Mark room, proper course, and a beat to windward

Spoonie

Anarchist
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Sydney
Ok, 

So I have an interesting one (well I thought it was interesting) that goes like this:

  1. W and L are on a beat to windward, on starboard, in variable to light winds and smooth water. They are sailing close to the starboard lay line for a starboard mark rounding.  W establishes an overlap to windward but inside L as they enter the zone.  W requests room and L complies.
  2. A momentary change of pressure and direction hits W & L.  W bears away, and L holds their course.  The boats (ostensibly) collide.  they are approximately 1.5 boat lengths from the port layline, and approximately 1.5-2 boat lengths below the mark
  3. Due to W's closeness, L is unable to manoeuvre, nor W, in order to allow W to tack.  In attempting to tack, W's transom collides with L
  4. When W does tack, they are about 1 to 1.5 boat lengths from the mark on port tack and on the lay line
  5. Both boats clear the mark without further incident

W claims L did not provide adequate buoy room.  L claims W's proper course was not to sail close to the mark and so failed to keep clear.

So here's my thinking.  When both boats originally overlapped, it was W's proper course to sail close to the mark.  Mark room was given.   When W bore away, her proper course was no longer to sail close to the mark.  L no longer has to provide her room to sail to the mark but does have to provide room to tack.  At all times, none of this absolves W's responsibility to keep clear under rule 11.

My feeling W gets flicked for rule 11.  L gets an infringement for not providing room to tack, but may or may not get exonerated because of 16.1 and 43.1(a)?

There are some relevant case notes here:
CASE 21 When a right-of-way boat is obligated to give mark-room to a boat overlapped inside her, there is no maximum or minimum amount of space that she must give. The amount of space that she must give depends significantly on the existing conditions including wind and sea conditions, the speed of the inside boat, the sails she has set and her design characteristics.

CASE 25 After an inside overlapped windward boat has been given mark-room, rule 18 no longer applies, but rule 11 continues to apply. The inside windward boat must keep clear of the outside leeward boat, and the leeward boat may luff provided that she gives the windward boat room to keep clear.

CASE 118 In the definition Mark-Room, the phrase ‘room to sail to the mark’ means space to sail promptly in a seamanlike way to a position close to, and on the required side of, the mark.

CASE 14 When, owing to a difference of opinion about a leeward boat’s proper course, two boats on the same tack converge, the windward boat must keep clear. Two boats on the same leg sailing near one another may have different proper courses.

CASE 75 When rule 18 applies, the rules of Sections A and B apply as well. When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark, she is entitled to sail her proper course until she gybes. A starboard-tack boat that changes course does not break rule 16.1 if she gives a port-tack boat adequate space to keep clear and the port-tack boat fails to take advantage of it promptly.

CASE 134 A boat’s proper course at any moment depends on the existing conditions. Some of those conditions are the wind strength and direction, the pattern of gusts and lulls in the wind, the waves, the current, and the physical characteristics of the boat’s hull and equipment, including the sails she is using

Now the scenarios in each of these cases is different, but IMHO the ruling is the important bits.

1) To start with, Case 75 makes it clear that mark room does not nullify other rules of part 2

2) Case 118, and Case 21 give some boundaries to mark room.  that to the point right up and including when a boat needs to tack, if her proper course is not close to the mark, then "sail to the mark" does not apply

3) Case 25 outlines that if 18 no longer applies, then 11 still does.

4) Case 134 and 14 suggests a boats proper course can change from moment to moment, and that boats can have different proper courses.   That is to say, just because your poper course at the zone was to sail close to mark, if that changes, then so does that limitation.

All in all, L in providing mark room, must only provide room to sail close to the mark, and to tack, and no more.  In bearing away, W cemented that her proper course was not to sail close to the mark, but rather some distance away from the mark before tacking.    L was within her rights to maintain her proper course as right of way boat, until W needed to tack (ie to lay the mark on port) 

Thoughts?

 

PaulK

Super Anarchist
 Doesn't  room at the mark mean sufficient room for the inside boat to proceed in a seamanlike manner to 'round the mark?  Seamanlike means responding to changes in pressure and direction of the wind, no?   It does not appear that L provided W the room required. The various cases cited may or may not apply here. 

 

Spoonie

Anarchist
742
91
Sydney
 Doesn't  room at the mark mean sufficient room for the inside boat to proceed in a seamanlike manner to 'round the mark?  Seamanlike means responding to changes in pressure and direction of the wind, no?   It does not appear that L provided W the room required. The various cases cited may or may not apply here. 
No...  very explicitly, mark room is:

Mark-Room Room for a boat to leave a mark on the required side. Also, (a) room to sail to the mark when her proper course is to sail close to it, and (b) room to round or pass the mark as necessary to sail the course without touching the mark. However, mark-room for a boat does not include room to tack unless she is overlapped inside and to windward of the boat required to give mark-room and she would be fetching the mark after her tack.

In short, if your proper course is not to sail "close to the mark" you are not entitled to room and must otherwise comply with the rules of part 2.  You are entitled room to round it, but at the point of the collision, W & L were still sailing to the mark.  In bearing away, W was in essence sailing away from the mark.

 
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TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
The definition tells you what mark-room is, but it's rule 18 that tells you whether it's on or not. 

If the conditions of 18.1 are met, the rule applies and 18.2 describes the obligations of the boat owing mark-room.

 

Spoonie

Anarchist
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91
Sydney
The definition tells you what mark-room is, but it's rule 18 that tells you whether it's on or not. 

If the conditions of 18.1 are met, the rule applies and 18.2 describes the obligations of the boat owing mark-room.
I mean, if it's not clear, I've read this to death so... I'm not sure what you're suggesting.

But this is worthy of noting:

Rule 18 no longer applies between boats when mark-room has been given.

And back to the definition, mark room is room to sail to the mark when the proper course is to sail close to it.  again, if your proper course is not to sail close to the mark, then you're not entitled to such room.   There for, at that point, mark room has been given untill W proceeds to tack to lay the mark, and up until she passes head to wind, at which point it ceases to apply again.

 
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coyotepup

Anarchist
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Michigan
The "however" clause in mark-room definition -b- is for exactly this situation....L must give W mark-room to tack, if that tack has W fetching the mark afterward (which it does.)

BUT....that does not "turn off" rule 11.  If the boats collide in step 2 of the scenario because W bore away, W did not keep clear.  If the boats don't collide but now L can't maneuver away from W without causing a collision, W did not keep clear....see clause B of the "keep clear" definition.

I don't think proper course even matters here.  W must keep clear of L, period.  It sounds as if W was the overtaking boat (or if you prefer, was previously clear astern and is now overlapped.)  If so there's no obligation on L to not sail above her proper course (as would be the case if L was the clear astern boat.)  L has two obligations only:

- give W "room to round or pass the mark as necessary to sail the course without touching the mark"

- give W room to tack because W "is overlapped inside and to windward of the boat required to give mark-room and she would be fetching the mark after her tack."

W claims L did not comply with the second.

W is never a right-of-way boat.  (Case 101: "When a boat with right of way is required to give another boat room for a manoeuvre, right of way does not transfer to the boat entitled to room.")  W must always keep clear of L by virtue of being W, even when entitled to mark-room.  She did not keep clear of L, because she did not comply with this: "when the boats are overlapped, if the right-of-way boat (in this case, L) can also change course in both directions without immediately making contact."

Flick W for breaking rule 11.  Exonerate L under 43.1(a).  "When as a consequence of breaking a rule a boat has compelled another boat to break a rule, the other boat is exonerated for her breach."  L broke rule 18 by not giving W room to tack to fetch the mark in the zone, but L was compelled to do so because W broke rule 11, so L is exonerated.  W is not exonerated under 43.1b, because she did not break rule 11 "as a consequence" of an incident with L; she broke rule 11 on her own.

P.S. - 16.1 doesn't come into play, because W is never the right-of-way boat; L is always the ROW boat, and L didn't change course.

 
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TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
I'm not sure about the "when mark room has been given" aspect, that's very confusing to me. If you're too literal about it it would seem like 18 is constantly turning on and off depending on whether the outside boat is giving room or not. I think it's more intended to convey that once the boat entitled to mark-room has rounded her entitlement to mark-room ends.

In this situation I think W is entitled to room to tack, but as you note as soon as she passes HTW in the zone rule 18 turns off (boats are on opposite tacks on a beat to windward). It turns back on when L tacks and they're both on port, so this begins a new entitlement for W (assuming she's clear ahead or still overlapped inside after L's tack).

The sticky point to me is W's bearing away before the tack. She bears away and either contacts L or puts herself in a position where L can't change course in either direction without immediate contact so W has failed to keep clear. And I think that although W was entitled to mark-room, by sailing below close-hauled while on a beat to windward she was not sailing within that room.

So I'd agree, W broke rule 11 & 14 and is not exonerated by 43.1(b). I don't think L broke rule 18, and is exonerated from breaking rule 14.

 

TJSoCal

Super Anarchist
Flick W for breaking rule 11.  Exonerate L under 43.1(a).  "When as a consequence of breaking a rule a boat has compelled another boat to break a rule, the other boat is exonerated for her breach."  L broke rule 18 by not giving W room to tack to fetch the mark in the zone, but L was compelled to do so because W broke rule 11, so L is exonerated.  W is not exonerated under 43.1b, because she did not break rule 11 "as a consequence" of an incident with L; she broke rule 11 on her own.
I'm not sure I'd say that L was "compelled" to break a rule. She could, for example, have eased sheets, slowed down and given W room to tack. But I think she is exonerated for the contact by 43.1(c) since she was ROW boat. 

 

coyotepup

Anarchist
781
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Michigan
I'm not sure I'd say that L was "compelled" to break a rule. She could, for example, have eased sheets, slowed down and given W room to tack. But I think she is exonerated for the contact by 43.1(c) since she was ROW boat. 
I think 43.1(c) only exonerates from rule 14, but W is claiming breach of 18.  You make a good point - it's possible that slowing down would work - but it's also possible that slowing down could've caused a collision too.  Maybe L is ahead of W and their beams overlap fore-and-aft.  I think the OP's statement that L is "unable to maneuver" sounds like it includes speed changes as well as course changes.  Maybe, maybe not.

 

Spoonie

Anarchist
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Sydney
I think 43.1(c) only exonerates from rule 14, but W is claiming breach of 18.  You make a good point - it's possible that slowing down would work - but it's also possible that slowing down could've caused a collision too.  Maybe L is ahead of W and their beams overlap fore-and-aft.  I think the OP's statement that L is "unable to maneuver" sounds like it includes speed changes as well as course changes.  Maybe, maybe not.
The two boats sailed into a lull.  W bore away, L was moving forward on momentum alone.  

 

Steam Flyer

Super Anarchist
40,035
7,587
Eastern NC
IMHO proper course does not matter. W gets room to round the mark, including room to tack. She does not get room to play tactics against L.

Ok, 

So I have an interesting one (well I thought it was interesting) that goes like this:

  1. W and L are on a beat to windward, on starboard, in variable to light winds and smooth water. They are sailing close to the starboard lay line for a starboard mark rounding.  W establishes an overlap to windward but inside L as they enter the zone.  W requests room and L complies.
  2. A momentary change of pressure and direction hits W & L.  W bears away, and L holds their course.  The boats (ostensibly) collide.  they are approximately 1.5 boat lengths from the port layline, and approximately 1.5-2 boat lengths below the mark
  3. Due to W's closeness, L is unable to manoeuvre, nor W, in order to allow W to tack.  In attempting to tack, W's transom collides with L
  4. When W does tack, they are about 1 to 1.5 boat lengths from the mark on port tack and on the lay line
  5. Both boats clear the mark without further incident

W claims L did not provide adequate buoy room.  L claims W's proper course was not to sail close to the mark and so failed to keep clear.

So here's my thinking.  When both boats originally overlapped, it was W's proper course to sail close to the mark.  Mark room was given.   When W bore away, her proper course was no longer to sail close to the mark.  L no longer has to provide her room to sail to the mark but does have to provide room to tack.  At all times, none of this absolves W's responsibility to keep clear under rule 11.

My feeling W gets flicked for rule 11.  L gets an infringement for not providing room to tack, but may or may not get exonerated because of 16.1 and 43.1(a)?

...    ...

All in all, L in providing mark room, must only provide room to sail close to the mark, and to tack, and no more.  In bearing away, W cemented that her proper course was not to sail close to the mark, but rather some distance away from the mark before tacking.    L was within her rights to maintain her proper course as right of way boat, until W needed to tack (ie to lay the mark on port) 

Thoughts?
Looking at the original description of the incident, a couple of important points are missing. Did L bear away to give W room, in #1 above?

In #2, why did W bear away in the lull but L did not. Was L pinching. or less affected? This is why they collided, by my reading.... it was before W tacked. Then apparently they collided again as W tacked.

If W is going to claim insufficient buoy room, then she should have given a scale of distance between herself and the mark. And if the mark is one of those inflatable ones, much smarter to hit it than another vessel. If W was not almost hitting the mark, then a claim of insufficient room is difficult to uphold.

If L was unable to maneuver due to her pinching in a lull, instead of sailing as she should have and maintaining way, then W's claim might be upheld.

FB- Doug

 

Spoonie

Anarchist
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Sydney
If L was unable to maneuver due to her pinching in a lull, instead of sailing as she should have and maintaining way
How should she have sailed?  maintaining your heading in a "pressure knock"  is a perfectly valid way to sail a boat.  Most people don't though, they bear away, ala the incident in question.

 

coyotepup

Anarchist
781
131
Michigan
If L was unable to maneuver due to her pinching in a lull, instead of sailing as she should have and maintaining way, then W's claim might be upheld.

FB- Doug
Don't agree with this.  I agree that proper course probably doesn't come into play here.  So, L has every right to pinch in a lull if she wants.  What she should do is a matter of opinion only, but rules-wise she can go to the moon and back, and drag W with her, as long as W has room to sail past the mark without hitting it, and tack to fetch it.  (And her failure to do that was compelled IMO by W's breach of a rule.)  Absolutely nothing requires her to bear away as W did.

 

Spoonie

Anarchist
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91
Sydney
Looking at the original description of the incident, a couple of important points are missing. Did L bear away to give W room, in #1 above?
Sorry, back to this point.  L had right of way.   What room was L supposed to provide W in this situation that she wasn't already giving? 

 

Steam Flyer

Super Anarchist
40,035
7,587
Eastern NC
Looking at the original description of the incident, a couple of important points are missing. Did L bear away to give W room, in #1 above?
Sorry, back to this point.  L had right of way.   What room was L supposed to provide W in this situation that she wasn't already giving? 
It was clear if she bore away to give room, or if W's original course would have carried her clear of the mark.

If L was unable to maneuver due to her pinching in a lull, instead of sailing as she should have and maintaining way, then W's claim might be upheld.
Don't agree with this.  I agree that proper course probably doesn't come into play here.  So, L has every right to pinch in a lull if she wants.  What she should do is a matter of opinion only, but rules-wise she can go to the moon and back, and drag W with her, as long as W has room to sail past the mark without hitting it, and tack to fetch it.  (And her failure to do that was compelled IMO by W's breach of a rule.)  Absolutely nothing requires her to bear away as W did.
Well, she has every right to pinch in a lull, but if that leaves both boats stalled and unable to sail around the mark, and a collision results, then she has failed to give room. Is it that L pinched and slowed below being able to maneuver, and in consequence left W with the only option of being unable to sail and round the mark? This is not made clear.

If, on the other hand, W bore away when she didn't have to, then I completely agree that W is at fault. As I pointed out, W does not say that she was concerned about hitting the mark, or was ebing forced to sail too close to it.

FB- Doug

 

Spoonie

Anarchist
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91
Sydney
Well, she has every right to pinch in a lull, but if that leaves both boats stalled and unable to sail around the mark, and a collision results, then she has failed to give room. Is it that L pinched and slowed below being able to maneuver, and in consequence left W with the only option of being unable to sail and round the mark? This is not made clear.

If, on the other hand, W bore away when she didn't have to, then I completely agree that W is at fault. As I pointed out, W does not say that she was concerned about hitting the mark, or was ebing forced to sail too close to it.

FB- Doug
No, she doesn't.  because at that stage she's not anywhere near the mark.  (that is, 1.5 to 2 boat lengths to leeward) 

  • W and L are on a beat to windward, on starboard, in variable to light winds and smooth water. They are sailing close to the starboard lay line for a starboard mark rounding.  W establishes an overlap to windward but inside L as they enter the zone.  W requests room and L complies.
  • A momentary change of pressure and direction hits W & L.  W bears away, and L holds their course.  The boats (ostensibly) collide.  they are approximately 1.5 boat lengths from the port layline, and approximately 1.5-2 boat lengths below the mark
If W is concerned about hitting the mark at that distance, something's wrong.

Also, L doesn't have to predict what W might do leading up to the mark that may otherwise limit W's ability to round the mark.  At that stage, the only obligation on L it would seem ( and starting to be a consensus) is giving W room to tack to round the mark.   Why?  because L is right of way, and W's not sailing to the mark as per the case book interpretation of the definition.

 
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coyotepup

Anarchist
781
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Michigan
It was clear if she bore away to give room, or if W's original course would have carried her clear of the mark.

Well, she has every right to pinch in a lull, but if that leaves both boats stalled and unable to sail around the mark, and a collision results, then she has failed to give room. Is it that L pinched and slowed below being able to maneuver, and in consequence left W with the only option of being unable to sail and round the mark? This is not made clear.

If, on the other hand, W bore away when she didn't have to, then I completely agree that W is at fault. As I pointed out, W does not say that she was concerned about hitting the mark, or was ebing forced to sail too close to it.

FB- Doug
Actually W is at fault even if she did have to bear away.  The rules say she has to keep clear period - not keep clear if convenient and can maintain speed.  If the only way W can keep clear is to pinch and stall, then the rules require her to pinch and stall.

L is not obligated to give W room to tack until W can tack and fetch the mark.  Until that point, L has been complying with 18.  At a point before that, W breaks rule 11 and is actively breaching rule 11 when they get to the first point where she can tack and fetch the mark.  Case 27 is slightly different than this, but it's still really explicit that a boat isn't required to anticipate that a competitor will break a rule.  L broke 18, but W breaking 11 is the only reason for that; and even though you know that they will have to tack in the future and that a lull has hit, L isn't required to assume that W will bear away and break 11.

L pinching and stall wasn't what left W unable to sail around the mark.  W bearing away was.  L has every right to pinch and stall and under case 27, does not have to anticipate that W won't.

 

Steam Flyer

Super Anarchist
40,035
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Eastern NC
Actually W is at fault even if she did have to bear away.  The rules say she has to keep clear period - not keep clear if convenient and can maintain speed.  If the only way W can keep clear is to pinch and stall, then the rules require her to pinch and stall.

L is not obligated to give W room to tack until W can tack and fetch the mark.  Until that point, L has been complying with 18.  At a point before that, W breaks rule 11 and is actively breaching rule 11 when they get to the first point where she can tack and fetch the mark.  Case 27 is slightly different than this, but it's still really explicit that a boat isn't required to anticipate that a competitor will break a rule.  L broke 18, but W breaking 11 is the only reason for that; and even though you know that they will have to tack in the future and that a lull has hit, L isn't required to assume that W will bear away and break 11.

L pinching and stall wasn't what left W unable to sail around the mark.  W bearing away was.  L has every right to pinch and stall and under case 27, does not have to anticipate that W won't.
Now we're kind of getting away from the given details of the original incident. Were they on the lay line, or weren't they? Did they collide before W tacked (the original description of the incident says yes, but then obfuscates)?

This is stated as 1.5 to 2 boat lengths before W can tack and fetch the mark.

As I said, if W was at no risk of hitting the mark, then she was being given plenty of room. That makes it a straight up Rule 11 (Windward/Leeward) infraction, given the statement that W bore away just before the collision. But the original description is not really clear, to me. Hence, the questions.

To me, going thru these incidents is a case of either-or. Was this rule broken? If X then yes, if Y then no.... next rule, next segment of the incident. This way you can logically reduce the incident to see what rule was infringed at what part of the incident.

- DSK

 
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