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post #91 of 144 Old 08-12-2016
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Re: Clueless Sailors?

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Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
I have two questions: 1) How far away from traffic should you be so you can change course without violating your responsibility as stand-on vessel? 2) If the give-way vessel does not change course how close do you let things get before you take action?

As an example I sometimes sail through an area that has two ferries running the same route. I like to stay out of their way, so basically as soon as I see one I change course so that I'll run well behind it. If they're both out and running behind one would put me in front of the other I'll change course to run parallel to them until they're about to pass, then turn back so I'll pass behind both of them.

I'm assuming this is cool because they're at the point where I can't really even see the cars on deck, so I figure I'm not obligated to stand-on yet.


On the other hand let's say that I wasn't paying attention or there was fog or something and I realize I'm getting close, like I can see people on deck, and we're on a collision course. At this point I'm obligated to stand on, right? How long do you stand-on before you do a panic tack to get out of the way? Whites of their eyes?

I think Rule 17 gives about as much guidance as can be given in a situation where you wonder if give-way sees you, or even knows what to do.

(a)(ii) says that stand-on "may, however, take action to avoid collision byher maneuver alone, as soon as it becomes apparent to her that give-way is not taking appropriate action in compliance with these rules"

and (b) says, essentially, "When stand-on finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of give-way alone, she shall take such action as well best aid to avoid collision".

while (c) says, "you shall, if circumstances of the case admit, not turn port towards a vessel on your own port side"

So, you "May" take action if the other boat isn't taking appropriate action, and you "must" take whatever action as best avoids collision once give-way is so close that he couldnt avoid it on his own..

Just don't turn to port into him, if you can help it.

The trick is in determining just when give-way isn't taking appropriate action, and then when he can't avoid collision by himself anymore. Good sailors may differ on this in the same given situation.

That's why, "when there's a collision at sea, there are many wise men on shore" ;-)
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post #92 of 144 Old 08-12-2016
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Re: Clueless Sailors?

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Minnesail, I would suggest you start with a careful reading of the COLREGS themselves
I'm a novice sailor, but I've been reading successfully for years.

Ruly 17, section a, subsection ii, not so clearly states "The latter vessel may, however, take action to avoid collision by her maneuver alone, as soon as it becomes apparent to her that the vessel required to keep out of the way is not taking appropriate action in compliance with these Rules."

I guess I was looking for a little guidance into when people would consider it apparent that the other vessel is not taking appropriate action.


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The trick is in determining just when give-way isn't taking appropriate action, and then when he can't avoid collision by himself anymore. Good sailors may differ on this in the same given situation.
Yes, I think you get to the heart of the matter.

There are plenty of good sailors on this site, I'm curious if they have any rules of thumb or guidelines.

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on a starboard tack
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post #93 of 144 Old 08-12-2016
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Re: Clueless Sailors?

Between 5 feet and 5 miles. That's the action distance. Five feet in a fleet race give enough room to turn away from someone making a racing error. Five miles out in the open sea upon detecting a close pass with a heavy ship. We have probably both seen the AIS plot. At five miles the ship will usually turn appropriately to maintain several miles separation. If she does not then I will put in a small but obvious course change to settle the issue. I almost always make an early and obvious course change when first detecting a possible close pass of any working vessel...I'm retired...they are trying to make a living. Pretty much ignore the dim-witted sport fishing crowd as they do any silly unexpected thing that occurs to their sun-melted inebriated minds.

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post #94 of 144 Old 08-12-2016
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Re: Clueless Sailors?

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I guess I was looking for a little guidance into when people would consider it apparent that the other vessel is not taking appropriate action.
Okay, I see.

I don't have a rule of thumb, each day, tide, current, wind and vessel is different. I treat pleasure boats different than container ships, and I treat both different from ferries. Here on Puget Sound, ferries these days come with their own little Coast Guard escort, a fast little Zodiac with an M240 on the bow. Of all the vessels on Puget Sound, those Zodiacs seem to know the least about the COLREGS, their focus is completely different.

I've spoken with half a dozen ship size (large container ships, ferries, bulk carriers) over the years and asked them what their intentions were; all of them told me the same thing: they had been tracking me for some time, to hold my course, they had already altered course around me.

I used to be surprised that they saw me long before I saw them, but it appears (to me) to be true.
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post #95 of 144 Old 08-13-2016
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You've clearly never been out in a sea kayak in 8 knots with chop. .


And I never will be.



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Too bad. Exposure to different perspectives is often a very good thing.
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post #96 of 144 Old 08-13-2016
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Re: Clueless Sailors?

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Too bad. Exposure to different perspectives is often a very good thing.
It's also, when talking about diving, heroin or kayaks, fatal.
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post #97 of 144 Old 08-13-2016
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Quote:
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Too bad. Exposure to different perspectives is often a very good thing.
It's also, when talking about diving, heroin or kayaks, fatal.
Unlikely, even with heroin, although I wouldn't advocate it in that particular case. It is certainly fatal to narrow mindedness
It is similar to road biking. Changes the way you perceive bikes on the road.
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post #98 of 144 Old 08-13-2016
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Re: Clueless Sailors?

The fact that my wife used to commute on her bike was all it took to change my attitude about bikes on the road.
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post #99 of 144 Old 10-24-2016
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Re: Clueless Sailors?

One of my pet peeves and a mystery to me is why people direct their road rage at bicycles. People on bikes are helping the problems of traffic and congestion - and the few seconds you lose being safe and courteous around bikes is usually made up as you will catch up to and get stuck behind traffic anyway on the rest of your drive. But there is a parallel to the sailboats in that a slower but legal vehicle is causing faster vehicles to have to move around them. The same type of thinking where drivers complain and rage about bicycles is evident when a big power cruiser nearly runs down a sailboat.

This is as good a place as any to put this 100% true story; On Wednesday Oct 19 I was out solo in fairly sporty conditions and my adrenaline may have been up a bit. I am coming into a very narrow inlet between a rock jetty and a lighthuse, maybe 300 feet wide with cross currents. Its a no wake zone but a pair of 40 foot express cruisers are racing each other down the river and one turns towards the inlet bearing directly on my boat. You know the type of SeaRay express thing we always see. There is nothing I can do as he keeps full power on and heading directly at me until he is within 100 feet of my boat. That's maybe 2 seconds away from collision. I'm staring at this huge bow heading right at me. Then he cuts the power and idles along next to me as I motor in.

So, after I survive his wake, I scream a few choice words, one that starts with the letter F. The guy - completely clueless - yells that I have the whole river - as if my 5 HP outboard could just jet me out of his way. So, since I have his attention, I really let him have it. He has a boat full of people all staring at me. BTW I am 6'-3' , 275 lbs. and I am now very agitated. The next thing I hear, he yells that he is going to come on my boat and throw me off. So I scream at him to "come try". He declined.

LOL!! It was all so very macho. I spent the next 15 minutes motoring to my dock imagining the epic battle we would have but he wisely turned and headed towards his own dock. I am sure he wasn't thinking much, if at all.
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Last edited by Sal Paradise; 10-24-2016 at 09:57 AM.
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post #100 of 144 Old 10-24-2016
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Re: Clueless Sailors?

Bicycles ! ....... they fly down sidewalks then switch to the road at their convenience, most have no idea what a stop sign is or a red light, they demand the right of a pedestrian at lights and crosswalks they are totally unpredictable and although they don't pay any road/license tax they demand bicycle lanes be built everywhere even tho' they only use them when it's to their benefit. I am a cyclist. I love my belt drive Trek but find that most of them are just dicks.

The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
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