Etiquette when following a slow yacht up a channel

salar

Active member
Joined
5 May 2009
Messages
944
Location
Hampshire, UK
I can't be the only one who suffers from this - my tick-over speed gives be about 3.5 knots, and if I sit in neutral the wind invariably swings me round and makes keeping station difficult. When going up a narrow channel to our marina there is invariably a yacht in front of me, the helmsman never looks back and is tootling at about two knots. Some even stop coming up to the marina to have a think about berths or adjust fenders - no windage problem for them with a big keel.. There is me right behind them, and if I do nothing I'll ram them up the sternum. I could hoot to draw there attention but that might be rude; overtaking if possible would also be frowned upon, or I could constantly slip in and out of gear and hope I don't swing round and end up on the mud. What would you do?
 
Joined
19 Aug 2010
Messages
240
Location
UK; France; Spain
Many such skippers & crew are used to operating their boats with others very close by, so I just try to get noticed, then act accordingly. Maybe mosey up pretty close and see if you can secure some form of visual acknowledgement? Failing that, crank up the Hi-Fi to avoid col-regs confusion with horn sounding?
 
D

Deleted User YDKXO

Guest
Tricky one this and a problem I suspect many of us have faced; certainly I have. IMHO, if its safe to overtake, then you should do so and never mind the inevitable hand gestures you will receive from the yottie. They won't understand that your minimum in gear idle speed is much higher than theirs. If its not safe to overtake then you have no choice other than to stay behind them by slipping in and out of gear or what I often do which is proceed on one engine and steer accordingly.
 

Firefly625

Well-known member
Joined
18 Mar 2009
Messages
6,381
Location
Home=Surrey / Boat=Hamble
If you find yourself following a yacht in towards your marina, prior to getting to the narrow channel you mention would it be possible to just hold back at that point, therefore giving yourself and the yacht greater space between yourselves so you don't end up catching up as there seems little other alternatives apart from those you mention that would lead to other issues... The only other thing to do is for a crew member to head to the bow of your boat and when you get within hailing distance call out in the most friendly manner possible (to avoid any boat rage scenarios) if it is OK to overtake as unfortunately your boat cannot go slowly without becoming a handful...
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,363
Location
Southampton
I like to think I wouldn't fail to notice another boat behind me, but I guess some do. For what it's worth, as a yachtie I'd always be happier for you to go past than to feel you looming behind me and worry that I'm holding you back. Assuming we're not talking about roaring past with a huge wash, I can't see why anyone would be upset at you overtaking?

(I suppose the one exception is if we're heading to a marina where there might only be a couple of berths left and I want to get there first - but in that case I'm going to be doing my maximum six knots anyway :p)

Pete
 

nicho

Well-known member
Joined
19 Feb 2002
Messages
9,077
Location
Home - Midlands, Boat - South Coast
Give him a blast with one of those fog horn canister things - that'll wake him up! Seriously though, having had a 48' mobo that travelled at around 6 knots at idle, and now having all of 20hp in a raggie thing, mobo's overtaking cause absolutely no problem at all. Mind, even with our 20 hp in a 33 footer, we can easily travel at 6 knots, so not sure why raggies have to dawdle along.
 

pmagowan

Well-known member
Joined
7 Sep 2009
Messages
11,701
Location
Northern Ireland
I wouldn't worry about it. As a mostly wind powered vehicle I am quite aware that other vessels have differing abilities and it wouldn't concern me if you quietly overtake as long as you are not creating too much of a wake as I try to get my sails down etc. A thought might cross my mind if you appeared at full tilt just to nip by at the last minute that you might be trying to nab the last berth but then I don't think I can compete with a mobo for speed and such is life. Overtaking is fine, nothing wrong with it and a good opportunity to give a friendly wave.
 

stuartwineberg

Well-known member
Joined
24 Oct 2007
Messages
1,748
Location
Romsey, Hants
Welcome to the River Hamble!! Agree with all of the above. I hang back until I really cant avoid them by slipping in and out of gear. I also try and gauge the "body language" of the boat - have they got fenders out, crew on deck with ropes - in that case I expect completely random crossing of the lane into a berth without any chance of them looking behind. If they seem on a good straight track but just very slow then I do overtake - always waving and smiling at the same time. The point about the horn is well made - the temptation is just to give a hoot - you have then signalled your intention to turn to starboard - not the plan. 5 hoots sounds aggressive in close quarters but is correct. It says something about me that I had to look up what to do if overtaking - for the record and apols to people who read colregs in bed every night. 2 long blasts and one short if overtaking to starboard, 2 long blasts and 2 short if overtaking to port. There are official responses by the boat being overtaken but I won't even go there!!!
 

scottie

Well-known member
Joined
14 Nov 2001
Messages
5,284
Location
scotland
What about using a radio?

So I am going up the channel approach to the marina and some one calls on the radio and I look and see a larger boat up my stern I will leave the helm and go and get my hand held ? Perhaps not unless being perfect I would have it to hand already but then being perfect I would have already seen the overtaking boat
 

maby

Well-known member
Joined
12 Jun 2009
Messages
12,783
Give a short toot on the horn if you're not sure they have noticed you, then overtake responsibly - which means a few knots faster than they are going, not a few tens of knots faster...
 

Johntheoil

New member
Joined
15 Dec 2014
Messages
50
Location
Gozo, Malta
Patience!:cool:.....I also used to be a Swanick berth holder with a 50ft mobo and a six knot 'tick over' speed.
Yes the 'Hamble-Scramble' can sometimes be a tad vexing, particularly, when a yacht charges from it's marina berth into the main channel just in front of you.....then spends the next 10 minutes slowly zig-zagging ahead of your bow.
Of course the crew are busily engaged in preparing sails, sheets, halyards etc, so have no time to glance astern.
But (hopefully) we all doing our boating for pleasure, so I think we just need to chill......resist the temptation to unleash 1200hp, that 'big hooter'........and admire those all those lovely 'Musto' jackets:eek:
 

prv

Well-known member
Joined
29 Nov 2009
Messages
37,363
Location
Southampton
So I am going up the channel approach to the marina and some one calls on the radio and I look and see a larger boat up my stern I will leave the helm and go and get my hand held ?

Well, you might not need to reply - you might be able to just give a thumbs-up or a "come on" wave. But if you do want to talk back, it's just another example of the folly of mounting operational instruments downstairs in your living room :p

Give a short toot on the horn if you're not sure they have noticed you

If you're going to overtake to starboard, perhaps :)

Pete
 

BruceK

Well-known member
Joined
8 Feb 2015
Messages
8,249
Location
Conwy
Out of Conwy if the yacht is under engine power and there is ample space in that part of the channel I will overtake after gaining their attention and signalling my intention. If under sail I keep a healthy distance and wait it out. It's the idiots that approach you head-on on your starboard side in the narrow sections that get my goat.
 

salar

Active member
Joined
5 May 2009
Messages
944
Location
Hampshire, UK
didn't realise the OP was talking about the Hamble.... just go past!

Was talking about Southsea actually, which has a winding and very narrow channel so overtaking would have to be done on the few straight sections and passing very close. Not really an option! I just wish that yachts would go at least 3.5 knots, the speed limit is 5 knots after all...
 

Greg2

Well-known member
Joined
24 Jun 2002
Messages
4,219
Playing devils advocate for a second, the level of concern about manners and politeness towards someone who doesn't appear to be at all concerned about the effect they may be having on fellow boaters is interesting. Not a mobo v raggie comment because I do both and have a foot firmly in both camps, but keeping a proper lookout includes looking over your shoulder and many boaters from both camps are guilty of not doing that. It could be said that it isn't unreasonable (and maybe it is good seamanship) to expect people to keep a reasonable speed to avoid causing a hold up in a narrow channel. Just saying :)
 

dom

Well-known member
Joined
17 Dec 2003
Messages
7,141
Well I never. I always thought you lot -- what with your bow + stern thrusters, two engines, vectoring propellers and joystick controls -- would simply execute a couple of perfectly timed Come Dancing pirouettes around the slow yotty before sliding gracefully into your berth and bowing deeply to the now cheering crowd :D
 

Other threads that may be of interest

Top