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post #81 of 87 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

In my experience racers, for the most part completely respect commercial traffic, and give them right of way, and for the most part the commercial traffic is respectful of race courses. We do NOT set up race courses in the shipping lanes! Race committees contact Harbour Traffic and inform them that they are running races, where the courses are etc. Harbour Traffic in turn informs vessels approaching the area about the races so that they are aware. It is written into all Sailing Instructions that any competitor found to be obstructing commercial traffic will be disqualified. That's not to say that the occasional boat may try to cross in front of a tug with a long tow so they don't get trapped on the wrong side. I have seen the tugs slow down to let them cross, and I have also seen them speed up and lay on the horn. For the most part, however, racers and commercial vessels coexist just fine.

Sport fishermen and other pleasure boaters are the ones that come in most conflict. I can't count the number of times I've seen powerboats charge right through racing fleets. Sometimes you can give them the benefit of the doubt, that they thing it is just regular boat traffic. Other times they have charged right through the starting area where it couldn't be more obvious there is something going on, with committee boats flying signal flags, marks anchored, and groups of boats lining up and starting. I'm sorry, but when they do things like that, they deserve all the unfriendly gestures they get! Some of the more egregious offenders get reported to Harbour Patrol by the race committee that is in constant contact with the authorities.

Outside of the starting area and the vicinity of the marks racers around here realize that we are sharing the water. We give way to pleasure craft that have right of way, and we expect those that don't have right of way to give way to us. I don't think that is unreasonable.

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post #82 of 87 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

SchockT,

I know this problem isnt every where and its not every racer, which is why I said it how I said it.

Places like Toronto though it can be big. Toronto has racing nearly every night of the week. The Western Gap is the only way for ships to enter the harbour. Even kids racing optimists can be found blocking this channel, and they are not visible to the sugar and cement ships entering the harbour. The ferries learn to deal with them, mostly by powering through the fleet. But there is almost nothing the ships can do. It isnt like its dodging one boat once in a while. It can be dodging a dozen racing boats every single time a ship enters the harbour in the summer time. Of course Lake Ontario and Humber Bay are open water options, but racing on open water must too scary or something because most of the time they are in the harbour.
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post #83 of 87 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

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Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
SchockT,



I know this problem isnt every where and its not every racer, which is why I said it how I said it.



Places like Toronto though it can be big. Toronto has racing nearly every night of the week. The Western Gap is the only way for ships to enter the harbour. Even kids racing optimists can be found blocking this channel, and they are not visible to the sugar and cement ships entering the harbour. The ferries learn to deal with them, mostly by powering through the fleet. But there is almost nothing the ships can do. It isnt like its dodging one boat once in a while. It can be dodging a dozen racing boats every single time a ship enters the harbour in the summer time. Of course Lake Ontario and Humber Bay are open water options, but racing on open water must too scary or something because most of the time they are in the harbour.
I am not familiar with those waters of course, but it sounds a lot like a shipping lane. If it is that hazardous for ships navigating that piece of water why are they allowed to set up races there?

Even so, I cant imagine a racer yelling at a ship to get out of the way...that is just idiocy.

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post #84 of 87 Old 04-12-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

Meh.

I'm new to sailing. Picked up a damaged Force 5 dinghy for free; the romance of sailing fast wore off quick when I realized the slip-on sail means no stopping in the middle of the local lake. I'll finish up repairs to it and donate it to a local sailing school.

Picked up an O'Day 19 Weekender to learn to sail on; still completing the repairs. Discovering that I must be all sorts of crazy, since I enjoy fixing her as much as I enjoy being out on the water (plenty of kayaking done, including building four skin on frame designs). She should be hitting the water in the next couple of months. Problem is, that small little cabin is gonna be fine for a weekend, but not much longer.

Did more research and dreaming, then picked up a 24' Tylercraft twin keel for the price of the trailer. Needs even more work than the O'Day, but she's a project I can work on while sailing the O'Day. I'm finding a lot of pride in fixing up a 50+ year old boat and getting her back on the water.

So... racing? Well, the Tylercraft design allegedly won a few races back in its heyday... back in the early 60's. Gotta image things have changed a bit since then. I might be open to trying a beer can race or two, and I'd love to see some discussion regarding its PHRF (probably over more beer). Taking a race seriously?

Meh.
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post #85 of 87 Old 04-13-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

We have countless races on the Bay, during the season, from world class, to local clubs, to dinghies, to events like round the island. For the most part, all co-exist. However, there is no doubt that some races are set up, without appreciation for the recreational sailor’s sense of proximity. When you’re racing within feet of each other, that small lane they left open may seem significant, but to the weekender, it looks crowded up close and non-existent from afar. We have one shipping channel and I can’t say I’ve seen a course laid overtop. It would not surprise me. Since the tankers are not permitted to be outside their channel, the ColReg narrow channel rule must apply. A sailboat race would have to cross the channel expeditiously and give way to any other traffic within. There are no sailboat rights in a “narrow channel”.

I have seen them in front of harbor entrances and other places leaving me wondering why they couldn’t have been set up more out of the way, when there is plenty of room. You can get around, but it’s inconvenient and not obvious, until you get close. I’ve always highly suspected they simply didn’t want to sail further out to a better spot, making someone late for supper.

The one thing they’re never dumb enough to do is set over a heavy lobster pot field. That guy shows up and he doesn’t post about being annoyed. A guy trying to make a living the hard way vs a bunch of white bread spawn, trying to fill their spare time. Only one winner.

The conflict that makes me crazy are the line fisherman, who lay adrift exactly in the middle of a harbor entrance or right under the common bridge crossing spans. They bob side to side, casting and jerking their rods, like they rented that spot. It appears as if they believe they qualify for the “fishing” priority in collision avoidance, which they do not. However, my money is on them not knowing the rules at all.


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post #86 of 87 Old 04-13-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

Setting up a course in a channel or harbor entrance is simply dumb and probably selfish and lazy. Guys out fishing seem to cluster together around buoys... another dumb thing. We often sail through them and when they see use bearing down usually scoot out of the way. Waters are crowded and many play where it is most convenient for them and could't care less about COLREGs or show even common courtesy. This applies to high speed and wake production in anchorages, mooring fields and fairway/channels.

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post #87 of 87 Old 04-15-2019
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Re: Non Racing Sailors

A local colreg rule that many of us follow in Puget Sound. There is also a yearly meeting with the Coast Guard to spec out race rules, permit process etc that is done locally. If you get a 5 horn blast, that goes to USCG along with you getting an auto DQ. At the end of the day, when we have to deal with Tugs, barges, cruise ships, ferries, navy fleet etc, we avoid them, or at least make sure they know where and what we are doing near them.
I've parallel sailed along a ferry for a length or two as they pass, wave to the captain equal, then turned across the stern, probably closer than I should, I have made contact, wave, they wave back etc. Especially like the one I did a week ago, 100+ of us cross a ferry route. These races are made clear to us, avoid the commercial traffic! And also going into some channels, like the one into and out of Lake Washington, go in that channel, auto DQ!

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COLREGS RULE 10*
1. A vessel shall, so far as practicable, avoid crossing traffic lanes but, if obliged to do so, shall cross on a heading as nearly as practicable at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow. (Why Do This? Not only will this practice result in a faster crossing of the traffic lanes, but will reduce the amount of time of exposure to large vessels operating in the traffic lanes....Crossing at right angles will also make you much more easily detectable both visually and by radar....)
2. A vessel other than a crossing vessel or a vessel joining or leaving a lane shall not normally enter a separation zone. (Why? Separation Zones provide areas where a vessel can "bail out" in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, fishing vessels, particularly in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, have a tendency to fish in these "medians".)
3. A vessel not using a TSS [Traffic Separating Scheme] shall avoid it by as wide a margin as possible. (Why? Recreational boats are more maneuverable than a large vessel or a tug and tow. These vessels rely on the predictability of the traffic flow....)
4. Vessels, when leaving or joining traffic lanes, shall do so at as small an angle to the general direction of traffic flow as practicable. (Why? This allows vessels to safely "merge" with existing traffic in the lanes and minimizes disruptions to existing traffic flow....)
5. A vessel of less than 20 meters (66 feet), or a sailing vessel, shall not impede safe passage of a power driven vessel following a traffic lane. A vessel engaged in fishing shall not impede the passage of a vessel following a traffic lane. NOTE: "Shall not impede" means a vessel must not navigate in such a way as to risk the development of a collision with another vessel (i.e. when a vessel following a TSS is forced to make an unusual or dangerous maneuver in order to avoid one of the vessels listed above, then the vessel following the TSS has been impeded.)
6. All vessels are required to keep the center of the precautionary area to port. NOTE: A Precautionary area is usually marked by a yellow-lighted buoy and is clearly marked on all nautical charts. (Why? This is an area where vessels following the TSS are negotiating course changes and where other vessels join or depart the TSS, therefore, all mariners must exercise caution....) NOTE: Failure to comply with these regulations could create an unsafe navigational situation and may result in a civil penalty of up to $5,000.
*Taken from USCG, "A Recreational Boater's Informational Guide to Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service," January 1995
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