COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by NLW TFW » Mon, 14 Aug 1995 04:00:00


I need your advice concerning legal and m***right of way, and it's on a
topic we all face every day on the water: COLLISIONS AT SEA.

I was approaching shore, with another sailor well behind me and downwind
of me, and just room for my jibe. I pinched up to make more room, went
into my jibe to avoid hitting shore, got hit by a major gust part way
through which sent me a few feet further downwind than planned, and just
as I exited my tight jibe at the same 25 mph I went in at I realized I
wasn't quite going to clear the oncoming sailor. He hadn't budged from the
straight line he'd held all the way across the Columbia. I aborted too
late, he never changed his course, and we hit almost head on just as my
feet and sail completed their switch. My board went in the bottom of his
and came out the top (with no damage to mine).

I jibed to avoid the shore. He was downwind and well behind me. He made no
apparent effort to avoid me, yet said he saw me coming the whole time. His
friends say he's blind as a bat. He's a very nice guy (that counts! I
wouldn't be asking this question if he were an A-hole.), and I've known
him slightly for years, so I want to be more than fair.

What do I owe the guy? Nada? Half his repair costs? The whole bill? My
next child? Your two cents' worth would be appreciated. The only opinion I
won't consider is, "***Happens". This was avoidable by either and both
of us, so it didn't just "happen".

Thanks.
Mike \m/

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by Bob Galv » Mon, 14 Aug 1995 04:00:00

AT first glance, this seems a tough question.  But the more I think about it,
it becomes clear to me that the other guy was at fault, for several reasons:

Ultimate rule - Avoid collisions whenever possible.  
        You tryed  (pinched up, jibed tight), he did nothing to avoid.

Sea Room - You were about to run aground and required room to manuever.
        I think that the great majority of other sailors also jibe in the
        same place, over and over again, so I doubt that your jibe was a
        surprise to "The Other Guy".  

How would you feel if his board had pierced yours instead?  This was just
the luck of the draw, your nose was lower at the moment of convergence.

Bottom line - I think he just spaced out.  But If you "want to be more
than fair", I'd say 1/2 the repair cost is it.  This option will gain you
bushels of good karma and PR - maybe some real good sailing sessions too.

Bob Galvan


 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by Bob Galv » Mon, 14 Aug 1995 04:00:00



Quote:

>While avoidance of a collision is always paramount, in a right of way
>situation it is important that the boat with right of way hold course
>as much as possible so the burdened vessel does not have to anticipate
>unexpected changes.  In particular, he MUST NOT change course unless
>it is absolutely clear that that is the only way to avoid a collision.

>Mike

Hooey Mikey.

This was a "Room to Manuever" issue, not a right of way issue.



 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by ramo » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

>>I need your advice concerning legal and m***right of way, and it's on a
>>topic we all face every day on the water: COLLISIONS AT SEA.

>>I was approaching shore, with another sailor well behind me and downwind
>>of me, and just room for my jibe. I pinched up to make more room, went
>>into my jibe to avoid hitting shore, got hit by a major gust part way
>>through which sent me a few feet further downwind than planned, and just
>>as I exited my tight jibe at the same 25 mph I went in at I realized I
>>wasn't quite going to clear the oncoming sailor. He hadn't budged from the
>>straight line he'd held all the way across the Columbia. I aborted too
>>late, he never changed his course, and we hit almost head on just as my
>>feet and sail completed their switch. My board went in the bottom of his
>>and came out the top (with no damage to mine).

>>I jibed to avoid the shore. He was downwind and well behind me. He made no
>>apparent effort to avoid me, yet said he saw me coming the whole time. His
>>friends say he's blind as a bat. He's a very nice guy (that counts! I
>>wouldn't be asking this question if he were an A-hole.), and I've known
>>him slightly for years, so I want to be more than fair.

>>What do I owe the guy? Nada? Half his repair costs? The whole bill? My
>>next child? Your two cents' worth would be appreciated. The only opinion I
>>won't consider is, "***Happens". This was avoidable by either and both
>>of us, so it didn't just "happen".

Even if the guy was blind, he did not change direction, so, he did not
bump into you. He does not have to make way for you.  You did change
direction, so you bumped into him.

You should have avoided jibing close to him, sheeted out and jibe behind
him. Or if this was not possible, just make sure you go down in the
wather.

I am sorry for you, but you should pay full cost.

Please let this be al lesson to all of us, if you jibe,jump, or whatever,
make sure you won't have a collision. Look around, and keep away from
others.

Ramon

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by Michael John Creu » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
>I need your advice concerning legal and m***right of way, and it's on a
>topic we all face every day on the water: COLLISIONS AT SEA.
>I was approaching shore, with another sailor well behind me and downwind
>of me, and just room for my jibe. I pinched up to make more room, went
>into my jibe to avoid hitting shore, got hit by a major gust part way
>through which sent me a few feet further downwind than planned, and just
>as I exited my tight jibe at the same 25 mph I went in at I realized I
>wasn't quite going to clear the oncoming sailor. He hadn't budged from the
>straight line he'd held all the way across the Columbia. I aborted too
>late, he never changed his course, and we hit almost head on just as my
>feet and sail completed their switch. My board went in the bottom of his
>and came out the top (with no damage to mine).
>I jibed to avoid the shore. He was downwind and well behind me. He made no
>apparent effort to avoid me, yet said he saw me coming the whole time. His
>friends say he's blind as a bat. He's a very nice guy (that counts! I
>wouldn't be asking this question if he were an A-hole.), and I've known
>him slightly for years, so I want to be more than fair.
>What do I owe the guy? Nada? Half his repair costs? The whole bill? My
>next child? Your two cents' worth would be appreciated. The only opinion I
>won't consider is, "***Happens". This was avoidable by either and both
>of us, so it didn't just "happen".
>Thanks.
>Mike \m/

While avoidance of a collision is always paramount, in a right of way
situation it is important that the boat with right of way hold course
as much as possible so the burdened vessel does not have to anticipate
unexpected changes.  In particular, he MUST NOT change course unless
it is absolutely clear that that is the only way to avoid a collision.

Mike

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by Tom von Alt » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00

In rec.windsurfing, NLW TFW NM writes:
: I need your advice concerning legal and m***right of way, and it's on a
: topic we all face every day on the water: COLLISIONS AT SEA.

You turned around and ran smack into someone who was downwind of you and
holding his course.

It's 100% your fault, in my opinion.  Sorry.
_____________

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by Greg J. Wils » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Quote:

>AT first glance, this seems a tough question.  But the more I think about it,
>it becomes clear to me that the other guy was at fault, for several reasons:

>Ultimate rule - Avoid collisions whenever possible.  
>    You tryed  (pinched up, jibed tight), he did nothing to avoid.

>Sea Room - You were about to run aground and required room to manuever.
>    I think that the great majority of other sailors also jibe in the
>    same place, over and over again, so I doubt that your jibe was a
>    surprise to "The Other Guy".  

>How would you feel if his board had pierced yours instead?  This was just
>the luck of the draw, your nose was lower at the moment of convergence.

>Bottom line - I think he just spaced out.  But If you "want to be more
>than fair", I'd say 1/2 the repair cost is it.  This option will gain you
>bushels of good karma and PR - maybe some real good sailing sessions too.

>Bob Galvan


I have to disagree with this insane reasoning. Nobody has right of way
because they chose to run too close to shore.
That's your own damn fault. I do beleive the rules
say downwind vessel has right of way.  You knew he was there,
so you had to yield to him.

I hope you wouldn't think that I would give right of way to you if you felt like jibing.  

You owe him a new board.

.

--
~

Georgia Tech Sailing Club                       See ya at the lake!

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by ramo » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Can't help it,

I now know why you wear a life jacket and a helmet. With this kind of
surfing.

Ramon

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by Booker C. Ben » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----



Quote:

>>AT first glance, this seems a tough question.  But the more I think about it,
>>it becomes clear to me that the other guy was at fault, for several reasons:

>>Ultimate rule - Avoid collisions whenever possible.  
>>        You tryed  (pinched up, jibed tight), he did nothing to avoid.

>>Sea Room - You were about to run aground and required room to manuever.
>>        I think that the great majority of other sailors also jibe in the
>>        same place, over and over again, so I doubt that your jibe was a
>>        surprise to "The Other Guy".  

>>Bottom line - I think he just spaced out.  But If you "want to be more
>>than fair", I'd say 1/2 the repair cost is it.  This option will gain you
>>bushels of good karma and PR - maybe some real good sailing sessions too.

>>Bob Galvan

>I have to disagree with this insane reasoning. Nobody has right of way
>because they chose to run too close to shore.
>That's your own damn fault. I do beleive the rules
>say downwind vessel has right of way.  You knew he was there,
>so you had to yield to him.

- - In open water, yes this is the rule. The rules for real boats do give
"priority of way" to boats attempting to avoid an obstacle. You're
suppose to signal the other skipper though.

Quote:

>You owe him a new board.

- - This is my sentiment also. You have absolutely NO RIGHTS while jibing.
You didn't signal the other guy for hazard clearance (sea room). Expecting
people to read your mind is a pretty weak defense.

- - As an aside, I think this case clearly demonstrates how inappropriate the
usual rules of navigation are for boardsailors, particulary for short boarders.
We need to come up with a better set of rules, rules that make sense for sailboats
that run at 25knots, not 5 knots. The other big problem is that everbody seems to
be using their own set of rules. We should take care of this problem before the
government steps in with a set of "helmet laws".

- - Here's the rules I use.

1. You must do everything possible to avoid an immenient collision.

2. Stay at least 1.5 mast lengths from all other sailors.

3. Downwind boards on the same tack have priority of way.
        (i.e. if you can see them , you should avoid them ).

4. Starboard tack has "priority of way".
        ( I.e. right hand near mast means you go straight. )  

5. Downed sailors must be given clearance for water starting/ uphauling.
    Priority rules only apply to sailors under power.

6. Planing boards should give priority of way to non-planing.

7. Jibing/tacking boards have NO priority.

8. When in doubt drop the sail.

9. LOOK AROUND!!!!

- - Priority of way means that you have the right to continue on your current
course, you do not have the right to drastically change course and expect the
other guy to compensate. The general idea is that when two sailors are on
a collision course, one should "not move" and the other should change course
to avoid the collision. Generally, the one with the most power/manoevrability
is the one that takes on the "avoider" role.

- - Other sailors are the most dangerous aspect of our sport.


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COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by Sting-a-ling-a-ding-do » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00

    I am sorry to hear about the collision.  I feel that all sailors involved
should somewhat be responsible to avoid any collision possible.  No matter of
right of way, rules.  Just because I am on starboard gives me no right to put
a hole in someone just because I am right.  Some sailors sail with this
attitude and are scary!

    As far as this situation I think that since you were changing directions
and he was not that you are responsible ($$) for the repairs, although, it
would have been nice if he somehow helped avoid this as well.

    When sailing I assume no one see's me and look out for all.  It is the
safest way so far.  No collisions to date...

---
+----------------------------+------------------------------+-----------------+


|Electronic Systems Division |          (US-775)            |                 |
|Raytheon, Marlborough, Mass | "I'd rather be Windsurfing!" |   M/S 2-2-2805  |
+----------------------------+------------------------------+-----------------+
|  BIG Certified Instructor  | My homepage: http://www.ultranet.com/~lefebvre |
+---Seatrend----Neil-Pryde---+----Rainbow-Fins----Bare---------Fiberspar------+

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by Mark Hein » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
>wasn't quite going to clear the oncoming sailor. He hadn't budged from the
>straight line he'd held all the way across the Columbia. I aborted too
>late, he never changed his course, and we hit almost head on just as my
>feet and sail completed their switch. My board went in the bottom of his
>and came out the top (with no damage to mine).

[cut]

Quote:
>What do I owe the guy? Nada? Half his repair costs? The whole bill? My
>next child? Your two cents' worth would be appreciated. The only opinion I

I think you should pay for repairs (unfortunately).  According to the rules
of the road you were at fault.  He held his coarse as he was supposed to
and therefore had right-of-way.  You were turning and therefore needed
to yield to other sailors.

The only way you would not have been at fault is if you had established
your course and had the right of way for head-on approach.  From your
description it doesn't sound like that happened so I would think you are
at fault and should pay for damage.

Also, despite heading up wind a bit it sounds like you made a risky jibe.
There have been several times where I have bailed because I initially
thought I had plenty of space to turn and "suddenly" someone else is
in my path.  At the speeds windsurfers can reach, I feel it's better to
blow a perfect jibe than sail dangerously (although if someone falls in
front of me I sometimes cut it closer than I should...).

I am often surprised at how few windsurfers are aware of the rules of
the road.  I would think this is something basic that all sailors should
know.  Plus if you wave sail then you should know the local rules for
the break as well.  IMHO of course.

-mark
--
                                    Encore Computer Corporation
                                    901 Kildaire Farm Rd. - Bldg. D
Mark Heinze                         Cary, NC  27511

--
                                    Encore Computer Corporation
                                    901 Kildaire Farm Rd. - Bldg. D
Mark Heinze                         Cary, NC  27511

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by Volker Wedemei » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00


Quote:
>I need your advice concerning legal and m***right of way, and it's on a
>topic we all face every day on the water: COLLISIONS AT SEA.
...
>I jibed to avoid the shore. He was downwind and well behind me. He made no
>apparent effort to avoid me, yet said he saw me coming the whole time. His
>friends say he's blind as a bat. He's a very nice guy (that counts! I
>wouldn't be asking this question if he were an A-hole.), and I've known
>him slightly for years, so I want to be more than fair.

>What do I owe the guy? Nada? Half his repair costs? The whole bill? My
>next child? Your two cents' worth would be appreciated. The only opinion I
>won't consider is, "***Happens". This was avoidable by either and both
>of us, so it didn't just "happen".

Well, I am not sure, but as I understand it, you have to make sure you have
enough room before you change your course and especially before you jibe. That's
why you're supposed to scan your leeward side before initiating a jibe. I know,
it's often annoying to have someone on your leeward side when you want to jibe,
but the only thing you can do is to make enough ground against the wind, wait
until the other jibes or to go downwind so the other guy is upwind of you before
you jibe. You say you had to jibe to avoid the shore, but another option would
have been to not jibe at all (stop) or do a tack (if possible).

On the other hand, you say that the other guy had plenty of room to avoid you
and that he could see you. As it's also a rule to always try to avoid a
collision no matter if you have the right of way or not, I'd say it's also partly
his fault.

In terms of money, I'd vote for 75% of the repair costs for you and 25% for him
to pay.

But that's of course only my opinion based on your description. If the other had
tried to avoid you, I'd rather say that you'd have to pay all.

Anyway, glad you both haven't been seriously hurt.

Volker

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by <U52.. » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00

My $0.2.  As far as I know:

Rules of road:  A sailor turning has the lowest priority, like making a left
turn and getting in an auto accident.  I assume that the person making the left
 turn in an accident situation is always at fault.  For sailing likewise the
 sailor turning is always responsible.  Bob.

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by TWMARRI » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00

Quote:
>I was approaching shore, with another sailor well behind me and downwind
>of me, and just room for my jibe. I pinched up to make more room, went
>into my jibe to avoid hitting shore, got hit by a major gust part way
>through which sent me a few feet further downwind than planned, and just
>as I exited my tight jibe at the same 25 mph I went in at I realized I
>wasn't quite going to clear the oncoming sailor.

 Most people will agree that the 'sea room'  rule applies. But You don't
get the option to do a full planning jibe, you could have executed a pivot

jibe, short board tack, or some other turn. There is no rule that states
the full planning jibe is the standard turn for right of way purposes. If
you
don't have the ability to do a short board tack, or other small radius
turn
in the situation as you have described, I would think you have given up
any right of way and should bail out. Water starts are a pain in the neck
sometimes but in this case I think it would have been the 'proper' move.

     Tom

Happiness is crossing the Bonner Bridge, southbound.

 
 
 

COLLISIONS: Who's at fault?

Post by Tim Diera » Tue, 15 Aug 1995 04:00:00

I do believe that you did not have any rights under sea going rules of the
road.  The down wind sailor has right-of-way, and he did exactly what he
was supposed to do -- maintain speed and course.  The fact that you tried
to jam a jibe in a tight space (and blew it) also tells me that your
sailing is reckless.

Tim
Berkeley, CA