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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    298

    Default Are sailors standards of behaviour declining

    Went to Porlock Weir from Cardiff over the weekend. First time visit. The plan was to anchor off and I had phoned the very helpful harbour master for local knowledge on anchoring locations. There were two minor incidents that make me question the manners and competence of other people who were also anchoring there.

    1) We were edging in perpendicular to the shore to the recommended location, monitoring the depth as it reduced. We were proabably 300 meters from shore and 100m from the spot where we planned to anchor. A c. 40 foot sailing boat had been following us and steamed close past us at about 7 knots under engine and promptly dropped anchor directly in front of us. He obviously knew that we were just about to anchor in his favourite spot and decided to go all out to sneak in first. Dreadful manners. As we altered course around him he shouted something about the holding being good here, totally oblivious to his bad behaviour. The only redeeming bit of the incident was that I kept my promise to my wife that I would control my tendency to lose my temper and confront people like that somewhat forcefully.

    2) The holding ground at Porlock is somewhat suspect and we had delayed a decision to go there until we were sure that we had a good wind forecast overnight - c. 8 knots offshore. In reality the wind picked up to 20-25knots at about midnight and stayed roughly that way until morning. Other than our bad mannered friend mentioned above there were two other boats who had arrived after us, a new looking 35 foot power boat and a new looking 40 foot sailing boat. I had set a anchor alarm and it went off at about 2.00am. I ran on deck and saw two sets of steaming lights (red, green and white above) about 200 metres and 300 metres away respectively heading straight for us. I was in a bleary(beery) state, just woke up to an alarm after 2 hours sleep and it was a very frightening sight. I grabbed a high powered torch and shone it on the nearest boat and thankfully could see no bow wave and an empty bridge deck. Same for the second boat. Both boats had anchored with full steaming navigation lights on. How can anyone with enough money and experience to buy a 100k plus boat be so incompetent?

    Rant over.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SW Scotland
    Posts
    17,895

    Default Re: Are sailors standards of behaviour declining

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch01527 View Post
    1) We were edging in perpendicular to the shore to the recommended location, monitoring the depth as it reduced. We were proabably 300 meters from shore and 100m from the spot where we planned to anchor. A c. 40 foot sailing boat had been following us and steamed close past us at about 7 knots under engine and promptly dropped anchor directly in front of us. He obviously knew that we were just about to anchor in his favourite spot and decided to go all out to sneak in first. Dreadful manners. As we altered course around him he shouted something about the holding being good here, totally oblivious to his bad behaviour. The only redeeming bit of the incident was that I kept my promise to my wife that I would control my tendency to lose my temper and confront people like that somewhat forcefully.
    Is it possible that you were going very slowly indeed and that he, knowing the area well, saw no reason to wait for you? His telling you about some good holding sounds like friendliness, and anyway you were planning to anchor 100m away.

    That said, rushing to overtake people annoys me to. Little tip to motorboat "Lady B-------- of Beaumaris": when you're on the plane pushing past a couple of sailing yachts at the entrance to Campbeltown Marina, maybe give them more than 20' clearance. And get off your bloody phone.
    "Seamen are always wanting to do things the proper way; and I like to do them my way."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Are sailors standards of behaviour declining

    Quote Originally Posted by JumbleDuck View Post
    Is it possible that you were going very slowly indeed and that he, knowing the area well, saw no reason to wait for you? His telling you about some good holding sounds like friendliness, and anyway you were planning to anchor 100m away.
    .
    That would be a very charitable view. I was planning to anchor exactly where he did as recommended by the harbour master as a patch of good holding sand/mud ground in a otherwise mainly shingle. I do not question his right to anchor there just his standard of good manners.

    He overtook me at full speed slowed down immediately and stopped 50 yards directly in front of my bow as we were still moving. He must have known that we were preparing to drop anchor. I took his comment as an explanation for his behaviour not useful advice to me. My mate who was with me is a Yachtmaster examiner and his verdict was “ what a complete plonker”. Anchor rodes in the upper Bristol Channel are typically 50- 70m so he knew that he was forcing me to abandon my approach and choose another spot some distance away from him.
    Last edited by Dutch01527; 03-09-18 at 08:59.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    19,961

    Default Re: Are sailors standards of behaviour declining

    I suppose that the increase in bad behaviour is to some extent the inevitable result of many more craft being around and hence more encounters, good or bad. My impression is that the later generation of sailors who come in at the 35' level without having an apprenticeship in small craft tend to lack refinement, both in boat-handling and manners. Bad behaviour was always there, though. I remember being in St Peter Port in the early '90s We had already tired of the four middle-aged people outside us in a scruffy boat called something like Sing-Sang. One afternoon I was up the mast for a short time when they wanted to come across. My wife told them not to because I was aloft but they all charged across, with me hanging on for life as our then Sadler 29 swayed alarmingly.

    Even in Holland, once held to be a place where seamanship ruled, there is a new generation which can be quite arrogant. The three grossest violations of rule 13 about overtaking craft have all been from young Dutchmen who seemed to think that my smaller boat ahead of them was obliged to get out of their way, all in open water. (I have still have positive feelings about their nation nevertheless).
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Boat - Clyde, Home - Overlooking the Tamar
    Posts
    3,950

    Default Re: Are sailors standards of behaviour declining

    I acknowledge how annoying such an incident can be. We had something similar in the Crinan this year. Knob pushing forward overtaking us on the canal to get in the next lock first....yawn....

    Regrettably our modern society is often inward looking and self serving; many people no longer think of others, only themselves, and it makes us all poorer. Manners maketh man.

    I find the only feasible solution is to maximise the distance between myself and the self-identified knob.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Greenwich
    Posts
    6,533

    Default Re: Are sailors standards of behaviour declining

    I don’t see anything unusual in what you describe even going back 20 or 30 years and we spend most nights on the hook - almost every night one or two boats put all lights on. It’s silly but slightly less annoying than strong flashing lights which I see more and more.

    As for beating you to the space it’s first come first served and you have no right to the space or anything to complain about. You only have to be beaten to a space a few times to start the habit of pushing up the throttle the moment you spot another yacht in the vicinity just like you would or if you spot a seat on a train and your competitors are all able bodied like you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    21,199

    Default Re: Are sailors standards of behaviour declining

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch01527 View Post
    1) We were edging in perpendicular to the shore to the recommended location, monitoring the depth as it reduced. We were proabably 300 meters from shore and 100m from the spot where we planned to anchor.
    If you were "edging in" perhaps he had no reason to think you were aiming for a anchoring spot 100m away.

    To mean edging implies that you are looking to drop the anchor pretty much immediately and it would seem perfectly sensible for the other boat to pass and get out of your way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Are sailors standards of behaviour declining

    Quote Originally Posted by bedouin View Post
    If you were "edging in" perhaps he had no reason to think you were aiming for a anchoring spot 100m away.

    To mean edging implies that you are looking to drop the anchor pretty much immediately and it would seem perfectly sensible for the other boat to pass and get out of your way.
    By edging I mean about 2 knots. I still think that sweeping past at full speed and stopping 50 yards dead ahead is bad manners. I would have hit him in less than 30 seconds if I had not manoeuvred. He was hell bent on his favourite spot and pushed past to get it despite me being already on my approach. I was 300 yards from the beach heading straight at it. Not dangerous and not against any regulations but boorish behaviour in my opinion.
    Last edited by Dutch01527; 03-09-18 at 10:04.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    21,199

    Default Re: Are sailors standards of behaviour declining

    Quote Originally Posted by Dutch01527 View Post
    By edging I mean about 2 knots. I still think that sweeping past and stopping 50 yards ahead is bad manners. I would have hit him in less than 30 seconds if I had not manoeuvred. He was hell bent on his favourite spot and pushed past to get it despite me being already on my approach. Not dangerous and not against any regulations but boorish behaviour in my opinion.
    If he stopped 50 yds away and you were 100m from your preferred spot it sounds as if he left you enough space anyway (depending on depth etc).

    I don't see how you think he could be expected to know where you were heading for.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Are sailors standards of behaviour declining

    I'm rather surprised at some of the replies above. If a boat is proceeding with caution, esp if it is heading towards the beach it is evident it is intent on doing something - most likely anchoring. In any case it clearly isn't an occasion for overtaking until his intentions are clear. To blast right past it and anchor dead ahead is appalling manners and lousy seamanship. Sorry, that's pretty black and white to me. It's the same as pushing past a slow-moving person heading for a seat on a train and diving into it in front of them.

    I was entering the narrow approach to Lowestoft bridge the other day following a line of five or six other yachts at a respectful distance when a small Bendytoy that had been following me at in imprudently close distance suddenly shot ahead to an abeam position as the walls narrowed, realised he was getting into a tight spot, hauled the power back and then hung on alongside for what seemed like a long while which only made the situation worse, and then gunned it ahead again passing maybe 5m ahead of me. I had to slow to give myself safe searoom as he too had to slow as he found he was catching up the other slow boats in front at an unhealthy rate, the reason I was going slowly in the first place. Not what you want in the mouth of a lift-bridge.

    Incrediblty bad seamanshp, let alone manners or common sense. They're out there all right.
    Last edited by Old Bumbulum; 03-09-18 at 10:36.

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