Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-10-2014, 14:37   #271
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Having read through this entire thread I find it interesting that there can be so many different interpretations of the best or appropriate behavior and most all of them presented in such a reasonable manner. In some cases I wonder why some insist that repeating their position would enhance their argument, but I do understand the frustration in not having your plan accepted as the right one.

Looking back at the content of this thread I found nine different conditions that people accept as having an effect upon their decided span of time surveying their surroundings:

Crew, Equipment, Weather, Traffic Density, Experience/Judgement, Velocity, Personal Vigor, Vessel, & Cruising Grounds
I'm sure there are others I missed.

'so many sound arguments. I can even take a plan that was dismissed by most and find a point where it becomes valid. Take, for example, Sailorchic34's choice to change course to 90* from an approaching much larger vessel when viewing both the red & green bow lights. There was a call for the stand on vessel to hold course so as not to move into the potential changing course of the larger vessel which seems to be sound advice............ and yet, who would not make this move at the point when the bow lights of the ship are raising higher in relative position and there are precious and likely useless seconds remaining. Then I'm reminded of the strange, but valid axiom to face bow to a potentially colliding target in a fog with the thought of a less likely fatal blow to the bow than broadside. I'm sure there's room for debate with that one too.

I'm not putting forth any suggestions at answering the thread's question, but I am commending all those who have done so and almost all with reasonable ideas. I would only be suspect of those that are unable to see reasonable variance.
__________________

__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-10-2014, 16:51   #272
Senior Cruiser
 
mikereed100's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Santa Barbara
Boat: 46' custom cat
Posts: 1,571
Images: 2
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

As a data point for the OP, I will, on occasion, take 15 minute naps interspersed with a 360 degree scan with binoculars, a check of the AIS, a check of the radar (short and long range) and another 360 degree scan with binocs. This will fall short of the standards of those who are able to gaze steely-eyed and unblinking into the darkness for hours on end, but I feel that the increase in mental alertness is worth it.
__________________

__________________
Mike

www.sailblogs.com/member/rumdoxy

Come to the dark side. We have cookies.
mikereed100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2014, 07:12   #273
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?

Here's a brand new collision case where a watchkeeper was faulted for relying exclusively on AIS:

AIS Reliance Contributed to Dover Strait Collision -REPORT - gCaptain Maritime & Offshore News

Relevant to this conversation.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2014, 07:28   #274
Moderator
 
nigel1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Manchester, UK
Boat: Beneteau 473
Posts: 5,180
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Thanks for that report, shocking watchkeeping all round.
I see that the crew management of the cargo ship was undertaken by Marlow. They feature in at least one other recent report.
__________________
Nigel
Beneteau 473
Manchester, UK
nigel1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2014, 07:43   #275
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 Hudson Force View Post
. . . Take, for example, Sailorchic34's choice to change course to 90* from an approaching much larger vessel when viewing both the red & green bow lights. There was a call for the stand on vessel to hold course so as not to move into the potential changing course of the larger vessel which seems to be sound advice............ and yet, who would not make this move at the point when the bow lights of the ship are raising higher in relative position and there are precious and likely useless seconds remaining. Then I'm reminded of the strange, but valid axiom to face bow to a potentially colliding target in a fog with the thought of a less likely fatal blow to the bow than broadside. I'm sure there's room for debate with that one too..
I would comment specifically on this case:

1. How did you get to that point before noticing the ship?

2. From looking at nav lights alone, you cannot determine whether you are about to be run down, or whether the ship is passing ahead or behind.

3. If the ship saw you, then there is 99% certainty that he long ago calculated a course to avoid you and is sailing a course calculated to produce a safe CPA.

4. What are the chances he saw you in time to take collision avoidance measures? He is obligated to do so, and most ships are competently run, so probably much better than even -- maybe 90%?

5. THEREFORE, out of the choices: (a) you are about to be run down; (b) passing ahead; (c) passing behind -- variant (a) is highly unlikely.

6. THEREFORE, making a sudden change of course without calculating the crossing approaches a 50% chance of making THE WRONG MANEUVER. Much worse odds than Russian Roulette.

That's the logic behind my not approving of this maneuver. My recommendations:

1. Use better watchkeeping, including electronic watchkeeping if possible, to avoid getting into that position.

2. In a potential collision situation, be always ready and capable to calculate the crossing -- know whether the ship is passing ahead or behind. Always have a hand bearing compass in the cockpit and know how to use it. Bonus points for electronic means, especially AIS. Beat it into your head that you can't tell with your bare eyeballs how a ship is crossing with you; therefore, you can't "dodge" based on an eyeball assessment of the situation.

3. Be aware of the bearing of approaching ships as early as possible -- even using a stanchion to begin with -- so that you are not clueless about how a ship is crossing with you when suddenly it appears to be getting close. You will develop a sixth sense about ships -- even far away -- which are on something like a constant bearing. Beat it into your head that aspect -- what we can tell from nav lights -- is no indication of a dangerous CPA, which you can tell only from bearings.

4. Don't forget that standing-on and giving-way has little meaning in this situation. In a real potential collision the stand-on vessel will only do so briefly and will start taking active measures if the situation is not being resolved. Within a mile, in most cases, both vessels need to be doing everything they can to resolve the situation. My comment was not that Sailor Chic should, necessarily, be standing on, but that she should not be making a random maneuver, lacking knowledge of whether the ship is passing ahead or behind. She might need to stand on if she's still in the appropriate phase of the encounter for that, but with a mile or less between the vessels, that phase is usually over already.


Sorry if much of this is a repetition of what has been said before, but I thought it would be useful as a specific comment on that specific situation.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2014, 08:33   #276
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I would comment specifically on this case:

1. How did you get to that point before noticing the ship?
.............................
All of your points are certainly correct, fundamental, and sound. The phrase I stated just prior to the portion your quoted was, "...and find a point where it becomes valid". I was suggesting that if the ship were noticed early and all the procedures of the stand on vessel were followed, there can still be the unlikely possibility of maintainling your course and speed placing you in peril. My contention was that, in those last moments, when the maneuverability or a small vessel is more significant than any possible change of the larger vessel, most would choose to make a reasonable attempt to avoid the collision by an action that does not remain as "stand on".

I was not proposing a behavior counter to the standards during the time when there is a distance between vessels that allows for decission making. ................, but on second thought maybe I should.

There's another factor that has not been addressed and this applies to people cruising in areas in or near San Francisco Bay, where sailorchic34 cruises or myself on the US East Coast. Except for the straight between Florida and the Bahamas where large commercial vessels are traveling parallel to the coast, my encounters while coastal cruising are at approaches to ports,- Savanna, Charleston, Norfolk, New York, Boston, etc. and these large vessels are entering or departing these ports. This adds another geographic factor that is not present in the open ocean meetings. This is the ability of the coastal cruiser to make a choice to move into regions that would not be in the intended path or the approaching vessel. These "safe" areas can often be reached by moving in a direction that would be counter to the action taken in the open ocean.

PS- I should add that my comments here are drifting away from the thread because in these areas of coastal ports there is a large concentration of shipping and NO ONE is taking a nap or without constant vigilance!
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2014, 10:40   #277
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 thee may have been some confusion in the original post regarding seeing red and green lights at 1.5 M. My understanding was that they continued to see red and green over the course of a couple of minutes which would indicate imminent collision. Now if the ship is doing 20k it would close on the yacht in about 4 minutes so it's definitely time to make some evasive action.
Most ships will aim for. 1M CPA minimum offshore, IF they have seen you, I can't imagine a scenario where this ship could have anywhere near that if it's course is directly at the yacht 1.5M out, but I may have misread or misinterpreted the original scenario..
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2014, 11:55   #278
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

I have a very simple line of action to avoid ship collision.
1. Be aware of the ship. Any floating object within a mile or two. Any moving object at 3-5 miles out.
2. Is object moving in my direction? Plot an intercept point. If it is crossing paths within a mile? This is the most difficult step. Sometimes at night when it is a large fisherman I just have to follow it for a while and see if the bearing or size changes. Almost all fishermen carry unusual lights and you cannot see the red and green. But I can see them over the horizon. If it is intercepting:
3. Immediately head away from the interception. Never cross in front of a commercial ship, always behind it. ( unless it is a large, slow tug with 2 miles of logs behind it. I am often faster than they are) I never wait for them to take action. Often I head to its stern. Be aware of trailing lines and nets, making an even bigger area to be avoided.
4. If it is on AIS, and the CPA is going to be under a mile, get on the VHF and tell the captain of my intentions.
Has worked for me so far.

BTW Evan, I have a Simrad (which links with your B&G) and love it.
__________________
s/v Beth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2014, 16:07   #279
cruiser

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,130
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Newt, none of those will work in Puget Sound. Not one.
  1. You'll become aware of the ship when you see if, if you're in Port Madison, Eagle Harbor, or a hundred other nooks and crannies in Puget Sound, you'll see it when the land sails out of the way.
  2. The object is probably either moving in your direction or away from you. There's only two choices for commercial traffic. The exception here is ferries. (Well, and tugs, and Argosy. Okay, maybe there's more than two choices.) What it's doing at this moment doesn't mean anything, because the commercial lanes (and the ferry routes) all have curves in them, and you need to know where the curves are, because they're what determines what the ship will do next.
  3. I don't know what to say about this. It just won't work.
  4. We don't talk to commercial traffic here, we listen to them. If you talked to every commercial boat that was less than a mile away, no one else would be able to get a word in edgewise.

I read COLREG threads carefully, to figure out exactly what a commercial boat expects me to do.
__________________
Jammer Six is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-10-2014, 19:36   #280
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?

Interesting accident/collision report - not such good ship watch keeping

http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources...kmersDubai.pdf
__________________
estarzinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2014, 02:00   #281
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?

Yeah newt, never pass in front of a ship is too big a blanket statement, it has to happen a lot. Maybe at 10M, maybe at 2M or less but it's unavoidable and not in line with the colregs if you are the stand on vessel, we prefer pass behind if we are the give way vessel and it's a small CPA relative to traffic, or if we are the stand on vessel with a small CPA and far enough away that a course change is acceptable. An example would be offshore with a ship coming from our port side, 10M out with CPA under 1M, I may alter course 10 degrees to port to pass safely behind at 1M after discussing with the other ship on VHF..or possibly to starboard to open up the CPA and pass further ahead, depending on the angles, wind etc.
in most crossing situations I regard it as a personal failure if I force a ship to alter course or speed. High traffic areas like crossing the Gibraltar straights or English Channel are a bit like a game of flogger.
A couple of weeks ago we sailed 600M or so along a fairly busy traffic area and altered course for approximately 10 ships over the 4 days.
One example was a ship coming from close to dead ahead off our port bow at about 10M out with a half mile CPA. The wind didn't allow us to turn to starboard to increase the CPA so it was either the ship take evasive action, or us. As our course was fluctuating 10 degrees or more due to the wind we contacted the ship, told him we would like to pass starboard to starboard with a minimum CPA of 2M and bore away 20 degrees to make it happen.
Obviously AIS really helps in this kind of situation to assess what's going on early and take appropriate actions. It could be argued that as the stand on vessel we should have maintained course and speed and let the ship manage the crossing, but how difficult is that for the ship when our course is fluctuating 10-20 degrees with the wind...
After the 600M I checked the effect our various course changes had and they added a total of 2M to our passage...
__________________
monte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2014, 03:43   #282
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 Jammer Six View Post
Newt, none of those will work in Puget Sound. Not one.
  1. You'll become aware of the ship when you see if, if you're in Port Madison, Eagle Harbor, or a hundred other nooks and crannies in Puget Sound, you'll see it when the land sails out of the way.
  2. The object is probably either moving in your direction or away from you. There's only two choices for commercial traffic. The exception here is ferries. (Well, and tugs, and Argosy. Okay, maybe there's more than two choices.) What it's doing at this moment doesn't mean anything, because the commercial lanes (and the ferry routes) all have curves in them, and you need to know where the curves are, because they're what determines what the ship will do next.
  3. I don't know what to say about this. It just won't work.
  4. We don't talk to commercial traffic here, we listen to them. If you talked to every commercial boat that was less than a mile away, no one else would be able to get a word in edgewise.

I read COLREG threads carefully, to figure out exactly what a commercial boat expects me to do.
Neither of you is wrong here. Newt just described pretty good technique for collision avoidance in open water, although I would have liked for him to put more emphasis on figuring out whether the ship is passing ahead or behind. This is crucial information, so you know which way to turn to increase the CPA. But with this information in hand, and if you've done your detection and analysis at the proper, early time, then you can do his Step 3.

Neither is Jammer 6 wrong. He's just describing a totally different environment. Even the part about talking on the radio -- very different in crowded, restricted waters, from being in open water. I don't myself call just because there is a small CPA. Only when something is unclear about the other bridge's intentions, which I need to know.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 25-10-2014, 07:00   #283
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 monte View Post
Yeah newt, never pass in front of a ship is too big a blanket statement, it has to happen a lot. Maybe at 10M, maybe at 2M or less but it's unavoidable and not in line with the colregs if you are the stand on vessel, we prefer pass behind if we are the give way vessel and it's a small CPA relative to traffic, or if we are the stand on vessel with a small CPA and far enough away that a course change is acceptable. An example would be offshore with a ship coming from our port side, 10M out with CPA under 1M, I may alter course 10 degrees to port to pass safely behind at 1M after discussing with the other ship on VHF..or possibly to starboard to open up the CPA and pass further ahead, depending on the angles, wind etc.
in most crossing situations I regard it as a personal failure if I force a ship to alter course or speed. High traffic areas like crossing the Gibraltar straights or English Channel are a bit like a game of flogger.
A couple of weeks ago we sailed 600M or so along a fairly busy traffic area and altered course for approximately 10 ships over the 4 days.
One example was a ship coming from close to dead ahead off our port bow at about 10M out with a half mile CPA. The wind didn't allow us to turn to starboard to increase the CPA so it was either the ship take evasive action, or us. As our course was fluctuating 10 degrees or more due to the wind we contacted the ship, told him we would like to pass starboard to starboard with a minimum CPA of 2M and bore away 20 degrees to make it happen.
Obviously AIS really helps in this kind of situation to assess what's going on early and take appropriate actions. It could be argued that as the stand on vessel we should have maintained course and speed and let the ship manage the crossing, but how difficult is that for the ship when our course is fluctuating 10-20 degrees with the wind...
After the 600M I checked the effect our various course changes had and they added a total of 2M to our passage...
That's all generally good advice, but be careful about turns to port. In most risk of collision situations, you should be turning to starboard. This is especially important in a head on situation, where both vessels should go to starboard, but in many other situations, too, a turn to port can cause a conflict if the other vessel turns to starboard at the same time. Remember what professional mariners say: "Turn to port? See you in court."

Like Newt, I do not like passing ahead of ships, and this can be a problem if you are already the stand-on vessel -- if the situation has developed that far. At least, at less than say 2 miles. That's a really good reason to be aware out to 10 miles or so who you will be encountering. If you're going to be the stand-on vessel then a course change to pass behind when you're already close enough for steering & sailing rules to apply can be dangerous, if the other vessel decides to manuever at the same time. So in that case, it's good to make your course change well early.


We got a lot of practice with collision avoidance this summer with a half transit of the Channel from Southampton to Dover, the whole North Sea from there to the Elbe including the Thames, Rotterdam and Elbe estuaries, and the entire Baltic from one corner to the other, then back -- 3000 miles. We must have had several hundred ship encounters. With AIS and when not single handed it's really not all that hard. AIS is a a total revolution. In really dense traffic with multiple targets all the time, I liked to leave someone else at the helm and go to the nav table and concentrate fully on the radar screen.

My one gripe against AIS as implemented on my system (B&G Zeus plotters) is that the system does not display relative positions of vessels at CPA, which is crucial knowledge. You can kind of figure it out sometimes with the projected COG lines, but not always when it's close. In such dense traffic, I often had three or even more ships on more or less constant bearings, at a time, and I found myself writing down bearings by hand to understand how all the crossings were shaping up.

But we really never had any collision avoidance problems all summer, except for one Russian tanker which apparently intentionally forced us out of a channel from behind near Vyborg. With AIS and a disciplined approach, everything went very smoothly. I doubt I had to call more than 10 ships on the radio, out of several hundred we encountered. We encountered plenty of F/V's at night, which always had AIS switched off, but we never once failed to pick them up on radar from at least 10 miles off, and then they always switched on AIS when we got within 3 or 4 miles and usually scooted out of the way. No drama at all.

It takes practice. My first 10 crossings of the English Channel were sheer terror -- like being a squirrel running across the motorway (as sailors here often say). Almost every time at least one or two cases of at least two or three ships simultaneously on dangerous courses, and no way to understand, even with radar (because the bearings aren't accurate enough), exactly how the crossing is shaping up or what is the intention of the bridge, or whether they even see you. The most revolutionary thing about AIS is that from 10 miles away already you can tell whether or not the ship has seen you and has taken any action. So 90% of cases which looked like risk of collision using only radar and/or HBC turn out to be 1 mile+ CPA which has already been set up from 10 miles off by the ship's bridge. Obviously you still have to monitor such crossings, but the increase in awareness is dramatic.
__________________
Dockhead is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 10:03   #284
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Victoria, Canada
Boat: Olson 30
Posts: 148
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Yesterday during a race, a sailboat and a coast guard ship were going to collide. Both were traveling at about 6 knots. The sailboat was clearly the stand on vessel by any possible interpretation of the rules. The coast guard ship gave several blasts of the horn "get out of my way". And the sailboat tacked.

It seems to me that if even the coast guard is going to follow the tonnage right of way rule, that my concept of always "assuming" that the ship is the stand on vessel is the best way to go. The coast guard ship continued to cut right through the boats without changing direction even once. Changing their course by just 15 degrees would have taken them away from all the boats.
__________________
Nobody who has ever
written anything significant
Foolish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-10-2014, 11:13   #285
Senior Cruiser
 
s/v Beth's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
Boat: Valiant 40 (1975)
Posts: 4,066
Re: Do you keep a Constant Lookout?

Did not mean to bring controversy. Just discribed what I do on the pacific when I am more than 6 miles offshore and out of a shipping lane. Specific conditions to be sure, but the one I find myself in most often. As Dock so stated, I determine where the vessel is going before I move away from it.
I guess I am just an incredibly lazy watch keeper, because I don't pay attention to anything that is projected to pass more than 2 miles from me.
Puget sound? Don't even go up there anymore. Pollution, large boats and lousy wind.What is there to like?
And BTW, you can tell me all day this can't work. This is what I do year end and year out. It's like telling someone they can't walk to work. May take awhile but they will get there.
__________________

__________________
s/v Beth 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 10:37.


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.