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post #44 of Old 08-27-2013
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Re: Remote helm

Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
For the rest of us what an education.

Here you have one of our own. A known good guy and fellow sailor. His attitude is that if someone is in his way and acting "clownish" he has the right to blow him off the road at 25 knots and finds it funny if they get grounded. I don't know how he would feel if the guy holed his boat on one of those stumps or got seriously hurt but that was a risk he took with the other guys boat and life too.

Now this is the lesson I got.
OK, I'm gonna try this one more time...

My first inclination whenever I come upon a slower boat on the ICW or similar waterway, is to pass in as courteous and safe a fashion as possible. I'm a sailor, after all, and a bit of a rarity in the delivery business, as I run both sail and power. Most captains tend to do one or the other, but rarely both...

As soon as I began to realize I was dealing with a complete fool in this instance, however, my perspective changed... I'm no longer quite so concerned about minimizing the possibility of spilling the guy's morning coffee. Instead, my focus shifted to how I'm gonna get this $800K boat I'm responsible for past this moron who is determined to operate his own boat in such an unseamanlike fashion, with such an astonishing lack of appreciation for what could go wrong, in such close quarters...

He obliged me with more than a HINT... He waved me on, unmistakably, and repeatedly...

Now, please try to get it out of your head, that silly notion that "I blew him off the road at 25 knots..." Sorry, nothing could be further from the truth, and your apparent failure to grasp this betrays an ignorance of the simple physics involved...

Here's the shot again, of the wake that Neptunus throws at 26 knots... Please notice how it is comprised of basically a single wave, and how far aft it streams... Obviously, I would be well clear of the sailboat before he became affected by my wake, and he would have the full width of the waterway to deal with it... If he were smart, he would have dealt with it in the same fashion I described in my previous post, would have been a piece of cake with that boat...

Now, look at the difference in the character of the wake from this displacement hulled yacht, running near hull speed...

Notice how much further forward the wake begins, and how a vessel being overtaken in close quarters would begin to ride a quartering wave, and need to start taking corrective steering action, while still alongside the overtaking boat... Notice how much sharper the angle is of the trailing wake, and how much greater would have to be the angle of the 'cutback' required to make the maneuver I described earlier. And, notice how many more individual 'waves' are produced by such a yacht running at displacement speed...

you'll just have to take my word on this, but if I attempted to pass that guy at 9.5 knots, in the 8-10' depths I would have found towards the side of the canal, my wake would have been MASSIVE with the stern sucking the bottom, and my bow and quarter waves would have moved even further forward, streaming almost perpendicular from my hull...

Now, if this guy had only been insistent on maintaining his speed, but was actually steering his boat at the helm, I would have bit the bullet, and passed him at that half-assed speed... Once i've brought a boat down off a plane, I virtually never run back up to speed until the overtaking maneuver is completed... But in this situation, passing him at speed on a plane - given his refusal to either slow down, or assume proper control of his own vessel - was the best way to go... Anyone who can't understand that, well... I give up :-)

Of course, much of the amusement I receive from the telling of this tale is a result of the intervening years that have passed... In truth, I was shocked by how poorly a sailor even as clueless as he - not to mention his autopilot - handled the wake... When I saw he had gone aground, I slowed once again, standing by to assess the situation... Fortunately, he was able to back that beast back off the bank almost immediately, and was underway again in short order... Tellingly, he never even attempted to call me on VHF, perhaps it finally dawned upon him how foolish his actions had been..

Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Guys and gals you may be on your own out their more than you think.
Any perceived un-seamanship behavior due to inexperience or a touch too much confidence may set someone off.
Not everyone cares about your well being and some people feel justified in teaching you a lesson.

Be careful out there.

I guess it is not too different from land.
Back in the 80's my wife and I rode out 10 speed bikes from West Haven, CT to South Carolina.
In order to get past NYC we had to get across a bridge. I believe it was the Gothels bridge.
You couldn't ride you bike on the bridge but you could call for a transit worker to pick you up on one side and drive you across the bridge.
He let us off on the other side of the bridge. I would have liked for him to take us to an exit but he didn't.
So we in in 10 speeds with heavy saddle bags hugging the shoulder heading for the exit.
A semi came flying by us at speed about six inches from our handlebars blowing us off the road.
Apparently he felt compelled to teach us a lesson about where we should and should not bike.
Oh, c'mon... No need to go Full Drama Queen on us :-)

It was not my intent to "teach a lesson" to this clown, though hopefully he did learn one as a result... I simply wanted to get past him with as minimal an exposure to risk as possible...

Over the years, I think I've rendered more than my fair share of assistance to other sailors I've encountered... Here's one example I recounted in another thread recently, I didn't notice anyone else joining in to help me this night:

I think the boat next to me is dragging

And sorry, but your bike story doesn't impress me much... :-)

I've done a couple of tours over the years, each in excess of a couple of thousand miles... One through Nova Scotia and out across Newfoundland, and another from Seattle, up Vancouver Island, a ferry ride up to Prince Rupert, back down to Vancouver, out around the Olympic Peninsula, then down the coast to San Francisco... Trust me, I had more than a few close calls with logging trucks on that one :-)

Sure, I've no doubt some welcomed the chance to show me who was The Boss of the roads... But I doubt any of them who might have been cyclists themselves, were among those who did so...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 08-27-2013 at 11:12 PM.
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