What would you do? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 24 Old 08-13-2009 Thread Starter
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The sketch is not to scale. I was several hundred yards from the other boat and the break wall. There is no way I could draw the boats small enough to show the scale properly.

My course, close hauled would just clear the left side of the break wall and clear the port side of the other boat.

She solved my problem by turning about 30 degrees to port going from a broad reach to a run.
If I was to fall off, to the right at all, I would not make the left side of the break wall.

If we both held our course we would have been fine. I could certainly fall of a couple of boat lengths before a meeting situation developed and came up again after passing her and still make the breakwater.

The thing I didn't like was that I was in effect putting myself in the other captains hands more than I like. She could have easily turned right or left to miss me but I was the burdened boat even though I had fewer good options.

The real lesson to me is that on my chosen course just sneaking around the break wall I could not see a boat that was coming around the break wall coming from the other direction that had rights over me.

It is clear to me now that when approaching an obstruction on a port tack it is best to have more options.
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post #22 of 24 Old 08-18-2009
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Look, you should have tacked. You can't not tack because you're afraid you might get hung up on the tack. If you had tacked, then you would be to leeward and in control, so he would have to go around you.

Sorry, a humble opinion.

Moe
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post #23 of 24 Old 08-18-2009 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgiguere View Post
Look, you should have tacked. You can't not tack because you're afraid you might get hung up on the tack. If you had tacked, then you would be to leeward and in control, so he would have to go around you.

Sorry, a humble opinion.

Moe
I'm reading Falwell's rules of the road and while I seriously considered your assessment their are three things against it.

1. Turning left is almost always a bad thing.
2. Turning in front of someone is almost always a bad thing.
3. Once a risk of collision is determined, changing ones tack does not switch the burden to the other party.

This last one I didn't know. In other words you can't if you are the give-way vessel at the last moment.
1. Turn off your engine and say you are sailing.
2. Switch from a port tack to a start board tack and say you are now the stand-on
3. Swing hard to the right so you are the stand-on as you are now in the danger zone of the other boat.

If you are the give-way vessel you are the give-way vessel until the situation is resolved and no chance of collision exists.
You can not make a legal move that changes your give-way status.
Your legal move can only eliminate the risk of collision.

If I made a left turn and something went wrong I would be assigned probably 90 to 100 percent of the blame.

If I held my course there was only one thing the skipper of the other boat could do to cause a collision. He could go hard to port at the last moment because if I thought it was to close I would be turning to starboard. That would cause a collision. If he turned to port early, starboard at any time or held course we would have been fine.

If he did cause the collision by turning to port at the last minute I probably would get 50% or less blame as I would be charged with not giving him enough room.

In most cases since you are supposed to keep right, turning left will increase the risk of collision and the court usually finds against the left turner because if the other guy turns right like he is supposed to do and you turn left you collide.

But you have a good point. If I was able to define the situation as before a risk-of-collision than an left turn would be the best. As soon as the definition switches to risk of collision than my turning left has all the bad stuff connected above.
He appeared from the around the break-wall just at the point where I had a hard time making the call.

Last edited by davidpm; 08-18-2009 at 10:20 PM.
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post #24 of 24 Old 08-18-2009
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If you're the give way vessel, then you should do that before you get into a potential collision situation. If that requires you to tack, then you do it, since you know there's a rock wall off to starboard. Obviously, we can't see the positions and speeds of the vessels from someone's description; however, sailboats just don't move that fast and the helmsperson should have plenty of time to make a proper assessment of what's on the near horizon.

Anyway. It's late here, and I'm going to bed.

Fun discussion.

Moe
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