Rules of the road...stand on vessel?

Matata

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Out in the Irish sea over the weekend and came across this scenario. We're 10m yacht, day time ,showing no lights or shapes. An oil tanker came apon us on a steady heading on our port side rear quarter. Who is the give way vessel and why? My reasoning is that he was a working vessel and we should give way. However it was argued he was the give way as he was not "working i.e. constrained by draught or manoeuvrability or fishing" and hence he was the give way vessel. We did not see any shapes on his bow. He was very big! Ta Nic
 

theoldsalt

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Did you have your VHF witched on?
Did you have AIS?
Sometimes ships try to contact other vessels on a converging course to determine intentions. Maybe you could have done same. Sometimes common sense can override a reliance on ColRegs. (no criticism intended)
 

bedouin

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Very little doubt that you are stand on (and therefore) - either as sailing vessel or potentially as he is overtaking. The only circumstance where he would be would be if he were operating in a narrow channel.

However many skippers in that situation would change course before "Risk of collision exists" and so avoid it becoming an issue. However that is not as easy as it sounds as if you are not careful your actions might conflict with actions he has taken but that are not apparent to you.
 

duncan99210

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The overtaking vessel is the stand off as I understand it. However, a large oil tanker is constrained in its ability to manoeuvre (take miles to complete a turn) simply by virtue of its size. In addition, I've always applied a simple rule of thumb: if it's a good deal bigger than me and there's a chance the bridge crew hasn't seen me, then I'll make a course change so as to move out of the vessels way.

I've only once bothered to make a VHF call to an overtaking vessel. It was to a cruise liner on the approaches to Cadiz. I asked if they had seen me, the crew replied that they had and their radar told the their closest approach would be half a mile. Happy with that!
 

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Depending on exactly where on your port quarter he was approaching, he was either overtaking or crossing from your port side. Either way you are stand on, whether under power or sail.

The colregs do not make any distinction for size in open water, nor special allowance for working vessels unless the nature of their work restricts their manoeuvrability.

Everything I've heard from professional seafarers indicates that in open water they would like us to stick to the rules rather than going "ooh, he's awfully big" and jinking unpredictably around the place. If you do want to keep out of his way, which is understandable, recognise that you are deviating from the rules and potentially introducing confusion. Make your course change early, make it nice and obvious, and possibly even consider a VHF call if you know his name. I hear ships in the Channel talking to each other quite regularly, even just to reassure each other about what is about to happen - "I will be overtaking down your starboard side, keeping at least one mile separation. Have a good watch."

Pete
 

jac

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Not sure of your logic here.

Nowhere in the IRPCS does it mention working vessels being stand on over leisure vessels.

As others have said - if a "normal" situation then you are stand on however you look at it- You are sail - he is power. He is overtaking - you are being over taken. He is crossing from your port side ( i.e. you are on his starboard)
HOWEVER - if he has any special conditions - restricted in ability to manoeuvre or constrained by Draft ( or NUC for that matter) then he is stand on.
 

ex-Gladys

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I've just installed AIS this season, and have worked out that for most circumstances in busy waters, you tune the alarm down (mine is currently set at 800 m or 6 min to CPA). Two weeks ago motooring down the Wallet, there was a dredger over taking, at 9 kts, approaching a set of works off Clacton. It started to converge, no alarm but it was obviously starting to slow, so I used AIS to identify the vessel, called on 16 to chat on 06, and did as the dredger asked, as he was manouvering in shallow water... Excellent response from dredger, and stopped any misunderstanding
 

Pye_End

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My reasoning is that he was a working vessel and we should give way.

Nothing in the rules about pleasure giving war to professionals. COLREGS are very clear on who is stand on in these circumstances - overtaking vessel gives way.

Ships tend to give way early, and if they are still in its path with a mile or two to go then worth making a visible heading change to get out of its path - ie. early enough with some time to further monitor the situation. It is much easier to avoid a collision if you are both of the same mind, but it is not always easy to know what the other one is thinking. Some ships seems to stand on regardless, others follow the rules with exemplary professionalism. They will no doubt say the same about us!
 
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bedouin

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Nothing in the rules about pleasure giving war to professionals. COLREGS are very clear on who is stand on in these circumstances - if he is showing no day shapes then overtaking vessel gives way.

Surely overtaking vessel always gives way (subject to the requirement not to impede)
 

pmagowan

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I am not sure why so many people either don't have a working understanding of colregs or simply abandon them in favour of their own set of rules which will obviously not be understood by anyone else on the sea. What is wrong with simply following the set of rules designed specifically to prevent collisions. The OP has not provided all the relevant information which would suggest he is not overly familiar with colregs but everything he has said suggests he is stand on. Being stand on means you should stand on. That is what you are expected to do. If you feel the other vessel has failed to take appropriate action in time and that action is required by you to prevent collision the colregs say you should do this. Other personal rules such as who is working, who is having a jolly, who has the biggest boat, who has the nicest hat etc are irrelevant and potentially dangerous.
 
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rptb1

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... Being stand on means you should stand on. That is what you are expected to do. ...

Just what I was going to say. Standing on is your obligation, so that the other vessel can safely avoid you. But you also need to be thinking “If he doesn't take steps to avoid me soon, can I still avoid collision?” When that's getting edgy is when you stop standing on.

(See also pet peeves thread :p)

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/International_Regulations_for_Preventing_Collisions_at_Sea <- read, re-read, read every so often
 
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Birdseye

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Out in the Irish sea over the weekend and came across this scenario. We're 10m yacht, day time ,showing no lights or shapes. An oil tanker came apon us on a steady heading on our port side rear quarter. Who is the give way vessel and why? My reasoning is that he was a working vessel and we should give way. However it was argued he was the give way as he was not "working i.e. constrained by draught or manoeuvrability or fishing" and hence he was the give way vessel. We did not see any shapes on his bow. He was very big! Ta Nic

Port side rear quarter? Do you mean within the arc of your stern light had it been on? If so he was the overtaking vessel and should give way. If he was approaching your port side in the arc of your port light then he is still the give way vessel even if you are motoring. As you say he wasnt showing the day shapes for the various "priority" situations such as restricted ability to manoeuvre.

Absolutely nothing to do with whether he was a "working vessel". You should no more give way for that reason than you would on the roads to white van man or a taxi or bus. The economics of his voyage are irrelevant as is his employment contract.

Since he is expecting you to know the rules and stick to them, only give way well in advance and very obviously if you decide you want to do so. Avoid any risk of you moving just as he moves onto a collision course.
 

theoldsalt

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I've just installed AIS this season, and have worked out that for most circumstances in busy waters, you tune the alarm down (mine is currently set at 800 m or 6 min to CPA). Two weeks ago motooring down the Wallet, there was a dredger over taking, at 9 kts, approaching a set of works off Clacton. It started to converge, no alarm but it was obviously starting to slow, so I used AIS to identify the vessel, called on 16 to chat on 06, and did as the dredger asked, as he was manouvering in shallow water... Excellent response from dredger, and stopped any misunderstanding

Excellent decisions.

So many posters simply seem to assume that the stand on vessel has been seen. It's no compensation knowing you were in the right when you've been run down.
Better to be sure everyone understands the situation and actions being taken/not taken.
 

jac

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My reasoning is that he was a working vessel and we should give way. However it was argued he was the give way as he was not "working i.e. constrained by draught or manoeuvrability or fishing" and hence he was the give way vessel. We did not see any shapes on his bow. He was very big! Ta Nic

Every so often a post comes along and shakes my faith in voluntary training / licenses
 

prv

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Being stand on means you should stand on. That is what you are expected to do.

Exactly - expected and indeed required. Hence the slightly trite phrase that "there is no right of way in the Colregs". Being the stand on vessel is not a right, to be exercised or not as you prefer, it is an obligation to hold your course and speed so that other vessels know what to expect. Otherwise you potentially get the seagoing equivalent of people zig-zagging towards each other down a long corridor, each trying to let the other past.

Pete
 

richardbrennan

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AIS does come into its own in these situations. A couple of weeks back, when motoring across Lyme Bay towards Portland Bill, I had a fairly large fishing vessel with his nets/dredges down on a constant bearing on my starboard side. I was clearly the give way vessel, but called him up by name to assure him that I would be altering course to go behind his stern. He responded by saying he was just about to change his heading to south east and that I should maintain my present course. Therefore everybody new what was happening and nobody was inconvenienced. I might also say that the cockpit mike also made things a lot simpler.
 

BrianH

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I've been having quite a recrimination session with myself today. This morning I was happily bowling along with 15 knots easterly up my tail going west with full main and genoa filling nicely, starboard tack, genoa boomed out on starboard side. The OCPN AIS alarm starts on the chart table below - its an anchored freighter suddenly underway and heading in to the port entrance across my course. I held on but the CPA was decreasing to around 100m and he clearly wasn't going to budge for little old me.

I got the pole down with a bit of a struggle (single-handed) and jybed out to sea clearing his stern by a large margin. Now I know I should have called on VHF to clarify but assumed he didn't have much option having taken on the pilot, and all. I suppose he was considered to be in a channel and had right of way, dunno really.

So I'm mulling over why didn't I pick up that VHF microphone ... at least I could have assured them I was going to get out of their way. Funny really ... mesmerised rabbit in the headlamps syndrome, perhaps.

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AIS 13A.jpg
 
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