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    Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 10:18am
Quick question...

So you're on port.. windward of you is another boat (also on port). You want to tack onto starboard but the other boat is just taking you way out to the layline... How much of a gap would you need to be able to tack onto starboard and call him to tack also? Just enough space to complete the tack or is there some ettiquette/rule involved here?


Edited by Bandin - 07 Sep 20 at 10:18am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GML Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 11:15am
Rules 13 and 15 are the most relevant here.

Rule 13: while you are tacking you must keep clear of any boat that is not tacking. So if he has to change course to avoid you before you have completed your tack you have broken rule 13.

But then rule 15 comes into play: at the moment you complete your tack (and assuming that he hasn't also tacked) you become right of way boat by being on starboard tack when he is on port tack, BUT rule 15 says that you still have to initially give him room to keep clear - you have to give him enough time and space to keep clear of you without him having to make an unseamanlike maneuver or start that maneuver before you have completed your tack. If he is going to have to tack to keep clear of you then you need to give him enough time and space to make a seamanlike tack (and he doesn't need to start that maneuver until you have completed your tack). Likewise, if he is going to have to duck to keep clear of you, you need to be far enough in front of him that he can safely go behind you without having to make an unseamanlike bear away starting at the point when you completed your tack (and not before).


NB At no point do you have the right to hail him to tack (unless you are approaching an obstruction).

(For the experts in the room, yes I know I have ignored some of the finer details of the rules.)


Edited by GML - 07 Sep 20 at 11:19am
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 11:20am
Yes, Rule 15 :- "ACQUIRING RIGHT OF WAY

When a boat acquires right of way, she shall initially give the other boat room to keep clear, unless she acquires right of way because of the other boatís actions.

So you can't just slam dunk a tack and expect them to disappear, they do not have to take action to avoid you until it is clear you are tacking.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote andymck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 11:21am
You have to be able to tack and complete before he has to start responding (13). He only needs to tack normally and not crash tack. (15) Any collision is likely to go against you as long as they responded.
You may need to be prepared to tack back or avoid if clear astern (12) or windward boat (11)
This is always a tricky one in fleet racing and if you desperately donít want to go right you may be better slowing and tacking behind.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote GML Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 1:00pm
Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

they do not have to take action to avoid you until it is clear you are tacking.

Sorry Sam, but the other boat does NOT have to take action when it becomes clear that you are tacking (unless that is necessary to avoid contact, in which case the tacking boat has already broken rule 13). It is only once the tacking boat has COMPLETED their tack and become right of way boat that the other boat has to start to take action to keep clear.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote andymck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 1:37pm
Originally posted by GML


Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

<span style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;">they do not have to take action to avoid you until it is clear you are tacking.</span>

Sorry Sam, but the other boat does NOT have to take action when it becomes clear that you are tacking (unless that is necessary to avoid contact, in which case the tacking boat has already broken rule 13). It is only once the tacking boat has COMPLETED their tack and become right of way boat that the other boat has to start to take action to keep clear.


The interpretation in the case book includes thinking time of 1 to 2 seconds before they have to react. I think itís 27, but check.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GML Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 4:30pm
Originally posted by andymck

The interpretation in the case book includes thinking time of 1 to 2 seconds before they have to react. I think itís 27, but check.

Case 27 doesn't actually say that a boat is entitled to 1 to 2 seconds of thinking time, it merely notes that in the specific circumstances of that case the boat concerned "had perhaps one to two seconds to decide what to do and then do it", implying that that wasn't sufficient time for them to avoid contact, and hence they didn't break rule 14.

How much room (time and space) a boat needs to keep clear when another boat acquires right of way will depend upon the specific facts of each case, including e.g. the type of boat and the conditions at the time.
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Sam.Spoons View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 7:58pm
Originally posted by GML

Originally posted by Sam.Spoons

they do not have to take action to avoid you until it is clear you are tacking.

Sorry Sam, but the other boat does NOT have to take action when it becomes clear that you are tacking (unless that is necessary to avoid contact, in which case the tacking boat has already broken rule 13). It is only once the tacking boat has COMPLETED their tack and become right of way boat that the other boat has to start to take action to keep clear.

Yes, you are right, the tacking boat does not have RoW until she reaches close hauled but if it is obvious she is tacking the keep clear boat cannot claim extra time to 'have a think about it', she must be prepared to take action the moment RoW hits close hauled. I chose my words badly but, in the real world, it would be a foolish skipper who claimed he thought RoW was bluffing when she tacked.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote andymck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 8:19pm
No but a hard protest to loose when you state in the room, as soon as she completed i assessed I would not keep clear and began a seaman like manoeuvre.
As has been seen from case 27
Rule 15 gives yo sufficient time for a response, and that point is when the leeward boat has reached a close hauled corse. Not before, and actually I did misquote as the interpretation, which suggests one to two seconds was not enough.
It also points out that the windward boat does not have to anticipate the tack at all.
So no. You donít say you thought they were bluffing. You just say as soon as I saw they had completed I tried to keep Keep Clear in a seaman like way and I was unable to do so.
You have at least to check to windward that you are able to tack and not commit the same breech of the rules.

Interestingly if leeward looks like causing a collision and tacks back even if windward Has to tack.
This is usually judged no incident.
Andy Mck
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Sam.Spoons Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 20 at 9:19pm
It's always going to depend on the boats, the conditions and the distances/timings but for all practical purposes I think my assessment is reasonable. You are not expected to anticipate but would be foolish not to do so, collisions are slow...
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