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Another right of way situation that I encountered yesterday. I was leaving the marina, close hauled on a starbard tack through the marina entrance. This entrance is reduced to half width by a sand bar and by putting the green can about one foot off the strabard side I could clear the red marker to port by a reasonable margine. Meanwhile a shrimp boat began to enter the marina from my starbard and soon it became apparant that we were on a collision course. I could not see the helmsman and his action indicated no intention to alter course or speed or anything. I luffed up and he passed over my bow an uncomfortably short distance away. So, what should I have done? I could not tack to starbard as that would put me onto the shoal or into the seawall. As I saw it, I had two courses of action, luff up or gibe 180. I chose to luff up. It worked but I'm still thinking about all the negatives that could have ensued. What do you think?
John
 

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Without knowing the particulars – your size, his size, the width of the channel and the depths outside of the markers, I’ll assume that that you were on the smaller side, he on the larger, the channel was relatively narrow and the water shallow for both of your vessels outside of the markers. You did the right thing. Luffing kept you headed in the same direction and allowed him to pass quickly. Bearing off and running would have put you alongside him and you would have both entered the harbor together. Rule 9 applies here as he was constrained in the channel by his draft. The other rule applies is the informal “gross tonnage” one which means if he outweighs you, you move out of his way. Also to note, commercial guys generally don’t cut us yachties any slack. And if you try to enforce your “rights” you just might get run over. You may be right, but you don’t want to end up “dead right”.
 

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Generally you shouldn't expect to be given right of way while sailing in close quarters, with restricted waters affecting all traffic. In many such areas sailing is not permitted for reasons such as this.

You did do the right thing...
 

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In New Zealand, whilst in the described "harbour area" commercial vessels have right of way over any recreational vessel. Starboard/port, stand-on/giveway, leeward/windward and sailing/motor all take a back seat and you would have been in the wrong expecting the shrimp boat to give way.

Also sailing in and out of our marina is strictly forbidden, no excuses, no valid reasons.

It may be different where you sail.
 

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For me, I'd have my auxiliary running when in any tight traffic areas, because it will give me all the headway I need with slack sheets and luffing sails. Outside the break water when I can see all comers in plenty of time and when I have sail drive the iron genny goes off.
 

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And the rules read: Sailing vessels shall NOT impede other vessels in narrow channels/waterways.
Other words in narrow channels it is better for you to be under power and not sail. Wait until you are in open waters to put the sails up.
 

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Also sailing in and out of our marina is strictly forbidden, no excuses, no valid reasons.

It may be different where you sail.
While you can sail out of our yacht basin (a private club, not a marina), just outside of that is a narrow channel called the Western Gap, leading to the inner harbour of Toronto. If you have an engine, you have to have it on for the reasons listed above, due to some shoaling and the fact that it's like a highway most of the summer weekends. Also, there's a ferry crossing it every 15 minutes or less.

Unpowered sail boats use it, along with kayaks and canoes, but you'd be best advised to give way or luff up, because it's tight quarters indeed. Also, while this video is from winter (and was apparently shot from our ill-protected mooring basin), the west-south-west direction of the Gap channel puts it right into the prevailing winds...whitecaps form easily...

Toronto Western Gap - Huge Waves on Vimeo
 

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What about those who cruise with no motor- many difficulties? or smooth sailing?

Personally, I find sailing in and out challenging but usually worry free as long as I'm prepared. I also usually singlehand.
 

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What are the harbour regulations? Some prohibit sailing within the habour limits.

Jack
 

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And the rules read: Sailing vessels shall NOT impede other vessels in narrow channels/waterways.
Other words in narrow channels it is better for you to be under power and not sail. Wait until you are in open waters to put the sails up.
I'm with you on that!
 

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I always motor down the channel to my marina but what really annoys me is how people can operate power boats on hire ( or privately owners) with no knowledge of how other watercraft operate. I've lost count of the number of times I've barely squeezed past when they have failed to move over sufficiently for me with my constraints of draft.

Mychael
 

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Wait until you have to pass a @#%^&* shimp boat with his outriggers out in a narrow bayou.
 

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We're not allowed to sail in/out of our marina, however its not really enforced, and on race nights, the line of SVs coming/going makes for interesting navigation.

To the point of the question, you yielded correctly given rules of the road. And to the point made, saved your hide regardless of who was right.

What I haven't found yet is leaving/entering marina rules (could they be relative?) because ours is so narrow, only one boat can pass at a time.
Often returning boats will wait while departing boats clear the marina entrance. I do that as well if I see a departing boat. So, if there is one, what's the rule?
 

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I think they are all relative, each marina has its own rules. At ours, there is no restriction on sailing into or out of the marina.
 

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Rules in Marina.

Same for ours. No specific rules. you'd hope courtesy and common sense would prevail, sadly less and less of that everywhere these days.

My Channel has a dog leg so if I see someone coming out I'll do my best to hold back till they get around the bend into the wider section.

Mychael
 
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