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Old 06-12-2019, 15:51   #1
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Is it advisable?

My co worker just purchased a contessa 26. And we’ve made tentative plans to either do an overnight to the coronados out of San Diego or up the coast a bit. My question is : is it prudent to do an overnight passage with at least an AIS receiver. ? He has a vhf and that’s it. I have never sailed at night. And I advised him that I was not comfortable without at least being able to see what a receiver would offer. Am I being unreasonable.? Also. My experience is limited to a few day trips and a Catalina trip. I chartered with my wife and two small children last year. But I do have a few classes under my belt. Thanks in advance for your experienced response!!
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Old 06-12-2019, 17:05   #2
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Re: Is it advisable?

I don’t have AIS and my radar doesn’t work. I still do night sails regularly. So far my eyes still work.
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Old 06-12-2019, 17:23   #3
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Re: Is it advisable?

In 40 years I estimate I've sailed about 25,000 miles about 1/4-1/3 of that at night. For the first 30 years all I had was a VHF and a depth sounder.

Never had anything that was anywhere near a close call except once with another sailboat that was sailing with no lights.

Almost never see a boat without lights and never a large boat or ship. Unless you are totally fogged in you can see the lights for miles. It's pretty simple to figure out how to read a ship's running lights and figure which way its going and check for a constant bearing to see if there's a risk of collision.
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Old 06-12-2019, 18:00   #4
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Re: Is it advisable?

If your gut sends you strong signals maybe heed them.

Everyone has a different risk profile.

Me if I die NBD had a great and full life, have always been happy to risk my life in search of adventure.

Of course loved ones requiring my care get taken into account.
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Old 06-12-2019, 18:37   #5
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Re: Is it advisable?

The Coronado Islands are just a hop, skip and jump from San Diego harbor.

Pick a time when the weather will be favorable and not foggy for two days and sail during the daylight hours so as to gain your self confidence in a bit of offshore sailing.

But as others have said use your eyeballs and VHF and your good to go. AIS is beneficial but certainly there has been many more miles logged with out such then with such.
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