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Running on autopilot, no look-out?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Norseman, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Copied from anothe board. This sailboater not happy..

  2. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Seems a bit hysterical to me. That's a lot of drama for two boats getting close to each other. I assume the purpose of this post is to 'out' the 'bad' powerboater?

    Why let the situation reach that level of danger? Why spend so much time on the VHF? Why wait so long to react?

    Why not do what a prudent mariner does when they encounter a vessel operating in an unsafe manner and take steps to avoid it ...sooner rather than later?

    Once the hostile encounter was over with, did they ask if the 'megayacht' could spare some ice?
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Not sure why your bringing this up here unless your looking for a crappy comment, of which I have;

    I could tell the author is a blowboter. The author gives poor description of his vessel other than his 123db horn, 50 foot tall sail and some electronics on-board . Oh, he started his port engine (only), so it's a cat.
    The author has a scope offering AIS and I assume radar. So, he has bearings/ranges long before the range is dangerous. On noting a vessel approaching Decreasing Range, Constant Bearing, a simple course adjustment could of been made to ensure a safe encounter long before it would have been close. I may have made the move my self just to avoid the wake from said Megayacht.

    Yes the rules state a real sailbote has the right-of-way over a power boat (with some limitations).
    Rules also state right-of-way conditions for all when passing or getting passed by another vessel or bote.
    The rules also state all vessels will make adjustments to avoid any collision including deviating from the rules.

    Your in 900 feet of water. No narrow channel or CBD. The wind would still be there if you changed your point just a few degrees several minutes earlier.

    The Megayacht's pilot may have broke a rule or two in poor seamanship and that why it is everybody's responsibility to avoid close encounters and collisions.
    Looking, thinking, planning ahead takes just a few seconds preparing for any what if,, before there is no time.

    There is a lesson here, hopefully both operators will practice a lil better piloting.
    Glad no body was hurt.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  4. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I used to visit that other site. Bunch of whiners, some worse than the hysterical one above.
    That site may come up when I'm researching something. I usually do not follow that search lead knowing it is wind with no information.
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    So Norse

    Now that my crappy ideals have been published, Are you getting the entertainment you were looking for?

    Copied from another board. This snailboter not happy..
    AHHHhh Did he get his feelings hurt? A lil adventure scare him?
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Look, I'm turned off as much as anyone by some sailboaters who constantly whine. However, let's not overlook the basic point made here of a boat operating with no one at the helm and no one on watch. It's wrong. Should the sailboater have taken evasive answer earlier? Of course. But that doesn't change the dangerous operation of the other boat, assuming what he's said is true.

    Now, I do find it a bit ironic, because sailors are the ones so often I hear talking about single handed crossings, which by nature mean large periods of time with no one at the helm. I also know powerboats to cross the Atlantic with only two and often the one at the helm asleep. And I know them to cross shorter runs single handed with the only person sleeping while "at the helm".

    I believe all these to be unacceptable and dangerous. None of that changes though that if the situation noted above is true, it was dangerous and unacceptable in my opinion.

    Norseman posted it here to get responses I assume. However, the backlash against him for posting it isn't merited. My only criticism might be that he posted it but didn't state his opinion or reason. However, regardless, the operation described is what we should be discussing. Doesn't matter how much fault the sailboater has, let's not overlook the fault of the powerboater. A collision would have been the fault of both.
  7. menkes

    menkes Member

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    rcrapps
    words of gold !!!

    Norseman
    listen to the words of the wise !!!
    they will save you from trouble

    olderboater
    you may be right, but not on the high seas.
    after you get safely to port, go and file a complaint with the authorities.
  8. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Norseman posted it here to get responses I assume. However, the backlash against him for posting it isn't merited.

    Backlash against Norse? Naw,, inquiring with a smile.:):):)
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  9. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Nah, you are on the wrong tack:)
    I posted to get the other side of the story.

    The sailboater should have taken evasive action long before it got dicey, like after his first un-answered radio call.

    Not yet, keep 'em coming :D
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    And in all that, you have nothing to say about the powerboater? There is a problem with boats of all sizes and shapes operating with no one paying attention. We shouldn't depend on the other boat to pay attention and keep us out of an accident.
  11. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Aye mate, I am always trying to stay out of trouble whether I operate a rag boat or a stink-potter.
    (Dual qualified :) )
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I'm not going to risk "yacht rage" on the high seas anymore than "road rage" on the highway. My complaint in this case would be to both the charter company and to the owner of the boat. Somewhat like complaining about the trucks operating, the ones with the number to call on the back. Actually, I think those type complaints would have far more impact than arguing with the captain at fault.
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Said all I thought I could say;

    The Megayacht's pilot may have broke a rule or two in poor seamanship and that why it is everybody's responsibility to avoid close encounters and collisions.

    hopefully both operators will practice a lil better piloting.


    It's everybody's fault when a collision happens.
    I'm sure a very close comparison in the court case history would prove about a 55-60% (power boat) to 40-45%(snail bote) blame here.

    If it was not for the later radio traffic, The pilot could have fell down with a medical problem for all we know.

    When your out on the seas you have to be a good boy/girl scout or be damm lucky.
    Your example; single handed crossings power & snail are dangerous deliberately.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Well. The yacht is definately at fault. There was nobody at the helm, being an Azimut it could've been travelling at 20+ knots and closing fast. Would everyone take evasive action at 1 mile out if a radio call went un-answered? I see PLENTY of Captains at the helm and they never answer the radio because either they're on a sub channel, or volume turned down or whatever. I also know plenty of Captains of Euro yachts out of Miami that aren't nearly as safe, professional, and cautious as most of us on this board are.

    One would expect the yacht to take action and changed course. But, with the speed of the sailboat, it would be hard to get totally out of it's way (of it's large wake) in a reasonable amount of time. The yacht has to get pretty close to see there is nobody at the helm.

    Here's an example. I run a 62' yacht that cruises at 29 knots, fairly often. If I'm running across the bank and see a sailboat or other slow yacht on the same course line (which everyone is) at 3 miles out visually and on radar, I stay on my course line until about 1/2-3/4 a mile out and then make a deliberate 20 degree turn to starboard and maybe pass them 300 yards off their side.... far enough to be plenty considerate, but I don't react until under the mile mark. But that distance closes fast. 6 minutes if the target is stopped at my speed and 3NM out. Much less if it's headed towards me. The sailboat was most likely expecting this yacht to react.
  15. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    As the story reads the power boat is in the wrong.

    Maybe a stand-on vessel for a moment, but In the wrong also.
    As commented above, after the first radio call went un-answered, he should of already altered course.

    If the snail bote was able to avoid getting hit in a panic, he had plenty of time to alter course a few degrees and not spill his martini at all.

    We have all watched videos from the web where stubborn operators fail to alter course, slowdown or avoid the collision. AND, to everybody's surprise, they collide.

    Those paper pages will not protect your life during an event. Waiting for somebody else to adhere to those paper pages will not protect your life during that event.
    Your actions will save your life no matter what the paper pages offer. When in doubt, if not automatically happening already, move your asp.
    Hand signals later.

    Now On the power boaters side, OB may be correct, I did not blast the power boat enough.
    That was stupid and could have turned for the worse (as the story read).
    He had the same SFB attitude that puts boats on jetty rocks and the beach. One SFB even clobbered Isaak rock, all on A pilot and the operator somewhere else or snoozing.

    But still, if a collision was to have happened in this story/example, it would be everybody's fault.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2016
  16. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    I was hoping (or guessing) the Captain of the yacht would be on this board
    to tell his side of the story.
    Not that it would make a huge difference as it was clearly a bad mistake to leave the boat running at speed without a qualified watch stander, but there could have been an on-board emergency we don't know about, a fire, a medical, whatever.
    Yes, I was looking for a reaction, lots of qualified Captains on this forum who are not shy to speak up, but don't shoot the messanger :cool:
  17. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

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    To me this is simple, I always go with a margin as if the other boat has no look-out...
  18. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Exactly what I was trying to say and it's what I do. Rules of the Road only work when everyone follows them.
  19. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Yup, I spent years as a Look-Out and helmsman on big ships and heard the horror stories of coming in to port and seeing white or blue paint on the bow after running over some poor slob sailing solo or mom and pop out in the middle of nowhere at night in bad visibility.
    Did my best to keep a sharp look out at all times of which 99.9% of the watch was empty ocean. We see big ships on the radar, the little guys got hidden in clutter and the wooden sailboats invisible at night and in rain and restricted visibility.
    No idea why people solo-sail, ego trip?
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Defensive driving. Learned it in Driver's Training 30 years ago. The principles haven't changed, whether on the roads or water.