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Old 05-11-2012, 11:11   #46
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

Radar was one of those things to put on the back burner....maybe someday when I can afford it...I have alot of other priorities ahead of it. But thanks to the marketing in this country making people think they need the latest greatest fanciest gadget. Someone decided to upgrade to radar w/color display and built in GPS....so sold me his never installed RayMarine RL-72 w/18" radome for $125. At that price radar switched priorities. The part that tickled me was my Raymarine came in the GARMIN box his new one had come in...he asked for the box back a month later because he had to send his all-in-one back to the factory. There are relatively in expensive AIS units that plug into a chart platter, laptop or radar display...they are inexpensive because they don't have there own display...ACR makes a good A/B reviver (Nauticast) for around $200-$300 (still down the road on my priorities)
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:14   #47
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

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Maybe not for daysailors in lower latitudes. For some of us, getting caught in fog is a way of life.
Dearest Bash, you know as well as I do one does not get caught unaware in a fog on the Bay. Prerequisites apply. From anywhere on the bay, from the Delta to the GG, you are within range of at least 3 official weather reporting stations all broadcast on the V and all reporting winds, air temp, and dew point. Having local knowledge one would know, in degrees Fahrenheit, what conditions inland temps will bring to the bay.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:23   #48
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

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Dearest Bash, you know as well as I do one does not get caught unaware in a fog on the Bay. Prerequisites apply. From anywhere on the bay, from the Delta to the GG, you are within range of at least 3 official weather reporting stations all broadcast on the V and all reporting winds, air temp, and dew point. Having local knowledge one would know, in degrees Fahrenheit, what conditions inland temps will bring to the bay.
That's fine for daysailors, Dearest Richard5. I'm talking about making passages. How many times have I left Santa Barbara or various points south with a perfect weather window only to encounter fog en route?

Like I say, it's a way of life for some. I sailed out of Monterey for 14 years before moving to SF Bay in '98. If you can't deal with fog down there you may as well sell the boat. Likewise, I've gone from Sausalito to Drakes Bay on weekends when absolutely no fog was forecast and have had to come home in it after a couple nights on the hook. And if I had to wait for a fog-free forecast, I'm not certain I'd ever see Half Moon Bay again.
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Old 05-11-2012, 15:27   #49
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

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using that sw channel at tampa bay--even radar and ais will not help with the massive numbers of crab pots we happened on right there in the channel.
i prefer the northern channel--no crab pots. and the crazy clowns in the power boats going out t o check their crab pots.
large commercial vessels are much easier to see than small recreational types.
We typically stay in 40' +/- depths to avoid them when running overnights. So far it has worked great. Once we were north of Tampa, we came closer in as vis improved, Still the number of crazy powerboaters running fast in low vis conditions is eye opening.
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Old 05-11-2012, 15:32   #50
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

[QUOTE=Richard5;1076851]I have been in many a fog. Yes, sometimes without radar. My reasoning, or rationalization, was I was quite offshore and outside of the common routes. Otherwise, I have been in a fog inside of ship lanes and near shore. My decisions then were to turn outbound from the fog and/or ride at anchor until visibilty increased to at least 5 miles. QUOTE]

So what were you doing going out in the fog? or did it happen quickly and catch you with little time to react other than to (in some instances ) ride at anchor, where if you were unlucky enough to have been hit by a speeding powerboater some may say would be result of your ignorance or inexperience? As you seem to be so quick to use to describe my actions.

Just saying,,,,,,
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Old 05-11-2012, 20:18   #51
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

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Were 4 miles south of Egmont channel. Have carnival Cruise ship and a very large Freighter in close proximity on the marine traffic tracker on our android. We have fog so severe visibility is 50' at best. It was a clear night until 4 am. Wishing we had the aids in the title ......
Had a similar experience many years ago approaching Tampa Bay from the North. Thick, New England style, fog set in and visibility was near zero.

I was not about to cross the shipping lanes leading to Tampa Bay in those conditions so we diverted to a shoal area near Indian Rocks Beach and anchored till the fog cleared (while sounding regular fog signals, also issued a "securite" to let others know our position).

Installed Radar shortly after that experience...
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Old 05-11-2012, 20:48   #52
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

Really dense fogs can happen really fast and be incredibly localized here (PNW) I have known people that have made it through tight passages in the San Juan Islands using radar. GPS had an accuracy to 5-10meters at that time and 2meters could put you on the rocks, you couldn't see more than a boat length away so radar was the only way to navigate.
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Old 05-11-2012, 22:51   #53
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

Surprised how little mention has been made of the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service. This is the "air traffic control" for large ships transiting areas like Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, SF, and no doubt Tampa. VTS operates on specific VHF channels - which vary by location. Here in Puget Sound, VTS Sector Seattle is on 5A, Tofino which covers the western approach to Juan de Fuca is on 74, etc. They are very welcoming to non-commercial traffic that are operating in their area, even when not transiting a shipping lane.

In late September, we were travelling overnight, west to east along the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We checked in with Seattle Traffic just west of Port Angeles. Around midnight, dense fog fell and dropped visibility to nothing. As we motored along, VTS would periodically hail us, and tell us of the upcoming traffic, giving us the names of relevant vessels. We could then hail those vessels and arrange how we would pass each other. This made our passage much safer and less stressful.

Exchanges on the traffic channels are verse terse, much more so than on 16, and they take some time to get used to. Even if you don't check in, you should listen because VTS updates commercial traffic with information about what they can expect, and you can figure out what big vessels are out there and where they are going. Yes, we could see blips on our radar, but when there is a giant blip headed straight towards you, it is incredibly reassuring to know that VTS has just called you and told you that it is a tugboat named Shannon, and that you can hail Shannon and arrange how to pass.

Even though we kept well south of the traffic lanes, there was a lot of commercial traffic - tug boats headed west, and cargo ships headed to/from the pilot station at Pt Angeles. Because VTS knew we were there (and watched us on radar) they could warn vessels about our location, heading and speed.

It was really impressive. And all you need to take part is a VHF radio.

So, back to the OP's post, my advice would be to put the Android down and get on the radio to VTS.
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Old 05-11-2012, 23:18   #54
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

In the days before GPS for those who were not on the water then there was also no AIS.

Radar was not only necessary for fog but also the best tool fill a or safe coastal navigation.

It is still a necessary tool for fnavigation in fog today. Without it you should not be attempting navigation in fog.

It is that simple.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:28   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder
In the days before GPS for those who were not on the water then there was also no AIS.

Radar was not only necessary for fog but also the best tool fill a or safe coastal navigation.

It is still a necessary tool for fnavigation in fog today. Without it you should not be attempting navigation in fog.

It is that simple.
The issue here is we were already 10+ miles from land and. In an area of known for alot of traffic both large ships and small fishing recreational boaters when the conditions deteriorated. Coast guard typically issues a low vis safety warning etc.they didn't start doing this until the fog had been there for several hours. The fog also didn't lift until after 10 am. Someone mentioned put down the android well if we had wed or not known were close to a cruise ship and a large freighter. Neither of which issued any type of fog warning. It seems people are quick to assume we had to choice to be in fog or not. Or even that stopping would have been any safer. At least we knew where the big boys were. Maybe I should have changed the title to " Glad we had marine traffic on a DROID, even Radar wouldn't have saved us from stupid rec powerboaters "
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:41   #56
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

It strikes m that many answers are colored by the local experience. In short sandy sailors have one set of experiences and options, rocky sailors have another. They overlap of course. But " normal" is different.

Where I sail fog is forecast for most days, well over 50%. If you are moving you sail in fog, period.

GPS is only so accurate. While most folks sail where it is pretty good, I have been where it isn't, in fog, on a rocky coast. You look for a likely radar return and come up to it hoping it is the buoy, not a sunker.

Anchoring out is not an option, nor finding shallow water where you have a rocky coast line. I can be 100 feet off a rock in 100 feet of water, easy.

This summer I ended up with a spare radar dome and a spare chart plotter display. I used the spare display.

The Canadian Coast Guard has good harbor and approach services for St. John's, Canso, Halifax and the Bay of Fundy. I presume it is similar elsewhere.

This summer I came into Halifax in very dense fog. I had a container ship pass me within 100 yards and I never saw him, though his fog horn was deafing. Traffic had us both on radar and AIS, as did I, and he. That is pretty much ops normal up there.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:18   #57
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

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...
Btw, if you snag a crab pot with your prop, are you allowed to help yourself to the inmates of the pot as a consolation prize?
.......
Ooh, I would not want to be standing on deck with my paws in a crab pot and have it's proprietor pull up along side! Many fishermen would take that quite personally. In poor vis, whose gonna know if you become crab bait...
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:21   #58
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this moment

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The formation of fog is fairly predictable, even when it "just appears".

Many times I have had fog appear suddenly. But rather than be surprised it is the waters. Viola! Carrying a wet bulb thermometer (sling thermometer) the mariner can reveal the dew point. Observing the air temp/dew point spread will aid in determing the formation of fog and how deep the layer.
I totally agree with Bash.Many parts of the US ( and the world) fog is only predictable in the sense that it is likely to be encountered almost any day of the early months of summer.There are many circumstances when your sling psychrometer( Never met a sailor who uses one here in the foggy North East)
Will fail you.
3 short examples from my experience: Strong current running over an abrupt change in depth will drive cold water to the surface creating sudden banks.(think any where N. Atlantic i.e. The Race)

Once sailed into an unpredicted and rapid rapidly developing low that caught New England ( and myself) unaware; just a sudden wall of fog on a clear day, never knew what hit us until the next day. many boats trashed-----1984 june I think.

Clear warm day in N. Atlantic crossing (N. route) sailed into the lee of a massive iceberg (unseen) that changed weather to frosty fog for the next 24 hours.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:06   #59
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
We typically stay in 40' +/- depths to avoid them when running overnights. So far it has worked great. Once we were north of Tampa, we came closer in as vis improved, Still the number of crazy powerboaters running fast in low vis conditions is eye opening.
Evidence of the foregoing is the number of marks that have been run/destroyed down by these bozos in the Tampa Bay area. One of the most valuable uses of our radar has been picking up "fast movers" at night or in fog.

For the most part, I have found that the further off one is, the less likely one is to encounter fast movers and single targets appear much more readily.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:10   #60
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Re: Never really wanted Radar or AIS until this Moment

[QUOTE=Dulcesuenos;1077263]
Quote:
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I have been in many a fog. Yes, sometimes without radar. My reasoning, or rationalization, was I was quite offshore and outside of the common routes. Otherwise, I have been in a fog inside of ship lanes and near shore. My decisions then were to turn outbound from the fog and/or ride at anchor until visibilty increased to at least 5 miles. QUOTE]

So what were you doing going out in the fog? or did it happen quickly and catch you with little time to react other than to (in some instances ) ride at anchor, where if you were unlucky enough to have been hit by a speeding powerboater some may say would be result of your ignorance or inexperience? As you seem to be so quick to use to describe my actions.

Just saying,,,,,,
My contention is being caught unaware. Not once have I been in a fog because I was unaware of it's formation. A collision involving a speeding powerboater would be more a factor of reckless actions of undue speed in low vis.

My being in a fog was a calculated risk. To enter a fog, without radar, at night, near shore, across a marked lane constitutes a level of risk which I find unacceptable and therefore would avoid. Think risk matrix...too many elements checked off means it's a no go. Also include possible fatigue (working outside of normal circadian rythym) among those elements to decide if level of risk is acceptable.

Mariners are risk takes, that's for sure. How much risk to accept is subject to change given changing conditions. Therefore, where one may enter a fog does not mean another who also enters a fog is at the same level of risk.
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