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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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Old 11-01-2011
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If the Captain had been on watch and at the helm then it was his call. It seems he was down below and not in command of the vessel.

IF the GPS had been off by a few hundred feet combined with possibly miss-judging the distance of that buoy at night and things could have been ugly.

Who would have been at fault? Would the owner remember things differently to salvage an insurance claim, reduce his liability, possibly keep himself out of jail or keep his captains license?

When I am at the helm of someone else's boat I never cut corners, this includes local knowledge shortcuts that I might take with my own boat.
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Old 11-02-2011
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Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
If the Captain had been on watch and at the helm then it was his call. It seems he was down below and not in command of the vessel.
The Captain, Skipper, Master is always in command. And my standing orders let everyone know that.

In the Canadian Navy, at least, the Captain is seldom on the bridge, but is always in command.
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Old 11-03-2011
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Originally Posted by Chris12345 View Post
Well, I guess the captain would have known the area when he set the gps/autopilot course the way he did...

You, on the other hand, did not know how to interpret the map symbols correctly, navigation 101, or relied blindly on incomplete gps charting.

Then you tinker with the course without asking first.

When the captain corrects you, and you 'tell on him' in the internet forum.

Did I read that right?? Not proper procedure.
Thank your for your post as it gives me an opportunity to make it clear that the point of the post was primarily to confess a lack on my own part caused by, but not excused by:
1. Sailing a familiar route
2. Sailing with a known good captain
3. Sailing a familiar boat.
4. Night sailing
5. Just coming on shift after sleeping

What I should have done was to check the course before re-leaving the previous shift

I appreciate your defense of procedure and thank you for pointing out that this event pointed out a flaw in my behavior which was the point of this post. This particular captain and I are good friends and I have sailed on his boat several times over several years. I know he trusts me and try to live up to that trust. In this particular case the risk of changing course was near zero as it was unambiguously clear water with no traffic where I changed to.
The captain a few minutes later mentioned the course change and thanked me for the extra margin of safety while mentioning that in his opinion the water was sufficiently deep the wrong side of the buoy which it seems like it is.

My intent in posting this event was not to tell on anyone other than myself and maybe serve as a warning to others to watch shift changes even in very familiar benign conditions.
No harm was done other than to my heart rate for a couple seconds and that was my own fault.
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Last edited by davidpm; 11-04-2011 at 12:08 AM.
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