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This is a question in our FREE Navigation Rules Course which covers in-depth the International Rules of Collision at Sea aka ColRegs.
The Powerboat is adrift. Who gives way?
Using our nano forum technology, one of our student’s asked the question.
Q: Please help! In the image, a sailboat has a powerboat (looks like a cabin cruiser) to port, apparently adrift in this example. However, there are no sails deployed on the sailboat. The sentence beneath this picture says the powerboat must give way, making the sailboat the Stand on boat. Why is this the case? Is it because the powerboat has the sailboat to starboard? Is it because the powerboat is adrift? Is the sailboat under power or adrift? This picture is confusing me because it seems the sail boat is also either under power or adrift. It’s certainly not overtaking the powerboat from the rear. Can anyone help with this one?
Here is our answer
A:Powerboat rules apply. The power boat sees the power driven sailboat on its right (sees a red light) and thus must give way. Additional note: adrift is still under power regardless if the engines are on or off. Why is that? Well, how could the sailboat know if the engines on the powerboat are on or off? For consistency of the rules then, adrift IS underpower. Further note: the sailboat even tho stand-on still has the responsibility to not cause a close quarters situation. Thus, let’s say the power boat could not start its engines, then there is no problem because of the sailboat’s continued responsibility. Further note: the student also asks what if the sailboat is adrift. Well, that point is moot because both adrift would not cause a collision. However, even if the wind was pushing the adrift sailboat towards the adrift powerboat, technically both are still underway and the powerboat is still the give-way vessel. Further note: if the powerboat was at anchor, then it is at anchor no longer underway.
Thanks to Perry G of Oregon for asking the question using our Nano forums “SeaTalk”.
On every page of our sailing courses, there is a SeaTalk button. Use this button to ask and answer a question. In particular, please help the community by answering questions when you see that there are comments or question on the SeaTalk page.
Have you taken our FREE Navigation Rules Course yet? By taking it and sharing it, our waterways become safer.
Someone on this planet must surely know everything. I’m yet to meet him or her however.
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NauticEd International Sailing Education is the proud title sponsor for the May 12th 2016, Oregon Offshore International Yacht Race. Two of NauticEd’s practical sailing schools, Island Sailing Club and Vancouver Sailing Club are a significant part of this title sponsorship and many of their students are participating.
The race, in its 40th year is 193 miles long and begins off the coast of Astoria, Oregon and finishes in the harbor at Victoria, British Columbia.
As part of the education sponsorship, NauticEd is giving away 6 Captain’s Sailing Education Packages to 6 lucky participants. This represents over a $2000 donation to the cause of keeping people save on the water with advanced sailing education. View the contents of the Captains package below. This represents extensive and vital education for all sailors wanting to sail more than 20 miles off shore or over long distances.
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After the anchor has set and adequate rode has been paid out, take time to ensure you are not drifting. And considering changing winds and tide height and tidal current, it is important to periodically monitor how well your anchor is set.
Check your anchor set manually and electronically. Do this manually by sighting bearings to objects on shore and determining that they are constant. Note that the boat will swing back and forth with the wind making it a little difficult to check that you are remaining steadfastly connected to the bottom. But, over time, you will get a feeling that through each successive swing, bearings to objects on the shore are not changing.
Using an electronic means will give you a more accurate determination of anchor set. If you have a GPS device, turn it on and turn on “show track.” Observe over time the history track of your boat. If the tracks overlay each other then you are holding steadfast. You can also use an anchor alarm on your depth meter. To do this, you set the maximum and minimum allowable depths. If the depth goes out of this range, the alarm sounds. There are also Apps for your mobile device. Here are a few:
Chances are that you will be switching over to an inflatable PFD pretty soon given that they are so comfortable. Here the adult is wearing a Type II inflatable PFD while the Child is wearing a comfortable Type III PFD.
Inflatable PFD’s are available in a variety of styles (and colors) and are generally more comfortable and less bulky than traditional foam vests. They need to be worn on the outside of all clothing and weather protection for obvious reasons of gaining access to the inflatable tube and also allowing the water to activate the automatic release of the gas cartridge.
They come in different sizes for children and adults. International standards on inflatable PFD’s require them to be fitted with a whistle and reflective tape. For vessels operating at night they are also required to have a light attached. It is recommended that you buy PFD’s, especially child ones, with a crotch strap to prevent the PFD from rising over the head.
The air chambers are always located over the breast, across the shoulders and encircle the back of the head. They may be inflated by either self-contained carbon dioxide cartridges activated by pulling a cord, or blow tubes with a one-way valve for inflation by exhalation.
Some inflatable life jackets also react with salt or fresh water, which causes them to self-inflate. Some inflatable life jackets are only inflated by blowing into a tube. These are more dangerous and should be avoided because it is possible the person falling or being knocked overboard may be unconscious. The latest generation of self-triggering inflation devices responds to water pressure when submerged and incorporates an actuator known as a ‘hydrostatic release’.
Regardless of whether manually or automatically triggered, a pin punctures the cartridge/canister and the CO2 gas escapes into the sealed air chamber. However, there is a chance that these water pressure activated inflation devices do not inflate the life jacket if a person is wearing waterproof clothing and falls into the water face-down. In these cases the buoyancy of the clothing holds a person on the water surface, which prevents the hydrostatic release. As a result, a person can drown although wearing a fully functional life jacket.
To be on the safe side, a pill-activated inflation device is preferred. A small pill that dissolves very fast on water contact is the safest option, as it also works in shallow waters where a hydrostatic activator fails. This type of jacket is called an ‘automatic’. As it is more sensitive to the presence of water, early models could also be activated by very heavy rain or spray. For this reason, spare re-arming kits should be carried on board for each life jacket. However, with modern cup/bobbin mechanisms this problem rarely arises and mechanisms such as the Halkey Roberts Pro firing system have all but eliminated accidental firing.
Looking after your inflatable lifejacket
The care and maintenance of your inflatable PFD/lifejacket is your responsibility. Here are some simple tips to help you properly care for your inflatable lifejacket.
Have you read the instructions?
Your inflatable lifejacket should contain information on how to wear, operate and look after your device. It is important that you familiarize yourself with these instructions.
How do I look after my lifejacket?
Check the following for excessive wear, cracking, fraying or anything to indicate possible loss of strength:
- waist belts
- all fastening mechanisms and devices.
Also, check that:
- the gas cylinder is screwed in firmly so as to allow the firing pin to pierce the cylinder bladder
- the lifejacket has not been previously activated without refitting a new activation device and cylinder
- there is no rust on the gas cylinder
Important – Rust on the gas cylinder may damage the fabric of the cylinder bladder allowing the gas to leak over time.
Don’t forget to manually inflate the lifejacket from time to time. To do this:
- open up the inflatable lifejacket to expose the inflation tube
- inflate with dry air
- leave it inflated overnight
- check for loss of pressure the next day. If you believe there is leakage, contact the manufacturer immediately. If there is no obvious loss of pressure, deflate the inflatable lifejacket by turning the cap upside down and holding the topside (with the knob down) pressed into the inflation tube. This will open the one-way valve.
- make sure all the air is expelled and the life jacket is repacked correctly.
What should I do with my inflatable lifejacket at the end of a day out?
If your inflatable lifejacket is equipped with automatic inflation, remove the bobbin or cartridge before washing to avoid accidental inflation.
- Rinse: If it has been exposed to salt water, rinse thoroughly in fresh cold water.
- Wash: To clean the outer shell of it, hand wash with warm soapy water. A clothing cleaning agent can be used for removing grease and stubborn stains.
- Dry: Hang it up to dry thoroughly before storing.
If your inflatable lifejacket is equipped with automatic inflation remember to replace the bobbin or cartridge once the inflatable lifejacket is thoroughly dry. The bobbin can only be inserted one way and the cartridge simply screws in.
Bobbins and cartridges
Some automatic inflatable lifejackets are equipped with sacrificial water-soluble bobbins and others with sacrificial paper element cartridges. They are prone to accidental inflation if exposed to humid conditions for any length of time. If you have any difficulty, contact the manufacturer or place of purchase.
What if I have deployed my inflatable lifejacket?
If you use your inflatable lifejacket, you will need to replace the CO2 gas cylinder and the activation device once it has been used. It is recommended that you have your inflatable lifejacket serviced each time it is deployed. The inflatable lifejacket can then be checked for any damage which may have occurred during the incident. For automatic inflatable lifejackets, it is recommended that the bobbins or cartridges be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Does my inflatable lifejacket need to be serviced?
Your inflatable lifejacket should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for full servicing details relevant to your inflatable lifejacket. However almost all manufacturers recommend at least annually.
Transporting Lifejackets on Aircraft
Is it OK to take inflatable lifejackets on commercial aircraft ?
IATA publish Table 2.3A regulating the transport of dangerous goods which states that: Subject to prior approval from the airline, self-inflating life jackets are permitted if they contain not more than two small cylinders with a non-flammable gas in Division 2.2 plus not more than two spare cartridges per person. They are permitted as: carry-on baggage, checked baggage, or on one’s person.
Not all airlines follow these rules, so consult with your airline well in advance and also allow additional time for check-in. We also question whether the average security check person knows this. So we advise you to call the airline ahead of your flight and check your lifejackets in your baggage if allowed.
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P.S. There is one trick question.
This post was inspired by the conversation I had with a student sailing off shore in big waves. He was wanting to know how to keep his sails full and have a more comfortable ride whilst sailing downwind. See that conversation here: Wave and Forereaching.
In our storm tactics course, we talk about how forereaching is a way to handle the waves. If you’re going downwind, the waves will still be going faster than you but you can surf them as you go down. As the wave passes underneath and you slide off the back side, your speed will drop significantly. If you don’t turn up wind, the apparent wind will and shift aft and drop way off. The headsail will become shadowed and depowered and your boat speed will drop even further. Your ride will be pretty uncomfortable with an annoyingly flopping head sail.
To keep your boat powered you will want to maintain a constant apparent wind angle to the wind usually about 130 is best and if you’ve take our electronic navigation course dealing with polar plots you’ll learn that you go faster downwind towards your destination by sailing at 130 off the wind rather than directly at at your destination at 180.
In order to maintain a constant apparent wind angle and keep boat speed at it’s maximum, you forereach the waves. This means turning up into the wind as the boat speed slows then turning down wind as the boat begins to surf.
Here is our simple animation. You’ll notice on the wind meter that the apparent wind angle stays constant as you make your turns. The True wind shifts relative to the boat (constant relative to the ground obviously). Press stop/play through out to see what is happening.
Enjoy! Take the NauticEd Storm Tactics Course. You never know when you’re going to need this information and saying “whoops I wish I’d taken that course” is just too darn late!
Here is a great question from a student with our answer below.
Any chance you can email me the barber hauler article direct?
I’m at sea, on a out new-to-us 40′ Leopard Cat on a 1200nm journey and have been really struggling to get the headsail to set right while running downwind. I currently have it barber hauled using the lazy sheet and a midships cleat, but it is far from eloquent.
The issue had been driving me nuts and I’ve really struggled to stop the headsail from back winding. It feels like a velocity header, but it is not. It feels like the headsail is too far out, but I’m sure it’s not. It feels like the headsail wants to gybe, but I’m at 130-140 awa [apparent wind angle]. Admittedly the sea is a factor – 3-5m swell, but it really feels like I’m just doing something basic wrong… But I can work it out.
The problem is when running (150+ twa / 25tws). The only way i can stop it is to come up, but I’m sure i should be able to run!! So frustrating!
Anyway, if you can email me the barber hauler article, I’ll have a read and see what I can see.
I’ve also cc’d my friend Nathan who is a sailing coach based in Auckland.
A Barber Hauler is more for close to beam reaching and helping to shape the gap between the main and the jib. When trying to run from 130 awa and more you’re experiencing shadowing by the main. As you pointed out, as you roll the awa will change vastly because of the velocity of the roll. But also the apparent wind will change as the boat speeds up and slows down with the waves. You can use a pole to get the jib out further and to hold it in place so it does not collapse. But ultimately to keep the sails full and gain the best speed of the boat you will need to fore reach. Fore reaching is sailing the boat to the waves to keep the sails full and the same awa. As you climb a wave the boat slows down, the wind shifts aft so you need to turn up. As you surf the wave and the boat speed picks up you need to bear away. Also as the wave passes you and you slip back off the top of the wave the mast will roll to windward shifting the away forward – turn up. As you go through the trough and the mast rolls downwind the awa shifts backward – turn up.
Surfing a wave or rolling backwards off the top as the wave passes you underneath – turn downwind
Climbing up a wave or rolling forward in the trough as the trough passes you underneath – turn upwind
Ultimately from the boat polar plot that we talk a lot about in the Electronic Navigation course – your best speed to a downwind destination is going to be around 130 degrees awa. In doing this you are keeping the sails full and not shadowed – however again as you point out this is a challenge in waves. Sailing at 150 deg although seems faster because you are heading more directly to your destination, your boat speed is suffering. Also keeping the sails full will make for a more comfortable ride.
Advice is to keep the sails full at around 130 apparent wind angle and to forereach the waves.
I’ll try to put up an animation soon on fore reaching.
ATTN: The NauticEd Coastal Navigation Course has been upgraded and updated. See below.
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(1) At Eastport, Maine. What was the max spring high tide height after the eclipsed super full moon on September 28th 2015. What was the min spring low tide and was it below the datum? What will be the height of the tide at noon today – Oct 5th?
(2) You live in SanFrancisco. You’ve got friends in town and you want to take them sailing today. What are the best times to take them out of the Bay under the Golden Gate bridge and back?
(3) How often does a spring tide occur and how could you predict it?
(4) Can the water level ever get below the chart datum? Why so or why not?
ANS: posted below – see where we got these plots (in less than 10 seconds)
ANS: Goto http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/waterlevels.html?id=8410140&units=standard&bdate=20150928&edate=20151005&timezone=GMT&datum=MLLW&interval=6&action=
(1) The Max was 22.424 ft at 1700 GMT = noon EST 2 days after the full moon. The min was minus 1.818 feet (below the datum) at 23:30 GMT (6:30pm EST).
(2) The prediction is 3.675 above the datum
(3) Best go at low water slack time as the water will be flowing back into the bay after you dawdle around outside the bridge. This is right at about noon. See http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/waterlevels.html?id=9414290&units=standard&bdate=20151005&edate=20151006&timezone=LST&datum=MLLW&interval=6&action=
(4) The USA sets the datum at MLLW which is the mean of the spring low tides over the 19 year cycle lunar solar. UK and the rest of the world set the datum at LAT which is the lowest astronomical tide meaning it should be the lowest it could ever get over the 19 year cycle. Thus often using MLLW the water level can drop below the datum. Using LAT it is less likely but can still happen.
The above images were taken from http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/stations.html?type=Water+Levels and the WorldTides 2015 iOS App respectively.
These questions are a breeze when you know what you are doing and the data answers are at your finger tips on your phone or on the Internet within seconds, if you know what you are doing.
One of the really cool things about eLearning software is that you can upgrade a course on demand – you can do a big update or a little one and the update goes instantly to your students. You don’t have to wait until the inventory is sold out and you don’t have to leave schools holding old inventory to be thrown out.
Last week we did a huge upgrade to the Coastal Navigation course. Mainly because we added in lots of new technology about tides and currents but we also added better explanations of plotting courses using animations.
Understanding of tides and currents have come a long way and websites have been automated to include instant data and tide predictions. Older courses and textbooks make you rely on looking up charts (on paper) – but why would you do that on a daily basis when the exact data is at your finger-tips. Off course, you must understand the fundamentals and we teach that but now we also give you access and knowledge on how to use apps and websites for instant data. It’s what a modern sailing course should do!
Students who have taken our older course now have the benefit of the new course at no cost. Just sign in to NauticEd now and go. You can retake the tests and get up to date on latest coastal navigation techniques and understanding.
Take the NauticEd Coastal Navigation course now for $39.
Learn the theory of course plotting, how to do it and make it second nature, how to measure distances, predict ETAs, account for current flow in course plotting, calculate current flow rate and direction, determine water depth relating to tide, best times for harbor entry, understand GPS, using parallel rulers, bretton plotters, buoys-markers-ATONS (aids to navigation), lights etc etc. Lots and lots of real examples and plotting challenges. You use a real chart. At the end of this course you will have completed the World’s most up to date Coastal Navigation Course and will fly through any other required course like the USCG Commerical Captains License navigation course.
Get free updates for life. Access the course for life. Take the test as many times as you want.
Take the NauticEd Coastal Navigation course now for $39.
Oh and the other cool thing we did was to add in the requirement to have passed either the FREE Navigation Rules course or the Navigation Rules Module in the Skipper (or RYA Day Skipper) course. This ensures everyone taking this course is up to date on Navigation Rules. It was the responsible thing to do. We did this by adding this piece of code to our software.
IF FREE Navigation Rules Course = Passed
OR IF Skipper Course OR RYA DAY Skipper Course = Passed
AND IF Coastal Navigation Course = Passed
THEN Add Coastal Navigation to the Certificate and the Resume
We think this is the world’s best sailing App and for good reason.
NEW APP WAS UPDATED ON SEPT 20th 2015
First off, it is free (that’s good) and second off with that you get NauticEd’s free course on Navigation Rules. Pretty soon we’ll also add NauticEd’s FREE Basic Sail Trim Course.
In addition, any course that you have invested in with NauticEd automatically appears on your App. And to top that off, you can also take your tests for all your courses on the App offline. That’s a big wow!
There is zero reason not to download the App – and imagine if everyone did and took the FREE Navigation Rules Course. You could stop worrying about if the “other guy” heading at you knows the rules or not. So spread the word generously.
Bored in the doctor’s office? Take the Free Rules of the Nautical Road test!
Download the NauticEd Course and Testing App now
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Easy Rigging a Barber Hauler on Your Boat
A Barber Hauler was invented by the Barber brothers. They wanted to be able to further control the shape of the jibsail and the position of the jibsail clew. On cruising boats, its not sometimes practical to go to all the extra expense of installing all the gear they originally suggested and so various forms of achieving this have been devised and loosely now they are all called Barber Haulers.
We discuss this and many other fine tuning sail trim techniques in our advanced Sail Trim Course.