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Old 12-09-2010, 04:12   #16
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I think a sound signal might be useful when overtaking because most recreational boaters aren't paying attention behind.

On the other hand, if a jet skier is acting in a hugely endangering manner and not responding appropriately to a danger signal, that may mean that his engine was so loud that you needed a louder sound-making device. In that case, you might try a cannon. Possibly a 6-lb. ball, chain, case shot, or grape would be loud enough to do the trick.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:58   #17
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So, just because we are not commercial traffic (the professionals) we are excused from knowing the basic "Rules of the Road" of which horn signals play a part. So if we don't have to know the horn, do we still have to know who has the right of way in a crossing situation, or for that matter which side of the channel we are supposed to be on? For the safety of all I would think we should hold ourselves and others to a much higher level . Hold the bar high , lowering it endangers us all.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:45   #18
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On the other hand, if a jet skier is acting in a hugely endangering manner and not responding appropriately to a danger signal, that may mean that his engine was so loud that you needed a louder sound-making device. In that case, you might try a cannon. Possibly a 6-lb. ball, chain, case shot, or grape would be loud enough to do the trick.
Just a warning shot... to the forehead...

Michael
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:52   #19
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First, they are called whistle signals. Cows have horns but not boats.

It's called a prolonged blast. There is no such thing in the Rules as a long blast.

I use whistle signals to cover my butt even though most recreational boaters do not know their meaning.

There is a very quick toot of the whistle to say hello versus a short blast or a prolonged blast. Back in the old days there used to be a distinctly different "courtesy whistle", just for that purpose.

Whistle signals in restricted visibility are required, not optional.

Ch 13 is the best VHF channel for reaching commercial traffic. Although they are supposed to, some don't monitor Ch 16 or have the volume too far down, especially on nice weekends when the chatter can get obnoxious.

I have had yachties flip me the bird for using a whistle signal thinking I was being rude. Don't worry about being perceived as rude. It's their problem if they do not understand.
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Old 12-09-2010, 11:34   #20
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Its been my experience too, that most pleasure boaters do not know or appreciate the different whistle signals, so I like to have the VHF mike handy to add an explanatory intent. I think a lot of weekenders associate it with rude use of car horns
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Old 13-09-2010, 06:44   #21
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First, they are called whistle signals ...
... It's called a prolonged blast. There is no such thing in the Rules as a long blast ...
Whistle or Sound Signals
A Short blast is a blast of one second duration.
A Prolonged (long) blast is two to four (or 6) seconds.
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Old 13-09-2010, 12:15   #22
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Its been my experience too, that most pleasure boaters do not know or appreciate the different whistle signals, so I like to have the VHF mike handy to add an explanatory intent. I think a lot of weekenders associate it with rude use of car horns
Indeed. I gave a warning to a guy in a rowboat in Weymouth Harbour who dived right under my bows (at 20-odd tons, I can't just stop on a dime to avoid suicidal rowboaters). Boy, did he curse me out, as if I were the rudest person on the water.
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Old 13-09-2010, 14:22   #23
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Here in Annapolis whistle blasts are used only by large vessels (passenger ships) when leaving the slip. It's a very useful warning. Everyone doing it though would simply cause confusion as there are at any given time hundreds of boats underway.
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Old 13-09-2010, 14:29   #24
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Here in Annapolis whistle blasts are used only by large vessels (passenger ships) when leaving the slip. It's a very useful warning. Everyone doing it though would simply cause confusion as there are at any given time hundreds of boats underway.
That's a good point too, and some marinas have rules about noise between dusk and dawn as well.
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Old 13-09-2010, 14:29   #25
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I've only HAD to do it for a potentially bad situation once....going into my slip in Marina Del Rey, some dip had tossed a line across from one finger hammerhead to another (no idea why). He and his friends were doing whatever, while I was trying to put my boat away.

So, I did the 5 toots on the whistle....Nothing happened. Did it once more, figuring that I had enough time to do it and see before I bore off....they finally looked up and saw me coming, and hauled their line in.

I never bothered to discuss their attempts at closing off a dock with them...

But the moral is that even from a relatively short distance away unless people are aware of the signals, and listening to them ready to respond appropriately, it's kind of useless. And in busy harbors, I doubt the whistle I can provide from my sailboat could be perceived on the bridge of some of these ships, even if they were listening, or cared. After all, if 4 or 5 tons of fiberglass goes through their screw what happens? A clean screw...
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Old 13-09-2010, 15:31   #26
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Anyone who has ever been on the bridge wing of even a moderately sized commercial vessel such as a coastal freighter or a smaller tanker can appreciate the almost total lack of visibility immediately astern hence the importance of all recreational boaters to know the meaning audible warnings. With the advent of cctv with stern cameras on some of the newer vessels, the chances are diminished but not worth the risk of ignoring the 3 blast warning. Similarly, when underway in any fairway frequented by commercial vessels, remember that they have far less maneuvering ability than smaller craft therefore it is critical that recreational boaters know how to communicate with the larger vessel using either audible or radio means to understand the larger vessels intentions and let them know what you are planning on doing. I have personally witnessed some really dumb moves by recreational boaters in narrow fairways frequented by larger vessels. It is interesting to talk with pilots who normally skipper these large commercial boats into harbor. most could write a book on the antics they have seen! Cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 13-09-2010, 16:03   #27
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One of the cattleboats in Annapolis always gives a long blast and 3 shorts when leaving the dock, even though he is going ahead, not astern--just giving the paying customers their money's worth.
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Old 14-09-2010, 09:26   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schoonerdog View Post
Here in Annapolis whistle blasts are used only by large vessels (passenger ships) when leaving the slip. It's a very useful warning. Everyone doing it though would simply cause confusion as there are at any given time hundreds of boats underway.
Not so. There are a number of marinas with restricted views from fairways to channels where the sailors and boaters quite properly give a long blast on their way out.
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Old 14-09-2010, 09:40   #29
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If I'm leaving a dock where I have limited visibilty or there is considerable traffic, I give the proper signals along with announcements on 16/13. The sound signals tell other vessels approaching my intent, gives them time to make corrective action, or alert me to a possible problem.
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