Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 22-10-2014, 03:59   #226
Registered User
 
Rustic Charm's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Boat: Bieroc 36 foot Ketch
Posts: 4,898
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Let's split some more hairs

Surely you mean an alleged transgression of the law...


Well, it's only alleged if someone else is involved to report it. If you did it and you know it, it's a fact.

Yeah, splitting hairs.
__________________

__________________
Rustic Charm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 04:35   #227
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,727
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Let's split some more hairs

Surely you mean an alleged transgression of the law...
No, not alleged -- because the premise was that the rule was violated. "Alleged" means someone has asserted it, but it's not proven. It's a different issue.

None of this is really important. I think we can all read the Colregs. Rule 5 doesn't define what a "proper lookout" "at all times" is. It definitely does not mean that you're not allowed to take your eyes off the horizon for a minute; beyond that it gets down to what is reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances. One court held that 30 minute naps below was not reasonable and appropriate even in the open ocean. But between not blinking and 30 minute naps there is a wide range of possible interpretation.

The more liberty you take in that interpretation, the greater risk you run that IF you have a collision, you're going to be held partially responsible for it (IF you survive).

I don't think the legal side of it is very important -- I think the main question is what are the practical watch-keeping measures which are necessary under the given circumstances to reduce the risks of collision to acceptable levels. There is no technique of watchkeeping which results in a zero risk of collision, so this is all a compromise in any case. The practical importance of visual watchkeeping -- leaving aside the legal question -- is reduced, not eliminated, when you have better electronic means of watchkeeping. And the intensity of watchkeeping which is appropriate to control risks of collision varies tremendously depending on how much traffic there is in the area.

So, I think you are all right in your own way, and I also think that all the really categorical statements on both sides are all wrong. If you are in the middle of the Atlantic outside of the shipping lanes where you don't see another vessel for days at a time, it is just silly to insist that someone be on deck 24/7 never taking his eyes off the horizon. Here even a fully crewed boat might reasonably elect to have someone scan the horizon every 15 minutes (or even once an hour), as long as AIS and radar guard zone alarms are set, and allow the crew on watch to read a book. "Keeping a look-out at all times", in such waters and circumstances, can be reasonably done by having someone on deck occasionally looking at the horizon, in my opinion, so this is even legal in my opinion, under these circumstances, besides reasonable.

And it is also true -- on the other side -- that in busy coastal waters, an interruption of the visual watch caused even by a two-minute pee break might create an unreasonable risk of collision, much less any kind of a nap, and so single-handing long passages through such waters might really be negligence per se -- neither reasonable nor legal. For example: I don't think you can do a nonstop transit of the English Channel single-handed without recklessly endangering yourself and others, and violating Rule 5. The Channel is about 350 miles long,and with that volume of traffic around, someone needs to be rested and ready on deck at all times.

But again -- the legal side of it is less important. If what you are doing is reasonable under the circumstances (and NOT just that you happen to have never had an accident -- Jammer Six's Russian roulette example is correct -- but that what you are doing is really adequate in terms of risks), then the legal issue is extremely unlikely to come up, in case the legal side doesn't coincide with the practical side.

And if on the other hand, you violate the legal side, and you get "caught", liability will be the least of your problems, as you will probably be dead anyway. Therefore, I think it is reasonable to concentrate on the practical side of the question -- what means of watchkeeping are needed in particular circumstances to eliminate unreasonable risks of collisions?

In my opinion, the answer to this is that the busier and more obstacle-strewn are the waters you are sailing in, the more important it is to have people on deck continuously keeping an intense visual watch, up to and including the point where you really can hardly take your eyes off the sea in front of you without putting yourself and others in danger. The emptier and clearer are the waters, the less important this becomes, and the more you can rely on electronic means, maybe never to the total exclusion of visual means, but the visual part of watchkeeping becomes gradually less important.

And lastly, in my opinion, a lot of the disagreement here is between people who do a lot of sailing far offshore (Evans and others) and people who sail in busy coastal waters with little or no experience of what it's like to be days or weeks from any land. These two groups both have correct ideas -- for their own environments -- and are just talking past each other.
__________________

__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 04:43   #228
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,727
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post


Well, it's only alleged if someone else is involved to report it. If you did it and you know it, it's a fact.

Yeah, splitting hairs.
Splitting hairs, but FWIW, exactly correct.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 08:54   #229
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Penobscot Bay, Maine
Boat: Tayana 47
Posts: 990
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
With Claudio Campi's study of polyphasic sleeping, comes knowledge of how singlehanders can maximize their rest gained for minimal time spent actually asleep. Now, this is a subject that both doublehanders and singlehanders can benefit from.

I think a specific law restricting singlehanding is totally unnecessary. The present system works pretty well. I cannot think of any accident involving loss of life or boat that was caused by inadequate watch keeping on a small boat. When Jessica Watson and the Chinese Ship collided, the Queensland government did an investigation on the accident, and her portion of the responsibility was something like 17% if I recall correctly. No one hurt, some damage to her boat. The crew on the ship had made worse mistakes, in the opinion of the authorities.

Mr. Jtsailjt, if you're okay with speeding, then you do not care about the letter of the law as much as your posts in this thread suggest.

Ann
I'm not a stickler for the "letter of the law" at all unless violating it results in endangering others. I can think of all sorts of laws that don't result in any increased danger to others (including keeping up with traffic when it's moving 5-10 mph faster than the posted speed limit) when they are broken but operating a boat for any significant length of time (which I would define as more than a few minutes) with nobody on watch does potentially put others at risk and I believe that the wording of Colreg rule 5 is pretty clear in prohibiting doing that. Not sure why that seems to be so controversial. Everyone else at sea, from commercial ships, to fishing vessels, to military ships, always have someone awake and on watch. Why should WE be allowed to "interpret" the rule everyone else has to follow to mean that WE don't have to keep a "proper lookout at ALL TIMES?" Are single and shorthanded yachtsmen REALLY so "special" that the rules everyone else follows don't apply to us when we don't want them to?
__________________
jtsailjt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 09:50   #230
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Penobscot Bay, Maine
Boat: Tayana 47
Posts: 990
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by contrail View Post
I will phrase your question differently, while maintaining its meaning: Is it OK for someone who has devoted a lot of time and thought to doing a particular thing in a bunch of different ways, to do it in a more demanding style than for others who haven't?

Answer: You bet! But I don't ski down the "expert" slopes, where I could hurt others as well as myself, because I have never put in the time to be a decent skier. It works both ways.

Ann says it very well when she notes that she can't think of a time when a singlehander, through poor watchkeeping, has ever hurt someone else. Me neither. I can, however, remember when speeders have.
Seriously, you aren't aware of reports of singlehanders running into fishing boats or other vessels being required to maneuver to avoid collision with sailboats having no-one on watch? Perhaps a very quick google search will refresh both Ann's and your memories....Start with "Scully" or "BOC" but there have been other close calls as well, interesting reading. I doubt that someone who suddenly has a hole punched near their boats waterline in the wee hours of the morning would agree that they weren't "hurt" or seriously endangered. In addition to sailors, there have been incidents of other types of vessels endangering or colliding with others due to their lack of a lookout. These things occasionally happen even when the skipper leaves port with a well equipped and well crewed vessel and with every intention to keep a watch "at all times" as the Colregs require, but it seems to me there's no excuse for intentionally setting yourself up for poor watchkeeping by not taking adequate crew along to do the job.

Actual collisions at sea don't happen often largely because there just aren't that many shorthanders out there crossing oceans with no-one on watch and it's a very big ocean. But that doesn't mean it's right for the relatively few who are doing it to continue. The Colregs are supposed to apply to everyone and they say "at all times," that's pretty clear. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think it would be a good idea to change the Colregs to allow shorthanded offshore sailing with certain additional requirements and restrictions for those who choose to engage in it, but as written now, I think it's both illegal and endangers others lives unnecessarily.
__________________
jtsailjt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 10:15   #231
Eternal Member
 
monte's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
Boat: Lagoon 400
Posts: 3,650
Images: 1
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

I think it's best to leave the colregs as they are seeing as we all understand them so well (haha)
And not be so fussy about the exact meaning, but rather the intention of the rules, and realise that as sailors, there are some with more equipment, some with more crew, but so long as we are all doing our best to take care of our vessels and crews and other sailors, we can limit the possibility of collisions, at least with other vessels...not so much for containers and whales etc, but if you are rewriting the colregs maybe add something to cover those incidences as well...
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 10:56   #232
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,743
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
they are broken but operating a boat for any significant length of time (which I would define as more than a few minutes) with nobody on watch does potentially put others at risk
You should perhaps refresh yourself on a few calculations that are taught at every nautical academy - time from hull down to collision.

Let me do a couple examples for you.

We need to start with some data: Lets say your height of eye is 10' from the water surface, and lets say an approaching ship is 155' tall (I just picked out of a NY City report of air drafts entering NY harbor), and lets take half the height of the ship (77.5') as its 'hull down visual range. And finally, lets say you are travelling at 7kts and the ship at 22kts.

That makes the 'hull down' visual range 12.7nm (3.4 + 9.3).

And it makes the head on closing speed 29 kts and the overtaking closing speed 15kts.

Which means that the time from hull down to collision is 26 minutes for a worst case head on collision and 51 minutes in an over taking situation. Which means in this particular case a thorough scan would be satisfactory about ever 20 minutes (giving you 6 minutes to decide on a course of action).

The very worst possible visual range case would be an object with no height, in which case your visual range is 3.4 nm. let's say that that very low object is also moving at 7kts, so the worst case spead on speed is 14kts. That gives you 15 minutes.

You can/should be able to adapt this calculation to whatever situation, types of vessels, you find yourself in.

Now of with radar, either mounted higher than your eye, or higher than 1/2 ship hieght will be able to see further and give you greater time. And with AIS we will also be able to see further.

What is typically taught at the academies, after they go thru all this math, is that the bridge should typically set a minimum horizon scan time of 10 minutes, giving them then 10 minutes to maneuver (you and I on our small boats would need rather less time to maneuver).

On another practical point - pretty much every one is out of sorts before they get their sea legs. Most are fine the first day until the sun sets, and then discombobulated until about day 3, and many not 100% until day 5. This is true full crew or shorthanded crew. This is why many of use prefer longer passages to shorter ones - three days ones are about the hardest/worst. The net of this is that personal discipline is required at sea, whether you are shorthanded or fully crewed. It is easy to slack off, especially at about 2am. My personal experience is that the size of the crew does not really effect or improve this - it is a matter of leadership and personal discipline. Some crew have it and some don't. Some really should not be at sea.

Single handing and short handing does place on top of this fatigue management (which is a different physiological topic than 'sea legs'). It requires further discipline, and I would suggest that a good fraction of westerners do not have what it takes to properly manage themselves single handed. This is a topic well studied in the military, and you will note that (for instance) seal hell week is essentially a sleep derivation tank, where those who can not manage are washed out.
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 12:35   #233
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Penobscot Bay, Maine
Boat: Tayana 47
Posts: 990
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
You should perhaps refresh yourself on a few calculations that are taught at every nautical academy - time from hull down to collision.

Let me do a couple examples for you.

We need top start with some data: Lets say your height of eye is 10' from the water surface, and lets say an approaching ship is 155' tall (I just picked out of a NY City report of air drafts entering NY harbor), and lets take half the height of the ship (77.5') as its 'hull down visual range. And finally, lets say you are travelling at 7kts and the ship at 22kts.

That makes the 'hull down' visual range 12.7nm (3.4 + 9.3).

And it makes the head on closing speed 29 kts and the overtaking closing speed 15kts.

Which means that the time from hull down to collision is 26 minutes for a worst case head on collision and 51 minutes in an over taking situation. Which means in this particular case a thorough scan would be satisfactory about ever 20 minutes (giving you 6 minutes to decide on a course of action).

The very worst possible visual range case would be an object with no height, in which case your visual range is 3.4 nm. let's say that that very low object is also moving at 7kts, so the worst case spead on speed is 14kts. That gives you 15 minutes.

You can/should be able to adapt this calculation to whatever situation, types of vessels, you find yourself in.

Now of with radar, either mounted higher than your eye, or higher than 1/2 ship hieght will be able to see further and give you greater time. And with AIS we will also be able to see further.

What is typically taught at the academies, after they go thru all this math, is that the bridge should typically set a minimum horizon scan time of 10 minutes, giving them then 10 minutes to maneuver (you and I on our small boats would need rather less time to maneuver).

On another practical point - pretty much every one is out of sorts before they get their sea legs. Most are fine the first day until the sun sets, and then discombobulated until about day 3, and many not 100% until day 5. This is true full crew or shorthanded crew. This is why many of use prefer longer passages to shorter ones - three days ones are about the hardest/worst. The net of this is that personal discipline is required at sea, whether you are shorthanded or fully crewed. It is easy to slack off, especially at about 2am. My personal experience is that the size of the crew does not really effect or improve this - it is a matter of leadership and personal discipline. Some crew have it and some don't. Some really should not be at sea.

Single handing and short handing does place on top of this fatigue management (which is a different physiological topic than 'sea legs'). It requires further discipline, and I would suggest that a good fraction of westerners do not have what it takes to properly manage themselves single handed. This is a topic well studied in the military, and you will note that (for instance) seal hell week is essentially a sleep derivation tank, where those who can not manage are washed out.
Evans, my BS degree is in Civil Engineering and I've been both a fighter pilot and then airline pilot for over 30 years so I've got a fairly good handle on the basic geometry involved in calculating things like time from hull down to collision and don't feel that I really am one of those in too dire need of your "refresher" regarding this calculation. As I'm sure you can well imagine, between my sailing and flying, I also haven't been able to avoid gaining some firsthand knowledge of the effects of fatigue on both our mental and physical abilities.

Even IF, while singlehanding, you do religiously set your alarm and wake up every 10 minutes for a look around, after 3 or 4 days of that with some weather or boat malfunction thrown in there so NO sleep was possible for at least one long period during that time period, can you REALLY say that you think you are likely to notice every ship or boat that is not quite "hull down" or do you think there's a chance that you'll be quite "foggy headed" and likely to occasionally "see" the same old boring empty horizon or radar screen you've been seeing for what seems like forever when you wake up from your most recent most recent most recent most recent.....10 or 15 minute nap? Also, if a singlehander is setting his alarm for every 15 minutes for a look around, how long does it take for his mind to really be awake so he can comprehend what he's seeing and how long does it take him to crawl back in bed and fall back to sleep? So, even if he does religiously stick to his 15 minute regimen, he's getting just a few minutes of actual sleep between waking up and this seems to me as a perfect way to becoming horribly fatigued and mistake prone in just a few days.

I agree with you about most of us being out of sorts for awhile during the first few days of a voyage. I know one quite well known cruising/writing couple where the much more well known husband is actually seasick for a few days so his wife has to do just about everything herself until he feels well enough to give her a break. They've been around the world more than twice and as far as I know, that hasn't changed for him. When they met, he was singlehanding around the world but I've never thought to ask him how he managed back in those days. But during this time of reduced ability for many crewmembers, it seems to me that the more crew aboard, the greater likelihood there will be adequate crew available to be alert and keep a good watch. Of course individual abilities to discipline ourselves in the face of extreme discomfort and fatigue varies, and based on your track record, I'll stipulate that you are probably very, very good at it. But you're not as good as 2 of you or 3 of you would be at sharing that same watchkeeping load.

I'm surprised that after all we've both written on this over the last few days, that you say the above regarding singlehanding, " It requires further discipline, and I would suggest that a good fraction of westerners do not have what it takes to properly manage themselves single handed," because that is AWFULLY CLOSE to what my opinion is and why I think most people should try to avoid it, even most of those who think of themselves as experts at it. I guess I just take it to the next step and am saying that even IF someone is in that very top echelon of discipline and mental toughness and awareness, he could still be better/safer for all if he had at least one more crewmember aboard like himself, and other than filling a trophy case and owning bragging rights among other sailors, or just saving the cost of hiring crew or personal preference for privacy, none of which I find compelling, I can see no reason to intentionally go without that additional crewmember. I can imagine that with both you and your wife aboard, you are able, at least most of the time, to both keep a good watch AND avoid the extreme fatigue that would make stupid mistakes that might endanger yourself or others much more likely. However, you two are quite close to a unique phenomenon in sailing and with so many others who think they can do the same things you do, many of those shorthanded crews are spending a lot of time in excess of hull down time to collision without anyone aware of what might be going on outside, depending on others to avoid them and I don't think that's safe. So, if there's going to be a rule regarding this, to prevent that large fraction who can't really safely handle (but have persuaded themselves that they can) the fatigue of shorthanded sailing and are relying too much on luck to keep themselves out of trouble, it has to be conservative and can't rely on people who are willing to define "at all times" as meaning something closer to "once in awhile" to do an adequate job of policing themselves.

But singlehanding, I just don't think there's anyone alive who can credibly claim that they can go many days or even weeks without getting more than 15 or 20 minutes of sleep at a time, and still have even a good fraction of their ability to perceive and reason and be aware of their surroundings. And if you feel that Colreg 5 isn't to be taken literally and is more about the master doing whatever it takes to make sure his vessel is safe, how can ANY vessels master make that safety claim when his brain is mush compared to it's normal abilities when properly rested and there's not backup brain aboard to back him up and he chose to put himself in this situation voluntarily?

This whole discussion sort of reminds me of a motorcycle forum I was involved in at one time where almost everybody there considered themselves to have similar awareness and ability to the hired, professional motorcycle rider who was chosen to make a video about braking on a non-ABS bike compared to braking on an ABS equipped bike and under controlled conditions when he obviously knew he was making a braking video and was familiar with the braking surface, was able to beat the ABS bike stopping distance by just a few feet with basic brakes. Despite so many fatal motorcycle accidents being caused by that momentary surge of adrenaline that happens on a nice day when we least expect it (OMG, I can't believe that truck is actually pulling out right in front of me!) so the driver locks up the rear brakes, the bike tries to swap ends and is instantly sliding down the road on its side with the rider sliding or tumbling along behind until the inevitable crunch or splat, you'd be surprised by how many riders claimed that they felt they were better off without ABS because they had practiced their braking and felt they could beat the ABS computer and stop quicker and were in no danger from a surge of adrenaline causing them to overbrake. Even the professional rider probably couldn't beat the ABS bike if he was riding along enjoying the scenery instead of planning to brake hard at that line drawn on the pavement, but give some people a bunch of forum posts under their belt, and in their own minds they start having almost superhuman reflexes and riding abilities. Funny how that works...

I think this is all about fatigue and managing fatigue, and no human being I've ever met, no matter how good they are, can be "on watch" 24/7 for many days at a time without their mental and physical abilities taking a huge hit and this directly impacts the margin of safety for us all. So I think the safe thing to do is to avoid it by taking along one or two other well qualified crew to share the load so we can all rest easy that every boat out there is actually keeping a watch as close as possible to the ideal of "at all times" just like we're supposed to be.
__________________
jtsailjt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 13:26   #234
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Boat: Tayana 58 DS
Posts: 661
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Leaving the issue of AIS aside (see my earlier post on an encounter with a non-transmitting vessel), in my experience, in any significant sea state (10ft+), radar has had a far greater range and reliability in sighting other vessels (and rain, for what it is worth) than unassisted visual search.

Until this realization, I had not normally used radar while under sail because of the large power consumption. I am now starting to feel it is prudent, even in uncrowded areas, and even with multiple crew to stand watch.

Thoughts?
__________________
accomplice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 13:52   #235
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,727
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
Leaving the issue of AIS aside (see my earlier post on an encounter with a non-transmitting vessel), in my experience, in any significant sea state (10ft+), radar has had a far greater range and reliability in sighting other vessels (and rain, for what it is worth) than unassisted visual search.

Until this realization, I had not normally used radar while under sail because of the large power consumption. I am now starting to feel it is prudent, even in uncrowded areas, and even with multiple crew to stand watch.

Thoughts?
Radar and AIS together are far more valuable and far more reliable in open water than visual watchkeeping, in my opinion. Yet no one complains how irresponsible people are for going to sea with their radars shut down or who refused to invest in AIS. Why do we make a special fetish out of visual watchkeeping?

I always keep both of these systems going under sail and I always set the alarms carefully to suit the conditions and traffic. I would no more leave the radar off or the alarms unset, than I would go to sleep below for hours with no one on deck. This is a really important part of early detection of potential collisions. Unlike human watchkeepers, the radar never blinks and never needs to take a pee. If there are vessels which BOTH don't broadcast AIS AND don't appear on radar, they must be pretty rare. There are obviously also vessels with malfunctioning or switched off nav lights -- which you won't see on a dark night by visual means. Yet no one complains that it is grossly irresponsible to sail at night with no radar and no AIS.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 13:57   #236
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,743
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
don't feel that I really am one of those in too dire need of your "refresher" regarding this calculation.

Well, your comment, which I was reacting to, did not appear to demonstrate awareness of the general results of these calculations.

As to the rest:

I guess we both agree that this (watch keeping and short handed sailing) is difficult, But I disagree with you that because it is difficult I/no-one should do it. I do sports in part because they are difficult and challenging.

I also disagree with you on the level of risk to others (particularly when done well, but in fact even when done relatively poorly). On the 'living in the modern world' risk scale it is not even a rounding error.

I disagree with you on what is necessary, important and practical in keeping sufficient watch to avoid collision (or break any other Colreg rule), and with your assessment that no-single hander could possibly do what is necessary, and I believe (As I have pointed out) the US and French authorities support my position on this - it is possible, but difficult.

I disagree with you if you think all commercial ships are keeping a continuous 7x24 visual scan of the horizon. You simply need to get out more if you think that is either required or happening. It is some places and situations, but clearly not in other places and situations.

And I disagree with your interpretation of Rule 5, and I believe that at least both the French and US authorities support my interpretation (but I don't really care about that).

You are raising essentially zero new points here, just banging on and on. And there seems to be no point in 'discussing' it with you.

I only stepped back in to qualify/correct your 'mis-statement' about necessary scan interval, and to add the basic calculation to the thread, as it may be new and useful to some.

.......
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 14:00   #237
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Penobscot Bay, Maine
Boat: Tayana 47
Posts: 990
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
Leaving the issue of AIS aside (see my earlier post on an encounter with a non-transmitting vessel), in my experience, in any significant sea state (10ft+), radar has had a far greater range and reliability in sighting other vessels (and rain, for what it is worth) than unassisted visual search.

Until this realization, I had not normally used radar while under sail because of the large power consumption. I am now starting to feel it is prudent, even in uncrowded areas, and even with multiple crew to stand watch.

Thoughts?
I think you're right. It's pretty easy to mistake a raindrop or smudge on the dodger windshield for a ship in the distance or vice versa, even in good visibiliity. Modern radars are so easy to keep properly tuned, and power consumption is so low, I think it makes sense to have it in stby mode all night or in any reduced visibility conditions, and turn it on for a few sweeps as part of my every 15 minute regimen while on watch. Also, if it's in stby mode, that means if I think I visually see something, I can very quickly verify details about distance and direction of movement by simply turning the radar from stby to on, with no warmup time.
__________________
jtsailjt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 14:04   #238
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,727
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtsailjt View Post
I think you're right. It's pretty easy to mistake a raindrop or smudge on the dodger windshield for a ship in the distance or vice versa, even in good visibiliity. Modern radars are so easy to keep properly tuned, and power consumption is so low, I think it makes sense to have it in stby mode all night or in any reduced visibility conditions, and turn it on for a few sweeps as part of my every 15 minute regimen while on watch. Also, if it's in stby mode, that means if I think I visually see something, I can very quickly verify details about distance and direction of movement by simply turning the radar from stby to on, with no warmup time.
In standby?! The alarms don't work with the radar in standby! Your radar in standby is basically like your radar sleeping in the cockpit. Why in the world would you let your radar sleep in the cockpit, when you would never allow a human watchkeeper to do so?
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 14:09   #239
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,657
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by accomplice View Post
Leaving the issue of AIS aside (see my earlier post on an encounter with a non-transmitting vessel), in my experience, in any significant sea state (10ft+), radar has had a far greater range and reliability in sighting other vessels (and rain, for what it is worth) than unassisted visual search.

Until this realization, I had not normally used radar while under sail because of the large power consumption. I am now starting to feel it is prudent, even in uncrowded areas, and even with multiple crew to stand watch.

Thoughts?
accomplice,

Just as there are non AIS transmitting boats there are also timber fishing boats that don't show up well on radar. Radar's great for steel ships, though, and also will show you where the wave-break on an island or an atoll is. Not so good in a downpour, though, but will show you wet squalls coming. There are times when it is really useful.

I've been told, but don't know if it is correct, that maintaining the radar watch is part of maintaining a "proper" watch.

It is really a question of disciplined attention, as Evans wrote.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-10-2014, 14:14   #240
CF Adviser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Boat: Custom Van De Stadt 47 Samoa
Posts: 3,743
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Ann,

re radar: It is covered by: "as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions" . . . . which means it does not have to be on all the time, but if you have radar and have a collision and it was not on then by definition you did not exercise good judgement (did not judge the circumstance and conditions correctly) and will be dinged with extra fault. You can either take that to practically mean it should be on all the time, or that you should be careful to exercise good (very conservative) judgement.
__________________

__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
And this is why we have to keep a good lookout sailvayu Seamanship & Boat Handling 29 20-06-2013 18:07
Lookout - What Do You Do? Seaworthy Lass Seamanship & Boat Handling 61 17-11-2012 09:39
If You Keep Your Boat on a Mooring these Tips Might Keep it Off the Rocks SailFastTri Anchoring & Mooring 16 06-07-2010 12:32
Moving the Boat - Marinas in Norfolk, Cape Lookout, Charleston? jglauds Marinas 1 05-10-2009 09:23
Cape Lookout via Core Sound ??? Kokomo36 Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 2 10-10-2006 06:46



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:05.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.