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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > Rules of the Road: Precedence?
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Thread: Rules of the Road: Precedence? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-17-2007 06:45 PM
nolatom
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenK
I hate to disagree with anyone, especially being the newbee that I am. But after reading Nolatom's reply I had to go to my ASA 101 text book. It stated that on the same tack "the windward boat shall stay clear of the leeward boat".

I'm sure that he just made a mistake. But I just had to correct it for anyone new to sailing that might take it as true. I am corrct aren't I???

I'm not sure about in close quarter so I'll have to take his word on that one.
You're quite right, I made a mistake typing, and have edited my original post by swapping out the two words.

Which brings to mind another jingle an old salt once said, in jest:

"Always Remember--Red is Green, and Port is Starboard" ;-)
07-17-2007 06:17 PM
sailortjk1
Quote:
Originally Posted by wlcoxe
The law of superior tonnage also applies.
I'll show you how I feel about tonnage rights!
Make them move! We have rights!
JUST JOKING!

07-17-2007 05:56 PM
wlcoxe The problem is the same as that in many endeavors; just because ONE person understands the rules means only that one person understands the rules. Returning from the O'Day rOnDAYvous Sunday afternoon, we were on Starboard tack on a broad reach when we noticed a similarly sized Catalina coming towards us on port tack on our starboard side. There was a real possibility of collision, so I adjusted my course to pass astern. They waved-I didn't. The law of superior tonnage also applies. Tragedy averted, sailing is fun.
Pat and Bill, O40 Kukulcán, New London, CT
07-15-2007 10:48 PM
SEMIJim
Quote:
Originally Posted by PassionKid
I'm still very new at sailing -- so concentrating on actually keeping the boat in control takes my attention. When I'm approaching another boat -- I have one rule, and one rule only: give them the right of way. Regardless who who may "legally" have the right of way,
I strongly suggest you learn the Rules of the Road and learn to practice them. You may actually precipitate a collision by doing unexpected things.

They're really not that hard. Just remember "POW":
  • A vessel on a Port tack must give way to a vessel on a starboard tack
  • A vessel Overtaking another must give way
  • A vessel to Windward must give way

There are some others, but those three are the three you'll most likely encounter, sailboat-to-sailboat, as it were.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PassionKid
I'm in no rush. I'd rather take a few extra minutes to get where I have to go then spend some time treading water while watching my boat turn into a submarine.
It's not a question of whether you're in a rush or not. It's about avoiding collisions. It is best if everybody knows the rules and abides by them, while anticipating the other will not.

They really drilled these, and the others, into us in ASA 101 and ASA 103.

Jim
07-15-2007 05:52 PM
wind_magic
Quote:
Originally Posted by sailaway21
If you hold course until such time as you deem yourself "in extremis" and must take action, your only action can be a turn to starboard. If you alter to port, while close aboard, and the other vessel, finally, alters course to starboard, as she is required to do, you may collide and the fault will be assigned to you. The legal-beagle theory behind this is two-fold. The first part, and most baffling, is that "risk of collision" does not exist if no collision results. This is known as the miss is as good as a mile interpretation. The second, tied closely to the first, is that, by altering course to starboard, admittedly at the last minute, the give-way vessel's defense that he had a decent reason to delay course alteration until he did is irrefutable. Even though you are wetting your pants, his defense that he still had room to alter slightly to starboard, passing harmlessly under your stern, admittedly closely under your stern, will stand up in any court. Your alteration of course, to port, will be held as the proximate cause of collision.
None of which keeps the other guy safe from a good ass kicking the next time you see him at the dairy queen.
07-14-2007 10:46 PM
GlenK
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom
On the same tack, windward has the right of way, leeward doesn't. If in close quarters, windward has to keep clear. I don't think this is that complicated.
I hate to disagree with anyone, especially being the newbee that I am. But after reading Nolatom's reply I had to go to my ASA 101 text book. It stated that on the same tack "the windward boat shall stay clear of the leeward boat".

I'm sure that he just made a mistake. But I just had to correct it for anyone new to sailing that might take it as true. I am corrct aren't I???

I'm not sure about in close quarter so I'll have to take his word on that one.
06-29-2007 03:18 AM
sailaway21 PassionKid,
You are certainly taking a good approach as long as you make your actions to avoid collision "early and substantial". The 'stand-on" vessel, previously referred to as the "privelaged" vessel, has the responsibility to, if risk of collision is deemed present to make her actions early, substantial, and of a nature that her intensions cannot be mistaken.

Why is this important?
The problem arises when vessels get in close proximity to one another. The stand-on vessel is, in essence, required to maintain course and speed until such time as collision cannot be avoided by the actions of the give-way vessel alone. Relatively recent rulings have held that things do not have to reach that point, but yet, remain unclear as to what the exact point is that resides just this side of "in extremis". This is a very scary situation and, unfortunately, not rare. The best advise, if such a situation may be seen to be developing, is to take the early, substantial, and unmistakable action. btw, I am primarily referring to crossing situations here. Most practically, that action involves an alteration of course to starboard. Alterations of course to port should, in general, be avoided unless the distance off is large. The alteration of course to starboard may, in fact, turn in to a "round turn" in that, based on the other vessel's late actions you may be forced into continuing your course alteration to starboard, doing a complete 360 degree turn, and passing under the other vessel's stern.

If you hold course until such time as you deem yourself "in extremis" and must take action, your only action can be a turn to starboard. If you alter to port, while close aboard, and the other vessel, finally, alters course to starboard, as she is required to do, you may collide and the fault will be assigned to you. The legal-beagle theory behind this is two-fold. The first part, and most baffling, is that "risk of collision" does not exist if no collision results. This is known as the miss is as good as a mile interpretation. The second, tied closely to the first, is that, by altering course to starboard, admittedly at the last minute, the give-way vessel's defense that he had a decent reason to delay course alteration until he did is irrefutable. Even though you are wetting your pants, his defense that he still had room to alter slightly to starboard, passing harmlessly under your stern, admittedly closely under your stern, will stand up in any court. Your alteration of course, to port, will be held as the proximate cause of collision.

Of course, the best way to avoid dealing with the complexities of Admiralty is to take "early, substantial, and unmistakeable" actions before you become "in extremis".
06-28-2007 06:20 PM
nolatom On the same tack, leeward has the right of way, windward doesn't. If in close quarters, windward has to keep clear. I don't think this is that complicated.
06-28-2007 05:38 PM
SailinJay PK--

I understand your point of view here, but you really ought to learn the rules regarding right of way. At least learn the "starboard stays" rule. What if, while on a starboard tack, you're sailing next to shallow water, or near a fixed obstacle, or near several other boats? Avoiding another boat when you don't have to could put you in a sticky situation. Chances are the other boat knows you have the right of way, and will be very confused if you try to avoid it, possibly putting it at risk as well. Yes, ultimately, you need to avoid collisions, regardless of who has the right of way, but in my experience most sailors know the basics regarding right of way.
06-28-2007 12:25 PM
PassionKid I'm still very new at sailing -- so concentrating on actually keeping the boat in control takes my attention. When I'm approaching another boat -- I have one rule, and one rule only: give them the right of way. Regardless who who may "legally" have the right of way, I'm in no rush. I'd rather take a few extra minutes to get where I have to go then spend some time treading water while watching my boat turn into a submarine.
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