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post #67 of Old 04-30-2013
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Re: You are NOT "FISHING"

Originally Posted by GeorgeB View Post
Dabnis, Jack, interesting and useful information in this thread. Can you help me understand the diagram for the fishing trawler? Are there fishing lines suspended under the float bags in addition to the “deep lines” off the outriggers? Am I to assume that there is also a single float line off the stern? How rapidly do these lines “sink” after the float bags? In short, how far back behind do I need to go so I can safely duck a trawler? I see fishing boats running all the time with just their birds out for stability. So, I really need to look for the day shape and for the other fishing gear out? Fortunately, encounters with these types of fishermen are pretty rare for me outside the gate but I still want to be courteous....
You are making the common mistake here of confusing trolling and trawling. Trolling involves dragging lines behind a boat; trawling involves dragging a net behind a boat. While trolling, a vessel is NOT considered to be restricted in its maneuverability (under the COLREGS). While trawling, a vessel IS considered to be restricted in its maneuverability. A boat dragging a half a dozen 300-foot lines is trolling. A boat dragging a 1-meter wide Tucker-trawl (a fancy opening/closing plankton net) is trawling.

The main reason for the distinction under the COLREGS is that trolling lines have very little drag, relative to the power if the boat. A trolling vessel can always speed up and/or turn to avoid another vessel. At the very worst, they can easily cut their lines. A vessel dragging a net cannot easily do any of those things (if you are unfamiliar with such, take a gander at the size of the main winch cable and associated equipment on a stern dragger to get an idea of the forces involved in trawling).

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