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Author Topic: Sail v. Steam  (Read 4289 times)

BarryM

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Sail v. Steam
« on: July 19, 2010, 02:16:56 pm »

This might be a case of taking 'Steam gives way to Sail' a touch too far.  >>:-(

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-10647766

Barry M
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meyer

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 05:47:43 pm »

LOL someones in trouble for that then ,the marina if memory serves is controlled by traffic lights
so either the yacht ignored three reds or the balmoral ignored them....oh the joys
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gondolier88

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 05:59:31 pm »

Just to clear this up once and for all-

Steam does NOT give way to sail!

It is the responsibilty of EVERY helmsman to avoid collision at all times- there is no 'It was his fault' at sea- if you see a collission hazard and you do nothing about it because you have 'right of way' then it is YOUR fault- throw it in astern and steer away from the hazard- at last resort throw the anchor out.

The overiding ones are- 'all vessels will give way to larger motor vessels restricted in their ability to manouver' and 'all non-commercial vessels shall give way to a scheduled vessel and not make her deviate from her planned course'.

The amount of times we get canoes, little hire boats, swimmers, rowing boats etc crossing our bow just before we come into a jetty is unbelieveable- nut if I hit any of them becaue I tjought it was my right of way (or heaven forbid, I didn't see them!) I would be in the dock before you know it, and I don't mean the place where ships are built!

There is a distinct lack of knowlege in amateur sailing and boat circles that is quite simply dangerous.

Greg
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 06:58:37 pm »

Quote
There is a distinct lack of knowledge in amateur sailing and boat circles that is quite simply dangerous.

There is certainly an irresponsible/ignorant element among the recreational sailing community but is this any worse than its counterpart in the commercial sector with freighters pounding up the Channel with no one on watch for significant periods of time, ships heading against the traffic in the one way systems, or the master of a small cargo ship proceeding up Southampton Water dead drunk with no one else on the bridge and slicing straight through the middle of Hythe Pier as happened a few years back?

In this case the yacht obviously couldn't see out of the harbour entrance although the Balmoral could see his mast fortunately.  Presumably the yacht was under the impression, for whatever reason, that they were clear to proceed so maybe let's not jump to immediate judgement.

I think one of the weirdest situations I ever saw was when the US battleship Iowa was departing Portsmouth back in the 1980s. They'd tied her up alongside the main jetty facing seawards and there were a lot of craft waiting on the other side of the harbour ready to follow her out. I think there were four Admiralty tugs ready to pull her off the berth and just as she prepared to cast off a guy in a canoe came paddling round the stern out of nowhere. Much activity by the escorting MoD police launch and he departed at a somewhat greater rate of knots than he'd arrived at! Unbelievable really.

Very interesting to see how narrow the Balmoral is, a bit like a paddler without the paddles! Apparently she isn't too comfortable to work on.

Colin
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 07:00:27 pm by Colin Bishop »
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gondolier88

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 08:59:41 pm »

Your right, ignorance is more forgiveable than irresponsibility, however they both have the same outcome.

I too was struck at the narrow beam of Balmoral, although if you look at other pic's of her you realise she actually has quite a full beam for her full length instead of the normal bulge midships- giving better hullform, and in the seas she sails in she's perfect.

Have to admit from the vid' she lloks like a paddler without the paddles though.

Greg
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Bryan Young

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 11:18:21 am »

In one of my early postings about my life at sea I described conning the RFA "Olna" into the Solent via the Needles (the Western approach). Ships entering this way are invisible until they turn right to go along the N.coast of the IOW....a great playground for the amateur yottie brigade. For some reason we were at full revs and had a pretty vicious tide behind us. When the yotties suddenly became aware that this fat ship of 35000tons was coming down on them at almost 30 knots....well, they certainly got out of the way pretty smartish. BY.
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pugwash

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 12:30:49 pm »

'I've got to agree with Brian, when I was doing my Yachtmaster course I was reminded by
the instructor there is one unwritten "rule of the Road"  - Might is  Right and having kept a
yacht in Greece for 5 years I know never to argue with a Greek ferry - they travel at up
to 30 knots and give way for nobody except something as big as themselves.
That idiot on the yacht should have kept out the way of the steamer who would not be
able to manoevre in the narrow confines of the harbour entrance

Geoff
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 05:03:19 pm »

Quote
That idiot on the yacht should have kept out the way of the steamer who would not be
able to manoevre in the narrow confines of the harbour entrance

But the yacht couldn't have seen the Balmoral - there's a big wall in the way!
12 pages of discussion here: http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=243118

Colin
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pugwash

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 05:28:51 pm »

I agree with you in some respects Colin but my choice as helmsman of a modern fin keel yacht
which can turn in its own length would have been a sharp alteration of course to starboard and there
was plenty of room to motor down the Balmorals  port side and out to sea.  I have just finished
reading Naval Accidents since 1945 and the chapter on collisions indicates most of them happen
when you misjudge crossing another ships bow.

Geoff
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 05:38:55 pm »

Geoff,

Turning to starboard seems to be the consensus of the yachting forums link I quoted and would of course have conformed to the Colregs. More pertinently one of the locals said that it is his practice to turn to port when leaving the marina i.e. up harbour, first as this opens up the harbour entrance sightlines. He can then judge if it's safe to exit - eminently sensible in my view.

Just out of interest, I took the photo below at Calais Pier last week. As you can see, the aassembled fishermen are not fleeing in terror! Photographs can give a very distorted view of any given situation.

Colin
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 05:47:23 pm by Colin Bishop »
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gondolier88

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 05:46:45 pm »

...my choice as helmsman of a modern fin keel yacht
which can turn in its own length would have been a sharp alteration of course to starboard and there
was plenty of room to motor down the Balmorals  port side and out to sea.  I have just finished
reading Naval Accidents since 1945 and the chapter on collisions indicates most of them happen
when you misjudge crossing another ships bow.

Geoff

What if there had been a wind to Balmoral's starboard, or a tideway in the same direction?

What if when you got to the harbour entrance you suddenly got a gust to your bow that made you lose way, or stop altogether?

A boat exiting a harbour- or any restricted waterway- should see and be seen by all other vessels using the entrance.

To be a skilled helmsman is not just to know waht to do in a situation, the real skill is to avoid the situation in the first place.

'I've got to agree with Brian, when I was doing my Yachtmaster course I was reminded by
the instructor there is one unwritten "rule of the Road"  - Might is  Right...
Geoff

That's not unwritten- I believe I quoted the written rule in my first post! {-) %)

Greg
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Bryan Young

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2010, 08:52:28 pm »

"Might" is NOT right. There are situations (when there is enough sea-room) to allow smaller vessels a certain "right of passage". This takes a certain amount of thought by the people on both ships / boats. Over the years I developed a sort of second sense when observing a weekend sailor who was quite oblivious to his nemesis. Many of these "weekenders" seemed to think it "fun" to wait until the last moment (until they couldn't be seen visually from my outlook), and after a minor heart attack, down the side of the ship they would come, waving the gin glasses and generally making prats of themselves.
But my total "bete-noire" has to be bloody fishing boats. As individuals they may well be extremely competent and brave seamen. But when it comes to awareness of other shipping that competence falls to near zero. Even when they are not actually fishing it's normal for them to display "fishing lights or symbols" (even in port). Laziness. Of the north Europeans I would put the UK fraternity firmly at the bottom of the heap. Not that the others are all that much better.
Imagine (if you can), being on the bridge of a troopship carrying perhaps 300 souls. A dark night, ship bouncing around a bit. A trawler shows up about 10 miles away. You watch his movements. You understand that it would be wise to avoid his trawl (or nets) if at all possible. But you're in a shippng version of a motorway. You can't just slam into the face of on-coming traffic.  So you gradually ease over to give him some "sea-room". Everything fine. Then he turns 180 degrees and he's only a mile away. Dirty underpnats time.
This happened so often with so-called boats actually not fishing at the time that I (personally) would like to call it a criminal offnce and prosecute on the grounds of endangering life at sea. And all because of a lack of "awareness". BY.
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gondolier88

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2010, 09:22:32 pm »

In open water, yes, we regularly give way to sailing vessels, rowing boats, canoes etc, but when coming into a jetty or in strong winds we NEED our right of way, and have the legal right to hold our course.

However, as I said it is the responsibility of ALL water users to avoid collision at all times, so I don't just go and run them through (tempting though it is sometimes).

The problem we have- which until the floods we are now dealing with- is when water levels are low and we have less than 5 meters leeway to grounding coming into the jetty, and all of a sudden a dinghy or a canoe jumps out- after seeing us- trying to nip in front of us, you factor in a F5 southerly blowing you on and it really can get quite hairy.

My heart goes out to Balmoral's helmsman- you really feel guilty when you have a close call- even if you have no direct blame, but it won't stop...

...which is probably the real point- it relies on fully trained helmsman to uphold their resbonsibilities to their ship to evade and avoid these hazards.

Heaven forbid two irresponsible ones meet...

Greg
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farrow

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2010, 09:12:58 pm »

I had a couple of weeks working on the Balmoral three years ago as mate, an yes she is narrow gutted and cranky. At full ahead I was advised by the master not to put more than 5 degree's at a time on the wheel and turn her slowly as she would otherwise suddenly lay over at a steep angle and start shooting passengers to one side.
Also out of narrow port waters where local bye laws come into play usually but not all ports, the rules do say power gives way to sail, but who has the courage to stand on in front of a bloody great box boat doing 21 knots plus and other large vessels with a plastic boat the size a cargo boats lifeboat..
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gondolier88

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2010, 10:30:11 pm »

Also out of narrow port waters where local bye laws come into play usually but not all ports, the rules do say power gives way to sail...

Sorry, am I missing something in my helming handbook?

Where does it say power gives way to sail?

Greg
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FRANK DRUMMOND

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2010, 10:55:42 pm »

Have a look at MCA -sport-sailing-guidance notes


Under power

    * Boats under power give way to sail.
    * Boats under power approaching head-on should turn to starboard.
    * When boats under power are crossing, the vessel with the other vessel on its starboard side must give way.

http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga07-home/leisurenandtheseaside/mcga-sport/mcga-motorboating-2/mcga-sailing-guidance-2.htm
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gondolier88

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #16 on: July 26, 2010, 11:09:07 pm »

What you have pointed out there are the guidelines during sporting activities, all vessels give way to sailing vessels under race conditions when possible, including powered vessels. However, where this isn't possible (ie. ships restricted in their ability to manouvre (ie. a huge tanker in a harbour will NOT give way to a Laser making headway to a marker bouy!))

ALL vessels should pass port to port (turn to starboard on a bow collision course).

A simple rule re. vessels making a collission course off your bow- if you should see a vessel showing her port light (red) stop, if you see a vessel showing her starboard light (green) go, just like traffic lights- this is the practical application of crossing courses- and going back to Balmoral's example- the yacht when exiting the harbour was showing starboard- it was Balmoral's right of way from whatever angle you look at it.

I will post the bit of the page you qoute if you don't mind;

Under power

•Boats under power give way to sail.
•Boats under power approaching head-on should turn to starboard.
•When boats under power are crossing, the vessel with the other vessel on its starboard side must give way.

General Rules

•It is the responsibility of the skipper to maintain a good look-out at all times.
•An overtaking boat must always keep clear.
•There is a risk of collision if the bearing of an approaching vessel remains constant.
•Vessels of less than 20m should not impede vessels using a traffic separation scheme or confined to a narrow channel.
•Give way to vessels fishing, vessels not under command, vessels restricted in their ability to manoeuvre or vessels constrained by their draught. Never hinder the passage of commercial vessels.
•Avoid diving vessels that are flying the blue and white A flag – diver down.
•Be aware that divers may also be using a surface marker buoy to indicate their position. Keep clear.
The primary role of these rules is to prevent collisions. They rely on common sense and good practice to succeed. This is only a brief summary. Complete 'International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea' should be on board every yacht and motor cruiser and are available here (LINK NEEDED). 14


Greg
« Last Edit: July 26, 2010, 11:14:44 pm by gondolier88 »
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meyer

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #17 on: July 26, 2010, 11:26:43 pm »

Sorry am I missing something here
where is the vessel under sail ?   ;)
 

as I said earlier this marina is controlled by lights for approaching traffic
and lights for vessls leaving the marina I presume because of the lack of visibilty


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gondolier88

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Re: Sail v. Steam
« Reply #18 on: July 26, 2010, 11:32:30 pm »

 {-) {-) {-) Something that went unnoticed, theyr'e both power boats!!!!!! %)

Same rule applies about approaching collision course, harbour positioning, and if there is a traffic light system as you say then I would venture it was the 'sailer' at fault.

Greg
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