16:57   #323
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I should add, A turn to port as in heading 190-200 might be warranted as it is the way to carry you away from the threatened space. Even if he begins a late starboard turn you have time to jog back to north and hence leave the threatened space that way. ( he will not probably be able to ascertain your aspect anyway.

But it's the classic rabbit in a headlight situation. , at his speed manoeuvring should take place miles away. If I have radar I will spot these buggers further out then that and slow down. I now work on the assumption that commercial craft will not deviate for me. In general I have proven to be right.

Dave
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Old 21-09-2012, 17:06   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman

I prefered your version before the edit. I wouldn't stop, as his plan may be counting on your making 5 kts and it makes you a bit of a sitting duck. I was looking for the turn to starboard answer. Reduces closing speed, impact speed, glancing blow vice t-bone and still leaves you manoeuvrable. Radios, lights, flares etc.

I've not heard of the 'cone of error'; could you explain that please? Maybe it should be 'cone of terror.' I don't know about it being a classic fast cat scenario; it's exactly what has been discussed throughout this thread - a merchant doing merchant speed and a sailboat sailing at sailboat speed, crossing in open ocean. Up until know there has been a lot of yakkety yak about pointing at sterns, without any consideration of what that entails in the real world.

I wish you didn't end with that last statement. Colregs does not require you to stand on until you impact - all of the actions you stated were well within the scope of colregs. Gold star for you.
I edited it because I was thinking back and remembering one or two of these situations. Stopping is what i did for him given the time/speed , whether I'm at 1knot, 0 knots or 5 knots makes little difference , ie no merchant ship actually making a correction will factor in the tiny distance i would cover in the time remaining. if he sees me his turn will take him well away from me. Slowing allows me to use the experience that says this guy isn't going to turn as he would already have done so.

A turn to starboard is really a desperation measure, it's a last ditch effort to avoid collision I've only had to do it once in my lifetime. ( so far)

The situation you described happen off Denia in Spain, I stopped assuming the ferry would maintain his course to Denia. Which he did as it was night and I suspected righty that he hadn't seen me. Sailing onwards much further would be Very foolish.

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Old 21-09-2012, 17:14   #325
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What I mean by a cone of error is a term from radar plotting. At his speed I am effectively directly in his bow, at night for example I would find it difficult to accurately determine his exact aspect. Hence the error of where he might pass is greater then my ability to ( ie speed ) to cover the same distance and leave the threatened space.

For example you plot a ships course on radar. You determine he is a risk. It's not a calm night. You plot again a d say a third time, what you typically find is a cone , ie his path is anywhere along that cone the apex of which is situated at his bow. The problem for a slow speed boat is that you can't exit the cone in time. Hence it's very difficult to really determine whether he will pass ahead or behind , ie do you stop or go on. Remember for you at this type of speed you are in close quarters situation hence stand on doesn't apply.

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Old 21-09-2012, 17:22   #326
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman

Thank you Astrid,

I would avoid a turn to port if possible. I know it's not verboten for SVs, but should be avoided for the same reasons it's discouraged for PDVs.

The gist of my question was to point out to all the posters that advocate pointing to the stern and/or bailing out at 5 miles, that in a situation where the merchant has a 5-times speed advantage over you, you are basicly in front of him - and if a risk of collision exists, then that relative aspect stays the same from 30 miles out, until fibreglass is shattering on his bulbous bow.


Yes I think we all understand that the scenario you posed is one of the most difficult with such crossing angles and such speed The point at the stern is not the get out of jail most people think it is.

I should point out that the turn to starboard is a real desperation situation, as it does nothing to remove you from the threatened space.
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Old 21-09-2012, 18:08   #327
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I should point out that the turn to starboard is a real desperation situation, as it does nothing to remove you from the threatened space.
At this point anything you do is a desperation move. But the threatened space is in front of you, and turning away removes you from that space. If the merchant does take action (late as it may be), more often than not it will be a turn to starboard - if you turn to port, you'll now be head-on closing at 30 kts. Turning away reduces the closing speed to 20 kts, giving more time for him to complete his turn or continue his turn further to starboard. If he never takes action, he passes by you at a close, but safe range.
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Old 21-09-2012, 18:47   #328
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lodesman

At this point anything you do is a desperation move. But the threatened space is in front of you, and turning away removes you from that space. If the merchant does take action (late as it may be), more often than not it will be a turn to starboard - if you turn to port, you'll now be head-on closing at 30 kts. Turning away reduces the closing speed to 20 kts, giving more time for him to complete his turn or continue his turn further to starboard. If he never takes action, he passes by you at a close, but safe range.
Not really and this illustrates the dilemma.

Firstly you can't really determine his aspect that closely, your estimate of his course may have significant error in it.

From my experience I would list the following in order of choice, based on what I've done in the past.

(a) if I'm sure( er) of his aspect , ie daylight , good radar plot I would stop. The maths suggest he will pass ahead, close ie 1 mile but still out of his way. , if he executed a late turn, It will make no difference that I am not moving he will turn to pass well astern. it will be quite a dramatic course change from him , if he turns , wack the throttle hard open and push her north as fast as possible. The fact that he turned means he sees you. He will be attempting a CPA of two miles , hence 0 ,1,2or 5 knots over a few minutes makes no odds to him you are in effect stopped !! . Resume course and apply COLREGS for the stand on vessel. He may in fact feel a turn to his port may provide sufficient CPA so that tactic is good for that All is well.

(b) turning hard to starboard is an option, but a large vessel approaching fast from behind is just as scary and if your aspect judgement was wrong, you can find yourself in very very close quarters with no clear exit route. ( ie the rabbit running ahead of the car problem) you are likely to have to make a very hairy turn to port or starboard with him on your stern, good luck with that . You have a 50 % chance of being right. !!

(c) a hard turn to port ie steer 190-200 , if you believe that he's not spotted you or simply is ignoring you then this is an option. If he doesn't turn it does carry you away from him, but it carries the danger he may turn into you. But remember now that you've seen a turn you can quickly jinx back north safe in the knowledge that you have an exit path. Again this decision requires that you are comfortable with your initial aspect evaluation and that he is passing ahead of you. ( at the point of your initial contact) . If you get closer any turn to port could be very foolish indeed. For example I had that situation, but I realised he wasnt turning as there was another ship of his starboard side and he had already decided he was going to pass ahead of that ship. ( even though technically he should have turned to avoid him). I heard him clear the course with the ship. In that case the most unthreatened space was way to my port but again I, like you avoid turns to port.

There no easy answer

Dave
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Old 21-09-2012, 20:34   #329
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Firstly you can't really determine his aspect that closely, your estimate of his course may have significant error in it.
Well I dispute your assessment of ability to determine aspect, but I suppose that comes down to the individual and their experience. Not that it matters terribly - what matters is that his compass bearing is not changing; if he's on your port bow and closing steady, then you are on his stbd bow. Does it matter if you're 5 degrees or 20 on his bow?

If you want to improve the quality of your radar plotting, then combine bearing from HBC with range from the radar on your plot. Once you have CPA and TCPA and presuming you know ownspeed, you can tell how far his current track is ahead of you. With that and a little mental math you have an accurate assessment of his actual heading.
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Old 21-09-2012, 21:19   #330
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Dockhead,

This is treading into territory where we have previously agreed to disagree: Sailboat Right of Way

By any chance, did you ever receive a response from the RYA?
My God, that was you? You have a long memory! I had completely forgotten about that!

I got in touch with the great Cockcroft himself, who told me he would be glad to give an opinion. He was waiting for me to write it up and send it, and I got busy and didn't do it.

I'll try to remember what it was all about and do it -- I do remember that it was an interesting question.

Edit: OK, so I did reread and remember. The question, in two words, was whether a sailboat can ever become a stand-on vessel in regard to a motor vessel constrained by draft and which can only safely navigate in a narrow channel . Some people argued that a sailboat which is the stand-on vessel under Rule 18 will still be the stand-on vessel despite Rule 9. I argued the the sail boat must give way (although Rule 9 talks about "keeping clear").

I have started a new thread here: Colregs Puzzle

I would be particularly interested in Dave's opinion.
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