August 2012 - Luffing Rights II

placeholder image

August 2012 - Luffing Rights II

Last month we started the discussion of luffing rights. To summarize, we say that leeward boats have “luffing rights” unless rule 17 says they don’t. This month we will look at those rights, and what can be done with them.  The basic concept comes from rule 11, which gives right-of-way to the leeward overlapped boat. Rule 16.1 then restricts any right-of-way boat when that right-of-way boat alters course. This restriction applies to leeward boats, clear-ahead boats and starboard-tack boats (there are additional restrictions on some starboard-tack boats in Rule 16.2, but that is a subject for another article). As long as the leeward boat complies with rule 16.1, it can luff as much as it wants.
 
11        ON THE SAME TACK, OVERLAPPED
When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat.

16        CHANGING COURSE

16.1     When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear.

17        ON THE SAME TACK; PROPER COURSE
If a boat clear astern becomes overlapped within two of her hull lengths to leeward of a boat on the same tack, she shall not sail above her proper course while they remain on the same tack and overlapped within that distance, unless in doing so she promptly sails astern of the other boat. This rule does not apply if the overlap begins while the windward boat is required by rule 13 to keep clear.

Proper Course 
A course a boat would sail to finish as soon as possible in the absence of the other boats referred to in the rule using the term. A boat has no proper course before her starting signal.


​(click on the diagram to see a larger cleaner version)

In the diagram, the Yellow and Blue boats are beam reaching on a course to the next mark. We will assume that this is their proper course. Yellow is sailing faster and gets an overlap on Blue, to windward, from clear astern at position 2. Since Blue did not establish the overlap from clear astern, she is not restricted by rule 17. We therefore say that she has luffing rights. At position 2, Blue starts to alter course to windward (or luff) toward Yellow . Yellow is able to keep clear, so Blue is not breaking rule 16.1. Blue continues to luff Yellow, until at position 6, Yellow , who is sailing slightly faster, is able to get clear ahead. Blue is now clear astern and the give-way boat. There is no rule preventing her from continuing to sail this course.

At position 7, Yellow bears away and becomes overlapped with Blue. This time Blue established the overlap from clear astern and is subject to rule 17. Blue is not allowed to sail above her proper course, so she immediately bears away to that proper course. For those of you who learned their rules before 1997, this is the new equivalent of getting “mast abeam.” For those of you who never learned that concept, please ignore this comment.


(click on the diagram to see a larger cleaner version)

In the second diagram, we find that you can be luffed by a boat without “luffing rights”. The Red boat is flying a symmetrical spinnaker and has a proper course square to the wind or near to it. On the other hand, the White boat is flying an asymmetrical spinnaker and so has a proper course that is a reach. At position 1, White is clear astern. At position 2, she establishes an overlap from clear astern, making her subject to rule 17. Although White is constrained by rule 17, she is the leeward boat, she has right-of-way, and as long as White does not sail above her proper course, Red must keep clear, even though this means she must sail far above her own proper course.  Since the rule makes no mention of forcing a windward boat like Red to sail above her proper course, and as long as White steers her own proper course, White is complying with rule 17, and Red must bear it..

In these two situations, White and Blue both took quite legal approaches. They may or may not have been the best approaches – White would probably have done better to go slightly higher and sail above Red – but they are legal nonetheless.

© Copyright 2012 Andrew Alberti
Posted: 8/1/2012 1:12:39 PM by Andrew Alberti


Trackback URL: https://rcyc.ca/trackback/d2a2396f-13d5-487c-9b2b-87377f44d05b/August_2012_-_Luffing_Rights_II.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
 
June 2020 - An Unusual Start
May 2020 - A Big Collision
March/April 2020 - A Three-Boat Finish
January/February 2020 - An Overview of the Right-of-Way Rules V
November/December 2019 - An Overview of the Right-of-Way Rules IV
Post Archive
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