November 2014 - How Much Mark-Room

placeholder image

November 2014 - How Much Mark-Room

This month’s article is based on another question I received from a reader. The question asked about mark-room – in particular, mark-room with large booms. The boats in my diagrams tend to have very long booms and sometimes they exaggerate the real situation. Most booms don’t go far past the side of the boat. There are exceptions, though; some boats have boom that extend well beyond the rail when the boats are on a run. 8 Metres and Nonsuches come to mind. Both types have large mainsails, and so are also more likely to sail directly downwind on a run with their booms fully extended. 



In the diagram, the two boats are approaching a leeward mark which they will round to port. Yellow is on a run on starboard-tack. Blue is on broad reach on port-tack. As Yellow gets to the zone, the boats are overlapped so Yellow is entitled to mark-room.
 
Mark-Room
Room for a boat to leave a mark on the required side. Also,
(a) room to sail to the mark when her proper course is to sail close to it, and
(b) room to round the mark as necessary to sail the course.

However, mark-room for a boat does not include room to tack unless she is overlapped inside and to windward of the boat required to give mark-room and she would be fetching the mark after her tack.

Room
The space a boat needs in the existing conditions, including space to comply with her obligations under the rules of Part 2 and rule 31, while manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way.

18.2 Giving Mark-Room
(b) If boats are overlapped when the first of them reaches the zone, the outside boat at that moment shall thereafter give the inside boat mark-room. If a boat is clear ahead when she reaches the zone, the boat clear astern at that moment shall thereafter give her mark-room.
 
18.4 Gybing
When an inside overlapped right-of-way boat must gybe at a mark to sail her proper course, until she gybes she shall sail no farther from the mark than needed to sail that course. Rule 18.4 does not apply at a gate mark.

Yellow’s proper course will require her to gybe at the mark. She is therefore required by rule 18.4 to gybe no farther from the mark than needed to sail her proper course. This is pretty close to the mark. Blue is required to give Yellow mark-room, which is “room to round the mark”. Room is defined as “The space a boat needs in the existing conditions,”…“while manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way.” This calls for some judgement on Blue’s part. As Yellow’s seamanlike gybe would include letting the boom go out on the starboard side, Blue must quickly calculate the space required – which obviously would be greater than if Yellow were a boat with a short boom – and then stay far enough away to keep clear once Yellow’s boom is fully extended.

A similar situations would occur if Yellow had to douse a spinnaker. Blue has to allow space for Yellow to do a seamanlike takedown. Blue does not, however, have to allow space for Yellow to do a sloppy takedown (even though it might be in her best interests to do so). An ISAF Case is based on a question about a boat that is short-handed and has an inexperienced crew. The answer says that the outside boat (in our case, Blue) has to allow room for “the boat handling that can be reasonably expected from competent, but not expert, crew of the appropriate number for the boat.”
 
ISAF Case 103 Answer 1
Neither the experience of IW’s crew nor their number is relevant in determining ‘room’. In rule 19.2(b), which requires OL to give IW ‘room’ between her and the obstruction, ‘room’ is a defined term. The definition Room is ‘the space a boat needs in the existing conditions . . . while manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way’. In determining whether or not OL has given the required space, the interpretation of ‘seamanlike way’ must be based on the boat-handling that can reasonably be expected from a competent, but not expert, crew of the appropriate number for the boat.

Good practice and safety would dictate that if the outside boat sees that the inside boat is inexperienced and/or short-handed, they should allow some extra room, but this is not required. On the other side, a short-handed and/or inexperienced crew might consider going on the outside if they have a complicated manoeuver such as a spinnaker takedown.

© Copyright 2014 Andrew Alberti
Posted: 11/1/2014 11:08:52 AM by Andrew Alberti


Trackback URL: https://rcyc.ca/trackback/07e3122b-38cd-45f9-9202-9b31a5a62543/November_2014_-_How_Much_Mark-Room.aspx?culture=en-US

This page provides links to a set of articles original published in Kwasind magazine. The versions here include animated diagrams. The original articles can be found within the original magazines which are available online back to January 2007. 

Articles before December 2016 are based on the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-12 or 2013-2016 and have not been updated to reflect the changes that apply as of January 2017 with the publication of the Racing Rules of Sailing 2017-20. A copy of the new rules can be found on sailing.org.
ABOUT ANDREW ALBERTI
Andrew Alberti has been writing these monthly articles in the Kwasind since early 1997.  They explain the Racing Rules of Sailing. Andrew is a National Judge and National Umpire. He is a member of the Sail Canada Rules and Appeals Committees. The interpretation of the rules contained in the articles is Andrew's and not that of the RCYC or any of the committees he sits on. 

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Send your questions to Andrew at kyrules@alberti.ca.

 

ABOUT RCYC: 
166 Years of Tradition | World-Class Sailing | Toronto Island & City Clubhouse
 
Penalties – When and How to Take Them
New Rule Changes III
Mark Room at a Gybe Mark
March/April 2021 - New Rule Changes II
January/February 2021 - New Rule Changes
Post Archive
October 2021(0)
October 2021(1)
August 2021(2)
May/June 2021(0)
March/April 2021(1)
January/February 2021(1)
December 2020(1)
November 2020(1)
September 2020(1)
July 2020(1)
June 2020(1)
May 2020(1)
March/April 2020(1)
January/February 2020(1)
November/December 2019(1)
September/October 2019(1)
July/August 2019(1)
May/June 2019(1)
March/April 2019(1)
January/February 2019(1)
November/December 2018(1)
September/October 2018(1)
July/August 2018(1)
May/June 2018(1)
March/April 2018(1)
January/February 2018(1)
November/December 2017(1)
October 2017(1)
September 2017(1)
August 2017(1)
July 2017(1)
June 2017(1)
May 2017(1)
April 2017(1)
March 2017(1)
January/February 2017(1)
December 2016(1)
November 2016(1)
October 2016(1)
September 2016(1)
August 2016(1)
July 2016(1)
June 2016(1)
May 2016(1)
April 2016(1)
March 2016(1)
January/February 2016(1)
December 2015(1)
November 2015(1)
October 2015(1)
September 2015(1)
August 2015(1)
July 2015(1)
June 2015(1)
May 2015(1)
April 2015(1)
March 2015(1)
January 2015(1)
December 2014(1)
November 2014(1)
October 2014(1)
September 2014(1)
August 2014(1)
July 2014(1)
June 2014(1)
May 2014(1)
April 2014(1)
March 2014(1)
January 2014(1)
December 2013(1)
November 2013(1)
October 2013(1)
September 2013(1)
August 2013(1)
July 2013(1)
June 2013(1)
May 2013(1)
April 2013(1)
March 2013(1)
January 2013(1)
December 2012(1)
November 2012(1)
October 2012(1)
September 2012(1)
August 2012(1)
July 2012(1)
June 2012(1)
May 2012(1)
April 2012(1)
March 2012(1)
February 2012(1)
January 2012(1)
December 2011(1)
November 2011(1)
October 2011(1)
September 2011(1)
August 2011(1)
July 2011(1)
June 2011(1)
May 2011(1)
April 2011(1)
March 2011(1)
February 2011(1)
January 2011(1)
November 2010(1)
October 2010(1)
September 2010(1)
August 2010(1)
July 2010(1)
June 2010(1)
May 2010(1)
April 2010(1)
March 2010(1)
February 2010(1)
January 2010(1)
RSS