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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #21  
Old 10-27-2008
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If the series of photo's at the link is in order it appears the MF tacked ONTO a collision course with the 40ft boat.
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2008
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When I sail I always follow the Golden Rule, Those with the Gold have right of Way. In the Coloregs there is a clause that states that a vessel over 65' operating in a restricted channel shall have right away. I think the MF could have been considered to be operating in a restricted channel. Also, beyond all that is legal, was the skipper of the 40' boat (it is hard to tell length, it could have been a 60; for what you can tell fro scale in the image compared to the MF) CRAZY not tacking away no matter the rule or no matter the reason. The MF lawyers could tie up your life for one long time and eat away all your money just getting ready to go to court.
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  #23  
Old 10-27-2008
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Chuck, that seems to be the case: both on port tack with MF overtaking (probably doing three times the speed, actually), and the 40 footer tacking over and severely misjudging either where he would be when crossing her path, or just how soon MF would be in front of him.

Interestingly, in club racing with more or less equally sized boats in the same PHRF class, quite a few skippers can be closing rapidly on different tacks at five or six knots and the one with rights will call "hold your course" and pass just on the stern of the other boat...like reach on and touch them course. They have a finely tuned sense of when two tracks will cross (I'm sure many here have seen this) which allows "stunt helming", but I suspect if the boats are different in hull speed or size, all that goes out the window.
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  #24  
Old 10-27-2008
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Chuckles-

This was a post on another forum about the collision by Tom Perkins, who I believe owns the MF.

Quote:
A few minutes before this photo sequence, the Falcon had turned to port, to give the right of way to the smaller yacht, which was to leeward on the starboard tack. The "stann By" was originally on a roughly reciprocal course to that of the Falcon.

Prior to the photos shown here, "Stann By" was bearing away, and the two yachts were on safe courses to pass roughly with a distance of 200 feet separation. After the "Stann By" had sailed past the Falcon's bow, the smaller vessel suddenly rounded up, possibly to tack in order to follow the Falcon, when she lost control, and with her main sheeted hard in, the smaller boat was unable to bear away to avoid a collision.

A San Francisco Bay Pilot, was on the Falcon's bridge overseeing the Falcon's course at all times. The pilot is also an experienced sailor and sail boat owner. Because of the Falcon's tonnage, a licenced pilot is required whenever the yacht is underway, approaching, or inside the Bay.
The "Stann By" did not stop after the collision. The Falcon furled her sails and pursued the 40 footer, under power, in order to determine her name and registration number. The pilot radioed the U.S. Coast Guard who intercepted the "Stann By" and boarded her.



The accident was caused by "Stan By"'s sudden change of course, which was much to quick to permit the Falcon to respond. The Falcon sustained damage to hull, capping rail, superstructure and main lower topsail, but fortunately there were no injuries to persons aboard either vessel.


Tom Perkins
It appears to be corroborated by several eyewitness accounts to the collision as well.

Quote:
Look at the picture. The small sloop sails high up underneath the Falcon. The massive sails of the Falcon alter the local wind direction. Note in the first picture that the two boats are at about a 45 degree angle to each other and that the small sloop is just staring to notice that she passing head to wind. In other words, she was on Port tack and while sailing up to get a good look at the Falcon (who has to sail much much lower - because she's a square rigged ship and because she was going about 14 at the time) she got caught in the draft of the Falcon's sails. This backwinded the jib of the sloop and spun her around. Just to leeward of the Falcon, the wind is not going the same direction as it is to windward of her. So, with the headsail backwinded the sloop spun and even though the skipper of the sloop cast off the sails almost entirely (clear from the second picture), her momentum and the fact that he couldn't really get the sheets all the way out caused him to hit the Falcon.
Two reasons that the Falcon is not at fault.
1) A boat shall not tack so close as to prevent the newly disadvantaged yacht to keep clear. Obviously, the Falcon could not possibly tack in response to the sloop tacking so closely. Again - see the first picture where the sloop is tacking literally within 40' of the side of the Falcon.
2) Regardless of any port/starboard situation, in COLREGS (just like in the sailing rules) all skippers are required to avoid collisions if at all possible. This poor soul could have easily avoided the collision by simply heading down hard. But, he wanted to be close to the big boat to have a look.
I watched it - I was there. There was absolutely nothing the Falcon could have done to avoid, after the sloop tacked. And the Falcon was 100' (ONE HUNDRED FEET) past the sloop with it's bow when the sloop tacked and smacked her.
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  #25  
Old 11-23-2008
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it's a little satisfying to know that somebody put a scratch in that sickening waste of money, although at suicidal expense to that small boat.
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  #26  
Old 11-23-2008
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Anyone with sufficient search "foo" to find the official result of this event. It would be nice to know what the court decided if indeed it has been decided yet. I tried but didn't find anything. Perhaps one of you lawyers could find it on Lexus-Nexis for inquiring minds.
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  #27  
Old 11-24-2008
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Hostile feelings about mega-yachts aside, I think the 40 footer was likely in the wrong by failing to anticipate the wind shadow and dirty air cast off by such a behemoth on its lee side.

There are admittedly less massive barks (200 feet or a bit less) and other tall ships here in Toronto that more or less motorsail around the Island while selling liquor, box lunches and digital camera batteries. I know a lot of people who sail on the windward side of them as they do a sedate 5-6 knots, which encourages 30-40 footers to "race" them, providing mutual photography opportunities and good fun for all.

But everyone knows they can't maneuver well or quickly, and they don't get in close period, and stand well off on the windward side to avoid the dirty air (literally...a couple of these things run 2-stroke Detroit Diesels...feh...)

You stick to windward, and you don't play chicken with their bows. I pull ahead three of THEIR lengths (600 feet) before I ease sheets and cross their bows, and in crowded conditions I will give a sound signal.

Blaming the mega-yacht in this case is like blaming a dock for being in the way of your gybe. Not liking the fact that a mega yacht is plying back and forth in your cruising ground like a 14-knot island is a different argument, I think.
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  #28  
Old 11-24-2008
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This is a rather pathetic statement and attitude. How would you feel if someone put a scratch like that on your boat, if you finally get one, because they didn't know any better??? The fact that the captain of the smaller boat was too spineless to stay and speak with the authorities says a lot about what kind of person he is IMHO...

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatfishSoup View Post
it's a little satisfying to know that somebody put a scratch in that sickening waste of money, although at suicidal expense to that small boat.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #29  
Old 11-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatfishSoup View Post
it's a little satisfying to know that somebody put a scratch in that sickening waste of money, although at suicidal expense to that small boat.
Is it safe to assume that the picture in your avatar is the only picture of a boat that you could find? Because if it isn't, then it's probably a part of your wish list or my guess is you wouldn't have used it.

There is something perverse about wishing for something for yourself that you find sickening in others.
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  #30  
Old 11-25-2008
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Catfishsoup doesn't have a boat AFAIK, as he's looking to buy an old wooden gaff rigged beastie.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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