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Old 06-07-2013, 13:29   #616
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I put it on my blog for newer sailors, because many who read it are in the Tamps Bay area, and it's a very real issue here.

The ColRegs are based on which boat has the most maneuverability. Since there's no excuse for not seeing a freighter except perhaps the worst of fog conditions, and since the sailboat is greatly more maneuverable, it is up to the sailboat to get out of the way and stay out of the way of the freighter -- or cruise liner.

That's just how it is.

I think the best way to communicate this is to not get bogged down in technicalities. Newer sailors don't know enough to follow such a discussion and it might cause them to stop reading and end up confused.

It's simple. The freighter has the right of way.
I'm sorry, but this post is just entirely incorrect. First, under the -colregs, noone has the "right of way". There are Stand on vessels and give way vessels.
A freighter, per se, does not have the right of way. it depends entirely on the situation.

It really would be appropriate if you and many others actually read and learned the 'colregs. Professional skippers, be they on commercial vessels or pleasure boats, expect you to follow the Colregs. Doing as you suggest only goes to confuse everyone and screw up traffic.

On a different thread, a "sailor" ntoed there was no way he would spend 11 weeks on a course, unless he wanted to become a delivery skipper.

Well it takes a lot more than an 11 week course to become a competent delivery skipper. An 11 weeks course may just teach him the colregs, and the signals used in the maritime world
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Old 06-07-2013, 13:40   #617
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

I think the previous poster was only stating the obvious. Even if a much larger vessel is not in the "stand on" position, the prudent skipper still does everything practical to keep the heck out of its way!! A freighter , a tanker, or a barge tow has little maneuverability compared to a small sailboat or power boat. As stated previously, I was part of the crew of RN minesweeper that plucked 3 survivors from the water after their sailboat tried applying "the rules" to a large oil tanker entering harbor in the UK many years back. The boat was matchwood. Definitely not be recommended!!
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Old 06-07-2013, 22:46   #618
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

To put into simpler terms, regardless of what people 'know', how they act, or what they do: This topic is occurring because some sailors cannot distinguish IF they are at the point of extremis. However they get there is pretty much not up for debate. It is still happening. HOW? What would cure this? If two vessels of such divergent abilitites can 'occupy' the same piece of real estate (water) at the same time and have a collision, they both have lost situational awareness and are not capable of determining that a 'risk of collision' not just exists, but is imminent. The sailboat is the loser. How to educate sailors to stay OUT of the front of vessels that will kill them? Do some ships NOT divert away? Of course. Is it wrong? Of course. Why do sailing vessels have such a difficult time determining if risk exists?

Everyone keeps dancing around the nuances of the written word. How about dancing around the skills needed to assess if risk exists? The physical act of determining is there is constant bearing, decreasing range. Period.
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Old 06-07-2013, 23:11   #619
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Originally Posted by chrisjs View Post
I think the previous poster was only stating the obvious. Even if a much larger vessel is not in the "stand on" position, the prudent skipper still does everything practical to keep the heck out of its way!! A freighter , a tanker, or a barge tow has little maneuverability compared to a small sailboat or power boat. As stated previously, I was part of the crew of RN minesweeper that plucked 3 survivors from the water after their sailboat tried applying "the rules" to a large oil tanker entering harbor in the UK many years back. The boat was matchwood. Definitely not be recommended!!
My sailing instructor used to tell me that I should treat large freighters as if they were trains. And that is what I do. In European waters you are most likely to encounter freighters in a situation where he's the stand on vessel anyway.
You get run over by trains by lingering on their tracks. So don't. Same applies to freighters. And knowing where the track a freighter is on is easier than ever with AIS.

So when I encounter a freighter at see I make a course change, big enough so it will be obvious to the watch there.
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Old 06-07-2013, 23:31   #620
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Here's how a situation should go (happened to me last weekend). A cruise ship was coming down Gastineau channel while I was beating up it. I had crossed in front of the cruise ship a couple times already, with plenty of room and no risk of collision. On my last tack, he hailed me on VHF 16, I replied, and he requested switching to 13. After reestablishing comms on 13, he asked that I not pass in front of him again (which was my plan, but that's besides the point). I reassured him that I'd take his stern on the nest tack. No collision, no problem, no stress, no questioning. That's how it should happen. Communicate, agree on a plan, follow the agreement, don't be an idiot. The key, I believe, is communication. Have a VHF on (at least a hand held is not very expensive) and use it. In the US, at least monitor 16, 13 if you can. If you might have a closer encounter, call and agree on passing arrangements.
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Old 07-07-2013, 01:28   #621
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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My sailing instructor used to tell me that I should treat large freighters as if they were trains. And that is what I do. In European waters you are most likely to encounter freighters in a situation where he's the stand on vessel anyway.
You get run over by trains by lingering on their tracks. So don't. Same applies to freighters. And knowing where the track a freighter is on is easier than ever with AIS.

So when I encounter a freighter at see I make a course change, big enough so it will be obvious to the watch there.
That's a really good analogy. nobody complains that the locomotive didn't turn or slow down quick enough when it hits a car stalled out on the track.
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:32   #622
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Frankly, I think there is a marvelous Darwin effect at play here. The more these little boys go out and play around the big boys, the fewer there are that are going to live on and reproduce. The grand plan of life is to rid ourselves of these defective mariners through natural deselection... leaving the sea to the rest of us who manage to slither on and survive the ultimate test. Fun to sit back and watch the process! Cheers, Phil
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:34   #623
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Frankly, I think there is a marvelous Darwin effect at play here. The more these little boys go out and play around the big boys, the fewer there are that are going to live on and reproduce. The grand plan of life is to rid ourselves of these defective mariners through natural deselection... leaving the sea to the rest of us who manage to slither on and survive the ultimate test. Fun to sit back and watch the process! Cheers, Phil
It may be fun for some, but for us that do this for a living it is downright heart attack itis. The wonderment of it all is 'Why does it continue?"
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:48   #624
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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It may be fun for some, but for us that do this for a living it is downright heart attack itis. The wonderment of it all is 'Why does it continue?"
I think you are asking "Why does half of the population, have less than average intelligence?".
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:25   #625
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

And the median is so low!!!!
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:35   #626
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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I think you are asking "Why does half of the population, have less than average intelligence?".
No, I am incredulous that we can devolve into a pissing contest over the meaning and implementation of the nuances between "Give way," "Stand on," "Danger signal," "What's this mean" ETC ETC ETC. When the whole issue seems to be "How to tell if I am going to 'hit' something else" and if I don't know how, Can I learn this technique?

There is quite a lot of experience on this forum, and as 'Scoobert' showed, there are also one's who 'need' help but are shunned, ridiculed and driven off. The education needs to be so 'low brow' that (To borrow a cliche from Geico) "Even a caveman could do it." This isn't rocket science. (If it were, I would be greeting at WallyWorld)
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:46   #627
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

We are certainly not a freighter (only 50ft trawler) which may be why we often find ourselves playing "cat and mouse" with sailboats. While acknowledging that sail may have priority in many situations, often sailboats seem to have a "bad attitude" about exercising this prerogative.Trying to decide whether a sailboat is going to tack back again across you course can be quite challenging even for small boats that do have more maneuverability than freighters.
On a different level, we were cruising up the Chesapeake a couple of years ago when a similar sized vessel began coming towards us, clearly in the "give way" position. So, we "stood on" expecting the other vessel to turn away. It did not and we needed to take last minute evasive action. The other vessel complained that he had priority because he was a fishing vessel. I did not think the USCG definition of fishing vessel referred to a cruiser with 2 rods!! Furthermore the rods were even visible until after the incident.
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Old 07-07-2013, 15:33   #628
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

The rules state clearly that a vessel engaged in fishing is not RAM, unless the nature of the gear prevents them from maneuvering. Trolling is not considered so. If you are not flying the dayshapes or lights indicating your purpose you are in the wrong.
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Old 07-07-2013, 15:40   #629
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A simple concept that's a holdover from drivers ed in school many years ago. Never insist upon the right of way, you'll live longer and we'll all go home safe. Crossing in front of ships is as foolish as crossing train tracks knowing a train is coming.

Before the pedant among us correct me I know "right of way" is not a COLREG term. However dumbing down the obvious seems long overdue.
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Old 07-07-2013, 15:54   #630
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

It's fairly easy to determine a collision course even if you don't have MARPHA or AIS. If the object doesn't move it's location RELATIVE TO a fixed point on your boat, you are on a collision course. Just pick a point on your lifelines that lines up with the other boat - while standing in the same location, the object should move either left or right over time. If it doesn't move horizontally, YOU WILL HIT IT! If you apply this technique while the other target is a good distance away, a minor course change will have major effect on your distance between. The closer you are, the more radical your maneuver must be. Obviously, this works better for ships a good distance away, not for an imminent collision. Next time out into water try this technique out.

We learned this trick in USAF pilot training. When going 500 knots, a spot on the windscreen that didn't move would kill you in about a second, so we made our plane manuever to move the spot. Works every time! Works the same way on a sailboat, only you have way more time. The key is you have to have your head out of the cockpit on a plane and on a sailboat, you have to look around you appropriate to your rate of closure. Works with objects on the horizon in the day time and lights at night.

This is the real rule you should follow. If you look enough, and follow this rule, you won't get close enough to get run over.
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