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Boats out of control


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One example of being out of control

Say a boat is going downwind on the run and a sudden gust blows it out of control with the nose under water and rudder in the air.

If the following boat is unable to avoid it due to the sudden nature of the incident does either have to do penalty turns?

Other examples of being out of control are light winds where boats have no steerage and when in irons head to wind and unable to manouvre.

What are the rules here guys?

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The first rule to consider is E2.3 Boat out of Radio Control. If you hail your "sail number - out of control", the you have just retired from the race. You then become an obstruction, and cannot be further penalised for any subsequent incidents. And once retired - there is no 'take back'. What is less clear, is when you hail something like '"Hey! I've got no control" What you are trying to say is "please don't hit me - I cannot get out of your way'. I have chatted with some judges and they seem to agree that E2.3 applies and you have retired, even if you don't have a radio issue because you said essentially that you were out of control. So if you are stuck head to wind- be careful what you hail - best to keep quiet and let the boat go round you and deal with a protest if they call you out - a quick penalty turn is better than retiring.

If you nose dive and suddenly decelerate, then you have not altered course - so a following same tack boat has to keep clear - R12. and if you are on stbd, a following port tack boat has to keep clear - R 10. If you are on port and the following boat is on stbd, you have to keep clear, R 10.

If you nose dive and broach to one side or the other, you have altered course and may fail to give room to the following boat under either R15 (if ROW changes) or R 16.1 if you remain ROW.

In light air, if you have no steerage, then the rules apply based on what tack you are on - and for example if you were on stbd and are now HTW, but not passed HTW then you are still on stbd. So the rules don't care about your boat handling problem.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Thanks for the reply, John.

In the case of temporary zero or limited control would the rules mean that other boats would have to give room and time for the boat to keep clear? In which case they would have to take into account the slowness and delay of the boat due to limited control.

And if so could one shout "I have limited control please give me time and room to keep clear" ?

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I see the situation this way - Even though you have no rudder control at the moment, (stalled, no wind, etc), you are either still on a tack, or if you passed HTW, are tacking. So the rules that would apply if you were moving normally still apply. if you were 'keep clear' and they have to avoid you, then you broke a rule - so take a penalty once you have recovered. If you were ROW at the time then they have to keep clear of you - so if they hit you, they take the penalty.

So no, other boats don't have to give you any special room and time - and your suggested hail has no value under the rules.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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  • 2 weeks later...

WS Case 99 is clear - 'The fact that a boat required to keep clear is out of control does not entitle her to exoneration for breaking a rule of Part 2'

It also adds 'When a right of way boat becomes obliged by rule 14 to avoid contact if reasonably possible, and the only way to do so is to crash-gybe, she does not break the rule if she does not crash-gybe'

I would add that:

- a right of way boat is still subject to rules 15, 16 and 17 even if out of control

- although the case refers specifically to a crash gybe, the same principle would apply if a RoW is required to make any unseamanlike manouevre.

Rule E2.3 allow a boat out of radio control once they have hailed 'Out of Control' to retire with no further penalty if they break any Part 2 rule. A boat cannot 'unretire' if she subsequently regains radio control.

Gordon

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Fellas

A boat out of control is just that. The cause of the loss of control is irrelevant, radio failure, sheet jamb, jelly fish wrapped around the rudder.

During this period the skipper has no ability to avoid anything since he has NO or limited control.

By Declaring / Hailing this situation whilst racing the competitor is automatically retired from that heat/ race and has no possibility of re-joining the heat even if he regains control.

So it is irrelevant which rule he might infringe whilst Out of Control since he is NOT considered as Racing.

It would be quite silly for a boat that has control to collide with that boat even if he were in the right.

Given the boat Out of Control is not a Competitor in the heat any silly boat colliding with it is NOT breaching the RRS since these rules apply Between Boats Racing .

BUT that was not the original question was it.

The question related to being stranded head to wind.

or

The a boat suddenly luffing when he loses control as the boat luffs up in a gust of wind.

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David,

As WS Case 99 points out in neither case you mention is a boat exonerated from breaking a racing rule. A boat temporarily losing control is still racing.

Rule E2.3 changes this ONLY for boats that lose radio control.

Another point - the rules of Part 2 When Boats Meet apply when boats are sailing in or near the racing area and intend to race, are racing or have been racing. So a boat that has retired is still subject to the rules of Part 2, although they can only be penalised for not avoiding contact resulting in injury or serious damage, or for interfering with a boat that was racing.

Gordon

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