I was having trouble trying to picture this situation until looking at your pic. If your pic is indicative of Equitiman's thread starting situation, with the angle of the blue boat and the red boat, I would assume this to be an overtaking situation, thus the blue boat has right of way. If the red boat could not see the blue boat's red bow light at night, i.e. more than two points abaft the beam, it would be an overtaking situation.If you are hove to, you are MAKING WAY, and you are definitely in command of your vessel. Don't think the courts care if you are fiddling around or not. Even if you are standing on the lee rail, releasing liquids into the sea you are making way, and you are in command. Although you may get a ticket for the release of above mentioned liquid from some over zealous watercop(is there any other kind?). Just think of this situation or really any situation similar to this...what would it look like at night? The red vessel would only see a white light, a white light getting closer- the blue boats stern light. If you are Not Under Command for SOME OTHER reason, for instance running aground, or a line in your wheel, or even a crab pot in your rudder, you must hoist the appropriate dayshape, or display the appropriate lights at night. Two black balls by day, two reds, one over the other at night. Or drop anchor, one black ball, or one white all around lite. Since most recreational vessels don't have the inventory of lights and dayshapes required on commercial vessels, the use of your Visual Distress Signals both day or night, even pointing a bright spotlight at night in the air, would probably put you in good shape in the courts if you were in a Not Under Command situation. I don't think the courts would consider Equitiman's heaving to and fiddling around, as a NUC event. However, if Equitman hove to and started fiddling around with a crossing, meeting, or overtaking situation in progress, i.e. how close WAS the red boat when he hove to?(which sounds like his situation), then he would not be the privileged vessel, because he did not maintin course and speed.
Last edited by messenger; 06-22-2007 at 12:03 PM.