sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Navigation Rules essential terms made simple for all sailors
Navigation Rules essential terms made simple for all sailors


'SWIllustration-NavRules'    Captain John Jamieson

Sail inside sheltered waters, along the coastline, or offshore and you will encounter power vessels, sailing vessels, commercial tugs and tows, and merchant ships from around the world. And yet, one of the most misunderstood parts of navigation--definitions--continues to confuse. And that alone has contributed to collisions at sea. Learn this new, simplified way of learning essential terms for safer sailing worldwide!

Navigation Rules definitions are--I believe--some of the most controversial. Time and again, you will see arguments that take one side or the other. But in my mind, the definitions will become crystal clear once you understand the logic of the rule.

Indeed, I believe this knowledge could one day help you to avoid collision with another boat or ship! Read on to discover a new way to look at the Rules and those vital definitions that will lead you to safer sailing on any body of water in the world.

How the Rules Define Your Responsibility:

Rule 2--'Responsibility'--states that your crew needs a basic knowledge of the Rules too. And that means a heck of lot more than just basic navigation lights to turn on when it gets dark. Or call the captain if you see something and don't know what to do. This applies to newbies and veterans, friends, spouse, or volunteer crew. Unless they are paying passengers, they are crew. And Rule 2 uses the specific word 'crew'.

Know These Navigation Rules 'Definitions' :

Read through these most vital 'need to know' definitions. Understand the basic definitions so that you will know how to maneuver in sight of another vessel, what lights to turn on (or turn off!) in periods of darkness or reduced visibility, and what signals to sound to maneuver with another vessel or to warn others of your location during low visibility.
Keep in mind that the Navigation Rules were written with one purpose in mind--to prevent collisions between vessels. So in my mind, it makes good 'sea-sense' to start here--at the definitions--to make the rest of the Rules so much easier to understand.

1. Power Vessels (when not using sails):

If you are being propelled --or pushed--through the water by your engine, then you are a power-driven vessel. This applies whether you have the gear in forward or reverse. Some would argue that when you have the gear in neutral, you are no longer a power-driven vessel. I believe that would be a tough argument in Admiralty court (see more on this below) because others would see exhaust water at your stern. It might be quite difficult to prove that your engine was not being used to propel you through the water.

2. Sailing Vessels:
The Rules do not mention the word 'sailboat', but they use amplification along with the word 'vessel'. A 'Sailing vessel' operates under sail alone. If she has propelling machinery fitted, it is not 'being used' (the Rules state 'being used' and make no mention as to whether the shifter has been engaged). If you have your engine on, you are no longer a sailing vessel. You are a 'Power-driven vessel'. Why?

You can bet if you were involved in a collision and another skipper saw exhaust water coming from your stern tube, he or she would have a good, solid argument that you were under power. How could you prove otherwise?

Having your engine on to charge batteries means your propelling machinery 'is being used'. Make it simple and consider that if you start your engine--bingo--you just became a 'power-driven vessel'. And you must maneuver in all of the ways the Rules require for power-driven vessels.

3. Vessel Engaged in Fishing :

Here we begin what I like to call the 'nonsense' logic you see so read on forums or discussion groups here and there. That's where folks seem to argue against what I like to call 'reality' logic--or the logic of why this particular definition was written in the first place. Indeed, some of this could most likely be the failure to read the entire sentence or paragraph.

And this one on fishing shows a perfect example of this...

If you plant a fishing pole at the stern rail and throw a line in the water, you might think you are fishing. But the Rules do not. Note the critical last three words '...which restrict maneuverability'.

In no way does a small fishing line attached to a portable pole restrict your ability to get out of the way of an oncoming ship to avoid collision. And that includes charter boats with dozens of folks casting rod and reel out for game fish. That doesn't even come close to qualifying as something that restricts the maneuverability of the charter boat to clear out of the path of an oncoming ship.

I believe it helps to always go back and think about why the Rules were written in the first place. Why go to the trouble? Those wise men gathered together from nations from all around the world had one purpose in mind. To create a universal set of Rules that if followed, would prevent collisions between vessels.

And make them simple enough that mariners of all seagoing nations on earth could follow one set of Rules in one slender, 'Reader's Digest' size book to keep their crews and vessel safe on any body of water in the world.
So in the case of having a pole out with a line in the water, how difficult would it be to get out of the way of a big ship headed your way? In a pinch, you could reel in the line or cut it if necessary. Even toss the whole rig over the side in an absolute do-or-die emergency. Sure, it would be inconvenient, but not as much so as a collision; that could ruin anyone's sailing day!

Commercial fishing vessels are a whole different story. They use heavy commercial gear weighing thousands of pounds hanging over the side or astern. Their massive commercial fishing nets will often be stretched for a half mile or more behind the vessel or beneath the sea, filled with tons upon tons of fish.

Any sailboat or power boat has an obligation to stay clear of commercial fishing vessels. And commercial fishing vessels have an obligation (as we will see later) to indicate the nature of their work with special shapes (by day) or lights (by night).

4. Vessel Not Under Command:

Lose your means of propulsion, unable to steer your boat, or howling wind and seas dismast your rigging and you fall under the status of 'Not Under Command'. Note the two key phrases that signify loss of propulsion or steerage: 'unable to maneuver' and 'unable to keep out of the way of another vessel'.

So, if you are unable to steer, sail, power, or row your way because of some exceptional circumstance (as described earlier), then other vessels described earlier need to stay clear of you.

Some sailors have asked whether this also applies to a small sailboat hove-to (lying beam to or almost beam to the seas with a reefed mainsail or trysail and a backed storm jib or no jib) in storm conditions. I believe it does not, because that vessel has a means of propulsion--her sails--in good order. In an emergency, the watch could fall off the wind and move out of the way of an approaching vessel.

On the other hand, if your sails were shredded in the same storm and your engine would not start, you would be covered under the 'not under command' status. You must indicate this to others with the proper shapes (by day) or navigation lights (by night).

5. Restricted in Ability to Manoeuver:

You may have heard the term 'RAM' that's used by sailors to describe the NavRules unique 'Restricted in the Ability to Maneuver' status. These vessels are 'restricted in the ability to maneuver from the nature of their work.

Indeed, this definition has had its 'fuzzy logic' argument that sailing vessels could be in a 'RAM' status in super light or super heavy weather. But as you will see, this just does not qualify to put you into this privileged status.

The key phrase here states 'a vessel which from the nature of her work'. Let's stop there and look at that last word...'Work'...which means just that. This would not mean sailing for recreation on a cruise or day sail or race--even in a professional capacity.

But consider that vessel like a dredge or construction barge with a crane, involved in the bridge maintenance would meet this requirement. As would an aircraft carrier launching or recovering aircraft. Or a tug involved in towing a vessel that severely restricts its ability to maneuver out of the way of another vessel.

Would the smaller Sea Tow vessels that are common in the US qualify for this status? In certain circumstances, they would. These small craft do tow large unwieldy vessels inside of narrow waterways.

In some cases, any deviation from their course could lead to grounding or the tow 'tripping'--or causing the tug to slew out of control or capsize. Any vessel that considers herself in the 'RAM' status must show the proper shapes (by day) or navigation lights (by night) for a vessel in that status.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

John Jamieson (Captain John) with 25+ years of experience shows you the no-nonsense cruising skills you need for safer sailing worldwide. Visit his website at www.skippertips.com. Sign up for the Free, highly popular weekly 'Captain John's Sailing Tip-of-the-Week'. Discover how you can gain instant access to hundreds of sailing articles, videos, and e-Books!


by John Jamieson

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=113829

7:23 PM Wed 28 Aug 2013GMT


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







News - USA and the World

GC32 Racing Tour - The future of sailing is, quite literally, flying. The catamarans that soared above the waves in the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francsco have taken the sailing world by storm. The boats have revolutionised sailing technology and competition, giving rise to the creation of new classes. ... [more]  

The Royal Ocean Racing Club is pleased to announce its partnership with Gill North America as official crew merchandise provider for the seventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, starting in Antigua on Monday 23 February. ... [more]  

American Windsurfing Tour - The Goya Pro Cabo Verde is shaping up to be the latest AWT edition of the ‘Clash of the Titans.’ The mega stars of windsurfing are currently tuning up their gear, and making final adjustments before the long journey to the remote island of Sal, Cabo Verde. ... [more]  

The second Annual Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge will be hosted by Harmony Hall Yacht Club, with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and the Inn at English Harbour, with nine races scheduled to take place over five days in fantastic Caribbean conditions on identical Petticrow Dragons. ... [more]  

Roger Hickman skipper of Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race IRC winner Wild Rose sat down with Geoff Waller of www.boatson.tv and described just what went into his boat winning the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. His was a 'full-on' race (with dramatic 'on-board' video) which included a knock-down, broken steering, a wild 'Chinese gybe', storms and only a small amount of blood spilt. ... [more]  

The world’s elite sailors are preparing to meet in Singapore for the opening Act of the 2015 Extreme Sailing Series™, which is set to bring the world famous Marina Bay alive with its pioneering Stadium Racing concept. With the transfer window now closed, some new players will enter the arena as the Series launches into its ninth season, with continued support of Series Main Partner Land Rover. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Day 4 photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

2014 - 2015 Barcelona World Race - No scape south because of South Indian Ocean Antarctic Exclusion Zone means a painful wait for Anna Corbella and Gérard Marin on GAES Centros Auditivos. ... [more]  

The expansion of sailing into so-called developing countries, continues at the ISAF Sailing World Cup, Miami, with newly embraced Cuba joining the 64 nation line-up encompassing 600 boats. The 2015 fleet on Biscayne Bay is a record turnout, for this second event on the 2015 Sailing World Cup Circuit ... [more]  

Day 4 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2015, Presented by Sunbrella, saw the US Sailing Team Sperry make steady gains in the Laser and Laser Radial classes as gold fleet racing approaches its conclusion. In the Sonar, Rick Doerr (Clifton, N.J), Brad Kendell (Tampa, Fla.) and Hugh Freund (South Freeport, Maine) will go for gold tomorrow in the final day of Paralympic racing. ... [more]  

At exactly 00:01 on the 29th January 2015, TeamVestas?' VO65 left VTE - Voltri Terminal Europa en route to Persico Marine in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The boat is now safely secured in a purpose-built facility near Bergamo, awaiting full assessment and the beginning of the repair process. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Day 3 - There's a world of difference between skiing a long, smooth run and skiing on moguls. Today, forget the waves, it was the breeze on Biscayne Bay that was 'moguls.' Shift upon shift upon shift upon shift. ... [more]  

Ioannis Mitakis (GRE), the 2012 Finn European Champion, ruled the roost in Miami today with two emphatic race wins and moves up to third overall. Giles Scott (GBR) sailed his worst day so far, but still leads with a five point gap on Jake Lilley, and 12 points over Mitakis as the event reaches its half way stage. ... [more]  

The International DN Ice Yacht World and North American Championships are being held in Kingston, Ontario (right in front of our office). For the Kingston Yacht Club, we skated out to the middle of the lake, and put together a little highlight piece for them to remember the event by. ... [more]  

Doyle Sails had more success last weekend in the Auckland Optimist Championships, taking first and second overall in the 110 strong Open fleet. Six countries were represented in the event, and young sailors came the length of New Zealand to compete in the regatta that is a ranking event for World and International team selection. ... [more]  

EFG's Star Winter Series rules in Biscayne Bay by Connie Bischoff, Miami, FL
The third Star Winter Series presented by EFG (SWS) and hosted by Miami’s Biscayne Bay was a shining success. Not only have all five regattas had stronger participation than last year but the final one, the Mid Winters, grew 35% with 45% of the sailors international (CAN, SWE, BRA, UKR, ARG, ITA and GER). ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Day 3 photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

Day 3 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella marked the midpoint of North America’s biggest Olympic and Paralympic classes regatta. With bright sunshine and fresh breeze in abundance, the world’s top athletes in 13 classes were treated to the conditions that exemplify why Miami is a preferred international sailing destination. ... [more]  

It was windshift upon windshift upon shift upon windshift on Day 3 of the ISAF World Sailing Cup Miami sailed on Biscayne Bay Presented by Sunbrella, the premier regatta has attracted 599 boats and 768 sailors who were adjusting all day to one thing or another. If it wasn't the wind direction that was changing, it was the wind speed. ... [more]  

Following the success of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series that concluded last week, the dates of next year’s event have been confirmed for 16-24 January 2016. With overseas competitors from 11 nations represented a large part of the 47-strong fleet overall at the 2015 event ... [more]  

Ben Ainslie Racing, the British Challenger for the 35th America's Cup, have shipped two foiling Nacra 20 catamarans to Bermuda and have become the first team to commence sailing operations at the Venue for the next Cup. The team conducted an initial training camp in Bermuda, last week. ... [more]  

North U kicked off its 2015 season of youth match racing clinics around the U.S. with a successful clinic hosted by the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club in Kemah, Texas on Galveston Bay near Houston. Forty high school and college sailors spent two-and-a-half days learning about match racing and training in Sonars on flat water and 6-12 knots of breeze. ... [more]  

A fantastic week of sunshine, warm weather, big breeze and competitive sailing is what sailors were treated to last week in Key West. Several Canadians left the bitter cold of the north to partake in the fun filled week and a few even brought home trophies. Here's a peek at the fun in the sun! ... [more]  

At ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, presented by Sunbrella, if the Chamber of Commerce had stayed up all night working at it, they could not have served up a better day for racing. ... [more]  

On day 2 of ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, the rainstorms of yesterday vanished but the excellent wind conditions remained in place on Biscayne Bay. A more conventional day of racing saw US Sailing Team Sperry athletes finish the day in the top 10 in 5 Olympic classes and 2 Paralympic classes. ... [more]  

Bringing Dragon Sailors from around the world to Antigua. Harmony Hall Yacht Club, with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina and the Inn at English Harbour, will host the second Annual Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge with nine races scheduled to take place over five days in fantastic Caribbean conditions on identical Petticrow Dragons. ... [more]  

There are so many ways that the Dongfeng Race Team could have lost the chance to win the light-air marathon from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China. Leading from the first 24 hours to the finish, 23 and a half days later, 5,403 nautical miles sailed and eight different gulfs, oceans and seas, is not necessarily the most advisable way to try and take the spoils. ... [more]  

Sydney photographer, Michael Chittenden was on Sydney harbour last Sunday and captured these images from Race 4 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championships ... [more]  

New Zealand short-handed sailor, Conrad Colman is on his second two handed round the world race, this time aboard the Spirit of Hungary with Nandor Fa sailing in the Barcelona Round the World Race: I had noticed a couple of chafing zones on the mainsail so I prepared some patches and the Dr. Sails flexible epoxy glue so we could drop the main quickly ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami- Photos provided by Ocean Images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water at 2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - It may have been a day late for Australia Day, but on the second day at the Sailing World Cup Miami, the Australian Finn sailors were on a charge with some sparkling performances. Giles Scott (GBR) still leads after winning the opening race of the day, while Jake Lilley (AUS) won the second and moved up to second overall. Ed Wright (GBR) is in third. ... [more]  

2015 Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race is set to begin Friday, February 6. The 32nd edition of the venerable Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race will start in Port Everglades, Florida, and send its 12-boat fleet on a challenging 811 nautical mile course to Montego Bay, Jamaica. George Sakellaris’s (Framingham, Mass.) 72-foot Shockwave will be the largest boat competing, so it should be interesting to ... [more]  

2015 VX One Midwinters action is heating up
America's Cup: Oracle crew mate lodges ISAF complaint against Tienpont
Volvo Ocean Race: A warm and colorful welcome for Team SCA into Sanya
Touch2Play at Key West Race Week
Barcelona World Race leaders split paths
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games - Final line-up to be announced
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Day 1 - Brits off to a flying start
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Tough Day 1 + Video
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Tough Day 1 + Video
RC44 World Championship Leg 1 - RC44 Valletta Cup preview
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - US Sailing Team Day 1
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami -Finn class -testing conditions on Day 1
ISAF Olympic classes regatta Miami 2015 images by Ingrid Abery
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica wins first podium place in Sanya
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng scores historic victory for China
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng release first DroneCam video from Leg 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Chinese team set historic first with home port win
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind arrives on time in Genoa + Video
America's Cup - Virgin considers backing Ben Ainslie, BAR
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Changes
Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Monsoon Cup preview   
Barcelona World Race - A game of chase   
Quantum Key West Race Week: Four GC32's make spectacular USA debut   
Volvo Ocean Race – Frostad says Caudrelier proving them wrong *Feature   
Volvo Ocean Race - Last day drag race to Sanya   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Tense onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing   
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Dongfeng Race Team pushing hard!   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Video - Delayed feed   
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Countdown begins   
Volvo Ocean Race: Donfeng set to create a piece of sailing history   
Barcelona World Race - First of the iconic Great Capes has been passed   
Classic 18fters racing on Sydney Harbour   
Volvo Ocean Race - Can Dongfeng still hang on for a Sanya win??   
Stephanie Roble, 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year   
Barcelona World Race - Taking advantage   
Oakcliff Awarded Joe Prosser Award at US Sailing NSPS 2015   
20 Nations head for 2015 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta   
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 500 miles to go   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Fantastic finish   
Barcelona World Race: Weather beacons launched midrace   


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.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT