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Old 12-02-2015, 03:32   #46
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post

"Radio Watchkeeping Regulations
In general, any vessel equipped with a VHF marine radiotelephone (whether voluntarily or required to) must maintain a watch on channel 16 (156.800 MHz) whenever the radiotelephone is not being used to communicate."


Yes, that is the rule. As I pointed out above, many commercial operators ignore this rule and apparently, there is little or no enforcement. So, as a boater, you have to understand that this rule is not actually a rule and that if you need to contact a commercial operator, you may not get a response on the legally required channel 16.
I had a look at where that rule came from, and at the bottom of the page is this little snippet

Quote:
Digital Selective Calling

Ships, where so equipped, shall, while at sea, maintain an automatic digital selective calling watch on the appropriate distress & safety calling frequencies [e.g. channel 70] in the frequency bands in which they are operating. If operating in a GMDSS Sea Area A1 may discontinue their watch on channel 16. However, ships, where so equipped, shall also maintain watch on the appropriate frequencies for the automatic reception of transmissions of meteorological and navigational warnings and other urgent information for ships.
Ship stations complying with these provisions should, where practicable, maintain a watch on the frequency 156.650 MHz for communications related to the safety of navigation.
Although I think it would be foolish for any vessel not to monitor VHF 16 at this time.

When GMDSS first came into operation, it was envisaged that DSC would be the primary means of calling, and it was proposed that the need for a listening watch on 16 would be dispensed with (as it was for 2182).

Once DSC equipment becomes more widespread, I can foresee that the requirement for a listening watch on 16 will be ended.
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Old 12-02-2015, 06:12   #47
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

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Originally Posted by Bill Seal View Post
Personally, I always consider gross tonnage, and get the hell out of the way.

We sail in and out of L.A harbor, and always monitor 13 while dodging tugs, barges, container ships, and such
There is nowhere in the Rules that require the stand on vessel to stand on to point of collision. The picture you posted comes with no context, but clearly displays that the Rules were not followed.

When you, as the 'stand on vessel', manoeuvre randomly, it can set up a domino-reaction where the give way vessel must now change its actions, then the next ship must react to both his and your unexpected manoeuvres, and so on and so on. The Rules provide predictability; when you have a 1000-yard turning circle and need a mile to stop, you like predictability.
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Old 12-02-2015, 06:21   #48
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
The colregs apply and the tug and tow is the stand-on vessel. It's your job to not hit him.
I generally agree with the rest of your argument, but not with this part. 'Tug and tow' is a power-driven vessel in the eyes of the rules, with the exception that tows that severely hamper manoeuvrability may make the tug RAM - in which case it should be marked as such.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:01   #49
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Interesting report on what could go wrong when using VHF radio to negotiate a pass.

See Page 7 of this UK publication.

https://www.chirp.co.uk/upload/docs/...DBACK%2037.pdf
I kept getting an error when I hit this link, so I tried from the Chirp site directly and still got an error. If anyone else is having problems with this, I got it sorted by going here: https://www.chirp.co.uk/newsletters/maritime
Right-click on Feedback 37 and 'Save target as...' to a temp file or desktop.

Within US waters there shouldn't be a language barrier involved, and the VHF use is so commonplace that it presents less of an issue, than in waters frequented by international vessels. I've found that radio discipline is somewhat loose in the US - "Bob, see ya green-green?" is the sort of call you hear. Both incidents in the Chirp newsletter appear to have been head-on situations, which ironically is the one where VHF has a purpose. Rule 14 requires both vessels to alter to starboard and pass red-to-red, but either or both vessels may have a desire to pass green-to-green, especially if they have an upcoming turn to port; a radio call where both vessels clearly agree upon a green-to-green pass normally enhances safety.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:13   #50
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

Just went and tried that link, works fine for me.
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Old 12-02-2015, 07:50   #51
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

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........... When you, as the 'stand on vessel', manoeuvre randomly,.............
Isn't that the definition of a sailboat?
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Old 12-02-2015, 09:46   #52
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

I may be a bit rusty on my COLREGS, but as an aux. sailing vessel I rarely find myself being the stand-on vessel in practice. I'm no expert on this and I detect some confusion in this thread, so please correct any incorrect statements I may make.

First, I'm usually using my engine when in a channel or inland waterway, and so even if I also have some sail up that makes me a power vessel like any other under the rules.

Second, even if I am under sail alone, I believe any large container ships or tankers making way down a designated channel, vessels under tow, or commercial fishing vessels with their nets deployed would be considered vessels "constrained by their draft" and/or "restricted in their ability to maneuver," and thus render me the give-way vessel whether I'm under sail alone or not.

In fact, I can only think of a few occasions where it seemed prudent to use the radio, although I'm sure there would be well more than that if, for example, I had the amount of miles on inland waterways as AnchorageGuy.

The first was coming into Key West harbor at night with its confusing array of lighted channels & background city lights. I was making way under sail only. There was a small passenger ferry that had just left its berth and seemed to be heading straight for us. Although I always monitor 16 & 13 in busy areas like this, there was no Securitè issued by the ferry. Since I was under sail, I was the stand-on vessel & was thus properly showing running lights but no steaming light, and when I hailed the ferry I made sure to announce that I was "under sail." If it had been daylight, I probably would have just come about or otherwise altered course as I would have had plenty of time. But in a low light & confusing visibility situation, I felt it was important to "stand-on" but also communicate with the ferry captain, which caused him to immediately give way. As has already been pointed out, it made no difference that the passenger ferry happened to be a commercial vessel.

The second incident involved an ocean-going tug & tow in the middle of the night. We were probably 40nm offshore and these types of rigs often have long tow lines which always make me a bit nervous. Anyway, I was under sail only and we were on a potential collision course but the tug contacted me well in advance. My response was to suggest a pass on either side that best suited the tug and it was a non-issue.

My approach to commercial vessels like this is the same as my attitude towards tractor-trailers on the highway, i.e. they are out there working -- often with less much maneuverability than me -- and so my first & last instinct is to get out of their way. This seems to comport with the rules in most situations but, as already mentioned by others, it's also essential to know the rules. (And I hope someone will correct me if I screwed up my citing them ).

Finally, it's also worth noting perhaps the most important rule, namely the one that requires both skippers to avoid collision, notwithstanding any other rules. So in my encounter with the fast-moving passenger ferry, I didn't stand-on because the rules gave me the "right-of-way," but because following the rules in this instance made my actions predictable to the ferry captain. The point here is that the COLREGS establish a common-sense set of rules with the goal of avoiding collisions, so they must be used in a common-sense fashion with that goal in mind. In that regard, a judicious use of the radio on proper channels can be both courteous & essential.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:02   #53
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

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Second, even if I am under sail alone, I believe any large container ships or tankers making way down a designated channel, vessels under tow, or commercial fishing vessels with their nets deployed would be considered vessels "constrained by their draft" and/or "restricted in their ability to maneuver," and thus render me the give-way vessel whether I'm under sail alone or not.
The rest of your post seems to show a good understanding of the Rules and their practical application. This paragraph however, seems to be off-track. "Restricted in ability to manoeuvre" or RAM has to do with the vessel's work, not just being big. Unless it has the lights or dayshapes indicating that it is RAM, then it is not. "Constrained by draught" (CBD) also needs to show the lights/shapes indicating its condition, and should not be assumed. It should be noted that CBD does not exist in the Inland Rules.

In a narrow channel, marked deep-draught channel, or TSS lane there are rules (9 and 10) that apply, so small vessels/sailing vessels must not impede a vessel that is constrained by the depth and/or narrowness of the channel. There's a bit of a judgment call to determine what vessels might be constrained - so if in doubt assume a vessel is. But that does not mean the other rules go out the window - if a risk of collision develops, the rules still apply. That's been discussed extensively in other threads.

Sailing vessels give way to fishing vessels (when engaged in fishing) - that's laid out in rule 18. Fishing vessels are not RAM - in fact they must give way to RAM vessels - again laid out in rule 18.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:50   #54
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
The rest of your post seems to show a good understanding of the Rules and their practical application. This paragraph however, seems to be off-track. "Restricted in ability to manoeuvre" or RAM has to do with the vessel's work, not just being big. Unless it has the lights or dayshapes indicating that it is RAM, then it is not. "Constrained by draught" (CBD) also needs to show the lights/shapes indicating its condition, and should not be assumed. It should be noted that CBD does not exist in the Inland Rules.

In a narrow channel, marked deep-draught channel, or TSS lane there are rules (9 and 10) that apply, so small vessels/sailing vessels must not impede a vessel that is constrained by the depth and/or narrowness of the channel. There's a bit of a judgment call to determine what vessels might be constrained - so if in doubt assume a vessel is. But that does not mean the other rules go out the window - if a risk of collision develops, the rules still apply. That's been discussed extensively in other threads.

Sailing vessels give way to fishing vessels (when engaged in fishing) - that's laid out in rule 18. Fishing vessels are not RAM - in fact they must give way to RAM vessels - again laid out in rule 18.
Thanks for this much more specific and accurate correction. I've admittedly been a bit lazy refreshing my memory from when I first learned the rules. I do, however, remember to abide by the rule that requires a copy of the rules onboard! Not much good if you don't read them again from time to time.

When I first studied the rules, I do remember being surprised how far down the list a sailing vessel under sail seemed to fall. Prior to that I had incorrectly assumed a sailboat almost always had "right-of-way" and so I fear this may be a common misperception for laymen & those not properly schooled up. In the pic above of the collision b'twn. the sailboat & what appears to be a large merchant vessel, I suspect the merchant vessel was stand-on, regardless of whether the sailboat was using its engine. My guess is the sailboat made the all too common mistake of underestimating the other vessel's speed and incorrectly believed it could cross in front.

OK, sorry for the thread drift. Back to Channel 13 on the VHF.
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Old 12-02-2015, 11:57   #55
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

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In the pic above of the collision b'twn. the sailboat & what appears to be a large merchant vessel, I suspect the merchant vessel was stand-on, regardless of whether the sailboat was using its engine.
Or maybe not -- after reading your post again re: CBD. Time to crack the rule book again.
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:02   #56
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

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Or maybe not -- after reading your post again re: CBD. Time to crack the rule book again.
Challenging a boat that's hundreds of times larger and heavier than your boat for the right of way is nothing but stupid. You might be "right" but you might also be "dead right".
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:09   #57
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

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Challenging a boat that's hundreds of times larger and heavier than your boat for the right of way is nothing but stupid. You might be "right" but you might also be "dead right".
Agreed! I always cross well behind the big boys, whether I'm properly refreshed on the rules or not. And as has been pointed out, if there is a collision then, ipso facto, the rules were not followed.
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Old 12-02-2015, 15:16   #58
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

Isn't there something called "The Law Of Weight", or "The Tonnage Has The Right-Of-Way", or something?
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Old 12-02-2015, 15:33   #59
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

Not in the COLREGS.

Though some people seem to make up their on rules because it makes more sense to them than the actual rules.
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Old 13-02-2015, 02:21   #60
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Re: Channel 13: Absolute Must

The picture of the yacht being run down by a tanker was an event that took place in August 2011, in the vicinity of the Bramble Bank, on the approaches to Southampton.

The skipper of the yacht not only breached the Colregs (narrow channel, constrained by draught), he also breached local bylaws which require small craft to keep minimum distance of 1000 meters ahead of the large vessel, and 100m from each side.

For this little transgression, he was fined £3000 for the offenses, but also ordered to pay the prosecution costs, which came to about £100,000.

Yacht skipper fined for Cowes Week collision with oil tanker | UK news | The Guardian
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