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Windward Lay Line Strategy


Trevor
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Bit of a newbie question as I confess to getting totally confused when looking at the rules!  Two boats sailing towards the windward mark on starboard. The leeward boat will not make the mark and will need a short port tack to make the mark. What is the best strategy here?  Should the leeward boat bear away, gybe onto port and go behind the windward boat until it can make the mark?  Can he call for water at the mark, oblige the windward boat to tack, follow him onto port tack then back to starboard to make the mark?  Any other strategies?

Cheers

Trevor

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Hi Trevor,

Below is a generic diagram that shows the problem for the leeward boat, Yellow.

The rules that apply are 18.2(b) and 18.2(d), plus R 11.

The two boats enter the zone, overlapped on stbd, and Green has to keep clear R11 W/L, and as Yellow is inside boat, is entitled to mark room 18.2(b). She may luff up to try to head reach around the mark, and in order to give that mark room, Green must stay clear. In the diagram, I show Yellow luffing and Green responding

However, mark room for Yellow ends if she passes head to wind R18.2(d). At this point she becomes the keep clear boat.

So bottom line, Yellow cannot ask for room to tack. She is stuck, below the lay line and can either slow down and then tack behind Green, or bear away and gybe around - her choice.

John

 

Not laying the mark.jpg

Edited by John Ball
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John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Thanks John

I often get into this position as boats come past me on the windward leg and I get pushed onto starboard early.  I think I shall go for the lay line early and go past it to allow for shifts and bad navigation! 

Cheers

Trevor

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Hi Trevor

As you gain experience, you will recognize that you are going to be in trouble with other boats as you approach the mark, especially if you are to the left side of the course. Yes, get to the right and get above the lay line six to ten boat lengths from the mark. If there are other boats on the lay line, hold high, but if there is a gap, you can reach off towards the mark with speed.

You may find my web site, Chapter 3 R18 and the WIndward Mark useful - especially the first few pages which cover setting up for the mark..

https://sites.google.com/site/johnsrcsailingrulesandtactics/

John

Edited by John Ball
chapter title

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Is rule 18 actually relevant here?  Isn't the situation covered by Rule 11 W/L and Rule 13 Tacking?  How fast yellow is allowed to luff is governed by Rule 17.  Even if she were the overtaking boat, Yellow's proper course is to round the mark if she can so green would still have to keep clear under Rule 11.  Rule 18 would be relevant if they were leaving the mark to starboard, in which case yellow would have to give green mark room.

I think we all agree green has to give yellow room, but if it's under Rule 18 then yellow has to bear away and round the mark "in a seamanlike fashion", if it's under rule 11 then yellow can sail on past the mark if he/she wanted to.

I also struggle with what happens if yellow establishes the overlap inside the zone.  Rule 18 says that yellow must give green mark room, but how do you give mark room to a boat on your outside?  I'm pretty sure that the intention is that yellow loses her Rule 11 rights if she doesn't establish an overlap before green enters the zone - I just don't think the rule is very well written to convey that.

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Trevor, as you are a newbie you will have enough to think about besides from all those rules.

Just duck a few transoms when you are on port until you are happy to tack onto the starboard lay line, start thinking about this 20+ boat lengths from the mark to avoid a windward mark raft of boat soup.

Always two options, easy option and correct option, one causes mayhem and the other will gain you respect within the fleet.

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Thanks Graham I’ll do that. The key to a lot of this is thinking ahead but the shifty wind on our tree lined pond means reacting to shifts and ending up somewhere other than suggested by any strategy. 
 

cheers

T

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John949 asks above

Is rule 18 actually relevant here?  Isn't the situation covered by Rule 11 W/L and Rule 13 Tacking?  How fast yellow is allowed to luff is governed by Rule 17.

Hi John,

Yes - absolutely R18.2(b) applies here as drawn. Yes, Green has to keep clear under R 11, but one important aspect of being granted Mark Room, is that you are exonerated under R 43 if you break R16.1 or 17, as long as you are sailing within your proper course to the mark. - That could include luffing up to head to wind to squeeze around the mark.

You are also correct that if Yellow passes head to wind, she loses her R 18 rights, and is now tacking, and subject to R13. But this is not as drawn - note Yellow has not passed head to wind.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Thanks John, I had forgotten about Rule 43.

Any comments on the other two questions?  Is yellow allowed to sail green past the mark?  Does yellow lose her Rule 11 rights once green enters the zone?

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Hi John949.

The answer to your first question is covered in the WS Call Book for Radio Sailing Call B10

which says in part

As the windward boat, W has an obligation to keep clear under rule 11 throughout
the incident. The boats are overlapped when they enter the 4-lengths zone and, from
that moment, W is required by rule 18.2(b) to give mark-room to L. However, L is
unable to fetch the mark and is not entitled to room to tack in order to pass the mark
on the required side. Therefore W's only obligation is to keep clear, which she does.
Neither boat breaks a rule.
After W rounds the mark, the boats are on different legs and both are required by rule
23.2 not to interfere with each other, except when sailing their proper course.
However, while the boats remain on the same tack, W must continue to keep clear of
L under rule 11. This applies even if W is sailing her proper course. If L causes W to
alter course, L interferes with a boat sailing on another leg and she breaks rule 23.2.

 

The answer to your second question - does inside boat lose R 11 rights - the answer is definitely NO. 

See the preamble to Part 2 on the RRS which says

SECTION A
RIGHT OF WAY

A boat has right of way over another boat when the other boat is
required to keep clear of her. However, some rules in Sections B, C
and D limit the actions of a right-of-way boat.

 

The ROW rules are in Part 2, Section A. They are R10 through R 13. They always apply. However some  of the other rules of Part 2 may require a ROW boat to give room or mark room  - so they do not turn off ROW but may restrict the action of the ROW boat.

John
 

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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Hi John 949.

You also asked a different question in your post from above.

I also struggle with what happens if yellow establishes the overlap inside the zone.  Rule 18 says that yellow must give green mark room, but how do you give mark room to a boat on your outside?  I'm pretty sure that the intention is that yellow loses her Rule 11 rights if she doesn't establish an overlap before green enters the zone - I just don't think the rule is very well written to convey that.

What I think you are asking is what happens if Yellow establishes an overlap from astern but inside the zone. Putting this another way should make it clear - if Yellow established the overlap in the zone, then Green must have been clear ahead when she reached the zone - so Green is entitled to mark room 18.2(b) and (c). So Yellow should avoid getting inside Green, so that Green can pass close to the mark.

John

John Ball

IOM CAN 307 (V8)

In my private capacity

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