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  1. #151
    timbartlett Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSister View Post
    I think both you and Refueler are mistaken in believing in a general requirement to avoid turning to port, though this does seem a very popular misconception. We can all (except in two very specific situations) legitimately turn merrily to port or starboard, as our fancy takes us, or the demands of safety or convenience dictates.
    When two power-driven vessels are meeting on reciprocal or nearly reciprocal courses so as to involve risk of collision each shall alter her course to starboard... When two power-driven vessels are crossing so as to involve risk of collision, the vessel which has the other on her own starboard side shall keep out of the way and shall.... avoid crossing ahead of the other vessel.
    I've taken out all the "if the circumstances etc. etc.", but the gist of these two is "alter course to starboard.
    A power-driven vessel which takes action in a crossing situation in accordance with sub-paragraph (a)(ii) of this Rule to avoid collision with another power-driven vessel shall, ... not alter course to port for a vessel on her own port side.
    The most common situation for this situation to apply is two PDVs croassing, where the stand-on vessel decides to alter course -- i.e. faced with a "rogue" approaching from her port side. In other words, she is told to alter course to starboard. of course the situation would be quite different if, for instance, the stand-on vessel were a fishing vessel with a PDV crossing from starboard. And although Rule 19 is too long to quote from, but it effectively allows altering course to port only when overtaking another vessel or when the other vessel is approaching from the starboard side
    So in the overwhelming majority of potential collisions, it seems to me that altering to starboard is the preferred or only legitimate option for a PDV. Sailing vessels are different. But as most professionals work on power driven vessels, it is quite understandable that the "avoid altering to port" is adopted as a safe general principle.

  2. #152
    VO5 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by timbartlett View Post
    I've taken out all the "if the circumstances etc. etc.", but the gist of these two is "alter course to starboard.

    The most common situation for this situation to apply is two PDVs croassing, where the stand-on vessel decides to alter course -- i.e. faced with a "rogue" approaching from her port side. In other words, she is told to alter course to starboard. of course the situation would be quite different if, for instance, the stand-on vessel were a fishing vessel with a PDV crossing from starboard. And although Rule 19 is too long to quote from, but it effectively allows altering course to port only when overtaking another vessel or when the other vessel is approaching from the starboard side
    So in the overwhelming majority of potential collisions, it seems to me that altering to starboard is the preferred or only legitimate option for a PDV. Sailing vessels are different. But as most professionals work on power driven vessels, it is quite understandable that the "avoid altering to port" is adopted as a safe general principle.

    Correct.

  3. #153
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    Default Standing Up for the Right to Turn Left!

    Quote Originally Posted by timbartlett View Post
    Rule 19 is too long to quote from, but it effectively allows altering course to port only when overtaking another vessel or when the other vessel is approaching from the starboard side
    You're obviously working with a different set of Colregs to me! Here's the International Rule 19 in its entirety (below). Thank you for drawing my attention to a second rule with a port turn restriction, but you'll see it applies only in restricted visibility (fog, etc.) AND when you detect the other vessel only by radar. Neither of those applied in the situation under discussion.
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    Rule 19 CONDUCT OF VESSELS IN RESTRICTED VISIBILITY
    (a) This rule applies to vessels not in sight of one another when navigating in or near an area of restricted visibility.

    (b) Every vessel shall proceed at a safe speed adapted to the prevailing circumstances and condition of restricted visibility. A power driven vessel shall have her engines ready for immediate maneuver.

    (c) Every vessel shall have due regard to the prevailing circumstances and conditions of restricted visibility when complying with the Rules of Section I of this Part.

    (d) A vessel which detects by radar alone the presence of another vessel shall determine if a close-quarters situation is developing and/or risk of collision exists. If so, she shall take avoiding action in ample time, provided that when such action consists of an alteration in course, so far as possible the following shall be avoided:
    (i) An alteration of course to port for a vessel forward of the beam, other than for a vessel being overtaken;
    (ii) An alteration of course toward a vessel abeam or abaft the beam.

    (e) Except where it has been determined that a risk of collision does not exist, every vessel which hears apparently forward of her beam the fog signal of another vessel, or which cannot avoid a close-quarters situation with another vessel forward of her beam, shall reduce her speed to be the minimum at which she can be kept on her course. She shall if necessary take all her way off and in any event navigate with extreme caution until danger of collision is over.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Samphire Owners Association
    http://www.samphireyachts.org

  4. #154
    timbartlett Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSister View Post
    You're obviously working with a different set of Colregs to me!
    So it would seem.
    The ones I'm referring to are the ones in MSN 1781 www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/msn_1781-2.pdf, which include three separate rules that apply in daylight, all of which strongly discourage altering course to port: 14, 15, and 17c.
    Yes, Rule 19 only applies in restricted visibility. It says so in the title of Section 3, the title of rule 19 itself, and the text of its first paragraph. I didn't think it necessary to reiterate something that could hardly be less ambiguous.
    I agree that 19d applies only to vessels with radar. But 19e -- the bit that applies to vessels without radar -- says
    every vessel which hears apparently forward of her beam the fog signal of another vessel, or which cannot avoid a close-quarters situation with another vessel forward of her beam, shall reduce her speed to be the minimum at which she can be kept on her course. She shall if necessary take all her way off and in any event navigate with extreme caution until danger of collision is over.
    That, to me, seems to be saying "slow down or stop" -- not "turn left".
    Of course none of these apply to the sail-meets-power situation that started this thread.
    In that particular instance, there appears to be nothing in the colregs that would have prevented the ship from altering course to port (except, possibly, the presence of another ship, several miles away on his port quarter. But nor was there anything to prevent him altering course to starboard.
    The problem is not that he did the wrong thing, but that he left it too late before doing anything at all. The only explanation (other than indifference) appears to be that he failed to recognise a solitary green light as the starboard light of an unpowered vessel.
    I'm afraid I don't think the idea that the incident was so far offshore that a green light was unlikely to be a sailing boat really holds water: anyone sailing from Portland Bill to Start Point is likely to have been further offshore than Miss Watson was at the time.
    BTW, I'm not saying she was whiter than white, either -- just suggesting that it wasn't quite as one-sided as some reports made out.
    Last edited by timbartlett; 30-10-09 at 13:07.

  5. #155
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    Just as a general comment, based on my sailing experience, I beleive that large commercial vessels never change course to avoid sail boats. Whether thats because they dont see me, teh old mans against it , or what. The majority simply steam on regardless. As a result when at sea I simply always take the avoiding action. and I beleive thats what the vast majority of commercial vessels expect me to do. ( I've been thanked over the VHF enough)

    I also beleive that long distance single handing is inherently dangerous, as it requires the boat to have periods when no one is on watch. Thats why JW got into trouble, nothing else. The rules do not allow for the suspension of watch keeping.

  6. #156
    john_morris_uk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
    Just as a general comment, based on my sailing experience, I beleive that large commercial vessels never change course to avoid sail boats. Whether thats because they dont see me, teh old mans against it , or what. The majority simply steam on regardless. As a result when at sea I simply always take the avoiding action. and I beleive thats what the vast majority of commercial vessels expect me to do. ( I've been thanked over the VHF enough)

    I also beleive that long distance single handing is inherently dangerous, as it requires the boat to have periods when no one is on watch. Thats why JW got into trouble, nothing else. The rules do not allow for the suspension of watch keeping.
    Firstly please read the other threads on your attitude to see that you are wrong about the vast majority of 'big ships'. Those of us who have experience of big ships can relate how the vast majority of them DO take avoiding action when on a collision course with a sailing vessel. They can also get VERY FRUSTRATED when sailing vessels behave unpredictably.

    Secondly from my experience of sailing boats also confirms my first point that the majority of ships DO take avoiding action when necessary. It might not be as obvious as some sailing boats would like it to be as they often don't like to waste fuel and time by altering course very much, but most ships take their watchkeeping duties seriously and have altered to avoid you before you realise what is happening. (This doesn't mean that you should sail into the path of a ship regardless - that would be stupid, but often sailing on and watching carefully allows to to see that the risk of collision doesn't actually exist: the ship has altered for you and you both go cheerfully on your way.)

    Thirdly, what are you doing on your VHF? There have been numerous cases of collisions being aided by chat on VHF. Even out in mid ocean when I have chatted to the bored watchkeeping officer of some merchant ship in site, its easy to get confused as to who you are talking to. There is sometimes another ship out of sight, but within VHF range to confuse the issue.

    I humbly suggest that the general rule for VHF and IRPCS should be 'Don't use the VHF - it often confuses things'.

    Your final point about single handed sailing is often the subject of long and undecided debate. I respect your point of view, but don't agree with it.
    Last edited by john_morris_uk; 30-10-09 at 08:14.
    Wishing things away is not effective.

  7. #157
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    Default But not always..

    Quote Originally Posted by john_morris_uk View Post

    I humbly suggest that the general rule for VHF and IRPCS should be 'Don't use the VHF - it often confuses things'.
    Since the advent of AIS, allowing positive identification of a vessel in a potentially close quarters situation, it can be useful to give the OOW a call on the VHF to check whether or not you have been seen and if so, what his/her intentions are. Not much room for confusion there, in the open sea, at least.

    By the way, I have read some incredible assertions in this thread about supposed attitudes of shipmasters and OOWs in Merchant ships. I have never met a fellow professional who is unprepared to alter course for a yacht. It is no big deal for even the largest ships to make a course alteration and certainly does not require the OOW to seek permission from the Master.

  8. #158
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    vyv_cox is online now Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
    Just as a general comment, based on my sailing experience, I beleive that large commercial vessels never change course to avoid sail boats.
    I disagree. This season we were in the north Aegean on a heavily traversed route for shipping between Istanbul and southern point of Greece. On several occasions ships clearly changed course to avoid us. My previous experience in the North Sea off Holland, a very heavily used area for shipping, also suggests that they were almost as careful as we were in avoiding close approach. At night we have been called on VHF to assure us that they were aware of our presence.

  9. #159
    john_morris_uk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayBee View Post
    Since the advent of AIS, allowing positive identification of a vessel in a potentially close quarters situation, it can be useful to give the OOW a call on the VHF to check whether or not you have been seen and if so, what his/her intentions are. Not much room for confusion there, in the open sea, at least.

    By the way, I have read some incredible assertions in this thread about supposed attitudes of shipmasters and OOWs in Merchant ships. I have never met a fellow professional who is unprepared to alter course for a yacht. It is no big deal for even the largest ships to make a course alteration and certainly does not require the OOW to seek permission from the Master.
    I readily accede your point. We don't have AIS yet, but I can see that it makes the process a lot easier - especially if you have an integrated radar/plotter/ais system and cross check the data against each other.
    Wishing things away is not effective.

  10. #160
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    Default Re: John _Morris_UK - more on AIS

    John, I am certain that if you fit an AIS receiver you will find it very useful in areas of high traffic density; perhaps more so when you haven't seen a ship for days and the one that comes over the horizon has your name on it, so to speak.

    This summer, on our way back from the Azores we encountered the Eugen Maersk, one of the largest container ships in the world, with an AIS predicted CPA of less than 0.1 miles.
    I called the ship and was immediately answered by the OOW, who confirmed that he had seen us. He also told us that he was about to alter course for another ship, which had just appeared on our AIS plot, and that in so doing he would be giving us a wide berth. All of this in a very amicable and professional manner. It was late afternoon and the other ship was on a westerly course, placing us dead ahead of him and directly in the sun's path. This ship, which was the stand on vessel with respect to the Eugen Maersk had NOT seen us, but a quick call on the VHF resolved the situation and he altered course also. No problem.

    Of course, not everyone out there is transmitting AIS.......
    Regards
    JB

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