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Old 28-11-2008, 20:53   #61
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Does anyone else think the rules of the road are way too confusing particularly the lights and day shapes portion? I mean really people. What would be so bad about using the pecking order established in rule 18 and assigning a different colored masthead light to each class of vessel -

ie. seaplanes (pink)
power boats (red)
sailboats (purple)
fishing (green)
vessel constrained by draft (magenta)
vessel restricted in it's ability to maneuver (chartreuse)
vessel not under command (insert obscure color here)
- giving them all sidelights and a stern light and calling it a day?

It seems strange the Coast Guard are thinking of making a boating license mandatory rather than making the rules simple enough for everyone to understand.

Imagine if our highway system had the sort of cryptic symbolism the rules of the road have (does it and we are just so used to seeing them that we take it for granted?).

I find it especially perturbing that the lighting and day shape schemes are so cryptic when they are indeed so important to safe boating. The last thing I want to be doing when I see a strange light looming up out of the fog is thumbing through my Chapman's. I want to make a decision quickly and safely, furthermore I want the guy with way less experience than me to be doing the same. Does this make sense to anyone or am I ranting? (don't answer that part out loud just nod to yourself in quiet agreement)
I'm not even sure what the difference is between chartreuse and magenta and I've seen a lot of "pink" port running lights out there. God forbid if you're the slightest bit color blind.

I would agree that the day shapes seem largely nonsense though. My feeling is that by the time you're close enough to read the day shape, you know what you're looking at anyway. That's just my opinion, however.
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Old 28-11-2008, 22:54   #62
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Puce.....
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Old 28-11-2008, 23:20   #63
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I'm not even sure what the difference is between chartreuse and magenta and I've seen a lot of "pink" port running lights out there. God forbid if you're the slightest bit color blind.

I would agree that the day shapes seem largely nonsense though. My feeling is that by the time you're close enough to read the day shape, you know what you're looking at anyway. That's just my opinion, however.

I am diachromatically colour blind. Problems with some shades of green and brown, but blues are very vivid. I have no problems with buoyage system or vessel lights.

The day shapes correlate to the lights ... somewhat. Red lights = balls, White lights = diamonds or cones

NUC - Two white lights, 2 balls
RAM - Red white red, Ball diamond ball
Fishing - White over red , 2 cones apex-to-apex
Towing - Lots of white lights, diamonds

Yes, you usually see what the vessel is doing. But a slow moving cable layer, has a big drum on stern, much like a net drum. Knowing what side of a dredger to pass on is not quite obvious - balls mean no, diamnonds mean yes.

BTW for those of you still using the Imperial system: If you can remember how many inches in a foot, feet in a yard, yards/feet in a mile, ounces in a cup, cups in quart, quarts in a gallon; why can't you fiqure out the lights and day shapes? Just asking.

If you are going to be out at night, I think you need to know the vessel lights. Switching on the cabin lights to read Colregs will blow out your night vision for 20 minutes. I expect my Yachtmaster Offshore students to know them, but I also have Standing Orders that they wake me up.


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Old 29-11-2008, 02:00   #64
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... BTW for those of you still using the Imperial system: If you can remember how many inches in a foot, feet in a yard, yards/feet in a mile, ounces in a cup, cups in quart, quarts in a gallon; why can't you fiqure out the lights and day shapes? Just asking...
I remember (and sometimes don’t) Imperial Measures the same way I remember Metric or S.I. Prefixes (giga, mega, kilo, milli, micro, etc) through standard repetitive recitation and rehearsal cross-sense (read, write, & say), & paraphrasing (put in your own words) memorization techniques.

In order to retain information in memory, you must practice, think about, and sometimes relearn* things. Every time you practice and relearn the information, you are reinforcing it in your memory.

The same holds true for information retention & retrieval, in most fields.

Because there are no easy answers to remembering what you learn, you must work at it.


* You must also ensure that what you learn is accurate and true.
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Old 29-11-2008, 07:19   #65
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Switching on the cabin lights to read Colregs will blow out your night vision for 20 minutes.
How do you fill out your log or check the chart? Have you considered using dimmable red lights? I'm not disagreeing with you about needing to know the Colregs - I just realize that some permutations of lights can easily be lost in the dark recesses of the mind. Not just Colregs, but Notmars, local regs, list(s) of lights, sailing directions, etc. need to be kept close at hand for reference purposes.

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Old 29-11-2008, 07:37   #66
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All the light proposals are interesting, but the debate is too late! The simple solution is already evolving. Technology now allows vessels to carry simple, and soon to be as cheap as the light fixtures, transponders that will allow others to know their speed, bearing, size, type, intent and more. The lighting beyond physical appearance of location will soon be as ancient as the slide rule! 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 29-11-2008, 07:57   #67
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How do you fill out your log or check the chart? Have you considered using dimmable red lights? I'm not disagreeing with you about needing to know the Colregs - I just realize that some permutations of lights can easily be lost in the dark recesses of the mind. Not just Colregs, but Notmars, local regs, list(s) of lights, sailing directions, etc. need to be kept close at hand for reference purposes.

Kevin
Yes, we do use red lights and I have a campers headlight with a red light, as well my flashlight has a red lens.

I agree wholeheartedly the other publications and charts are necessary as references. We consult them before embarking on any night or long passage. Hazards are noted on the chart. Sailing directions are also used to determine safe routes (the phrase "local knowledge required" keeps appearing). We get the locations and light characteristics of any aids to navigation that we expect to see from the light list and note that information on a passage planning form. Tides and current predictions are noted on appropriate forms and posted near the nav station. On the BC coast some passes have very short periods during which they can transitted. Some anchorages can only be entered at high tide. Radio Aids to Marine Navigation is used to determine available weather channels and appropriate vessel traffic servces channels, which we monitor. By pre-planning we avoid having to flip through a stack of publications.

Passage planning and monitoring may be a whole other thread.

Jack
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Old 29-11-2008, 08:00   #68
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All the light proposals are interesting, but the debate is too late! The simple solution is already evolving. Technology now allows vessels to carry simple, and soon to be as cheap as the light fixtures, transponders that will allow others to know their speed, bearing, size, type, intent and more. The lighting beyond physical appearance of location will soon be as ancient as the slide rule! 'take care and joy, Aythya crew

So taking this trend to its logical end point means boats won't carry nav lights at all and there will only be virtual nav aids visible on your nav computer as all the real aids won't exist.

From article on link below:
Maritime agencies may be keen on the prospect of replacing expensive real buoys with cheap virtual ones.

(This is a bit out of context. The article primarily says virtual aids can enhance existing aids.)

https://oceannavigator.com/ME2/dirmo...24662AC1C0FFAD

John
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Old 29-11-2008, 09:02   #69
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I'm not even sure what the difference is between chartreuse and magenta and I've seen a lot of "pink" port running lights out there. God forbid if you're the slightest bit color blind.

I would agree that the day shapes seem largely nonsense though. My feeling is that by the time you're close enough to read the day shape, you know what you're looking at anyway. That's just my opinion, however.
Sorry, I have to disagree sneuman.

I use dayshapes on my boat when I have instruments in the water or are towing instruments or nets. I find them very useful, they cover my rear end because they are required by law. I also appreciate the occasional yachtie who actually understands what they mean and stays away or gives way. I can't tell you how many times I have had to get on the radio or get out the bullhorn to yell at someone in a yacht to get away or not cut close across my stern because they did not have a clue what my day shapes meant.

My point here is that learning day shapes can be useful. It may one day keep you from wrapping someones very expensive instrument around your propeller or keep you out of someones net.
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Old 29-11-2008, 14:22   #70
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Jack,

You're not telling me anything I don't already know and agree with. But having to change your route on the fly, or needing to anchor for repairs or to wait out weather, or responding to a distress call can not be pre-planned. Also the level of pre-planning you desribe is suitable for pilotage, but overkill for coastal passages, where the OOW can easily look-up light characteristics and so forth as required.

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Old 29-11-2008, 20:28   #71
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As I waded through this thread......It doesn't seemed mentioned too often that lights not only identify a vessel but indicate its direction.....i.e. red and green with a white above......means it is comin at ya. etc.

Many people miss the joy of night cruising.......because they are "skeert" of it.

Probably due to ignorance of lights and their use....fine wit me!!!!!
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Old 29-11-2008, 22:48   #72
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gotta know your lights!

A few years ago...


There was a new power boater out watching the fireworks in Vancouver. Had his family on the boat. In the rush to get back in the dark he failed to notice the tug towing a boom or was it a barge...either way he didn't understand headed towards its stern and killed his family on the cable.
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Old 29-11-2008, 23:59   #73
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A few years ago...


There was a new power boater out watching the fireworks in Vancouver. Had his family on the boat. In the rush to get back in the dark he failed to notice the tug towing a boom or was it a barge...either way he didn't understand headed towards its stern and killed his family on the cable.
Fault was found on the part of both the pleasure craft and the tug.

From the TSB report:

3.0 Conclusions
3.1 Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors


1. The Sunboy operator’s knowledge and understanding of navigational practices was such that he did not fully recognize navigational cues that posed a danger to his vessel.

2. The
Sunboy was navigated between the tug and the barge, struck by the barge and capsized, resulting in the loss of five lives.



3. The navigational practices on board the
Jose Narvaez—especially that of leaving the tug’s wheelhouse unattended—resulted in the crew being unaware of the presence of the Sunboy at a critical time during the passage.



4. The intercom on the bridge of the
Jose Narvaez was not working at the time of the occurrence, leading the master of the tug to go below decks to find the on-watch deckhand.



5. The absence of an effective side light, with a range of visibility of 3 nm, on the barge
Texada B.C. deprived the operator of the Sunboy of a vital collision-avoidance cue to the presence and location of the barge.



The full report is here.
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Old 30-11-2008, 00:22   #74
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Sooo... White over White Over White. A long tow in sight.....



The report is a good read.. Two parts of the report ....

"The operator of the
Sunboy did not hold a marine certificate of competency at the time of the
occurrence, nor was he required to under United States federal or Washington state legislation.
He had not attended formal navigation courses and had little boating experience, either before
the purchase of this, his first vessel, in July 1997, or during the subsequent two years, when the
vessel’s engines had operated for 300 hours."

The
Jose Narvaez was displaying the navigation lights for a vessel of her size and type. They
comprised three masthead lights, each with a minimum visibility range of five miles. She
displayed sidelights, stern light and a towing light, each of which had a minimum visibility
range of two miles. The master of the tug was navigating with reference to Canadian

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Old 30-11-2008, 08:48   #75
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Solitude, you left out the part where, though the tug had proper lights, the barge did not.

Also, not as part of the official causes, but in the same report (I put all this in my own words):

MCST allocated almost all of it's vessels to pleasure craft herding and pleasure boat inspections. A vessel that requested escort was told no one was available. Not enough emphasis was given to commercial traffic.

EHS did not notify the closest emergency response teams in a timely manner, "(although this had no detrimental effect on the success of this rescue)".

Although in this case most of the blame was on the tug, if the pleasure boater had known the lights, even though there was no easily seen light on the tug, they would have known there should have been something behind the tug. Makes me want to understand the lights.


My take, as it pertains to this thread about simplifying the lights:

The basic nav lights are easily recognizable (red-port, green-starboard, white). The others, when in doubt, lump them all together. A combination of lights vertically and/or any presence of yellow lights means something unusual. Could be tow, could be fishing gear, could be limited ability. They all mean keep clear. So, don't cross in front, keep a few hundred feet to the side, and let them get a mile away from you before crossing the stern. Once you start learning the lights, you'll know when you don't have to do all those actions, but only the actions that apply to those lights.

As with anything new and complicated, it takes a while to learn. But as I learn, they start to make more sense. And boating becomes more pleasurable when I'm more comfortable with my surroundings.

-dan
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