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Old 22-09-2013, 12:38   #1
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Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

I just read Evans' latest article in the Oct/Nov issue of BoatUS Magazine titled "Collision Avoidance 2.0" and I want to thank Evans for contributing such good information to cruisers and boaters of all types. Evans, you are able to make complex information understandable for readers regardless of their prior knowledge. That is particularly helpful since there are so many people who appear to know very little before buying and operating boats of all sizes. Good information.
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Old 22-09-2013, 12:48   #2
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

Good article. Here's a link to it: Collision Avoidance 2.0
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Old 22-09-2013, 13:00   #3
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

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Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
I just read Evans' latest article in the Oct/Nov issue of BoatUS Magazine titled "Collision Avoidance 2.0" and I want to thank Evans for contributing such good information to cruisers and boaters of all types. Evans, you are able to make complex information understandable for readers regardless of their prior knowledge. That is particularly helpful since there are so many people who appear to know very little before buying and operating boats of all sizes. Good information.
Thank you very much. I try . . . and sometimes succeed . . . . and sometimes fail to communicate.
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Old 22-09-2013, 13:02   #4
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

Evans, first, great article. But (!) let me point out that there is no such thing as a "Class-B Receiver". It's just an AIS receiver. Transponders are Class-A or Class-B.
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Old 22-09-2013, 14:15   #5
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

^^ OK, agreed, that's the better/proper terminology
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Old 22-09-2013, 18:41   #6
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

Nice one, Evans, I hope [I]everybody[I] reads it
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Old 23-09-2013, 00:12   #7
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Evans, thanks for this and the many other articles you and Beth have contributed to the community, my wife and I have read and re-read all we can find of your works including your excellent website and books.

And good point regarding "looking around corners"... my wife and I just spent three weeks moving a friend's sailboat from SE Alaska to Puget Sound and the AIS was invaluable. Almost half the mornings on our trip had thick fog and on the Inside Passage after anchoring in an inlet or cove off the "main drag", trying to get underway again can feel like pulling into a freeway with cruise ships and large ferries "whizzing" by at over 15 knots. Ok, slight exaggeration on traffic volume, but there were several occasions where we couldn't see more than a few hundred feet (if that) and radar didn't help because of the "corners", but AIS let us know we would get clobbered by something big if we pulled into the main waterway so we waited. It also made communication easy because as you state, you can call a ship by name to discuss intentions and we always got a response. The same applies (to a slightly lesser extent) in our home waters of Puget Sound with extensive ferry, freighter and tug traffic in relatively confined quarters and many blind curves around islands or bends. It takes a lot of stress out of sailing when you can plan ahead and alter speed or throw in an early tack to avoid a situation rather than reacting on short notice to five short horn blasts...

That said, the radar was truly invaluable because of the amazing number of large fishing boats that did not have AIS running. It is important to not get lulled into a false sense of security with the AIS!

Thanks again,

Steve
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Old 23-09-2013, 09:34   #8
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

Great article! Should be required reading.
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Old 23-09-2013, 10:35   #9
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

Good article ref. AIS, but this goes to an unresolved discussion I had with Dockhead - a sailing vessel is not required to "give way" to commercial traffic; it is required to "not impede" said traffic in a TSS. I find it hard to believe that any master would feel impeded in a mile-wide channel in deep water, but I take it from the incompetence of the watchkeeper (not knowing a sailboat from a fishing boat, and swearing on VHF) that ignorance of the colregs could also be expected.
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Old 23-09-2013, 13:41   #10
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

^^ Yes

I am aware of the "not impede" vs "give way" distinction. However the article is/was intended for a beginner audience and I did not want to confuse the readers with the 'not impede' concept.

Regarding your old debate . . . personally, I act as if, "if they felt they had to maneuver, then I have impeded them", as that is the more conservative (with regards to my vessel risk) of the various interpretation. But I don't know if that is the "correct" interpretation.

I was, and still am, gobsmacked that vessel was swearing a blue streak at me on VHF (13 I think). I was as polite and respectful as I could possibly be. The officer on the radio had good English so I always presumed it was an American pilot. My personal opinion was that he was 'going too fast for the conditions', or more accurately too fast for his skill/comfort level in those conditions. I also suspect his theoretical knowledge of the colregs was comprehensive, but he had had a bad day already and was just frustrated that I ended up where I was and that he had to maneuver slightly off his preprogramed track.
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Old 25-09-2013, 05:55   #11
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

I understand; I was nitpicking on one little sentence that wasn't even central to the theme of the article. It did strike me as an excellent "real world" example that illustrates what I see as the distinction between "not impede" and "give way", and how it is possible for a sailboat to get into a situation where that distinction would need to be made.

If I read your account correctly that you were motoring, and if I understand where you were with respect to the lanes, then it was a rule 15 crossing situation and you were the give way vessel. Perhaps he stood on as he should have, until he felt forced to take avoiding action. That by no means excuses his bad language on VHF - an offence for which I hope he was duly chastised.
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Old 25-09-2013, 06:09   #12
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

^^

The descriptions of the crossing situation got edited a bit by the editors, not completely sure why.

I was sailing until I went to cross the lanes, when I turned the motor on for max speed. So, Yes, for the purposes of the crossing situation I was motoring.

It was a rule 15 cross, but I was in fact the starboard boat. He was outbound, coming out the Bay and I was crossing the lanes (at 90 degrees) from South (we had just come in from a passage from Florida) to North. So by Rule 15 I was stand-on. (note: he did cross behind me)

But by rule 10 I was 'do not impede'.

So it was exactly a case to your debate/question about "impede". I believe he had a course change (I guessed 5 degrees) but did not alter speed. So it is an interesting and valid question whether I "impeded" him or not.

The vessel identified itself as a 'Korean log carrier', but had a perfect English speaker on the radio, who I suspected was a US Bay pilot. Relevant to the ferry discussion, when I offered on the radio to take any course he wanted, he in effect said 'never mind' (and I kept on my crossing course), suggesting he could maneuver out of my way but that I was not fastest enough to get out of his way at that point.

The CPA in the end was 1/4mile (according to my radar), which seemed satisfactory to me, but they claimed their props were right on the bottom.

AIS would have made avoided this situation. He could have called me by name, rather than calling 'fishing boat near the bay bridge'; and I would have seen him very early around the corner and slightly later against the shore lights; and we both would have known the CPA.

I worked this over in my head after it happened, and decided that given the tools I had (no AIS), that I had done the best I could have. . . . waited for an apparently clear spot in the traffic, crossed at 90 degrees, with motor on at max speed, during vhf contact offered to take any course the ship wanted.

We have had two other close crossings, but the other both in the deep sea. A Brazilian vessel was crossing us and apparently did not see us, we shone a spot light on our mainsail and they did not see us and then when pretty close I shone it at their bridge and it may have woken the watch stander up because they then made a sharp turn (I was just about to make one myself). And we had a Ukraine vessel that never saw us and I took avoiding action. But that's not many close crosses in all our miles.
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Old 25-09-2013, 09:52   #13
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

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AIS would have made avoided this situation. He could have called me by name, rather than calling 'fishing boat near the bay bridge'; and I would have seen him very early around the corner and slightly later against the shore lights; and we both would have known the CPA.
I've come to the conclusion that AIS is now a safety issue v. a convenience, mostly because the big commercial guys are now used to it and don't watch as carefully for folks that aren't lit up on their screen. They also don't seem as responsive to VHF calls by description and location.
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Old 25-09-2013, 10:05   #14
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

On a recent passage from Victoria to San Diego the AIS was very much appreciated. Called several frieghters by name on Ch 16 and they all answered immediately and were very receptive. Also saw several large fishing boats with no AIS signal so, as has been mentioned, you still need a good watch.
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Old 30-09-2013, 13:22   #15
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Re: Evans Starzinger's article in BoatUS Magazine

Just reflecting on the situation in the article. There are two things that I did not do, that might have helped . . . . (1) I could have called VTS before I started crossing the traffic lanes and asked what traffic they had outbound, and (2) I could have made a "security call", something like "SV Hawk about to start crossing the lanes, south to north, at xxxx longitude just south of the bay bridge, at 7kts". I am not sure if that would have been better on 16 or on 13.
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