ColRegs out of date

kingfisher

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When I'm motorsailing (max speed= 5kts), and a fast motorboat is approaching from the starboard side, it is very difficult to judge whether it will pass ahead of me, or behind me. For the fast craft, however, it is easier to judge the situation, change a few degrees, and pass behind me. Draw it out in speed vectors, and you'll notice that the slower vessel has to make a much larger alteration in its course than the faster boat.

When the colregs were drafted, there was at best a 15kt difference between boats. Now, with recreational boats doing upwards of 28kts, isn't it time to update the ColRegs ?

Obi-Wan
 

Mirelle

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In a word, yes, for that and other reasons

I should declare an interest here; I am campaigning for a comprehensive overhaul of the Colregs and have been doing so for several years; the IMO, however, are remarkably deaf on the subject. One reason for this is that the authors of the present 1972 colregs are still alive and greatly respected, another is limited budgets and another is legislative time at the IMO.

Fast craft (including large ones), VTS schemes, ARPA, the everyday use of VHF and last but not least the curious adherence to the stand on and give way concept for power vessels when it is only required for sailing vessels are all reasons for this. But we shall have to wait a good bit longer.
 

Twister_Ken

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No.

It would introduce even more confusion into a confusing set of regs. How fast is he going, how fast am I going, what's the speed differential, does that make me the stand-on vessel or not, what happens if he has overestimated my speed and assumes he can stand-on, etc?

Can't say I see your problem. As soon as the crossing vessel is on the outer limit of being a threat (which will depend on the circs) you alter to starboard to steer just aft of his stern. As he begins to cross, you alter slowly to port, always steering for a point behind his stern, until you are back on your course and he has passed.
 

bedouin

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Can you suggest anything better?

The most important aspect of Colregs is that there should be absolutely no doubt about who is 'give way' and who 'stand on'. This is bound to lead to some odd situtations but that is better than there being confusion about who is stand-on.

The idea of determining the stand-on vessel according to their relative speed is a nightmare!
 

alant

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See Part A Rule 2 : "Responsibility"
"(a) Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.
(b) In construing and complying with these Rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these necessary to avoid immediate danger."
Surely this Rule seems to cover it all without any need for changes to current Coll Regs.
 

kingfisher

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It's more difficult than you think: for you are doing 5 kts, and a MV is approaching at 20+ kts, you can't just change your course 20° to starboard. Because of the speed difference, it's impossible to guestimate whether he'll pass ahead of you, or behind you.

Even if you take a bearing, the change in apparent angle is so small, that you cannot make any assumptions from the derived result.
At a speed of 20 kts, and assuming you'd want a 50 m clearance, the APA will change only 17 degrees in the range 300m to 100m, which is a timespan of 30 seconds. It will change through 45° the last ten seconds, but then it's to late to do anything about it.

Therefore, your only course of action, is to make a radical turn to starboard, and go nearly parallel to his course.

All this while the fast vessel only has to change a few degrees. The slower boat can for all intents and purposes be considered a stationary targe, and should be treated as such.

I know that it falls under the colregs, under the 'proper seamanship'-rule. But I posted this for the benefit of the 30 british motorboats which departed antwerp in august this year, and burrowed a through in the Westerschelde that is still there ( Yes, I was the sailing yacht literally left wallowing in the wake of the MBO-rally this summer)


Obi-Wan
 

Twister_Ken

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I'd suggest if your alteration has to be to parrallel (but oppose) his course, you've already let him get too close.

This sort of situation arises any summer weekend in the Solent, and has never seemed to me to pose a particular problem. Just alter enough to show him your port bow, then follow his transom as he crosses.
 

Bergman

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Re: In a word, yes, for that and other reasons

May I wish you the very best of luck.

I would add to your list the regulations referring to TSS which judging from recent posts are also problematical.

The rules Alant refers to would also be worth a look. The have always seemed to me something of a negation of all the other rules.

BTW

What is ARPA?
 

Mirelle

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Automated Radar Plotting Apparatus

or what you get when you cross a radar set and a PC. Now compulsory equipment on all merchant ships, and it greatly affects how radar is used for collision avoidance.

Alant cites just some of the weasel words that have crept into the Colregs over the years.

The first Traffic Separation Schemes existed in 1972 (the first was set up in the Dover Strait after the notorious Varne Wrecks, where a ship sank after a collision, was clearly marked by Trinity House, then another ship ploughed into the wreck and sank. Despite two lightships and eight buoys, ANOTHER ship hit the wrecks and sank with heavy loss of life. 1967 I think. But I agree with you that the way the Rules are worded is unsatisfactory.
 
G

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Oh! c'mon, there's a lot of people out there who haven't grasped the 1972 set yet, so don't go messing them about so soon!
 

TonyMS

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If you changed the collregs, it would cause chaos.

But, in practice, much faster boats do need to give way, and usually do. In particular, windsurfers need to give way to yachts, because they're not only fast but unpredictable. Hovercraft (legally planes, I think), and foil craft always give way. And I find that we often have to give way in our cat when approaching a slow cruiser, because they simply can't do anything about it.
 
D

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Right point, wrong reason, Kingfisher. Having motorboated in the Solent for years, I gave up expecting sailing vessels under power to observe their obligations under the ColRegs ages ago. I now give way to anything with a mast irrespective of whether it is sailing or motoring. Firstly it's difficult to tell whether a sailing boat is sailing or motorsailing not least because nobody seems to bother with cones anymore and, secondly, my impression is that most sailing boat skippers are blissfully ignorant of their obligations when under power or too dozy to see a collision situation anyway
The sailing boat skipper aware of his obligations when under power and alert enough to observe them is a rare beast indeed
 

dafteddy

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Come sailing/motorboating in Belfast Lough on a Summer's day. The HSS to/from Stranraer, Seacats from Troon, Douglas and Heysham, the usual commercial traffic and the rat run of yachts/ motorboats transiting from Bangor to Carrickfergus and strict interpretation of the Col Regs becomes 'interesting.'
 

hlb

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Re: Heres one I made earlier!

Once upon a time.

God spoke unto the rag boaties and said Oh-Yah Oh-Yah and ye shall have right of way over all the seven seas !!.

He'd tried everything else he could think of first and in the end he talked to the motor boaties about his problem.

It transpired that God had made a few cockups when making the rules for the rag boaties and God was feeling a bit guilty about this blunder.

"Never mind" said the helpfull motor boaties, "just give them some bits of string to play with and everybody else will just kept out of the bloody way" !!.

Not wanting to offend the poor raggies, it was decided to keep the reasons for this new rule secret.

Unfortunatly the raggies as usual, got rag over stick about this new decision and thought that they were the chosen race and superior to the motor boatie tribe.

They decided to use this new rule to keep the motor boatie surfs in there place.

They were also a bit miffed about the way the motor boaties could sail in and out of marinas without a big crew to fend the boat off all the time and not going round and round in circles bumping into every thing in sight and blaming every body else for there problems.

They got a bit mixed up about the "chosen race" and the "yacht race" too, so it became sacred.

So for ever and ever amen the motor boatie tribe has had this cross to bare and secret to keep.

Cos we cant tell the kids that Gods make cockups too!!

And so they all lived, sort of, fairly, happy-ish, everafter, Amen.

Merry Christmas.


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Haydn
 
G

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Why ? The rules make it clear that the alteration should be clearly obvious to all .... so that means a large alteration anyway, regardless of speed ......
 

Athene V30

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Re: Automated Radar Plotting Apparatus

Maybe this kit works but not in my experience - what if no one acts to alter course when the kit advises or is it all linked to steering gear etc?

Having cleared the separation lanes a couple of miles NE of Dover in my 21' sail boat (& not motor sailing) last June, one ferry altered course to go round me - the MV ALMA transitting to SW carried straight on with me very fine on his port bow so at 2 (ALMA) ship lenghts I turned 90 degrees to starboard and reciprocated his course. Perfect viz, no excuses.

Col regs are all well and good if both (all) parties obey them, if one ignores then Reg 2 applies!
 

SNAPS

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Re: In a word, yes, for that and other reasons

All that aside, it still makes good sense that the smaller more vulnerable vessel makes every effort to keep safe, by taking whatever steps are necessary to avoid a collision. Call it enlightened self interest if you like.

JACKTAR
 
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