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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    West Michigan
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    434

    Law of the water quistion?

    What would you do if you where out fishing 4-5 miles off shore and a big cruiser was coming directly at you with it's AP on? (going aprox. 25 knots)
    This happened to us Saturday. There was not another boat within 2-3 miles of us. We are trolling with a 9 rod spread of 2 riggers 4 divers, and 3 high lines on boards. After repeatedly blowing our horn he briefly changes his course as to not hit us. He kept it at full power and went directly over our planer boards, not more than 100' off our stern.
    So now the 300' copper, and 2-250' copper setups as well as 3 boards are gone.
    We where on a dew South heading and he was coming at us on the Starboard side at an angle.
    We where about 3-4 miles south of port also.
    What is the proper way to handle a situation like this?
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Madison, WI
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    317
    The death penalty. With a final meal of Spam.
    Tight water bottles, 70's bean bags, and full coolers!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Pipestone, Mn
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    Flare gun? Pound balls? Hell I woulda thrown my GPS at him if I thought I had a chance of hitting him.
    <img src=http://i224.photobucket.com/albums/dd34/floorboy1/Seacraft/seacraft20logo.gif border=0 alt= /> 23' Seacraft Tsunami/Sceptre.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Buffalo, Minnesota
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    Does the product "Wham-O" come to mind? (Ooops, maybe that's just for rag boats).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Remington, IN
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    84
    At the point that you only had riggers left I think you should have pulled them and followed him in to port, hauled his butt back out and used him for bait.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    In the hills, usa
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    509
    The right of way in this case goes to the boat that is less nimble. In other words if a boat does not have the ability to quickly manuver due to task at hand, it has the right away over the boat that is simply underpower. The only exception to that would be if there was an issue of draft on a larger vessel causing it to run aground if it gave right away. 3-4 miles off shore draft of the boat was probably not the issue, I am guessing it was the draft in the refrigerator. That rule is out of the Michigan DNR Boaters guide and I have read that same law in other publications and would guess it applies pretty much everywhere.

    The law also specifically says that power boats will avoid boats that are fishing or trawling. If you got his boat numbers/vessel name I would reccomend calling the Coasties and letting them know. All of the Guardsmen I know would take a very dim view of what you just described. Even if they couldn't nail him for the right away violation I am guessing at the very least his boat would get a stem to stearn inspection. I would also bet there would be no verbal warnings on any violation found on his vessel. I bet my boat isn't perfect, so with an a$$clown like that I'll bet he would have multiple violations.

    The last issue he might have is how close he got no matter the right of way. I cant find it but I know I read that a boat under power must give no less than 150' of right-a-way to slow moving vessels such as sailboats and slow moving/stationary fishing boats. I am guessing if he got all your boards he was closer than that.

    Let us pray that his props sucked up the copper and when his screws finally bind up it frys everything in his drives. Now that would be sweet justice!!!

    Hope that helps.

    Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Near Lansing, MI
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    The right of way rules/laws are too often broken by many on the lakes. In addition to cruisers that run too close to fishing boats (when they could easily modify their course) my biggest complaint is with sailboats. As the law is written, the right of way goes to the boat that is least maneuverable/nimble. A sailboat under sail or power always has the better ability to change course but they almost never will. To most sailboats, the rule is interpreted as "sailboats not under power have right of way", which is not correct. Most of them I have had experiences with would not yield to a canoe or kayak.

    In your case with the cruiser presumably under autopilot the odds are that no one on the other boat was monitoring the radio either. But, I think that once I determined that my horn signals were not getting their attention I would have been on the VHF and repeatedly broadcast a plea to get them to change course -- first on channel 16 and then channel 9. Something to the effect of "Emergency, emergency! This is the fishing boat xxxxxxxx. Cruiser running north/south... xx miles west of xxxxxx change course to your east/west immediately!". I believe that the Coast Guard monitors 16 and the "Emergency..." would get their attention and document your attempt to avoid the situation. It would also get the CG prepared to deploy for assistance as soon as possible as it could have been your boat and not the fishing lines in the collision path -- something that sounds like a very realistic possibility given the circumstances. I would expect an almost immediate call back from the CG.

    I also suspect that since you were in a panic situation, you didn't/couldn't get the name, port and/or registration information of the other boat. At the very least note the type, approximate size, hull color(s), and top color of the other boat. With that info, I would report it to the CG by radio and potentially do some follow up directly. Sounds like their negligence means they owe you a pretty good chunk of change for the tackle lost.
    Last edited by SeaCat; 09-19-2011 at 04:32 PM.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Unless you're a Commercial Fishing boat you can't identify yourself as 'Fishing Vessel XX' at least that's how they specify in Wi if memory serves- you're just 'Vessel XX'. I would do similar to what Seacat mentioned and broadcast on a public channel like 16. I would've had my camera out and shoot some video and have the Coasties chat with him.

    Some of these pleasure boating assbags think that if they turn on the AP they can go take a piss and leave the wheel while at cruise......If you're going to do that you'd better have your radar running with at least 2 miles of warning alarm.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Near Lansing, MI
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChampionShip View Post
    Unless you're a Commercial Fishing boat you can't identify yourself as 'Fishing Vessel XX' at least that's how they specify in Wi if memory serves- you're just 'Vessel XX'. ...
    In such a situation, I'm not going to really care what the specific rules on this are... if it helps get the other boat's attention and for them to change course, then I would call myself an aircraft carrier!
    Ryan... ... Think KINGS!

    Boat Name: CATtitude Adjustment -- 21' SeaCat
    More technology per square foot than any boat on the Great Lakes
    Owner: NetBungee -- http://www.netbungee.com &
    Michigan Slamon Spectacular - http://www.MichiganSalmonSpectacular.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Straits of Mackinac
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    I'll admit I was the guy in the cruiser once. I was returning to port after a morning of fishing, easterly course, and intersected with a southbound cruiser. It's so rare that there are passing boats as opposed to boats the are leaving/returning to the harbor that I wasn't really all that alert to the impending condition. I happened to notice the southbound cruiser on the radar screen when we were approximately 1/4 mile apart. The southbound cruiser stopped to let me pass. I felt like an ass and even though I was technically the stand on craft, it was totally inconsiderate due to my inattention at the helm. That will NEVER happen again. I have cruised extensively on the lakes and also understand that after a few hours on the lake, there are lapses in a captain's alertness. That's no excuse, but it does happen.

    I don't know what kind of boat you're in or what the conditions were, but some smaller boats become very difficult to see on the water. It's why I ALWAYS run my radar when running to/from port. Again, no excuse but it is a condition that exists.

    With the orientation of the boats that you describe, he was the stand on vessel. A recreational vessel that is trolling is nothing more than a vessel under power and subject to the applicable rules of navigation. Unless the captain was flipping the bird as he passed, I suspect it was more the case of inattention at the helm. Don't be too quick to assume the captain was a total moron. Maybe yes and maybe no. Usually the answer would be no. Your justice in all this is that there will likely be some clean up required on his running gear.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatmich View Post
    in such a situation, i'm not going to really care what the specific rules on this are... If it helps get the other boat's attention and for them to change course, then i would call myself an aircraft carrier!
    lmao!!!!!!!!!!

  12. #12
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    Aug 2008
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    protecting your Great Lakes
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    Take our chances with anything we do. Feel lucky that something worse didn't happen. Try to be courteous and set a good example and hopefully others do the same. The guy driving this boat couldn't even avoid - a forest? Imagine if there was a small boat or kayak in front of him. The guys in the picture are the salvage crew not the owner of the boat.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    West Michigan
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    Thank you for your replies. Our boat was a 4 winns 24' vista. so plenty viable. We did run the Ahole down and his only response was "he was in the right because he passed on the Starboard side", and we where a bunch of idiots.
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Muskegon
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    Technically he was right, does not make him much less of a jerk. Hopefully you found your boards at least and can take some solace in the fact it will cost him more to pull your line out of his shaft seals than you lost in gear. Also since we fish under power and are not by rule a fishing vessel we are bound by standard rules of navigation which for the most part means if he can see your green light you must give way to him. The same issue applies to sail boats and row boats we must yield to them as they are the burdened vessel. Also nothing in the rules what so ever that protect your fishing lines or gear. Which goes back to the thread on Wound Up pushing other boats around on Muskegon lake and in the channel as there is no rule to protect him from having his gear ran over as well.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2008
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    Straits of Mackinac
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarpenterKen View Post
    Thank you for your replies. Our boat was a 4 winns 24' vista. so plenty viable. We did run the Ahole down and his only response was "he was in the right because he passed on the Starboard side", and we where a bunch of idiots.
    Well...there's one in every crowd. Fortunately, that type of skipper is in the minority, but unfortunately, they do exist.

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