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Old 23-06-2015, 17:52   #151
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I read comments about the rule 5 wording being vague and open to interpretation. Maybe I was too busy during English class to understand the subtleties but to me there is nothing vague about this rule.
So: what specifically are the requirements for "proper and appropriate" then Monte? Please be definite about it because to me, the intent was to leave it open to the Ships Master decision, hence the wording was, dare I say, pretty vague.

Vague: inexplicit (ˌɪnɪkˈsplɪsɪt)
adj
1. not explicit, clear, or precise; vague
ˌinexˈplicitly adv ˌinexˈplicitness n

Also: the wording is not mine. It came from the group who definition has been used in legal cases. Handbook of the Nautical Rules of the Road

Now as for further reading on the subject, I recommend Is it legal for a single handed skipper to sleep?

Which is the REAL question. It will require reading all the way through, post by post. I found it stimulating and soul searching. I only wish the discussion had been on CF but YBW did a good job of establishing the legality of the question.

It is really not my intention to take a side in controversy. It is mine to uphold colreg5 in an honest and practical way that fulfils the criteria if and when I solo and take a 30 minute nap. I know where and when and how I could do it with a clear conscience, and where it would be plain dangerous, stupid and negligent and in detriment of the principle and intent, to avoid a collision.

The vessel under my command, whether solo or crewed, needs to be no danger to itself or others. I believe that experienced sailors, will have an eye out all the time for collision avoidance using a variety of aids. The colregs do not specify just WHAT the aids are. In the old days it was binoculars and monoscopes.

I may not agree with conclusions reached by my peers regarding pure definition, but my intent is to find where you are by all means possible if near me on the water and keep out of your way. Ive managed it for 40 years and intend to keep doing it.

Please do take the time to read the above mentioned thread. It really is fascinating.

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Old 23-06-2015, 17:52   #152
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

For what it is worth here is my two cents. When operating at Night, I try not to, so I will head to the nearest Anchorage or Marina. If I am going off shore I will make sure that I have lnoledgeable person on the helm. my Radar Reflectors are up and my Running Lights Are ON and Working and then I will turn on any other lights that I think will make me more visible, without blinding the watch. As for life jackets I prefer the standard foam ones as I know the will work and you don't have to worry about them inflating when you don't want them to. though I have two manual inflatables for anyone prefers them. My next addition to my boat will be an AIS. While nothing is perfect I feel that I have equipted my boat as fool proof as possible. One more thing I do is when I see another boat, larger than I am, I start going in circles until I know where he is going, and will go behind him after he has passed. After all that it is in the hands of King Neptune and I hope he will respect an Old Shellback...
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Old 23-06-2015, 18:06   #153
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

#3 Nephew phoned me today. The Centaur is now on the other coast and I miss it.

He said he went out today to test something, and that for the first time he put on my whizz safety line to take a leak over the side. (#3 would always go below but this was his first real solo sail and like me, he did not want to leave the cockpit.)

He said it was quite an experience taking a whizz knowing that you could lean on the wires and have a taut line behind you with confidence that you were safe. I warned him about blowback

Another convert for a line on always in moderate seas.
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Old 23-06-2015, 18:08   #154
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

As for life-jackets. I too have foam and manual inflation.
I constantly agonise over the choices.
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Old 23-06-2015, 18:53   #155
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Ok weavis, ill break it down to how I understand it in simple English (ok Australian but close enough)

"Rule 5

Look-out

. Every vessel

Pretty clear, every vessel...all vessels. No mention of underway or making way so would include vessels aground and at anchor, not under command etc.

shall at all times

Again pretty clear, shall, must, have to, at all times...nothing ambiguous here...

maintain a proper look-out

Maintain
cause or enable (a condition or situation) to continue.
"the need to maintain close links between industry and schools"
synonyms:continue, keep, keep going, keep up, keep alive, keep in existence, carry on,

proper

of the required or correct type or form; suitable or appropriate.
"an artist needs the proper tools"
synonyms:right, correct, accepted, orthodox, conventional, established, official, formal, regular, acceptable

by sight and hearing

Eyes and ears....

as well as

Pretty clear, as well as eyes and ears

by all available means

Any other means of lookout besides eyes and ears, radar, AIS whatever else is available...

appropriate
adjective
1.
suitable or proper in the circumstances.
"this isn't the appropriate time or place"
synonyms:suitable, proper, fitting, apt;

Again a pretty straightforward adjective referring to the following circumstances and not to any of the previous clearly stated rules

in the prevailing circumstances and conditions

Again it's fairly plain English. Meaning that different conditions such as fog might rely heavily on radar, AIS, listening for fog signals etc,

prevailing
adjective
existing at a particular time; current.
"the unfavourable prevailing economic conditions"

circumstance
noun
plural noun: circumstances
1.
a fact or condition connected with or relevant to an event or action.
"we wanted to marry but circumstances didn't permit"
synonyms:situation, conditions, set of conditions, state of affairs, things, position

so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision."

To understand with all watch keeping information gathered by the various means already mentioned.

In summary, it's a straight foreword rule that is broken in one way or another by a lot of captains at one time or another, myself included, and unfortunately both at the same time by the captains in the topic of this thread. I guess some people would rather argue semantics than admit that they occasionally break rules, even when the rules are in black and white.
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Old 23-06-2015, 19:32   #156
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I read comments about the rule 5 wording being vague and open to interpretation. Maybe I was too busy during English class to understand the subtleties but to me there is nothing vague about this rule.

"Rule 5
Look-out
. Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision."

It's about as vague and open to interpretation as the UK road laws

Speed limits
You must not drive faster than the speed limit for the type of road and your type of vehicle. The speed limit is the absolute maximum - it doesnít mean itís safe to drive at this speed in all conditions.
Your interpretation is valid & reasonable, and shared by many. The trouble is that the wording is also amenable to other interpretations. One way to look at it is if the only way to comply with the Rule was to maintain a visual watch "at all times," then why would what determines a "proper" lookout be conditioned on the "prevailing circumstances and conditions?" Maybe the visual & audible component is what's required "at all times" and the other, unspecified "available means" is subject to whatever the particular circumstances and conditions may be? But then there's no way to comply when weather conditions, for example, may preclude an effective visual watch on a small sailboat, and "other means" such as radar & AIS may be more effective. Another way to think about it is that long-distance singlehanding has been around for a long time prior to the implementation of the Colregs, and the drafters could quite easily have prohibited it by a few minor revisions to the language of Rule 5.
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Old 23-06-2015, 19:48   #157
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Ok weavis, ill break it down to how I understand it in simple English (ok Australian but close enough)

"Rule 5

Look-out

. Every vessel

Pretty clear, every vessel...all vessels. No mention of underway or making way so would include vessels aground and at anchor, not under command etc.

shall at all times

Again pretty clear, shall, must, have to, at all times...nothing ambiguous here...

maintain a proper look-out

Maintain
cause or enable (a condition or situation) to continue.
"the need to maintain close links between industry and schools"
synonyms:continue, keep, keep going, keep up, keep alive, keep in existence, carry on,

proper

of the required or correct type or form; suitable or appropriate.
"an artist needs the proper tools"
synonyms:right, correct, accepted, orthodox, conventional, established, official, formal, regular, acceptable

by sight and hearing

Eyes and ears....

as well as

Pretty clear, as well as eyes and ears

by all available means

Any other means of lookout besides eyes and ears, radar, AIS whatever else is available...

appropriate
adjective
1.
suitable or proper in the circumstances.
"this isn't the appropriate time or place"
synonyms:suitable, proper, fitting, apt;

Again a pretty straightforward adjective referring to the following circumstances and not to any of the previous clearly stated rules

in the prevailing circumstances and conditions

Again it's fairly plain English. Meaning that different conditions such as fog might rely heavily on radar, AIS, listening for fog signals etc,

prevailing
adjective
existing at a particular time; current.
"the unfavourable prevailing economic conditions"

circumstance
noun
plural noun: circumstances
1.
a fact or condition connected with or relevant to an event or action.
"we wanted to marry but circumstances didn't permit"
synonyms:situation, conditions, set of conditions, state of affairs, things, position

so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision."

To understand with all watch keeping information gathered by the various means already mentioned.

In summary, it's a straight foreword rule that is broken in one way or another by a lot of captains at one time or another, myself included, and unfortunately both at the same time by the captains in the topic of this thread. I guess some people would rather argue semantics than admit that they occasionally break rules, even when the rules are in black and white.
I have no issue with your breakdown.

Your final summary is fair.

Here is my practical take on the matter. The entire ruling is to encourage and enforce a lookout for the prevention of collisions and seafaring accidents. The onus is on the individual vessel under the command of the captain.

I have RADAR. There is no requirement for me to have a RADAR unit on my boat from colreg 5....... However, if I have RADAR, I am required to use it. It is available to me and it must be on. If I have AIS it must be on as it is available to me and I must use it. That is in line with "all means available."

As for a manual physical lookout.- It stands to reason that if I am looking west, I am not looking East. Technically it is impossible to look in all directions at once. Therefore common sense dictates that a procedure for using sight and sound requires a scanning technique for accumulating knowledge for risk assessment. "so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision."

How often does a person make a scan of the horizon? every minute? 5 minutes? 10 minutes? How long does a person look in one direction?

This is where the rules are indistinct for me. Not that they are not specific, but that they leave both the procedure and the methodology to the Master of the vessel. Although mainly aimed at commercial vessels, it encompasses the principles and guiding regs to us smaller boaters.

In leaving the actual methodology vague, it puts the onus on the Master to ensure that his or her information gathering comes complete with the ability to "make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of a collision".

Here is what I do when day sailing with company. If I have kids on board, their job is to be kids and also know that when they come on deck, that I expect them to take a good look all around and spot debris or boats in the vicinity or heading towards us so as to help me to avoid ruining their day out. The kids love it. They are conscientious about doing it. The non seafaring adults are also requested to do it. If I let one of them steer, its on the proviso that they scan the horizon regularly. I will put a kid and an adult together for 15 minute observation of the RADAR. As for me, like you or any other boat owner, I watch everything. By the time we come in to a marina for lunch or a visit, the training has sunk deep on everyone and self preservation techniques are alive and well.

If I am doing a solo trip, same thing. My RADAR is set for the circumstances. If I am out for 30 hours or more, I will have to judge whether circumstances allow for a 30 minute nap or not. If not, I stay awake. If its a busy coastal route, then not. If Im further offshore and out of traffic, and the more 'sighted' RADAR does not detect close traffic, and after taking a long hard look, I might take an initial 10 minute doze with everything set to bleep. If upon waking, my risk assessment is still the same after rechecking everything, I might take a 20 minute doze and that will be sufficient for me to be refreshed enough to continue on.

Am I breaking the #5 regulation? I believe I am in the spirit of maintaining the principle given that I have RADAR and alarms and assess the situation prior to taking a nap. I am also equally sure, that if I have not assessed correctly, then a court will advise me as such is a mishap occurs. During my sleep, A lookout is being kept after assessing the situation and taking the risk factors into account. I have warnings of approaching vessels.
Is it better to have 24 hour watch? Of course. Its also better to only have fresh and rested crew.

As you pointed out. The regulations apply to moored vessels as well. If a vessel is left on a ball or at anchor and the crew go off for a sightsee-technically its a breach. If on anchor and all the crew is asleep, its a breach.

I make no excuses for my choices. If an accident occurs and RADAR or sight or sound or AIS did not alert me, then I am sure apart from blame, I will have set up the equipment wrongly. I try not to do that.

We do our best. I hope to never be asleep and run into anything, No, I try to ensure that I have carried out a proper check and that the risk assessment is made to the best of my ability.

I was on a boat recently where the son (18) was in charge of the helm, and when I came up, he was engrossed in his Kindle, the boat was on autopilot and I bet he did not look up much at all. The RADAR was not even set. His father did not seem worried about it.
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Old 23-06-2015, 19:57   #158
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Kayakers can be easily overlooked and can appear out of nowhere (a strong paddler is as fast as I).

Personal watercraft and sailboarders are so fast and erratic, one often has no choice beyond maintaining a steady course. Fortunately, they usually maneuver around other vessels as they love an excuse to turn.
When I gave up racing yachts and "moved to the darks side" for ten years, I owned a 30-knot 45ft launch. During that time we referred to kayaks as speed-bumps or judder-bars!
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Old 23-06-2015, 19:59   #159
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by weavis View Post
...There is no requirement for me to have a RADAR unit on my boat from colreg 5....... However, if I have RADAR, I am required to use it. It is available to me and it must be on...
Sorry but this simply isn't true. A skipper can choose when to operate his radar.
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Old 23-06-2015, 20:01   #160
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post

In summary, it's a straight foreword rule that is broken in one way or another by a lot of captains at one time or another, myself included, and unfortunately both at the same time by the captains in the topic of this thread. I guess some people would rather argue semantics than admit that they occasionally break rules, even when the rules are in black and white.
If Rule 5 is so black & white, then why is there no exception for when a vessel is at anchor? All they had to include, after all, was language exempting vessels that are not "underway." I would suggest the answer is because being at anchor has highly variable "circumstances & conditions" that might require a "proper lookout" in order to avoid a collision. But obviously those conditions don't necessarily require a visual lookout out on deck "at all times" while at anchor.

I would agree with you that, at times, a long-distance solo sailor may necessarily be breaking the rules, but given all the variables in play that conclusion would only be adjudicated following an incident, i.e. after the fact. But if it's so clear that this activity is breaking the rules per se, then why would an enforcement agency such as the USCG grant licenses for such events as the TransPac? (Btw, these are points quite ably raised by Evans S. in the YBW thread Weavis referred to earlier (beginning at post #76), one which I also found to be an informative read from posters on both sides of the debate).

I think you & others have made fair points, but I do respectfully disagree that the Rule is so black & white.
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Old 23-06-2015, 20:03   #161
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by Terra Nova View Post
Sorry but this simply isn't true. A skipper can choose when to operate his radar.
lol.......... if you have a collision, and RADAR was not on or being monitored,

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

You will find a court of law deciding for you that you did not adhere to Colreg5 despite you thinking you had a choice.

Interpretation is everything.
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Old 23-06-2015, 20:16   #162
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

So Mr Terra Nova, it was a beautiful day.

yes.

You actively by sight and sound looked around.

yes.

Do you wear spectacles mr Terra Nova?

yes.

Were you wearing them at the time?

No.

And you collided with a a yacht, that came up on your stern?

yes.

Do you have RADAR and AIS mr Terra Nova?

yes.

Were they on?

no.

Why not?

The circumstances did not dictate it.

And yet you managed to not avoid a collision despite having means available to you to to help with a look out?

yes.

Where were you at the time of the collision?

I was in the cabin looking for my glasses.

And you have RADAR and AIS and it was not switched on, I just want to be sure you answered correctly for not using all means available.

yes.
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Old 23-06-2015, 20:18   #163
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post
lol.......... if you have a collision, and RADAR was not on or being monitored,

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision.

You will find a court of law deciding for you that you did not adhere to Colreg5 despite you thinking you had a choice.

Interpretation is everything.
Rule 7(b) is also in play:

Proper use shall be made of radar equipment if fitted and operational, including long-range scanning to obtain early warning of risk of collision and radar plotting or equivalent systematic observation of detected objects.


Even on a clear sunny day it might be hard to justify radar being available but not turned on should a collision occur. In my case, I have a 130 genoa that obstructs part of my view to leeward, and I'm often only flying that sail on bays & inland waters where there's increased traffic. My radar is always on offshore as well, but often on watch mode set to make a sweep at prudent intervals.
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Old 23-06-2015, 20:24   #164
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

Ok let me break it down a bit more simply the way I read the rule. It's a long sentence and it seems some readers are mixing the various parts of the sentence and combining them into one. The sentence has 3 parts, linked by 2 simple phrases ( as well as, so as )

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing
as well as
by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions
so as
to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision

Each part is individual and important. The first stating what must be done at all times
The second stating what must be done considering the means available and the conditions
The third stating how the relevant information should be used

Should a radar be used in good visibility? I don't think it says that at all.
Should a radar be monitored when visibility is restricted, either by weather conditions or a big ass crane on the foredeck? Yes I think it clearly falls under the second part.
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Old 23-06-2015, 20:31   #165
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Re: Keeping a Proper Lookout -- A Cautionary Tale

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Ok let me break it down a bit more simply the way I read the rule. It's a long sentence and it seems some readers are mixing the various parts of the sentence and combining them into one. The sentence has 3 parts, linked by 2 simple phrases ( as well as, so as )

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing
as well as
by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions
so as
to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision

Each part is individual and important. The first stating what must be done at all times
The second stating what must be done considering the means available and the conditions
The third stating how the relevant information should be used

Should a radar be used in good visibility? I don't think it says that at all.
Should a radar be monitored when visibility is restricted, either by weather conditions or a big ass crane on the foredeck? Yes I think it clearly falls under the second part.
Have a bump and have RADAR and AIS aboard not switched on.

You cannot apply logic where it suits. You just had a collision and did NOT use all methods available in the circumstances. The circumstances are that you had a collision!

Incidently, you said "I dont think it says that at all". You dont know. A court does. Coz they are fatherless sons.

And you just had a bump and obviously if you had RADAR on it would have helped. So saitheth the judge. Life is not fair.
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