Maltese Falcon, 10/4/08
The pictures here are not previewed or edited; I was in a hurry to get them up, knowing people were eager to see them.
Chuckon Oct 16
Seems like some "Skippers" forget (or never knew) there is a large swirling eddy of air to leeward of a reaching yacht. This can badly affect the speed and point of sail of a crossing starboard tack yacht and even stop its forward progress and ability to safely make a crossing "without changing course or yacht speed." This is particularily dangerous when the starboard tack yacht is also reaching or running.
Gueston Oct 12
If you begin looking at the photo sequence with #2653, it looks like MF was sailing at about 160 degrees off the wind on port and rounded up to about 90 degrees and it looks like the sloop was on starboard the entire filmed sequence - never on port. Look at the wake of the sloop clearly visible in the first photo of her - #2666. But you can't see what the sloop did before it enters this frame which was probably just a few seconds before the hit. either way, it seriously looks like MF rounded up across the sloop's bow - not the other way around which is what Perkins is claiming.
can41on Oct 08
Tom's description doesn't match the photos. Help me out here, guys.
Tom Perkins says, "After the "Stann By" had sailed past the Falcon's bow, the smaller vessel suddenly rounded up, possibly to tack in order to follow the Falcon, when she lost control, and with her main sheeted hard in, the smaller boat was unable to bear away to avoid a collision. "
To me, it looks like the smaller boat had tacked and the 2 people on board are already on the rail...not even aware of the bigger boat. I won't comment about that lack of consciousness but they don't appear to be suddenly tacking, rounding up or losing control. I can imagine their wind was suddenly taken away but that's about it.
Sorry Tom. ..hate to argue with you but I had to ask!
jonnyon Oct 07
Let me just clear things up. The MF was sailing back in forth on the bay on Sept. 26th. These photos are the weekend following. I was aboard our Cal27 with only the jib up. The MF took down sails just infront of Belvedere. We were heading north on a port tack into Richardson Bay to wrap things up. MF went across to the west to hit the channel i guess then came south into th bay. We were running parallel towards each other roughly 1/2 mile away. MF was under total motor control with all sails down. As we began to pass each other 200-300 yards apart and becoming increasingly closer a guy ran out ad yelled full starboard. MF then turned directly into us! Distance was now around 50 yards and she was turning hard . At 25 yards I put the motor on and floored it. I despise the Cpt. After seeing this it isn't surprising.
T. Perkinson Oct 06
The name of the 40ft boat is "Stann By."
A few minutes before this photo sequence, the Falcon had turned to port, to give the right of way to the smaller yacht, which was to leeward on the starboard tack. The "stann By" was originally on a roughly reciprocal course to that of the Falcon. Prior to the photos shown here, "Stann By" was bearing away, and the two yachts were on safe courses to pass roughly with a distance of 200 feet separation. After the "Stann By" had sailed past the Falcon's bow, the smaller vessel suddenly rounded up, possibly to tack in order to follow the Falcon, when she lost control, and with her main sheeted hard in, the smaller boat was unable to bear away to avoid a collision.
A San Francisco Bay Pilot, was on the Falcon's bridge overseeing the Falcon's course at all times. The pilot is also an experienced sailor and sail boat owner. Because of the Falcon's tonnage, a licenced pilot is required whenever the yacht is underway, approaching, or inside the Bay.
The "Stann By" did not stop after the collision. The Falcon furled her sails and pursued the 40 footer, under power, in order to determine her name and registration number. The pilot radioed the U.S. Coast Guard who intercepted the "Stann By" and boarded her.
The accident was caused by "Stan By"'s sudden change of course, which was much to quick to permit the Falcon to respond. The Falcon sustained damage to hull, capping rail, superstructure and main lower topsail, but fortunately there were no injuries to persons aboard either vessel.
Gregon Oct 06
I'm not sure where you are getting your information, but "right of way" is definitely in the USCG regulations. Please refer to USCG Navigation Rules, Part B, Subpart II, Rules 11 thru 19. Note that the rules have nothing to do with a sailboats maneuverability or the wind direction. Just my 2 cents.
Capt. G. Sherwood
Mission Creek Sail Tours
Lanceon Oct 06
There is no such thing as "right of way" in the USCG regulations except with regard to vessels heading downstream on the defined "Western Rivers". Within the context of the regulations, the smaller vessel appears to be the "stand on" vessel and he is obliged to do so until it appears that the "give way" vessel will not do so. At that point, the USCG requires both captains to avoid collision and will hold both captains accountable for the accident if neither maneuvered to avoid it.
Gueston Oct 06
The Falcon should have given right of way, I guess there is crew enough onboard to have a watch and a lot of camera's too
Gueston Oct 06
Did the smaller Toy boat make any attempt to avoid the collsion if not he is guilty.