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Old 14-12-2019, 08:40   #16
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
Might be written up a bit different but right of way on roads is essentially the same situation.

If you are approaching an intersection and get a green light but a car from the side road is still clearing the intersection...you don't have the "right" to t-bone them if you can reasonably avoid the accident.

Now we try to avoid this when setting up signal timings but situations can and do arise...similar to the colregs, you have a duty to do everything reasonable to avoid accidents...and similarly randomly deviating from the rules can cause more problems than it solves.

It is certainly true that, as you say, you don't have the right to just t-bone someone on the road who was supposed to give way.


But it's still very, very different from what we do at sea.


On the road there is no obligation to stand on. If you have the right of way you have the right to speed up, slow down, turn, whatever -- you are privileged, and the give-way driver is burdened. It's not like that at sea, where being the stand-on vessel means you are obligated to hold course and speed so that the other vessel can take control of the crossing.


On the road collision avoidance is fundamentally the responsibility of the give-way vehicle -- the right of way vehicle has the RIGHT to drive on unimpeded, and has a responsibility to try to do something only if things go t.u., and only if he can do anything, which he rarely can at road speeds. The stand-on vessel at sea has no such right, and is at all times and at every phase of every crossing equally responsible for avoiding the collision.



It truly is different.
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Old 14-12-2019, 08:52   #17
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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This is a really good post and I agree with you.


Calling a ship to avoid misunderstanding or to agree passing arrangements when this is necessary, can be really useful, notwithstanding what the MCA said in their famous MGN 167 (https://mcanet.mcga.gov.uk/public/c4...mgn/mgn167.pdf). But doing it unnecessarily in a traffic situation is a really bad idea. Any maneuver executed prior to a risk of collision arising does not require any call.



In San Francisco Bay or other pilotage waters rec boats should practically NEVER call ships. In waters like this, collision avoidance works in a different way -- you simply stay out of the channels when there is traffic, and stay out of where you know the ship will pass, so that the risk of collision never arises. Rule 9 covers a lot of encounters in waters like that anyway; you are obligated to not impede, so alter course before a risk of collision arises. You should never have to call a ship when you are maneuvering as required under Rule 9.


This should be a sticky, great summarization!
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Old 14-12-2019, 09:17   #18
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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This should be a sticky, great summarization!
Or anyone who goes onto the water should read the Rules and follow them
seems simply, but then how many people follow the rules of the road
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Old 14-12-2019, 13:52   #19
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Or anyone who goes onto the water should read the Rules and follow them
seems simply, but then how many people follow the rules of the road
In my home waters (the 1000 Islands), only the large sightseeing boats and the Lakers.
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Old 14-12-2019, 16:42   #20
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

Ah, the "legalistic" versus the "realistic" outlook. Once the conversation turns sour with armchair lawyers piping in, one has to defend their thesis with every possible variable. OK. Let's break out the COLREGs. This is tedious...

Stating the obvious for those lawyers who missed it: I am referring to a case wherein the sailboat is the give-way vessel. In the situation described, the other vessel is constrained by its draft. Rule 9(b) applies:
(b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway.
(emphasis mine)
Seen from your perspective, there is no "narrow channel," but from the perspective of a ship with a deep draft, the San Francisco Bay is mostly unnavigable except within narrow channels.

So, you must give way. When giving way, you are supposed to indicate your intentions. I direct the lawyers' attention to Rule 9 (e)(i):

"In a narrow channel or fairway when overtaking can take place only if the vessel to be overtaken has to take action to permit safe passing, the vessel intending to overtake shall indicate her intention by sounding the appropriate signal prescribed in Rule 34(c)(i)..."

Also lawyers, please take judicial notice of rule 34 which applies to any crossing situation. (Has this gotten too tedious yet?)

Most times, your course will explain your actions. But if your vessel is invisible from the bridge (because watch standers can't see through their own steel hull) or visibility is limited and the other vessel's radar can't "see" you due to proximity; how do you intend to indicate your alteration of course to comply with Rule 9 (e)(i)? Toot your little horn? Well, that's legal but impractical because it won't be heard on the bridge. They probably won't even hear the crunching sounds on the bridge as their propeller grinds up you and your boat. This is the 21st century and Mr. Marconi has had a great invention for you to use for the last hundred years or so. The radio! The only practical way to comply with aforementioned rule 9 (e)(i) is to announce your intentions on the radio, and if the other vessel disagrees, follow their instructions.

I'm so glad that when flying we pilots aren't too bashful to announce our intentions in the blind at uncontrolled airports. Otherwise, we'd have aluminum showers somewhere every day. By the way, there is nothing in the Federal Aviation Regulations that specifically say a pilot has to do that. At those airports, you unusually aren't even required to have radio! But -- and this applies to pilots and boaters -- only an idiot would abstain from using a radio to enhance the see-and-avoid requirements. No one has "right-of-way" in either environment. And most pilots only get one mid-air collision per lifetime. Can you imagine a pilot being confronted by a traffic conflict leading to a collision saying: "Hum, What does United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 14 say? Let's read those regulations before taking action." Lawyers, by the way, have one of the worst accident records by occupation as pilots.

"What if everyone did that?" ... as asked above. I always cringe when I hear that argument. We all know they won't. What if everyone drove the speed limit? There is a reason why channel 13 is restricted to only a 1 watt transmit power (you may not know that your radio automatically sets a 1 watt output power on channel 13): that channel is intended and configured for only short range communications.

I rest my case. The prosecution may now offer their summation. Please nit-pick to your heart's content. This is what I do. Take it or leave it. Your choice.


(Is it possible to post anything on CF without having to engage in Socratic arguments.)
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Old 14-12-2019, 19:05   #21
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
Ah, the "legalistic" versus the "realistic" outlook. Once the conversation turns sour with armchair lawyers piping in, one has to defend their thesis with every possible variable. OK. Let's break out the COLREGs. This is tedious...

Stating the obvious for those lawyers who missed it: I am referring to a case wherein the sailboat is the give-wayvessel. In the situation described, the other vessel is constrained by its draft. Rule 9(b) applies:
(b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway.
(emphasis mine)
Before you go all "realistic", it would be a very good idea to learn the critical differences between "shall not impede" and "give way" under COLREGs.


Your attention is drawn to Rule 8(e)(iii)
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Old 14-12-2019, 19:45   #22
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

Many moons ago, when I was at OCS Rhode Island, our navigation instructor, an Quarter Master Master Chief (QMMC) summed up life at sea very nicely. He said that the first law of the sea was that "gross tonnage has right of way --- always. The second law of the sea was --- see the first law of the sea." For the sea lawyers out there, that "quote" was from the 1970s and from the best of my recollections and I have slept way too many times since then.
Fair winds, following seas y'all from the north coast.
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Old 14-12-2019, 20:14   #23
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

Sigh - The WAFI producing "Law of Tonnage" rears its ugly head once again.
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Old 14-12-2019, 20:56   #24
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

StuM,
Am not trying to start an uinary contest, but what is WAFI?
BTW, when I'm on my 26 footer I really don't feel comfortable challenging a Great Lakes freighter on the fine points of my interpretation of the COLREGS.
Pun intended, I don't want to wind up like you down under. Cheers!
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Old 14-12-2019, 20:59   #25
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

WAFI is a derogatory term used by we assume some Commercial Mariners describing the idiot in the sailboat that obviously has no clue.
Wind Assisted (obvious) Idiot.
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Old 14-12-2019, 21:09   #26
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

Lively conversation here, right?

Here's another illustration:

Just a short while ago I was westbound to seaward nearing the northbound traffic lane 10 nm south of the San Francisco channel. AIS showed a large tub northbound right down the center of the traffic lane. We were on converging courses. I was sailing in 12 foot at 16 second swells out of the northwest (it gets sporty here in December) while a few swells came up out of the north, and I was occasionally maneuvering 20 degrees or so to keep the swells from taking my vessel on the beam.

Mine is the stand-on vessel because: 1) Mine's a sailboat and, 2) the other vessel is converging on my port side. My AIS CPA alarm had gone off and I was certain the tug's alarm had gone off as well.

What did I do? When the tug was 2 miles out, I hailed it (with a full hailing protocol call) and said: "I have you in sight. I show less than a 0.1 nautical mile CPA in 10 minutes. I am giving way and will cross astern of your vessel." The tug acknowledged and agreed. We had arranged a crossing agreement.

Result:
  1. I relinquished stand-on and accepted give-way responsibility.
  2. I no longer had to compromise my vessel's safety in the swells by trying to maintain a constant heading.
  3. I had the freedom to alter course at will to compensate for the sea state.
  4. That made me safer.
  5. The tug knew I saw him, he no longer had to stress over watching me as closely, and he could continue on his current course.
  6. The tug skipper knew I wasn't your average WAFI. I actually knew how to use a radio to arrange a crossing, and that, if anything went wrong, we were already in radio contact.
Win-win for both of us.

Now, on the other hand, I could have been the kind of anal-retentive WAFI that everyone dispises -- by inflexibly insisting on strict adherence to the COLREGs -- making both vessels less safe. And possibly justifying a tombstone inscription that says: "His was the stand-on vessel."

If you listen to channel 13, at least around my waters, you'll hear vessels constantly arranging crossings. That's what it's for.

As an aside, if everyone followed rule 32 on the use of horns ("whistle signals "), we'd all be deaf by now. Those rules were written (probably with a quill pen on parchment) in an era when sounding horns to announce intentions was performed from the decks of steam engines and wooden square riggers. You have to get dangerously close to a large vessel before there's any chance they can even hear your wimpy horn.


At least we don't need to carry signal flags...

Here's the part of the COLREGs that relates directly:

Rule 34
(h) A vessel that reaches agreement with another vessel in a headon, crossing, or overtaking situation, as for example, by using the radiotelephone as prescribed by the Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act (85 Stat. 164; 33 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.), is not obliged to sound the whistle signals prescribed by this Rule, but may do so. If agreement is not reached, then whistle signals shall be exchanged in a timely manner and shall prevail.

Good. I get to keep my hearing awhile longer. The Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act refers to using channel 13 in most areas (https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/navR...rt_Page208.pdf).

I hope people who entertain themselves by sitting around just quoting rules without practical context continue to do just that. It keeps them off the waters and out of my way.
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Old 14-12-2019, 21:38   #27
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Here's the part of the COLREGs that relates directly:

Rule 34
(h) A vessel that reaches agreement with another vessel in a headon, crossing, or overtaking situation, as for example, by using the radiotelephone as prescribed by the Vessel Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act (85 Stat. 164; 33 U.S.C. 1201 et seq.), is not obliged to sound the whistle signals prescribed by this Rule, but may do so. If agreement is not reached, then whistle signals shall be exchanged in a timely manner and shall prevail.


That is NOT in COLREGs There is no sub para g or h. They are purely US Inland Rules.

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Old 14-12-2019, 22:06   #28
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Just a short while ago I was westbound to seaward nearing the northbound traffic lane 10 nm south of the San Francisco channel. AIS showed a large tub northbound right down the center of the traffic lane. We were on converging courses....

Mine is the stand-on vessel because: 1) Mine's a sailboat and, 2) the other vessel is converging on my port side. My AIS CPA alarm had gone off and I was certain the tug's alarm had gone off as well.

What did I do? When the tug was 2 miles out, ...

You were not stand on vessel. At two miles out with a large vessel in the centre of a traffic lane and a small sailing vessel outside it, there should be no risk of collision. You are obliged under COLREGs to avoid impeding the vessel in the traffic lane and specifically to not cross the lane if you might impede a vessel using it. I'd expect that there are also local rules that make this even more clear.


Rules 8(e)(i) and 9 (b) and (d) are quite clear.


There would have been no need to distract the tug crew with radio communications it you had made a clear maneuver to avoid crossing the traffic lane in front of it.



And if by "traffic lane", you are referring to a Traffic Separation Scheme, you should pay heed to the content of Rule 10
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Old 14-12-2019, 22:18   #29
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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WAFI is a derogatory term used by we assume some Commercial Mariners describing the idiot in the sailboat that obviously has no clue.
Wind Assisted (obvious) Idiot.
The term is also heard often on the bridge of naval vessels. Unusually in a context like: "Can we just sink that WAFI?"
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Old 14-12-2019, 23:36   #30
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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It is certainly true that, as you say, you don't have the right to just t-bone someone on the road who was supposed to give way.

But it's still very, very different from what we do at sea.

On the road there is no obligation to stand on. If you have the right of way you have the right to speed up, slow down, turn, whatever -- you are privileged, and the give-way driver is burdened. It's not like that at sea, where being the stand-on vessel means you are obligated to hold course and speed so that the other vessel can take control of the crossing.

On the road collision avoidance is fundamentally the responsibility of the give-way vehicle -- the right of way vehicle has the RIGHT to drive on unimpeded, and has a responsibility to try to do something only if things go t.u., and only if he can do anything, which he rarely can at road speeds. The stand-on vessel at sea has no such right, and is at all times and at every phase of every crossing equally responsible for avoiding the collision.

It truly is different.
Not really. There is often a "stand on" obligation. It just appears different as traffic tends to be (by comparison) much more orderly, so it comes into play less often.

Example: If you are in the right lane on a freeway approaching a ramp merge...you are effectively the stand on vessel (assumes lane to the left is full, so you can't move over...which is a courtesy not an obligation...kind of like turning away from a crossing situation in boating far in advance of the crossing). You have an obligation hold speed, so the merging vehicles from the ramp can pick a gap to merge. If you speed up to stop the ramp vehicle from getting in front of you, you have violated the rules even though you have right of way and legitimately, you should be getting the ticket. You do not have the right to speed up or slow down as you decide.

Another example: A vehicle cut you off 5 miles back. Eventually, you get in front of them and randomly slam on your brakes to mess with them...As the lead vehicle, you would typically be considered to have the right-of-way but you have an obligation to hold speed in so far as you reasonably can to not cause an accident.

It truly is a very similar situation.
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