sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Right of Way and Who's Bigger

Right of Way and Who's Bigger

'Well, that was close....'   
Here are the Simple Right of Way Rules (not to be confused with reality):

Sailboat vs. Powerboat
A sailboat under sail has the right of way over a powerboat. A sailboat under power becomes a powerboat — see below.

Sailboat vs. Sailboat
Both boats on the same tack: the leeward boat has the right of way.
Boats on opposite tacks: the boat on starboard tack has the right of way.
Note (for the really challenged!): A boat is on the starboard tack when the boom is on the port side (or left side). A boat is on the port tack when the boom is on the starboard side (or right side).

Sailboat under power, or powerboat vs. Powerboat
Powerboats include a sailboat under power, even if the sails are still up: the boat on the right side has the right of way. Simple.

Overtaking Boats
A boat overtaken by another boat has the right of way. The boat being overtaken must stay the course.

Meeting Head-On
When two power driven boats are approaching head-on, neither has the right of way. However, it is usually accepted that you should alter course to starboard (right) and pass port-to-port.

Other Cases
A boat that is racing; a boat that is towing; a boat that is fishing with nets, trawls, etc.; and a boat that has lost its ability to maneuver... all have the right of way.


Are we on a collision course?

How can you tell? Easy! (Method is valid regardless of the distance between the boats). Say you see a boat seemingly coming towards yours at an angle, and you see it just forward of your starboard stay (If you have a hand compass, and you want to impress your neophyte crew, you can also take a bearing of the other boat.) Check again 2 to 3 minutes later. Three things can have happened:

The other boat is now much more forward of your starboard stay. In other words, the bearing of the other boat has moved forward. Result: If both boats maintain speed, the other boat will pass yours ahead of your bow. No risk of collision. If the boat is very far, re-check every 5 minutes.

The boat is now much more aft of your starboard stay. In other words, the bearing of the other boat has moved aft. Result: If both boats maintain speed, the other boat will pass yours behind of your stern. No risk of collision. If the boat is very far, re-check every 5 minutes.

The boat is still at the same place relative to your starboard stay. In other words, the bearing of the other boat has not changed. Result: If both boats maintain speed, there is a probable risk of collision.

In this case, try to evaluate if you have the right of way, using the rules above. If you do not have the right of way; or even if you do, but feel that the situation becomes dangerous because the intention of the other boat is not clear, you must take evasive action. And that action must be clear and unequivocal to the other boat's crew.


Rules for Container Ships and any other sea monsters:


Vessels that are much bigger than yours have the right of way, no matter what - cargo freighters, cruise ships, container ships etc. In theory, there are plenty of situations where they do not have the right of way. However, from experience, most large freighters and some cruise liners simply do not monitor Channel 16, or their watch keeper is asleep. Our advice is to just keep clear. In fact, no matter what size the boat, If there is any chance that the other vessel’s crew cannot see you, just give way. The various tragedies that have occurred over the years with yachts being run down by container ships will go on occurring unless yachts take complete responsibility for the avoidance of collision.


Power gives way to Sail – doesn’t it? – a Blackwattle Story

So there we were, somewhere northwest of Darwin, on our way to Ashmore Reef.
Lazy day, sunshine, great visibility, wind behind us, lunchtime.
‘Ya reckon that container ship is on a collision course?’
‘Which one’
‘The one on our starboard bow, about 1.00 o’clock, about three miles away’
‘O the big red one’
‘Yup’
‘Watch it for a minute’
Silence while we wait for the ship to shift angle. No shift.
‘I reckon he’s going to hit is in about 10 minutes’
‘OK, changing course’
‘Just a minute, engine is meant to give way to sail’ Someone must have been bored that day….
Sigh…. ‘Why don’t you try it?’
(In the following conversation, I have omitted all the ’over’s)
‘Red container ship on our starboard bow, this is yacht Blackwattle on Channel 16’
Very surprisingly, we get an answer
‘Station calling Windhoven, please come in.’ It’s an Italian accent.
‘Windhoven, this is yacht Blackwattle, do you read me.’
‘Yes, Blackwater, I read you – where are you?’
‘We’re on your port bow, and we believe we are on a collision course’
‘Just a minute, I can’t see you. Stand by’
We wait.
‘Blackwater, Windhoven’
‘Windhoven this is Blackwattle – can you see us now?’
‘I have a very small blip on my radar – is that you?’
‘Probably Windhoven. We think we are the only vessel on your port bow. Could you change course please’
‘Blackwater this is Windhoven – could you repeat?’
‘We are on a collision course and I asked you to change course.’
‘We are a very large vessel Sir’
‘Yes I can see that. However, the rule of the sea is that motor is meant to give way to sail, Captain, so could you change course please?’
Now there’s a silence.
‘Blackwater this is Windhoven. Er, it takes us five miles to alter course. Maybe you could be understanding and change course for us please?’
‘Very well, Windhoven, with the greatest of reluctance, we shall change course.’
‘Thank you Sir, have a good day’
‘Thank you and the same to you.’
True story.


Of course, you must see it from the Container Ships’ perspective, as the above story illustrates.

Captain Jim Dargaville, for many years a pilot in the Australian Merchant Marine, tells the story from the point of view of the ship at sea.

WAITING ON TEXT FROM JIM




by Sail World

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=20208

11:44 AM Fri 25 Nov 2005 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Practical

Related News Stories:

31 Jan 2014  Ten boat safety checks every skipper needs to make
05 Jan 2014  In-mast furling - is it the 'no-no' we've always believed?
13 Nov 2013  Product of the week: One Sailor MBS for single-handed docking
29 Oct 2013  Get your DSC-equipped VHF hooked up right
14 Oct 2013  Evolution Autopilot - top honours in Marine Electronics Awards
30 Sep 2013  Product of the Week: Safer and easier docking - SlideMoor
17 Sep 2013  Mountain bike torch great for tough sailing conditions
16 Sep 2013  Product of the Week: Drawer fridge for cool-keeping and accessibility
25 Aug 2013  Rig your own sailing boat? Yes, you can!
23 Aug 2013  Product of the Week: The LED ringed switch
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World













HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
















Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),




2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race by Patricia Nelder, Nova Scotia














Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata by Richard Gladwell,Sail-world.com/nz,


Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ up against funding hurdle for year *Feature   
Melges 32 Sailing Series Napoli - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
Melges 32 Sailing Series - Napoli action shots by Max Ranchi   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica launch new boat   
Emirates Team NZ: Royals duke it out on the Waitemata   
2014 Charleston Race Week - Thousands of sailors descend on Charleston   
The Congressional Cup 2014 - Williams hangs on with a classy crowd   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Notice of Race now available   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Sunshine and smiles on day 2   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XL VIR US