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Old 11-09-2010, 16:38   #1
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Horn Signals

Is it proper seamanship or is it ostentatiousness for recreational boaters to (1) sound a prolonged blast for "I'm about to leave berth/dock/anchor" and then (2) sound three short blasts for "I'm going into reverse" if doing so?

Would it be incorrect to signal three short blasts to signal "I'm here -- look at me" when a multitude of quick blasts for "danger" or "I don't understand your intentions" aren't appropriate in the circumstances?

When is it appropriate to repeat another boat's signals versus using a long-short-long-short blasts to acknowledge another boat's signal as "understood"?

Is it general practice for recrational boaters and, in particular, for sailors using motors to normally ignore horn signal customs/requirements except possibly limited visibility signals?
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Old 11-09-2010, 17:17   #2
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Pretty much the only sound signals I do are for raising bridges and for when I'm in fog. The ColRegs make no provision for not sounding the signals, so I'm sure if there's an accident and I didn't make the appropriate sound signals that it would be a factor in assigning blame for the collision.

Long short long short is the response to the overtaking sound signals, nothing else. Repeating the passing to port or starboard is only in U.S. Inland rules.


Long to leave a dock appears to be a U.S. Inland rule only.

The only appropriate signal is the correct one, if you're going to sound 3 shorts, why not do 5 to not cause confusion. 5 shorts doesn't mean just danger, it also means danger I don't understand or agree.

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/?pageName=Rule34

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Old 11-09-2010, 17:19   #3
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If you keep to the signals prescribed the International Regulations for prevention of collisions at sea you'll be fine, unless of course local regulations say different. And, yes, 3 short blasts to signal "look at me" would be incorrect.
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Old 11-09-2010, 18:19   #4
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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
And, yes, 3 short blasts to signal "look at me" would be incorrect.
Since the rules say:


"Rule 36 - Signals to Attraction Attention If necessary to attract the attention of another vessel, any vessel may make light or sound signals that cannot be mistaken for any signal authorized elsewhere in these Rules,"

Then could four short/quick blasts be appropriate?
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Old 11-09-2010, 18:53   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Since the rules say:


"Rule 36 - Signals to Attraction Attention If necessary to attract the attention of another vessel, any vessel may make light or sound signals that cannot be mistaken for any signal authorized elsewhere in these Rules,"

Then could four short/quick blasts be appropriate?
Or one 30 second or longer blast?

Big boats with their large horns (high decibel) certainly attract my attention no matter what their intention. Perhaps it comes down to the louder you are, the more threat. Not always reflected in land life but often the case.
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Old 11-09-2010, 19:10   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishwife View Post
...

Big boats with their large horns (high decibel) certainly attract my attention no matter what their intention. Perhaps it comes down to the louder you are, the more threat. Not always reflected in land life but often the case.
It's not just their loudness, it's also their tone (sorry, the chart didn't paste correctly http://www.kahlenberg.com/imo.html ):



Whistle Class
Length of Vessel in Meters
Limits of Fundamental Frequency
Minimum Sound Pressure Level Measured in 1/3 Octave Band at 1 Meter
Audibility Range in Nautical Miles
I > 200 70-200 Hz 143 dB 2 II 75 -200 130-350 Hz 138 dB 1.5 III 20 - 75 250-700 Hz 130 dB 1 IV < 20 250-700 Hz 120 dB 0.5
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Old 11-09-2010, 19:15   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Is it proper seamanship or is it ostentatiousness for recreational boaters to (1) sound a prolonged blast for "I'm about to leave berth/dock/anchor" and then (2) sound three short blasts for "I'm going into reverse" if doing so?

Would it be incorrect to signal three short blasts to signal "I'm here -- look at me" when a multitude of quick blasts for "danger" or "I don't understand your intentions" aren't appropriate in the circumstances?

When is it appropriate to repeat another boat's signals versus using a long-short-long-short blasts to acknowledge another boat's signal as "understood"?

Is it general practice for recrational boaters and, in particular, for sailors using motors to normally ignore horn signal customs/requirements except possibly limited visibility signals?

One blast to leave a dock ( in forward) ...or at a blind corner..

3 blasts ...my engines are in reverse....if you're leaving a dock in reverse...you don't sound one blast and then 3.....just use the 3 ..

The only recognized signal for look at me that I'm aware of ...is the 5 blasts...for a danger signal....

Meeting and passing signals ( inland) are responded to in kind...

A one whistle pass...port to port....2 whistle...for starboard. for meeting

two whistles for if you intend to overtake some on their port side ( your starboard passes them)....or one whistle if you intend to overtake someone on their starboard side ( your port side passes them)

Why do you want someone to look at you unless you perceive a threat?
If a threat of danger of collision exists...then 5 blasts are appropriate..

The one long one short one long one short...is for international waters in a narrow channel....usually commercial vessels...

recreational vessels on inland waters...respond in kind.....to meeting and passing signals...

unless someone else has a different interpretation.
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Old 11-09-2010, 19:27   #8
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Here on the east coast ICW when requesting permission to overtake the stand-on vessel occasionally does not monitor the VHF. A horn signal is then appropriate to signal our intention. Often this is acknowleged by an arm signal (come on by). A tug whe met that was pulling dredging equipment used a horn signal to request we pass starb to starb. We monitor 16,13& 9 on our Vhfs and still horn signals play a part in vessel to vessel comunications.
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Old 11-09-2010, 19:33   #9
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When I was a river pilot the commercial operators all understood the signals and used them to maintain order. These were difficult boats to manuever and signals were a must. In recreational boating these situations do not exist and for the most part whistle signals would not be understood, most don't even monitor VHS. The best you can do is stay out of the way and pass, when you can, on the one. This is but one more piece of nostalgia to fall by the wayside. Dave
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Old 11-09-2010, 19:59   #10
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I think other then in fog, whistle signals confuse more then anything on small leasure vessels.

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Old 11-09-2010, 20:17   #11
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... Why do you want someone to look at you unless you perceive a threat?
"Guys/Gals, I'm one of you! I'm wanting to raft up."

"Look, Dad. I'm arriving with my new boat!"

"I want to approach and confirm my location" (having reduced speed and heading toward you).

"Hi friend! Haven't seen you for a while."

Etc.
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Old 11-09-2010, 20:21   #12
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Mark,

That's what radios and cell phones are good for...
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Old 11-09-2010, 20:24   #13
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Or one 30 second or longer blast?
Sounds like a malfunction.
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Old 11-09-2010, 20:26   #14
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Mark,

That's what radios and cell phones are good for...
If you know their number or wish to crowd radio traffic (and assuming they are listening to their phones and radios).
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Old 11-09-2010, 23:58   #15
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Originally Posted by DaveOnCudjoe View Post
When I was a river pilot the commercial operators all understood the signals and used them to maintain order. These were difficult boats to manuever and signals were a must. In recreational boating these situations do not exist and for the most part whistle signals would not be understood, most don't even monitor VHS. The best you can do is stay out of the way and pass, when you can, on the one. This is but one more piece of nostalgia to fall by the wayside. Dave
So, most recreational boaters are still clueless, and it's the aware ones (like us?) who keep a good watch. That's how I remember it.
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