Am I an 'operator' at anchor? - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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  #11  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

I just read the Oregon rules, can't find a definitive answer.

Just placed a voicemail to their information officer. Awaiting a call. Do NOT want to take any chances this summer, which can ruin my fun.
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Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

huh. so CA boating law states an "operator means the person on board who is steering the vessel while underway" (same as operate) and "underway means all times except when the motorboat, sailboat, or vessel is anchored, moored or aground."

However, I imagine they can do whatever they want, as "Use means operate, navigate or employ" and they don't say what 'employ' means. So I imagine even if not operating it I am 'employing' it so am 'using' it so am operating it....BLAH BLAH BLAH


When did our rules get so convoluted that they are barely decipherable (if at all) and we are just towing the line spending tons of dough to have them turn out more drivel?
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

My autopilot is doing the steering quite a bit of the time. It doesn't drink though.
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

If your boat is an inboard when at anchor consuming your favorite beverage, don't leave the keys in the ignition.
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Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

Fryewe,

When I said CG "takes the position" that drunk captains are "operators", it comes from the federal "Negligent and Reckless operation of a Vessel" statute. and the federal judges have "accepted" that position over the years. Seen it here in the maritime industry locally here.

But they don't go looking for you. Arrests arise from complaints from ship pilots when capt smells like a brewery such that pilot does not get docked ship underway but calls the Coast Guard. So I don't see the LEO overreach that some may, at least in the river cases. You don't want the capt ordering the pilot to "take her out, Mr. Pilot" when capt is dead drunk. It's tricky enough on the Big Muddy already without that.

Complaints when in drydock? Unlikely to the point of being zero. Laid up afloat? If crew required in case of breakaway, then maybe. But again, where's the complaint going to come from? Either a river pilot, or after a casualty where master was in fact potted..

the "I'm home" argument I'm not willing to get into.

Last edited by nolatom; 06-26-2013 at 06:50 PM.
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Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

You can always be charged under the federal law -- so the state law should be viewed as possibly worse (harsher) but not as a lower burden. I have zero confidence that "at anchor" excepts you from the BUI laws in most places (I appreciate the state laws quoted above). In PA DUI is "operation and control" of the vehicle. Begin by recognizing that that law has been applied to bicycles! Next note that "operation and control" has been interpreted to mean operation OR control. So think: you could drive the car" not "you did drive the car". With that in mind, and the same courts interpreting the law, I figure there is no way you are immune at anchor.
.02 (and certainly not legal advice)
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

USCG and US commercial vessels are a horse of a different color. The US requires all US flagged ships to be dry. No crew may poses or imbibe alcoholic beverages, whether on duty or not, while aboard, period.
Unlike the British merchant and military vessels which all have a "pub" aboard for recreation off duty. Hooray for a country that treats it's adults as responsible citizens.
Where's my daily ration of grog, sir?
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Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

Are you sure that the Jones Act also bans alcohol on US flagged ships? (never heard of that one before). The USN is in fact, dry. Trivia Question: Does anyone here know when alcohol was banned on USN ships? Who banned it? And what American slang was the result of it?
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

In Canada, at anchor, you are under no legal obligation to open the hatch if a cop comes. A friend was arrested by mounties for impaired driving while sitting in a restaurant, because she ' might drive." Several subsequent severe beatings by mounties were given ,to dicourage her from pleading not guilty.
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Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Am I an 'operator' at anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickMick View Post
huh. so CA boating law states an "operator means the person on board who is steering the vessel while underway" (same as operate) and "underway means all times except when the motorboat, sailboat, or vessel is anchored, moored or aground."
Seems prety clear and easy to understand to me.
If you are anchored, you are not underway, therefore when anchored there is no operator, therefore no issue...
right up until you cease being anchored, and the operator gets the boat underway.
In other words, just as in all things sailing related, commonsense and prudence apply.

Think of it like reefing. if you think you need to reef, you should. if you think you are in any way, even remotely, unable to operate your boat without blowing over, then stay anchored.
if you aren't able to make this decision prudently, or if you attract the attention of the watercops even while anchored, then you get what you deserve.
something tells me you are smarter than that.
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