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TOPIC: Open Hearing Outcome No4

Open Hearing Outcome No4 1 year 9 months ago #116

  • Bill Brockbank
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This incident unfurled via 2 identical (but separate) descriptions of the same incident. Since 3 rules were broken, it's a useful learning experience.

Facts found.
On the same tack, boat W established a windward overlap on boat L who had been clear ahead.
Boat L luffed and hailed W who did not respond. The boats touched. L's luff was slow enough that W could have responded and kept clear. No hail was required.
W, hailed by L to do a 360 degree penalty, did so. Nobody protested.

What the rules say.
Having established a windward overlap from clear astern, W is required to keep clear.
None of the rules which might constrain L's speed or amount of luff were broken.
By not keeping clear, W broke rule 11
W did a one turn penalty, one or two turns having supplanted the previous 360 / 720 wording. A one turn penalty applies after hitting a mark, other 'exonerate-able' breaches require 2 turns.
L's hail of 360 has no standing, it's for the guilty boat to know, then comply with rule 44.

The boats touched. Rule 14 requires all boats to avoid contact if reasonably possible. On their own evidence, neither did. Both boats broke this rule.

Comments
1. The rules have been progressively rewritten to avert collisions. When a right of way boat runs out of wiggle room, someone has already broken a rule. Sailors tend to 'think backwards from the bump' when they should 'think forward from the breach'.
2. Protests for incomplete turns are rare, for light, avoidable collisions rarer. So this note goes further than you'd normally experience. Nevertheless a strict interpretation would require 2 turns from L and a further 4 turns (whose first turn doesn't count since turns must be continuous) from W for both to exonerate.
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