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Grrr...

Mark rounding and Rights: Rule Question

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Based an another post here on the board, and some replies to it, I'm curious.

 

If two boats are converging on a leeward mark they must leave to starboard, in the configuration shown below, who has rights?

 

They are both clearly "overlapped".

 

Rule 10 applies outside the 2 length circle.

 

However, regarding "room" at the mark, rule 18.1.B clearly states that rule 18 does not apply between boats on opposite tacks - making the whole "room at the mark" argument moot between a starboard boat and a port tack boat.

 

So help me out.

 

Edit: Corrected the Rule Number

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Provided they were overlapped when the bow of the first boat reached the 2 boat circle the port/starboard doesn’t matter. It’s just room to round the mark for the inside boat.

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It is rule 18.1(B) that states the rule doesn't apply to boats on opposite tacks, but you have to read the whole sentence; it continues "on a beat to windward or when the proper course for one of them to pass the mark or obstruction is to tack".

 

All of Rule 18 is printed below for reference.

 

In your drawing, the 2 boats are on opposite tacks, but they are not on a beat to winward, and the inside boat will not be tacking to round the mark (they will jibe to round the mark). So, in this case, the criteria for 18.1(B) is not met, and rule 18 does apply, the inside boat gets rights as a result of the overlap.

 

Specifically, 18.2(a) applies to the outside boat (on starboard tack) and 18.4 applies to the inside boat (on port tack).

 

 

18 PASSING MARKS AND OBSTRUCTIONS

18.1 When This Rule Applies

Rule 18 applies when boats are about to pass a mark they are required to leave on the same side, or an obstruction on the same side, until they have passed it. However, it does not apply

(a) at a starting mark or its anchor line surrounded by navigable water from the time the boats are approaching them to start until they have passed them, or

(B) between boats on opposite tacks when they are on a beat to windward or when the proper course for one of them to pass the mark or obstruction is to tack.

 

18.2 Giving Room; Keeping Clear

(a) When boats are overlapped before one of them reaches the two-length zone, if the outside boat has right of way she shall give the inside boat room to pass the mark or obstruction, or if the inside boat has right of way the outside boat shall keep clear. If they are still overlapped when one of them reaches the two-length zone, the outside boat's obligation continues even if the overlap is broken later. This rule does not apply if the outside boat is unable to give room when the overlap begins.

(B) If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the two-length zone, the boat then clear astern shall thereafter keep clear. Rules 10, 11 and 18.2(a) do not apply, and after the starting signal rule 16 applies only if the right-of-way boat changes course away from the mark or obstruction. If the right-of-way boat passes head to wind, rule 13 applies and this rule no longer does.

© If there is reasonable doubt that a boat established or broke an overlap in time, it shall be presumed that she did not.

 

18.3 Tacking

If two boats were on opposite tacks and one of them tacked within the two-length zone to pass a mark or obstruction, rule 18.2 does not apply.

The boat that tacked

(a) shall not cause the other boat to sail above close-hauled to avoid her or prevent the other boat from passing the mark or obstruction, and

(B) shall keep clear if the other boat becomes overlapped inside her, in which case rule 15 does not apply.

 

18.4 Gybing

When rule 18.2(a) applies and an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at the mark or obstruction to sail her proper course, she shall pass no farther from the mark or obstruction than needed to sail that course.

 

18.5 Passing a Continuing Obstruction

At a continuing obstruction, rule 18.2 is modified so that while boats are passing the obstruction an outside boat's obligation ends if the overlap is broken, and a boat clear astern may establish an inside overlap provided there is room at that time to pass between the other boat and the obstruction. If she does so, her obligation under rule 18.2(B) ends.

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18.3 is important when approaching the windward mark. Basically if you tack within 2 boat lengths of a windward mark there had better not be anyone around or you’re in trouble.

 

Those port tack approaches (for a port rounding) need a lot more care than they used to.

 

This was a change that some people seemed to miss

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Grrr,

 

I'll take a stab at this since I'm one of the primary participants in the thread you mention.

 

First, 18.1(B) is not applicable in the situation you diagram so Rule 18 in general applies. The reason is that the rules differentiate between tacks and gybes. A gybe is required in the digram, not a tack, so it doesn't fall within the exclusion of 18.1(B).

 

That leaves you with 18.2(a), where the outside boat (the starboard tack boat in your diagram) must give room to the inside overlapped boat. Note that since, in your diagram, the inside boat is on port, it does not also have right of way and the outside boat is not required to "keep clear." This means the inside boat has to make a "seamanlike" (tight) rounding rather than a "tactical" (wider) rounding.

 

If your diagram showed this situation on a mark to be rounded to port, then 18.4 comes in. That rule requires an inside overlapped right-of-way (starboard) boat to sail her proper course around the mark (meaning I can't come screaming in on starboard and force you to sail into oblivion before I make my turn around the mark).

 

Note 18.2(e) which places various burdens of proof on boats. If there's any doubt that you don't have the overlap, best not to force the issue as the rules presume that you did not have the overlap. It's a pretty hard case to make in the room when it's he-said, she-said and you are claiming you had room but the other guys says you didn't.

 

Would love to hear others' comments on this.

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Wow, this was fast.

 

Some of the posts disagree with my thinking that 18.4 is not applicable to the situation in the diagram since the inside boat, being on port, does not have right of way. Thoughts?

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Some of the posts disagree with my thinking that 18.4 is not applicable to the situation in the diagram since the inside boat, being on port, does not have right of way. Thoughts?

18.4 Gybing

When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark or obstruction to sail her proper course, until she gybes she shall sail no farther from the mark or obstruction than needed to sail that course.

 

Port doesn't have right of way, so you're right, 18.4 doesn't apply. However, this doesn't help her much - she has right to room at the mark, but has to keep clear of the starboard boat. This pretty much forces her to gybe at the mark.

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With regard to the issue of 2 boat lengths from the mark, would it change things if this were a PHRF race and Starboard was a 40' boat and Port was a 24' boat, and the overlap occurs after Starboard is less than 80' from the mark but Port is more than 50' from the mark?

Well, there is a definition of the two length zone:

 

Two-Length Zone

The area around a mark or obstruction within a distance of two hull lengths of the boat nearer to it.

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Just for starters, the boats in the diagram are not overlapped. An imaginary line drawn across the transom does not intersect the other boat.

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Chick: Sorry but both overlap each other. An "overlap" means neither boat is clear astern of the other. Clear astern means the entire boat falls behind an imaginary line abeam of the stern of the other boat. Check the def of Overlap on p. 138 of the rulebook.

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Just for starters, the boats in the diagram are not overlapped. An imaginary line drawn across the transom does not intersect the other boat.

However. An imaginary line drawn across the transom puts the other boat in front of the imaginary line. Therefore, the boats must be overlapped since neither boat is clear ahead.

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Also I seem to remember that an opinion or csae stated that the "when boats are about to round" in 18.1 may take precedence over the 2 boatlenth criteria, as in boats surfing in on a plane are about to round furrther out than the 2 length circle.

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Also I seem to remember that an opinion or csae stated that the "when boats are about to round" in 18.1 may take precedence over the 2 boatlenth criteria, as in boats surfing in on a plane are about to round furrther out than the 2 length circle.

Except 18.1 does not apply in this case as stated in an earlier post.

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Bayou,

18.1(B) says that this situation isn't excluded, therefore some potion of 18 does apply. I was just opining that overlap might occur at a distance greater than 2 lengths if the boats are really screaming in.

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Thanks Fly. No matter how conservative I try to be at roundings there lways seems to be someone that thinks I'm too close. Nice rush but hard on the ears.

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Bayou,

18.1(B) says that this situation isn't excluded, therefore some potion of 18 does apply.  I was just opining that overlap might occur at a distance greater than 2 lengths if the boats are really screaming in.

The two boats could have been overlapped on opposite sides of the course and stayed that way all the way to the 2 BL circle.

 

Edit: Obviously by the definitions, "this term doesn't apply to boats on opposite tacks unless rule 18 applies". So... when does rule 18 apply? Is it only when one boat hits the 2BL circle OR is it when rule 18 is going to "eventually" apply i.e. getting close to the gate but not at the 2 BL circle yet?

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