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Old 16-08-2015, 17:15   #46
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
How is this any different than being on AP not linked to a GPS?

The problem with hitting things is using a fixed marker/land as a waypoint and not keeping a lookout.

The problem is not an autopilot integrated with a GPS.

Mark

I think the problem or concern with GPS linked to AP is that EVERYONE using this set up, is using the same exact way points. Such as setting the way points from marker to marker. At least that's my take on it. So couple that with poor watch keeping and you start having these kinds of issues.
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Old 16-08-2015, 18:33   #47
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by SVJennie View Post
Having ridden a motorcycle for years, I was able to stay alive by maintaining the position that I never, ever had the right of way, and that I was invisible. I have carried this philosophy thru while on the water, and so far so good.
I agree with that philosophy. ... Most often Otto is my helmsman (less tiring, gives greater opportunity to observe what's going on about us, and to consult charts), but I frequently make needed course changes and never set a GPS location as the goal. (Don't set it and forget it.)
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Old 16-08-2015, 18:43   #48
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

The trawlers (dragging nets) in my neighborhood trail a red or orange ball above the submerged net and are accompanied by seagulls. ... Dragging fish hooks does not give one ColReg "fishing" rights.

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Old 16-08-2015, 20:41   #49
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by MarinerJo View Post
I think the problem or concern with GPS linked to AP is that EVERYONE using this set up, is using the same exact way points. Such as setting the way points from marker to marker. At least that's my take on it. So couple that with poor watch keeping and you start having these kinds of issues.
No, the problem isn't linking the AP to the GPS - the problem is setting waypoints on the markers themselves.

Who in their right mind would set a waypoint to a known charted hard bit? I'm astounded to hear that people actually do this. I never considered doing this before and am quite taken aback that others have.

Anyone setting an AP on a compass course (no integration to the GPS) to take them directly to a waypoint set on a known charted hard bit also has this potential for disaster and is saved only by any providential current or leeway.

Of course, they then run up on rocks that were not on their planned direct route...

I don't buy the explanation that ONLY those with integrated AP/GPS are using the exact same waypoints, while those purists with standalone AP's are not.

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Old 16-08-2015, 21:44   #50
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
No, the problem isn't linking the AP to the GPS - the problem is setting waypoints on the markers themselves.

Who in their right mind would set a waypoint to a known charted hard bit? I'm astounded to hear that people actually do this. I never considered doing this before and am quite taken aback that others have.

Anyone setting an AP on a compass course (no integration to the GPS) to take them directly to a waypoint set on a known charted hard bit also has this potential for disaster and is saved only by any providential current or leeway.

Of course, they then run up on rocks that were not on their planned direct route...

I don't buy the explanation that ONLY those with integrated AP/GPS are using the exact same waypoints, while those purists with standalone AP's are not.

Mark
I'm astounded at how many instances of people with no one on watch is being discussed in this thread. It's like people first of all I would never heard of COLREGS but second of all where the heck is common sense?

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Old 16-08-2015, 22:56   #51
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
How is this any different than being on AP not linked to a GPS?

The problem with hitting things is using a fixed marker/land as a waypoint and not keeping a lookout.

The problem is not an autopilot integrated with a GPS.

Mark
I have always refused to integrate my AP with GPS.

While attracted to the efficiency of it.. I felt it more important to assess the watchkeeper's diligence in minimizing the cross track error which I could monitor remotely

I thus found it a good measure of their lookout standards.

Also it taught and engaged the watchkeeper in assessing changing currents and leeway thus giving them a better feel of the vessel's true course in varying conditions.

This manual correction of AP has also helped me to identify a worsening steering or compass failure that would never have been noticed otherwise until complete failure.

Basically.....
You have to do something to stay alert, so why not manually adjust the AP to keep on track?
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Old 17-08-2015, 00:01   #52
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
The trawlers (dragging nets) in my neighborhood trail a red or orange ball above the submerged net and are accompanied by seagulls. ... Dragging fish hooks does not give one ColReg "fishing" rights.
Exactly. There's this urban myth amongst sport fisherman that they suddenly are the stand-on vessel over a sailboat because there's a hook in the water.

The colregs specifically say this isn't true:
Quote:
(d) The term "vessel engaged in fishing" means any vessel fishing with nets, lines, trawls or other fishing apparatus which restrict manoeuvrability, but does not include a vessel fishing with trolling lines or other fishing apparatus which do not restrict manoeuvrability.
Also, if they are officially "engaged in fishing" they need a day shape so you don't have to guess (two cones in a vertical line with the pointy bits touching).
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Old 17-08-2015, 00:03   #53
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
Fishing vessels engaged in fishing have the right of way. This vessel wasn't engaged in fishing, he was transiting faster than my 7 knots, I'd estimate about 10 knots. The mistake on my part occurred because I'd at first assumed he was fishing, and not moving that fast, and by the time I'd realized it, I couldn't safely maneuver if he did.

The col-regs are the col-regs for a reason. Making your own rules, assumptions, "common sense", or determinations of what "should" be the case creates more confusion and more accidents.

Just like people trying to be "nice" in traffic rather than strictly following rules create more problems than they solve, so do people who don't adhere to the nav rules.

When you do what the nav rules prescribe, the other captain can tell what you're doing and can plan his actions appropriately.

When you do anything else, it's inscrutable to the other party what's going on or what you're going to do.

"If I'm commercial I have the right of way", and "The rule of tonnage" are just as stupidly dangerous as "autopilot=stand on". The damned whale watching dinner cruise boats here in San Diego bay try to play that game all the time.

If the guy was engaged in fishing, this never would have occurred because I would have correctly gauged his speed and would have given him berth to his bow (which is what I'd assumed my course was doing when I saw him). OR if he was transmitting AIS as commercial boats are required to do, I would have known his course and speed, but he wasn't.

You can't go to the stern of a trawler or troller without risking getting bound up in their nets or lines, which is another reason why it was important for him to come to my stern. Despite his speed, I couldn't tell whether he was dragging anything or not from my vantage.

It's not about asserting the right-of-way. It's about doing everything possible to avoid collision, part of which is alerting the other vessel, and part of which is standing on when that's your part of the job until such time as you have to take the situation entirely into your own hands and avoid collision.
Well said, mstrebe.
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Old 17-08-2015, 00:35   #54
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
I'm going to be careful what I write because I know how quickly this will get out of hand. One of the problems of reading someone else's near miss is that I wasn't there, so I can't really tell how long you left it.

But when I first read your post with the fisherman I thought, hell, I would not have left it so long before taking evasive action. But then again, I don't live in an area of such significant traffic as you do.

The post of he that referred to the motorcycle I think has it pretty right. Should always be acting in a defensive mode, both on the road and in the water.

Personally I would have simply turned from being the stand on to being the give way vessel.

Now, don't get me wrong, he's an idiot, his radio response indicates that. And Im' quite astonished too given he's a commercial vessel. Though maybe he had his untrained deck hand minding the wheel.

You clearly understand the importance of remaining 'stand on', which is particularly prevalent for large shipping, but I think in this instance, from not being there position, I wonder if you didn't apply the theory.
This is an excellent question: Why would any skipper let it get to the point where picking up the radio was the right thing to do?

Firstly, I'll point out that if situations like this didn't come up suddenly, there'd be no need for the col regs. They exist because of a number of things that humans just don't do very well.

This was my third or fourth close approach this transit. They really do happen all the time here in SoCal. The vast majority of the time, the skipper either does the expected thing (what you'd expect from someone who knew the col regs) or something else very obvious (usually hitting the throttle to pass ahead). In any case, I'd been within shouting distance of a number of boats already that day, even though we weren't within sight of land.

So this did lull me a bit into thinking this was just another typical close approach. As a matter of fact, it wound up being just another typical close approach.

I've had to yell "ahoy" to whale watchers from 50 feet away to get them to negotiate how we weren't going to hit each other because they weren't transmitting AIS or monitoring VHF 16 even though they are a commercial operation. It's pretty normal stuff here.

Secondly, I overestimated his apparent size, and therefore his distance. He looked like a 40' trawler a kilometer away. He turned out to be a 20' trawler 250 meters away.

Thirdly, I assumed because he was a fishing boat, that he was fishing, and therefore going about 2, maybe three knots. Turned out to be transiting at 7 to ten knots, but I couldn't see a wake in the F2 seas.

For those with less offshore experience, it's _REALLY_ hard to gauge how large something on the horizon is (because your eyes actually magnify horizon objects, which is why the moon looks larger by eye than in photos), and how fast they're going because you don't know their course. Really hard. I made the mistake of eyeballing him a few times and being lulled into a false sense of security until the point where I could no longer simply make a course correction to avoid him.

I still had the ability to avoid collision by turning to his course and turning a full circle, which I was prepared to do. I would have had to yell down into the cabin and hope everyone had a reasonable hand-hold, but I wouldn't have left our safety in someone else's hands.

The reason I didn't change course to his stern was the possibility that, as a fishing vessel, he might be dragging something. Now I think 7..10 knots is too fast to be dragging lines or nets, but I'm not a fisherman, so I don't really know. I've passed over fishing lines before, and really pissed off some fishermen. On that boat everything was retractable so getting the lines out of the prop wasn't a big deal. This would have taken a dive, which is moderately dangerous in F2 seas.

The reason I didn't make a course correction to his bow is because I couldn't gauge how fast he's going, and he probably still hits me anyway. I was already doing my hull speed. I did throttle down, but in facing F2 seas I couldn't go below 4 knots and maintain positive helm control, so that wasn't much of a drop for me. Go too slow, and I lose control of my heading and all my options are gone.

So, my remaining tactics were call him, and, irrespective, spin my boat to avoid if necessary, possibly throwing my wife or kids around in the cabin.

I called him, primarily to save my family the sudden maneuver. But of course I wouldn't have hit him.

Gauging all these things on the open ocean is difficult work. That's why we have the col regs, and not just a general "hey, don't hit anybody" rule.
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Old 17-08-2015, 02:01   #55
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
Because the stand-on vessel has a duty to stand on until collision is imminent without action, that's why.

Stand-on doesn't mean "right-of-way", it means the vessel that should not move so as not to create uncertainty for the vessel that does have to move. I could have altered course earlier, but it didn't appear that it was going to be a problem until he got pretty close because I misjudged his speed (I thought he was trawling, not underway).

Steering for the stern of a crossing vessel is the standard maneuver and safest for all involved. But if both vessels do it at the same time, they've just move to a head-on collision course. This is why the colregs specify stand-on and give-way rather than prescribing action for both: because both vessels moving is even more dangerous and uncertain than neither vessel moving.

Really I did let it get too close before hailing for intention. Close approaches are very normal in the San Pedro channel and I honestly thought he'd just come slightly to my stern and that would be that.

By the time I realized he wasn't paying attention, the only maneuver left to me was a hard turn to starboard to come to his course alongside and then execute a full circle to get back on my course. My boat was also twice the length and beam of his, and therefore had a larger turning radius and about four times the momentum.

With motorcycling, I too imagine invisibility and take all corrective action myself. That doesn't work when you're the bigger vehicle though.


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Old 17-08-2015, 03:27   #56
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by mstrebe View Post
This is an excellent question: Why would any skipper let it get to the point where picking up the radio was the right thing to do?

Firstly, I'll point out that if situations like this didn't come up suddenly, there'd be no need for the col regs. They exist because of a number of things that humans just don't do very well.

This was my third or fourth close approach this transit. They really do happen all the time here in SoCal. The vast majority of the time, the skipper either does the expected thing (what you'd expect from someone who knew the col regs) or something else very obvious (usually hitting the throttle to pass ahead). In any case, I'd been within shouting distance of a number of boats already that day, even though we weren't within sight of land.

So this did lull me a bit into thinking this was just another typical close approach. As a matter of fact, it wound up being just another typical close approach.

I've had to yell "ahoy" to whale watchers from 50 feet away to get them to negotiate how we weren't going to hit each other because they weren't transmitting AIS or monitoring VHF 16 even though they are a commercial operation. It's pretty normal stuff here.

Secondly, I overestimated his apparent size, and therefore his distance. He looked like a 40' trawler a kilometer away. He turned out to be a 20' trawler 250 meters away.

Thirdly, I assumed because he was a fishing boat, that he was fishing, and therefore going about 2, maybe three knots. Turned out to be transiting at 7 to ten knots, but I couldn't see a wake in the F2 seas.

For those with less offshore experience, it's _REALLY_ hard to gauge how large something on the horizon is (because your eyes actually magnify horizon objects, which is why the moon looks larger by eye than in photos), and how fast they're going because you don't know their course. Really hard. I made the mistake of eyeballing him a few times and being lulled into a false sense of security until the point where I could no longer simply make a course correction to avoid him.

I still had the ability to avoid collision by turning to his course and turning a full circle, which I was prepared to do. I would have had to yell down into the cabin and hope everyone had a reasonable hand-hold, but I wouldn't have left our safety in someone else's hands.

The reason I didn't change course to his stern was the possibility that, as a fishing vessel, he might be dragging something. Now I think 7..10 knots is too fast to be dragging lines or nets, but I'm not a fisherman, so I don't really know. I've passed over fishing lines before, and really pissed off some fishermen. On that boat everything was retractable so getting the lines out of the prop wasn't a big deal. This would have taken a dive, which is moderately dangerous in F2 seas.

The reason I didn't make a course correction to his bow is because I couldn't gauge how fast he's going, and he probably still hits me anyway. I was already doing my hull speed. I did throttle down, but in facing F2 seas I couldn't go below 4 knots and maintain positive helm control, so that wasn't much of a drop for me. Go too slow, and I lose control of my heading and all my options are gone.

So, my remaining tactics were call him, and, irrespective, spin my boat to avoid if necessary, possibly throwing my wife or kids around in the cabin.

I called him, primarily to save my family the sudden maneuver. But of course I wouldn't have hit him.

Gauging all these things on the open ocean is difficult work. That's why we have the col regs, and not just a general "hey, don't hit anybody" rule.
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Old 17-08-2015, 05:29   #57
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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I'm astounded at how many instances of people with no one on watch is being discussed in this thread. It's like people first of all I would never heard of COLREGS but second of all where the heck is common sense?

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I'm not really making excuses for poor watch keeping, but in my brief 1 year, never again experience with commercial fishing, I had to drive the boat from the working deck on the stern when we were fishing via remote control so I could operate the crane at the same time while the guys fished.

While cockpit repeaters are considered essential on many yachts, try convincing the owner of a 60 ton trawler that they're necessary. There was nothing on the working deck, not even a vhf, never mind chartplotter or AIS (yes, I fished with my AIS on, but I wasn't an owner operator).

Like I said, not trying to justify it, but when absent owners and the bottom line have as much say as the skipper, it can be challenging at times to maintain a great look out.

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Old 17-08-2015, 06:03   #58
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
I have always refused to integrate my AP with GPS.

While attracted to the efficiency of it.. I felt it more important to assess the watchkeeper's diligence in minimizing the cross track error which I could monitor remotely

I thus found it a good measure of their lookout standards.

Also it taught and engaged the watchkeeper in assessing changing currents and leeway thus giving them a better feel of the vessel's true course in varying conditions.

This manual correction of AP has also helped me to identify a worsening steering or compass failure that would never have been noticed otherwise until complete failure.

Basically.....
You have to do something to stay alert, so why not manually adjust the AP to keep on track?
That is all fine and good, but my point was that an AP integrated with a GPS is not the root cause of any of the problems discussed here. It isn't even a secondary cause.

It is simply an unexamined demon in some people's minds. I'm flabbergasted that when a situation is described as purposefully setting a waypoint on a known charted buoy (or land) and going below while underway, then hitting the buoy/land - there are people here who jump up and say the problem is with an integrated AP.

No, it's not.

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Old 17-08-2015, 07:00   #59
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

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Fishing vessel engaged in fishing has the right of way. At night "white over white fishing tonight" us stay away. Where it is written in the regs that autopilot engagement gives you the right of way. You guys are dangerous to the rest of us that don't mind hitting the +10 or -10 deg to give the guy that has similar misconceptions room to go and then come back to my original heading.
I agree with Mark. The problem is not in keeping a proper watch...and in not understanding the COLREG's

"Green over white, trawling at night."

White over white indicates towing under 200 meters. Or it could be a vessel over 50 meters showing its range lights one over the other.

A good philosophy to live by but certainly not a rule is to avoid those who are making their living on the water. You would not want someone crashing into your desk at work now would you?
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Old 17-08-2015, 07:15   #60
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Re: Autopilot does not equal Stand On Vessel!

[QUOTE=mstrebe;1891490]

"Fishing vessel 'Mirage', this is S/V Luna Sea off your starboard bow, what are your intentions, over?"
"Luna Sea I'm on Autopilot over."
"Mirage, Luna Sea. As am I sir."
"And?"
"Mirage, this is Luna Sea. Change course to my stern as I am the stand-on vessel over."
END Quote>

Not enough information. If he was a commercial fishing vessel, its possible he may have been the stand on vessel. Even if you were on his starboard side.
If he was casting nets and displaying shapes, you may very well have been the burdened vessel.

However, my thoughts are that when one skipper tells another that he is on autopilot. It generally means his course should be staying about the same. ( Disclaimer- not allowing for waypoints in his plotter)
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