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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    632

    Default Who is at fault?

    Ok, today I had a minor incident when returning to my berth. No-one injured, no damage, but there could easily have been.
    Returning to my berth in the marina, I turned 90 deg to starboard into the aisle and the wind was astern more or less. Not strong, 8 or 9 knots maybe. My berth is about 10 boats down on the right hand side and boat is starboard to in the berth. I know the wind will blow me off very quickly and the prop kicks to starboard in astern. So I use the approach I normally use with this direction of wind. My plan is to go down the aisle, turn into the berth (no other boat at the moment so plenty of room), stop the boat halfway in and reverse out into the aisle using the prop walk and wind to bring the bow round almost head to wind. The boat is now pointing back the way I came, nose to wind. Basically I just use the berth to turn around. Then I approach my berth from the other direction, which means as I turn and come alongside, the stern is moving towards the pontoon. I stop the the boat in reverse and the prop walk just stops the stern nicely alongside. Jump off and drop the ropes on, no problem done it many times before.
    So what happened?
    Today as I turned into the aisle no other boats coming out so all ok. Then a trip boat - motor boat about 6 mtres long decides he's coming out out and starts to come down the aisle. By now I am almost at my berth and have initiated the first turn in. I hold up my hand and ask him to stop and wait for me which he does. I continue with the manoevre, slipping the engine into astern and as I glanced behind, the trip boat had decided to try to squeeze through behind me obiously thinking I was in the berth, but it was obvious to anyone that I was not in and secure as I was in the middle of a double berth.
    I quickly engaged forward gear and stopped just short of hitting him. Now I'm at the mercy of the wind, which promptly obliges and pushes me onto the next boat down and I catch a stanchion on his anchor. The noise was worse than the damage. The trip boat helmsman shouted at me and wagged his finger, shaking his head. No I didn't take retribution but felt like it.
    So, no damage but who would have been liable had there been, say I reversed into the trip boat or had caused damage to the boat downwind of me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,451

    Default Re: Who is at fault?

    I think it comes under the heading of overtaking boat keeps clear. I'm not sure at what point you realised that he was pushing past, but it would have helped if you had decided at an earlier stage to settle against your neighbour when parallel and fendered. With the wind blowing off the finger this is quite a common option for me and leaves me in an easy position to sort things out. The trip boat shouldn't have passed until you were clearly in because, whatever people say, berthing into a finger berth isn't always easy.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    The Known Universe
    Posts
    1,074

    Default Re: Who is at fault?

    Common sense I suppose. it could be that the other boat just though that you were in. even though clearly in your mind your not , but in situations like this we need to remember that others cannot read minds and do not know how we do things on a regular basis (your Berthing)
    You did ask him to wait and he did , but then went so I dont think he was been rude to you just a miscomunication on both parties ,
    it happens all the time in every part of life we expect others to know what were doing even if it is blatant .
    But we do not all share the same though process.
    No idea about rules in a Marina an intresting question , do COLREGS work inside a private waterway , like private land
    Maybe some Sea lawyer can tell us
    But I always say most accidents can be associated with poor communication (no blame here just my observations through life)
    Flying birds have no master

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Eastern Atlantic seaboard
    Posts
    3,110

    Default Re: Who is at fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingGoose View Post
    Common sense I suppose. it could be that the other boat just though that you were in. even though clearly in your mind your not , but in situations like this we need to remember that others cannot read minds and do not know how we do things on a regular basis (your Berthing)
    You did ask him to wait and he did , but then went so I dont think he was been rude to you just a miscomunication on both parties ,
    it happens all the time in every part of life we expect others to know what were doing even if it is blatant .
    But we do not all share the same though process.
    No idea about rules in a Marina an intresting question , do COLREGS work inside a private waterway , like private land
    Maybe some Sea lawyer can tell us
    But I always say most accidents can be associated with poor communication (no blame here just my observations through life)
    Don't really need a lawyer:
    Rule 1a
    These Rules shall apply to all vessels upon the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by seagoing vessels.

    The colregs work until they are broken. Making ad hoc decisions or gesturing at another vessel is not wise, IMO.
    I'd rather be tethered to a pad eye than tethered to an iPad.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Home: Kent. Boat: Chichester
    Posts
    43,443

    Default Re: Who is at fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by greeny View Post
    Ok, today I had a minor incident
    .
    .
    .
    So, no damage but who would have been liable had there been, say I reversed into the trip boat or had caused damage to the boat downwind of me?
    You for not giving appropriate sound signals

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: Who is at fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by VicS View Post
    You for not giving appropriate sound signals
    Didn't have my horn in my back pocket and couldn't leave the helm to get it.
    Appreciate the point but don't think blowing a horn would have changed the situation though or shifted the blame.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: Who is at fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quiddle View Post
    Don't really need a lawyer:


    The colregs work until they are broken. Making ad hoc decisions or gesturing at another vessel is not wise, IMO.
    Not sure what the ad hoc decision was that I made and I thought the signal I gave was clear and it seems it was understood because he stopped and waited initially.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: Who is at fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnalison View Post
    I think it comes under the heading of overtaking boat keeps clear. I'm not sure at what point you realised that he was pushing past, but it would have helped if you had decided at an earlier stage to settle against your neighbour when parallel and fendered. With the wind blowing off the finger this is quite a common option for me and leaves me in an easy position to sort things out. The trip boat shouldn't have passed until you were clearly in because, whatever people say, berthing into a finger berth isn't always easy.
    Didn't have a neighbour to settle against as the berth next door is empty. I could have planned to settle against the pontoon and warp across but should not have needed to. When I planned and initiated the manouevre the way was clear until the trip boat came out into the aisle from several berths down. When he came out I don't even think he knew I was there. He just needed to be somewhere else quickly it seems.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,161

    Default Re: Who is at fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by VicS View Post
    You for not giving appropriate sound signals
    Funny that you should say that, reading the thread I thought did he make any sound signal.
    MontyMariner.co.uk
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    37,317

    Default Re: Who is at fault?

    Quote Originally Posted by VicS View Post
    You for not giving appropriate sound signals
    Remind me, what is the correct sound signal for
    I intend to turn out of the fairway and then come back into it?

    I think it's an issue of using a manoeuvre which relies on nobody interrupting.
    Plus not seeing the tripper boat soon enough and anticipating what its intentions were. If it had been possible to see him wanting to pass and let him do so before committing to a complex berth entry, that would have been preferrable.

    Sometimes marinas are just too much going on in too small a space though.

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