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16462Re: [SabreSailboat] Right of Way

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  • Peter Tollini
    Jun 4, 2008
      Good points Jim, and those are just the sailors -
      You forgot to include boats named after unnatural acts or illicit substances.
      There have been intimations on this list that dangling fenders are the unofficial insignia of a particular boat builder.  We live near a marina that is in a lagoon with a single channel out to deep water allowing for critical observation.  After a few weekends of casual study, I think there may be empirical evidence to support the rumor.

      On 6/4/08, Jim Starkey <jas@...> wrote:

      Peter Tollini wrote:
      > Jeff -
      > When you think about, 14(d) really an extension of the 'limited
      > maneuverability" concept. The vessel headed upcurrent has exaggerated
      > maneuverability and the downcurrent vessel exactly the opposite. When
      > the vessels are often tugs with large tows and the waterway is river,
      > the more explicit passing rule is a real plus.
      > If you really want to interpret the Rules, you have to look at them in
      > two ways, first what was the intent of the writers, then, how have the
      > courts historically interpreted them. If you are so inclined,
      > maritime cases make interesting reading, but don't usually shed a lot
      > of light on the issues that really effect us.
      > The maritime right of way concept has carried over to most state
      > traffic laws, which normally do not grant a right of way, but rather
      > create an obligation to yield, as in burdened and stand-on. We've
      > all seen the havoc that an assumed or claimed right of way can cause
      > on either land or sea. The stand on vessel still has an obligation
      > to avoid a collision, but any moves to do so must be both early and
      > clear enough that you don't zig just as he zags. This is great quote
      > from a judge in a collision case, directed to the driver of the
      > privileged vehicle - "...the fact that he wasn't supposed to be there
      > doesn't relieve you of responsibility to avoid the the collision - and
      > you clearly could have - and it sure as hell didn't create a right for
      > you to run into him."
      > Trivia - In 1895, there were only two motorcars in the entire State of
      > Ohio. They hit each other. We've been carrying on the tradition,
      > with Murphy's guidance, ever since.
      > Learning the Rules is good, but always assume the other guy has never
      > seen them and may only be dimly aware of their existence, at best.
      > Accordingly, I subscribe to what Jim calls the tonnage rule, or what
      > I've known as the Island Rules - "De big boat got de right o' way,
      > mon!" when I'm the little boat, and the Inland Rules when I'm the big
      > boat.

      There are other rules as well. For example, if he's dangling fenders
      over the side, you can be assured he doesn't have a clue and should be
      given a wide berth. Ditto a scalloped jibe or an ensign flown from the
      bow or a radio whip. Or if the helmsman is talking on a cell phone...

      James Starkey, Senior Software Architect
      MySQL Inc., Manchester, MA, USA, www.mysql.com
      Office: 978 526-1376

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