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  #181  
Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
I understnad your comments, Jon, however, I still believe that is wrong.
Fair enough, looks like we'll just have to agree to disagree...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
First of all, this isn't recreational for me or the majority of the sailors that go to sea. You can call it recreation if you want for how you do it, maybe. THis is my life and this is how I live. THis vessel is my home, and the sea my yard. SHould I have lived in a home on land, would your interpretation be different? I live on the sea, full time, with my family. It is no more recreational for me or the many other F/T cruisers and LA's than a house is to land dwellers. Please save the word "recreational" for the Sea Ray folks who come down on the weekends or those who don't take this seriously. I certainly do and so do the singlehanders/couples of the world that cruise. I also take safety very seriously.
Well, you may be the exception to the general rule, but in my observation most people - with the possible exception of delivery crews - who are making offshore passages on private yachts, are primarily doing so for PLEASURE, and mostly at times and places of their own choosing, and in season favorable and most comfortable for doing so... I've cruised New England in the wintertime, for example, and never saw another sail between NJ and Maine, and return. However, there was still no shortage of professional mariners and commercial fishermen plying those waters at that time of the year. To suggest that yachtsmen and cruisers who crowd those same waters only in the summertime be placed in the same category as regards to their motivation for being out there, or that both groups are exercising a comparable form of "choice", seems a bit of a stretch, to me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Second, unless conscription has come back into the world and they forgot to tell me, every man and child on the sea is there by choice. Some get paid for it. Others dont. None of us has any more right to be at sea than the other. I sure don't believe that a commercial vessel has any more right, or a large company just because they are trying to make money off of it or it is the cheapest way for a large company to move goods. SO to be clear, everyone out there is CHOOSING to do this... be they a company, a private vessel's family, or a professional mariner on a super tanker.
I don't disagree at all, especially re the portion I bolded... That's why I can't agree with the argument that yachtsmen should be entitled to some form of special status, or exemption from COLREGS, and believe that the same rules should apply to all...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
As far as those who CHOOSE to do it alone, they are doing the best they can with what they have and are really a risk to no one but themselves or others who singlehand and do not stand a f/t watch. So, do we deny them access to the oceans beacuse they have no friends, or don't have have the money to hire a captain and crew to go with them, or wish solitude?? ...
Again, I think it's more than just a bit of hyperbole to suggest anyone is being "denied access to the oceans", here... And if you choose to sail the oceans alone or shorthanded, accept your limitations, take responsibility for the risk you - and you alone - have chosen to undertake...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
THird, do I believe that commercial vessels should live up to the fullest extent of the rules and obey them, even where I believe that some "yachties" (using your word), do not? Yes.
Hmmm, I haven't seen anyone arguing here that they should not...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
If they went to sea under the current COLREGs, they were likely breaking the law... especially as a couple or singlehanders. That is my issue. If you go out on your boat Jon by yourself (I assume you have been out of the slip by yourself, right?)
Well, since you are asking - yes, I actually have...

My girlfriend often joins me when she can after I've reached an intended destination or cruising ground, but otherwise all of the voyaging I've done on my own boat has been singlehanded... Thus far, my little tub has somehow found her way as far south and west as here...



...and as far north and east as here...



Tack on nearly 500 deliveries under both power and sail since 1976, probably 2/3 of them solo, and I reckon the number of singlehanded miles I've put behind me would at least be right up there with those of anyone else posting to this thread... So, yes - I have managed to leave a dock or two by myself, and believe I have a reasonably fair idea what singlehanded sailing involves...

I'm mystified that some in this thread appear to think I'm somehow arguing against the notion of singlehanded voyaging... Nothing could be further from the truth, probably my fault for not expressing myself more clearly... To your points, I'm simply arguing that I don't believe a separate set of COLREGS rules should apply to those who CHOOSE to go to sea shorthanded...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
In fact, I believe you are very wrong on another point to... I suspect most of the famous singlehanded sailors of old would be embarrased to think that a sailors's right to go to sea by himself in his boat was taken away If I were them, I would probably say, "Thank God I got to do it when I did." I bet the sailors of old would have never thought a day would come when a man's right to sail the oceans singlehanded was being compromised because others feel it is unsafe... the same others that are probably, at one time or another, breaking the exact same law.

Brian
We'll never know, of course, but I would reassert my opinion that sailors such as Moitessier or Mike Plant would laugh at such a special pleading made on their behalf... Talking about "a sailors's right to go to sea by himself in his boat ... (being) taken away" seems nothing short of a hysterical overreaction to a discussion of COLREGS in regards to singlehanders...

There are very few things in today's world EASIER for an individual to do, than to take off on a small boat upon an ocean, and set sail for wherever he might desire... Whenever I depart Barnegat or Manasquan Inlet, there is no checkpoint I must pass through, no person or authority requesting I produce credentials or declare my destination, or offer proof of my plan to comply with COLREGS... The procedure is far simpler and less onerous, even, than that involved boarding an airplane, or renting a car... There is NOTHING, or NO ONE, to stop you from doing so - even for a solo voyage publicized well in advance, such as Matt Rutherford's... The ONLY person really preventing a sailor from doing so, is that sailor himself, intimidated by his own self-doubts or hesitancy...

As I stated earlier, for most sailors contemplating solo voyaging, the constraints of their insurance is far more likely to determine their choices, than the sort of academic discussion we've been having here re COLREGS... That's the primary reason, of course, why most singlehanders are out there on modest boats like mine, sailing for the most part self-insured...

The legendary singlehanders that largely comprise my list of personal heroes were among the most free-spirited, individualistic rogues the sailing world has ever known... Seriously, can anyone imagine a guy like Robin Knox-Johnston hesitating to set out on a solo passage, due to concern that he might be in technical violation of a COLREGS rule, or what some freakin' judge might conceivably rule in some imaginary, hypothetical courtroom? YGBSM...

While this thread has been interesting in a purely academic sense, ultimately it has little to do with the realities of solo or shorthanded passagemaking. IMHO, anyone overly obsessing with interpretations of "the rules" is looking for an excuse NOT to sail solo, and likely doesn't possess the array of qualities and skills it takes to do so safey, successfully, or enjoyably, anyway... Hell, part of the thrill and satisfaction derived from undertaking the challenge of singlehanding has to to with the somewhat "illicit" nature of the endeavor, for me... I liken it, for example, to the decision taken by an American to sail to Cuba... Sure, it's technically "forbidden", but for those willing to throw caution to the winds, and "Just DO It", the rewards can be immeasurable... Life is too short - if one waits until the Rule Makers give the thumbs up to do so, the opportunity to sail to a port like this one may never occur... Or, by the time it does, and it becomes permissible for "everyone" to do it, the experience will be little different from heading for the Bahamas, and being surrounded by other kroozers planning pot lucks on the morning VHF net, and running their on-deck Honda generators at sunset... (grin)



Even sweeter, perhaps, is to sail away from a place like Baracoa without clearing out of a country you're not supposed to be in to begin with, violating COLREGS for 25 minutes now and then during one of the most spectacular full moon nights I've ever experienced at sea, dropping the hook the following afternoon off Hog Cay, near Duncan Town in the Jumentos... Don't ask me how I might know this, however... (grin)

Last edited by JonEisberg; 09-27-2012 at 10:14 AM.
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  #182  
Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

You have written a great response, Jon. It actually shocked me that you singlehand and support it. You are right, in reading your threads, I thought the opposite was true.

But in essence, that is my issue. You admitted that you single and that you are fine with others singling. Your heroes single. But in doing so, you broke the 'law'/rules. You did not break it on accident. You willingly, knowingly, and intentionally broke it and knew you would. Your heroes did (or would have) too. Your position states that we should all be treated equal, all of us have the same rules, that you support the COLREGS as they stand, yet you also support breaking the law/rules, or that you support others doing it. If you are going to break a law, willingly and intentionally, then what is the point of it in the first place? You are in a paradoxical position.

I do not believe sailing vessels should be exempt from all the COLREGS. Quite the opposite. I believe in a set of rules that we all follow. However, I do have an issue when the rules are set up in a way that technically cover all vessels, yet knowingly force some to break the law.

If you are going to put in a rule that covers all vessels, make the rule such that all vessels can legally and responsibly follow it to the letter. Do not exclude the right of man to go to sea simply because he is not taking a large crew. Who are you, or any society, or any state, or any organization to decide who can and cannot go to sea? THey do not own it and can lay no claim to it. That has never been the way of the sea. Instead, realize that the practicallity of a couple of your rules exclude (in reality) many vessels because it simply is not feasible. This exclusion includes single handers, sailing couples, and possibly three-somes in my opinion. Realize that what is possible on a large commercial vessel is not feasible in a small sailing vessel. A large commercial vessel can lay waste to dozens of miles of shoreside. It can kill not only its own crew, but thousands of others. It can cause millions of dollars in loss of property. It can house dozens of crew and be stocked to go thousands of miles without stopping. A small vessel simply cannot do this. My little 45 gallons of diesel would hardly even be noticed. I am no liability to anyone but my own crew. I couldn't put a couple of dozen crew on my vessels if I wanted to. It simply is not logical to compare the two vessels. Yet, they demand I keep a 24 hour watch and follow all the same rules as they do... and you agree?

My point is that you change the law so that everyone can follow it based upon certain guidlines. It's not like the COLREGS have never been changed. THey have been altered many times. SHould the laws of a super tanker be more stringent than the laws of a 16 foot sailboat attempting to circumnavigate? Absolutely. Reality demands that it is. I am not looking for special treatment - I am looking for fairness and the realization that their rules, as written, exclude the rights of many sailors unless they break the law - which you have done as have many before you for thousands of years.

You used Cuba as an example. Funny... I almost did the same thing. However, my use was different. You see, the US Government does not say we cannot go to Cuba. It says we cannot spend any money or engage in any trade. But since there is no way you can cruise in Cuba without spending money or engaging in trade, they have legally found a way to keep us from going to Cuba.

Same with the COLREGS. They did not say you cannot singlehand. They did not say how many crew you had to have aboard. But they did state that you must maintain a 24 hour watch - knowing man must sleep. In essence, they have found a way to exclude singelhanders from going to sea (and probably cruising couples too).

Assuming that was not their intent, then they need to alter the rules in a way that takes into account the feasibility of the vessel and its crew and makes realistic rules that we can all follow. What is written now is not feasible for all vessels and crews unless the right of man is taken away.

Fun discussion!

Brian
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  #183  
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Re: Is sleeping OK?




By the way, Jon, great pic there! Which one of the boats was yours? (snicker). Just kidding, of course!!!

Brian
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  #184  
Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

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Originally Posted by Brewgyver View Post
What's REALLY interesting is that the Rules DO seem to REQUIRE it's use:

USCG Navigation Rules Online

By any reasonable definition, "Operational" meand in normal working order, not whether or not the equipment is turned on. That would be "Operating", not "Operational."

Cpt. Aaron, I would assume the boats you work on have radar, is it routinely operating under way, or only at night or weather dependent? Just curious.
I just got back from a 36 hour run and had to switch to another boat because my regular boat's radar was down and we could'nt opperate with out it. In the harbour we do. but not at sea.
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  #185  
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

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Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
I would like to add something:

I think JackDale, Jon, Aaron, ferret, minne, MS CC, etc... have made great contributions here. You want to know what is nice? THat we, all as experienced sailors, can sit down and have a fun discussion about this. We will not agree, of course. So what? I hate it when another very experienced sailor (like Ferret) puts another on ignore (like Jackdale) because we cannot reason through it.

Hey, we are all on the same side here. We just have dissagreements. Hopefully each of us can understand the others viewpoint (not necessarly agree with it) and sit down for a beer one day together. Lets not put a dissagreement between us.

Sincerely,

Brian

PS I will make everyone here a deal: I know of a boat off of Key West that is abandoned about every two weeks. There is a line hanging off the boat. At the end of the line is a six pack of beer. As long as no one tells a particular poster here, every two weeks we can drink beer that has been abandoned. I think that is fair enough for all of us to maintain civility (at least until he finds out).
HEY HEY HEY, don't ya'll be tuch'n my luke warm beer now. The boat's unlocked there will be some hot rum in there some where, help your self. You want beer why don't you wait till I get home an I'll buy a few rounds at the bar.
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Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

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Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post

If you are going to put in a rule that covers all vessels, make the rule such that all vessels can legally and responsibly follow it to the letter.

My point is that you change the law so that everyone can follow it based upon certain guidlines.

Brian
OK, I lied about "last post".
And there you have it, plain and simple. Thanks Brian.
You can't argue to follow all laws while single handing without recognizing you are in a lose-lose situation.
The more I think about our judges flawed decision in the Express vs Granholm case the more I think he erred big time.
First, Express, was a motor driven vessel.
Second, Express was the overtaking vessel.
Third, Express collided with a sailing vessel.
Fourth, Express did not maintain an effective watch.
Fifth, Express failed to use its radar and maintain a radar watch.
Those are all facts as determined by the judge.
The only failure determined as a fact by the judge about Granholm was the failure to maintain an effective watch.
Logic: Granholm's failure did not cause the collision. Expresses mulitple failures caused a collision.
In anticipation of buts....
There is no finding that Granholm was capable of avoiding a collision even if he was on watch. In fact testimony indicates there was no wind and as a sailing vessel he would have been unable to make such a movement.
And, that the Express continued on its way after the collision extablishes that he needed his radar to safely and effectively navigate in the area where he was sailing.
So what we need is to, as Brian suggests, fix COLREGS.
How do you do that?
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  #187  
Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

COLREGS is part of the body of international marine law - not so easy to change. Petition the IMO? (International Maritime Organization)
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

I've always taken 'stand on vessel' to mean the vessel with right of way and 'give way vessel' the vessel that should yield. Most definitions of the terms agree with that but one (wikipedia) refers to 'the vessel that is directed to stand on (or give way) '. Directed by who ?
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

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Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post

But in essence, that is my issue. You admitted that you single and that you are fine with others singling. Your heroes single. But in doing so, you broke the 'law'/rules. You did not break it on accident. You willingly, knowingly, and intentionally broke it and knew you would. Your heroes did (or would have) too. Your position states that we should all be treated equal, all of us have the same rules, that you support the COLREGS as they stand, yet you also support breaking the law/rules, or that you support others doing it. If you are going to break a law, willingly and intentionally, then what is the point of it in the first place? You are in a paradoxical position.
No, let me make something clear... By admitting that I singlehand myself, does not in itself constitute an "endorsement" that others should do so. No more than I would "support" the notion, for example, that other drivers should exceed the speed limit. And, by admitting I routinely drive over the speed limit in many places, "willingly and intentionally, I don't see how that negates the value of speed limits, in general... (grin) All I'm saying, is that people are free to make their own judgements on singlehanding, as long as they understand the risks, and will accept responsibility for whatever consequences that might ensue...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
If you are going to put in a rule that covers all vessels, make the rule such that all vessels can legally and responsibly follow it to the letter. Do not exclude the right of man to go to sea simply because he is not taking a large crew. Who are you, or any society, or any state, or any organization to decide who can and cannot go to sea? THey do not own it and can lay no claim to it. That has never been the way of the sea. Instead, realize that the practicallity of a couple of your rules exclude (in reality) many vessels because it simply is not feasible. This exclusion includes single handers, sailing couples, and possibly three-somes in my opinion.
Sorry, but we're never gonna agree on this, I simply refuse to accept the notion that anyone's "right to go to sea" is being "excluded" by the relevant rules on watchstanding... Can you cite any examples of sailors being restrained from setting off single or shorthanded? What authority attempted to prevent the running of the Singlehanded Transpac this summer, or Matt Rutherford from setting out upon his well publicized voyage around the Americas directly in front of the US Naval Academy, for example?

Seems to me that the situation as it stands today, is akin to a sort of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy... That strikes me as a pretty reasonable compromise, in reality...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
I am not looking for special treatment - I am looking for fairness and the realization that their rules, as written, exclude the rights of many sailors unless they break the law - which you have done as have many before you for thousands of years.
...

Same with the COLREGS. They did not say you cannot singlehand. They did not say how many crew you had to have aboard. But they did state that you must maintain a 24 hour watch - knowing man must sleep. In essence, they have found a way to exclude singelhanders from going to sea (and probably cruising couples too).

Assuming that was not their intent, then they need to alter the rules in a way that takes into account the feasibility of the vessel and its crew and makes realistic rules that we can all follow. What is written now is not feasible for all vessels and crews unless the right of man is taken away.
What sort of rule change would you propose? That solo or shorthanded crews should only be required to stand a watch when "convenient"? Or, for only 16 hours in any given 24 hour period, to permit them 8 hours of rest daily?

Watchstanding is one of the most fundamental tenets of proper Seamanship, there are very few things of more importance... I just don't see how an equitable rule can be written that's fair to all, and yet excuses or relieves a solo sailor of such a responsibility... No one is ever forced to sail alone or with minimal crew, people do so by choice, and if they chose to do so, they simply need to resign themselves that they will be in a technical violation of COLREGS... So what? Again, if one is sufficiently frightened by the mere prospect of being in violation of a rule that will likely NEVER be "enforced" in any meaningful way, one is simply not cut out for solo voyaging to begin with, and should perhaps pursue a more placid, lower-risk endeavor...

Seems to me what your are arguing for, is for the rules re watchkeeping to be modified to permit some sort of legal recourse, in the event that circumstances might put you in court someday, or permit the application of a lawsuit, or to be eligible to file an insurance claim... In the event a solo sailor winds up on the beach while sleeping below, does anyone here really believe the rules should be written in such a way that completely absolves him from any responsibility, or a determination of some form of negligence? I don't think so...

If anyone has any suggestions as to how such rules can be re-written to "accommodate" vessels upon which a proper watch will not be maintained at all times, I'd love to hear it... Otherwise, I believe solo sailors will simply have to accept the risks involved in singlehanded voyaging...

Which is as it should be, IMHO...
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Old 09-27-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

Just in - INTERNATIONAL NEWS UPDATE: Self employed pirates world wide are banding together to lobby for a rule change for singlehanders to show lights, signals, and electronic markers indicating that they are all alone, and especially indicating when they are asleep. Some may wish to join in on supporting this new rule to improve safety for all singlehanders, and shipping in general.


Last edited by skygazer; 09-27-2012 at 09:37 PM.
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