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.
1979 Gulfstar 37 Laissez Faire
Last edited by rmeador; 07-06-2012 at 12:57 PM.