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post #4 of Old 07-16-2009
JohnRPollard's Avatar
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My read of the situation you describe is that the Laser was stand-on and you were give-way.

From the sounds of it, you describe a converging course situation, not an overtaking situation.

You expected him to intersect your course and cross your bow if you both continued on your respective courses. In that scenario, it doesn't matter that he had greater speed than you. You were under power, he was under sail. His draft is not much less than yours, so you can't trump him with the "constrained by draft". In any event, nothing about your draft placed a constraint on the speed at which you progressed down the channel.

But regardless of how you parse it, the courteous approach is to give way to vessels under sail when you are under power -- especially an engineless daysailer. In your case, as soon as you realized his course would take him across your bows uncomfortably close (particularly for him!), the proper thing to do would have been to throttle back and allow him to pass ahead well clear. Throttling back to a crawl would only slow your progress up the channel briefly. Even dropping back to 3 knots or so would have opened up a much more comfortable separation as he crossed ahead.

Live and learn. In these situations I never hesitate to ask the skipper of the other boat how they would prefer to proceed or to let them know my plan to alter course and/or speed. I never play chicken with little daysailers.

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Pacific Seacraft Crealock 31 #62

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