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Old 02-04-2014, 06:31   #1
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Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

I motored over to Cowes yesterday for a haulout, and wouldn't you know it -- I get out into Southampton Water and it's so foggy I can hardly see my own bow roller. It was sunny on my mooring up the Hamble!

Getting to Cowes from the Hamble means crossing one of the busiest bits of water you have ever seen -- the Thorne Channel around Bramble Bank, where all the ship traffic comes and goes into Soton, plus the tankers going to the giant BP facility at the foot of Soton Water. Plus millions of pleasure boaters skippered by folks of enormously varying ability.

There have been a few threads on here recently about whether you really need radar or not -- well, let me tell you, five minutes in a thick fog in a busy waterway are enough to make you swear to never set sail without radar again!

I only made visual contact with one other vessel the whole passage, but I was surrounded by swarms of it -- the entire passage was done by electronic means -- like IFR or instrument flight in a plane.

And wouldn't you know it, but a big tanker coming out of the Medina turned right in front of me! At less than two cables distance!! I never saw him visually, but if had not been watching him on AIS, I would be dead right now! I saw his sudden turn and instantly put the helm hard over and missed him by a cable, and dodging three different yachts as I did so, also none of which I ever saw visually.

What would one have done out there without radar??!! And the ability to use it?
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:50   #2
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Yes Dockhead in my opinion the radar is one of our best life support systems. One trip Sword fishing the Grand banks I was reliving the crew member on watch, the radar had been acting up for a couple of days he tells me we're down to a 1/8 of a mile range now on the radar ,and the fog is really thick. He takes off I get a coffee and pull back up to the light and decide to take a walk to check out everything on deck, and look for lights a fleet of Jap longliners were setting gear right on top of us. I noticed one of their ships working in and out of the screen to the southeast behind us this gets me worried him being so close, so I open the starboard wheelhouse door and latch it, I looked all around and saw nothing, the fog was really thick so I fired up the engine and pull back to the light look over at the radar nothing its black I look out the door he's damn near on us hard starboard 1692 Detroit in the corner I nervous as a prostitute in church knees shaking heart racing everyone jumping up from the sound of the main, we all stood watch the rest of the night. It cut our trip short, when we got in Newport we had the radar fixed with a new 72 mile Furuno backup. The first thing I put on my current boat was a new radar, and it has got me out of a couple of jams.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:04   #3
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
There have been a few threads on here recently about whether you really need radar or not -- well, let me tell you, five minutes in a thick fog in a busy waterway are enough to make you swear to never set sail without radar again!
Worth repeating, and making bold (I considered increasing the font size too).

Quote:
What would one have done out there without radar??!! And the ability to use it?
Closed my eyes and prayed.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:05   #4
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

I rarely use my radar, but when it's suddenly zero visibility from the fog bank that rolls in offshore San Francisco, a fairly busy shipping port, it's a huge, huge relief to be able to flip it on, or to be able to "see" better at night. I appreciate those who are old school and can navigate by a 6th sense (I am working on this...), but radar is just a great backup device that can provide an additional margin of safety.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:14   #5
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Yep.. Radar always high on my list... amazing the things it can help with, fog, dark, waterspouts, thundercells, freighters, fishing nets....
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:19   #6
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Yep.
Flying is a 3 Dimensional situation. I could not imagine flying without Radar.

I cant imagine a MORE dangerous situation than a seagoing boat where everything is on the same level and aimed at you. Aircraft are stacked by traffic controllers in height bands....... boats, not so much.

Any sea going vessel Ive had, the Radar is set to 1 mile in Fog and close quarters... I like to see the dots and hear the beeps.... Even when I can see and in open water, I have it set to 15 miles and listen for notification.

Well done for protecting your bottom..... I sweated for you reading about it.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:13   #7
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

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Yep.
Flying is a 3 Dimensional situation. I could not imagine flying without Radar.

I cant imagine a MORE dangerous situation than a seagoing boat where everything is on the same level and aimed at you. Aircraft are stacked by traffic controllers in height bands....... boats, not so much.

Any sea going vessel Ive had, the Radar is set to 1 mile in Fog and close quarters... I like to see the dots and hear the beeps.... Even when I can see and in open water, I have it set to 15 miles and listen for notification.

Well done for protecting your bottom..... I sweated for you reading about it.
Thanks!

But concerning radar in civilian aircraft: I am not a pilot, but I had understood that it is used to spot weather; that it is not able to image land features or other aircraft. So it has no real use for navigation or collision avoidance, unlike marine radar. Is that not true?
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:17   #8
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

It would be irresponsible of me to take scientists out on the water at night or in restricted visibility without radar. Hell yes it's a necessity....in my case.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:18   #9
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Thanks!

But concerning radar in civilian aircraft: I am not a pilot, but I had understood that it is used to spot weather; that it is not able to image land features or other aircraft. So it has no real use for navigation or collision avoidance, unlike marine radar. Is that not true?
Sorry... someone is always watching on my behalf.....
I missed a line.
age.. or.. the pizza I was holding at the time.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:18   #10
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Thanks!

But concerning radar in civilian aircraft: I am not a pilot, but I had understood that it is used to spot weather; that it is not able to image land features or other aircraft. So it has no real use for navigation or collision avoidance, unlike marine radar. Is that not true?


Correct for use onboard civilian aircraft. It's only for weather. (It's mostly used for routing around bad weather cells)
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:23   #11
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post
Sorry... someone is always watching on my behalf.....
I missed a line.
age.. or.. the pizza I was holding at the time.
Oh, I understand! So you meant ground-based radar used by ATC. I see now.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:28   #12
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Oh, I understand! So you meant ground-based radar used by ATC. I see now.
Yep, I miscommunicated badly. mind was in pepperoni and ham pizza with japapenos...
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:31   #13
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

I think it was the one thing that really changed boating for the better. Radar assisted collisions aside. Fog in the UK is here to stay.. and personal awareness cannot be overstated.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:45   #14
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

Civilian aircraft do most commonly use weather radar systems and radar altimeters (Ground Proximity Warning System), but only rarely use collision avoidance radar. For collision avoidance, they rely more on systems like TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System), PCAS, TAWS, or FLARM (a passive transmitter/transponder which broadcasts position and vector, most of which are transponder based systems rather than active radar. Small aircraft may have FlARM or nothing at all save the pilot's own situational awareness.
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Old 02-04-2014, 13:35   #15
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Re: Radar Saved My Azz Yesterday

What is a cables length ??
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