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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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  #21  
Old 11-10-2013
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Next time I'll contact Traffic first.. I think hailing "Seaspan Comox" is more effective than "Tug towing barges in Georgia Strait eastbound".

this is why AIS is so incredibly valuable, and it takes the middleman out.
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

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Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I would also add that recreational boaters need to be aware of and stay clear of any local Traffic Separation Schemes. Since San Francisco has a large one, it probably didn't matter much to the article. Commercial vessels even if they can navigate outside a scheme can be prohibited from exiting, much like if they were in a narrow channel surrounded by shallow water.

They are still the give way vessel, however a vessel transiting across a TSS always gives way.
Some years ago my Dad and I had a commercial salmon troller out of San Francisco. We fished mostly from the lightship to the Farallon Islands to Point Reyes. Lots of commercial traffic coming & going in the separation areas. I was always amazed at how fast they closed on us. Just a few minutes after first seeing them, busy with lines, etc, look up, and they were RIGHT there, scary.

Both in and out of the Bay, I can't remember seeing one make any attempt at altering course or speed. As others have mentioned, Stay out of their way, regardless of what the rules say.

Paul T

Last edited by dabnis; 11-10-2013 at 12:30 PM.
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

Well-stated article and comments, both under the article, and here. Note how unanimous the "maybe you have right of way technically but please don't push your luck, give way early and live to sail another day" opinion is.

The best advice amongst all the really good advice was imho, "why don't you just talk on the radio?" I guarantee you that tug listening Ch 16, or the local contact channel, or probably both.
So if you cross clear in front of him but then have to tack back across (which situation please try to avoid if at all possible), please please let him/her know! the worst thing for the tug driver is not knowing what you're going to do next. And if he's towing astern on a wire, he slows or turns to avoid you at risk of getting run over by his barge. And when pushing ahead he may have a large blind spot ahead of his barge.
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

A couple of things. I don't have a lot of sailing experience, but it's almost all in the Hudson, where passing within 100 feet of a cruise ship or barge is the norm.
1) The COLREGS only *really* matter after a collision. Hopefully your insurance agent or next of kin can collect from the at-fault vessel. Before the collision, they are a guide for setting expectations on how to avoid a collision. I feel that as a sailboat skipper, you should be getting out of the way or getting on the radio to explain why you can't.
2) At least in the Hudson, you probably won't get a response on 16. If you don't, try 13, which is much more closely monitored by commercial traffic.
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

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Originally Posted by jeremiahblatz View Post
A couple of things. I don't have a lot of sailing experience, but it's almost all in the Hudson, where passing within 100 feet of a cruise ship or barge is the norm.
1) The COLREGS only *really* matter after a collision. Hopefully your insurance agent or next of kin can collect from the at-fault vessel. Before the collision, they are a guide for setting expectations on how to avoid a collision. I feel that as a sailboat skipper, you should be getting out of the way or getting on the radio to explain why you can't.
2) At least in the Hudson, you probably won't get a response on 16. If you don't, try 13, which is much more closely monitored by commercial traffic.
I think I get what you are saying so maybe it's nit-picky of me but I think the colregs are pretty important before a collision. You should have a reasonable expectation of what the other guy should do, so that you can make the best decisions possible. I'm not saying assume they will do the right thing or anything, but you also should know enough not to turn left when faced with a head on collision.
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

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The funniest story was last year where at night a big cruising ship seemed to stay on a collision course for a long time. I did not really understand their course so I call them. It turned out that it was a big cruising ship and they were almost making no way, killing time to arrive at their destination in the morning. That was what was confusing me, I assumed the boat was moving at a cruising speed. Paulo

I'm very much on the side of using a bit of common sense. Sometimes the attitude of sailing boat skippers is akin to a small terrier that decides to take on a Rottwieler. Moral superiority is one thing, being smug as you are ingested by a monster is another.

Paulo, we had a similar experience when we were heading out on Sunday morning. It was pre dawn and poor (rain not fog) visibility. We'd seen a pilot boat head out to sea and could also see the lights of what was obviously a liner about to enter Sydney Harbour. The oddity was that while on a direct collision course they seemed to be closing at very low speed. Finally one of us had a dhoh moment and we remembered that cruise ships never enter our port in the dark and that he was simply hanging off until daybreak.

Couple of years back we were heading into Newcastle (nth of Sydney) and could see a bulk carrier off in the distance but moving at a reasonable clip. I couldn't raise the ship so we radioed Newcastle Port Authority and they confirmed that the ship was about to enter the port. We decided to sit back and let her go through ahead of us.

Now wasn't that good of me ?
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

It seems that this movie fits well here. The British at their best

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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

I was struck by a barge in tow, we were talking to the coast guard on the VHF at the time of the collision. Don't be so sure the tug is listing to the VHF/16. We had lost our steering and were discussing our next course of action when we notice this small boat(tug) being followed by a large department store(barge). We were yelling to the barge to change course right up until he struck a glancing blow to our bow before he came on the VHF and demanded to know which direction we would be going. Had he been listening to the VHF he would have know our trouble. Any way just my .02 worth.

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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

Yes.. we've had little to no success hailing a tug on 16, esp if we didn't know it's name. The Vessel Traffic services are on 12 around here, I've taken to using that, but the incident described was the first time we'd had success trying to 'communicate' either our intentions or what the tug intended to do...
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

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Originally Posted by dabnis View Post

In most harbors that I am familiar with there is little to no room for commercial traffic to "Maneuver". For liability purposes, they might give you 5 blasts on the whistle/horn right before they run them down.
A few weeks ago in San Francisco Bay near the Port of Oakland, a pilot boat with a container ship kept blasting his horn over and over. There were lots of sailboats around, but apparently one was giving him real fits. About 10 minutes later he was on the radio calling CG requesting that they inform the skipper about the need to get out of the way. Though I'm sure the pilots would enjoy running over some of these boats, it's just too easy pickings. The real challenge is to NOT run us down.
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Last edited by Faster; 11-12-2013 at 12:50 AM. Reason: fixed quote
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