Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch.... - Page 2 - SailNet Community

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  #11  
Old 07-04-2012
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Re: Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....

It is not true the stand on vessel CANNOT maneuver. The COLREGS state it is not REQUIRED to maneuver, unless the other vessel fails to act, AND any maneuvers should be early enough, and large enough to make it obvious to the other vessel your intentions. And that NO maneuver should be made that increases the chances of a collision.


The above both boats are required to take all available steps to avoid collision.

Sometimes the other boat doesn't see you. In a sailboat you can expect they won't hear you either.

Stand on vessel or not, If I see an opportunity to make a course adjustment that increases passing distance, I will. After I see whether the other boat is changing course, and what direction.

If in doubt, hail them. Or give horn signal.
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Old 07-04-2012
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Re: Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....

The earlier you see a possible collision the smaller a correction you need to avoid it.
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Old 07-04-2012
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Re: Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingwelshman View Post
...my wife and I let out loud shouts.
Where was your horn?
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2012
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Re: Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....

Quote:
Originally Posted by bljones View Post
Where was your horn?
Excellent question!

The horn was about 14" in front of me in the drink holder thing on the pedestal.

Why didn't I use it? Another excellent question.

Until the events were critical I thought that the other boat would veer. It didn't. Once this realization set in I reacted on instinct. It worked. I was disappointed to discover that my instinct was not to do the correct thing i.e. use the horn.

As I have said, I made many mistakes of judgement in this incident. Fortunately the collision did not occur and now I can focus on ensuring that the same set of circumstances don't present themselves in the future.
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Old 07-05-2012
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Re: Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....

Quote:
Originally Posted by CapnBilll View Post
If in doubt, hail them. Or give horn signal.
Isn't this why we carry radios and horns/bells/whistles?

Once it is determined that a collision is probable isn't the next step signalling, followed by manuvering? Which might occur almost simultaneously. But if you are the stand on vessel isn't it wise to alert the burdened vessel so that he does not at the last second manuver and negate yours. With sail boat encounters it seems fairly easy enough, considering there are certain directions one cannot go. But with a power boat, he may not understand your limitations and could take action that negates your defensive manuever.

If I sailed in congested waters, I would install a powerful horn that would make me sound like the Enterprise and give them the five toots when necessary. As it is, I'm just happy to see another boat out on the water.

Sorry, I see you have answered this.

Last edited by ccriders; 07-05-2012 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingwelshman View Post
Last weekend - on the first day of a 10-day cruise - the wind was blowing a modest 12 knots or so. We were on a close reach on a starboard tack. We watched as a similar-sized boat ran close-hauled on a port tack headed towards us.
There was plenty of sea-room between us.
My wife suggested that we maneuver a bit to stay clear. "We are the stand-on vessel here." say I. "It's best if we maintain our course and speed so the guy knows what to expect from us."
The boats converged.
"That boat is getting a little close. Shouldn't we change our course?", suggested my wife in a slightly panicked tone.
"Don't worry about it." I condescended. "The guy is probably a racer and wants to cut tight behind our transom."
By the time I realized that the other skipper hadn't seen us, his boat was bearing down on my port side. I had left myself with a very slim chance of avoiding a nasty collision.
With about three boat-lengths to spare my wife and I let out loud shouts. A head poked around the edge of the on-coming jib.
Luckily we both headed up and and stopped our boats within about a boat-length of each other. If one of us had bore off the results would have been disastrous.
I shouted a few choice words at the other skipper, he hollered back a sincere apology and we were on our way.
After the pulses had settled I thought about the near-miss. It was brought about by sheer stupidity and arrogance on my part. Sure the guy should have been more aware of his surroundings, but I was fully aware. I had been watching his approach with tons of time to avoid the crash. Instead I adamantly stuck to my 'right of way' and almost created a situation that would have certainly done significant damage to both of our boats and, most likely, caused serious injury aboard both of the vessels.
It was definitely a wake up call!
To my wife's credit she never said, "I told you so." but in this case, as in many others, she is absolutely entitled to.
Thank you for posting this account, including the parts that you believe you did not do well. It is posting of experience like this that helps us all learn.

Had you allowed the collision to happen, and it was made known to the court/arbiter that you had such knowledge of the boat and took no action to avoid the collision you might have been found at partial or even full fault.

Colregs rule 17 seems a little unclear in it's wording but I've always taken it to mean that if you don't avoid a collision that you are aware will happen and just continue on as the Stand-on Vessel you are in violation of this rule.

Here is the rule, what do you think? (emphasis mine)
MedSailor

Navigation Rules Online


Rule 17- Action by Stand-on Vessel

(a) (i) Where one of two vessels is to keep out of the way, the other shall keep her course and speed.

(ii) The latter vessel may however take action to avoid collision by her maneuver alone, as soon as it becomes apparent to her that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriate action in compliance with these Rules.

(b) When, from any cause, the vessel required to keep her course and speed finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision.
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  #17  
Old 07-06-2012
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Re: Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
what do you think?
[/I]
I think I would have (and should have) been found culpable.

There is no question in my mind that I should have taken earlier action to avoid the vessels coming as close as they did.

As has been stated, a simple course correction earlier on, or, a warning blast from my horn would have avoided this incident.

It was a good lesson for me as had I heard the story from someone else I would have given the same advice as has been given to me. In fact about a month ago I posted the same rhyme about 'Right of way' for another poster.

I was very surprised at my own complacency.
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Re: Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....

I think a lot of boaters, particularly power boaters (including professionals) just don't know the rules, or don't care. This past week, I was involved in three close calls with the same boat (M/V Viking Starliner), a ~100' harbor cruise vessel. All three times were crossing situations, all three times he had no passengers aboard, and all three times he failed to answer my radio calls on 13 and 16. I had to maneuver each time to get out of the way. The first time, at the very least, I know he saw me because I could see him through my binoculars looking at me.

A few weeks ago, I was involved in an even more troublesome incident of negligence. I was happily sailing along in extremely light winds, making less than 1kt headway when I was approached on my starboard quarter by M/V Fort Independence, another harbor cruise vessel of slightly smaller size. This one was fully loaded with passengers. He was on a course to pass astern of me, but when he was about 200 yards away he altered course to point directly at me. I thought he meant to pass in front of me instead of astern, even though I was very near the edge of the channel so that would be a tight squeeze, so I initially took no action. I could see him looking at me. At the last moment, I started my engine (no wind) and spun out of his way. I called him on the radio and asked what he was doing, and he said (condescendingly) "the rules I learned were the boat on the right has the right of way". (yes, he said "right" instead of "starboard", and he used the phrase "right of way"). He went on to mention that I was under power. I informed him I didn't start my engine until he tried to run me over, and he replied "then I guess it's a good thing you started it!". A short time later, I witnessed him overtaking another boat, screaming over the loud hailer, "I have the right of way!", forcing them out of the channel into the restricted security zone surrounding the coast guard base. And that was after sunset, and he didn't have his nav lights on... I called the cruise company management the next day, but I don't think they took any action.
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Last edited by rmeador; 07-06-2012 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 07-07-2012
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Cool Re: Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....

report the stupid so and so to the coast guard , he has to be licened to take fare paying passingers invoke the right of way rules under col regs and get anyone else he upsets in this way to do the same if they wont do anything have a look under your harbour bye laws speed etc and warm them of a court case waiting to happen that works because they and the coast guard will get dragged in to it for doing nothing try that one:
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Old 07-07-2012
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Re: Captain Cool almost becomes Captain Crunch....

In an unrestricted area, where there is plenty of room to maneuver, doesn't it make sense to avoid even getting close enough to have to worry about it? A small course deviation, at a distance, will never confuse anyone because you are the stand-on vessel and did not hold your course. It is easy to determine if you are on an intersecting course while still a long way off and very easy to alter course a couple of degrees so as to avoid this type situation.

And +1 on the FACT that many if not most powerboaters do not have any idea about the rules of the road. That is way too complicated for many of them.

rmeador, I would make a written complaint to the CG, copying your local politicians. I transit through NY Harbor frequently and have never had an issue with a commercial captain. There are ferries, taxis, commercial ships heading every which way around the harbor and all of them seem to take extra precautions to avoid crossing paths with a small craft like mine. Sounds like there are some real cowboys that need their wings clipped where you are.
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Last edited by smurphny; 07-07-2012 at 08:41 AM. Reason: more
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