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  #21  
Old 07-16-2009
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Please note Rule 9D: So tacking back & forth across that channel is a No NO! when there is traffic ascending or descending the channel...And you really really don't want to anchor in the center of that channel either.


RULE 9
NARROW CHANNELS
(a) (i) [Inld] A vessel proceeding along the course of a narrow channel or fairway shall keep as near to the outer limit of the channel or fairway which lies on her starboard side as is safe and practicable.
(ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(i) and Rule 14(a), a power-driven vessel operating in narrow channels or fairways on the Great Lakes, Western Rivers, or waters specified by the Secretary, and proceeding downbound with a following current shall have the right-of-way over an upbound vessel, shall propose the manner and place of passage, and shall initiate the maneuvering signals prescribed by Rule 34(a)(i), as appropriate. The vessel proceeding upbound against the current shall hold as necessary to permit safe passing. [Inld]

(b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway.

(c) A vessel engaged in fishing shall not impede the passage of any other vessel navigating within a narrow channel or fairway.

(d) A vessel shall not cross a narrow passage or fairway if such crossing impedes the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within such channel or fairway. The latter vessel may use the sound signal prescribed in Rule 34(d) if in doubt as to the intention of the crossing vessel.

(e)

(i) In a narrow channel or fairway when overtaking can take place only if the vessel to be overtaken has to take action to permit safe passing, the vessel intending to overtake shall indicate her intention by sounding the appropriate signal prescribed in Rule 34(c)(i). The vessel to be overtaken shall, if in agreement, sound the appropriate signal prescribed in Rule 34(c)(ii) and take steps to permit safe passing. If in doubt she may sound the signals prescribed in Rule 34(d). (i) In a narrow channel or fairway when overtaking, the power-driven vessel intending to overtake another power-driven vessel shall indicate her intention by sounding the appropriate signal prescribed in Rule 34(c) and take steps to permit safe passing. The power-driven vessel being overtaken, if in agreement, shall sound the same signal and may, if specifically agreed to take steps to permit safe passing. If in doubt, she shall sound the danger signal prescribed in Rule 34(d).

(ii) This rule does not relieve the overtaking vessel of her obligation under Rule 13.

(f) A vessel nearing a bend or an area of a narrow channel or fairway where other vessels may be obscured by an intervening obstruction shall navigate with particular alertness and caution and shall sound the appropriate signal prescribed in Rule 34(e).

(g) Any vessel shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid anchoring in a narrow channel.
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Last edited by Boasun; 07-16-2009 at 10:28 PM.
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  #22  
Old 07-16-2009
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It would have been safer if those Lasers were towed back to the club by the Race Committee's boat. And that suggestion should be presented to that club's Racing committee.

On that Anchoring I know of a couple of weekend warriors that while fishing got run down by tug and tow that couldn't stop period. Now you know the reason for that rule also... Most Rules and Safety Regulations are always written in some body's blood.
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Last edited by Boasun; 07-16-2009 at 10:12 PM.
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  #23  
Old 07-16-2009
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The RC may still have been on station finishing other boats when this occurred, so a tow, though safer, might not be a viable option for the laser fleet. Milford does have a narrow channel, but a laser sailing downwind is not likely to have its board down much, so it isn't constrained to the channel. Tacking downwind makes perfect sense for a laser, and the perceived 10' distance (shortened by the stress of the situation?) is still more than ample for a laser that can practically tack or gybe in place. It would appear that everyone did the right thing for themselves in this situation. Like encounters with tugs & tows, however, sometimes a little more communication can help. Asking the laser to keep a bit further off because you have to stay in the channel and can't stop or change speed easily because of the other boats ahead and behind you would be an easy way to share the harbor with less stress. You might even end up finding a new crew member from the laser fleet.
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Old 07-16-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AE28 View Post
RULE 13
OVERTAKING
(a) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Rules [of Part B, Sections I and II / 4 through 18], any vessel overtaking any other shall keep out of the way of the vessel being overtaken.

(b) A vessel shall be deemed to be overtaking when coming up with a another vessel from a direction more than 22.5 degrees abaft her beam, that is, in such a position with reference to the vessel she is overtaking, that at night she would be able to see only the sternlight of that vessel but neither of her sidelights.

(c) When a vessel is in any doubt as to whether she is overtaking another, she shall assume that this is the case and act accordingly.

(d) Any subsequent alteration of the bearing between the two vessels shall not make the overtaking vessel a crossing vessel within the meaning of these Rules or relieve her of the duty of keeping clear of the overtaken vessel until she is finally past and clear.

I cannot agree with JRP that this could not have been an overtaking situation. I can imagine a situation wherein an overtaking boat could hit the overtaken boat in the bow. See (d) above.

JRP's comment "You were under power, he was under sail." is irrelevant. See (a) above - "...any vessel overtaking..." Emphasis added.

*His draft is not much less than yours,...". John, how much less does it have to be for the constrained by draft rule to come into play?

Don Radcliff, constrained by draft doesn't apply in inland waters?
RULE 3
GENERAL DEFINITIONS
For the purpose of these Rules and this Chapter [Inld], except where the context otherwise requires:
((h) The term "vessel constrained by her draft" means a power-driven vessel which because of her draft in relation to the available depth and width of navigable water is severely restricted in her ability to deviate from the course she is following.

Don, what “appropriate signal”? I cannot find any requirement.

"You are probably not affected by the narrow channel rule, because you are less than 20 meters long." Don, sorry, but I don't find anything more than this:
RULE 9
NARROW CHANNELS
(b) A vessel of less than 20 meters in length or a sailing vessel shall not impede the passage of a vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway.

Don, are you really serious that the “loss of wind” would have any impact on which vessel is burdened and which is privileged?

“…and he has only a limited space outside the channel before he has draft issues.” How is that jk’s problem?

JRP – “In an overtaking scenario, the faster vessel clear astern will collide with the overtaken vessel at the stern if corrective action is not taken.” Is that definition in the regs somewhere?

John- “Both boats were arguably constrained by draft,…” How did you come to that conclusion? jk was in the channel, the other boat was outside the channel!

NCC320 nails it with “Overtaking vs. Crossing Wouldn't that issue be defined by which sector the Laser was in...” and “If the Laser was near the limits of the 135 degree sector, he could still have a converging course that would intercept your boat on a collision course while he would still be the overtaking vessel.” See 13 (d) above.

Samw51 – “overtaking vessel only is give way if both are under sail. when one is a motor boat, the sailboat has row”. See 13 (a) above.

PLEASE – PLEASE - PLEASE

Before some of you crucify me, I honestly believe jk took the proper course of action, following the prime directive: DON'T HIT OR BE HIT BY ANYONE!!!

That said, why do we bother with all of the other rules? If some hot shot (maybe he wasn't) racer pushes and us nice folks all just yield, doesn't it then come down to the skipper with the biggest balls (usually) prevails?

Isn't this similar to the leap-frogging driver who races ahead when he sees a lane closure coming up and then barges his way into the open lane?

Again, I think jk did the right thing, BUT I most fervently believe the skipper of the other boat should be reported to the authorities.

Paul
Paul et al,

I began my interpretation of the situation with the OP's statement that the course of the Laser would take it cross his bow. That says "converging" not "overtaking" to me. I am still at a loss as to how folks conclude this is an overtaking situation.

Quote:
JRP – “In an overtaking scenario, the faster vessel clear astern will collide with the overtaken vessel at the stern if corrective action is not taken.” Is that definition in the regs somewhere?
No. It is assumed. It is not an overtaking situation requiring a course alteration if if the overtaking vessel is not on a collision course with the stern area (as defined) of the overtaken vessel. In a congested sailing area there could be dozens of boats at any given time that meet the strict definition of "overtaking" but pose no risk of collision, so such boats are not required to stand-on or give-way to each other. The rules apply to boats at risk of collision and prescribe which has the initial onus (the give-way vessel) and ultimate onus (both vessels) of avoiding collision.

If it is a collision course with any section forward of the stern area (as defined) it is ipso facto a converging situation.

Quote:
John- “Both boats were arguably constrained by draft,…” How did you come to that conclusion? jk was in the channel, the other boat was outside the channel!
There is only a 1.3 foot difference in the draft of the two vessels (assuming board down). The Laser sailor may not have been in the channel initially, but it may be that he considered it necessary to return to the channel due to shoaling conditions ahead. We can't know (EDIT: Paul added some info we didn't have). So there was no way for the OP to conclude that the Laser didn't also need the depth in the channel. Hence my statement that "constrained by draft" could apply equally and was therefore inapplicable.

So to me it came down to a vessel under power converging with a vessel under sail.

It seems simple enough, but as I said in my first post parsing it isn't the point: This was a fellow sailor making his way up a channel without an engine. Throttle back a bit, tip your hat, and let him pass.
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  #25  
Old 07-17-2009
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When it starts out as an Overtaking Situation, It STAYS an Overtaking Situation until the Overtaking vessel is well passed and clear. It don't change to a crossing just because you cross that 122.5 degree line on the stand on vessel.
And if you are in Doubt; You assume the worst Situation and work from that one. This is when you are not sure if you are Overtaking or Crossing. But when you are in a Narrow Channel, you are not allowed to cross in front of vessels ascending or descending that Channel. So tacking from one side of that channel to the other is not allowed when there is traffic.
This is my interpetation of the Rules. But it is the Court's interpetation that really counts and that would require research of Admirality Court Rulings.
Rule 9b states that a sailing vessel shall NOT impede traffic in a Narrow Channel.
But then discretion & courtesy does make friends and We are in No hurry for an arrival at the Clubhouse Bar.
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Last edited by Boasun; 07-17-2009 at 08:07 AM.
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Old 07-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
When it starts out as an Overtaking Situation, It STAYS an Overtaking Situation until the Overtaking vessel is well passed and clear. It don't change to a crossing just because you cross that 122.5 degree line on the stand on vessel.
Yes, I'm aware of that, but nothing in his description suggested to me that it began as an overtaking situation. He stated the Laser "was overtaking us from the Starboard side" and then went on to say that the Laser's course would take it across his bows. Note he did not say the Laser was overtaking from astern. Despite his use of the word "overtaking", this reads as a converging course with the Laser moving at a faster clip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
And if you are in Doubt; You assume the worst Situation and work from that one. This is when you are not sure if you are Overtaking or Crossing.
Definitely. Which would require the OP to assume a converging/crossing situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boasun View Post
But when you are in a Narrow Channel, you are not allowed to cross in front of vessels ascending or descending that Channel. So tacking from one side of that channel to the other is not allowed when there is traffic....
I'm going to have to part with you on that statement, Boasun. There is no blanket prohibition on a sailboat tacking across a channel when traffic is present. That would lead to the absurd result of a sailboat not being allowed to sail upwind in a channel if any other boats are using it. If that were the case, I would be in violation of that rule virtually every time we go sailing!! And engineless sailing vessels would have to anchor and wait for the wind to change in order to return to harbor.

The rules about impeding vessels constrained by draft in a channel do not prohibit a sailing vessel from tacking upwind in that channel when traffic is present. They merely require the sailing vessel to not impede the vessel that is constrained by draft while crossing the channel.

You're right, we would have to delve in to the admiralty cases to get a definitive answer. But I would be very surprised if admiralty law construes "impede" so narrowly as to absolve a motor vessel from so much as making a minor speed reduction to permit the safe crossing of a sailing vessel (also constrained by draft) when doing so poses no risk to the safe navigation of the channel by the motor vessel.

Alright, I'm done. I'll let the experts continue hashing it out. Jkimberly, no offense intended to you. We do this all the time with ROR questions. We all learn from these situations, and I thank you for posing the question to us.
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  #27  
Old 07-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
I am puzzled by the suggestions that jkimberly had "right of way", i.e. was stand on-vessel. He said:



That is a converging course situation, not "overtaken boat." In an overtaking scenario, the faster vessel clear astern will collide with the overtaken vessel at the stern if corrective action is not taken. In that scenario, the slower, overtaken vessel holds its course while the faster vessel steers around it.

In this case, jkimberly was under power in a converging course situation with a vessel under sail. The fact that the Laser's faster speed and the converging course would eventually permit the Laser to cross ahead of jkimberly does not make jkimberly an overtaken vessel. Both boats were arguably constrained by draft, but in any case nothing about jkimberly's draft prevented him from giving way by slowing down.
What constitutes "over-taken vessel" then? As he was coming up behind us, basically paralleling our course until he was right next to us at which point it appeared he would converge. This is/was not a case of someone on a radically different course converging on us - he was immediately behind in a parallel course until alongside.

john
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  #28  
Old 07-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donradclife View Post
My guess is that you have pretty limited sailing experience, as Lasers only have one sail, and thus cannot sail 'wing on wing', and tacking downwind is really called 'gybing'. The Laser racers don't think 10 feet is too close, especially if the boats are on nearly parallel courses.

The reality is that you had the right of way because he was the overtaking vessel. You are not constrained by your draft, because you were in inland waters and were also not displaying the appropriate signal. You are probably not affected by the narrow channel rule, because you are less than 20 meters long.

The Laser avoided you, but if he had lost the wind and slowed down, the right of way would have shifted to him. You should also recognize his limitations--its hard for him to slow down, and he has only a limited space outside the channel before he has draft issues.


Both the rules of the road and common courtesy would suggest that slowing down if necessary would be the best option when trying to share a narrow channel.
I don't really know if it was a "laser" or not, but he definitely had a head sail - I haven't been sailing all that long (5-6yrs?) but I know what wing on wing is.

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Old 07-17-2009
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I am with John on this subject. The rule of the road discussions aways get convoluted. Let us not forget that the rules of the road require us to avoid a collision regardless of what the other boat is doing. So if you have to give way even though you are the stand on boat, you are require to do so.

You can only operate you own boat safely and you can not assume the other boat has a working knowledge of the rules.

Sort of like waving another driver thru a 4 way stop even though you were there first.
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Old 07-17-2009
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If you're reading this, chances are you've read a ton of posts about maritime rules of the road.

In my opinion, they're all archaic BS and I will use the following for tooling around my little inland lake:
1. Generously applied amounts of courtesy and common sense will handle most situations.
2. The Prime Directive is don't hit or get hit.
3. Failing #2, everyone involved is at fault.
4. Failing #2, and in light of #3, the party with the best lawyer wins.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!

Paul
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