Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Wooden yawl vs oil tanker on "Lone Star Law"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    honolulu,hawaii,usa
    Posts
    70

    Default Wooden yawl vs oil tanker on "Lone Star Law"

    Today's (3/19) episode of "Lone Star Law" game warden reality series broke off from their script to rescue a very retro wooden yawl from being mowed down by an oil tanker in Aransas bay. I wonder if anyone recognized the boat model or type, which sometimes filled the screen. Animal Planet channel, I believe.

    It was plenty big for 2 at maybe 17 feet excluding that mizzen sheet pole. It had a huge gaff spar for the mainsail and double jibs. I'm blanking out on the terms for those and also that mizzen side boom that overshot the mast by about a foot. It had some side and front deck with high coaming... kind of the essence of what this forum delights in but not what I expect would be common around Corpus Christie. They self rescued with an outboard motor mounted kind of inboard.

    I'm more interested in the technology than the do's and dont's that the yawl should have followed. But it reminds me of a wooden historic replica junk that visited here and then went on to be sunk by a large ship collision (off Taiwan?). I realize big cargo/tankers may keep poor watch for things with little radar signature, but one of the survivors was quoted as saying the oncoming ship appeared to intentionally change course to smash them, perhaps mistaking their garish red craft as pirates. I boarded that junk and took pictures as it was newsworthy even beforehand.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    41,161

    Default Re: Wooden yawl vs oil tanker on "Lone Star Law"

    The technology is simple: Get out of the way.

    Large vessels really can't respond and are often constrained as to where on the water they can even be. A small boat has no legitimate reason for obstructing a channel.

    There can be times when a small boater gets stuck with a failed wind or engine and if inattentive to the total situation may be surprised when a heavy looms. It's also not uncommon for small boaters to be clueless as to how to observe what a heavy is doing. This is more likely the fate of the junk. A large vessel bearing down can look pretty scary and like she's being aimed if one does not know how to observe the vessel's bow and any mast or antenna, or the two white forward facing nav lights required on large vessels.

    One sleety autumn morning we were pushing an empty barge up the East River and we saw a snow bird (yachtie headed south) coming down set to pass us port to port. All's good. I gave them one whistle (Rule 34 (a)(1). Got no answer but all looked good and there was nothing we could do except hold course anyway.

    Apparently the helmsman, the only person on deck, panicked at the space between us and the row of piers and warehouses.

    Just after our view of the sloop vanished under the very high form of the empty barge, we saw her mast moving fast left to right in front of the barge.

    Some slack in the push gear took up with a jolt.

    For a moment we thought we'd run them down. Of course we'd not have felt them but that was the first thought. I was pulling the horn rope, for all the good that might do. The mast kept moving smoothly, however, and the little sloop emerged into view close on the barge's starboard side. And now the cockpit was crowded with not just the helmsman but four other guys, white as sheets and in their long johns. As we passed close to them, I leaned out of the pilot house, saluted with my coffee cup, and said, "Top of the morning."

    Wonder if they have a clue as to how close they came to God with that little lane change.

    There are careless ship's crews and sometimes the helmsman really is reading "Climax", but most of the time professionals are professionals and they are not out there trying to run you down.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    honolulu,hawaii,usa
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Wooden yawl vs oil tanker on "Lone Star Law"

    Sailors play chicken with the Sydney harbor ferries like they have a death wish, especially in the northeast quadrant. They are like a swarm of bees that defy explicit markings on the ferries indicating right of way privilege. I couldn't understand how this joie de vivre could always turn out well until I saw several collision videos on youtube. There are only minor bumps shown now, but there used to be films of a ferry knifing thru and exploding a sailboat as well as a windsurfer.

    I can recreate the situation by combining 2 images. First video is a smaller ferry nosing carefully thru a sailing class. But then imagine a carpet of them for miles being penetrated in a hurry by this large, non agile ferry between Sydney and Manly:

    Last edited by rudderless; 03-20-2017 at 03:28 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Hyannis, MA, USA
    Posts
    41,161

    Default Re: Wooden yawl vs oil tanker on "Lone Star Law"

    Yeah. Races held around here if they cannot be laid to absolutely avoid all ferry traffic - like the Moffat Cup on the VIneyard - have an explicit rule that says anyone interfering with or coming too close to a ferry or tug and fuel barge will be summarily disqualified. RC's call. No appeal.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    1,095

    Default Re: Wooden yawl vs oil tanker on "Lone Star Law"

    Here on our small patch of Puget Sound the five toot salute is frequently heard on nice summer weekends courtesy of the Bremerton ferry.

    Jeff

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •