What should I have done?

jimi

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Was singlehanded sailing hard on wind along a contour next to a steep bank against a 3 knot tide (I draw 2m) A racer came from astern between me and the bank about 20 foot to port. He drew almost level but failed to overtake then shouted for water as he wanted to tack. I said “I’m not racing so am stand on boat holding course and speed” this confused him and he repeated he was eacing and needed water to tack. I responded by telling him that he got himself into that situation needlessly and that under CR he was obliged to stand clear but as I was a nice person I’d bung the engine on to give him room to tack but don’t expect me to do that the next time. Was I being an awkward cuss ? I did get the thumbs up from a couple of his crew, though:)
 

KevinV

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What was his plan? To overtake you that close, then tack across your bow?? Double colregs boob by my reckoning.

By putting the engine on you reduced the potency of the learning moment for him - having to drop back, preferably flogging his sails a bit (witnessed by his crew and competitors), and then tacking across your stately paced stern would have been more educational methinks

(assuming this learning could take place without your lack of action putting either of you in actual danger)
 

Praxinoscope

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You were being polite by whacking on the engine, IMHO you would have been perfectly justified in carrying on your chosen course, rule 19.2 indicates that as the bank was a continuing obstruction, the racer being the astern boat had a duty not to sail between you and the bank, unless the gap was wide enough for him to sail between.
In those circumstances I think I would have left him to lose some distance and tack astern of you, but perhaps the racer part of my nature.
 

awol

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Other considerations before being considerate could be the softness of the bottom and the state of the tide. Putting him onto a rocky shore with 4 hours of ebb to go might be regarded as over the top whereas a soft bottom on the flood might have added to the overtaker's learning experience.
 

bedouin

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If by standing on you would put him in danger then of course that would be wrong however stupid he was.

Other than that I think it is very much up to you whether to give him consideration because he is racing. If they set a course where other boats are sailing then dealing with those boats is as much part of racing as dealing with the wind and tide so I have no compunction about sticking to Colregs, but where possible I would take early action to keep out of their way (probably not possible here). I don't think I would ever start the engine to get out of there way - but I can't do that from the helm anyway so it is a bit of a risk.
 

Praxinoscope

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Other considerations before being considerate could be the softness of the bottom and the state of the tide. Putting him onto a rocky shore with 4 hours of ebb to go might be regarded as over the top whereas a soft bottom on the flood might have added to the overtaker's learning experience.
Agreed, the OP doesn’t have sufficient information to really make a full judgement, but as the OP is asking if they did the ‘right thing’ it is unlikely that by the OP standing on the racing yacht would have suffered anything worse than losing a few minutes on their race time.
 

mrming

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OP’s actions seem fair enough to me. In my 30ish years of experience racing, a lot of racers don’t know the RRS properly, never mind COLREGS. :D
 

oldbloke

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On the other hand, if he passed 10 ft to windward of you, stolen your wind and caused you to sag to leeward so that you were out of your comfort zone for depth and had to tack . There would probably have been a different grumbling post.
We sail in congested and interesting waters and we all get it wrong.
Continuing Obstruction is an interesting and sometimes difficult rule. It doesn't take much of a change to go from "snug fit" to not enough space. Do you know for certain that it hadn't got shallower where he was, or maybe a 3 degree wind shift took him from making it to not making it .
 

Blueboatman

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The received wisdom is to infer his tactics are carp, he is not very good at racing, no?

Bunging on your engine to help him clearly conveyed this to the crew anyway!
 

jimi

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On the other hand, if he passed 10 ft to windward of you, stolen your wind and caused you to sag to leeward so that you were out of your comfort zone for depth and had to tack . There would probably have been a different grumbling post.
We sail in congested and interesting waters and we all get it wrong.
Continuing Obstruction is an interesting and sometimes difficult rule. It doesn't take much of a change to go from "snug fit" to not enough space. Do you know for certain that it hadn't got shallower where he was, or maybe a 3 degree wind shift took him from making it to not making it .
I wouldn’t have attempted to overtake to leeward, I’d have slung in a short tack earlier. The guy was crap at racing, sailing into foul wind in an area he must have known he was going to have to tack out of sooner rather than later, even if he’d managed to overtake he’d have to have tacked onto port tack right across my bow. Terrible sailing and atrocious racing tactics
 

Chiara’s slave

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He may be a prize eeejit, but you can’t run him aground, however soft the bottom or if the tide is rising. I’d be quite inclined to use the engine to get him on stbd on the next tack though😉
 

jimi

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He may be a prize eeejit, but you can’t run him aground, however soft the bottom or if the tide is rising. I’d be quite inclined to use the engine to get him on stbd on the next tack though😉
Tide was falling , to help him out I had two choices he had one … tack single handed onto port tack across some other boats coming up on starboard so no t a good option. Tell him to slow down and tack behind me.. which he should have done or bung the engine on and get away from the eedjeet,
 

Chiara’s slave

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Tide was falling , to help him out I had three choices tack single handed onto port tack across some other boats coming up on starboard so no t a good option. Tell him to slow down and tack behind me.. which he should have done or bung the engine on and get away from the eedjeet,
Sticking the engine on is what I would do ( serious racer here) after letting him know. In no uncertain terms. If feeling aggrieved, I’d chase him down under engine, strategically position, and call starboard on him.
 

Supertramp

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In my opinion, and assuming you didn't need your engine on, I would have continued sailing my course while ensuring I didn't reduce his options by forcing him into shallow water. And singlehanded vs a fully crewed boat would make me even less inclined to change my course and speed.

Much is on the forum about Colregs but holding your course as stand on vessel is fundamental. Alter course, tack or propulsion and it all gets confusing and complicated.

Racing is about reading the wind, sea, tide and other obstacles to best effect. Shouting at other boats should be between other racing boats, with resort to protest if necessary. Whether he was racing or not, he should not be sailing into danger when it's avoidable.
 

Praxinoscope

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The additional information that the tide was dropping #j13 ( which re-reading the OP I should have realised) does change the situation, despite him obviously being an absolute idiot and the OP being the stand on vessel, rather than force him into an even more unenviable position, I would have whacked on the engine just to get away from him.
 
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flaming

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You were being polite by whacking on the engine, IMHO you would have been perfectly justified in carrying on your chosen course, rule 19.2 indicates that as the bank was a continuing obstruction, the racer being the astern boat had a duty not to sail between you and the bank, unless the gap was wide enough for him to sail between.
Just to clarify a couple of points.
1. Rule 19 (like all racing rules) only applies when both boats are racing (even if they are not in the same race.) Since Jimmy was not racing it does not apply here.
2. That said, I think your analysis of 19.2 is off.

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.
(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, (1) she is not entitled to room under rule 19.2(b), and (2) while the boats remain overlapped, she shall keep clear and rules 10 and 11 do not apply.
Taking those 1 by 1, assuming that Jimmy had been racing.
19.2 (a) Once they became overlapped the other boat was the leeward boat, and thus the ROW boat, so they choose which side of the obstruction to pass. Obviously in this situation there is only one choice, so it's basically irrelevant to this case.
19.2 (b) Jimmy was the outside boat in this situation, and since they sailed up alongside him from clear astern, then clearly Jimmy was able to keep clear from the moment the obstruction began. However, this is actually irrelevant, since Jimmy was also the windward boat and would have had to keep clear of the other boat under rule 11, again assuming he was able to from the moment the overlap began, which since there was no collision as they became overlapped and sailed up alongside him he clearly was.
19.2 (c) If Jimmy had been racing, then from what he has said, at the time the overtaking boat became overlapped there was room for him to sail between Jimmy and the bank, as he did that for some time, nearly overtaking Jimmy. So "At the moment the overlap began" there was room for him to pass between them. This rule does not require there to be room for you to overtake the other boat on the current course, it just requires that at the time you shove your bow in there you fit in the gap in that instant. Think of it this way - if Jimmy had stopped dead at the moment they came overlapped, could they have sailed between Jimmy and the bank. Clearly yes, so they had the right to go in there. What you cannot do is shove your bow into a gap that it does not fit into and then expect the other boat to instantly get out of the way.

Once they are there legitimately, then rule 20 (haling for room to tack) unquestionably applies.

So in my view, had Jimmy been racing, then the other boat's actions were within the racing rules of sailing, regardless of whether or not they were wise. They didn't put themselves in a gap that they couldn't initially fit through, then when they ran out of water they hailed for room to tack.

Since Jimmy was not racing however, then these rules do not apply. Without being on the spot it's very hard to say whether they definitely shouldn't have gone between Jimmy and the bank, but once there they had no "right" to ask Jimmy to get out of the way. And could have no complaint if he chose to ignore their pleas. Wouldn't overly blame someone for asking politely in that situation, provided they were able to accept a "no".
 

zoidberg

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Quite a number of years ago, I was crewing the ICC's 103' Edwardian schooner, sailing along Plymouth Hoe about 100 yards off. The lady skipper 'H' was helming, when a 40' netting-deck fast racing catamaran charged close across our wake, inshore, then tacked.....

.....and just about stopped.

I knew the boat and its crew, and knew it would take off like a rocket once the big battened mainsail filled.... which it did! Aimed directly now at our port side, the cat's very long bowsprit threatened to spear any of our inexperienced crew it encountered.

The only thing to do was yell "Get down!" in the traditional sergeant-major's voice, before the long pole lanced across our deck.... The lightweight cat's hulls banged hard into 'Hoshi's side, then the 'kooking fat' scraped down our side and was left behind.

I've no idea if the cat was racing, but I understand they had a change of crew....


'Hoshi', on the left.....

 

TLouth7

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Once they are there legitimately, then rule 20 (haling for room to tack) unquestionably applies.

So in my view, had Jimmy been racing, then the other boat's actions were within the racing rules of sailing, regardless of whether or not they were wise. They didn't put themselves in a gap that they couldn't initially fit through, then when they ran out of water they hailed for room to tack.
I agree with your analysis with one caveat: it is not clear that the racer ran out of water and so needed to tack. If they were merely stuck in a bad position but free to continue sailing along the contour then I believe they have no right to force Jimmy (in the hypothetical where Jimmy is also racing) to let them tack out of there.
 
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