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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 04-29-2013
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You are NOT "FISHING"

So this past weekend I'm crewing on a boat that's doing a distance race. Wind is light, almost nonexistent and we're barely keeping the boat moving. I'm down below when I hear yelling back and forth. Seems a local charter boat was out fishing, had their outrigger float (paravanes?) out and were pissed b/c we didn't turn out of there way. Lots of angry words launched our way, volleyed back by the helmsman trying to explain that A, we were sailing (stand on vessel) and B, we can't move much b/c there is so little wind.

I did discern from one "comment" that they basically thought they were in the rights b/c they were "fishing" and they shouldn't have to move to prevent their gear from being run over. They did eventually pull in the float to miss us.

Now I will say if I'm out sailing around casually, I personally try to avoid folks out fishing as a matter of courtesy. Evidently though these guys saw us (and the other boats around us) well in advance and just chose to troll along basically right at us.

We even had a guy on board who has a 100 ton license and he said there is a real problem w/ these yahoos who seem to think if they have a line out, they are "FISHING". NOT.

Anyone else have this problem?
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Old 04-29-2013
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Define "fishing"

Okay, I understand where you are coming from, but I am curious to a few things:

  1. What is your definition of fishing? Only commercial guys (net or string line) or any Joe hanging his line out over the rail?
  2. Was the boat that was "fishing" motoring, anchored, or drifting? Different rules for each of these situations.

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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: You are NOT "FISHING"

The rules or the road are clear; he was not fishing in the sense of having rights.

_______________

That said, when manuvering is not in tight areas (channels and harbors) and the 2 boats involved are both recreational, doesn't it come down to politness? Who could manuver more easily? I don't know the wind conditions. I do sail and I do ocationally fish with trolling gear and outboard planer boards. I have also raced sailboats.

Yes, the fisherman can turn, but the turning radius to avoid tangling lines is often very long, perhaps several hundred yards, and even then there is some risk. A tangle can take 10 minutes or more to unwind. It is generally FAR easier for you to avoid the fisherman. And it is not power-vs-sail thing; listen on the VHF and you will hear them give each other grief.

Some sailors feel the fact that they are "racing" makes a difference, that it makes them important. It doesn't. Though politness dictates that I avoid racing fleets, remember that racing is a choise you have made, no more important than the decision the powerboater made to go fishing. We are simply enjoying a day's recreation.

Some powerboaters (most?) have no understanding of what sailboats can and cannot do; that if you are closehauled you can bear off but not head higher, and that with a chute up that angles are even more constrained without the inconvinience of tack or jibe. Last week I was trolling under sail weaving and avoiding fisherman. I was always surprised at how ALL had no idea that I could dodge one way easily but not the other. At the same time most sailors have no understanding of fishing gear.

It's not hard to see at a great distance if a boat is trolling or kite fishing. They alter course very little and are easy to avoid.

----

Perhaps now you will understand what they see. When they see you steer away you may even get a polite wave!
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Last edited by pdqaltair; 04-29-2013 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: You are NOT "FISHING"

I too hate the "we're RACING" mentality that means that don't have to obey the rules.

However, as stated we were not moving very fast b/c of almost nonexistent wind and this guy basically came at us head on and was pissed b/c we didn't get out of his way.

He does NOT have rights as a "FISHING" vessel under Colregs. And you would be surprised how often I hear powerboaters say, Yeah, we were out fishing and trolling and this sailboater wouldn't get out of our way. Well, as the STAND ON vessel we are obligated to hold course until it becomes apparent there is risk of collision.
Interesting thing is this guy was a charter boat which means he has at least a OUPV (6pack) and should know better.
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: You are NOT "FISHING"

I had a similar encounter Saturday. Guy was trolling. I was on the same course for 2 miles, he chose to go in front of me and got miffed when I snagged his planer board. Some day powerboaters will learn to go astern of sailboats.
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: You are NOT "FISHING"

(b) A sailing vessel under way shall keep out of the way of:

(i)a vessel not under command;
(ii)a vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver;
(iii)a vessel engaged in fishing;
(c)A vessel engaged in fishing when underway shall, so far as possible, keep out of the way of:

(i)a vessel not under command;
(ii)a vessel restricted in her ability to maneuver.

(d) The term "vessel engaged in fishing" means any vessel fishing with nets, lines, trawls, or other fishing apparatus which restrict maneuverability, but does not include a vessel fishing with trolling lines or other fishing apparatus which do not restrict manageability.


Doesn't seem to matter upon reading the above, but a charter fishing vessel is a commercial fishing boat.
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Re: You are NOT "FISHING"

Quote:
Originally Posted by T34C View Post


(d) The term "vessel engaged in fishing" means any vessel fishing with nets, lines, trawls, or other fishing apparatus which restrict maneuverability, but does not include a vessel fishing with trolling lines or other fishing apparatus which do not restrict manageability.


Doesn't seem to matter upon reading the above, but a charter fishing vessel is a commercial fishing boat.
Not the way it was explained to me by a Coastie years ago and multiple captains as they were taught in class.

Regardless, "D", above would apply. He just didn't want to pull in his planer board. (now I know what the hell that thing is called!) The actual vessels were not going to collide.

To further elaborate, we were flying an assym (barely) and could not bear off as that would have collapsed the chute and killed what speed/maneuverability we had. I'm just glad I was not directly involved being below when it all started.
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: You are NOT "FISHING"

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailordave View Post
Not the way it was explained to me by a Coastie years ago and multiple captains as they were taught in class.

Regardless, "D", above would apply. He just didn't want to pull in his planer board. (now I know what the hell that thing is called!) The actual vessels were not going to collide.
I've always been told that the local yokel trolling a couple lines from his bass boat or Boston Whaler clearly isn't fishing under the COLREGs.

But reading this, it appears to me that the boat's maneuverability would be restricted due to his lines in the water, so he should be the stand on vessel.
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Re: You are NOT "FISHING"

Years back I was sailing south from Lake Worth Inlet with a wind out of the north making about 3-4 knots down wind beautiful day. I was on the same heading all day BUT there was a fishing Tournament. The wonderful People would pass me trolling and towing kites then cut across my bow. Some so close I could spit in the cockpit. Never saw so many fishing in black slacks and white shirts. I got so bothered by the threats and obcenitees I herd I went bellow and got a pistol. I wasn't going to die for lack of shooting back. I saw the best south Florida had to offer. Why I to this day Stay away from lake worth on a weekend... Never been anywhere someone could blast by you in a 30-50 Fishing boat about 25mph so close I could swing my boom out and kill half the crew.. I realize the channel is tight but it does have a speed other than WFO. You aint lived till you been passed on both sides by boats going opposite directions on plane in the channel from the bridge north of Peanut Island to the cut off for the north anchorage.
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Old 04-29-2013
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Re: You are NOT "FISHING"

TTC, I don't think a powerboater with the outriggers out and a few lines would be seen as having restricted maneuverability. PDQ said that a change in course can result in tangled lines that may take 10 minutes to clear, but that doesn't make him any less maneuverable. Contrast that to a fishing vessel towing 4-500' (or more) of netting with thousands of pounds of fish inside the net, let alone aboard the vessel. That set-up has restricted maneuverability.
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