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I've had one memorable negative experience with commercial guys, once I was beating across the Motuihe channel in 20 plus and this fishing boat was steaming in with its flopper stoppers down, I thought and expected him to slow down or change course to pass well clear of me but my fault as I realised too late he wasnt going to, we then passed uncomfortably close. All I could see was him appear in the wheel house waving his fist and yelling at me. It was only in hindsight that I thought of how close to a collision we were and despite having the right of way I should have changed course much earlier

 

He was definitely on AP going though a narrow channel on a Saturday summer afternoon, I think he popped up and got a shock seeing us across his bow. I was pretty confident that I could easily cross from way back as we were taking a lot of land but still...

 

Then we have this http://gcaptain.com/asleep-at-the-wheel-fatigue-led-to-capsize-of-fishing-ship-and-27200-fine/ They pulled a 17 year old deckie out of the scratcher after a full days work and put him on the helm where he promptly fell asleep and the Jan merrily ran onto the bricks. How easily it could have been a moored boat or worse a one in transit.  Not only that but it was the second such incident for this company.

 

Moral of the story, dont trust these guys, if you see one coming make sure they see you.

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I doubt it, in this case the navigable part of the channel was 3/4 of a mile wide. Hardly narrow for 40ft fishing boat on a clear day with no seaway and no other traffic. Do you think not being on wat

I think you'll find fishing/commercial boats have far more to fear from recreational than the other way around.

Rule 1. Section A to Z Power vessels are to be avoided at all times.

Don't forget that if they're engaged in fishing, they are the stand on vessel when meeting a yacht. That said it doesn't sound like he would be "engaged in fishing" while transiting the Motuihie Channel!

 

Maritime rules Part 22

 

(1) a power-driven vessel underway must keep out of the way of—

(a) a vessel not under command:

(B) a vessel restricted in its ability to manoeuvre:

© a vessel engaged in fishing:

(d) a sailing vessel or a vessel under oars; and

 

(2) a sailing vessel underway must keep out of the way of—

(a) a vessel not under command:

(B) a vessel restricted in its ability to manoeuvre:

© a vessel engaged in fishing;

 

One other point is I don't understand how their day shapes indicating their status as engaged in fishing such can be permanently welded in place as so many are. It would be great if someone could explain that..

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Don't half of those fishing vessels fall under 1) (a) - vessel not under command? even though they are under way and making way, they never seem to be under command...

The one with the 17 year old certainly wasn't under command....

 

Moral of the story, just stay out of their way.

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One other point is I don't understand how their day shapes indicating their status as engaged in fishing such can be permanently welded in place as so many are. It would be great if someone could explain that..

Bloody good question. Raconteur on the hard here for a refit 3 weeks ago, two triangles displayed...didn't see any fish!!!??..hahaha.

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If they're showing fishing day shapes, you are required to keep clear.

If they aren't actually engaged in fishing the issue is with them showing the day shapes, but cause they're showing them, you still need to keep clear.

 

My point of view, I'm out on the water for recreation, these guys are trying to make a living, they aren't there to look at the scenery, hence probably working baiting hooks or what ever. Its not hard to just stay out of the way, at most it may inconvenience you by two tacks, but it is normally a slight course change up or down a bit, then as you were.

 

And as per the OP, you never actually know if anyone is on watch, or sleeping on the job...

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My thoughts on it too, they’re out there making their living, but in the scenario I described they were required to keep clear, weren’t keeping lookout and definitely not fishing. Still I usually never demand rights over a powered vessel but in this case while I knew I would clear them it was a wake up call to be a defensive driver

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