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Old 11-07-2013, 15:37   #796
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Unless you are in the intracoastal...or a sailing/power regatta (marine parade)...the prudent skipper alters course far enough in advance NO RULES apply...
Therein lies the kernel of good yachtsmanship. And in the open ocean it's sound advice

However when faced with greater numbers , perhaps in front , to the sides and behind you , then you must grit your teeth and apply the COLREGS. But you need always to have a bailout plan

Dave
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Old 11-07-2013, 15:47   #797
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by chrisjs View Post
You sailboat guys are so intellectual!! Us trawler types just keep out of the way.
It is not rocket science, so do not try to make it so. You are not trying to get the closest pass to the noxious freighter, either in front or off its stern, just trying to avoid a collision that will destroy your boat and may kill you or your crew. [...]
The point of all the fancy math and plots is to illustrate that when it comes to evasive maneuvers you may not have as much time as you think. And, in many cases no evasive maneuvers are needed. And, the difference between these two situations may not be intuitively obvious. Call that intellectual if you like, but I think it is prudent to understand the details.

Colregs are important because you don't want to be acting like a confused squirrel in the path of an oncoming ship

By the way, having an AIS receiver/transponder has helped me calibrate my eyeballs when it comes to ship crossing situations. My NavMonPc software (and other programs / products) lets you graphically look at the Closest Point of Approach and the time of that CPA, which can remove a lot of uncertainty. At sea I usually monitor the AIS, take bearings with my compass, and visually track the crossing. This is good practice. In the harbor it's usually just eyeballs, and occasionally AIS.
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Old 11-07-2013, 15:52   #798
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Seems most of the discussion revolves around one freighter/towboat vs one sailboat either within coastal inland waters or in open ocean at normal speed. When you introduce reality such as a Separation Zone coming into or out of a busy harbor like LA or San Francisco and are dealing with 5-10 freighters, tankers, commercial vessels of all shapes and sizes and speed configuration along with pleasure craft, both power and sail all going in different directions, you will find the ColRegs a handy set of rules for guidance... indispensable, actually. That is not the time to start reading them... you should have them pretty well sorted in your mind already.
You should also expect other mariners not to behave in accordance with the regs through ignorance or lack of attention. It is far better to consider all are idiots until they prove you wrong.
Be careful out there! Phil

I would go further than to sugges people read the ColRegs. Laws are written in leagalease, which doesn't always mean what the untrained reader thinks it means. A good boater safety course will explain what they really mean.

In addition, have a Plan B. Knowing the rules yourself is fine, but that doesn't mean that all the other recreational boaters know (and follow) them. It doesn't even mean that the commercial captains will always follow them.

On the highway, prudent people expect that other cars will break the laws, drive recklessly, and make mistakes. On the water that's at least ten times as true, with no highways, no lanes, no speed limits, etc., etc., etc., not to mention no requirement that someone demonstrate minimum competency before taking the helm of a pleasure craft.

I don't know anyone who's going to stop to analyze vectors and record multiple compass readings on five or more commercial vessels. You have to know what you're looking at.
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Old 11-07-2013, 15:58   #799
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
These are the conditions you have given:
- Your yacht speed is 4 knots
- Freighter speed is 22 knots
- You are on collision course
- you have first spotted the freighter at 5 nm range
- You are prepared to have 1000 yards (0.5 nm) between the two of you at the closest point
...
So your comment that you would still be standing off in the above example is, in my opinion, dangerous and against ColRegs. You need to take action immediately in this case
First I must commend you on your post - logical, succinct, well described. I think that we are not so nearly far off in our thinking as you suggest. You've perhaps misread what I wrote - mashing together what I had intended as separate thoughts into what you describe as the conditions I've given. I said put a 4-kt sailboat on a collision course with a 22-kt freighter and that sailboat is fine on the freighter's bow. I didn't give a range, and in fact have been fairly repetitive in saying that this would be the case at all ranges from when they both last settled on their respective courses, until one or both take some action.

Into this, you've threaded another thought, namely 'if you turn tail and run in the opposite direction every time you see a ship on the horizon, blah, blah, blah...'. "Ship on the horizon" is rather ambiguous - some of these things are rather tall, so you could potentially see a ship well beyond 5nm - perhaps 15nm or thereabouts. My comment about standing on and applying colregs was made with that in mind. As your own calculations indicate, you would be standing on when you initially sight the freighter at 5nm - taking bearings and planning your "escape."

As to my comment that pointing at the freighter's stern does little to avoid risk of collision, I still generally stand by it. There are exceptions, but if you take your situation where you first spot the freighter at 5nm and you immediately point at him you will have avoided the collision but not eliminated the risk of it. At that point you're 15 minutes from CPA (collision), which at your speed is 1nm away - that's 1nm away from the path of the freighter, assuming the freighter doesn't alter course. If your minimum comfortable passing distance is 1nm then you're at it - the only way for you to achieve that safe passing distance is to turn parallel to the freighter's path or open from it. Steering towards the freighter will still close that distance, albeit slowly; you won't collide, but you'll be inside your safe passing limit. A turn towards the freighter, particularly at the point that he might be taking action, might also confuse the situation. If he acts as a power-driven vessel giving way to a sailboat in accordance with rule 18, he is not directed to a particular course of action; he is only required to stay out of your way. More often than not, he will alter to pass under your stern - that is to say he will turn towards you! By altering towards him, you have changed the point of collision and reduced the time until impact. As well you've left the OOW of a not-so-manoeuvrable ship wondering how the heck is he going to avoid this suicidal WAFI.

As to your final line, and forgive me if I've read it too literally (apparently I'm very literal) - I suggest that colregs (rule 17 specifically) would require the stand on vessel to do exactly that and maintain its course and speed at a range of 5nm. I should probably break at this point, as that is a much larger discussion that deserves its own post
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Old 11-07-2013, 16:07   #800
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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post

First I must commend you on your post - logical, succinct, well described. I think that we are not so nearly far off in our thinking as you suggest. You've perhaps misread what I wrote - mashing together what I had intended as separate thoughts into what you describe as the conditions I've given. I said put a 4-kt sailboat on a collision course with a 22-kt freighter and that sailboat is fine on the freighter's bow. I didn't give a range, and in fact have been fairly repetitive in saying that this would be the case at all ranges from when they both last settled on their respective courses, until one or both take some action.

Into this, you've threaded another thought, namely 'if you turn tail and run in the opposite direction every time you see a ship on the horizon, blah, blah, blah...'. "Ship on the horizon" is rather ambiguous - some of these things are rather tall, so you could potentially see a ship well beyond 5nm - perhaps 15nm or thereabouts. My comment about standing on and applying colregs was made with that in mind. As your own calculations indicate, you would be standing on when you initially sight the freighter at 5nm - taking bearings and planning your "escape."

As to my comment that pointing at the freighter's stern does little to avoid risk of collision, I still generally stand by it. There are exceptions, but if you take your situation where you first spot the freighter at 5nm and you immediately point at him you will have avoided the collision but not eliminated the risk of it. At that point you're 15 minutes from CPA (collision), which at your speed is 1nm away - that's 1nm away from the path of the freighter, assuming the freighter doesn't alter course. If your minimum comfortable passing distance is 1nm then you're at it - the only way for you to achieve that safe passing distance is to turn parallel to the freighter's path or open from it. Steering towards the freighter will still close that distance, albeit slowly; you won't collide, but you'll be inside your safe passing limit. A turn towards the freighter, particularly at the point that he might be taking action, might also confuse the situation. If he acts as a power-driven vessel giving way to a sailboat in accordance with rule 18, he is not directed to a particular course of action; he is only required to stay out of your way. More often than not, he will alter to pass under your stern - that is to say he will turn towards you! By altering towards him, you have changed the point of collision and reduced the time until impact. As well you've left the OOW of a not-so-manoeuvrable ship wondering how the heck is he going to avoid this suicidal WAFI.

As to your final line, and forgive me if I've read it too literally (apparently I'm very literal) - I suggest that colregs (rule 17 specifically) would require the stand on vessel to do exactly that and maintain its course and speed at a range of 5nm. I should probably break at this point, as that is a much larger discussion that deserves its own post
This is an excellent example of why you don't just turn willy nilly , if you are the stand on vessel , unless you have reason to believe otherwise , you should stand on , you should at least give the give way vessel a chance to act.

Of course yiu do all the usual things , like VHF comms , lights etc to be sure you are seen.

Dave
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Old 11-07-2013, 17:01   #801
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

Last year I was treated to a VHF "conversation" between a retired RN Admiral (flying his Admiral's flag on a 40ft sailboat) crossing from Block Island to Newport in the path of a "freighter". The admiral complained that where he came from "power gives way to sail"!! The freighter Captain clearly did not give a damn nor speak very good English.
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Old 11-07-2013, 17:04   #802
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
I would go further than to sugges people read the ColRegs. Laws are written in leagalease, which doesn't always mean what the untrained reader thinks it means. A good boater safety course will explain what they really mean.

In addition, have a Plan B. Knowing the rules yourself is fine, but that doesn't mean that all the other recreational boaters know (and follow) them. It doesn't even mean that the commercial captains will always follow them.

On the highway, prudent people expect that other cars will break the laws, drive recklessly, and make mistakes. On the water that's at least ten times as true, with no highways, no lanes, no speed limits, etc., etc., etc., not to mention no requirement that someone demonstrate minimum competency before taking the helm of a pleasure craft.

I don't know anyone who's going to stop to analyze vectors and record multiple compass readings on five or more commercial vessels. You have to know what you're looking at.
Well put, Raku... cheers, Phil
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Old 11-07-2013, 17:08   #803
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
This is an excellent example of why you don't just turn willy nilly , if you are the stand on vessel , unless you have reason to believe otherwise , you should stand on , you should at least give the give way vessel a chance to act.

Of course yiu do all the usual things , like VHF comms , lights etc to be sure you are seen.

Dave

Of course. There are no traffic signals and no turn lights on your boat. The only way other boaters can know what you are going to do is by acting predictably. That means following the rules ... unless following those rules will result in a collision. Then the rule is to avoid a collision by every means necessary if I remember the wording right.
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Old 11-07-2013, 17:09   #804
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Well put, Raku... cheers, Phil

Well that's nice to hear, considering that I'm perceived as a menace out there!
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Old 11-07-2013, 17:25   #805
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Of course. There are no traffic signals and no turn lights on your boat. The only way other boaters can know what you are going to do is by acting predictably. That means following the rules ... unless following those rules will result in a collision. Then the rule is to avoid a collision by every means necessary if I remember the wording right.
The wording is

Quote:
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.
IE - do not hit anything.

BTW - there three ways to give way: alter course, alter speed (slow down) or both. Many folks are stuck on altering course.
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Old 11-07-2013, 17:29   #806
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

Sounds like common sense to me, Raku... Getting some hands on instruction on what the ColRegs actually mean and how to apply them is essential IMO.
I was fortunate to have good teachers from an early age and spent over 50 years working commercially on the water so I've seen a lot of idiots as well as experienced mariners make some bone stupid mistakes out there and will certainly admit to making my own share of dumb moves but was lucky enough to not to bang anything up too expensive! Phil
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Old 11-07-2013, 17:30   #807
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

Good advice from Jackdale, as well... Phil
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Old 11-07-2013, 19:30   #808
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
Therein lies the kernel of good yachtsmanship. And in the open ocean it's sound advice

However when faced with greater numbers , perhaps in front , to the sides and behind you , then you must grit your teeth and apply the COLREGS. But you need always to have a bailout plan

Dave
Actually the way I have been taught and the way I teach it....the rules only apply when 2 vessels are in a collision/possible collision situation...add a third vessel and the rules really don't apply in the strictest sense...except for ...
Rule 2 - Responsibility
(a) Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master, or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.
(b) In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.
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Old 11-07-2013, 20:12   #809
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by chrisjs View Post
Last year I was treated to a VHF "conversation" between a retired RN Admiral (flying his Admiral's flag on a 40ft sailboat) crossing from Block Island to Newport in the path of a "freighter". The admiral complained that where he came from "power gives way to sail"!! The freighter Captain clearly did not give a damn nor speak very good English.


Here we go again. Power does not always give way to sail.
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Old 11-07-2013, 20:21   #810
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Last year I was treated to a VHF "conversation" between a retired RN Admiral (flying his Admiral's flag on a 40ft sailboat) crossing from Block Island to Newport in the path of a "freighter". The admiral complained that where he came from "power gives way to sail"!! The freighter Captain clearly did not give a damn nor speak very good English.
Would that have been in the TSS by any chance?
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