Originally Posted by delmarrey
I believe before radios there were horns/whistles signals. Most sailboats usually run without their radios on, at least in my area. Probably due to the power consumption
. But I have the tendancy to use horn signals just because it is good practice. The bridges here sure know what their for.
though, I've seen people scrambling for some kind of book when horns are used. They don't know which way to go
The point I am trying to make is for a yachtsman to get on the radio
is a very reliable way of finding out from commercial traffic what they are going to do and therefore is a good way of agreeing with the commercial vessel on how to avoid a collision
. Of course most yachtsmen are not standing a radio
watch but most all commercial boats are standing a radio watch.... at least they are supposed to be by law and in my experience the vast majority of them are monitoring the VHF.
I tend to call bridges on Ch 9...it's better in the sense that the bridge tender
can give you whatever information he has such as if there is going to be a delay. You can also thank him which is nice...and the same goes for thanking commercial boats who make adjustments to avoid you.
level in many commercial boats is not always conducive to hearing an electric
whistle or air whistle, especially one of those hand held air horns typically used by sailboats. Also, radio has a far greater range than a whistle...which of course means passing arrangements can be made much sooner. Talking to someone on the radio is also a nice confirmation versus blowing the whistle and waiting for a confirmation whistle.
Between commercial boats most all passing agreements are done by radio or by taking very early and apparent action. Whistle signals are usually more a formality if used at all ...and quite frequently not used at all. At night light signals can be used the same way whistle signals are used.