November 18, 2010

Ready to charter? (4)

ARE YOU READY to charter? Here’s Part 4 of our five-part quiz series:

Rules of the Road

Question 7. You are under sail on a northerly course. You need to charge the batteries and cool the fridge, so you have the motor running and in gear. On your port bow, at a relative angle of about 45 degrees, you spot a fishing boat steaming toward you. She’s coming back from the fishing grounds with her catch. Do you:

(a) Change course and/or speed to keep clear of her, because sailboats must keep clear of fishing boats?

(b) Hold your course because, when two power-driven vessels are crossing, the vessel that has the other on its starboard side must keep clear?

(c) Hold your course because power-driven vessels must keep clear of sailing vessels?


Question 8. Where would you most likely hear someone mumble “True virgins make dull companions — add whisky”?

Would it be:

(a) In a disreputable sailors’ bar?

(b) At a meeting of Male Chauvinists Anonymous?

(c) In the wheelhouse of a small and smelly fishing boat?


7(b). Remember, the collision rules don’t talk about fishing boats. They refer to vessels “engaged in fishing.” Fishing boats that aren’t engaged in fishing are regarded as ordinary power-driven vessels (or, though not very likely these days, ordinary sailing vessels). Remember, too, that a sailboat using her auxiliary engine in gear is considered to be a power-driven vessel, whether or not she has any sail up. (If she does have sail up and is also being driven by an engine, she should display a black shape at the bow.)

In any case, in our example we have a simple case of two power-driven vessels crossing.

8(c). You might also hear it at the chart table of a knowledgable charter yacht skipper as he or she uses the traditional navigator’s memory aid for the headings to convert true bearings to compass bearings, or vice versa: True-Variation-Magnetic-Deviation-Compass (Add Westerly).

Today’s Thought
It must not be forgotten even in the finest weather that there is no such thing as “playing at sailors” when at sea.
— C. E. Seth-Smith

Boaters’ Rules of Thumb, #122
Beware of lee helm. Lee helm not only adds resistance to forward progress (far more than weather helm does) but it is hard on the helmsman. There is something very unsettling about steering a sailboat with lee helm. It’s also dangerous in heavy weather, tending to make the boat constantly fall off the wind until she jibes and jibes again. So the rule is simply this: don’t live with lee helm any longer than you have to.

“Man, but that big guy over there is dumb.”
“What makes you say that?”
“He just failed his blood test.”

No comments: