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Old 11-03-2008, 08:50   #31
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Originally Posted by Dunkers
Are you implying that there should be no single handers out there at all? Surely you can't mean that someone couldn't take their boat out for a day sail just because their crew weren't available at that particular time? ...
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
I don’t want to overstate my case - solo sailors are not necessarily a major hazard to others sailing the high seas (“public” waters)...
I’d presume that a day-sailer could maintain a safe & legal (rule 5) watch, and (if competent) wouldn’t present any undue public hazard.

On the other hand, solo passagemakers, who must sleep, compromise the public safety to the extent that they are unable to maintain a safe watch.

Obviously, we have some profound differences of opinion, about rights & responsibilities, here.

I’m not particularly proud that I’ve helped lead the thread down a negative road, “What we cannot do”.

I’d like to see the discussion revert to a more positive outlook, “How can we do it (more) safely”.
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:00   #32
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I’d like to see the discussion revert to a more positive outlook, “How can we do it (more) safely”.

That's a fair comment and we should move on. We will never agree on this one - its like the gun thing - no one is neutral and it tends to get a bit heated.

Anyway since I met my wife I don't like single handing anymore. Its great to be able to share a glorious sunset or a landfall while having a sundowner - but just the one and very weak (don't want to start another bone of contention here!!)
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:00   #33
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Originally Posted by Dunkers View Post
How many single handers have been lost or have caused other boats to be lost? The answer is very few compared to the number of boats who are out there whether crewed or single handed. I have single handed the Atlantic twice perfectly safely and did not cause anyone any harm or inconvenience. My boat was only 24ft long and had virtually no electronics, it was pre-GPS anyway.

A recent incident which is still current in the UK yachting press is the loss of the Ouzo off the Isle of Wight. This yacht was crewed by three experienced yachtsmen who where presumuably keeping a good watch. They were allegedly run down by a very brightly lit Brittany ferry in an extremely busy part of the English Channel. Being a local boat they presumably were aware of the track the ferry took and would have been keeping a lookout for overtaking vessels as there were a few in their area that night.

The point is that this sailing lark has its risks and while we try to mimize them they are inherent to the activity. You may think that it is bull but those of us who regularly singlehand do develop a sixth sense and are possibly more in tune with the boat and its motion. An example of this which caused me much amusement afterwards was that the night I'd arrived in Barbados, after 33 days alone. I woke up and shot out of my bunk at about 0300 knowing that the motion of the boat was totally wrong. Half way to the cockpit I realised that what was "wrong" was the fact there was no motion because I was alongside and not still at sea.

I know that we are not keeping a full watch all the time but this is a risk that we single handers are prepared to accept. If we are run down in the night then could we not argue that the other vessel was not keeping a proper watch also even if there was someone actually on watch. The Ouzo tragedy has proved that even a fully crewed boat still runs a real risk of collision. I fully appreciate the opposite view and common sense says that it is dangerous to go out alone on a long distance voyage. However, if you knew what the feeling was like when you sight Barbados after 33 days alone then you might still not agree but you would understand the feeling of achievement.

These days I no longer single hand because my wife would rip my nadgers off if I went sailing without her as she enjoys it so much. However, a sailor with a small boat may find it difficult to find crew to take a small boat, and mine was only an Achilles 24, across a vast ocean. What does he do? Take up line-dancing perhaps? Or be willing to take the risks and have a great adventure? I know what I did and will never forget the experience.

Sorry for the long waffle and I'll now stand by for being told that I'm a selfish git who puts the rest of the world at risk by my idiotic actions.

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David
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:59   #34
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I'm curious about the nay sayer's opinions on a singlehander who's rigorously completing a thorough sweep of the horizon and radar every 20 minutes. Do you still consider that reckless?
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:24   #35
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U.S. Coast Guard accident statistics, from the 2005 boating season, show the most common boating accident was a collision with another boat.
1,378 boat collision accidents were reported that resulted in 79 fatalities. Post-accident drowning caused Seventy percent of these fatalities.

COLREGS (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea): Navigation Rules Homepage
Rule 5 requires that "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.

From the USCG NAVIGATION RULES FAQ:
According to Rule 5, all vessels are responsible for maintaining a proper look-out at all times – this includes one-man crews, unmanned crafts, and recreational boats.
The term look-out implies watching and listening so that he/she is aware of what is happening around the vessel. The emphasis is on performing the action, not on the person. Still, in all but the smallest vessels, the lookout is expected to be an individual who is not the helmsman and is usually located in the forward part of the boat, away from the distractions and noises of the bridge. While no specific location on a vessel is prescribed for the lookout, good navigation requires placement at the point best suited for the purpose of hearing and observing the approach of objects likely to be brought into collision with the vessel.
The size of the vessel and crew effect this answer, however, the emphasis in every legal decision points to the need for a proper, attentive look-out. While the use of radar to evaluate the situation is implied in the requirement to use all available means, that is still understood to be secondary to maintaining a look-out by sight and hearing.



In November of 1909 Joshua Slocum set sail from Vineyard Haven, bound for the West Indies, and was never heard from again. In July 1910, his wife informed the newspapers that she believed he was lost at sea.
In 1924 Slocum was declared legally dead.
No official cause of his death was ever determined; but speculation has him run down and sunk. __________________
Now Gord that is not like you !
Your "facts do not support your hypothesis"
Collisions by whom ? In what? When? and how?
As to "located in the forward part of the boat, away from the distractions and noises of the bridge." Hmmm not on my boat, and I would suggest that some of the commercial operators whos vessels actually have a bridge will tell you that they dont run a forward watch unless its in fog or harbours and even then.....
[QUOTE]Frenchman Francis Joyon reclaimed the solo round-the-world sailing record by a massive 14 days in the early hours of Sunday, his on-land team said. Joyon, who beat the record set by Briton Ellen MacArthur in 2005, reached the finish line near Brest in the northwestern tip of France in his red trimaran IDEC in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and six seconds.
"I have no vocation for being a hero, my vocation is for doing my job well as a sailor," Joyon told journalists after his arrival at Brest.
"I'm happy because I came back earlier than expected and I made the record more difficult to beat," he added.
The 51-year-old, whose previous record was beaten by MacArthur in February 2005 by one day, managed the feat despite being on the brink of failure during the final 10 days because of damage to his 32-metre mast.
Joyon left Brest on November 23, rounded South Africa, Australia and the tip of South America before heading back for French shores.
He broke several intermediary records along the way, crossing the Indian Ocean in nine days, 12 hours and three minutes and the Pacific in just 10 days, 14 hours and 30 minutes.
"Until Cape Horn, which I reached in 35 days, the boat was sailing at 100 per cent of its potential. Up the Atlantic, it was getting more difficult and in the last few days the boat was only at 85 per cent," he said.
"However, to beat such a record, what you need above all is for the sea to let you through. As I respected the sea, as I respected my boat, as I went round the Earth without polluting it, the sea let me through."
/QUOTE]

Some people climb mountains.......
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:56   #36
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Originally Posted by Cooper
Now Gord that is not like you !
Your "facts do not support your hypothesis"…


You’re absolutely wrong – this is exactly like me.

The quoted statistics, and the explanation of Rule 5 (including "forward” watch) are not my facts, but direct quotes from the USCG. I offer them, as expert advice, without my own personal comment.

Though a glorious feat, recounting Francis Joyon’s successful solo circumnavigation adds nothing to the discussion; unless you offer it as a statistic of 1; wherein one solo sailor “did no harm”.
Even he admits he was, to some extent, “lucky”
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyon
”…However, to beat such a record, what you need above all is for the sea to let you through…”

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Originally Posted by Hubec View Post
I'm curious about the nay sayer's opinions on a singlehander who's rigorously completing a thorough sweep of the horizon and radar every 20 minutes. Do you still consider that reckless?
I don’t consider that “reckless” (negligent), but the courts would (rightly) likely hold him liable in the event of a collision (absent other salient facts). By definition, a solo passagemaker (who sleeps) is in violation of the COLREGS (when he stands down).

As a practical matter: there are number of measures that a soloist can employ, to reduce the risks to generally (but not ultimately nor legally) acceptable levels. I say this as a sailor, who wishes to expand the opportunities for cruising; not as a maritime lawyer. We’ve discussed the timing (sleep/sweep cycles) elsewhere on CF, and I’d agree that 20 minuets represents a fairly safe cycle.
I’m in a meeting right now, and cannot search for the earlier discussion; but you might find it interesting & informative.
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Old 11-03-2008, 13:48   #37
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post

I’m not particularly proud that I’ve helped lead the thread down a negative road, “What we cannot do”.

I’d like to see the discussion revert to a more positive outlook, “How can we do it (more) safely”.

In no way do I think this thread has gone down a negative road. The intersection between moral and legal behavior always, and I mean always, makes for a fiesty debate. I would not mistake passion with negativity.

I have watched here for a while and I have posted a couple of times. But of all the threads I have read, this one by far has been the most interesting and relevant in that I am learning how sailors think about matters of substance.

Michael
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Old 11-03-2008, 14:01   #38
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Michael:
I’m pleased that you think about how to think, as much as what to think.
I’ve devoted considerable time to thinking about thinking, and consider the time well-spent.
Nonetheless, sometimes the philosophy of thought, should give way to the product.
Gord
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Old 11-03-2008, 14:37   #39
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
<snip>
From the USCG NAVIGATION RULES FAQ:
According to Rule 5, all vessels are responsible for maintaining a proper look-out at all times – this includes one-man crews, unmanned crafts, and recreational boats.</snip>
How does an unmanned craft maintain a lookout?
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Old 11-03-2008, 15:04   #40
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How does an unmanned craft maintain a lookout?
Unmanned craft are the subject of much discussion; readily available if you Google the subject.
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Old 11-03-2008, 15:39   #41
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I would find the thought that one is not responsible for one’s own actions downright uncivilized, as well as distasteful.

U.S. Coast Guard accident statistics, from the 2005 boating season, show the most common boating accident was a collision with another boat.
1,378 boat collision accidents were reported that resulted in 79 fatalities. Post-accident drowning caused Seventy percent of these fatalities.

COLREGS (International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea): Navigation Rules Homepage
Rule 5 requires that "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.

From the USCG NAVIGATION RULES FAQ:
According to Rule 5, all vessels are responsible for maintaining a proper look-out at all times – this includes one-man crews, unmanned crafts, and recreational boats.
The term look-out implies watching and listening so that he/she is aware of what is happening around the vessel. The emphasis is on performing the action, not on the person. Still, in all but the smallest vessels, the lookout is expected to be an individual who is not the helmsman and is usually located in the forward part of the boat, away from the distractions and noises of the bridge. While no specific location on a vessel is prescribed for the lookout, good navigation requires placement at the point best suited for the purpose of hearing and observing the approach of objects likely to be brought into collision with the vessel.
The size of the vessel and crew effect this answer, however, the emphasis in every legal decision points to the need for a proper, attentive look-out. While the use of radar to evaluate the situation is implied in the requirement to use all available means, that is still understood to be secondary to maintaining a look-out by sight and hearing.



In November of 1909 Joshua Slocum set sail from Vineyard Haven, bound for the West Indies, and was never heard from again. In July 1910, his wife informed the newspapers that she believed he was lost at sea.
In 1924 Slocum was declared legally dead.
No official cause of his death was ever determined; but speculation has him run down and sunk.
Slocum sailed in a wooden boat. Wooden boats are known for their wet bilges. It seems to me that it is as possible that old Slocum (65) died and his boat drifted until it sank.

Beside the fact that a vessel under sail almost always has the right of way at sea, there is always COLREGS Rule 27 (a) (iii) which allows for a vessel not under command but making way. I guess there is a legal way to sail solo after all.

COLREGS
Rule 27
Vessels Not Under Command or Restricted in Their Ability to Maneuver
(a) A vessel not under command shall exhibit:
(i) two all-round red lights in a vertical line where they can best be seen;
(ii) two balls or similar shapes in a vertical line where they can best be seen;
(iii)when making way through the water, in addition to the lights prescribed in this paragraph, sidelights and a sternlight.

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Old 11-03-2008, 17:03   #42
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Beside the fact that a vessel under sail almost always has the right of way at sea, there is always COLREGS Rule 27 (a) (iii) which allows for a vessel not under command but making way. I guess there is a legal way to sail solo after all.
Providing proper warning is never a bad idea. There are a lot of them that sailors don't know. Constrained vessels are a common problem here.
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Old 11-03-2008, 17:45   #43
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My addition of Joyons account was to provide an example of the "spirit" in which solo sailing is often done
. It is easier to bind oneself in red tape if the "person" is unknown.
I again suggest that there is other endeavors with an equal or higher risk, that are regularly done by "normal people" and are "legal".
There is nothing illegal about solo sailing. The fact that some people do not chose to face the perceived risk is no different than not wanting to climb mountains or swim across vast distances. As to the "statistics" of a solo sailor harming another vessel because he was asleep ?

If you have relegated my addition of Joyons circumnavigation to a statistic, then it is indeed that of one safely completed SOLO journey, which makes it one more than yours ! : )
This would make by our two accounts solo sailing 100 % safe !
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Old 11-03-2008, 18:24   #44
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Gord,
How many percent of the collision deaths were by solo sailors and where were they. The odds of colliding at sea are certainly extremely small, rules or no rules. The odds of colliding resulting in death seem to be pretty high in congested waters. Lake Pepin has numerous deaths from collision, often but not always drinking related. And driving down a highway closing at speeds up to 140 mph, three feet apart with many drivers eating, gesturing, talking on cell phones, text messaging, and statistics show, often dozing, and some with a beer or two make solo crossings seem pretty safe.
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Old 11-03-2008, 20:37   #45
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Joyon

A 57 1/2 day circumnavigation is an impressive feat in a fully-crewed boat. At what point do we stop supporting such dangerous adventures? From here on, every attempt to improve on Joyon's record will only be more dangerous, as the boats become faster and lighter, as shorter vs safer routes are taken, etc., etc. Really, is it safe to sail a racing boat at the limits of its performance, essentially unattended during sleep periods? How many deaths will be acceptable?

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