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Old 09-10-2007, 09:29 AM   #1
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Posts on another cruising website indicate that vessels under 12 metres in length do not require to show day signals when sailing AND running an engine simultaneously.

"...........some versions of the regs state the motoring daymark is not required for vessels <12 meters."

For the sake of the users of this forum I would like to point out that this is not the case. In the International Rules for Preventing Collisions at Sea there is no excemption for vessels under 12m in length. Rule 25 states,

downwards."

"A vessel proceeding under sail when also being propelled by machinery shall exhibit forward where it can best be seen a conical shape, apex downwards."

However, the U.S. Coastguard's website states that,

"A vessel proceeding under sail when also being propelled by machinery shall exhibit forward where it can best be seen a conical shape, apex downwards. A vessel of less than 12 meters in length is not required to exhibit this shape, but may do so."

This is NOT an international excemption but purely a U.S. INLAND sailing rule.

This part of Rule 25 may well not be enforced in many places but in others it most certainly is. For example, don't even think of motoring with sails set in German waters and without the daysignal set. It will prove to be very expensive.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:45 AM   #2
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It's well known amongst sailors in Sydney that the conical shape "should" be displayed, but it very rarely is seen on the harbour, and I've never seen the water police enforce it. Interesting that you should note that it's enforced in Germany. What are the fines like?
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Old 09-10-2007, 10:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delatbabel View Post
. Interesting that you should note that it's enforced in Germany. What are the fines like?
I honestly don't know as I have never been fined, but I will try to find out. NUASIKAA is fitted with both a cone and an anchor ball.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:09 AM   #4
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Stephen,

Your post on subject of the Colregs - rules of the sea brought back memories of studying under Nick Robinson in Hong Kong for my Masters Ticket issued by the Marine Department - The holding of which was obligatory for skippers sailing in Hong Kong waters (no big deal).

Many discussions held on the subject of what was applicable to a sailing boat and what exemptions applied. I have just recovered my notes and a copy of the 1972 Colregs.

I have extracted some of the rules pertaining to the subject you covered in your post :-

Rule 3

General definitions

For the purpose of these Rules, except where the context otherwise requires:

(a) The word "vessel" includes every description of water craft, including non-displacement craft and seaplanes, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

( The term "power-driven vessel" means any vessel propelled by machinery.

The term "sailing vessel" means any vessel under sail provided that propelling machinery, if fitted, is not being used.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rule 23 covers lights to be carried by power-driven vessels underway.

Rule 25 covers light requirements for sailing vessels underway and vessels under oars

(a) A sailing vessel underway shall exhibit:

(i) sidelights;

(ii) a sternlight.

( In a sailing vessel of less than 12 metres in length the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule may be combined in one lantern carried at or near the top of the mast where it can best be seen.

A sailing vessel underway may, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) of this Rule, exhibit at or near the top of the mast, where they can best be seen, two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower green, but these lights shall not be exhibited in conjunction with the combined lantern permitted by paragraph ( of this Rule.

(d) (i) A sailing vessel of less than 7 metres in length shall, if practicable, exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraph (a) or ( of this Rule, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

(ii) A vessel under oars may exhibit the lights prescribed in this Rule for sailing vessels, but if she does not, she shall have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

(e) A vessel proceeding under sail when also being propelled by machinery shall exhibit forward where it can best be seen a conical shape, apex downwards.'

6. Shapes

(a) Shapes shall be black and of the following sizes:

(i) a ball shall have a diameter of not less than 0.6 metre;

(ii) a cone shall have a base diameter of not less than 0.6 metre and a height equal to its diameter;

(iii) a cylinder shall have a diameter of at least 0.6 metre and a height of twice its diameter;

(iv) a diamond shape shall consist of two cones as defined in (ii) above having a common base.

( The vertical distance between shapes shall be at least 1.5 metre.

In a vessel of less than 20 metres in length shapes of lesser dimensions but commensurate with the size of the vessel may be used and the distance apart may be correspondingly reduced.

Stephen, my memory tells me that if the sail boat is motor sailing - it is NO longer a sailing boat

but a vessel propelled by machinery. Therefore, sail vessel regs don't apply ??????

Richard
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Old 09-10-2007, 11:59 AM   #5
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Hi Richard,

Quote:
my memory tells me that if the sail boat is motor sailing - it is NO longer a sailing boat but a vessel propelled by machinery. Therefore, sail vessel regs don't apply ??????
You are quite correct that a sailing vessel when being propelled by machinary or oars is considered a power driven vessel and shall show the lights (exception for vessels under oars) for a power driven vessel of her size. She shall also follow the steering and sailing rules for power driven vessels.

Rule 25 is a little of a special case as it specifies that when under BOTH sail and power the vessel shall display a black cone apex downwards. Note that this section of the rule does not say a power driven vessel shall.... or a sailing vessel shall.... but a vessel proceeding under sail when also being propelled by machinary.... In other words it applies equally to a sailing boat which is running its engine and to a motor driven vessel which also has rigged a sail.

Obviously the intention here is to enable other vessels to identify what looks, for the purposes of the rules, like a sailing vessel but is in fact a power driven vessel.

I am pleased the rules were updated. When I first learnt the Rules the 1960 Rules were still in force and Rule 17 realted to sailing vessels and stated that,

a vessel running free shall keep clear of a vessel which is close hauled.

a vessel close hauled on the port tack shall keep clear of a vessel close hauled on the starboard tack

when both have the wind on the same side, the vessel which is to windward shall keep clear of the vessel to leeward

The introduction of the 1972 Rules was a great step forward in simplifying the steering and sailing rules for sailing vessels.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-10-2007, 12:35 PM   #6
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Hi Stephen,

Therefore cone shall have a base diameter of not less than 0.6 metre and a height equal to its diameter;

The vertical distance between shapes shall be at least 1.5 metre.

In a vessel of less than 20 metres in length shapes of lesser dimensions but commensurate with the size of the vessel may be used and the distance apart may be correspondingly reduced.


If the above is interpreted correctly - then if the average sized cruising yacht is accepted for debate purposes as 37 ft -- then the black cone's dimensions may be reasonably reduced to :-

21 cm diameter and 21 cm height and the vertical distance between shapes to 0.85 meter ??????

Richard
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:34 PM   #7
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Hi Richard,

There are no specific guidlines regarding reduced day signal dimensions. The Rules call for a day signal (shape) "commensurate with the vessel size". Nuasikaa, as you know, has a length of 27 and yet I find no difficulty in displaying a full size signal.

As long as I am restricted to an anchor ball or a motor-sailing cone it is not a problem. Problems would arrise if I started minesweeping or dredging. In which case, the positioning of day signals would be the least of the issues!!!

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nausikaa View Post
Hi Richard,

There are no specific guidlines regarding reduced day signal dimensions. The Rules call for a day signal (shape) "commensurate with the vessel size". Nuasikaa, as you know, has a length of 27 and yet I find no difficulty in displaying a full size signal.

As long as I am restricted to an anchor ball or a motor-sailing cone it is not a problem. Problems would arise if I started minesweeping or dredging. In which case, the positioning of day signals would be the least of the issues!!!

Aye // Stephen
Stephen,

If we take the same equation as applied to a motoring vessel of 20 m plus and apply this to your yacht - the cone would measure just 15 cms in diameter (6 INCHES).

The other factor which is not covered adequately in the rules is where to hang this on a sailboat when motor-sailing so that it can be seen and acted upon by other vessels.

If it is hung on a spreader (even with just the main hoisted) then on certain points of sail a following vessel will not see the shape anyway.

I am not sure what this rule means for safety, a displacement vessel's speed with a sail or an engine or both is governed by Froude's Law. If I see a sailboat with sails up ahead of me, I tend to give it a wide berth when passing. If the sails are down I will pass carefully but much closer.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:06 AM   #9
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Richard,

I agree that the Rules are not specific enough in some cases.

Regarding the size of the day shape, I think it fair to assume that the intent of those who gave us these rules was not that the shape should be proportional to the vessel's size but should be the prescribed size if one is able to safely show a shape of those dimensions. If it is not safe then the size could be reduced to an appropriate size for the vessel. In other words not a scale version but the maximum size the vessel can carry.

In my experience, it is difficult to see a full-size shape on large sailinmg vessels as they are often "lost" in a forrest of masts, standing and running rigging not to mention being obscured by the sails.

As far as where the shape for a vessel under sail and power should be shown there is, as you correctly observed, no specifically indicated place and so it should be shown where it can best be seen by other vessels.

I am sure that the main reason for displaying the shape in not for safety in terms of vessel speed but to enable other vessels to correctly identify the vessel in question as a power driven vessel in the terms of the Rules.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-12-2007, 12:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nausikaa View Post
Richard,

I am sure that the main reason for displaying the shape is not for safety in terms of vessel speed but to enable other vessels to correctly identify the vessel in question as a power driven vessel in the terms of the Rules.

Aye // Stephen
Returning to the debate: If one has to hoist the conical shape because of local enforcement, then where do you find one to fit a cruising yacht? I cannot remember seeing one in a southern hemisphere's chandler - went to mel's place dot com - did a search there ; no luck!

A long time ago I saw a black inflatable cone. HongKong fishermen had them made up from a bamboo frame (2 circles:- 1 big, 1 small connected by 4 struts) covered by black cloth.

For a Ball shape - plenty of plastic balls in supermarkets - 2 holes some string, black paint.

Surely the rule for displaying a shape in daylight hours is to assist in preventing collisions, however, if the sailing vessel is in displacement category and is motor sailing, if the other vessel

cannot ascertain that fact, it is bound to act in accordance with the rules.
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
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where do you find one to fit a cruising yacht? I cannot remember seeing one in a southern hemisphere's chandler - went to mel's place dot com - did a search there ; no luck!
Not a problem here Richard. For example, I just picked up the UK firm Mailspeedmarine's catalogue which just happened to be lying here on my desk. On page 100 you will find both anchor balls and black cones. These are flat-folding for ease of stowage which in my book gives them the edge over plastic balls. At 6.99 they are a little more expensive though; but then everything termed "marine" is expensive. See www.mailspeedmarine.com

Other chandlers stock them too.

Quote:
Surely the rule for displaying a shape in daylight hours is to assist in preventing collisions, however, if the sailing vessel is in displacement category and is motor sailing, if the other vessel cannot ascertain that fact, it is bound to act in accordance with the rules.
Absolutely right Richard.

We sailors rightly demand that power driven vessels follow the rules and, where apprpriate, give way to us. We complain bitterly when ships do not keep out of our way when they are not restricted by a narrow channel. This we rightly should do. On the other hand other users of the seas have similar rights. They have the right to expect sailors to follow the rules too. As an example, I have always been very conciencious about giving way to sailing vessels as O.O.W. on naval, coastguard or commercial vessels. Having, in a relatively confined area with many sailing vessels, i.e. Sound between Sweden and Denmark, given way to a succession of sailing vessels it is very frustrating to see when passing cooling water coming out of their exhausts and no day signal hoisted. It is not uncommon either to see sailing vessels which are equiped with engines but no white masthead light. Given that, I do not condone but have some little understanding for the O.O.W. who just ploughs on and forces sailors to give way.

If we are to demand our rights then we should meet our obligations too. After all, compared to all other kit on a yacht, 6.99 is a drop in the ocean.

Aye

Stephen
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Old 09-12-2007, 05:32 PM   #12
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Our trip through the Baltic this summer impressed us mightily in many ways, one of which was small-ish sailboats flying day shapes!

The other was the large number of boats where everybody wore life jackets. Peter surmises that it's because the water is so cold in the Baltic, regardless of time of year, that the Scandinavians haven't learned to swim and so need to wear life jackets. The more reasonable theory is that the Scandinavians know that in such cold water, a man overboard wouldn't be able to help himself and would need flotation assistance.

Back to day shapes. I don't think I've ever seen a sailboat in the US flying a day shape of any sort. I certainly welcomed seeing them as we motored around the Baltic, though.
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Old 09-12-2007, 07:53 PM   #13
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Indeed Jeanne, it is common here to see dayshapes. Also, it is even more common to see people following the recommendations concerning PFDs.

On Nausika, for example, the rule is PFDs on prior to departure from the berth and they stay on until tied up at the next berth or securely anchored. The exception of course is when having gone below the PFD may be removed. Anyone on board under 14 years of age is also required to be hooked-on with a safety line whenever in the cockpit even in the calmest of weather. Anyone at al, irrespective of age, leaving the cockpit and going on deck is required to wear a safety-line.

As far as Peter's theory goes it certainly is an interesting one but one which I am obliged to refute on several counts. Firstly, everyone learns to swim in Sweden at least. With so much sea, so many islands and an uncountable number of lakes swimming is a national pastime in summer. And, whilst mentioning summer, I feel I must really sympathise with you as you chose the worst summer since records have been kept to come to Sweden. Normaly our summers are much warmer and, as Swedish waters are for all intents and purposes tideless, the surface water heats up quickly. Typical summer sea surface temperatures are between 18 and 20 degrees. I have seen 22 degrees far out at sea. Of course, if you dive in you quickly discover that the water temperature sinks very rapidly with increased deapth. Believe me, the temperature inclines and different salinity layers of the Baltic makes operating submarines here very interesting and finding them exceedingly difficult.

But back to shapes. I believe the carrying of day shapes is not so much a fear of sanctions for not doing so as I know of no one who has been fined for this in Sweden. I believe it is more a reflection on the general level of compliance as well as a higher regard for safety than is exhibited in many places. Generally, we wear seat belts in cars, we wear PFDs at sea, we don't litter and we wear helmets when cykling. Maybe it makes us boring and predictable but at least, on average, we will be boring and predictale longer than those who are not so safety concious.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:48 PM   #14
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Our rules on PFDs and harnesses:

PFD on:

(a) When crossing a bar, and EVERYONE is up on deck.

(b) When on watch at night.

Whenever it makes you feel safer.

Harness on:

(a) When on watch at night.

(b) When up on deck in any form of rough weather, 20 knots or over.

At any time, going forward from the cockpit.

(d) At all times in the Bass Strait, Cook Strait, or similar.

(e) Whenever it makes you feel safer.

Harness off:

(a) When crossing a bar. If the worst possible thing happens, and the boat pitchpoles, it is better to be thrown clear of the boat with your PFD on, than it is to be stuck on or under the boat due to the harness being on. When crossing a bar we are generally within swimming distance of land anyway, and so your better protection is the PFD not the harness.

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