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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See more at
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Thread: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See more at Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-12-2015 10:42 AM
Scotty C-M
Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

Mark. No, not panic. Sorry that you don't get it. As Jammer points out, you use COLREGS to guide your actions, and yes, sometimes you do get close. Best to not get close, if you have a choice.
04-12-2015 06:33 AM
MarkofSeaLife
Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

Some sound like panic strickens sailor sailing erratically in circles like a chicken with its head chopped off screaming "Don't Panic, Don't PANIC! Run away! Run away! Theres a ship on the ocean! Quick, call him on the VHF and ask if we can do ANYTHING to get away from him. We don't wanna DIE under his keel! Don't Pannnnic!"

To which the ship replies quietly: "Hold course and speed"
04-12-2015 05:26 AM
Jammer Six
Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

You don't have the option of "staying away from big ships" in Puget Sound. There are bottle necks that obligate you to actually learn and employ the COLREGS. Sometimes you even have to know how to contact and talk to them.

It's not hard. It's much easier than sailing incorrectly.
04-12-2015 01:30 AM
Scotty C-M
Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

The rule of gross tonnage is not a COLREGS term. It is a term that states a very real, and very basic truth: If a small sailboat hits, or is hit by, a large commercial vessel, the damage to the small vessel will be significant, the damage to the large vessel will not be significant. This is not BS, it is just fact. If this is not clear to you, then we will just agree to disagree.

Citing rule 2B is not cherry picking COLREGS. It is one of the umbrellas that cover the specific situations that COLREGS addresses. Everyone involved needs to take appropriate action to avoid a collision. If you don't, you share a portion of the blame. It's in the law, and in the interpretation given in the link by the OP: (again) "Sailboat operators need to stay diligent around commercial vessels and take steps to avoid collision when it appears that the commercial vessel will be unable to stay clear." You may not like rule 2B, but it's there.

The rest of COLREGS is also critical to follow. You can't just ignore your status as give way, or stand on vessel. It causes to much confusion. COLREGS are written specifically to reduce confusion so that we don't collide. But, there are times to use common sense. The times when you can deviate as stand on vessel are when the vessels are a goodly distance apart and the stand on vessel (that's me on my little sailboat) makes a clear and timely course change which is consistant with the present course and possible course changes that might be undertaken by the give way vessel. Use VHF and/or horn signals. Here's an example. I'm a mile away from a 500 foot container ship rapidly comming towards me. I turn directly back towards the shallows astern of me that are only a few hundred feet away. Any change that the ship would (perhaps) make would be towards deeper water, directly away from where I am. I (the stand on sailboat) gave way. The ship (the give way vessel) stood on. Here's another example. I'm 50 feet from the same container ship. It's gonna hit me. I'm going to turn around and head the other way and pray he dosen't hit me (Law of Gross Tonnage) because anything else and I'm gonna die.

So why do some people insist that we follow COLREGS without exception? It's because we often don't know what else is going on. That large ship might see over your radar (or visual) horizon and see a potential collision that you do not see. That large ship might be in the process of making a course change that you are not aware of, and that by turning, you are changing his solution (as give way vessel) into a collision. If you turn any old way you can create the confusion that COLREGS is designed to prevent.

So let's make this simple. Stay away from big ships (tug and barge) in the first place. Good navigation can allow you to sail in very busy locations (like San Francisco Bay) and still reduce the time spent in proximity with these monsters. I commonly stay in shallow waters that allow me plenty of depth, but don't allow commercial ships. I stay out of the commercial lanes in harbors and in the ocean by going either inside or outside of them. The first time I see a commercial ship I'm actively planning how I can keep out of his way whether it's on the horizon at sea, or in a busy area near, or in, the harbor. Taking bearings, AIS, VHF, whatever works. If you're going to make a course change think it through. Make sure that it is actually going to make the situation better. Take action early and make your intentions clear.
04-11-2015 12:31 PM
MarkofSeaLife
Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

The 'rule' of gross tonnage is absolute BS.

If your reading of colregs or general learning tells you there is then get off the water.


Read Colregs completely without cherry picking three words in a row and you will do the right thing instead of confusing the hell out of other vessels


Mark. <---- who has been at close quarters with ships and tugs more often than the combined experience of the vast majority of posters to this thread.
04-10-2015 08:07 PM
RobGallagher
Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

I can't believe this debate has gone this far. It's like the 4th of July out on the water here.

The Colregs are specific, clear, concise. Whatever, it's not rocket science. And the kicker is they state clearly that even if one is stand on, if there is anything one could have done to avoid a collision, anything at all, one will be held is some way responsible, even if it's only 1% at fault.

y lord Buddha, how is it that some people have survived life long enough to operate a pair of shoe laces?
04-10-2015 06:32 PM
hellosailor
Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

"There is no such thing as the rule of gross tonnage."
And you won't find the Law of Gravity in the CFR or the USC.
Nonetheless, when you drop buttered toast it does FALL and it usually lands butter side down.
04-10-2015 05:56 PM
jrd22
Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six View Post
There is no such thing as the rule of gross tonnage.
You just need to look carefully between the lines in the Colregs, you'll find it.
04-09-2015 11:25 PM
Jammer Six
Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

There is no such thing as the rule of gross tonnage.
04-09-2015 10:47 PM
TakeFive
Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Here's one:


Here is another;


But I'm with you; I'll revert to Rule 39, the rule of gross tonnage, every time.
No, I want to see the video of the captain talking to "the law department."
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