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Stand-on? Give way?

3936 Views 41 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  jzk
Twice this past weekend, almost got clipped! I dunno; but every which way I read it, regs say I have right of way. Mebbe I'm not seeing it right tho, so asking for input.

Sunday afternoon back-n-forth.across the channel, lie. so many/all other sails do. Nice beam reach WX. Making way outbound the mooring field and see a HUGE trawler-type anda smaller spedboat coming S. towards me; perhaps 300 yds out.. I'm already centered in the channnel, mebbe 50 yds past/out from the permanent day-marker line. Neither PB slows or diverts. I'm making 2.5kt and figure as the "stand-on' I should hold course and speed. Maybe fifty yards short of me, the speeder (a big one!) veers to my stern at full power, the trawler hold his line and speed (10-12 KT?)...with a five foot or so bow- wave!...and I decide to avoid contact by turning downwind to stbd. Now I'm in the "vee" of two wakes and making. the choice oftaking the smaller (2.5'?) wake head-on and letting thbig, rolling 4+ footertake me on the Stbd. quarter. Both PBs pass within spitting distance.
Bounced, twisted and. turned! I hollerfor my Mate to get. down low and hold on. She ended up on the deck,taking a header into the companionway and. breaking the fire-extinguisher off it's mount .Helluva thing to get smacked in the azz by one wave . while plowing into to opposing.

Almost exactly the same spot on Monday. Opposite direction and runnign beamreach at 3.5kt. Yep! Another "wedding-cake" trawler trying tomakethe marker before me, I suppose . Huge bow wave, no backing down/off and as we came stbd to cut his wake; rose over the first and surfed down into the second, nearly taking it over the bow.
But his Admiral" waved as they went by. :sheesh:, leaving us hobby-horse-ing and rigging snapping and groaning.

So...other than the ubiquitous "Bigger boat has more weight to toss around" answers; what *IS* the rule? Sure and I understand the responssibilty to maintain ssafety and good practices part; hence the move or be crushed instinct cutting in ;) Does the boat travelling the channel have rights over crossing? Am I wrong (Colregs)? or expectintoo much by the way of courtesy on thewater?

Other than that, it was a great three days of sailing :)
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Unless these other boats were either not under command, restricted in their ability to maneuver, or COMMERCIAL fishing vessels with their gear out (not two dopes and a six pack), the sailboat is the stand on vessel.
I wish there were more education/enforcement of this. I had multiple run-ins this weekend with "two dopes and a six pack" who clearly did not understand the rules. In general, I try to give people fishing plenty of room. It is a big bay and plenty for everyone. But a few occasions over the long weekend, I found myself in a situation between wind and shoal that I preferred to stand-on as I was supposed to do. I am not suggesting that I got very close, or caused a problem, just that I didn't go out of my way to go around, and they probably had to alter coarse slightly to avoid me. One pair had the courtesy to yell obscenities at me on my way by. In the coarse of their diatribe, it became clear that there was simply a misunderstanding of the rules. They had read far enough to see "not under command" and "engaged in fishing" and believed they had two solid reasons to be the stand on vessel. If they had read further, they would have seen that the definitions of both of those terms did not apply to their situation. Temporarily putting your vessel into neutral does not make you "not in command." Nor does casual trolling make you "engaged in fishing" by the definition. The number of fisherman griping into the radio about "those damn sailboaters" suggests this misunderstanding is quite widespread. It struck me as the third highest radio complaint after "you are responsible for your wake" and "quit yapping on channel 16".

As near as I can tell, Memorial Day in the Chesapeake is a holiday primarily devoted to ignoring the navigation rules, mis-using the radio, drunkenly crashing your jet ski into anchored sailboats, and being generally discourteous to other boaters.
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