Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 105 Old 1 Week Ago
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Re: Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
I think it foolish to assume that just because someone is operating a sailboat, they are more familiar with the ColRegs than some guy operating a powerboat.
Yes, I agree, however if that sailboat is sailing it is safe to assume the have right of way.

The thing that annoys me is that so many powerboats come straight at you on a collision course, and don't alter course until the last second. It leaves us watching nervously and wondering if they see us instead of relaxing and enjoying the sail. Some of the big gin palaces seem to take a particular glee in cutting as close to sailboats as they can, kicking up max wake of course.

To be fair, there are plenty of courteous powerboaters that alter course early and keep their distance, but it is always the asshats that stick in your mind.

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Re: Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport

I knew sandra,
if there was anyone who would be prepared on the boat, it would be her. she was a consumate racer-the best of the best..once in a while we see someone taken who is MOST prepared out of all of us...that was her.
tragic.
Jim
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Re: Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport

Part of the problem may be the fact that powerboats ARE more easily maneuvered than sailboats, so that they CAN wait until the last moment to avoid collision. Not knowing if they are actually going to alter course is the other side of that coin. Having to pull a crash gybe with a spinnaker up to avoid contact when the powerboater only has to flick his finger on the wheel or throttle is more than annoying - it is dangerous for sailboats. What is too close is another issue. While everyone has a different opinion on that, a miss is as good as a mile most of the time. Well-publicized prosecution of lackadaisical operators might go a long way to helping focus more people on what they’re doing on the water.
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Re: Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport

I was out in the West Passage on Sunday and heard the report on the VHF. I was single-handing, and busy trying to return to Greenwich Bay, so I couldn't follow the communication other than to hear a male voice stating that he had collided with another boat and someone was in the water. I am very sad to learn the rest of the story.

At one time I was opposed to manditory licensing for boating. However, as I have heard of more and more senseless boating accidents I have changed my mind. Today, anyone with a checkbook or credit card can buy and operate a boat, at least in the USA. I regularly see "go-fast-boats" with well over 600 horsepower flying past Warwick Neck at over 40 knots. It seems to me that boating, especially powerboating, is at least as dangerous as operating an automobile. I would like to give the COLREGS a chance to work by assuring that EVERYBODY is aware of what the rules are.

[EDIT] And it is not only powerboats. In 2016 I had a run-in with a catamaran race about half a mile from where this fatal accident happened. I posted this elsewhere on SailNet about it;
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We were sailing wing on wing (main was on a starboard tack), returning to home port, and there was a serious race of about 50 little one-design catamarans (mylar sails, sailors in wetsuits, wearing helmets etc.) sailing across the entire channel. I advised the helmsman to adjust course slightly to give them more room (and get us away from them). A pack of about five catamarans continued to come toward us from the port quarter. Most of them gybed and sped away, except for one turd.

While trying to overtake us this idiot comes within 10 feet of our port side and yells; "Get outta the way. I'm racing!" to which I replied "Yes, and you are still obligated to follow the rules of the road." I tried to use my air horn to sound 5 blasts, but the horn malfunctioned (due to lack of use), and there was no sound. He didn't like this and let loose with a barage of explitives as he continued to overtake us, but he was now in the lee of my main. We maintained our course and speed, as we are obligated under COLREGS to do.

I was tempted to, and could have easily leaned over my lifelines and dope-smacked him without getting wet because he had now come within 3 feet of us. He had not yet hit or overtaken us and now, because he had no wind, his cat stalled. So, he crash gybes his little cat, all while yelling more explitives at us. I advised him that he should take a course in how to sail. His gybe put his weight on the leeward side of his little cat. Meanwhile, my boat continued forward and unblanketed his sail. His sail filled, and he capsized! I wished him "have a nice day..." and we continued on to our home port.

All this took place within view of the committee boats, and the rest of the fleet with whom we had no issue. He was their problem, and they could pick him up.
Like @SanderO I try to avoid any close encounters with recreational boaters, and assume that NONE of them know the COLREGS.
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Re: Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport

I read the story and the fact that the sailboat was a cat, perhaps a Prindle 18(?), brings up a multitude of different scenarios. The cat could be more than a victim here.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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Re: Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport

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I dont think punishment is the cure for this problem, speaking broadly
Very few boaters (hopefully) go out with a plan to kill someone, so I don't see more severe punishments as likely to influence behavior. Handing out fines for the "everyday" violations that don't kill someone, OTOH, might influence people before they do end up killing someone.

A few weekends ago I heard the Coast Guard broadcasting a reminder of Rule 9 over the VHF. I said to myself, that's something you don't hear everyday -- there must be a story behind it. No idea if there was, but that afternoon I could make out the distant sounds of freighters giving five blasts again and again.
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Re: Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport

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....At one time I was opposed to manditory licensing for boating. However, as I have heard of more and more senseless boating accidents I have changed my mind. Today, anyone with a checkbook or credit card can buy and operate a boat, at least in the USA. ......
I’m open to what would improve the situation and reduce accidents. However, nearly every state already has mandatory boater safety certification, which includes the ColRegs. For that matter, I wonder how the relative incidence of accidents on the water, compares to those on the road, where all drivers are licensed. I wouldn’t be surprised the road is higher, per driver.

Interestingly, mandatory insurance might help. Insurance companies are good at stats. They want to know you’re statistically capable of handling your new boat, not just in possession of a license, before they’ll take on your financial risk. If you don’t have documentable experience, they may require formal training. In airplanes, they often require minimum “dual time” where you must operate your new make/model plane with an instructor for a defined period, before flying on your own. Not sure I love the idea, but it’s something to think about.
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Re: Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport

He should be charged with involuntarily manslaughter. Was there a blood alcohol test? What was his excuse? Let's hear the facts.
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pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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Re: Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport

Its self regulation...and not leaving your brain on the dock.
Wild wild west is best experienced via movies......

Education at many points. Yes, we all should be reminded. Its not a difficult thing
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Re: Sailboat and Powerboat collide outside Newport

News quickly pointed out that alcohol was not involved.
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