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Tacking under sail out of Chichester

Stemar

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Anyone who abandons an inexperienced helm to it in crowded areas is being grossly irresponsible.
Too true. Sometimes, of course, you don't find out the abilities of the helm until things start going awry. I once took my sister in law and her husband out for a jaunt in the Solent. He had his own small boat for fishing around Cherbourg, so I expected him to have a rough idea. As we were coming back in to Portsmouth, he was helming and we'd got through the small boat channel, so I went forward to sort out lines and fenders. Then I realised we weren't turning to go behind a Gosport ferry coming across. I looked back and the poor guy had frozen, with a rabbit in the headlights look. Rapid return, grab the tiller and exit stage right!
 

CLB

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Yup, perfectly acceptable to stop sailing at times to make life easier for others, but there's there's no moral obligation to do so.
Thats one of the sadder statements I have read on this thread if you interpret it to mean "yes, I could make life easier for lots of other people, but sod them. My enjoyment and rights come first" I would argue that you do have a moral obligation to do so. Maybe not a legal obligation, but moral, yes.
 

Achosenman

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I personally would not enter or leave Chichester without my engine on UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES; this also applies to Langstone harbour. Neither harbour mouth is a good place to be caught out. Try it in Portsmouth Harbour and you'll get QHM down on you like a ton of bricks. I think it's a question of seamanship rather than sailing skill.
[/QUOT]

It shouldn't be a surprise if the QHM comes down like a ton of bricks...considering this:
b. All craft fitted with engines, when navigating in the approach channel to Portsmouth Harbour, are to proceed under power between No 4 Bar Buoy and the Ballast Pile.
 

Babylon

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Having your engine "on" and ready to engage gear is clearly prudent if there's any likelihood that things could suddenly get a bit tight, but nothing to stop you using your sails to drive the boat in the meantime, unless of course it is expressly forbidden by local rules.
 

Refueler

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It is the easiest thing in the world to work out when a sailing boat is going to tack. When I were a lad, we often went on the Norfolk Broads, usually with a 36ft motor boat and one or two sailing boats. Driving (possibly the best word) the motor boat along the narrow rivers, one took pride in passing sailing boats without disturbing them. I was aged about 12 at the time. You observe the sailing boat and work out where it would be compelled to change course, and endeavoured to slip past their stern. I have only been to Chichester a few times, but there is much more water there. A motor boat is required by both the collision regulations and common decency to avoid inconveniencing sailing boats. If this means that they have to hang back for a few seconds, that is their problem. A sailing boat maintaining its proper course is under no obligation to go out of its way because the boat wishing to pass cannot work things out for itself.
Trouble is and I know Chichester entrance well as I had my boat there for years ..... the channel is not so well defined as the Broads ... Chi channel has banks that run out a fair way into the Solent and you cannot see them .... any boat tacking in that channel will take short tacks and can be unpredictable.
Langstone entrance is similar .....

Years ago - I had an incident with Nicholson 36 coming out of Langstone and he was sheeted in hard under sail ... I was motor sailing in ......

I saw him and kept as far as I dare to the east side to give room ... but that bast*** tacked and put me into a situation that was totally uncalled for and in fact his spreader caught my cap shroud .... luckily it just 'clipped' and twanged ...
I shouted at the guy asking him WTF he was playing at ... he just looked and ignored it all ...

I knew where he'd come from ... so I passed a message on to the 'club' ......

I applaud good sail handling ... good seamanship .... but PRUDENCE and LOCATION are important ............

I regard such sailing in restricted channels like that as causing undue risk ... and selfish TBH.
Not only that - but you have to regard the other boat as crewed by idiots who know nothing about rules.
 

Refueler

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I don't know where in the regulations it is stated that a sailing vessel has to adjust its course to give way to other craft. If there is such a statement, I would like to know. There may be local rules requiring boats to motor, as at Portsmouth, but otherwise I presume that it is the collision regulations that govern. I deliberately overstated my case in order to give support to the OP who felt himself harassed when going about his lawful business. It is a situation I often find myself in when under power and wishing to pass sailing dinghies, usually, in narrow channels. In these situations I am always aware that it is my obligation to keep clear.

By way of light relief, I recall a passage on the Broads when we had a 4-berth sailing boat and were tacking up Meadow Dyke, which is about as wide as two boat lengths. With the help of a quant pole and mop, we made good progress and built up a satisfying line of motor boats astern. Eventually, I took pity on them and nudged our boats bow into some reeds on the weather shore and waved them through. As one of them went past, they called out to us "What a pity. We thought you were doing so well up til then".
Not impede the passage of vessel that can only navigate safely within that channel.

Sail vs Power is then subject to that clause ... so yes there are occasions when sail does adjust course for another.
 

dom

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Having your engine "on" and ready to engage gear is clearly prudent if there's any likelihood that things could suddenly get a bit tight, but nothing to stop you using your sails to drive the boat in the meantime, unless of course it is expressly forbidden by local rules.

Agreed, just be careful not to leave the engine ticking over too long and especially beyond the max angle of heel stipulated by the engine manufacturer. Exceeding this angle can be dangerous even if the oil pickup pipe remains effective as splashlub -if it’s used - becomes less effective and on some engines one can even risk runaway :oops: :)
 

Mark-1

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Having your engine "on" and ready to engage gear is clearly prudent if there's any likelihood that things could suddenly get a bit tight, but nothing to stop you using your sails to drive the boat in the meantime, unless of course it is expressly forbidden by local rules.
At busy times I'd guess north of 50pc of the boats sailing in Chi Harbour don't even have engines. (There are often fishermen anchored or drifting about in the entrance, not sure where they fit in to this.)

Thats one of the sadder statements I have read on this thread if you interpret it to mean "yes, I could make life easier for lots of other people, but sod them. My enjoyment and rights come first" I would argue that you do have a moral obligation to do so. Maybe not a legal obligation, but moral, yes.
You can tag on the emotive language of your choice, but that's the reality of cruising sailing, especially in the South of the UK. When I go out this weekend, everyone behind me will have to wait longer for the lock* several people will certainly have to give way to me sooner or later.* If I go up a deserted creek to watch the wildlife alone another boat can't have it to themselves. Wherever I anchor I'll be spoiling someone else's view with my plastic sailboat and this time of year taking up precious space. What about people who keep their boats on swinging moorings? Literally taking up valuable sailing space year in year out.

* They may be a newbie and that may put them under pressure.
 
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JumbleDuck

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Too true. Sometimes, of course, you don't find out the abilities of the helm until things start going awry. I once took my sister in law and her husband out for a jaunt in the Solent. He had his own small boat for fishing around Cherbourg, so I expected him to have a rough idea. As we were coming back in to Portsmouth, he was helming and we'd got through the small boat channel, so I went forward to sort out lines and fenders. Then I realised we weren't turning to go behind a Gosport ferry coming across. I looked back and the poor guy had frozen, with a rabbit in the headlights look. Rapid return, grab the tiller and exit stage right!
Eek. But then , you were being responsible because you kept a good enough eye on the situation to take over when needed.

I once trusted someone with extensive cruising experience in his own boat to take a night watch heading on our way from the Isle of Man to Crinan. He woke me up at 3am to say that the Sound of Jura seemed much narrower than it ought to be ... he had managed to head up Loch Caolisport instead.
 

JumbleDuck

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At least he woke you before the crunch noises did!
Yes, a small mercy there. However, had he not stuffed up we'd have been in Crinan around dawn. As it is we dropped the anchor where we'd got to and took most of the next day to beat south again before turning north.
 

johnalison

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Not impede the passage of vessel that can only navigate safely within that channel.

Sail vs Power is then subject to that clause ... so yes there are occasions when sail does adjust course for another.
I find that a bit mystifying. Both the sailing boat and the boat overtaking, which might be a motor boat or a sailing boat under power, are constrained by the channel, unlike the situation in Lymington Channel with a sailing boat and a ferry. There is just one stretch of water for both. The tacking boat is not obstructing the passage in Chichester, unlike my example on the Broads. The channel has been reported as being 100yds wide, so the average sailing yacht will be occupying around 10% of this. Is 90yds really too narrow for a boat to pass through?
 

rotrax

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But with TWO streams of boats, one entering and one leaving the channel is in reallity half that. If you are the sort of yachtsman who insists on tacking across a busy and narrow channel because you can, you will not be popular.

At the bottom of a low spring tide the Port Hand Channel marker can often be seen lying on its side. It is a regular job for it to be repositioned after a good blow when the channel changes.

I have sailed both into and out of Chichester Harbour. But if it required several tacks at a busy time, no way would I consider it. The potential for upsetting fellow boaters and the possibility of a collision make it an unacceptable risk.

IMHO, of course.
 

Refueler

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But with TWO streams of boats, one entering and one leaving the channel is in reallity half that. If you are the sort of yachtsman who insists on tacking across a busy and narrow channel because you can, you will not be popular.

At the bottom of a low spring tide the Port Hand Channel marker can often be seen lying on its side. It is a regular job for it to be repositioned after a good blow when the channel changes.

I have sailed both into and out of Chichester Harbour. But if it required several tacks at a busy time, no way would I consider it. The potential for upsetting fellow boaters and the possibility of a collision make it an unacceptable risk.

IMHO, of course.
Totally agree ....

I have had to sail in one time when my engine failed at the Folly .... had to negotiate the idiots on Medina ..... avoid the Chain Ferry ... get out of Cowes fairway before the IoW Ferry .... but the sum total was nothing compared to getting into Ch Hbr ....

I was shouted at ... sworn at .... cut up .... despite doing everything I could to not impede or cause problem to others .....
 

johnalison

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If, as reported, the entrance is 100 yds wide, then a sailing boat tacking at maybe 4 knots would cover 400ft in a minute, and with two boards making a minimum of 600 ft, that means that an overtaking boat will have at least a minute and a half to pass in. I think that I would be ashamed if I couldn't achieve this, even with my maximum of around six knots.
 

Stemar

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If, as reported, the entrance is 100 yds wide, then a sailing boat tacking at maybe 4 knots would cover 400ft in a minute, and with two boards making a minimum of 600 ft, that means that an overtaking boat will have at least a minute and a half to pass in. I think that I would be ashamed if I couldn't achieve this, even with my maximum of around six knots.
That's fine when it's only one boat you've got to deal with, but on a summers weekend, it could be 20, including a couple of fishermen drifting with the tide, but not counting a dozen dinghies and that dirty great gin palace, just off the plane and making all the wake he knows how.

No one's arguing that it's illegal, nor even that it's inconsiderate when the channel isn't doing its Piccadilly Circus impression, just that it's inconsiderate when it's heaving. Yes, we can all dodge that boat but, when the channel's close to capacity, tacking across the flow disrupts that flow, making life unnecessarily difficult for everyone and increasing the risk of collisions
 

rotrax

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That's fine when it's only one boat you've got to deal with, but on a summers weekend, it could be 20, including a couple of fishermen drifting with the tide, but not counting a dozen dinghies and that dirty great gin palace, just off the plane and making all the wake he knows how.

No one's arguing that it's illegal, nor even that it's inconsiderate when the channel isn't doing its Piccadilly Circus impression, just that it's inconsiderate when it's heaving. Yes, we can all dodge that boat but, when the channel's close to capacity, tacking across the flow disrupts that flow, making life unnecessarily difficult for everyone and increasing the risk of collisions

And that IS the reallity of the enterance at a busy time.

And a dinghy that can turn on a tanner and has a shallow draught and a good crew tacking in the channel is a bit different to the slow tacking heavy long keeled cutter single handed doing it because he can.

Horses for courses......................
 
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