The reality of responsibility - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 21 Old 05-26-2019 Thread Starter
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The reality of responsibility

My wife picked this off another forum and I think it clearly shows the level of ignorance among our community.
"If you were in Stamford yesterday in you Pearson 26, I'm sorry. I truly could not stop, towing two 150 ft scows full of scrap metal. I had made two security calls moments before we met. One on 16, the other on 13. I also gave a hard to not hear whistle signal about 3-5 minutes prior.
Your best option was the one you took. A little scratched paint on that fender of the hurricane gate was definitely the lesser of two evils.
Just know, i didn't enjoy it any more than you did. Despite your angry shouts, we did in fact "belong there".
Pro tip: at high tide, expect commercial traffic in both branches of the river/harbor.
Glad you lived to sail another day. If we meet somewhere when I'm out pleasure boating, drinks are on me.
P.S. We have most of it video recorded on hard drive."
I don't think I can add much other than to say when I was in the position of this towmaster, I was much less of a gentleman. After all, the ignoramus on the Pearson was risking my license and livelihood (food & clothes for my kids, college education money, etc.), not just his apparently worthless to him, life!
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"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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post #2 of 21 Old 05-26-2019
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Re: The reality of responsibility

"Don't worry. They'll get out of the way. I learned that driving the Saratoga."
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post #3 of 21 Old 05-26-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: The reality of responsibility

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Originally Posted by SeanM26 View Post
"Don't worry. They'll get out of the way. I learned that driving the Saratoga."
Oh, really?
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"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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post #4 of 21 Old 05-26-2019
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Re: The reality of responsibility

My home slip is right next to the very narrow harbour entrance. On numerous occasions I've heard sailing instructos tell the kids ... " Don't worry about power boats you have right of way".
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The hysterical laughter you hear as you drive a way in your"new" boat ..... is the seller.
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post #5 of 21 Old 05-26-2019
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Re: The reality of responsibility

I heard that they add 'except that Mr boatpoker, stay out of his way'.
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post #6 of 21 Old 05-27-2019
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Oh, really?
Per Captain Ron, yes, really.
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post #7 of 21 Old 05-27-2019
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Re: The reality of responsibility

Capta, when I was reading this on that forum, I could not believe what I was reading, seriously who really thinks they can tangle with a tow master in a narrow channel, all while not heeding horns and securite calls? Even ignoring the rules of navigation..hypothetically..you would think that anyone with even half a bucket of common sense would know better.

I am glad though, that for all the comments I saw on that post, everyone was in support of the tow master, and some even called for releasing the video, which he could not do(legality and difficulty of retrieving the video).

I have heard that about Mr. Boatpoker, even in our harbors here in Michigan, everyone keep a vigilant eye out for him should he ever make his way in our direction....


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post #8 of 21 Old 05-27-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: The reality of responsibility

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Capta, when I was reading this on that forum, I could not believe what I was reading, seriously who really thinks they can tangle with a tow master in a narrow channel, all while not heeding horns and securite calls? Even ignoring the rules of navigation..hypothetically..you would think that anyone with even half a bucket of common sense would know better.
I can't count the number of times I've had to do a 180 when towing the water barge from Rosie Roads to St. T. because some idiot was about to run over the tow line, even in daylight, never mind nights when properly lit.
Or going up or down the ICW between Miami and Ft Lauderdale with a barge that just barely fits through the bridge fenders and having the jet skiers play "chicken" with the barge, or sailboats trying to beat us to the opening.
They are risking the lives of everyone onboard, and don't seem to grasp the shape of the barge's bow means there is no escape at all if they mistime things. Whistle, radio calls and waving arms are all absolutely useless, and they are risking a manslaughter charge for me, because US civil courts just don't understand why the tug can't just stop and wait for those fools, even with a following current.
As I said above, I was less gentlemanly than the captain who wrote the piece and sometimes I wished Darwin's theory proved again, so I nor none of my colleagues would ever go through the stress of encountering that same idiot again.
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"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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post #9 of 21 Old 05-27-2019
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Re: The reality of responsibility

"Don't worry about power boats you have right of way"

"but I had the right of way" on your tombstone is not a good thing - learn that quick riding a moto.
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-27-2019
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Re: The reality of responsibility

It is the responsibility of every captain to drive at the speed that is safe in the circumstances.

The Tug captain is obviously incapable of avoiding a Sunday sailor who makes a mistake, maybe while yelling at his 3 young children.

No. The tug captain can not just kill the kids.

He thus needs further training to be able to be safe in all circumstances.

A tug captain should be one of the world's most able watermen.


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