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Old 30-09-2016, 07:38   #166
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
It's the norm in my area for one ship (or boat) to call another on the VHF, identify itself and the situation and then arrange a pass on "one whistle" or "two whistles". Sometimes they will say "I''ll keep it to the green (or red) side." (of the channel). They never actually "blow" the whistles or horns.

The whistle or horn thing works OK if there are only two vessels in sight of each other and the situation is fairly clear such as two vessels approaching each other in a canal or river. In a harbor with a half a dozen vessels going in several directions, the sound signals would be confusing at best. Who sounded the horn and who was it directed at?

The only times I still hear horns used is in some cases where a vessel is leaving a dock or backing out of a dock. Cases where the signal is a general warning to any and all other vessels. Other than that, fog, and the danger signal, the radio has made the horn or whistle obsolete.
Sure. And I myself sometimes call to agree a green to green pass or otherwise clarify intentions. The radio can be very useful.

All this is fine, but the sound signals are not obsolete, and the radio is not a substitute. If you make yourself dependent on the radio, and suddenly someone doesn't answer your call, you can have a big problem. If you fail to hear and understand, or fail to give, the required sound signals, and there is a collision, you will have legal liability. The court will not care that you were fumbling with your radio and the other vessel didn't hear your call.


The radio can be useful, but can actually be dangerous, when used for this purpose, so should be used with care. The MCA issued a warning a few years ago discouraging the use of the radio for collision avoidance:

"7. There have been a significant number of collisions where subsequent investigation has found that at some stage before impact, one or both parties were using VHF radio in an attempt to avoid collision. The use of VHF radio in these circumstances is not always helpful and may even prove to be dangerous.

. . .

"11. In a case published in 2002 one of two vessels, approaching each other in fog, used the VHF radio to call for a red to red (port to port) passing. The call was acknowledged by the other vessel but unfortunately, due to the command of English on the calling vessel, what the caller intended was a green to green (starboard to starboard) passing. The actions were not effectively monitored by either of the vessels and collision followed.

"12. Again in a case published in 2006, one of two vessels, approaching one another to involve a close quarter’s situation, agreed to a starboard to starboard passing arrangement with a person on board another, unidentified ship, but not the approaching vessel. Furthermore, the passing agreement required one of the vessels to make an alteration of course, contrary to the
requirements of the applicable Rule in the COLREGS. Had the vessel agreed to a passing arrangement requiring her to manoeuvre in compliance with the COLREGS, the ships would have passed clear, despite the misidentification of ships on the VHF radio. Unfortunately by the time both vessels realised that the ships had turned towards each other the distance between them had further reduced to the extent that the last minute avoiding action taken by both ships was unable to prevent a collision.

"13. Although the practice of using VHF radio as a collision avoidance aid may be resorted to on occasion, for example in pilotage waters, the risks described in this note should be clearly understood and the Collision Regulations complied with. " "


https://maddenmaritime.files.wordpre.../02/mgn324.pdf


The point is that radio calls are not a substitute for orderly procedure, and that if everyone will simply follow correct procedure, radio calls will rarely be needed. Deviating from procedure by agreement over radio is fraught with risk, and should not be done lightly.


The risk of confusion with radio calls is even greater, than with sound signals. AIS helps a lot of course, but the potential for confusion still exists. The only sound signal where it matters, who the signal was intended for, is five blasts. And this one you will usually figure out!
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Old 30-09-2016, 07:58   #167
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
It's the norm in my area for one ship (or boat) to call another on the VHF, identify itself and the situation and then arrange a pass on "one whistle" or "two whistles". Sometimes they will say "I''ll keep it to the green (or red) side." (of the channel). They never actually "blow" the whistles or horns.

The whistle or horn thing works OK if there are only two vessels in sight of each other and the situation is fairly clear such as two vessels approaching each other in a canal or river. In a harbor with a half a dozen vessels going in several directions, the sound signals would be confusing at best. Who sounded the horn and who was it directed at?

The only times I still hear horns used is in some cases where a vessel is leaving a dock or backing out of a dock. Cases where the signal is a general warning to any and all other vessels. Other than that, fog, and the danger signal, the radio has made the horn or whistle obsolete.
The amount of unnecessary confusing chatter on the VHF would be ridiculous if everyone within 20 miles was doing this. Enough to get everyone to switch off channel 16 so they wouldn't have to listen to the racket.
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:04   #168
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

It's the captains and pilots of tugs and commercial ships that are using the radio to make passing arrangements. Recreational boaters on a web forum can make all the comments they want to, it won't change how the pros are doing things.

As for horn signals being less confusing than radio conversations, you cannot be serious. It's pretty hard to misinterpret "I'll hug the green side."
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:12   #169
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
It's the captains and pilots of tugs and commercial ships that are using the radio to make passing arrangements. Recreational boaters on a web forum can make all the comments they want to, it won't change how the pros are doing things.

As for horn signals being less confusing than radio conversations, you cannot be serious. It's pretty hard to misinterpret "I'll hug the green side."
Read the MCA report. The confusion does not occur because of this.

Nothing wrong with using the radio per se, and we all use it. The question is HOW you use it, and whether you rely on it in lieu of following procedure.
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:37   #170
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

A radio is only good if it's on and can be heard.

This summer I watched a power boat approach a stone shoal and broadcast a warning on VHF 16. Anecdotal evidence would indicate that either he never heard me, or ignored me.

Since the maturity of cell (mobile) phones, the VHF is relatively silent. A number of boaters I know never even bother to turn the VHF on.
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:43   #171
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

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Read the MCA report. The confusion does not occur because of this.

Nothing wrong with using the radio per se, and we all use it. The question is HOW you use it, and whether you rely on it in lieu of following procedure.
You are going to continue on until I get tired and quit, right? Just like the AIS thread.

When what I see and hear with my own eyes and ears conflicts with what some guy on the Internet posts, I'm going with my own eyes and ears every time.

Blow your boat horn around here and you get a one finger salute.
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:49   #172
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

I think you are missing the word 'formal' in what dockheads saying.

The COLREGS don't mention using VHF to negotiate passing.

Around by you, it sounds like people use the VHF for passing each other. Near me some commercial vessels use it going through narrow passes like Dodd Narrows, but other times the ferries use their horns a lot.

It depends on where you are, and the only constant is the formal colregs. Which is the point of them.
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:51   #173
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

Is the rumor true that all Sea Ray and SunSeeker owners are given a complementary lobotomy at purchase time?
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Old 30-09-2016, 09:59   #174
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

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Is the rumor true that all Sea Ray and SunSeeker owners are given a complementary lobotomy at purchase time?
I've been told it's true of all boat owners, power or sail.
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Old 30-09-2016, 11:42   #175
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

I read through most of the posts here however I don't see any resolution ideas? If you are in a designated anchorage and a power boater/PWC comes ripping through an area where potential swimmers might be what would you do?
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Old 30-09-2016, 12:48   #176
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

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I read through most of the posts here however I don't see any resolution ideas? If you are in a designated anchorage and a power boater/PWC comes ripping through an area where potential swimmers might be what would you do?
I've seen plenty of solution's here.

#1. whine and snivel on a forum to make self feel better.
#2. track the bastard down and have a go at him.
#3. call authority's and complain.
#4. relax, see that some are learning, some will never learn, some don't want to learn and some just don't care. then decide which you are.
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Old 30-09-2016, 13:18   #177
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

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You are going to continue on until I get tired and quit, right? Just like the AIS thread.

When what I see and hear with my own eyes and ears conflicts with what some guy on the Internet posts, I'm going with my own eyes and ears every time.

Blow your boat horn around here and you get a one finger salute.
There is no cause for you to tire or quit. I also cruise through your area and find that your observations are common throughout the US East Coast; however this behavior is not exclusive. Not long ago I was northbound in Calibogue Sound, not far north of your location, and had an overtaking power vessel signal me by horn for a one whistle pass.

I responded, as I'm sure you would, with the corresponding whistle and the pass was made without radio contact. It's really not an issue involving anger,- no fingers were raised.

I'm sure you are competent, knowledgeable of the rules of the road, and would not be troubled by this, - right?
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Old 30-09-2016, 13:39   #178
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

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You are going to continue on until I get tired and quit, right? Just like the AIS thread.. . .
You missed the entire point of what I was writing about, and I'm not really getting anything out of trying to explain it, so no.
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Old 30-09-2016, 13:48   #179
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

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I've been told it's true of all boat owners, power or sail.
Yeah, and when you sell the boat, they put the brain parts they removed back in.
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Old 30-09-2016, 14:01   #180
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Re: Are Power Boaters Clueless

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There is no cause for you to tire or quit. I also cruise through your area and find that your observations are common throughout the US East Coast; however this behavior is not exclusive. Not long ago I was northbound in Calibogue Sound, not far north of your location, and had an overtaking power vessel signal me by horn for a one whistle pass.

I responded, as I'm sure you would, with the corresponding whistle and the pass was made without radio contact. It's really not an issue involving anger,- no fingers were raised.

I'm sure you are competent, knowledgeable of the rules of the road, and would not be troubled by this, - right?
I hope you made a stop at Daufauskie Island before it turns into a Hilton Head, going through Calibogue Sound.
It may have? A lot of Geechee history. I am afraid the Sea Islands have become a thing of the past. Clyde Custer has passed so future documentation of the islands is gone.
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