Forum: The Racing Rules of Sailing

Hove-to right of way

Dobbs Davis
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
  • National Measurer
A junior sailor and her crew (Team A) are hove-to in their i420 in light air between races, positioned well away from anyone racing, refuelling themselves with snacks and water before the next race. Their jib is backed to port and the main sheeted in hard to keep the boat hove-to while they rest.

Another Junior sailing i420 team sailing on starboard tack (Team B), also not racing, collides with them and causes damage to their boat and an upset parent demanding payment for that damage from the parent of the hove-to skipper of Team A because their child "was on starboard and entitled to right of way."

Does RRS 10 apply? or any other Part 2 RRS? being hove-to, is not Team A an Obstruction? would any protest filed be invalid because neither team was racing?
Created: 20-Oct-07 01:59

Comments

Mark Evans
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
As neither vessel was racing, racing rules do not apply.  International Collision Regulations apply.
Created: 20-Oct-07 02:23
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
  • International Race Officer
0
The preamble to Part 2 covers this issue. RRS apply and a boat can be penalized for breaking rule 14.

The rules of Part 2 apply between boats that are sailing in or near the
racing area and intend to race, are racing, or have been racing.
However, a boat not racing shall not be penalized for breaking one of
these rules, except rule 14 when the incident resulted in injury or
serious damage, or rule 24.1 (23.1 in 2021-2024).
Created: 20-Oct-07 02:43
Al Sargent
Nationality: United States of America
1
Sailing parent here, and also a lifelong racer. This isn't part of a rules discussion, but there are some (not all) non-sailing parents for whom a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. They learn about Rule 10 (port/starboard) but don't learn about Rule 14 (avoiding contact), yet still forcefully apply their incomplete knowledge. Given the technical nature of i420s and the subsequent cost of repairs, I can see the level of parental frustration increase further. All of this can increase the level of tension that judges face.

Back to the rules...

Assuming this is before then Preparatory Signal, COLREGs states that the boat that has the other its starboard side is the give-way vessel. This is essentially the port tack boat. The other boat is the stand-on vessel that doesn't need to alter course -- except if a collision is imminent. Then COLREGs 17b kicks in:

When, from any cause, the vessel required to keep her course and speed finds herself so close that collision cannot be avoided by the action of the give-way vessel alone, she shall take such action as will best aid to avoid collision. 

... this obliges Starboard to stay clear of port under COLREGs.

And, even if this was after the Preparatory Signal and the other i420 was still hove-to), Starboard would still need to keep clear under Rule 14.
Created: 20-Oct-07 02:51
Andrew Alberti
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
  • Club Race Officer
2
I see the correct extract from the preamble to Part 2 posted above but then I see the conversation going back to COLREGS.  These are boats who are still in or near the racing area.They "have been racing" and "intend to race", therefore the RRS Part 2 DOES apply to them.  The key is that they can't be penalized for breaking any except 14 and 23.1 (actually since we are still in 2020 it is 24.1, the quote above is from the 2021-2024 rules).   The hove-to boat breaks rule 10 but cannot be penalized for it.  The sailing boat had right-of-way but must avoid a collision if possible to comply with rule 14.  You will note that I did not say  "keep clear", rule 14 does change the right of way.   They can be penalized for breaking rule 14.  
If you are going to heave-to or sit and luff to have your lunch, do it on Starboard Tack but at all times avoid collisions.
To answer a question right at the beginning, no the hove-to boat does not become an obstruction.
Created: 20-Oct-07 03:09
Cranston Riely
0
Technically by COLREGS, the vessel was under sail and on "give was vessel" tack and still has the ability to maneuver.

Even on starboard hove-to a leeward vessel could come crashing into you claiming they were the stand on vessel. But more then likely they will be overtaking the how-to vessel.

Best bet would be to take sails down and drift. It could then be considered not under command, restricted ability to Maneuver, or under human power.
Created: 20-Oct-07 05:02
Mark Evans
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
Interesting to read the various statements regarding right of way.
Every vessel has a responsibility to avoid collision.
While hove too, the vessel is restricted in it's ability to manoeuvre.  The more manoeuvrable vessel (the one sailing) becomes the give way vessel.
Created: 20-Oct-07 05:22
Al Sargent
Nationality: United States of America
0
Cranston, perhaps taking your sails down helps from a COLREGs perspective, but as a practical matter, it's a risk to take down both of your sails in an i420 and similar boats (C420, FJ, Vanguard 15, etc.). Your forestay and shrouds will become very loose, putting you at risk of your mast butt popping out of the mast step and your mast falling down. And also a risk of the mast butt putting a hole in your floatation tanks as well. 
Created: 20-Oct-07 05:43
Mike Alison
Nationality: New Zealand
Certifications:
  • International Judge
  • National Umpire
0
Playing devils advocate....suppose the boat is capsized 180 deg and the youngsters are sitting on the hull eating lunch....and starboard sails into them......or all sails are on deck with the boom on the starboard side of the deck....so they were clearly on Port when they dropped sails.......would any of the decisions above change?
Created: 20-Oct-07 06:27
Greg Wilkins
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Club Judge
0
Edit: rule links

Both boats are intending to race and are in the racing area, so racing rules apply 2

Being hove-to is sailing backwards or sideways so they are the keep clear boat, by 22.3.

The right of way boat must avoid contact by rule 14 and because there was damage cannot be exonerated.

Edit: There is also rule 16.  The right of way boat must at some time changed course to be on a collision course with the hove-to boat.  Either they did this at some distance, in which case they really broke 14 badly ie lined them up from a long way out and then sailed into them without taking action to avoid contact;  or they changed course at the last minute to contact the hove-to boat, in which case they need to initially give room that is subject to the current conditions and a seaman like manoeuvre.  So I would think you'd have to give a hove-to boat a little bit more room to keep clear than one sailing normally.  Did the crew on the hove-to boat have time to react to the change of course?  If not then 16 was probably broken as well.

Edit: So I'm guessing that Hove-to boat broke 22.3 and 14. The other boat broke  14 and probably  16.

But ultimately, who pays for damage is not something decided by the racing rules. That decision might be influenced by the racing rules, but not the only consideration.  Note that you can't have a situation where right of way boats can ignore 14, hit keep clear boats and get their damage paid for!



Created: 20-Oct-07 07:28
Gordon Davies
Nationality: Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
Depending on the boat when they are hove to they are usually making some progress through the water - it is this forward movement that creates the force for the rudder to counteract the force on the head sail. I would argue that 21.2 does not apply.
In which case A is on starboard. B is al on starboard so may be bound by 11 or 12. If she is clear astern or to windward she is keep clear boat. If she becomes overlapped to leeward rule 15 applies as B acquires right of way. Giving room to keep clear means allowing time for A to uncleat sails and gain steerage so that she can start keeping clear. A is not required to anticipate, but must start taking some action promptly.


Created: 20-Oct-07 08:08
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
0
Gordon has just said clearly what I was thinking fuzzily,

In my limited experience collisions between races are more common than they should be because people relax and do not maintain good look out. 

Race officials might consider whether or not there is evidence the collision was deliberate. If so, consider rule 2 or 69. 
Created: 20-Oct-07 08:44
Anders Rydlöv
Nationality: Sweden
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
0
RRS part2 is on, see comments above. All about 14 for the jury, though. Resting or slowly sailing between races, you still have to keep good lookout. So redress might be hard for both A and B regarding "no fault of her own" in rule 62. It´s really up to the jury, but both broke 14 and ROW cannot be exonerated.. I would say from this version of the story. Regarding "serious" damage see case 141. 

Created: 20-Oct-07 10:17
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Al Sargent
said Created: Today 02:51
Sailing parent here, and also a lifelong racer. This isn't part of a rules discussion, but there are some (not all) non-sailing parents for whom a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. They learn about Rule 10 (port/starboard) but don't learn about Rule 14 (avoiding contact), yet still forcefully apply their incomplete knowledge. Given the technical nature of i420s and the subsequent cost of repairs, I can see the level of parental frustration increase further. All of this can increase the level of tension that judges face.

A parent is a  Support Person.  They have obligations, in particular under rule.69.1(b).

If a parent attempts to put pressure or 'tension' on a judge, the judge can deal with it just as he or she would any misbehaving competitor.
Created: 20-Oct-07 10:24
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Gordon,

A's jib is backed to port, therefore the wind is coming over her port side and she is on port tack.

Greg,

Check your rule 22.3.  A, hove to, is drifting to leeward, she is not moving sideways to windward.  Rule 22.3 does not apply to her.

A broke rules 10 and 14.

B broke rule 14.

Both boats were failing to keep a lookout.  See Case 107.

Had A been keeping an adequate lookout there would have been ample room for her to keep clear whenever it was that B changed course.  B does not break rule 16.1 in the hove to situation.

There was damage.  If the damage was serious both boats can and should, on valid protest, be penalised.
Created: 20-Oct-07 10:39
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
MIke,

A capsized is simple:
  • B is required to avoid her if possible:  rule 23.
  • B is required to avoid contact if possible:  rule 14.
  • It is not reasonably possible for A to avoid contact:  she does not break rule 14.

A, resting with sails down is a little more difficult:
  • for starters, if she must be on one tack or the other.  The tack she is on is not determined by where her boom is:  it is determined by which of her sides is away from the wind  Definitions Leeward and Windward and  Tack, Starboard or Port.  Unless she is head to wind, you don't need to consider what tack she was on. 
  • Once you have determined what tack she ison, you can apply the Section A rules to conclude which boat is right of way.
  • If the boat with the sails down is the right of way boat (starboard/port, or same tack to leeward), she is not changing course, so rule 16.1 does not apply, and it is not reasonably possible for her to avoid contact, so she does not break rule 14.  The other boat breaks the relevant right of way rule and breaks  rule 14.
  • If the boat with the sails down is the give way boat, she breaks the relevant right of way rule, but the other boat broke rule 16.1 when she finished changing course and steadied on a collision course, so the first boat is sailing within the room to which she is entitled and is exonerated for not keeping clear.  It was not reasonably possible for the first boat to avoid contact.  She did not break rule 14.  The other boat did not avoid contact, acting no later than, had she  been keeping a lookout, it would have been clear that the first boat was not keeping clear, and she broke rule 14.
Created: 20-Oct-07 10:58
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Andrew,

In what way does a boat, not racing, not comply with the definition of   Obstruction with respect to a boat of the same or similar size?
Created: 20-Oct-07 11:12
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
1
I don't think you can say that COLREGS apply here since under RRS 3 both boats have agreed to be governed by the Racing Rules at the time the incident occurred. Even if COLREGS apply they  include a definition of "restricted ability to maneuver" (COLREGS 3(g)) and I don't think a hove-to sailing dinghy would qualify.

I don't think ROW matters in this incident since neither boat can be penalized for breaking any rule that required her to keep clear and since damage occurred the ROW boat can't be exonerated for breaking rule 14. Boat A might have broken rule 10 but can't be penalized for it.
 
I think the hove-to boat A had every expectation that she could avoid contact simply by remaining hove-to, and that even up to the last second B would maneuver around her. By the time it was apparent that B was not going to avoid contact it probably wasn't reasonably possible for A to shift her sails and gain sufficient way to avoid B. It was reasonable for B to expect that A would remain hove-to and up to the last second it was reasonably possible for B to maneuver to avoid so B did not meet her obligation to avoid contact. 

Pretty ballsy, I think, for the parent of a kid who drove their boat into a more or less stationary boat to claim it was the other guy's fault. 
Created: 20-Oct-07 15:02
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
  • International Race Officer
1
I reach the same conclusion and decision that John A does. Although A breaks rule 10 she cannot be disqualified for the breach.

When you intend to race the rules of Part 2 only apply from when you begin to sail in or near the racing area until you have left the racing area; and they only apply between boats intending to race, or have been racing.
 
PREAMBLE PART 2
The rules of Part 2 apply between boats that are sailing in or near
the racing area and intend to race, are racing, or have been racing.
However, a boat not racing shall not be penalized for breaking one
of these rules, except rule 14 when the incident resulted in injury or
serious damage, or rule 24.1.
 
The preamble to Part 2 says, “a boat not racing shall not be penalized for breaking one of these rules, except rule 14 when the incident resulted in injury or serious damage, or rule 24.1.” Rule 14 (Avoiding Contact) requires all boats avoid contact if reasonably possible. If a boat does not avoid contact when it was reasonably possible, and there is “injury or serious damage,” then they can be penalized.
 
RULE 14 — AVOIDING CONTACT
A boat shall avoid contact with another boat if reasonably possible.
However, a right-of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room
(a) need not act to avoid contact until it is clear that the other boat
is not keeping clear or giving room or mark-room, and
(b) shall be exonerated if she breaks this rule and the contact does 
not cause damage or injury.
 
Rule 14(a) allows the right- of-way boat or one entitled to room or mark-room to hold her course until it becomes “clear” that the other boat is not going to keep clear or give room or mark-room. At that moment, the right-of-way boat or one entitled to room must take action herself to avoid contact if reasonably possible.
 
  1. Neither boat is racing.
  2. Both boats intend to race and are in the racing area.
  3. Team A is hove-to on port.
  4. Team B is on starboard tack.
  5. Team B collides with Team A.
  6. Boat B is damaged.

  • A on port failed to keep clear of B on starboard, as required by RRS 10.
  • A did not avoid contact when it was reasonably possible, and broke RRS 14.
  • B the right-of-way boat did not avoid contact with A when it was reasonably possible. B broke RRS 14.

  •  A broke RRS 10 while not racing, so is not penalized.
  • A is DSQ for breaking RRS 14
  • B is DSQ for breaking RRS 14

I find the following decision tree useful for navigating rule 14.
image.png 70.3 KB
Created: 20-Oct-07 15:03
Philip Hubbell
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Judge In Training
1
A hove-to dinghy like an i420 does indeed make forward progress and maintains steerageway.
Action on her rudder has consequences, albeit with restricted options.
It is incorrect to describe her as adrift, moving only sideways, or moving backward.
Created: 20-Oct-07 16:04
Andrew Alberti
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • National Umpire
  • Club Race Officer
1
Andrew,

In what way does a boat, not racing, not comply with the definition of   Obstruction with respect to a boat of the same or similar size?
Created: Today 07:12

John I am sorry.  You are right, since A is not racing they can be an obstruction.  It is not however relevant. Being an obstruction does not give a boat any additional rights.  It also doesn't impose any additional obligations on the other boat.  It only comes into play when there is a third boat involved and one boat has to give another room to pass the obstruction (RRS 19) or room to tack at the obstruction (RRS 20).  . 

Created: 20-Oct-07 16:56
Murray Cummings
Nationality: New Zealand
1
Dobbs Davis
 Does RRS 10 apply? or any other Part 2 RRS? 
Yes, All of RRS Part 2 rules apply unless the sailing instructions state otherwise.   

being hove-to, is not Team A an Obstruction? 
Yes.  Team A is, by definition an obstruction to Team B.  As there is no evidence to suggest any other boat was involved in the incident, then this would appear to be irrelevant to the case.

would any protest filed be invalid because neither team was racing?
No.  The fact that neither boat was racing does not invalidate a protest.   By intending to participate and by the parent/s allowing their child to participate, each competitor and their parent/s agree to accept the rules and be governed by them.  Rule 60.1 allows a boat to protest another for an infringement of a Part 2 rule when she was involved in the incident. 

 As others have stated, the relevant rules appear to be 10 and 14.   A, with jib backed to port is on port tack and is required to keep clear of B on starboard tack.  As A fails to keep clear of B, she breaks rule 10 but cannot be penalized for this because she is not racing. It is not clear from the description of the incident if it was reasonably possible for A to avoid contact.  While being hove-to, A would likely be making slow progress ahead and to leeward but without steerage way.  Because of this, it is reasonable that B would have had the opportunity to avoid the collision.  Without more information, it is not possible to determine whether A broke rule 14 or not.
B broke rule 14.  If she were racing, she would not be exonerated as she suffered damage as a result of the incident.  However, because both boats were not racing at the time of the incident, they could only be penalized under rule 14 if the damage was deemed to be serious damage.
 

 
Created: 20-Oct-07 17:01
Greg Wilkins
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
  • Club Judge
0
Ah yes, 22.3 only covers sideways to windward (wish my boat could do that?!??!), so it's not that.

So reading the description again: "Their jib is backed to port and the main sheeted in hard" it is perhaps arguable that they are actually tacking, because their main has probably passed through head to wind (in both directions) and they have not arrived at a close hauled course.  So be it 10 or 13, I think we all agree that the RRS apply and A was keep clear by some rule or other.
I think we also all agree that both boats broke 14.  I also think that B has problems with 16 depending on the seconds before.

They can be DSQ'd from the closest race in time by  64.1, but that still says nothing about damages.

Ultimately there is rule 67 Damages: "The question of damages arising from a breach of any rule shall be governed by the prescriptions, if any, of the national authority."  The Australian national Authority says it is a matter for the courts.  I have heard it said that RRS can help settle damages only if the parties agree to it and that if they don't then a court would consider COLREGs rather than the RRS which is ultimately a sporting agreement between boats that has broken down if they are taking it to court.  I do know boats that have taken collisions all the way to the steps of a court, but I think they settled there so I don't how true that COLREGS suggestion is.

Created: 20-Oct-07 17:14
Mark Evans
Nationality: Canada
Certifications:
  • Club Race Officer
0
Just because a boat is or may intend to race does not absolve the skippers from the collision regulations.
The vessel that was hove to (vessel A) must have a reasonable expectation that they were not creating a hazard or they should not have hove to in that area.
Vessel B was obligated, while sailing, to avoid any obstacles including other vessels regardless which was the stand on vessel.
Without a doubt, both vessels were required to avoid collision.
Without a doubt, both vessels were required to keep a lookout.
Vessel A was restricted in it's ability to manoeuvre however (it appears) took no steps to avoid collision.
Vessel B, did not avoid collision and was actually the cause of the collision.
Created: 20-Oct-07 17:24
Al Sargent
Nationality: United States of America
0
Mark, thank you for that Rule 14 decision tree. Really helpful. Would you have it in a higher resolution? It's hard to read the text.

I'm wondering if other have produced similar decision trees for other rules...
Created: 20-Oct-07 18:31
Mark Townsend
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • International Umpire
  • International Judge
  • International Race Officer
Al Sargent
Nationality: United States of America
0
Mark, thanks -- these are great! 
Created: 20-Oct-07 19:13
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Mark Evans
Said Created: Today 17:24

Just because a boat is or may intend to race does not absolve the skippers from the collision regulations.

Sorry, this is incorrect.

There are two reputable legal cases which clearly establish that boats, by entering a sailing race agree to be bound by the RRS and not by the IRPCAS, and that this is lawful.

The Satanita (apologies for the Wiki link, but the authorised judgement is not freely available on-line);  and
Juno v Endeavour

To quote from Juno v Endeavour 

Therefore, by entering a regatta with sailing instructions which unambiguously set forth special, binding “rules of the road,” the participants waive conflicting COLREGS and must sail in accordance with the agreed-upon rules.

Note that this refers only to 'conflicting' COLREGS, such as the RRS Part 2 rules, so some other COLREGS, like keeping a lookout and so on will still apply.

Juno v Endeavour
goes further, with respect to US law, saying that a decision by a protest committee constitutes a binding arbitration, of the issues decided.  That's a peculiarity of US domestic law.  In other jurisdictions I think it would be hard to find an Arbitration Agreement in the RRS.

Greg Wilkins
Said Created: Today 17:14

Ultimately there is rule 67 Damages: "The question of damages arising from a breach of any rule shall be governed by the prescriptions, if any, of the national authority."  The Australian national Authority says it is a matter for the courts.

And, the US Sailing Prescription says, similarly

US Sailing prescribes that:
  • A boat that retires from a race or accepts a penalty does not, by that action alone, admit liability for damages.
  • A protest committee shall find facts and make decisions only in compliance with the rules. No protest committee or US Sailing appeal authority shall adjudicate any claim for damages. Such a claim is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts.
  • A basic purpose of the rules is to prevent contact between boats.  By participating in an event governed by the rules, a boat agrees that responsibility for damages arising from any breach of the rules shall be based on fault as determined by application of the rules, and that she shall not be governed by the legal doctrine of "assumption of risk" for monetary damages resulting from contact with other boats.

I have heard it said that RRS can help settle damages only if the parties agree to it and that if they don't then a court would consider COLREGs rather than the RRS which is ultimately a sporting agreement between boats that has broken down if they are taking it to court.  I do know boats that have taken collisions all the way to the steps of a court, but I think they settled there so I don't how true that COLREGS suggestion is.

Firstly, in accordance with rule 3 and the standard Entry Form, the boats have already agreed to be bound by the rules.

It may be that a court, particularly a lower level court in a 'small claims' case not initiated in an Admiralty jurisdiction, and if the case was not well argued, might apply COLREGS instead of the RRS, but it would be wrong to do so.

A court may well not be prepared to depend on a protest committee decision, and insist on hearing all the evidence anew, but the rules that should then be applied are the RRS.
Created: 20-Oct-07 22:26
Gordon Davies
Nationality: Ireland
Certifications:
  • International Judge
0
The moral of the story is always heave to on starboard.
In the days when cruising yachts were intended to be used at sea the galley was always on port so that it would be on the leeward side when hove to.
Gordon
Created: 20-Oct-08 14:07
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
0
No, the moral of the story is keep a look out, even if you are hove to.
Created: 20-Oct-08 14:14
P
John Allan
Nationality: Australia
Certifications:
  • National Judge
  • Regional Race Officer
0
Gordon,

Thank you for that titbit.

I'm with Charles on the moral advice.
Created: 20-Oct-08 21:23
Tim Hohmann
Nationality: United States of America
Certifications:
  • Club Judge
0
Well I still feel like that's a bit of a harsh standard. If a boat is hove to and more or less stationary, even on starboard, and the crew is having lunch, reviewing strategy, making a repair or adjusting clothing or equipment are they really equally at fault and equally penalized for breaking rule 14 if a boat under way runs into them? Even if, as described in this incident, they sailed well away from other competitors before heaving to? 
Created: 20-Oct-09 00:16
Charles Darley
Nationality: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Certifications:
  • Regional Umpire
1
I say keep a look out so as to reduce the risk of your regatta being spoiled by a silly collision. 
Created: 20-Oct-09 08:10
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