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Old 12-12-2008, 08:57   #136
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i bought a jrc 1000 mkii only because i thought the the alarm feature might be of some benefit on ocean passages. the reality was i only once ever saw another vessel on any offshore/ocean passage.
i saw more whales and sea snakes than vessels. the only time i have effectively used the radar was sailing into gladstone (qld) harbour after dark. there were so many background lights that i could not differentiate between bouys, conveyors and traffic lights. i had 100% confidence in what my nav software was showing me but when it came down to feet between markers in an industrial harbour on a dark night looking for a never seen before mooring entrance it gets a bit scarey. the alarm feature may be of benefit somewhere, i've not seen it and frankly would rather spend the $2k the radar cost on other things. dont know what but not another radar..

hmm maybe a dd yacht cleaner
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Old 12-12-2008, 14:42   #137
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Originally Posted by starfish62 View Post
I had a friend--a crusty old Nam vet--who had a radar alarm that he swore by. He single-handed a lot, and the alarm apparently beeped when he was painted by someone else's radar. I never saw the device, but he said that it was cheap and would wake him frequently even before the boat painting him appeared over the horizon.

Seems like cheap insurance, whatever the cost.
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Old 12-12-2008, 15:07   #138
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Singlehanding

Life ashore, spending time in rush hour trafic , breathing the product of millions of exhuast pipes is far more dangerous than single handing will ever be.
I think AIS is a huge improvement in peace of mind for singlehanders.
I only once sailed with a crew on board when a 23 year old surfer girl hitched a ride to Mexico with me. Alto she had sailed before , experience was uneccessary except to know that major seasickness was unlikely, as she had already been somewhat tested on that score. Having an extra set of eyes aboard leaving Juan de Fuca was a godsend.
After that, seeing things thru her young ,adventurous eyes when mine had become somewhat jaded was a wondeful addition to the cruise.
I've usualy managed to get ten hours of sleep whenever I needed it. I've never had illusions or lonliness problems at sea, .
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Old 17-12-2008, 20:05   #139
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I will sleep during the day 20 mins to 30 mins at a time [ use TWO wind up kitchen alarms ] and keep watch during the night hours. This has worked so far!

4 years singlehanding a 38 footer.
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Old 17-12-2008, 20:20   #140
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I will sleep during the day 20 mins to 30 mins at a time [ use TWO wind up kitchen alarms ] and keep watch during the night hours. This has worked so far!

4 years singlehanding a 38 footer.
It always tickles me when I see this. I'm not knocking it because most cruisers do it and we did it for years.

The reality is, there is no day & night for vessels traveling across an open ocean. There are only 24 hours days and 2:AM is no different than 2:PM. We would find ourselves spending all day down below playing cards or watching movies but the moment the Sun went down, we started watch keeping. This went on for years, crossing many oceans up to 59 day passages.

We found the radar with an alarm to be sent from heaven. After we installed it, my wife slept through the night, every night and I only got up when the alarm went off. In fact, I kept the monitor close to my bunk so I could check it out before getting out of bed. 90% of the time it was a false alarm. However, it did save the day more than once........and it made no difference if the Sun was shining or not.

I just realized that I already posted in this thread.......about a year ago.......growing old ain't for sissies.....
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Old 17-12-2008, 20:39   #141
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Heh... I just stay in the cockpit, going below to rummage for food and boil water for tea/coffee/soup/cocoa.
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Old 18-12-2008, 05:09   #142
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When I did my single handed offshore passasges I had a vigil radar with a remote and I would turn the monitor to face the berth and sleep. I relied on the guard zone, but never was awaken by the alarm. Sleeping with no one watching does takes some courage and balls, but one has no other choice, does one?
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Old 18-12-2008, 07:57   #143
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ive found this an extremely interesting and informative thread.I have not yet done any long distance single handed sailing but one incident that i witnessed some 2o years ago springs to mind.

I was working on an oil rig in the North Sea,it was a new rig,we had only put it in the water a matter of days,anyhow i was on the support rig getting some supplys and looked out to see a 60-80,000 ton ship heading straight for the rig,at about 300 yards someone must have woken up as that boat did a hard to port.I can only assume that the vesel did not have an on duty lookout and was travelling on a heading that did not show anything on the chart.

We were working in an area that is maybee 60nm from the UK coast and 100nm from the European main land in the middle of no where so to speak.

If its a clear day and you can spot a rig at say 3-4nm and you are travelling at 6n does not give you enough of a safety margine even if you had a 20 min cat nap,so you have to be well clear of oil and gas production areas before you even consider a sleep,when you get to an area where there is any level of traffic then stay awake,once out to sea id rely on radar and ais,sleep in decent lenghts during the day and stay awake at night.I find it easier to deal with waking up in day light that waking up in the pitch dark,trying to figure out whats going on,for my way of thinking,the greater danger is at night.
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Old 18-12-2008, 08:05   #144
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This may be a little of topic but would it be possible to mount a depth transducer horizontally at the bow. In effect creating a forward looking sonar to detect submerged objects? Would this work?
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Old 18-12-2008, 10:07   #145
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I will be using AIS and Radar,sleeping during day makes most sense,as it is easier for others too see you.While striking something at sea may happen,striking land is more likely.AIS is the ticket, if it works as they say,Im waiting for specific antenna to get mine up and running.
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Old 18-12-2008, 11:27   #146
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I will be using AIS and Radar,sleeping during day makes most sense,as it is easier for others too see you.While striking something at sea may happen,striking land is more likely.AIS is the ticket, if it works as they say,Im waiting for specific antenna to get mine up and running.
I hope that you don't really believe that .......It may well be true close to land. However, out at sea this is a real fallacy.
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Old 18-12-2008, 11:33   #147
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How is it a fallacy that you don't have better visability during daylight than at nighttime?
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Old 18-12-2008, 12:06   #148
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How is it a fallacy that you don't have better visability during daylight than at nighttime?
That's a very valid question. The big problem is not you running someone else down, it is someone else running you down (mostly big ships).

You don't show up well on a ships radar because they tend to set them up so that they get rid of most "Clutter".........your small boat is nothing but clutter to a big ship.....at least until it is too late. If you think that the ship's watch is sitting there, staring out the window looking for small boats, you're kidding yourself. I'm not saying that they would intentionally run you down, I am just saying that your chances of being seen by a ship is slim to none, day or night.

As far as your awareness is concerned, if you are not constantly scanning the horizon 24/7 (which you won't), you will miss most ships, day or night. During the day, a ship is a pretty boring sight and you may not see it while going about your business. At night, a ship has very big, bright lights in a very black background, that may catch your attention immediately.

Whatever your habits are, they should be the same, day and night. My many open ocean crossings over a span of many years both as a circumnavigator and delivery skipper has taught me that there is no day or night at sea. There is only water. Vessels travel across that water 24/7 and few have good watches. The military may be an exception.

When setting up a watch system on your vessel, you would be well advised to discard the day/night regime. They give you a sense of false confidence IMO.
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Old 18-12-2008, 12:48   #149
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::nod::

Until relatively recently (sometime after 1900, iirc) the British Royal Navy counted days from noon until noon; that was the only time relevant to the ship navigated via sextant.

Over the past couple months I've been doing a lot of writing about cruising accidents, errors, and 'news'. I believe there've been about 50 boats on the rocks, on the beach, wrecked on a reef... only one of those has been not near shore. And there's been one story about a frightening maybe pirates. Two boats have failed to show up as expected, and one of those was found holed up waiting out weather; the other is several weeks over due. Maybe, possibly, it was run down.

What I'm trying to say is there are a lot of dangers to boats, and anyone sailing offshore needs to do everything possible to keep themselves and their vessel safe. But the vast majority of boat losses are in shore, not on passage. Keep perspective.
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Old 18-12-2008, 15:32   #150
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Until relatively recently (sometime after 1900, iirc) the British Royal Navy counted days from noon until noon; that was the only time relevant to the ship navigated via sextant.

Over the past couple months I've been doing a lot of writing about cruising accidents, errors, and 'news'. I believe there've been about 50 boats on the rocks, on the beach, wrecked on a reef... only one of those has been not near shore. And there's been one story about a frightening maybe pirates. Two boats have failed to show up as expected, and one of those was found holed up waiting out weather; the other is several weeks over due. Maybe, possibly, it was run down.

What I'm trying to say is there are a lot of dangers to boats, and anyone sailing offshore needs to do everything possible to keep themselves and their vessel safe. But the vast majority of boat losses are in shore, not on passage. Keep perspective.
That, of course, is exactly right but is not what this thread is about.
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