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Old 27-10-2008, 16:50   #16
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Like I said I just didn't know and didn't have the radio on. I was well past the tanker when we got yelled at. Lots of other boats were behind me and got at least as close with not a word. Not disagreeing that in this case I didn't know (didn't even know it was a gas tanker till later) and maybe if I had the radio on I would have known. But, I'm starting to think that the yelling was just that one State Police boat being a you know what. There was lots of opportunity for the other escorts that were in the lead to warn me away and would be more than happy to do what I could to make it happen.
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Old 27-10-2008, 20:00   #17
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Somehow I think that the ability to cover the 500yds quicker than they could stop you would not be that hard to do.

Sailboat, no. Motorboat, yes.

I am in the wrong forum huh!
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Old 27-10-2008, 20:47   #18
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The only special laws I know of in that area are that if you draw less than 16 feet you cannot cross or be in that channel. I go through that area quite frequently and have never seen any special escorts except for ships carrying bombs to and from the Concord Naval Weapons Station...of course that station is been closed for a few years now.
That is another bizaar rule, as traversing that bay westward requires you to tack. Allot. We had to beat into 35kts to get out last time we were there. The channel is so narrow, and it shoals to 6' on each side in most areas (confirmed with my depth sounder), making it a real risk to get outside the channel, that there is really no option but to cross it. With the wind and current common to San Pablo, motoring straight out is not always an option. We had to motor sail just to make 1kt forward. Under power alone, we were making 1kt backward.
No one bothered us about it. In fact, we were approached by a Coast Guard RIB to ask if we had seen a boat they were looking for, but hey did not say anything about us crossing the channel.
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Old 27-10-2008, 20:55   #19
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I used to tow a certain kind of scientific sampling net in that channel for years. I never got hassled either. Ship tugs and barge tugs run parallel to that channel all the time. I imagine with a boat your size and draft, it could become rather tedious having to tack to weather in that area.
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Old 27-10-2008, 20:59   #20
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That is why I call it all day bay My wife has a few more colorful descriptives for it. In fact, currently, our charts for that piece of water are on the bottom of the Pacific at the south end of Baja. But that is another story. More than enough thread drift here...
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Old 27-10-2008, 21:02   #21
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Hah....I see more sailors motoring upwind through that bay than sailing into a 30 knot headwind with 5 foot chop. It helps to stay away from the channel on a strong ebb...thats where the chop is worse under those wind and current conditions.

Ok...back to our regulary scheduled program.
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Old 28-10-2008, 16:27   #22
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I'm sorry, but:

You saw lots of escorts

You have a VHF radio

And you didn't have it on? Wow. Our boat doesn't move without the VHF on. Period.
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Old 28-10-2008, 17:28   #23
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Well I think this is BS. Is there a rule to monitor 16?

If not the lead escort should have approached and hailed by speaker.

We have many, many LNG, oil and gas boats around here. Even in these paranoid times the limit off the aviation fuel dock (the only restricted area) is 300 feet.

In terms of hailing the local gendarmes frequently hail boats by speaker.

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Old 28-10-2008, 17:52   #24
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I agree but I think the fwd and aft clearance is where they are deciding the threat at least in narrow channels. There may be some holes in the evaluation that I can think of. I believe though that they can vary the clearance requirments and shut down water ways to insure safe passage and in my experience these have always been broadcast on 22a. recently the C&D canal was shut down I heard the annoucment that it was open again. In Boston harbor and other areas there are bouys and portages that have security zones some of these are for the transfer of lpg etc..
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Old 28-10-2008, 18:14   #25
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From the Coast gurd site.
In general, any vessel equipped with a VHF marine radiotelephone (whether voluntarily or required to) must maintain a watch on channel 16 (156.800 MHz) whenever the radiotelephone is not being used to communicate.

Source: FCC 47 CFR 80.148, 80.310, NTIA Manual 8.2.29.6.c(2)(e), ITU RR 31.17, 33.18, AP13 25.2

So I read that if you have a VHF you better have a watch (Listen) or be talking on it. When your boat is in operation.
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Old 28-10-2008, 19:44   #26
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From the Coast gurd site.
In general, any vessel equipped with a VHF marine radiotelephone (whether voluntarily or required to) must maintain a watch on channel 16 (156.800 MHz) whenever the radiotelephone is not being used to communicate.

Source: FCC 47 CFR 80.148, 80.310, NTIA Manual 8.2.29.6.c(2)(e), ITU RR 31.17, 33.18, AP13 25.2

So I read that if you have a VHF you better have a watch (Listen) or be talking on it. When your boat is in operation.
So the question is whether vessels, or which vessels, are required to have a VHF in that section of water.

The reason is that if a VHF is not required then they should have an alternate means of communicating with vessels other than pointing machine guns at them. I don't see how they can assume a VHF is installed.

I realize in this case a VHF is equipped on the vessel so I agree with your assessment.
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Old 29-10-2008, 06:55   #27
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So if it is a requirement to monitor the VHF all the time, and I know that IF you are monitoring the VHF is to be on channel 16, (and who really wants to always be hearing that all the time) what does that really mean (and you can stop pounding me about not being on the VHF I already admitted this numerous times and took my lumps)? I doubt that I can really heard the VHF while out in the cockpit and in the wind. If I turned it up loud enough to hear I probably couldn't then understand it anyhow. So does this reqt mean I have to have a hand held unit and wear an ear piece etc. ? In hind sight if I knew that there were a bunch of escorts with machine guns I would have done something different. But in Boston even cruise ships get escorted (and they clear the way ahead unlike in this case). So by the time I realized there was something to be concerned about besides a big ship it was way too late and the first I knew of being any type of violtion was after I was past the tanker going in the other direction. Beyound the lessons etc of the experience, I think I just had a run-in with an assh... who maybe got his "guns" mixed up.
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Old 29-10-2008, 10:38   #28
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I think this is a learning experience. Yes, I was approached by the Coast guard on the Chesapeake bay. they came up behind me in a go fast rubber boat with a big, no huge M60 mounted on the front. Man is that boat quiet, the only thing I heard was the coastie talking in a normal voice, to drop sail. Yes the radio was on but inside the boat and no I did not hear it nor did my brother that was inside the boat. They did a safety check and went on their way. They were pleasant at least. I think that if you had really done something wrong you would have been boarded and ticketed. I learned a lot from your post and I will be more careful and observant. I did not mean to beat up on you, I was just passing along info that I did not know. I am sure we all have made mistakes. At least you did not get fined. I have never crossed a tanker before and I will be more observent and I thank you for that.
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Old 29-10-2008, 11:27   #29
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The prudent sailor in a busy waterway would 1) have a VHF and 2) have it turned on when navigating an area with traffic. One of the reasons commercial traffic hates recreational boaters, and sailors in particular, is that they never listen in on their VHF.

We regularly navigate the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. Before we moved, we regularly navigated the Houston Ship Channel. I wouldn't think of venturing into either of these waterways without my VHF on, and monitored. Coming back from Port Aransas last Sunday, we dealt with 2 tankers. On Saturday, we had one being turned around.
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Old 29-10-2008, 19:41   #30
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What good is a VHF if you can't hear it?

Get a handheld with dual watch capability
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