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knottybuoyz 06-10-2008 04:37

David vs Goliath

You can follow the full sequence of photos here....

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Hud3 06-10-2008 05:36

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The photo sequence is quite interesting. Neither boat seems to take action to avoid the collision. The man at the helm of the smaller sailboat, named "Stand-By", appears simply to be watching it all happen but not doing a thing. The fellow in the yellow jacket is facing aft until just prior to the collision. Yellow jacket doesn't begin turning to look forward until Maltese Falcon's bow wave thumps across Stand-By's bow, and the genoa luffs in MF's wind shadow.

Stand-By would appear to have the right of way, being on starboard, but could the helmsman really believe MF would try to get out of his way? They seemed to have trouble getting their sails under control after the collision, and switched helmsmen. I wonder if the guy at the wheel was a novice, and froze up, while yellow jacket simply wasn't watching forward.

(photo credit: Lyons Imaging)

Lodesman 06-10-2008 06:38

Apparently the crew of MF believe that "might has right" is actually a rule.


Ex-Calif 06-10-2008 06:52

The Maltese Falcon at 289 feet is for sale for about $190 million. Not clear if the paint is going to be touched up first.

Naturally the media thinks the little boat should get out of the way of the big boat. And "someone" is saying that the little boat may have tacked into her...

Maltese Falcon Involved in Collision |

Spin city, baby!

Hud3 06-10-2008 07:13

Don't worry. Latitude 38 will get to the bottom of it!

rtbates 06-10-2008 07:18


Originally Posted by Lodesman (Post 212852)
Apparently the crew of MF believe that "might has right" is actually a rule.


It's THE rule, IMHO. The one to live by. Or to ignore the one to die by..

imagine2frolic 06-10-2008 07:28

Was this on S.F. Bay? If so possibly MF had restrictions in it's maneuvering?

Ex-Calif 06-10-2008 07:37


Originally Posted by imagine2frolic (Post 212872)
Was this on S.F. Bay? If so possibly MF had restrictions in it's maneuvering?

Day shapes flying? I did see an article that said she would have a pilot on board for the arrival. I also saw an aerial shot (maybe a different day) that showed Maltese Falcon surrounded by about 50 yachts presumably during the Regatta Week. I can't see the Falcon dodging 50 other boats.

In this case I honestly don't know how a 40 foot boat hits a 300 foot boat in broad daylight.

Yes you have right of way but to crash into the guy for what? To make a point? And how do you not see it?

Let's hope Hud is right and we get to hear, "The Rest of the Story."

Another thought - A lot of race regattas here are run under modified rules. Rule number one all racing yachts must keep clear of all channel traffic or risk disqualification. Engines will be used to clear if necessary. It's about the only way the local authorities will allow racing in these busy commercial waters.

imagine2frolic 06-10-2008 07:50

It looks like S.F Bay, and if it is. Then it is possible that Alcatraz is VERY close to port.

David M 06-10-2008 09:30

It is SF Bay. I saw the Maltese Falcon a few times last week.

The first thing that comes to mind is someone needs sailing lessons and its not the people in the Maltese Falcon. Only a newbie sailor would think an almost 300 foot sailboat can spin on a dime to give a much smaller sailboat the right of way...if that is indeed what the skipper was thinking. With their jib backwinded and out of control, it did not look like they knew how sail very well in the first place.

My guess is it will come down to the possibility that the stand on vessel did not hold their course and speed.

If they collided then Rule 17(b) was violated: 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.

Only large power driven vessels (ships) and very large barges have rights on the SF Bay...not vessels under sail regardless of their size.

That is the western tip of Yerba Buena Island in that one picture.

Pelagic 06-10-2008 11:47

The key is whether the small yacht changed course dramatically to close in on the MF at an already close quarter situation or was simply holding its course, which would have then given MF the chance to alter to Stbd if there were no navigational hazards.

The problem when you run a Superyacht is that so many small yachts will tack towards you, then tack back on a parallel course at the last minute so as to get that up close photo opportunity.

You need to have nerves of steel when the weekenders are out to get that perfect shot with their kodaks

Using your danger signal excessively just blasts the VIP’s on board, so you are dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t.:rolleyes:

Lesson learned….give the guys working for a living a break and a bit of space

cal40john 06-10-2008 11:52

On another "un-named" sailing forum, the guy that took the pictures said that the 40 footer was on port and tacked onto starboard fairly close to MF.


imagine2frolic 06-10-2008 11:54

OOOOH, the plot thickens..........

Joli 06-10-2008 13:15

It was reported that both boats were sailing port board when the smaller boat tacked up into MF. Can't imagine MF is gonna be able to get out of the way. The coasties will work out who is to blame.

Lodesman 06-10-2008 18:31

If they were both port tack, MF would still be upwind - was SB forced to tack to avoid nav hazards or perhaps a vain effort to do 17(b) avoidance? Other scenario with port, is that MF is overtaking - and probably going 3-4 times the speed of the smaller boat. With that behemoth taking the wind, I doubt SB would be very manoeuvrable. While a 300-ft ship can hardly turn on a dime, they are certainly manoeuvrable, and in this case would have the speed advantage and momentum to stay out of the way of a considerably slower vessel. On the face of it, Falcon is the more culpable of the two. O'course my opinion is purely hypothetical and based on scanty information - I agree that those who investigate these things will. Will NTSB investigate if there's only paint scraped? Or will this be settled in court? That, I think, would be decidedly lopsided.


PS - David, from the other photos, it could be seen the jib wasn't backwinded until the last moment before impact.

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