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Room for an obstruction - Sailing Downwind

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    Posted: 09 Jul 19 at 10:51am
Following an answer from an International Jury from a question at a regatta the other week I read the following:

20 ROOM TO TACK AT AN OBSTRUCTION 
20.1 Hailing A boat may hail for room to tack and avoid a boat on the same tack. However, she shall not hail unless 
(a) she is approaching an obstruction and will soon need to make a substantial course change to avoid it safely, and 
(b) she is sailing close-hauled or above.

So, Key question - I know this specifically talks about room to tack, but what is the score for downwind? The IJ said that you could not call room  at the shore, as you were not going upwind.



Rule 19.2(c) is also quite interesting. If a boat pokes their nose in between you and the shore from astern, you don't have to avoid and give room. If there was no room for them to pass between you and the obstruction when they gained the overlap.



19.2 Giving Room at an Obstruction 
(a) A right-of-way boat may choose to pass an obstruction on either side. 
(b) When boats are overlapped, the outside boat shall give the inside boat room between her and the obstruction, unless she has been unable to do so from the time the overlap began. Part 2 WHEN BOATS MEET 18 
(c) While boats are passing a continuing obstruction, if a boat that was clear astern and required to keep clear becomes overlapped between the other boat and the obstruction and, at the moment the overlap begins, there is not room for her to pass between them, she is not entitled to room under rule 19.2(b). While the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and rules 10 and 11 do not apply. 


Edited by Fatboi - 09 Jul 19 at 10:53am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote JimC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 19 at 11:00am
If you're gybing downwind in a river and are not parallel to the bank then it seems to me unlikely 19.2(c) will apply so although inside can't call for outside to gybe outside must give room, so is bound to need to gybe sooner or later.

Edited by JimC - 09 Jul 19 at 11:00am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fatboi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 19 at 12:55pm
I agree tn that situation, but if you a symmetrical boat running down the shore at Cowes week or something like that it can be a slow unfolding event with thousands of pounds damage resulting from a rock and you need to know what the situation is
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 19 at 1:22pm
If the inside boat gets her overlap before the outside boat gets to the obstruction, 19.2c does not excuse the outside boat from giving room.

See this Appeal to explain the 'snapshot' or 'freezing' approach to applying rule 19.2c.

Rule 19.2, Giving Room at an Obstruction
The test to determine whether a boat establishing an inside overlap at a continuing obstruction is entitled to room requires the position of the outside boat to be frozen, but the positions of other boats in the vicinity are not frozen and must be moved forward in their same relative positions.

And in GBR, this 'when in doubt' interpretation

Rule 19, Room to Pass an Obstruction
An inside boat that reasonably believes that she is at an obstruction and acts accordingly is entitled to room from an outside boat. The inside boat is not required to endanger herself in order to claim her entitlement to room. If the outside boat disputes the inside boat’s entitlement to room, she must nevertheless give room, and then, if she wishes, protest.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fatboi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 19 at 2:13pm
Interesting... and what do you think about the room situation downwind following on from the IJ claiming that you could not have room as you were not going upwind. Seamed very odd to me, not being able to ask for room downwind but I assumed they knew their stuff...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 19 at 2:18pm
'Room' is always qualified as room to do something, for example, under rules 15 and 16, room to keep clear, under rule 19 room to pass between an outside boat and an obstruction and under rule 20 room to tack and avoid.
So room under rule 19 is different from room to tack and avoid under rule 20.


Edited by Brass - 17 Aug 19 at 2:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 19 at 2:26pm
it can be difficult in an asymmetric when approaching a bank on starboard with a boat behind preventing the gybe away from the bank. 

We had this exact situation at the endeavour last year about 60m after setting the kite at the windward mark in 25 knots! It ended with the lead boat pinned against the bank sailing low and slow until several boats inside had overtook and the gybe was clear.  The boat that was ahead is then lucky to survive the low speed gybe themselves. 

Fortunately it was wind against tide, with less tide against as you approached the bank so the boat ahead that got to the bank quickest often gained enough to just about gybe on to port and clear ahead of the following starboard boats.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 19 at 2:29pm
Originally posted by Fatboi

Interesting... and what do you think about the room situation downwind following on from the IJ claiming that you could not have room as you were not going upwind. Seamed very odd to me, not being able to ask for room downwind but I assumed they knew their stuff...

There is room at an obstruction downwind. There's just not room to tack (or gybe). 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Fatboi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 19 at 2:34pm
Originally posted by mozzy

Originally posted by Fatboi

Interesting... and what do you think about the room situation downwind following on from the IJ claiming that you could not have room as you were not going upwind. Seamed very odd to me, not being able to ask for room downwind but I assumed they knew their stuff...

There is room at an obstruction downwind. There's just not room to tack (or gybe). 

Why not to gybe then? If the wind is such a direction that to avoid the bank you either have to gybe or god forbid, tack around, do you then have to tack?  Cry Cry


Edited by Fatboi - 09 Jul 19 at 2:35pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 19 at 2:43pm
Because you don't need to gybe and sail away from the bank at 45 degrees to avoid it. You can bear away and sail parallel to it. It's just slow. 

It is a little dangerous though, as down-speed gybes within a boat length of an obstruction are a bit sketch to say the least. I guess that's why the AC and sail-gp allowed room to gybe for the obstructions (boundary)? 




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