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Tacking under sail out of Chichester

RJJ

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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.)



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.
"I have the right to do it therefore I will do so". The queue at the lock, and people giving way to you, and first-come-first-served at anchor, are well established, obvious and crucially see the same behaviours equitably by all involved.

Quite unlike, and entirely irrelevant to, the desire to sail out of a crowded channel when others are motoring.
 

Refueler

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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.
Sorry but take a look at that entrance on a weekend .... then I think you may consider alternative !!
 

Refueler

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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......................
Or a Nich 36 with crew that just thinks they own the channel ....
 

RJJ

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And if they don't, they shouldn't play on the motorway.
Yes, a couple of people have compared it to a motorway. Where inexperienced, qualified drivers are perfectly entitled to drive, unaccompanied, and (1) the law, which we all seem to adhere to, requires you to stay in lane except when overtaking, sets speed limits, bans undertaking also (2) common sense, which sadly seems to be available to only about half of us, suggests it's a good idea to travel at a safe speed for the conditions, observe braking distances, not swerve or make sharp changes in speed, and avoid confusing other drivers including the less experienced.

Anyone who abandons an inexperienced helm to it in crowded areas is being grossly irresponsible.
I agree and that's not what I suggested. I might give the helm to someone less experienced, under supervision. I would like to expect that there could be time to talk through surrounding vessels and explain the action required; I don't think there should be situations requiring me instantly to grab the wheel back in response to the actions of others.

Anyway, I am sure this thread has gone beyond convincing anyone to change their behaviours. Based on those who responded, some will continue to assert their right to tack out there on very busy days, confident and happy in the knowledge that only about half (we others who responded) think they are being a selfish c u next Tuesday, and they'll be OK with that. They might also be convinced it's worth their while because although the risk of a collision is increased by their actions (as opposed to treating it more like a motorway), if it ends up in court they'll be able to defend yourselves, so the damage, aggro, money and risk of injury will jolly well not be their fault.

Very sadly (and I am an ultra-libertarian) the resolution to such disputes always tends to be regulation. Those of us saying "no" are effectively saying it's better if we just treat very busy channels as an informal TSS. Follow the line of traffic, or cross it properly, and don't screw around. Those who disagree raise the risk of an accident, which can only hasten the day when bylaws are introduced and enforced, 24/7, which I would consider a great shame. Then none of us will be sailing regardless of wind direction or traffic.
 
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dom

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...........................Anyway, I am sure this thread has gone beyond convincing anyone to change their behaviours. Based on those who responded, some of you will continue to assert your right to tack out there on very busy days, confident and happy in the knowledge that only about half (we others who responded) think you are being a selfish c u next Tuesday, and you're OK with that. You'll also be convinced it's worth your while because although the risk of a collision is increased by your actions (as opposed to treating it more like a motorway), if it ends up in court you'll be able to defend yourselves, so the damage, aggro, money and risk of injury will jolly well not be your fault.

Very sadly (and I am an ultra-libertarian) the resolution to such disputes always tends to be regulation. Those of us saying "no" are effectively saying it's better if we just treat very busy channels as an informal TSS. Follow the line of traffic, or cross it properly, and don't screw around. Those who disagree raise the risk of an accident, which can only hasten the day when bylaws are introduced and enforced, 24/7, which I would consider a great shame. Then you won't be sailing regardless of wind direction or traffic.

What a sad, pathetic, angry, little rant.

And with absolutely no bearing whatsoever on what anybody said, thinks, or ever even dreamed about their fellow sailors.
 
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capnsensible

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Seems to me this thread is descending into a lounge argument. 😀

It's also very British in a cannot tell me what to do kinda way. In some places, the skill required is applauded....👍
 

Refueler

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Anyway, I am sure this thread has gone beyond convincing anyone to change their behaviours. Based on those who responded, some of you will continue to assert your right to tack out there on very busy days, confident and happy in the knowledge that only about half (we others who responded) think you are being a selfish c u next Tuesday, and you're OK with that. You'll also be convinced it's worth your while because although the risk of a collision is increased by your actions (as opposed to treating it more like a motorway), if it ends up in court you'll be able to defend yourselves, so the damage, aggro, money and risk of injury will jolly well not be your fault.

Very sadly (and I am an ultra-libertarian) the resolution to such disputes always tends to be regulation. Those of us saying "no" are effectively saying it's better if we just treat very busy channels as an informal TSS. Follow the line of traffic, or cross it properly, and don't screw around. Those who disagree raise the risk of an accident, which can only hasten the day when bylaws are introduced and enforced, 24/7, which I would consider a great shame. Then you won't be sailing regardless of wind direction or traffic.
Oh Well ... it was a good thread till this ...
 

RJJ

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Oh Well ... it was a good thread till this ...
Fine, edited to amend to "they" not "you". Not aimed at the OP who asked a perfectly reasonable question and hasn't dug in to defend a position either way, nor really aimed at anyone on this thread, who I would judge on their actions rather than their words.

It remains that plenty of us have indicated we consider tacking out on a busy day is inconsiderate. What we mutter to ourselves or yell at each other is of little consequence compared to the risk of collision which you Refueler have described emphatically, and others have indicated is not their concern because they believe (wrongly, in my view) that the law is on their side.

I personally would sail out whenever I reckon safe and seamanlike. The latter entails (Colregs or not) consideration of other skippers and helmsmen, accepting that they may be less experienced. Tacking out...probably if there were a couple of other vessels exiting, certainly not if there were upwards of ten let alone (as suggested elsewhere) 40. Not only would that be unseamanlike, but wilfully and needlessly so, and thus deserving whatever choice epithets an inconvenienced party may bestow.
 

Refueler

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Fine, edited to amend to "they" not "you". Not aimed at the OP who asked a perfectly reasonable question and hasn't dug in to defend a position either way, nor really aimed at anyone on this thread, who I would judge on their actions rather than their words.

It remains that plenty of us have indicated we consider tacking out on a busy day is inconsiderate. What we mutter to ourselves or yell at each other is of little consequence compared to the risk of collision which you Refueler have described emphatically, and others have indicated is not their concern because they believe (wrongly, in my view) that the law is on their side.

I personally would sail out whenever I reckon safe and seamanlike. The latter entails (Colregs or not) consideration of other skippers and helmsmen, accepting that they may be less experienced. Tacking out...probably if there were a couple of other vessels exiting, certainly not if there were upwards of ten let alone (as suggested elsewhere) 40. Not only would that be unseamanlike, but wilfully and needlessly so, and thus deserving whatever choice epithets an inconvenienced party may bestow.
Now THAT I can agree with ....

We all want to play on the water and have an enjoyable stressless time of it. We don't want motorway madness in entrances to harbours ...

The Solent has been joked about before : so many boats on a Bank Holiday weekend - you could walk across to IoW ...

Don't get me wrong with that ... Solent is not Chi / Langstone / Portmouth entrance ...
 
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xyachtdave

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In 2017 we completed the RTI in a J-80, the outboard engine refused to start all weekend so ended up sailing in and out of Cowes to a mooring, no drama despite it obviously being very busy.

We’d brought the boat down from the Medway on the previous Friday and launched at the Royal Southern YC. We had a lift out booked on the Sunday, complete with our tow vehicle and trailer taking up quite a bit room at the club, so thought we’d just sail back from Cowes.

Beating up the Hamble at lunchtime on a sunny Sunday in light airs was interesting...we waved and apologised to everyone we inconvenienced pointing at our engine and doing the old ‘not worky’ expression and smiling.

To my amazement nobody gave us a hard time, would I do it out of choice....no chance!
 

Refueler

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In 2017 we completed the RTI in a J-80, the outboard engine refused to start all weekend so ended up sailing in and out of Cowes to a mooring, no drama despite it obviously being very busy.

We’d brought the boat down from the Medway on the previous Friday and launched at the Royal Southern YC. We had a lift out booked on the Sunday, complete with our tow vehicle and trailer taking up quite a bit room at the club, so thought we’d just sail back from Cowes.

Beating up the Hamble at lunchtime on a sunny Sunday in light airs was interesting...we waved and apologised to everyone we inconvenienced pointing at our engine and doing the old ‘not worky’ expression and smiling.

To my amazement nobody gave us a hard time, would I do it out of choice....no chance!
Glad you had better reception from others than I had sailing into CHi Hbr when my engine failed.

Memories of it all !!

Nearing the Cowes Chain Ferry point .. I was a little concerned as there was a Folkboat and a Bav ahead of me - each on a different bow ! Mike and I were gauging them and the Ferry as to what is likely to happen .. we have no engine .. I'm scandalising sails to try and slow us down ..
In the end I went up to the pulpit .... and called out to them ... SORRY - GOT NO ENGINE -- BUSTED !!
They moved aside and I glided through .. now all I had to worry about was the Chain Ferry ..... I didn't want to call up Cowes HM .. so we crossed our fingers and hoped we timed it right ...

But of course the real test came when trying to sail her up to HYCO ... we'd run aground on N side of the channel start leading to HYCO ... Mike and the girls hopped a lift on another boat to shore leaving me to figure out what to do next. That boat - McGregor 26 with 50HP on the back end was useless at trying to tow us .. it just skidded about the water .. no grip at all.

Once they were gone ... I devised an idea ... throw out anchor ... heave bow round ... she freed and I quickly unfurled some genny .. we gained quite a bit of run .. aground again. Anchor again and pull bow off ... genny and more run gained. I finally completed the first leg and then turned to stbd into next leg ... this actually meant I could do it in 2 steps while jmissing the first moored boats .. but next leg was turn to port which put me foul of wind again ... anchor ./ genny / anchor / genny / anchor / genny .. till I got round the 'hairpin' .... then sailed to the far end and turned in ... foul wind again .. but now I was close enough I could row ashore and place a line to haul her in with alongside.

I felt quite proud of that !!
 

Little Grebe

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I am have an admission to make - in yesterday's SEl'y breeze I sailed out of the harbour just after HW putting two tacks in near the West Winner Beacon :oops:

Bit surprised to see that Chi Marina have reconfigured one of the smaller craft pontoons to take narrow and 'pontoon' boats.
 

laika

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I applaud good sail handling ... good seamanship .... but PRUDENCE and LOCATION are important ............
+1. Let's call it due regard for rule 2.

I try to avoid chichester on summer weekends because of the madness but a couple of years ago we were heading in on a sunday late afternoon in a line of boats (with another line coming out) with wind somewhere in the north or north west Tide wasn't all that high. Fully crewed 11-ish metre plastic boat, obviously fresh from sunday racing comes scything through, heeled right over about 7 knots, zigzagging through each line of boats as they tacked in. Chaos as people slam into reverse to avoid them and the lines concertina. This was not a boat apologetically tacking in with a busted engine. If nothing else we can let Immanuel Kant settle this. This was two tightly packed lines of boats. What if everyone in that line of boats who wanted another half hour of sailing did that? Carnage, and a lot of broken plastic. It's not universalizable so Immanuel would give it the thumbs down.

I have a bit of paper that says I'm moderately competent at handling a boat under sail and I like to regularly confirm that it's not a lie. I don't passage plan for 6 knots and stick the engine on if the wind's no good, I passage plan for what I think I can make on the day because I *like sailing* not motoring. But there are times, like chichester harbour entrance on that afternoon, where good seamanship demands use of the engine where fitted.

EDIT: Note: The OP's gentle tacking in a light breeze seems a different case and I'm not meaning to imply what I saw that day was the same thing, only illustrating an occasion in which I thought not using the engine (combined with excessive speed) was highly imprudent.
 
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dom

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I am have an admission to make - in yesterday's SEl'y breeze I sailed out of the harbour just after HW putting two tacks in near the West Winner Beacon :oops:

Bit surprised to see that Chi Marina have reconfigured one of the smaller craft pontoons to take narrow and 'pontoon' boats.

Blast yer scuppers ya barnacle bitten, shark-livered vermin!

:)(y)
 

Resolution

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Yesterday was an easy day - neapish tides and a 15 to 20 knot breeze from the SE. So in the morning we shy reached out at slack water, straight line sailing, no worries. Coming back early afternoon there was a lot more traffic going both ways and most of it naturally formed in two separate lines. I thought there would be trouble when two windsurfers zoomed up at right angles to a motoring yacht, but at the last minute they very neatly bore away to pass astern of the yacht who was able to carry on . Not what Colregs would have ruled, but good sense in the circumstances. It all looked actively busy and lots of people having fun.
 

laika

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two windsurfers zoomed up at right angles to a motoring yacht, but at the last minute they very neatly bore away to pass astern of the yacht who was able to carry on .
But wouldn’t most of us have taken avoiding action before “the last minute”? This is why I hate Chichester on summer weekends. Those windsurfers and people in foiling dinghies doubtless intend to avoid you but you can’t be sure of that.
 

rotrax

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Not long before the 2012 Olympics First Mate and I were anchored at East Head. We were relaxing after dropping the disabled kids we had as crew on our boat during the annual 'Kids Out'. We were in a recognised anchorage and displaying the anchor ball clearly.

We had our anchor chain hit by a racing dinghy out practicing for the Olympic Qualifiers. The dinghy became upside down, the sail filled with tide causing our well dug in Delta to drag.

The male from the dinghy was gobby and obnoxious, the female embarrased.

The HM attended and we had a chat. He was very unhappy about dinghy's using the anchorage as a race course but was unable to do more than issue a verbal warning and send a letter to the Sailing Club whos premises were the practice venue.

One day during a race a sailing dinghy will be sunk by a big motor boat if what I regularly witness is anything to go by. Race courses are often set to cross the clearly marked channel which at certain times gets really busy.

The duty of care bit comes in here I think.

The course setter might have some awkward questions asked at an inquest should the worst happen.......................................
 
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