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Leeward Mark

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    Posted: 20 Feb 17 at 11:25pm
very windy,
Boats flying down to leeward mark
Mark is a gybe mark!
Inside boat wants to tack round due to fear of capsize
Outside boats want to gybe.
Who has right of way?

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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 17 at 11:34pm
Boats with rights to mark room are only entitled to enough to perform "a seamanlike rounding" not a tactical rounding. I'd say he is only entitled to room to gybe on the basis that if it's not too windy to race it's not to windy for a competent crew to gybe. Pragmatically, if he's going to chuck it in right across your bow I'd give him all the room he needs, even slowing down to let him pass you before you gybe. How do you know he wants to wear round?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 17 at 8:00am
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Boats with rights to mark room are only entitled to enough to perform "a seamanlike rounding" not a tactical rounding.
Sorry, as a general statement this is plain wrong.

A boat may have right of way as well as mark room, in which case she is fully entitled to make a 'tactical' rounding, such as in wide out tight..

In the OP scenario, it's a mark at which both boats need to gybe, so boats will be on the same tack, and the boat clear ahead or overlapped inside at the zone will be to leeward, and both right of way (rule 11), and entitled to mark room (rule 18.2( b )).

If this boat (A) wants to tack and granny instead of gybing around the mark, the other boat to windward of her (B) will need to keep clear of her as she luffs up preparatory to tacking, all the way until A passes head to wind.

At some time during A's luff, she will cease to be sailing towards the mark, and thus cease to be sailing within the mark-room to which she is entitled, and so will lose any exoneration she might have had under rule 21 if she luffs too fast and fails to give B room to keep clear.

When A passes head to wind:
  • A ceases to be leeward of two boats on the same tack, and becomes a tacking boat, required to keep clear of B by rule 13;  and
  • Rule 18.2( b ) ceases to apply (rule 18.2( d )), and rule 18.2( a ) will entitle whichever boat is overlapped inside to mark-room:
    • as the scenario develops, this entitlement to mark-room may change between the boats depending on which is overlapped inside;  and
    • if boats are not overlapped, or are in a position where no meaning can be ascribed to inside or outside (such as if they go into the tack early and pass head to wind immediately upwind of the mark), then neither will be entitled to mark-room.
  • Suppose the luff took place more or less abeam of the mark, , then A, formerly inside, will become outside of B, and when A passes head to wind, B will become right of way and also, now being inside boat, will be entitled to mark-room.  This is going to pose all sorts of problems for A
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

I'd say he is only entitled to room to gybe on the basis that if it's not too windy to race it's not to windy for a competent crew to gybe.
Going back to the situation before A starts changing course.

A is right of way boat entitled to mark-room:  she is entitled to gybe without any restrictions, ifs or buts.  In fact she is required to gybe when she gets to to the point where she may sail further from the mark than needed to sail her proper course (rule 18.4).

But I think you are talking about room for A to tack and granny.

Mark-room does not include room to tack unless the entitled boat is overlapped to windward (Definition:  mark-room).  This doesn't apply to A in this case.  A has no entitlement to room to tack, but as previously explained, she does have right of way, entitling her to luff up all the way to head to wind.

Whether it is seamanlike or prudent or practicable to gybe won't enter into the case.

A is not entitled to room to tack.

When A does tack (pass head to wind) she ceases to be right of way boat and ceases to be entitled to mark-room.

Originally posted by Sam.Spoons


Pragmatically, if he's going to chuck it in right across your bow I'd give him all the room he needs, even slowing down to let him pass you before you gybe. How do you know he wants to wear round?

Agree that if B is happy to gybe, gybing inside A, while A tacks is advantageous, but it's going to be difficult to slow down and get astern of A once both boats are overlapped hooting downwind.




Edited by Brass - 21 Feb 17 at 10:01am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 17 at 9:04am
I stand corrected. But, in the second part of your answer you say "A is not entitled to room to tack." which is basically what I said (accepting that my reasoning may have been flawed)?

Agreed that slowing dow might be difficult so would need to be done early.

Also I'd still like to know how B knows that A wants to wear round? The assumption would be that A would gybe at a gybe mark even if it's blowing a hoolie.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 17 at 9:21am
If they carry straight on, screaming in fear, you'll know! Trouble is, if you slow down, you'll go splat on the gybe, too.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 17 at 9:32am
I think there's a specific confusion about right of way in the OP.
These days right of way is a specific thing covered by rules Rules 10 to 13. The later rules then put restrictions on what the ROW boat can do.

In the original post we don't absolutely know which boat has right of way, but its a pretty safe guess that if its a gybe mark then the boats are on the same tack, the one on the outside is windward boat, so the boat on the inside is leeward boat and has ROW. This doesn't change until they change tack.

An entitlement to mark room does not give right of way. It means that even if the other boat has ROW it is limited in what it can do because it must give room.

In this case it all follows as Brass says. Inside may luff up but not tack, and may not sail beyond the mark without gybing. So if A wants to go beyond the mark and tack round she needs to plan early, slow down and let B go ahead.



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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 17 at 10:04am
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

Also I'd still like to know how B knows that A wants to wear round? The assumption would be that A would gybe at a gybe mark even if it's blowing a hoolie.

B doesn't need to 'know what A wants to do'.

All B needs to do, as the give way boat is to keep clear of A.

From B's point of view it makes no difference if A luffs up with the intention of tacking or unintentionally rounds up (slowly).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GML Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 17 at 10:04am
Interested in your views on whether and how 18.4 applies in this scenario Brass.

18.4 says "When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark to sail her proper course, until she gybes she shall sail no farther from the mark than needed to sail that course. Rule 18.4 does not apply at a gate mark."

I think we are agreed that in the scenario described the inside overlapped boat has right-of-way, and is going to need to change tack, either by gybing or wearing round, in order to sail to the next mark. Let's also assume that this isn't a gate mark.

Do you think it is open to her to argue that her proper course is to wear round rather than to gybe, and hence that 18.4 does not apply to her?

If yes, then I would tend to agree with you that as RoW boat she can luff up to head to wind provided that she complies with 16.1.

But if not, until she gybes (which she isn't going to do!) she is required to sail no farther from the mark than needed to sail her proper course to gybe at the mark (even though she doesn't consider that to be her proper course). I suppose she might be able to wear round without sailing farther from the mark than that proper course, but in practice I doubt this would be possible, in which case isn't she going to break 18.4?

That said, the outside windward boat is still going to have to keep clear (rule 11) and so is still stuffed!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 17 at 10:19am
Originally posted by JimC

In this case it all follows as Brass says. Inside may luff up but not tack, and may not sail beyond the mark without gybing. So if A wants to go beyond the mark and tack round she needs to plan early, slow down and let B go ahead.
Rule 18.4 says

When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark to sail her proper course, until she gybes she shall sail not further from the mark than needed to sail that course.  Rule 18.4 does not apply at a gate mark.

If A believes that, in the existing conditions, the seamanlike course is not to gybe but to tack, then she could argue that that no point exists where she 'must gybe to sail her proper course', because her proper course is to tack,  not to gybe and that therefore rule 18.4 does not apply to her at all.

On the other hand, we would usually say that the very point of rule 18.4 is to stop an inside leeward boat from dialling up the outside boat.

I agree that, to be safe (from a rules point of view, and probably from a seamanship point of view as well, A would be well advised to start her luff before she reached the zone and became bound by rule 18.4.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 17 at 10:21am
Originally posted by JimC

In this case it all follows as Brass says. Inside may luff up but not tack, and may not sail beyond the mark without gybing. So if A wants to go beyond the mark and tack round she needs to plan early, slow down and let B go ahead.

So, while my reasoning was incorrect my conclusion was not? Just asking as I would have gone with it if I was in that situation (except, assuming no other boats too close, I think I would actually, as the outside boat B, have sailed high enough to gybe and either try to cross astern of the inside boat A or at least be out of the way).

Edit :- the op doesn't say if he was inside boat or outside boat but, I think, if I didn't feel myself capable of making the gybe in the conditions I would certainly not expect an outside boat to give me enough room to wear round so I'd try to get to the outside out of everybody's way.


Edited by Sam.Spoons - 21 Feb 17 at 10:47am
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