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Old 07-10-2014, 09:42   #31
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

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I would not worry too much about military vessels. They keep very good watches with lots of eyes and electronics. . Just another opinion. ______Grant.
Did you miss that thread about a 40+ foot fishing vessel run over by the coast guard ?😃

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Old 07-10-2014, 09:46   #32
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

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I would not worry too much about military vessels. They keep very good watches with lots of eyes and electronics. It is the fishing boats that scare me. One or maybe two guys , probably on the back deck working, and not having a lot of respect for us rag baggers. The only good thing is that they usually have enough lights on that you can see the glow over the horizon. Coastal watch keeping is far more stressful than deep water watches. Just another opinion. ______Grant.
Except for the cutter than ran down the fishing boat recently, just goes to prove there are no absolutes
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:58   #33
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

If you want an idea of how fast vessels travel in normal operation, have a look here (hover over each target to get current course/speed):

Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions - AIS Marine Traffic

AIS is a great tool. At the time I posted there were about 30 commercial vessels at sea in that area, most traveling 10-20 knots, with the Mokihana (Matson container ship) being the fastest at 22.5 knots. You may not have data access while underway, but it's kind of cool to be able to check these things out when you can.
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:04   #34
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

It's the "little guys" such as tiny sailboats, rowboats, and kayaks which cause me the most concern as they don't show up on electronic detectors and they have very small/low profiles.

Blue sails, hulls and PFD to be stealthy:



Doesn't look where he is going:



After crossing the shipping channel:

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Old 07-10-2014, 11:07   #35
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

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I would not worry too much about military vessels. They keep very good watches with lots of eyes and electronics. .
The drunken knucklehead on our boat, turned our boat suddenly 110 degrees while I was using the head & getting something to eat, and on a bright sunny day, headed straight towards a Spanish frigate off Cartegena that was conducting live fire exercises. He had closed to within a mile or two before I came topside to hear the Spanish ship hailing us.

Alcoholics don't make rational choices.

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Old 07-10-2014, 11:11   #36
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

at night about every 15 mins carefully scan the horizon 360 degrees. If you think you saw a light.. you did but it might not reshow for a minute or two.
Or use the radar... Day time I'm usually looking around a lot unless the book I'm reading is getting really good!
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:48   #37
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

I find my electronics find the boat before my watch does (AIS and radar). Except those naval vessels! They are stealthy and hard to see until only a few miles away. When out on the big blue they tend to follow behind and see how close they can get till you hail them, and then take off much faster than any merchant ships after they scare the crap out of me.
Fishermen are a greater threat but generally are slow and easy to spot, as mentioned earlier.
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Old 07-10-2014, 13:31   #38
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

You are right, I missed any mention of our CG running down a fish boat. On one of my first overnight sails(Catalina to San Diego) we were doing about 2 knots and I was slowly surrounded by running lights that were not going very much faster than me. There was not a single light showing other than the required running lights. I finally realized there was a huge ship about a mile of off my beam, going very slowly. Because the range lights and running lights were on the forward part of the ship, I didnt realize how big it was until I could see the outline in the moonlight. I must have stumbled into some kind of military exercise and not even having a radio, I have no idea if they were hailing me, or more likely cursing me. I had my $15 Davis radar reflector, and a mast head tricolor, so I was sure I was safe. Of course I was in my 20s and thought I was bullet proof. As I said earlier, I dont worry about military ships , but I sure do about fishboats. _______Grant.
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Old 07-10-2014, 13:36   #39
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

seems I remember a nuke sub surfacing under a rec boat here in Puget Sound a few years ago....?
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Old 07-10-2014, 14:06   #40
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

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seems I remember a nuke sub surfacing under a rec boat here in Puget Sound a few years ago....?
Hmm... what sort of watch keeping on the boats part could have avoided that?

Jim
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Old 07-10-2014, 14:22   #41
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

Since I usually sail solo the answer is obviously "no". I try to keep a constant watch in coastal zones where small fishing and recreational vessels are the biggest problem and plan trips that don't take longer than 24 hours so i can stay awake. Further out I do sleep and rely on AIS.
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Old 07-10-2014, 14:26   #42
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

All this worry about "big ships" running you down... With the advent of inexpensive AIS receivers (or better yet transceivers) that has become a very small risk for the voyager, whether far at sea or coastal. Yes, I know that some have reported encountering vessels which SHOULD have been broadcasting AIS that were not, but I have yet to experience this, and we spend quite a bit of time at sea. Big ships are the least of my watchkeeping worries these days.

But in coastal waters, commercial fishermen don't broadcast AIS, and often behave in ways that are inexplicable to yotties, with sudden course changes, etc, and very often are not keeping any sort of watch themselves. We have had some exciting moments with them over the years, despite being on active watch... thus they are on my worry list. And in some ways worse are the small "tinnies" with weekend anglers that litter the waters inside say 10-20 miles from the coast. Often unlit, they can simply disappear in the troughs between ocean swells, and be quite hard to spot. Running into them is unlikely to hurt your boat much, but will surely cause a lot of strife! So, a nearly constant watch is needed when in these areas. This does not mean literally constant, but a better look around on a few minutes apart schedule... not every fifteen or twenty minutes.

A final worry is (gasp) other cruising yachts. We have been around a few such collisions over the years, and they are often the result of folks on reciprocal courses using the same set of waypoints garnered from some cruising guide or other. And there are still a few folks who don't light their yacht at night. We have encountered such at sea, and have wished for a very loud airhorn or a cannon... something to shake their complacency rudely. They shame us all...

So, don't worry, be happy... but keep a reasonable watch depending upon your situation.

Jim
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Old 07-10-2014, 14:36   #43
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

Just a comment about Mark J's post, wherein he wrote that he looks for "aberrations."

He describes how I look, generally, for whatever. There are anomalies which draw one's attention, and i think it's something that only our brains can do. In the way that radar cannot see wooden fishing boats, we might see a "part of a boat shape" or a "shadow" that looks ???? that pulls our attention back to the area, for a better look. It is the initial awareness of the "thing that doesn't fit" or the "thing that might be dangerous" that is key.

I don't know whether this sort of situational paranoia can be cultivated by the search for anomalies or not, but his description is exactly how I look for stuff. I was astonished, like, "how'd you know I do that?"

Thanks, Mark.

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Old 07-10-2014, 14:37   #44
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

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Do you keep a constant lookout?
Isn't that the law? That you must keep a constant lookout?

So my answer is - Yes unless anchored. I can't imagine being on a moving boat without someone watching where it is going.
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Old 07-10-2014, 14:46   #45
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

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Hmm... what sort of watch keeping on the boats part could have avoided that?



Jim

Bet that would look interesting on a fish finder
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