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Old 08-24-2018, 07:34 PM   #41
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That is an interesting position to take. The definition of a sailing vessel that I have always used comes from 46 CFR 170.055 - Definitions concerning a vessel. (p)Sailing vessel means a vessel propelled only by sails.
I suppose Congress could change the law to match your understanding..
Which is why a racing sailboat can run the engine to power the hydraulics that swing a canting keel up to weather, after each tack on the wind.
Not sure I approve of it, borderline as it clearly aids performance but despite engine running, it`s not being propelled other than by sails and doesn`t get protested or disqualified.
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Old 08-24-2018, 08:08 PM   #42
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That is an interesting position to take. The definition of a sailing vessel that I have always used comes from 46 CFR 170.055 - Definitions concerning a vessel. (p)Sailing vessel means a vessel propelled only by sails.

I suppose Congress could change the law to match your understanding, but probably not in time to make a difference in the photo from the OP. You know, the one where [B]the fishing boat was on top of the sailboat![\B]
I have never witnessed an under power day shape, I have witnessed rags up and exhaust spewing.

I have argued this before, If it's running, power is available, it's a power boat.
Back to the OP, lack of look out and the lack of maneuvering to avoid a collision has been proven both boats faults before.
A drift fisher was run over in Pensacola bay a while back. It was charged as a 50/50 fault.
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Old 08-25-2018, 07:10 AM   #43
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I have never witnessed an under power day shape, I have witnessed rags up and exhaust spewing.

I have argued this before, If it's running, power is available, it's a power boat.

You know this:
Rule 3 - General Definitions Return to the top of the page
For the purpose of these Rules, except where the context otherwise requires:

(b) The term "power-driven vessel" means any vessel propelled by machinery.

(c) The term "sailing vessel" means any vessel under sail provided that propelling machinery, if fitted, is not being used.
Presumably (b) means a vessel NOT being propelled by machinery is not a power vessel. A sailboat with engine on but not being used for propulsion would likely be NOT a power vessel by this definition.

In light of that, presumably (c) could have been ended with "... if not being used FOR PROPULSION." [my addition] IOW, power available (exhaust spewing) isn't necessarily or by definition power being used for propulsion. If you're arguing that, since the words "FOR PROPULSION" (or equivalent) don't appear there and that (c) is therefore ambiguous... what does case law say?

FWIW, I've neither seen nor heard any credible reports that the sailboat in this incident had it's engine running. None of the several other charter boat captains fishing in that general area at that time have suggested that, as far as I know.

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Old 08-25-2018, 07:26 AM   #44
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Lets not forget rule 2.

If a sailboat has its engine running, and sees they are on a collision course either from wind direction or lack of.....if that collision course could be altered by a sinple push of a lever......

Thats what a prudent seaman would do in compliance with the regs.

Small potatoes, but thats the way the rules work...not in a vacuum where one chooses the one rule that fits best from a certain point of view.

Even pkeasure sailing too near the entrance of a busy channel can be construed as poor seamanship.
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:03 AM   #45
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Lets not forget rule 2.

If a sailboat has its engine running, and sees they are on a collision course either from wind direction or lack of.....if that collision course could be altered by a sinple push of a lever......

Thats what a prudent seaman would do in compliance with the regs.

Small potatoes, but thats the way the rules work...not in a vacuum where one chooses the one rule that fits best from a certain point of view.

Even pkeasure sailing too near the entrance of a busy channel can be construed as poor seamanship.

I agree with you.

I had an experience about years ago where we were sailing downwind in a nice breeze through the Tacoma Narrows (3/4 nm wide so not really narrow). The wind increased dramatically and suddenly we were seriously overpowered with our asymmetric spinnaker. We were hitting 8-9 knots at times (40í sailboat). Unfortunately, a 50í boat was coming up close behind us on our upwind aft quarter at about 20 knots. We were in imminent risk of a broach that would take us into the path of the motoryacht. Jibing was going to be too dangerous a maneuver at that moment. The safest course for us would be to round up, depowering the spinnaker and mainsail. But then again, that would take us into the path fo the motoryacht.

We held our course, were able to let go the sheets on the spinnaker and the motoryacht just got by us as we finally broached off the top of a wave and we passed close to their stern. I had my hands full (literally it took both hands to hold the wheel) so I couldnít initiate a radio call to the motoryacht.

The point is not that the captain of that 50í boat was a jerk, he was just going up the Sound on autopilot and likely was enjoying the scenery of the sailboat ripping along with the spinnaker up. Iím sure he had no idea the difficult I was in and wondered why we made that rather ungainly turn right behind him. He felt he had left plenty of room between us given my current course. As stand-on vessel Iím sure he expected me to simply continue to hold my course not having any idea that I was having a very hard time doing so. The point of the story is that it is a good idea to give sailboats under sail a bit more room than you might a powered vessel under similar circumstances. The sailboat is at the mercy of the wind and that can suddenly change (at least here in the PNW).

Fortunately, nothing broke when broached and things turned out fine. We then were able to shorten sail and continue on.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:16 AM   #46
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Another entry for the caption contest: "Excuse me, do you have any Grey Poupon?".

Glad nobody was killed.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:17 AM   #47
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Thus being under sail in crowded situations where something can get out of hand and cause you to lose contol is..........wait.....Prudent seamanship? Especially when/where one DOESN'T need to be sailing.

In your case Dave..... if out in the middle of nowhere....certainly understandable. Even in confined areas if traffic is light....no big deal to be under sail.

BUT....near Thomas Point Light on a busy weekend like in the story....debateable.

Though I am not saying it was remotely the sailboats fault in this case, I have seen plenty of bad decisions made by sailors. Please no lectures....I can sail pretty well myself.

Sure power or sail can always have issues in crowded situations.....I lost my single engine over a dozen times in the busy intracoastal waterway...but those situations are usually not under the skippers control.
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Old 08-25-2018, 10:19 AM   #48
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You know this:
Rule 3 - General Definitions Return to the top of the page
For the purpose of these Rules, except where the context otherwise requires:

(b) The term "power-driven vessel" means any vessel propelled by machinery.

(c) The term "sailing vessel" means any vessel under sail provided that propelling machinery, if fitted, is not being used.
-Chris
I remember back to open class discussions long ago.

NavRule #3 quotes a smokey line. Legal interpretation can and does ad odors to the smoke quickly.



These ideals are what I have always leaned to; Sailboats are not just sail boats.

Quickly I found the below. No case history though.
I like #4 below; Rocket Boat...



Right of Way Rules | Spinnaker Sailing

Motor vs. Sail: A motor boat is any vessel using an engine regardless of whether it is a sailboat or a motorboat. A sailboat is considered to be a motorboat even if the Sails are up as long as the engine is running. A sailboat that is sailing generally has the right of way over motorboats. But there are some exceptions.


https://definitions.uslegal.com/b/boats/

(3) "Sailboat" means any vessel, equipped with mast and sails, dependent upon the wind to propel it in the normal course of operation.
(a) Any sailboat equipped with an inboard engine is deemed a powercraft with auxiliary sail.
(b) Any sailboat equipped with a detachable motor is deemed a sailboat with auxiliary power.
(c) Any sailboat being propelled by mechanical power, whether under sail or not, is deemed a powercraft and subject to all laws and rules governing powercraft operation.
(4) "Powercraft" means any vessel propelled by machinery, fuel, rockets, or similar device."
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:08 AM   #49
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I think the key word is "propelled"....

Definitions of "type" are irrelavrnt compared to propulsion. my sailboat documentation described the vessel as "oil screw". But only under sail, by the rules I was a "vessel under sail".

But rule 2 covers a lot of ground most boaters just don't comprehend...even after 80 years or so of pleasure boating...even many commercial captains.

That's why there are professional publications interpreting the rules based on many things including maritime court findings
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:53 PM   #50
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Thus being under sail in crowded situations where something can get out of hand and cause you to lose contol is..........wait.....Prudent seamanship? Especially when/where one DOESN'T need to be sailing.
Yup, I agree. My home port is Gig Harbor. Absolutely lovely spot. When I was a kid, it was a much quieter place, filled mostly with fishing boats. I learned to sail in the Harbor and there used to be regattas there on a regular basis. The Thunderbird was designed and built there and they used to race regularly.

Now, it is too crowded. The Yacht Club still runs their junior sailing program, but they are very careful and stay and the head of the harbor so they don’t interfere with boats going in an out. Occasionally, there is a large sailboat that will sail in the harbor, but so far they have been both very careful and very considerate. Keep in mind that the entire harbor is a no-wake zone. The real hazard to navigation are the SUPs.

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In your case Dave..... if out in the middle of nowhere....certainly understandable. Even in confined areas if traffic is light....no big deal to be under sail.
Yeah, 3/4 nm wide channel with hundreds of feet of depth. Pretty wide open.

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BUT....near Thomas Point Light on a busy weekend like in the story....debatable.

True, I don’t know that area at all of course but there are some very busy and tight areas here where I would view it as irresponsible to navigate under sail only if the boat has auxiliary power. Something my Dad always seemed to do and drove me nuts as a kid. Somehow he never got in anyone’s way though... One example for those in the PNW and BC, he and my Mom once went through Dodd Narrows under sail flying their spinnaker. It was in the off season...

However, if there is a lot of traffic near Thomas Point Light, even more reason for the power boat to be more cautious about speed and keeping an watch.
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Old 08-25-2018, 03:02 PM   #51
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But rule 2 covers a lot of ground most boaters just don't comprehend...even after 80 years or so of pleasure boating...even many commercial captains.


I agree that most pleasure boaters donít understand the rules, even if they are familiar with them. I donít have as much experience being around commercial vessels as many here, but in my experience the professionals have been very good. Of course, the collision between the WA State ferry and Nap Time is a stark exception to that. That was a stark example of why Rule 2 is in place and why we are all responsible to it.
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Old 08-25-2018, 06:56 PM   #52
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BUT....near Thomas Point Light on a busy weekend like in the story....debateable.
A. It wasnít the weekend. The Bay was completely empty

B. That is not a crowded section of the bay. We routinely race 25-50 sailboats in that area during busy weekends. No one has ever needed a valet to get the fishing boat off of their companionway.

C. By your logic, a fisherman should not use the public space when it is busy. Seriously?

The rules exist to protect those with limited ability to react. Just because you chose to not understand the people sharing the waterway, doesnít mean you have any special rights.

Get a rule book.
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Old 08-25-2018, 07:36 PM   #53
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Sorry, if I made the mistake about the weekend.

Lived aboard in Annapolis and often cruise past Thomas Point Light.... I choose to disagree.

Explaining the rules to me is funny.....
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:07 PM   #54
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When we talk about who should give way, one factor (of many) is maneuverability.

Sailboat speed (under sail or power) under normal circumstances is determined by hull speed. There is, however, a big difference in maneuverability when the boat is under sail versus under power.

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Old 08-26-2018, 06:57 AM   #55
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Quickly I found the below. No case history though.
I like #4 below; Rocket Boat...

Right of Way Rules | Spinnaker Sailing

Motor vs. Sail: A motor boat is any vessel using an engine regardless of whether it is a sailboat or a motorboat. A sailboat is considered to be a motorboat even if the Sails are up as long as the engine is running. A sailboat that is sailing generally has the right of way over motorboats. But there are some exceptions.

https://definitions.uslegal.com/b/boats/

(3) "Sailboat" means any vessel, equipped with mast and sails, dependent upon the wind to propel it in the normal course of operation.
(a) Any sailboat equipped with an inboard engine is deemed a powercraft with auxiliary sail.
(b) Any sailboat equipped with a detachable motor is deemed a sailboat with auxiliary power.
(c) Any sailboat being propelled by mechanical power, whether under sail or not, is deemed a powercraft and subject to all laws and rules governing powercraft operation.
(4) "Powercraft" means any vessel propelled by machinery, fuel, rockets, or similar device."

I suspect secondary sources like that don't carry the same (or even any) weight in court as would CFRs. Especially when they disagree -- or at least appear to disagree -- with definitions in the COLREGS, as does the Spinnaker Sailing quote.

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Old 08-26-2018, 07:07 AM   #56
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OK I'll admit I haven't read every post here but have many.
It seems most are focusing on rules reagrding stand on vs give way vessels and ignoring the general rules of the need to maintain a lookout... especially important on a sailing vessel with a couple blind spots.
Also, and likely more pertinent in this case is the reqmt to take evasive action to avoid a collision regardless of which boat has the "right of way".
Along with that, one needs to take action early enough and deliberate enough to not only avoid the collision but to make the move obvious to the other vessel.
Just a guess, as noone has the facts here but I'd be willing to place my bet on a ruling of a 50/50 responsibilty (or pretty close to that) because both had the above respinsibilities and apparently neither had the reqd lookout or took the proper action.
I would also bet we see this one written up in one or more articles like Boat US Mag.
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:03 AM   #57
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My take-a-way was: STAY AWAY FROM COMMERCIAL VESSELS.
Would you classify that small charter boat as a commercial vessel?
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:21 AM   #58
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OK I'll admit I haven't read every post here but have many.
It seems most are focusing on rules reagrding stand on vs give way vessels and ignoring the general rules of the need to maintain a lookout... especially important on a sailing vessel with a couple blind spots.
Also, and likely more pertinent in this case is the reqmt to take evasive action to avoid a collision regardless of which boat has the "right of way".
Along with that, one needs to take action early enough and deliberate enough to not only avoid the collision but to make the move obvious to the other vessel.
Just a guess, as noone has the facts here but I'd be willing to place my bet on a ruling of a 50/50 responsibilty (or pretty close to that) because both had the above respinsibilities and apparently neither had the reqd lookout or took the proper action.
I would also bet we see this one written up in one or more articles like Boat US Mag.

Wish I lived closer to you--I'd like to take you up on that bet. Given what I've read here and through other sources, I would bet that the power charter would be held to at least 90 percent responsibility. It sounds as though the sailboat DID have proper lookout as they were trying to hail the power boat by radio and sound signal prior to attempting evasive maneuver when situation went to extremis. As stand on vessel they were obligated to maintain course until it was clear that the collision could be averted by their actions alone. They may have waited a bit too long to determine that the power boat wasn't keeping watch or didn't know the Colregs before acting on their own, thus my willingness to concede some minimum responsibility to them. It will be interesting and hopefully educational to see the final determination and evaluation of the situation.
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:38 AM   #59
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Anyone have more info than than the post #1 article?

The one without much info, let alone facts?
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:56 AM   #60
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They were just doing what they were taught to do. The power boat in the picture got a little higher in the sails.
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