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Old 13-12-2010, 07:19   #1
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How to Avoid Huge Ships

Just curious if anyone has read this book. Does it contain any really useful information? Or is it more like the common-sense stuff that anyone venturing offshore (or, really, anywhere that there are huge ships) should be aware of?

Amazon.com: How to Avoid Huge Ships (9780870334337): John W. Trimmer: Books
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Old 13-12-2010, 07:31   #2
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Never read it but they're not hard to avoid.

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Old 13-12-2010, 07:33   #3
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have not read it,,, would not waste the money,,,,

stay out of the shipping lanes,,,,,, make your intensions know to the ship early,, like a large course change,,,, 10-15 degrees not 1 or 2 degrees, stay in contact with them on the VHF

pick up a rules of the road book that has been written by the USCG and also a copy of Bodwidth 2,,,

that and use common since,,, might has right,,,, a larger boat takes more time to stop and maneuver than a small sailboat
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Old 13-12-2010, 07:39   #4
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$89..... Thats a lot to pay for 5 words....
"Get outa the Bludi way...!!'
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Old 13-12-2010, 08:04   #5
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$89..... Thats a lot to pay for 5 words....
"Get outa the Bludi way...!!'
Thanks for the laugh!



Seriously -- here it is in a nutshell:
  1. Communicate on VHF, ask intentions and make yours known -- use channel 13 for bridge-bridge
  2. "Get outa the Bludi way" (also known as the rule of tonnage)
  3. Plot potential converging courses, and Get outa the Bludi way
The best tools for determining closest point of approach (convergence): a) eyeball and judgment, b) take repeated bearings using bearing compass or radar (if the relative bearing doesn't change over time you are on a collision course), c) AIS d) MARPA

If any of the above needs explanation, ask here and we'll save you the price of a book.
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Old 13-12-2010, 09:32   #6
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A couple points:
1) ch 13 is bridge-to-bridge in the US - in open ocean and most of the rest of the world, ch 16;
2) 10-15° is the absolute minimum for an alteration - 30-45° alteration is readily apparent. If restricted by navigation safety or other traffic, I recommend making a huge alteration, holding for a bit then walking back to a manageable track;
3) the rules of the road are meant to be followed. It is harder on the huge ship drivers when the stand-on vessel does not stand-on; and
4) compass bearing is the primary tool for determining the risk of collision.
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Old 13-12-2010, 09:40   #7
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We always pick a piece of Imagine to line up the freighter. If the freighter stays lined up? When then give a call on VHF, and if no response we give 1 million candle flash across the bridge, if at night.

It seems most of the time they appreciate the notice, and ask us to stay on course. If not, we get out of the bludi way!..........i2f
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Old 13-12-2010, 10:01   #8
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One needs to remember that when a big ship puts her helm over, it is not the bow that moves over, it is the stern being pushed around by the rudder. So if you are sailing a reciprocal course, don't get to close, watch out for the broadside coming at you.
On the other hand, in a channel , be aware that there may be considerable athwartship wash, if she is using her bow thrusters to help steer.
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Old 13-12-2010, 10:05   #9
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I often admire how well the ferries do here. They'll look down a channel filled with boats and find a line that respects everybody. Large cargo ships and military craft are moving relatively fast and there never seems to be a problem if you keep to your course and obey the rules.

We have a lot of tugs and it takes a bit more to understand what it is that they are going to do. To change the direction of a large load they will pull at right angles to the load until it is pointing the right direction and then return to making way. In narrow passages where the current is stiff several boats will work a load through and if I'm in the same passage I usually tuck into a quiet spot and just watch rather then add to the problem. A tug with a big load has enough challenges without worrying what I'm doing. In open waters I try to decide well ahead of time what their up to and give him lots of room to do it.
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Old 13-12-2010, 10:15   #10
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If you are on the final leg of your circumnavigation, upon sighting of said huge ship, do as follows:

1. Turn off all lights.

2. Go below to recheck the dates on your insurance policy.

3. Pick out the starboard bow of the ship and plot a course.

4. Lower the dink and life raft.

5. Make sure sat phone, air horn, champagne, & prepared sign, are in ditch bag

6. Phone your real estate agent

7. Sound the air horn moments before impact to alert the admiral aboard.

8. Wave goodbye to admiral from the dink holding the prepared sign above your head which reads "May You and Enrique Enjoy another Cabana Together - in Hell"

9. Call your mistress in Moorea to inform her of your impending arrival.

10. Break open the bubbly.
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Old 13-12-2010, 10:27   #11
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8. Wave goodbye to admiral from the dink holding the prepared sign above your head which reads "May You and Enrique Enjoy another Cabana Together - in Hell"
Hehehehe!
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Old 13-12-2010, 10:39   #12
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All the studying I'm doing for my master's license has really opened my eyes to rules of the road that I thought I had previously understood well. I disagree with the "law of tonnage" thing in concept mentioned above; the minute you start creating your own little informal set of COLREGS is the minute you are now personally liable for whatever happens. It's not just your option to obey the international and inland rules, it's required.

If you're the stand on vessel, you are required to stand on (along with all other signaling and communication requirements). There are plenty of instances when something more specific than the "law of tonnage" is giving the right of way to a power vessel over a sailing vessel (constrained in maneuverability, constrained by draft, trawling, fishing, towing, etc).

Maybe my opinion will change once I get more experience being on the other side of the tonnage coin but the idea of sitting in an admirality court and trying to get a chuckle out of the judge by referencing the "law of tonnage" doesn't seem like a great way to extend one's career.

I should add: as a pleasure boat sailor, I will almost always make a movement well in advance that places my vessel squarely out of overtaking/crossing/head-on zones thereby removing any need to even get into who-has-priority type situations. But for a big vessel to (almost literally) throw its weight around and not adhere to the regulations does not seem to be a mark of good seamanship.
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Old 13-12-2010, 10:40   #13
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I was amused by the top review on the book (at least when I clicked), the first line explains the sort of accident prone person that might need a book-length treatise on the subject:

"I ran into this book after I saw a reference to it online. ..."
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Old 13-12-2010, 12:43   #14
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One needs to remember that when a big ship puts her helm over, it is not the bow that moves over, it is the stern being pushed around by the rudder...
As it is with our smaller boats (assuming aft mtd prop's).
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Old 13-12-2010, 13:40   #15
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All the studying I'm doing for my master's license has really opened my eyes to rules of the road that I thought I had previously understood well. I disagree with the "law of tonnage" thing in concept mentioned above; the minute you start creating your own little informal set of COLREGS is the minute you are now personally liable for whatever happens. It's not just your option to obey the international and inland rules, it's required
I agree whole heartedly with this - Stand on vessels should stand on. Big ships can and do alter course, the worst thing you can do is to act unpredictably. Use the radio if you are concerned and, if you have AIS call the give way vessel by name. In 95% of potential collision courses developing, the give way vessel, irrespective of size, will alter. Often they will pass closer than you may like, say within half a mile (and they look very big that close!)

If you think a collision will occur, then alter, all vessels have an obligation to prevent collision, but if you do alter, then alter course to pass astern, don't try to squeeze past the bow, and as said earlier make the alteration obvious.
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