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post #21 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Rule #1: AVOID COLLISION. Have you ever been through NY Harbor? Ferries of all sizes, speeds, shapes are all over the place, transiting currents that sometimes move at 4 knots. They don't run sailboats down. The smaller ferries are VERY maneuverable and predictably abide by all the usual rules of the road. If, as a small vessel, you follow those rules there is no problem whatsoever. The more I read of this collision, the more it becomes clear that the ferry was mostly at fault.

The main problem with larger, fast moving craft in open water is that they fail to keep an adequate lookout many times. Complacency, as mentioned above is probably the cause. It seems that sometimes they put the boat on autopilot and forget to pay attention. I have seen this occur on more than one occasion. I had a near-miss a couple of years ago with a tanker that was oblivious to the fact that I was ahead of him, changed course as I was attempting to gth out of his way, and nearly ran me down. No passing signal, No radio contact, Nothing. Oblivious. If coming from behind all the avoidance in the world on your part is useless if a large, fast moving ship is not paying attention. The only thing you can do is to move at right angles to where he MAY be heading as soon as you detect him coming from behind but if he is altering course, that is impossible to figure.
It gets to be a cat and mouse game out here sometimes....


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post #22 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

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It gets to be a cat and mouse game out here sometimes....
Considering the disparity in vessel sizes, more like windshield and bug.
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post #23 of 64 Old 09-16-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

I have to agree the ferry carries responsibility, but in one article I read the sailboat captain says he did not even hear them coming......
The ferry routes are clearly marked on all the charts in BC, I assume they are in WA as well. It is easy to tell when you are near or on them. In my books that calls for an extra vigilant lookout on my part, because I will never win against any of them. They move fast but are very predictable and stick to their routes (at least in my area), which I will say again are clearly marked on all the charts.
A couple of times when we have been uncertain in close quarters they have responded professionally and courteously on the radio.
I think the sailboat captain is very lucky to have survived the collision. I wish him a speedy recovery, and hope that whatever his part is in this collision, does not cause any lasting harm.
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post #24 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

I'm pretty sure I know the wrecked boat, a small Fisher ph. I've seen it around here for years. I feel bad for the owner but best to stay away from ferries. The tonnnage rule is always reliable for me. The is only one outcome when small sailboat meets a ferry regardles of technical tright of way.
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post #25 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

My understanding is that the collision occurred north of Upright Head. This is a more challenging part of the San Juans when it comes to ferries. They come through Upright Channel, heading both to Sidney, B.C. and Friday harbor. They head to Shaw and Orcas island from there. More traffic heads to Anacortes through Lopez Sound.

Further complicating things is that sometimes the ferries turn around when they exit the Lopez Island ferry dock.. Most of these channels are "blind" corners, since the surrounding terrain is so high.

For me, at least, this part of the San Juans is where you need to be the most careful when it comes to the ferries. They are fast, and at times, aggressive. I always keep well clear of them.

I was sailing Upright Channel this summer in very light winds, and stayed well to the north, to avoid the ferries. My dad (a circumnavigator) thought I was being paranoid, until he saw in quick succession, a ferry coming out of the Lopez Island dock, down from Orcas, and up Lopez Sound.

It attracted his attention.



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post #26 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

No argument for/against either side invalidates the fact that all vessels are responsible for avoiding a collision. In the end, "give way" or "stand on" is abandoned if a collision is imminent.
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post #27 of 64 Old 09-16-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

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No argument for/against either side invalidates the fact that all vessels are responsible for avoiding a collision. In the end, "give way" or "stand on" is abandoned if a collision is imminent.
I'll have to remember that when I radio the inbound container ship to stop before he gets to me. Kind'a like stopping a freight train for a car stuck at a crossing... you can wish all you want, but even with all the best intentions, it's not going to happen. Physics is a brutal master.
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post #28 of 64 Old 09-18-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

http://www.sanjuanislander.com/islan...rry-collision-

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post #29 of 64 Old 09-18-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

So it sounds as if he is saying he was in the pilot house actively running the boat rather than "down below" as was said by ferry passengers?

If that is the case I guess the lesson is to look behind often. Terrifying really, to go all the way under the ferry and come out alive. Wow.
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post #30 of 64 Old 09-18-2013
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Re: sailboat and ferry collide!

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So it sounds as if he is saying he was in the pilot house actively running the boat rather than "down below" as was said by ferry passengers?

If that is the case I guess the lesson is to look behind often. Terrifying really, to go all the way under the ferry and come out alive. Wow.
well it beats going all the way under and coming out dead
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