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Old 16-12-2010, 10:54   #166
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There's been a lot of talk about sound signals on here lately... in my experience this only happens in Ports or once inside the 'Fairway'
I've never had a Big Ship sound its horn before a manouver in the UK Channel TSS when crossing to France... or the Biscay, Med, Atlantic, Carib.... if I'm not sure a Ship/boats seen me or its intentions I get on the VHF and it goes something like this
"East bound motor vessel this is the Sth bound sailing vessel **** fine on your port bow distance 3 miles approx, position ^#^... is it your intention to pass my bow or stern.. I will alter course if required"
80% of the time I get a response "Thank you captain... hold your course we will pass your stern..." or something similar..
The other 15% I get no response other than a change of outline of the approaching ship.... which is good enough for me...
5% of the time no response, no change of heading... so I take it on myself to...
GET OUTA DA BLUDI WAY
Around here the big ferries S class ferry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia in particular will sound a horn if about to get under way, or they are approaching a blind passage, are in fog or someone doesn't seem to have assessed the situation well and are about to put themselves in harms way. They are very respectful, in my experience, with the courses they chart but when the horn goes it means, "GET OUTA DA BLUDI WAY".
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Old 16-12-2010, 10:57   #167
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Coastal class ferry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Another example - supposedly the biggest of their type (double ended ferry).
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Old 16-12-2010, 12:11   #168
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This thread started with several fairly dismissive comments about a book discussing how to avoid huge ships, as if that was something that just came naturally and the thought of a whole book discussing it was kind of silly. Then for the last 167 posts we have had fairly significant disagreements between professional mariners about that very topic suggesting that maybe it doesn't come as naturally as we think.

It got me thinking that maybe the idea of a book that the average boater could understand is not such a wild idea after all. I look forward to the review.

Jim
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Old 16-12-2010, 15:30   #169
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No offense, but a number of the posts regarding the Rules are flat out wrong...and following these ideas could turn out deadly or being ruled 100% wrong or mostly wrong in court. Yes, percentage wrong can be assigned in court
No offense taken I sure, but it is rather disengenious to merely say there are errors somewhere and not attempt to point them out and therefore eter the debate.

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Old 16-12-2010, 15:34   #170
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I disagree. I am not going to start picking out individuals and possibly embarrass them or start a war, especially as a moderator. If you want to know who might be wrong then I highly recommend a formal study of the COLREGS. If you get a good book on it then its quite interesting especially with all the case histories.

Additionally, you would then have the upper hand in any debate with them.
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Old 16-12-2010, 15:42   #171
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I disagree. I am not going to start picking out individuals and possibly start a war, especially as a moderator. If you want to know who might be wrong then I highly recommend a formal study of the COLREGS.

Additionally, you would then have the upper hand in any debate with them.
I'm always wrong........... ask the ex
Just very lucky...
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Old 16-12-2010, 15:47   #172
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Hah...yes. The trick is to figure out how to convince her that going right is the better choice either that or offer to turn left later. Or turn left now with the promise to turn right later with some flowers to make for a sweeter deal.
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Old 16-12-2010, 19:23   #173
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I was actually talking about your earlier post (#49): "VHF is generally only used when there is confusion or someone wants to do something out of the ordinary - 95% of the time, commercial vessels just follow the rules with no need to make a radio call."

I do think you are wrong to say the radio is only used 5% of the time, and yes- I honestly call every vessel who's intentions are unclear to me. No, I don't honestly believe every commercial vessel that alters course for a sailboat calls up the sailboat to say they are following the rules. If it looks like a close crossing though, I will call them. You might not like my practice, but it's the safe thing to do. It's not required, and often not even expected- but arguing that clarifying things over the radio is improper (if that's what you are doing) isn't really worth your time. I only suggested it as a technique to prevent oneself from entering an unsafe situation. As a recreational sailor with an Unlimited Tonnage International Deck Officer license, I'll stick with using the radio- After all, it's my technique and that's what the radio is there for.
You've just said you call vessels whose intentions are unclear or if it looks close - are all the vessels you come across unclear in their intentions? Are they all close? I hope the answer is "no". My point is when the situation is clear and everybody does what they're supposed to do in a timely manner, there is no need to get on the radio - this happens far more often than not. I have not said anything to the effect that clarifying things on the radio is improper - and have no idea how you've inferred that.
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Old 16-12-2010, 19:54   #174
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Lodesman I currently have 6 books on the colregs including one of the best in my opinion " a seamans guide to the rule of the road" a book that states it is officially approved for use in the royal navy. I suggest you read it And fill in some areas you're weak on.
Dave, I was hoping we could have a discussion about the rules that could possibly illuminate differing views that could help us both better understand the rules, and we could keep it polite and respectful. I'm not so arrogant to assume I know it all, nor would I presume to know what you do or do not know. I have my opinions on the rules, that I have formed over a career at sea and considerable study - as such I will defend my POV.

I am very familiar with the Seaman's Guide - as an introduction to the rules that aids rote memorization of them, it is unparalleled. I at least gave you the benefit of suggesting an advanced guide to the rules. I don't know what your 6 books show, but I do know the book I suggested has a very good description of the four stages of an anti-collision situation - three of which I described earlier.

Since you like the Seaman's Guide, I'll direct your attention to page 237 (5thEd, 1st impression) - "If, when navigating through a traffic separation lane you sighted the vessel illustrated (sailing vessel on your port bow crossing left to right), apparently about to cross close across your bows, what signal would you give?"
Answer (pg 238) -"If you consider that by altering course your safe passage is endangered, then sound the 'wake-up' signal, at least five short blasts. If, however, you can safely alter course to keep out of the way, it is your duty to do so."

Furthermore, at page 289 it asks, "In a sailing vessel... suppose you encounter a large power-driven vessel on a steady bearing in the open sea. What must you do?"
Answer (pg 290) -"Stand on with caution."

Respectfully,

Kevin
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Old 16-12-2010, 20:12   #175
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You guy's should sit in the bay at Gibraltar and listen to the conversations between ships negotiating the Straits... especially at night... its hilarious...
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Old 16-12-2010, 20:12   #176
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You seem confused. "Consonant" is not only a noun, but also has an adjectival form. Used in this manner, it means "in keeping." In other words, when I said that your claim was not consonant with my experience, I meant that it was not in keeping with my experience.

Additionally, your assertion that there is "no stand-on vessel in restricted vis" is without foundation.

Let me know if you need a translation for "without foundation."
It was a play on words; just trying to add a little levity - hence the . I'm sorry if you took offence; it wasn't meant to.

Colregs Part B Section II - Conduct of Vessels in Sight of One Another, includes rule 16 - Action by Give-way Vessel, and rule 17 - Action by Stand-on Vessel. Section III - Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility, consists of one rule - Rule 19. No mention of stand-on nor give-way in Rule 19. I say again, there is no stand-on vessel in restricted vis. Is that enough of a foundation for you?
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Old 16-12-2010, 20:41   #177
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You seem to believe that this only comes into play once the give way vessel has herself determined that there is a risk of collision, has been given time and opportunity to react, but has chosen not to and that the stand on vessel has attempted to ascertain the give way vessels intentions
As you pointed out it says the stand-on vessel may take action when it is apparent that the give-way is not taking appropriate action. It is simply not possible (unless you can see into the future) to tell that the vessel hasn't taken action, until you've passed the point of time where they would have taken action. Early and substantial means different things to different watchkeepers, so this period can be quite long.

Quote:
- Rule 17(a)(ii) does not contain any requirement to acertain the intentions of the other vessel
Maybe not, but rule 34(d) says-
Quote:
When vessels in sight of one another are approaching each other and from any cause either vessel fails to understand the intentions or actions of the other, or is in doubt whether sufficient action is being taken by the other to avoid collision, the vessel in doubt shall immediately indicate such doubt by giving at least five short and rapid blasts on the whistle. Such signal may be supplemented by a light signal of at least five short and rapid flashes.
"Shall", not "can" or "may"; the onus is on the stand-on vessel to signal if she doubts the give-way vessel is taking sufficient action.
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Old 16-12-2010, 21:53   #178
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I appreciate that Rule 34(d) exists, but does anyone actually carry something on board that can be heard from the bridge of a container ship?
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Old 16-12-2010, 22:15   #179
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I appreciate that Rule 34(d) exists, but does anyone actually carry something on board that can be heard from the bridge of a container ship?

Yes, 2 kids under the age of 5.

Not sure if it has been mentioned (I didn't read all 12 pages of this debate), but if you're following the "Get out of the bludi way" mantra when it comes to shipping and you happen to be the stand-on vessel according to COLREG's a friendly, quick call-up on B2B letting them know your maneuvering intentions is a polite, professional thing to do. (i.e. "Morning, if it is agreeable with you I intend to alter course to pass astern of you.") Who knows, they may even improve their opinion of all those WAFI's on sailboats .

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Old 17-12-2010, 00:54   #180
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Technicality, you are correct, the VTS only offers advice and suggestions, it is the ship's bridge that must make any decisions. But if VTS suggest that it may be prudent to alter your course or speed because of converging traffic, I would hope that you would give such information careful consideration.
How the heck are you going to know that a ship is outbound from within the Oakland estuary when you are under the bay bridge and can not see down the estuary prior to starting your turn? Or would you just say f***- em and pass port to port with each of you being escorted by tugs in a very narrow estury, and screw any other ship/boat traffic. On a foggy day as you approach the ships channal 8 miles outside the Gate, wouldn't it be nice to know that there are no vessels out bound, Thst you were maybe takeing turns for safetys sake. And using VTS to coordinate a safe transit.
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While taking classes for Air Traffic Control, we were instructed that the controller is there to offer advice and suggestions. What the pilot of the aircraft does with that advice is his reasponsiplity.
Believe me, I think the information that VTS provides is invaluable. But, it is just that - information, specifically information that comes primarily from radar/AIS displays, as well as VHF reports. I do not believe that they should have any navigational control of a vessel (outside of very extreme circumstances - which they already have). I've touched on this before. There's just more to piloting than running electronic symbols around a radar screen or chartplotter. In fact, most pilots - on a good day - spend more time at the forward windows than anywhere, using the electronics if needed or warranted. VTS just doesn't have the perspective or experienced people necessary to take ATC-like "control", nor, frankly, would I ever want to see that happen.

As far as other vessel movements go, yes VTS is great. Their advice or advisory is taken into consideration always. Your scenario of running up into The Estuary without traffic knowledge is why there are mandatory pre-calls, and (especially in, but not limited to, non-VTS ports), securite calls - NY Harbor, you get both. When handling large vessels, you can't just be reactive (no pilot in their right mind would just say "f#$# -it" and go blindly into a situation like that - and no captain should let him) and fall behind. Every part of the passage requires that the bridge team be thinking ahead and staying "in front of the ship." I imagine that flying an aircraft is the same way - even moreso, since you can't simply stop mid-air and restart at will.

AIS has been a blessing with regards to "seeing" around bends and getting vessel names, but that system also has its own limitations. This is where the local knowledge aspect of piloting comes into play. Such knowledge is not just the memorization of charts that pilots go through, but knowing (among other things) traffic patterns, ferry routes, etc. Pilots usually know about other ship movements well in advance (each pilot typically carries around a dispatch sheet for all movements, not just theirs), often well before VTS does. They often have a plan figured out before VTS contacts them. Pilots also talk to each other via their own radios (often with "private" channels) or even their cell phones, if need be (not any sort of passing arrangements, but just general departure/arrival info).

It should also be noted that there are numerous ports in the U.S. and around the world (some fairly busy) that operate just fine without VTS. It's not nearly as universal as ATC is (I say that as a non-aviator, though).

None of this is meant as knock on VTS, but they are just another tool at our disposal - not an end-all, be-all to safe navigation (just like every other tool). I know you probably know that.



BTW, I am very much enjoying this conversation. Please don't take me as trying to "talk-down" to anyone. I would like to hear from more boaters/sailors on any concerns they may have (I have raised a couple of my own), as well as try to pass along my best answer, based on my own experiences.
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