Case 17: In the photo below, W7663 and W3571 angling in towards the west shore of Fanshawe Lake on starboard tack. Because he is getting fairly close to running aground, W7663 calls for "room to tack for an obstruction". W3571 would prefer not to tack yet since starboard tack is lifted.
1. Do the Rules permit W7663 to call for room to tack here?
2. Does 7663 have to wait as long as possible before hailing, i.e. until he is very close to the obstruction?
3. What can W3571 do if he feels 7663's hail is improper because the boats are not yet dangerously close to the obstruction?
4. What can 3571 do here instead of immediately tacking?
Once W3571 has tacked to respond to 7663's hail, can 7663 continue sailing for a few seconds to make sure he'll have clear air after tacking?

1. Yes, under rule 20.
2. No. In fact, the hail must be made sooner rather than later since

  • the hailed boat will have to be given time to get ready to tack
  • the hailing boat must assume that the hailed boat may not hear the first hail, and has to leave enough time for a repeat hail and a response to that (see World Sailing Case 54)

3. Rule 20.2(b) does not provide the option of disputing the hail (which would be asking for trouble!). Therefore, 3571 would need to be bound by 7663's hail, and protest if he feels it was improper.
4. Rule 20.2(c) provides the perfect option for 3571 in this situation. If he does not want to tack, he can hail "You tack!" and then take on the burden of keeping clear in any way he can. In this case, keeping clear by bearing away a bit would be quite easy for 3571.
5. No!! Here, 7663 would have to start her tack as soon as 3571 starts to tack, or as soon as 3571 hails "You tack". See rule 20.2(d).

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