- 22 Sep 2012
Oh for Gods sake.............................That ditty is one of the silliest and inappropriately quoted bits of nonsense that is trotted out.
Firstly, there's no such thing as 'right of way' but assuming that it's an inaccurate colloquialism for 'stand on vessel' then this fictional Daniel was a fool. IRPCS require you to stand on (if you are the stand on vessel) until it is clear that the other vessel isn't taking avoiding action (or you're not confident that the other vessel is taking sufficient and appropriate action to avoid a close quarters situation) and then the IRPCS demands that you take avoiding action.. IRPCS does NOT say stand on until you are run down by sa ship that's bigger than you. Taking very early avoiding action in some misguided belief that you are avoiding any possibility of a situation where stand on vs give way is an issue is confusing and irritating to the OOW of ships. (I know because I've been there.). They almost certainly clocked you a long time before you clocked them and 99.9 times out of a 100 will have already assessed the situation and taken appropriate action. Just don't expect big course changes from them. They're expensive on fuel and wake the Captain up.
There's no such thing as might is right.
As soon as you are in sight of each other and appear to be (or might possibly be) in a closing situation in open waters then IRPCS apply regardless of the size of the respective vessels.
Please go and learn the rules and apply them. You will discover that ships great and small almost always comply and if they aren't complying then make appropriate avoiding action (which usually means NOT turning to Port) as a close quarters situation looks as though it might develop. Please don't pretend you're avoiding them early. Such unpredictable actions just confuse and irritate ships (although many of them have come to expect Yotties to behave like prats).
Read back through this or other threads on this subject. In fifty years of sailing I can only remember a very small slack handful of occasions when ship's great and small have complied with the rules when I am sailing (or motoring and am stand on vessel).
If you don't believe me, get an AIS system and watch the CPA of ships that hove into view as you sail across the channel or other shipping lanes. Find one that looks as though it's going to be close and hold your course and watch the ship alter for you by a few degrees to open up the CPA. They're doing it all the time in the Channel for Ferries, Fishing boats and other shipping and they'll do it for you too so long as you're predictable and sail by the IRPCS.