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View Poll Results: Do you know what a cone is, and have you every used one?
I regularly use a cone on my boat. 7 19.44%
I have one, but never used it. 6 16.67%
I have one, but have no clue what it is for. 0 0%
I have one, but have no intention of ever using it. 0 0%
I don't have one, but think I should get one. 6 16.67%
I don't have one, but would never use it even if I did. 2 5.56%
I don't have one, and have no intention of ever getting one. 8 22.22%
What's a cone? 7 19.44%
Voters: 36. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15-03-2019, 23:49   #1
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Cone poll

Another thread had a posting about the use of a 'cone'.

Anxiety Attack from Sailing Magazines

I'd like to take a poll.
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Old 16-03-2019, 01:42   #2
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Re: Cone poll

Excellent.
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Old 16-03-2019, 05:11   #3
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Re: Cone poll

I admit to never displaying a cone when required.
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Old 16-03-2019, 05:31   #4
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Re: Cone poll

Where's the option "I have one and use it as appropriate"?
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Old 16-03-2019, 07:54   #5
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Re: Cone poll

I bought one, because I know it’s the law, but have yet to come across the circumstances where it’s use would make sense.

By that, I mean that in our home waters there may be a handful of people that know what it is. When abroad, if I see them in use I’m prepared to reciprocate.
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Old 16-03-2019, 08:42   #6
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Re: Cone poll

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I bought one, because I know it’s the law, but have yet to come across the circumstances where it’s use would make sense.

By that, I mean that in our home waters there may be a handful of people that know what it is. When abroad, if I see them in use I’m prepared to reciprocate.
This is one of the two reasons I'm taking this poll.

The first reason is to ask whether people have and/or use a cone.

But having one is absolutely meaningless if the other boats have no clue what it stands for. I'm only one boat out of millions. How many boaters even know what one is, much less have one or know what it means?

This is the same for the Diver Down flag. Being a diver, I cannot tell you how many times boats have infringed on it.

In fact, diving Elbow Reef off Marathon in the FL Keys, my buddy and I watched a boat pass over us, trailing a 12lb lead ball followed by a monster hook. It passed right between us, so close that the boat had to have just missed running over our 2' x 3' flag.

Where the rubber meets the road, is whether displaying one prior to an accident would make any difference to not displaying one. I understand the law - that sailboats have a certain right of way in various circumstances because of their limited ability to avoid a collision when under sail - that using the motor while the sails are up is sending misleading information.

However, most of us pretty much know when we are in a possible collision situation, whether we see flopping sails and prop wash on a boat moving past, or flopping sails on a boat that is not moving.
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Old 16-03-2019, 09:01   #7
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Re: Cone poll

I selected the 'regularly' option because it is closest to truth, but real truth is somewhere between occasionally and regularly. We don't put it up if we're motoring on a passage with nary another vessel in sight. In congested waters, numerous crossing situations it goes up.

Similar question could be asked for a 'ball'. For both, seems to depend on the locality from which sailors originate.
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Old 16-03-2019, 10:27   #8
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Re: Cone poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by CptCrunchie View Post
This is one of the two reasons I'm taking this poll.

The first reason is to ask whether people have and/or use a cone.

But having one is absolutely meaningless if the other boats have no clue what it stands for. I'm only one boat out of millions. How many boaters even know what one is, much less have one or know what it means?

This is the same for the Diver Down flag. Being a diver, I cannot tell you how many times boats have infringed on it.

In fact, diving Elbow Reef off Marathon in the FL Keys, my buddy and I watched a boat pass over us, trailing a 12lb lead ball followed by a monster hook. It passed right between us, so close that the boat had to have just missed running over our 2' x 3' flag.

Where the rubber meets the road, is whether displaying one prior to an accident would make any difference to not displaying one. I understand the law - that sailboats have a certain right of way in various circumstances because of their limited ability to avoid a collision when under sail - that using the motor while the sails are up is sending misleading information.

However, most of us pretty much know when we are in a possible collision situation, whether we see flopping sails and prop wash on a boat moving past, or flopping sails on a boat that is not moving.
Many people do not know the meaning of a diver down flag [any version thereof] and I have found many an ignorant power boater or PWC driver actually drawn to such surface floating flags, or to diver down boats which appear to be abandoned because everyone has gone diving or snorkeling and the vessel mounted flag makes them curious so the boaters go towards the no one aboard boat to observe more closely. Or even more typically the boaters simply are not keeping watch. Ditto as to a raised flag indicating a skier or wakeboarder down. There are videos on YouTube of divers coming to the surface when a boat has arrived and such boat is trying to lift their diver down float from the water because the boaters do not know what the floating flag means. There is even one where the diver is pulled to the surface by their air hose which hose is connected to a floating compressor mounted on a tube with a diver down flag as the boater is trying to lift the compressor float out of the water and into their boat. The boater just thought it was someone's equipment that had drifted away. Stupidity and boating go hand in hand and when you add alcohol to the combination things really become interesting. And be sure that ignorance is even more common than stupidity, yeah I know that is hard to believe. So be careful out there, assume you are just chum waiting to be further cut and stirred by a propeller or hit by a keel.

Two of my boats have cones and balls and I do deploy them, IF there are other boats about, yet fully recognizing that one in a hundred or a thousand other boaters will know what the hard to see and to discern the shape of black thingamajig is indicating. The motoring cone being hoisted on the forestay, say a few feet higher than the drying towels and laundry [a.k.a. universally unrecognizable signal flags] and such cone not visible except from the fore or sideviews where it is not hidden from sighting by a fore or main sail.

Two of my boats are used on inland lakes and are small [26 and 18 feet] and are not equipped with the day signals and one has a free standing mast vessel and its sail has no halyards so I have no method of raising a day signal for displaying such, albeit that sailboat could be equipped with a motor; yet our vessel [the smallest of four sailboats] does not have a motor per say, as it is propelled by wind when there is wind and by use of tandem Mirage drives when there is no wind or modest wind. As to COLREGs, I am a bit uncertain when a vessel that is no longer dependent on just the wind for propulsion, such as when we are using single or tandem Mirage drive assistance, if such pedal power provides any stand on priority such as a sail powered only vessel. The tandem Mirage drives are used intermittently, when we tire we stop pedalling, so if we were to display a "motoring" cone it would need to be intermittently raised and lowered which would be complicated and confusing, up one moment, down the next. That trimaran sailboat with Mirage drives tends to really attract other boaters such that they come close by to observe the craft and we tend to have to be wary of the other crafts presence, course, intentions and their much larger displacement and size, such that we are always giving way out of self-preservation. We don't anchor that free standing mast boat except very near shore, I mean very, very near shore, like wading up to your knees close to shore or more commonly just beach its bow on shore, so displaying an at anchor ball during the day would be really over doing the precautionary messaging. I suppose we could display the black anchor ball by just dropping it in the water alongside the boat as it would then look like a mooring ball.

On my larger boats, when motor sailing at night the large revolving disco mirrored cone is displayed with multicolored strobe spotlights and by a revolving disco mirrored ball when anchoring. That is at least when the vessel is operating under party mode [not under command & likely under the influence], often then rafted to other similarly skippered party boats.

Hmmm, now I am wondering what the proper displays are for boats rafted together. Are they to display as being one floating object [e.g., AIS] or each vessel individually. How are they to display when rafted together but not at anchor or motoring, say just bobbing about and drifting wherever nature takes them, towards or away from shore [with no one person given duty to be at "watch" per say being otherwise occupied, likely pumping and dispensing from the beer kegs]. COLREGs not being on anyone's mind when mob rafting as a party center, so with present clarity of mind this being an apt time to consider and ask for guidance on proper indicating of rafting, heck perhaps some derivation of a tow or tug vessel, albeit one not under power but which may be underway [likely uncontrolled, yet potentially controllably, or poorly controllable]. "mob" in that instance being a rowdy crowd and not a Man Over Board. A mob that likely can be heard far beyond being seen.

I believe there is a display for a vessel which has become laid up on the shallows or onto the shoreline as to indicating its status or intentions for COLREG purposes, i.e., land yacht, give way and / or approach with caution.
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Old 16-03-2019, 10:50   #9
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Re: Cone poll

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Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
There is even one where the diver is pulled to the surface by their air hose which hose is connected to a floating compressor mounted on a tube with a diver down flag as the boater is trying to lift the compressor float out of the water and into their boat. The boater just thought it was someone's equipment that had drifted away. Stupidity and boating go hand in hand and when you add alcohol to the combination things really become interesting. And be sure that ignorance is even more common than stupidity, yeah I know that is hard to believe. So be careful out there, assume you are just chum waiting to be further cut and stirred by a propeller or hit by a keel.
Further to my posting, I'd brought my own diver down flag and float onto the Keys charter boat. When the dive operator saw me clip my mini reel onto it, then clip it to my rig, he stopped me and handed me a 10lb dive weight, saying, "You don't want a passing boat to snag your line and pull you into its prop." I remember looking at him oddly, ....then I complied.

When he picked us up, we both gave him a big wet hug and thank you. That could have been bad. Chum, indeed.

Even on my tech dive boat at home, look at what is on the arch.

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That's a RED - WHITE - RED 'vessel not under command' light used for night diving. Even with someone onboard, people would constantly pull up to see what we were doing, often within 10', ...as whoever we had onboard screamed at them to get away. Mattered not; the captains did whatever they wanted to do anyway.
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Old 16-03-2019, 11:02   #10
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Re: Cone poll

Yes I use one sometimes...
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Old 16-03-2019, 11:11   #11
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Re: Cone poll

Yep, seen boats approach diver down flags. By the way can be move away from the old red white markers and to the universal markers.

But I have also seen divers surface without any flags nearby.

Indeed one's tether line should be made with an easy tear away capability if one is snorkeling or diving with a float so as to have it readily break under tension. Very light string or perhaps a modest velcro banding.

And I have been a swimmer and a surface snorkeler who has had boats come near me because they were not keeping a keen eye watching out for floating objects or persons. Get's kind of scary for all concerned.

I recall our Sea Scout ship performing a M.O.B. exercise and watching a large power cruiser operating at speed run right over the large bright orange life ring that had been tossed overboard to be the designated M.O.B. All the while the skipper of the power cruiser was up top in his flying bridge waiving hello as he passed by say twenty yards away from along side our 63 foot craft. He did not every see the large life ring. It was a good lesson for all the scouts to stay observant when operating a craft and how not to operate a boat. The deep gashes on the recovered life ring made quite the mental image.

Reference video of a close call.


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Old 16-03-2019, 11:24   #12
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Re: Cone poll

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Old 16-03-2019, 14:55   #13
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Re: Cone poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by CptCrunchie View Post
That's a RED - WHITE - RED 'vessel not under command' light used for night diving.

Minor correction: that's a "restricted in ability to manouver" (RAM) signal not a NUC signal. But it is the appropriate set of lights in the circumstance.
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Old 16-03-2019, 15:14   #14
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Re: Cone poll

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
Minor correction: that's a "restricted in ability to manouver" (RAM) signal not a NUC signal. But it is the appropriate set of lights in the circumstance.
Doh! Brain fart. *tisk* Labels.

You are correct. Thanks.
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Old 16-03-2019, 16:27   #15
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Re: Cone poll

Whether others know what it means doesn’t change your duty to fly it. I find it interesting that you seem to imply you don’t need to use one because you feel others don’t know what it means, but then you make the same point about the diver flag. Are you suggesting that people shouldn’t bother flying it because there are idiots around who don’t recognize it?

It’s in the colregs, along with lights. End of story. However, it is useful to bring it up on a regular basis so that newbies who might have replied “what’s a cone” are alerted to its meaning.

The reason a lot of people don’t bother with it, IMHO, is that it appears to voluntarily give up what some skippers believe to be their “rights” in colregs situations. But it doesn’t, as a good read of plenty of threads on here will make clear. It changes your (and the other vessel’s) obligations, but only inasmuch as to make them clear. Failing to fly one if one is required would certainly count against you should there ever be a significant incident. Note that you don’t need to be involved in the incident — it could be a result of a sizeable ship taking evasive action that they didn’t realise they didn’t have to take.
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