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Windward Mark fracas

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Henmch View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Henmch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Windward Mark fracas
    Posted: 19 Jul 16 at 11:39am
Three boats ( solos) approaching the windward mark on port tack all level with each other and close to the starboard lay line

Boat A is nearest the mark 2 boat lengths away from the mark
Boat B ( that's me) is half a boat length to leward
Boat C is a further boat length to leward

When we get to the starboard lay line boat C ( that's the most leward one!) suddenly tacks. He starts yelling starboard straight away and by the time he completes his tack and is pointing in the direction on starboard he is only half a boat length away from hitting me ( the middle boat)
Lots of shouting on his part as he bears away to avoid me.

My response was that under rule 15 I had no reason to anticipate his tack or do anything to respond until he was pointing in a starboard tack direction by which time it would have been difficult to do anything especially as there was a boat in close proximity to windward and that as I had taken avoiding action to miss him as he was infringing rule 15 he should do penalty turns, and if I had infringed the most windward boat A then I would be exonerated under 64a1

What do you all think?
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 16 at 12:34pm
Thoughts:
Boat C is outside the zone when she tacks then?
Boats A and B are inside the zone?
Are any of the boats overlapped?

Lets think:
My guess
Before tacking C is ROW boat, and B has ROW over A.
Assuming all overlapped:
A is entitled to mark room from B and B entitled to Mark room from C

Next:
C tacks outside the zone. Rule 13 applies until she is on a close hauled course. She loses ROW.

Next:
C completes her tack. She gains ROW, rule 15, and has changed course, rule 16.
She must initially give B room to keep clear.

Case 15 in the case book is a similar situation in that the outside boat cannot tack for the mark if in doing so she breaks a rule.


Assumed Facts

A and B are approaching the windward mark which they are required to leave to port. They are close-hauled on parallel courses with A clear ahead. A expects B, when she can tack and fetch the mark, to tack to round it and head for the next mark. Instead, B holds her course as shown in the diagram and sails on well past the mark.

Question

Has B the right to hold her course in this way and, thereby, prevent A from tacking?

Answer

Yes. While A remains on port tack, B is required to keep clear by rule 12 and, as A was clear ahead when she reached the zone, B is required by rule 18.2(b) to give A mark-room as well. Provided B keeps clear of A and gives A mark-room if A luffs (even if A luffs as high as head to wind), B is entitled to sail any course she chooses, including holding her course.

However, B is no longer required to give A mark-room after A leaves the zone (see rule 18.2(c)).
The mark-room to which A is entitled does not include room for her tack (see the last sentence of the definition Mark-Room). If A were to pass head to wind, then at that moment all parts of rule 18 would cease to apply because the boats would be on opposite tacks (see rule 18.1(b)). In addition, A would no longer have right of way under rule 12, and B would become the right-of-way boat under rule 13


Thought:
Shouting for right of way when you don't in fact have right of way is potentially a Rule 2 issue (Case 47). It would be rather harsh to invoke it in this situation though.


Edited by JimC - 19 Jul 16 at 12:35pm
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Brass View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 16 at 3:31pm
Originally posted by JimC

Thoughts: 
Boat C is outside the zone when she tacks then? 
Boats A and B are inside the zone? 
Are any of the boats overlapped?

OP said boats were 'level':  I think that means they were overlapped

Lets think: 
My guess 
Before tacking C is ROW boat, and B has ROW over A. 
Assuming all overlapped: 
A is entitled to mark room from B and B entitled to Mark room from C 

Agree.

Next: 
C tacks outside the zone. Rule 13 applies until she is on a close hauled course. She loses ROW. 

Irrelevant whether C is inside or outside the zone.

When C passes head to wind she becomes required to keep clear (rule 13), AND she ceases to be required to give A and B mark-room because rule 18 ceases to apply to her (rule 18.1( a ) or ( b )).

Next: 
C completes her tack. She gains ROW, rule 15, and has changed course, rule 16.

Agree that rules 10 and 15 apply from when C reaches her close hauled course.  Rule 16 only applies when she changes course after reaching her close hauled course and gaining right of way.
 
She must initially give B room to keep clear. 

Case 15 in the case book is a similar situation in that the outside boat cannot tack for the mark if in doing so she breaks a rule. 

But in this case C reached her close hauled course and gained right of way 1/2 a BL from B, then continued to change course and passed astern of B.
...
Thought: 
Shouting for right of way when you don't in fact have right of way is potentially a Rule 2 issue (Case 47). It would be rather harsh to invoke it in this situation though. 

It certainly would.

For an 'inaccurate' hail claiming right of way to break rule 2, according to Case 47, there has to be a disparity of experience so that the hailed boat is likely to be deceived and there has to be a significant risk of contact.

OP says shouting occurred while C 'bears away to avoid me':  I read that as after C reached close hauled and actually was entitled to right of way.

In any case, OP was apparently pretty clear that she did not owe right of way:  no deception.

Originally posted by Henmch

Three boats ( solos) approaching the windward mark on port tack all level with each other and close to the starboard lay line

Boat A is nearest the mark 2 boat lengths away from the mark
Boat B ( that's me) is half a boat length to leward
Boat C is a further boat length to leward

When we get to the starboard lay line boat C ( that's the most leward one!) suddenly tacks. He starts yelling starboard straight away and by the time he completes his tack and is pointing in the direction on starboard he is only half a boat length away from hitting me ( the middle boat)
Lots of shouting on his part as he bears away to avoid me.

Or, from his point of view, he reached his close hauled course half a boat length from you, and then further changed course to give you room to keep clear.

My response was that under rule 15 I had no reason to anticipate his tack or do anything to respond until he was pointing in a starboard tack direction

that is, had reached his close hauled course:  quite correct, but the better reference would be Case 3 or Case 27.

 by which time it would have been difficult to do anything especially as there was a boat in close proximity to windward

It may have been 'difficult' but once he reached close hauled, you were required to do all you could, without acting in an unseamanlike way, to keep clear (and avoid contact).  If there was nothing you could do then so be it.

and that as I had taken avoiding action to miss him as he was infringing rule 15

No, if a right of way boat needs to take avoiding action, the give way boat breaks the relevant right of way rule.

In this case your were the give way boat, and required to do everything you could to meet your obligation to keep clear.

C was the right of way boat, limited by rule 15 to initially giving you room to keep clear and he did so.

he should do penalty turns,

So C broke no rule and had no need to take a penalty.

and if I had infringed the most windward boat A then I would be exonerated under 64a1

That would need C to have broken a rule (failed to give you room to keep clear) and compelled you to break rule 16 or 18 with respect to A.

What do you all think?


Edited by Brass - 14 Aug 16 at 9:03am
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JimC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 16 at 4:17pm
I read it slightly differently: that C hailed before reaching a close hauled course. That aside I concur with Brass, C, however unwillingly, did initially give B room to keep clear as required by RRS15 and did not break the rule.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jul 16 at 4:38pm
Without seeing it, and hearing both sides, it is pretty difficult to come to a conclusion. Sounds like C could compete her tack, but how much room is needed for B to react? Loads in a J class, not much in a Topper.

Answer, if you are B, close down enough on C to ensure he doesn't have enough room to tack, but keeps you clear, as he is RoW. This may even give you enough room and boat speed to tack on to Starboard and call on A, legally.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fatboi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 16 at 11:19am
When we get to the starboard lay line boat C ( that's the most leward one!) suddenly tacks. He starts yelling starboard straight away and by the time he completes his tack and is pointing in the direction on starboard he is only half a boat length away from hitting me ( the middle boat)
Lots of shouting on his part as he bears away to avoid me.

No matter what boat. C hasnt given you enough room to keep clear here.

C had to give room coming into the mark to the other 2 boats, when he tacked 1/2 a boat length is not enough room to keep clear. He is in the wrong. Classic case of being too aggressive and not thinking bigger picture as well. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 16 at 12:11pm
Rupert is right.

There isn't nearly enough evidence to say that C broke rule 15.

And the generalisation that half a boat length is not giving room is absolutely wrong.

It may have been that when C reached her close hauled course, she was pointing aft of midships on B, going slower, so that B would have passed clear ahead and kept clear without either boat taking any action.

In any case, C bore away and avoided contact:  C, at worst, gave room to keep clear as required by rule 15.

No rule broken.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fatboi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 16 at 1:49pm
If before the tack they are 1 boat length away from each other and IF C was pointing at B AFTER COMPLETING their tack, etc. B cant keep clear. no matter what. In real life and practice this is not possible.  If B tacked, his boat would slow and his transom would swing out, both things would make C have to alter course. If B carries on he gets hit - therefore meaning C didn't give B enough room to keep clear. 
In this case you remove the mark from the equation it is irrelevant. Also as B would hit A if he tacked (1/2 a BL between them..), so that protects B further. 

You are right in the fact there was no incident, as C bore away. However his shouting and trying to make B spin suggests either he thought B broke the rules (Which he didn't) or that he was unfairly trying to gain an advantage by knowing them and manipulating them to his favour. Technically a rule 2 offence, but no-one would ever get pinged for that... 
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