FACTS FOR QUESTIONS 1 AND 2
Three boats are reaching along a continuing obstruction (a river bank) on their windward side. Blue is sailing as close to the bank as safety permits. Yellow is overlapped to leeward and outside Blue, and is required to give Blue room. Red is sailing faster than Blue and Yellow; she establishes an overlap to windward of Yellow and about half a length astern of Blue.
Red claims that Blue’s position shows that there is room for her to pass between Yellow and the bank, requiring Yellow to give her to room under rule 19.2
(b). Yellow claims that the presence of Blue prevents Red from passing between her and the bank at the moment the overlap begins.
Which claim is correct?
Immediately before Red became overlapped between Yellow and the continuing obstruction, she was clear astern and required to keep clear of Yellow. Therefore, the test in rule 19.2
(c) must be applied to decide whether Yellow must give room to Red.
This test is whether or not Red can pass safely between Yellow and the obstruction if the position of Yellow, the boat now on the outside, is frozen at the moment the overlap begins. The positions of other boats in the vicinity are not frozen and must be moved forward in their same relative positions to Red.
In addition, assuming all boats have the same draft, the fact that there is room for Blue at the moment Red becomes overlapped will normally be sufficient evidence of room for Red to pass between Yellow and the obstruction.
Therefore, Yellow is required to give room to Red by rule 19.2
(b), provided she is able to do so as she clearly is in this scenario.
If Red continues to sail faster than the other boats, is Yellow required to give her room to avoid Blue?
Yes. Once Yellow becomes required to give room to Red, the definition room
requires that she must also give space for Red, who is clear astern of Blue, to comply with her obligation under rule 12
to keep clear of Blue.
Blue is neither an obstruction nor a continuing obstruction (see definition obstruction
) to Yellow, so rule 19
applies only between Yellow and Red.
FACTS FOR QUESTION 3
Exactly the same scenario with Yellow on the outside, except that the continuing obstruction is to leeward of the boats.
When Red is entitled to room between Yellow and the obstruction (see answer 1), is she also entitled either (a) to room from Yellow to avoid Blue or (b) to luff Yellow to create such room?
Although Red is constrained by rule 17
, her proper course is to keep clear of Blue. Therefore when Red luffs to avoid Blue, she does not break rule 17
and Yellow, the windward boat, must keep clear as required by rule 11
In addition, Red is entitled to room to pass to windward of Blue (see answer 2) and, while she is sailing within that room, she will be exonerated under rule 21
(a) if she breaks rule 15
FACTS FOR QUESTION 4
Exactly the same scenario with Yellow on the outside, except that the boats are sailing directly downwind alongside the obstruction.
Do answers 1, 2 and 3 apply?
(a) If all 3 boats are on the same tack, either port or starboard, answers 1, 2 and 3 apply, depending on the river bank being to windward or to leeward.
(b) If Red is on port and both Blue and Yellow are on starboard, answers 1, 2 and 3 apply as appropriate.
(c) In the diagram on the right, because Red is on starboard at position 1 and both Blue and Yellow are on port, Red has right of way under rule 10
. Red is not required to keep clear of Yellow, so rule 19.2
(c) does not apply.
Therefore, when Red establishes an overlap inside Yellow, Yellow is required to continue keeping clear under rule 10
and rule 15
does not apply to Red. In addition, Yellow must give room to Red under rule 19.2
When Red comes close to the stern of Blue, Blue must keep clear under rule 10
even if this means moving away from the shore to give Red room inside her and Yellow must allow her space to do so.
Questions from Thames SC