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rules advice please

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    Posted: 04 Oct 14 at 12:22am

As a fairly novice sailor please could rule experts comment on my recent experience?

Conditions wind (F4) with tide, beating to windward.

I just tacked onto port to clear a moored cruiser to leeward and down tide. Another boat approaches on starboard. I might well have cleared his bow but he hails ‘starboard’! Not being certain to get past I tack, so now I am also on starboard no more than a boat length in front, both boats similar course. Before our speeds equalise the bow of boat behind bumps my transom (ie there was no overlap), there was no protests.  

What rules in this situation?  Thanks for comments.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 14 at 6:11am
Originally posted by bsailing

As a fairly novice sailor please could rule experts comment on my recent experience?

Conditions wind (F4) with tide, beating to windward.

I just tacked onto port to clear a moored cruiser to leeward and down tide. Another boat approaches on starboard.

You are port, she is startboard, you must keep clear (rule 10).

I might well have cleared his bow but he hails ‘starboard’! Not being certain to get past I tack,

You might also have been able to bear away and pass astern, remaining on port.  That would be another option.

 so now I am also on starboard no more than a boat length in front,

Starting on port,until you passed head to wind, you were give way boat (rule 10), when you passed head to wind you were give way boat (rule 13), until you reached your close hauled course on starboard.

When you reached your close hauled course on starboard clear ahead of the other boat you acquired right of way (rule 12, clear ahead/astern), but were initially required to give the other boat room to keep clear of you (rule 15).

If you reached your close hauled course nearly a boat length ahead of the other boat there was plenty of room for her to keep clear, you will have complied with your obligation under rule 15.

If, on the other hand, you reached your close hauled course only a few feet in front of the other boat, and there was insufficient room for her to keep clear ( by luffing or bearing away, or starting sheets and decelerating), in a seamanlike way, then you have not given room as required by rule 15.

 both boats similar course. Before our speeds equalise the bow of boat behind bumps my transom (ie there was no overlap), there was no protests.  

Bow to stern shunts break rule 12 (clear ahead/astern).  Unless it's a really close tack the boat clear ahead will usually have given room for the boat clear astern to keep clear, because the manoeuvre required to keep clear is a small course change, simply executed.

There was contact.  If the boat ahead has given room to keep clear, it would usually be the case that it was reasonably possible for the boat behind to avoid contact and by making contact she has broken rule 14. 

It was probably not reasonably possible for the boat clear ahead to avoid contact (acting no sooner than it became clear that the boat astern was not keeping clear, as permitted by rule 14( a ), so the boat clear ahead has probably not broken rule 14.

What rules in this situation?  Thanks for comments.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote bsailing Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 14 at 10:12am
Thanks for laying this out so clearly. B
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