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    Re: lights and shapes
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2003 Jun 12, 10:10 +0100

    Steven Wepster complained about the threat other vessels posed to his towed
    Walker log. It was suggested he should show towing signals to warn other
    vessels to keep clear. Doug Royer added-
    
    Rule 22 (d); Rule 24 (a)(1) and (g) and Rule 36 apply to your situation.
    A vessel is deamed to be towing astern if pulling another vessel or object
    through the water.Object is the key word.A towed log can be considered a tow
    if the correct lights and signs are shown.
    Now,the inspector stated that if the towing vessel is showing the proscribed
    lights or shapes for the kind of tow being used all other vessels
    (commercial and private) must navigate accordingly per the rules.
    
    =============================
    
    I've taken a look at my copy of colregs. Unfortunately, the up-to-date one
    is on my boat 100 miles away. All I have at home is the 1972 version, which
    came into effect in 1977. It must differ in some respects from Doug's,
    because rule 22(d), referred to by Doug, didn't exist then. So if there
    heve been relevant recent changes which affect my argument, I must
    apologise in advance, and no doubt someone will put me right. Nevertheless,
    here goes-
    
    The regulations for indicating a tow apply only to power-driven vessels. If
    Steven was sailing, then there's no signal he could show, to indicate his
    tow, that he could expect other mariners to understand.
    
    However, he might be motoring, or motor-sailing and showing a cone, in
    which case reg 24 applies.
    
    Consider first the daytime situation.
    
    There's no requirement for a power vessel, when towing anything, to show a
    day-signal, unless the tow is longer than 200 metres, in which case a
    diamond shape must be shown on the vessel AND ON THE TOW. The towed log
    will presumably be much closer than that. There is, then, no day-mark that
    another vessel might be expected to understand, with which the existence of
    a towed log could be advertised.
    
    Now at night. Under power, the masthead light of the towing vessel must
    carry an extra white light below it, and an extra yellow light must be
    shown above the stern-light. The towed "vessel or object" must also show
    sidelights and sternlight.
    
    How on earth the Walker log, as towed object, could be expected to show
    such lights is best left to the imagination. Presumably rule 24(g) can be
    used which states-
    "Where from any sufficient cause it is impracticable for a vessel or other
    object being towed to exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraph (e) of
    this rule, all possible measures shall be taken to light the vessel or
    object being towed or at least to indicate the presence of the unlighted
    vessel or object."
    
    I conclude from all this that a vessel towing a Walker log will get no help
    from the colregs.
    
    George.
    
    ================================================================
    contact George Huxtable by email at george---.u-net.com, by phone at
    01865 820222 (from outside UK, +44 1865 820222), or by mail at 1 Sandy
    Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    ================================================================
    
    
    

       
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