Thank you for all your efforts furthering boating safety. I suspect you’ll agree that writing about the Rules of The Road is no easy task. I do have one comment regarding your article in the January 2018 Bay & Delta Yachtsman. In your discussion of Rule 19, you included statements regarding Rules 13, 14, and 15. Unfortunately, I believe your readers could mistakenly conclude that Rules 13, 14, and 15 apply in conditions of restricted visibility.
When presenting the Rules of the Road, I think it’s important to keep the table of contents in mind at all times. That is where the condition of visibility is easily illustrated.
Ah, yes the rules are difficult to understand at times and the effort to digest them and present them in a friendlier manner can be difficult. I believe that you are referring to question 4 which asks:
While operating your power driven vessel in fog, your RADAR indicates a vessel three-quarters mile distant and on your port bow. You should:
a. Sound the danger signal
b. Exchange maneuvering signals
c. Sound one long blast
d. Not alter course to port
The correct answer is “d”, not alter course to port.
Rule 19, Steering and Sailing Rules, Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility Part (d) A vessel which detects by RADAR alone the presence of another vessel shall determine if a close quarters situation is developing or risk of collision exists, if so, she shall take avoiding action in ample time, provided that when such action consists of an alteration of course, so far as possible the following shall be avoided:
i. An alteration of course to port for a vessel forward of the beam other than for a vessel being overtaken; and
ii. An alteration of course towards a vessel abeam or abaft the beam.
The application of rule 19 is obvious as it applies to the conduct of vessels in restricted visibility. Rules 4 thru 19 are included in Subpart B – steering and sailing rules. Section I, rules 4 thru 10, apply to any condition of visibility while section II, rules 11 thru 18, apply to vessels in sight of one another, and section III, rule 19, applies to vessels in restricted visibility. Your point is well taken that in condition of restricted visibility we refer to Rule 19; however, my citation of Rules 13, 14, and 15 is consistent with a prudent mariner applying all of the steering and sailing rules under all conditions. Rule 19 is not intended to replace rules 11 thru 18, but to clarify and enhance the proper conduct of vessels.
Thank you for the letter and the opportunity for all of us to think about our responsibilities while operating our yachts. The navigation rules can be ambiguous, I think intentionally so.
I am writing to you with a suggestion for a future article, the subject being the festivities surrounding the 80th Annual South Bay Opening Day. This May 5th, celebration at the Redwood City Marina is focused on ensuring the future health of the South Bay’s unique boating qualities and the boating communities which support it.
The event will include participation from the PICYA and it is being organized by the 5 South Bay Yacht Clubs. Coyote Point, Peninsula, the San Jose Sailing Club, Sequoia and South Bay (Alviso). As you are aware, escalating real estate prices in the Bay Area will soon lead to the loss of the club houses for two of these clubs, Peninsula and San Leandro, and our goal of a vibrant event keeps a weather-eye towards the developers who wish to build-out every inch of our Bay’s shoreline.
I would be pleased to be your point of contact for information on this fun, family oriented boating day and would also like to offer you a unique opportunity. South Bay Opening Day includes onshore activities in addition to our central theme of a decorated boat parade. One such opportunity is for artists, such as you, Kim, to setup and display their unique and Bay oriented work. There is of course no cost; just bring a table, an umbrella for shade and a collection of your paintings. As one who always looks forward to the illustrations you provide for your articles, I know many of your other fans would enjoy seeing your work.
Thank you for your consideration of my request. The South Bay is a boater’s wonderland but it is in danger of become a paradise lost if we do not all pull together to help the Bay Area see what is right before their own eyes.
San Jose Sailing Club
Offer gratefully accepted! South Bay Opening Day is one of my favorite events. You guys sure know how to throw a party down there.
I look forward to meeting you and hanging with my boating buddies again!