Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See more at - Page 8 - SailNet Community
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post #71 of 109 Old 01-30-2014
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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 hellosailor View Post
" while about 15 beautiful old wooden boats sailed across his bow. "
Any sailor can tell you, brightwork & varnish have absolute right of way regardless of tonnage. Neptune has a special trident for anyone who damages ten coats of varnish.
In an effort to stay alive for many years in and out of SF Bay, I just assumed any boat half again bigger than mine had the right of way. And, tried to avoid those racing folks screaming "starboard" at each other.

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post #72 of 109 Old 01-31-2014
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

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I am surprised. The Canadian Transportation Safety Board assessed some responsibility to a tug with a poorly lit barge after a collision in English Bay (Vancouver).
Transportation Safety Board of Canada - Marine Investigation Report M99W0133
Yikes!
This excellent report reinforces my rule of simply staying away from tugs and large commercial vessels in general. While the recreational "skipper" was clueless (and he had radar!), the report paints a picture of a industry (in that area anyway) with many more cavalier practices than I would have anticipated.
As just one example:
"Over the past 10 years the TSB has issued safety communications concerning the substandard display of navigation lights, especially aboard working barges. Of specific concern have been lights that were incorrectly configured, had insufficient range, or were not functioning. Any of these deficiencies can seriously compromise the ability of mariners to see another vessel and take timely collision-avoidance action."

I always find these reports interesting and informative. Anyone know how to find them in the U.S.? I looked at the USCG site and didn't see anything. Maybe the USTB?
Edit: Seems California and several other states don't allow the USCG to publish specifics of recreational boating accidents. Only raw data. Too bad!

Last edited by L124C; 01-31-2014 at 04:26 PM.
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post #73 of 109 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

I once asked a merchant captain who has right of way a pushing tug boat or a sailboat?. He said if the tug doesn't display restricted to manuerve he is a powerboat, thus sailboat has right of way.

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post #74 of 109 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

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I once asked a merchant captain who has right of way a pushing tug boat or a sailboat?. He said if the tug doesn't display restricted to manuerve he is a powerboat, thus sailboat has right of way.
You are exactly right, a tug-and-barge is simply a motor vessel. However, a prudent sailor will give her a wide berth, make large and obvious course changes, and communicate in plenty of time if necessary.

Regardless of the rules, although most tugs are operated by real professionals, I encounter tugboat drivers on an almost daily basis who are drunks and/or complete morons. It's all fun and games until you get t-boned by a loaded tank barge!
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post #75 of 109 Old 02-07-2014
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

Also:

The COLREGS as referenced in COMDTINST M16672.2D Rule 2 Paragraph b state:

((b) in construing and complying with these rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these Rules necessary to avoid danger.
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post #76 of 109 Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

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I once asked a merchant captain who has right of way a pushing tug boat or a sailboat?. He said if the tug doesn't display restricted to manuerve he is a powerboat, thus sailboat has right of way.
If you use this rule, you are assuming:
1. There is someone at the helm of the tug (other than Otto).
2. The crew didn't neglect to post the restricted signals.
The Safety Board report cited previously shows these might not be safe assumptions.

As the smaller vessel, we are in the same position as a cyclist insisting on his right of way with a car. We could be "right, dead right" or just dead.

I can't even tell you what the restricted signals are, because I don't intend to push the issue. It's simply more trouble than it's worth for pleasure craft.

I often sail in the Oakland Estuary. The narrow estuary includes a major port, with all the commercial traffic that goes with it (talk about "restricted"!). Though I fire up the stink pot anytime I get in a tight situation, I've rarely needed to put it in gear, and manage to stay out of the way. If I can do it there, why not in open water?
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post #77 of 109 Old 02-08-2014
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

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If you use this rule, you are assuming:
1. There is someone at the helm of the tug (other than Otto).
2. The crew didn't neglect to post the restricted signals.
The Safety Board report cited previously shows these might not be safe assumptions.

As the smaller vessel, we are in the same position as a cyclist insisting on his right of way with a car. We could be "right, dead right" or just dead.

I can't even tell you what the restricted signals are, because I don't intend to push the issue. It's simply more trouble than it's worth for pleasure craft.

I often sail in the Oakland Estuary. The narrow estuary includes a major port, with all the commercial traffic that goes with it (talk about "restricted"!). Though I fire up the stink pot anytime I get in a tight situation, I've rarely needed to put it in gear, and manage to stay out of the way. If I can do it there, why not in open water?
Well said, "Otto" pilot?


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post #78 of 109 Old 02-25-2014
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

In open waters, the sailboat is the Stand-On vessel. If in a restricted channel or fairway and if the tugboat is going down bound with a following current, the tugboat would have right-of-way--Note: In this situation the tug-boat is NOT STAND-ON, she has RIGHT-OF-WAY--which is a big difference. If the tugboat is traveling against the current, then the sailboat must not impede the passage of the tugboat.

Colregs Rule #9

http://navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=navRulesContent#rule9



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Originally Posted by trantor12020 View Post
I once asked a merchant captain who has right of way a pushing tug boat or a sailboat?. He said if the tug doesn't display restricted to manuerve he is a powerboat, thus sailboat has right of way.

There isn't a device on this world that can measure the indifference I have for that statement.

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post #79 of 109 Old 02-25-2014
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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 Yamsailor View Post
In open waters, the sailboat is the Stand-On vessel. If in a restricted channel or fairway and if the tugboat is going down bound with a following current, the tugboat would have right-of-way--Note: In this situation the tug-boat is NOT STAND-ON, she has RIGHT-OF-WAY--which is a big difference. If the tugboat is traveling against the current, then the sailboat must not impede the passage of the tugboat.

Colregs Rule #9

Navigation Rules Online
Interesting. However, after surviving two very, very close calls of being run down, both my fault, what it says in the book may not matter, except maybe for legal purposes. One is dead a long time.

Paul T
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post #80 of 109 Old 02-25-2014
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Re: Recreational Sailboat vs. Tugboat with Barge: Who Has the Right of Way? - See mor

I have had this happen here (in san diego)... I give way. So u have to have ur comfortable gf hold ur wine glass for a few min, who cares? Yes I get the law, but how about common courtesy and sense?
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