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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is the situation I had last week.
Me on the bottom close hauled port tack.
Him on the top rounding the break wall.

According to the rules he was stand-on.
My choice however was to hold course as I did have room to pass port to port. Or I could have tacked but I really really hate to tack in front of someone as you never know what might go wrong. The other guy may be going faster than you think. My genny may hang on the spreader screwing up my tack etc, etc.

I figured it was safest to hold my course and let it be close if that's what he wanted, I could always fall off a boat length or two and still make the break wall If I had to.

It worked out find as he was a nice guy and made a sharp turn to port so it was clear what he was doing.

My scale is a little off as there was plenty of room for him to make that turn there was more room between boats and break wall than my sketch implies. There was at least 10 to 20 times more room between everything than what I show. If we both held our course however we would have passed port to port by maybe 30 feet.

I supposed I should have called him on the radio.

At the time it seemed to me a close port to port pass was safer than a tack. What do you think?
 

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I would do what you did. You are clearly aiming for the break wall, so he knows exactly what you will do, so there should be no ambiguity in that situation. He is turning, so you have no idea what he will do next. There is much ambiguity there. If he settled into a collision course then I guess you would have to evade, but he should not do that unless he is obnoxious or not paying attention. The best thing to do in situations with ambiguity is make you intentions clear. It seems like you can best accomplish that here by holding course.
 

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I'd hold course as long as we weren't colliding. As drawn the port-to-port pass looked reasonable enough for the distances you described. If it got too tight you could always turn starboard a bit to provide more room.

I guess I should keep our horn closer at hand for such times when the other guy might need a call to attention.

Regards
 

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I'd hold course as long as we weren't colliding. As drawn the port-to-port pass looked reasonable enough for the distances you described. If it got too tight you could always turn starboard a bit to provide more room.

I guess I should keep our horn closer at hand for such times when the other guy might need a call to attention.

Regards
New rules actually apply to this if you were in PHRF race, and I think in general - amended first of the year...
 

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You have to hold your course. You are supposed to pass port to port. He should not turn to port but to stb if anything. You should not tack as you would be turning in the direction he should if required to give you more room.
 

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Better is to partly luff your sails, keep your course at reduced speed. Gives all concerned better time to react, and gives the 'rounder' more latitude to react, etc. as his (and your) time to react is extended. There is nothing in the rules that states that prohibits one from obviously 'slowing down' while maintaining course.
 

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I think you did the right thing. A horn or (these days) a radio call would have removed all ambiguity, but sailing clearly on course for the hole in the breakwall without deviation seems clear enough.

You didn't indicate the wind speed or point of sail or sea state or current/tide issues, so I am assuming all were benign enough to permit a full range of options and responses.
 

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You did the only thing! As long as he was aware of your presence, he had sea room and you were limited in room to move. - stay on course.
 

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You have to hold your course. You are supposed to pass port to port. He should not turn to port but to stb if anything. You should not tack as you would be turning in the direction he should if required to give you more room.
Guess I'm really in the minority here, but David was burdened and acknowledged as much in his post.

So, it's not for him to hold his course - it's his obligation to alter course if it appears there's not enough room to pass/cross safely.

Passing port-to-port may be conventional, but I'd never take it that "You are supposed to pass port to port.".

The other boat should not have to alter course at all - it was David's responsibility.

In the original post, David says there was room to pass with both boats maintaining their respective courses. In my opinion, that's what should have happened.

And, yes, a sound signal or radio call would have reduced whatever pucker factor may have been in the offing.

Paul
PS Yes, he was a nice guy!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The other boat should not have to alter course at all - it was David's responsibility.

I agree. But the way I judged it he did not have to alter his course.
We would have cleared by 30'.

So I guess the real question is in a non-race situation how close is OK?
 

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In the drawing (not sure about in reality) I don't think he was the burdened vessel, as it was not a crossing situtation. It was a meeting (forget proper term) situation, where both boats are expected to let the other pass on his/ her port side, as they did. Is this not correct. I guess sometimes a meeting situation can turn into a crossing situation, if one/ both alter course because of wind changes, or lack of ability to continue on present course, but that doesn't look like the case here.
 

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I agree. But the way I judged it he did not have to alter his course.
We would have cleared by 30'.

So I guess the real question is in a non-race situation how close is OK?
Too close is when risk of collision exists. Is there risk of collision when you have a 30' CPA; especially considering that you have no way of reliably determining the relative rates of leeway of the two vessels? Without a doubt, in my opinion.

You should have fallen off.
 

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I agree. But the way I judged it he did not have to alter his course.
We would have cleared by 30'.

So I guess the real question is in a non-race situation how close is OK?
David - I agree with the "real question", have asked it of myself many times and don't know the answer!!! :)
Paul

On second thought, it doesn't matter if it's a racing or non-racing situation. It only matters if my Wife is aboard, or not!!!
 

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Again, in the absence of mitigating weather, tide and current factors, I can't give an informed opinion. Ten knots of breeze and no current would elicit a different answer than 25 knots and an opposing tidal flow. A thirty-foot gap (a "standard boat length") is reasonable in one instance, and about five lengths too close in the other.
 

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The difficulty is although the downwind boat is described as burdened, it is the only one with a boom and described as sailing. The other has a mast but no boom and could very well be motoring as I took it. In which case he should turn to stb not port unless he was well clear.
In racing where one is reasonably sure both skippers are up with the play, one might well be fairly aggressive, in other situations this is far from certain indeed unlikely I am becoming more conservative. It only needs one to become distracted and lurch off course, and even cut across your bows seemingly without seeing you, to learn to assume nothing.
 

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;lots of reasonable and prudent choices posted here. My favorite and my action would probably be the plan described by RichH. 'take care an joy, Aythya crew
 

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The difficulty is although the downwind boat is described as burdened, it is the only one with a boom and described as sailing. The other has a mast but no boom and could very well be motoring as I took it. In which case he should turn to stb not port unless he was well clear...
Leeward over windward doesn't come into play here. The first priority in rule 12 is that a sailing vessel on a port tack has to keep out of the way of a sailing vessel on a starboard tack. The OP is the give way vessel.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You should have fallen off.

I could not fall off as the break-wall was downwind.
My choices were to tack in front of him or turn 180 degrees.

Slowing down might have helped but not much.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The difficulty is although the downwind boat is described as burdened, it is the only one with a boom and described as sailing. The other has a mast but no boom and could very well be motoring as I took it. In which case he should turn to stb not port unless he was well clear.
Both boats were sailing.
 

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I could not fall off as the break-wall was downwind.
My choices were to tack in front of him or turn 180 degrees.

Slowing down might have helped but not much.
I'm confused by the sketch you provided, then. You said that the other vessel came to port (toward the breakwall) while in the sketch it appears that you had more room in that direction than she did.
 
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