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Stand-on or give way...

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Coming back from barrier a week or so ago in a WNW'er, saw a sail approx  10Nm of s/beam. (the only sail btw, lonely out there in winter!).

We were on a beam reach in about 20knt. With little to do I was trying to figure the CPA and gave up, figuring it would be some distance.

We were on direct heading to Rangi lighthouse.

Lo & behold, some considerable time later it became apparent the CPA could be zero. I could now see they were on starboard , as were we, them with a poled out genny to port, heading for Colville channel. 

OK, I figured we are both essentially on strb, but they are the windward boat going dw so I am stand-on. But I'm on his port.....?

Open Ocean, and there is this scenario! It looked like I could pass ahead.

Um, I can almost see the what they are drinking and they ARE maintaining. Then he heads up a tad and I blink hard cos I'm not

sure I can pass ahead as his genny will collapse and we will be gunwale to gunwale, so head up , way up.

Soon as, he saw that, he headed back down, and we passed within 20m of his stern. Cheery wave & all good.

I could easily have avoided this, but I assumed I was stand-on.

Right, or wrong?

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So, even if you are reasonably sure you are stand-on, make an early decision to not engage?

Correction, their genny poled to strb.


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He is to weather on the same tack and has to give way. Your obligation as the stand on boat is maintain course unless it's obvious he is not avoiding. Sometimes racers and cruisers have very different ideas of what close means but in this situation 20m is way too fine and he is in the wrong.

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Thanks, for clarification. I guess he was hoping i would see his poled out genny and be obliging.

But leaving it that late meant I nearly had to luff to let him through.

And hour later we got a  karmic hit, 35knt  for not being thoughtful.


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20 hours ago, Island Time said:

yep, other boat is at fault. Gennaker makes no diff, its what side his main is on.

correct. But if running just under Genny(no main up) would they then become right of way vessel?? I presume yes

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32 minutes ago, Island Time said:

No. Windward vessel must keep clear. If Jennaker poled out to weather, still same tack. 


So in effect what you saying ,the windward side is the poled side?if no main up. So if poled out to stb you are on port tack

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Nope. A gennaker can be poled out either side, to Leeward or Windward, so it would depend. If the wind is over the starboard side at all, you're on Stb. If the wind is over the port side at all your on port. The main makes it easier to tell when almost flat off, and running by the lee with a main on means the main is the indicator. 

Think about this. If the main was up, where would it be? That being said, both the burdened vessel and the stand on one are obliged to avoid a collision, and course alterations should be clear (decent amount of course change) and early - under colregs. RRS are a bit different.

Clear as mud... right 😂

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