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post #1 of 6 Old 02-26-2003 Thread Starter
Capt Rich
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Anchor Lights

Heres a question I thought I knew,

45'' Sailboat anchored on inland waters outside the marked channel showing proper anchor lights, has a tender tied on 2'' line astern.
What lights if any is the tender required to show?

What if the tender is tied alongside, what lights if any are required on tender?

Will post Coast Guard and attorney''s response tomorrow.

Yes a drunk (BAL 3X limit) ran down my tender. Yes it was not his boat. Yes under age. And yes to drugs... But who''s fault.

PS Wife and I were asleep and sober (for once) at 2 am...
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-26-2003
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Oh please don''t tell me that you (the anchored) are being found at fault !...Thats ridiculous!

Here is another question you should pose back to the Coast Guard and attorney. What if the dinghy was on a davits? Then what if it projected off the back of your boat? Then what if the dinghy was partially on the back of your boat? (I sometimes lift the front of my inflatable onto the sugar scoop transom) Where does your anchored boat end and an officially recognized tender?

BTW How much damage was done (to both your dinghy and they guy who hit it)?

One thing about Marine liability is its rarely 100 % one persons fault or another. They tend to split liability, though in this case if you were more that 5% culpable I would freek.

Maybe you should have grabed your neck, started screaming and checked yourself into the closest hospital with whiplash....;-)
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-26-2003
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I have often anchored under similar circumstances. How fast was this guy going? I am afraid to check your answer. You were clearly acting in a responsible, seaman like manner. Boats traveling close to anchored boats should be aware of their speed and of the fact that there may be obstructions close to an anchored boat. If you had had a stern anchor would not the rode extend several feet beyond your vessel? Does a stern and bow rode need to be lit? I am not aware of any regulations about this. I am afraid to check back to see the answer. In America, it is always somebody else''s fault.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-27-2003
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Good point ! The whole issue is a bit ridiculous. But I know the legal system likes to go through all aspects before a conclusion, to afford the accused ''due process". But in this case the judge or legal system should look at the "whole picture" and do the right thing. Loopholes are a ridiculous factor in the legal system and shouldn be over-ridden on appeals.

Here is another question I''m afraid to get an answer to. "What if he ran over & cut your rode and your boat ends up beached or on the rocks......Who''s responsible for the damage?"
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-27-2003
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Have to go back to my notes..but it''s my understanding that an anchor light isn''t functioning as an indicator of length or horizontal position of the vessel unless it''s size merits it. The rule for boats of your size reads: Power driven vessels and sailing vessels at anchor must display anchor lights. An anchor light for a vessel less than 50 meters in length is an all-around white light visible for 2 miles exhibited where it can best be seen.

Vessels OVER 50 meters I believe, are to show a fore and aft light - which would indicate length. Forward one lower than aft if I remember correctly. There''s another delineation of even larger vessels that must show deck illumination.

in your case, I can''t wait to hear what the lawyers and CG have to say. Hell, they wrote the rule you were abiding by.

If they wanted you to have a light on your dinghy, they should have made a rule for that too - unless they are trying to consider it a tow...even while you were at anchor???? Laughable, but from what I gather, this is no laughing matter. sorry to hear you''re even having to ask this silly question. Best of luck to you,

S/V Barefoot Girl
Sarasota, FL
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-27-2003
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“When, from any cause, the vessel required to keep her course and speed finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision.”

I love this one which in effect says that at the last second all of the rules and regulations get tossed out the window and the stand-on vessel has to avoid the collision. Now I’m sure some Philadelphia land shark could get his client off the hook with this little ditty, or at least lay some of the blame on some poor swab who was just trying his best to be by the book.

It all boils down to “The Golden Rule” which states that “The one with the gold, makes the rules”! (That’s why I try to avoid Marblehead like the plague)!

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