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Old 05-17-2015, 04:38 PM   #21
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Well, FF, always...ALWAYS my adversary , even when I am RIGHT on OTDE, now here. WE, yes WE got him. Yesterday afternoon the Harbormaster of the Marina summoned the owner of the commercial boat(s) responsible. He (owner) tried to make excuses as any good boss would. But have no fear the pilots had a come to Jesus meeting over this one. This was not just a wake....it was a violent assault, dangerous and had the potential to deal out serious injury. Few,if any, were prepared for it as you would be underway.

THe harbormaster invited him (owner) over for coffee between 0745 and 0815 to see for himself. Seems the occupied boats in the mooring field gave the Harbormaster the what for. Harbormaster told me it had been an ongoing problem with this company for some time. The Harbormaster is very influential in San Augustine, bet he knows all of the water cops... A concentrated effort targeting this company by officials could REALLY hurt their business. A safety inspection could be drawn out to an hour...each DAY.

I did not put his head on the end of a Pike... He did it himself.

Some things in life, I feel, are too blatant to just shrug and "let go" without at least an attempt for retribution. If all just "let it go" there would never be a change in behavior. I had my ducks in a row before the Harbormaster took over the battle, I gladly cede the battle to him. He has more arrows in his quiver.

While you miight feel vindicated, the reality is that if the owner decided to treat your area as a no wake zone, if in fact it is not, he was just being nice. He has no requirement to go at no wake speed, and coffee with the local harbormaster won't change that.

I would suggest you and the other boat owners be very thankful that the owner is operating his boats in a manner you prefer, because if he is treated in a "we gotcha way" he can easily and legally speed up again.

I think that your local harbormaster probably nicely requested that he slow down, and the owner probably very nicely agreed but again that does not carry the force of law.
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Old 05-17-2015, 04:40 PM   #22
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And here I thought you were responsible for your own boat wake, anytime anywhere...
Only to a point....the USCG will tell you it will be left up to a Maritime hearing and both parties are responsible for good seamanship.

Wakes are made by boats and travel great distances sometimes...into no wake zones even when the boat complied by slowing well outside the zone. Not being prepared for "some wakes" isn't going to get you anyplace sometimes.

USCG FAQs on Wake Damage
10. What are the regulations concerning wake effects, wake damage, and responsibility? Regarding one's wake, vessels over 1600 Gross Tons (GT) are specifically required by Title 33 CFR 164.11 to set the vessel's speed with consideration for...the damage that might be caused by the vessel's wake. Further, there may be State or local laws which specifically address "wake" for the waters in question.

While vessels under 1600 GT are not specifically required to manage their speed in regards to wake, they are still required to operate in a prudent matter which does not endanger life, limb, or property (
46 USC 2302). Nor do the Navigation Rules exonerate any vessel from the consequences of neglect (Rule 2), which, among other things, could be unsafe speeds (Rule 6), improper lookout (Rule 5), or completely ignoring your responsibilities as prescribed by the Navigation Rules.

As to whether or not a particular vessel is responsible for the damage it creates is a question of law and fact that is best left to the Courts. For more information, contact your local Marine Patrol or
State Boating Law Administrator.
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Old 05-17-2015, 04:46 PM   #23
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Only to a point....the USCG will tell you it will be left up to a Maritime hearing and both parties are responsible for good seamanship.

Wakes are made by boats and travel great distances sometimes...into no wake zones even when the boat complied by slowing well outside the zone. Not being prepared for "some wakes" isn't going to get you anyplace sometimes.

USCG FAQs on Wake Damage
10. What are the regulations concerning wake effects, wake damage, and responsibility? Regarding one's wake, vessels over 1600 Gross Tons (GT) are specifically required by Title 33 CFR 164.11 to set the vessel's speed with consideration for...the damage that might be caused by the vessel's wake. Further, there may be State or local laws which specifically address "wake" for the waters in question.

While vessels under 1600 GT are not specifically required to manage their speed in regards to wake, they are still required to operate in a prudent matter which does not endanger life, limb, or property (
46 USC 2302). Nor do the Navigation Rules exonerate any vessel from the consequences of neglect (Rule 2), which, among other things, could be unsafe speeds (Rule 6), improper lookout (Rule 5), or completely ignoring your responsibilities as prescribed by the Navigation Rules.

As to whether or not a particular vessel is responsible for the damage it creates is a question of law and fact that is best left to the Courts. For more information, contact your local Marine Patrol or
State Boating Law Administrator.
Yes, the "you are always responsible for your own wake" theory as taught in boater education classes is probably the most often mis quoted and mis understood part of boating.
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Old 05-17-2015, 05:01 PM   #24
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Yes, the "you are always responsible for your own wake" theory as taught in boater education classes is probably the most often mis quoted and mis understood part of boating.

One of the issues is..."always responsible" shows up in local/state boating training and probably is in quite a few waterside town laws.

The trick is...most people in towns and local law enforcement are pretty clueless in my experience. Not to take away from the good ones...but when push comes to shove in local courts and the expert witnesses show up...there's a whole new "sheriff" in town. Tough for locals to negate hundreds of years of maritime law and what the USCG basically puts forth.

I spoke to one of the local maritime police about an incident concerning a charter boat operating in my neck of the woods...when I clearly explained all the rules of the road...and provided a copy of the appropriate passages....the conehead fisherman anchored in the middle of a busy channel to the inlet sure didn't have much support when he complained about the charter boats wake. Even the local marine PD seemed pretty impressed by how well the NavRules protect the professional mariner when they act like one.
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Old 05-17-2015, 05:11 PM   #25
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Even in not-posted-no-wake zones, speed limits effectively impose the no-wake requirement. Further, speed limits needn't be posted. For instance, in California the speed limit is 5 mph within a float occupied by people or with boats tied up. That's effectively below the no-wake speed of many boats.
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Old 05-17-2015, 05:19 PM   #26
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See..that's where the rub is.....


In NJ it is no wake within 200 feet of a dock, pier or warf even when not posted.


The trouble is, are you responsible for your wake if you slowed to 5 mph 300 feet away?


You are and you aren't. If you generated a 5 foot wake that carried into the no wake zone and it ripped docks apart, crashed boats and hurt people...sure you are....


But if you generated a 2 foot wake...that carries 500 feet with the current....and that rocked a bunch of boats and someone on one or getting on/off had difficulty...then I would say the doked boat was less seamanlike than the one that was reasonable and slowed well outside the no wake zone.


The trouble with "thinking" you are rock free in a no wake zone obviously has little marine LE traffic in the area or few rescues where multiple boats blow the no wake zone.


People who spend enough time on the water can clearly see the difference of both sides of the coin...but it does piss you off when it seems beyond reasonable.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:03 PM   #27
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I think operating the boat "in a prudent manner" is the key. The idiot anchored in the middle of a busy channel while fishing is not operating in a prudent manner. The Sports Fisherman that passed me in a narrow channel, 6 knot zone, and hit me with a five foot wake from less than a boats length away was not operating In a prudent manner either.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:06 PM   #28
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I think operating the boat "in a prudent manner" is the key. The idiot anchored in the middle of a busy channel while fishing is not operating in a prudent manner. The Sports Fisherman that passed me in a narrow channel, 6 knot zone, and hit me with a five foot wake from less than a boats length away was not operating In a prudent manner either.
So true...that's why the USCG basically says the only recourse is the law...where facts matter...hopefully the truth is somewhere to be found too.

Opinion can be a funny thing...once the law gets involved...funny how much experience and credibility either does or doesn't count.
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Old 05-17-2015, 06:24 PM   #29
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I think operating the boat "in a prudent manner" is the key. The idiot anchored in the middle of a busy channel while fishing is not operating in a prudent manner. The Sports Fisherman that passed me in a narrow channel, 6 knot zone, and hit me with a five foot wake from less than a boats length away was not operating In a prudent manner either.
The key is the 6 knot zone you indicated.

Same situation take away the 6 knot speed zone,narrow channel one boat going hull speed, another wanting to pass. Boat passing is going to throw up a large wake, just to get up speed to pass.

Another situation... I'm anchored in a small cove off of a narrow channel. Boats operating in the channel are at whatever speed they choose. Some throw big wakes.

Another situation, similar to the op's. Protected harbor, with no wake zone. Outside no wake zone is a designated anchorage, with some permenantl moorings. No speed restriction there. Boats hit the gas when they leave the no wake zone. Is that operating in prudently ?
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:19 PM   #30
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So true...that's why the USCG basically says the only recourse is the law...where facts matter...hopefully the truth is somewhere to be found too.

Opinion can be a funny thing...once the law gets involved...funny how much experience and credibility either does or doesn't count.
And imagine trying to explain to a judge and/or jury. Very few of that type item are ever going to make it to court. When they do, it's two sides, neither of which the jury really likes, fighting over topics the jury knows nothing about with experts testifying for both sides. Then it might all hinge on a judge's attitude or jury instructions.

So best thing any of us can do is be prudent and try to avoid issues. If any do arise, then try to resolve through reasonable and calm discussion.

We're in a no wake except for watersports (single engine vessels under 21' engaged in watersports) area. Makes it interesting. But we're use to it, having lived on a lake.
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:38 PM   #31
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I always look for a place to anchor away from crowds and traffic and have not had any serious wake problems while anchored. While underway is a different story, the a/holes who pass from behind to close for me to safely turn into their wake are the ones who need to be marked with a paintball gun.
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:27 PM   #32
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The key is the 6 knot zone you indicated.

Same situation take away the 6 knot speed zone,narrow channel one boat going hull speed, another wanting to pass. Boat passing is going to throw up a large wake, just to get up speed to pass. ...
The passing boat should call the slower boat to slow down some more to effect a pass. This seems to be rarely done, but this Nordic Tug asked for a pass and we reduced speed.




This "running shoe" did not:

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Old 05-17-2015, 08:40 PM   #33
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We have only been seriously waked once (to the point where stuff falls and breaks) and that was by the coast guard in one of those aluminum cabin large inflatable thingys with about 4 outboard motors. I assume he was on a rescue or something important although he could have still given a little more room as he came by. Didn't even see him coming on my backup camera. Kinda keeps you on your toes.
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:54 PM   #34
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We have only been seriously waked once (to the point where stuff falls and breaks) and that was by the coast guard ...
Did you note the boat pictured in post #18 was USCG?
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:04 PM   #35
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Yes Mark I did. This was a little less 'salty' looking but she sure could move!
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:06 PM   #36
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... On the boat's return (when picture was taken), I was prepared, turning into the wake and moving the throttle to idle! ...
Like me and another boat in another situation turning 90 degrees to meet boats' wakes:

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Old 05-17-2015, 09:38 PM   #37
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While you miight feel vindicated, the reality is that if the owner decided to treat your area as a no wake zone, if in fact it is not, he was just being nice. He has no requirement to go at no wake speed, and coffee with the local harbormaster won't change that.

I would suggest you and the other boat owners be very thankful that the owner is operating his boats in a manner you prefer, because if he is treated in a "we gotcha way" he can easily and legally speed up again.

I think that your local harbormaster probably nicely requested that he slow down, and the owner probably very nicely agreed but again that does not carry the force of law.
"Ongoing Problem" and 100 x $20 a day for mooring and "within the City of San Augustine" leads me to believe that this nut WILL be cracked quick, irrespective of no wake zones, operating within the law and so forth. This sh!t will not stand if the Harbormaster determines enough is enough. The visits were just to show the HM was "working" with this guy. Documentation, documentation and more documentation will beat him in the ground. If the message is ignored, then hide and watch.

This city owned Marina and mooring field generates a lot of $ for the city, state and county. One tour boat/party boat operator is not going to continue to piss off the City HM and get by with it. The privat boat/yacht people spend a lot of money in SA, one pissant tour boat company will be replaced quickly.

This operator may have "nicely agreed" but if the St Johns Marine Sheriffs and the city come down he will be out of business.... Like I said...safety checks, license checks and so on and so on. Best thing for everybody is to just SLOW DOWN by the mooring field.
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:45 PM   #38
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Waked in San Augistine

Is the harbormaster God or something?
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Old 05-17-2015, 09:52 PM   #39
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We're in a no wake except for watersports (single engine vessels under 21' engaged in watersports) area. Makes it interesting. But we're use to it, having lived on a lake.

Yes, I tow skiers often up in the aventura area and also lake Sylvia. Have had the police boats called on multiple times only for them to tell the disgruntled people that what I'm doing is perfectly legal. Then again this a 17ft boat and not a 30ft sea Ray.
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:07 PM   #40
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Yes, I tow skiers often up in the aventura area and also lake Sylvia. Have had the police boats called on multiple times only for them to tell the disgruntled people that what I'm doing is perfectly legal. Then again this a 17ft boat and not a 30ft sea Ray.
Well, I use to water ski a lot. The idea of doing it in these areas though has no appeal to me. The stretches are too small (I use to like to ski 20 miles or so at a time) and something about dodging yachts and even worse sailboats who seem to be intent on turning it into a slalom course. I just don't see water skiing as an ICW type activity.
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