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Old 11-03-2012, 10:09 AM   #61
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You are an attorney?

It's probably important to note that probably less than 1% of pleasure boating is done in uncontrolled areas of the ocean. I don't think the point you are attempting to make is relevant to the discussion.

No I am not an attorney.

Possibly on the east coast you are correct about the 1% comment, especially if you include ski boats etc...

On the west coast almost all boating that is done by TF members is in uncontrolled ocean waters. Here on the west coast we take our trawlers out in the ocean, where large waves caused by wind, ferries and other boats are the norm.

Your comment has me thinking. I have over my time here on TF heard of people talking about waves that we on our coast are constantly exposed to like they are a very big deal. I have just come to realize you have so many protected waters on the east coast that you might go a very long time without having to experience what we on our coast have to go through much of the time.

Furthering that thought process, I suppose that a wake from a larger boat could be a significant event. I have to admit I kinda envy your boating if thats the case.

Here in Seward Alaska almost every time I leave the harbor I'm going to expose my boat to at the very least 3-5' ocean swells. That is a dream day. Much of the time we're in wind blown 5' or larger waves at say 8 seconds, as measured by the noaa bouys. Thats why we look at a boats wake as a non event.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:31 AM   #62
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I've never seen a claim regarding wake damage- and I don't ever think I will..
That doesn't mean there has never been one. And it doesn't mean that a boat owner has never settled a claim outside of his insurance.

I remember a story on another forum about a large boat flying through the Chesapeake and Deleware Canal and damaging several boats at a marina. Some of the boaters got into their boats and chased it down, got the information and eventually were able to collect from the owner of the boat (who was not actually operating it at the time).

Waterfront property owners love the "You are responsible for your wake" thing, they paint it on signs on their docks all along the AICW.

The problem is, to receive compensation for wake damage, you must have three things:

1) Actual damage. Dead people or broken bones, or physically damaged boats. Damage that can be measured in dollars. Cuts and bruises won't do it, spilled coffee won't do it, and scratches on the hull won't do it. Wear and tear on your boat or dock doesn't count. And the damage must be substantial. It would be impractical to try to take someone to court for a $100 claim.

2) You have to be able to identify the offending boat. If you can't see the name or state registration number, you're pretty much out of luck.

3) Proof that the offending boat caused the damage. Witnesses other than yourself, video, etc.

In reality, it's pretty hard to collect for damages caused by boat wakes in most cases. It's the "wild west" on the water, it's every man for himself. It's up to you to protect yourself from other boaters and the damage they may cause to you and your property.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:19 PM   #63
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psneeld, it`s better to think about issues than put downs.
Does this help? Replace the parked car with a fishing dinghy visible and anchored where it should not be. Is it ok for a cruiser to pass fast enough and close enough so its wake throws the fishermen into the water? No, there is a duty of care to the dinghy occupants, whether or not also at fault.
Nobody put you or anyone else down...just your concept relating things to autos when maritime is completely different....so actually it was helpful.... because the rules ARE different if you read a lot of maritime case law.

The very problem with even trying to compare boat vs auto is there are just so many more things that are different, even the law recognizes those differences by being "maritme law"....therefore even the guy in the dingy has a great responsibility for his actions. Sure there are great examples where either the big boat or the little boat are almost totally at fault...but those situations are very few and far between....

As has been posted...uncomfortable from a wake is WAY different than damage and injury.

As far as putting people down...read carefully... there's usually never anything "personal" in my posts...usually I'm just challenging someone's narrow minded or outrageous statement (maybe with one that is equally so...but all fair in internet love and war...). The kettles shouldn't be discussing the pot and its color.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:44 PM   #64
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Quite the interesting discussion. I was particularly amused about the law in Queensland about passing 30m away if on a plane. We're lucky if people pass us half that distance away. Often we don't have much time to turn into their wake. Makes for some fun times.
We tend to be extremely polite about slowing as we pass fishing boats etc, even though they are just outside the channel. There is nowhere else to BE other than in the channel or just outside it as the waterways are narrow.
Someone mentioned that all us TFers on the left coast are boating in the ocean all the time. I think that applies more in the PNW? There are a lot of us in the sf bay and delta who don't get into the pacific much. The bay can be quite challenging though. The delta so far seems pretty benign, other than wake dodging. Been here 9 months so far.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:00 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
That doesn't mean there has never been one. And it doesn't mean that a boat owner has never settled a claim outside of his insurance.

I remember a story on another forum about a large boat flying through the Chesapeake and Deleware Canal and damaging several boats at a marina. Some of the boaters got into their boats and chased it down, got the information and eventually were able to collect from the owner of the boat (who was not actually operating it at the time).

Waterfront property owners love the "You are responsible for your wake" thing, they paint it on signs on their docks all along the AICW.

The problem is, to receive compensation for wake damage, you must have three things:

1) Actual damage. Dead people or broken bones, or physically damaged boats. Damage that can be measured in dollars. Cuts and bruises won't do it, spilled coffee won't do it, and scratches on the hull won't do it. Wear and tear on your boat or dock doesn't count. And the damage must be substantial. It would be impractical to try to take someone to court for a $100 claim.

2) You have to be able to identify the offending boat. If you can't see the name or state registration number, you're pretty much out of luck.

3) Proof that the offending boat caused the damage. Witnesses other than yourself, video, etc.

In reality, it's pretty hard to collect for damages caused by boat wakes in most cases. It's the "wild west" on the water, it's every man for himself. It's up to you to protect yourself from other boaters and the damage they may cause to you and your property.
After you did all that, you would THEN have to show that the offending boat was Negligent in the operation of his boat.

Just proving that the offending boat caused damage to your boat or dock for example would not be enough. You would have to show that the damage was caused due to the fact that the offending boat was operating different than normal and acceptable practice for that given area, or that its wake was larger than what is normal for that area.

If you or your damaged property was not in a no wake zone then it could easily be argued that waves are a generally accepted risk, and that you need to protect your property against that risk.

This is a wonderful discussion and I really enjoy these theoretical debates. They are great in theory, but in practice as Pete indicated, he as an insurance professional has never seen an actual wake damage claim. Thats probably because they are so difficult to sustain.

As far as people settling out of insurance, I think there's a very low probability of that. Few boaters are going to actually write someone a check for "wake damage" I just don't see that happening.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:43 PM   #66
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I'm gonna try this one more time ..........

If Dick (name chosen after considerable thought) goes to a park and throws a ball .... ok. If Dick throws that ball near my head .... ok.

If Dicks ball hits my head, it is my faullt for
a. Being in the Park.
b. Not wearing a helmet.
c. Not ducking.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:08 PM   #67
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Some of the complaints posted made me check to make sure this wasn't a houseboat forum.

If spilled beverages are a problem perhaps drink from a travel mug? If you don't have one aboard check the cup holder of the car you drove to the marina. If loose possessions are creating a hazard it may be time to remove clutter from your boat and stow what remains appropriately for a vehicle operated in a marine environment. Velcro is a handy little invention BTW.

One other danger about wave/wake action on a boat you should be aware of. When you are outside your cabin they may splash and get you or your boat wet. Having a towel aboard may be a prudent.

On a serious note. Prudence is a two way street. Don't blame others for trashing your refrigerator if they didn't pack it.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:48 PM   #68
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I agree that if you are paying attention to what is going on around you, you should not be caught off guard. Back in 2008 I attended a seminar at the Anacortes Trawler Fest that delt with a concept called situational awareness. From what I understand it is something that is taught to fighter pilots. You need to be constantly aware of what is going on around you.
That being said, this is my philosophy: You are going to find two different groups of people out on the water. One group I call "boaters" and the other group I call "people who own boats" Boaters will be looking ahead of their boat and see that group of kayak's or small boat fishing and make a course change away from them. People who own boats really don't have a clue what they are about to inflect on them. The boater slows down to idle speed at the mouth of a bay so his wave does not follow him all the way into the anchorage. People who own boats cut it back 50 yards from the dock and wonder why no one will help them tie up. Twice this past summer I had to raise my anchor and move because another boat anchored to close to me. I have boated in the Northwest for over 50 years and have never before had this happen. I would definitely call these guys "people who own boats"
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:04 PM   #69
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You are going to find two different groups of people out on the water. One group I call "boaters" and the other group I call "people who own boats" "
I think this is a very true statement, and one that has caused many deaths on the water. Many hunters and fishermen tend to think of themselves as sort of one dimensional. In reality they are just as much boaters as the rest of us. They just don't do much or any cruising. They tend to cut short their attention to boating situations, and weather. Boating safety may be the last thing on their minds. That is why every year we hear of fishermen and hunters dying in water accidents.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:34 PM   #70
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-- I would definitely call these guys "people who own boats"

They could also be "people who CHARTER boats". Just go to Friday Harbor on the guest docks and watch the charter boaters try to make their first docking. Or, get passed by a GB 42 less than 20 feet away(in open water) that is going 10-12 knots. Or, have a sail boat anchor too close on 1 and 1/2 to 1 scope.

I have experienced all these in the PNW and they were all bare boat charters.

When boating for pleasure, everyone out on the water wants to enjoy their day. I try to alter course or slow down for kayaks, fishermen, crabbers, and stay out of the way of commercial vessels that are working.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:35 PM   #71
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I'm gonna try this one more time ..........

If Dick (name chosen after considerable thought) goes to a park and throws a ball .... ok. If Dick throws that ball near my head .... ok.

If Dicks ball hits my head, it is my faullt for
a. Being in the Park.
b. Not wearing a helmet.
c. Not ducking.
And this has ANYTHING to do with wakes?
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:02 PM   #72
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I don't think that a boat that cruises at displacement speeds is in a position to pay back a boat the has waked them. I think the emphasis here should be on ways to prevent it from occurring, and mitigating the effects. I have cruised in boats of all speeds. If you will notice Nordhavns up to about 49' come standard with built in furniture. Most smaller trawler style yachts do too. That is far a reason. They are not a steady platform in a seaway.

I may have missed it, but I asked the poster that said he would radio a boat behind for a good pass what responses he has gotten. I still think that on the ICW that is a good plan. In the event that it does not help the situation, I would rather have gotten the boat ready to take a possible wake than to deal with the mess afterwards.

Sure, if it happens, radio a warning as Mr. RT says, but it has already happened. You still had to deal with it.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:15 PM   #73
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They could also be "people who CHARTER boats". Just go to Friday Harbor on the guest docks and watch the charter boaters try to make their first docking. Or, get passed by a GB 42 less than 20 feet away(in open water) that is going 10-12 knots. Or, have a sail boat anchor too close on 1 and 1/2 to 1 scope.

I have experienced all these in the PNW and they were all bare boat charters.
------------------------------------------------
I have seen that too, but sometimes it's just stupid or thoughtless people!!

I was on a DNR buoy in Eagle Harbor this Spring. This 40' sailboat that is from my marina came in just before dark. All the buoys are full, so he drops his hook between the boats instead of further out in the bay. He's on a short scope since there is no room to swing now.

Two hours later at tide change he's within 10 feet of my boat. I yell over at him and honk my horn, finally he comes out of the cabin and see's the situation and shortens the anchor even more. An hour later, he's dragging out of the anchorage and people are fending him off. He picks up his gear and comes back in among us and tries to anchor again. Everybody start yelling and honking at him. He throws his hands in the air in frustration and storms out of harbor.

He has owned that boat a long time, and he's a nice guy by all reports, but he just lacks common sense. Even docking for him is a controlled crash, all hands on deck!! Some people just don't get it and probably shouldn't pilot a boat. . . or drive a car. . . . fly a plane. . . or do anything else that could hurt people or damage property.

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Old 11-03-2012, 05:48 PM   #74
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That being said. The thing to do is slow way down let him pass and turn into that wake taking it on the bow, not the beam. Get INTO his wake and then power back up.

It's scary, it sucks, but it's part of having a trawler. The boat will not roll over due to a wake. (should not) The boat can handle way more rolling than we can.

exactly what u should do if one has the time and opprotunity to do so. That is assuming you even see him approaching. I have been caught in the delta often without warning more than once and almost clobbered more than once. Always by an overtaking vessel at high speed not paying attention. I've yet to own a trawler but i assure you, the above scenario will happen to all small craft at one time or another.

Get his cf number< boat identification number and call him into the coast gaurd to get it on record. Then look around for damage and make him pay. You are responsible for your wake, always.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:52 PM   #75
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........He has owned that boat a long time, and he's a nice guy by all reports, but he just lacks common sense.
Knowing how to anchor or dock a boat is not the same thing as "common sense". Since this guy is from your marina, why don't you help him learn how to anchor or dock a boat?

I'm not suggesting that you give him personal instruction, just point him in the right direction. Let him know about captains who could teach him or even just books on the subject.

Complaining about his lack of skill doesn't really help anyone.
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:54 PM   #76
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I'm gonna try this one more time ..........

If Dicks ball hits my head, it is my faullt for
a. Being in the Park.
b. Not wearing a helmet.
c. Not ducking.
If you hung around an area where there were many balls in the air flying in all directions and that was one of the common events in the park ... yeah, you should have been more watchful or worn a helmet.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:48 PM   #77
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Knowing how to anchor or dock a boat is not the same thing as "common sense". Since this guy is from your marina, why don't you help him learn how to anchor or dock a boat?

I'm not suggesting that you give him personal instruction, just point him in the right direction. Let him know about captains who could teach him or even just books on the subject.

Complaining about his lack of skill doesn't really help anyone.
-----------------------------------------------------

Better people than I have offered him advice. I hear he took a Power Squadron boat handling class last fall in order to get his State Boaters Certificate. Doesn't look like it did much good though does it?

But if you want to send me your phone number, I would be more than happy to put it on his boat. I'm sure he would be delighted to talk with you.

Larry B.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:24 PM   #78
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-----------------------------------------------------

Better people than I have offered him advice. I hear he took a Power Squadron boat handling class last fall in order to get his State Boaters Certificate. Doesn't look like it did much good though does it?

But if you want to send me your phone number, I would be more than happy to put it on his boat. I'm sure he would be delighted to talk with you.

Larry B.
You should help him, you're a lot closer than I am.
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Old 11-04-2012, 06:55 AM   #79
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Someone mentioned that all us TFers on the left coast are boating in the ocean all the time. I think that applies more in the PNW? There are a lot of us in the sf bay and delta who don't get into the pacific much. The bay can be quite challenging though. The delta so far seems pretty benign, other than wake dodging. Been here 9 months so far.
(Seoul, S. Korea) Those of us in the PNW, BC coast, and SE Alaska are generally not in the open ocean. You have to go to the west coast of Vancouver Island for that. Or up into Alaska's Prince William Sound and so forth. And on the inside passage there are a couple or places where the "inside" passage is actually outside, specifically Cape Caution and Dixon Entrance.

But on the inside waters swells are not an issue. What we do get is probably the same as what you get in SFO bay. Wind waves that tend to be quite steep and fairly close together. Even if they are only three or four feet high they can bounce you around a bit and in a wet boat like a GB you get to see how well your wipers work. We have a few large bodies of water that have very long fetches. The Strait of Georgia is the most notorious of these, closely followed by Queen Charlotte Strait and Johnstone Strait. Twenty knot winds can hump up some very impressive waves by the time they get to the downwind end.

And things can really get nasty when the wind opposes the current. And we get some pretty strong currents here from 3 or 4 knots on up into the teens. Put a strong wind against that and it can get downright dangerous for small boats like ours.
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Old 11-04-2012, 01:48 PM   #80
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(Seoul, S. Korea)
But on the inside waters swells are not an issue. What we do get is probably the same as what you get in SFO bay. Wind waves that tend to be quite steep and fairly close together. ...
Sounds familiar, particularly between the Gate and Antioch, especially when tidal currents oppose the wind.
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