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Old 12-01-2014, 09:26   #1
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Sound signals question

I was answering a question on sound signals when overtaking. The international rules are clear and simple:

International rule 34 (a) : one short blast to mean “I am altering my course to starboard”; and two short blasts to mean “I am altering my course to port”;

The US rewrote 34( a ) but practically it means the same thing (I think)

US Inland rule 34 ( a ) : one short blast to mean “I intend to leave you on my port side”;two short blasts to mean “I intend to leave you on my starboard side”. This I believe applies both to overtaking and head to head passing.

But what puzzled me a bit is that the US inland rules add 34(c)

US Inland Rule 34( c ): in a narrow channel or fairway, two prolonged blasts followed by one short blast to mean “I intend to overtake you on your starboard side”;two prolonged blasts followed by two short blasts to mean “I intend to overtake you on your port side”.

I have two questions: why, what's the point/purpose, are there two different sound signals for overtaking - one in a fairway and one otherwise? And what is the official definition of a fairway (it does not appear to be a defined term in the colregs I have)?
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:36   #2
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Re: Sound signals question

34a is head to head. 34c is overtaking. The difference is so you now if the signaling vessel is ahead or behind you.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:42   #3
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Re: Sound signals question

Fairway: "The Thoroughfare between dock and piers in a harbor", hope that helps.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:58   #4
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Re: Sound signals question

To confuse matters a little more.

The international rules and the inland rules differ on the signal for the overtaken vessel, if in agreement

Navigation Rules Online


Rule 34 (international) applies to one power driven vessel and any other vessel. Sailing vessels are not required to make these signals.

Rule 34 (inland) applies to power driven vessels. Does that mean it does not apply to a power driven vessel overtaking a sailing vessel?
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:08   #5
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Re: Sound signals question

Quote:
Originally Posted by seacap View Post
34a is head to head. 34c is overtaking. The difference is so you now if the signaling vessel is ahead or behind you.
34(c) in international applies to overtaking in narrow channels or fairways.

34 (c) in inland waters applies to overtaking in all conditions.

This is where the agreement signals differ. As well 34(a) international has no provision for agreement, while 34(a) inland does have a provision for agreement.

BTW - Canadian modifications to IRPCS usually mirror US inland rules, but not in this case.
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Old 12-01-2014, 19:29   #6
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Re: Sound signals question

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Originally Posted by seacap View Post
34a is head to head. 34c is overtaking. The difference is so you now if the signaling vessel is ahead or behind you.
34c clearly and explicitly applies to overtaking . . . and only in a 'narrow channel or fairway'

34a is not so crystal clear . . . it apply's "when . . . meeting or crossing". I always considered it applied to all 'meeting', including overtaking. Do you all agree, or do you believe that it excludes overtaking? And if it does exclude overtaking . . . then there is no sound signal for overtaking when NOT in a narrow channel/fairway?
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Old 12-01-2014, 20:24   #7
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Re: Sound signals question

Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post

But what puzzled me a bit is that the US inland rules add 34(c)

US Inland Rule 34( c ): in a narrow channel or fairway, two prolonged blasts followed by one short blast to mean “I intend to overtake you on your starboard side”;two prolonged blasts followed by two short blasts to mean “I intend to overtake you on your port side”.

I have two questions: why, what's the point/purpose, are there two different sound signals for overtaking - one in a fairway and one otherwise? And what is the official definition of a fairway (it does not appear to be a defined term in the colregs I have)?
That's International Rule 34(c).

U.S. Inland 34(c) reads:

c) When in sight of one another: (i) a power-driven vessel intending to overtake another power-driven vessel shall indicate her intention by the following signals on her whistle:
  • one short blast to mean "I intend to overtake you on your starboard side"
  • two short blasts to mean "I intend to overtake you on your port side".
(ii) the power-driven vessel about to be overtaken shall, if in agreement, sound a similar signal. If in doubt she shall sound the danger signal prescribed in paragraph (d).



These are the same signals as used in a head-on or crossing situation under the U.S. Inland Rules.

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Old 12-01-2014, 21:50   #8
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Re: Sound signals question

This goes a long ways towards explaining why folks go out on the sound and blow the horn until it feels good.
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Old 13-01-2014, 09:24   #9
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Re: Sound signals question

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post

34a is not so crystal clear . . . it apply's "when . . . meeting or crossing". I always considered it applied to all 'meeting', including overtaking. Do you all agree, or do you believe that it excludes overtaking? And if it does exclude overtaking . . . then there is no sound signal for overtaking when NOT in a narrow channel/fairway?
So, does 34a apply when overtaking, in open water, or not?
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Old 13-01-2014, 09:45   #10
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Re: Sound signals question

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
So, does 34a apply when overtaking, in open water, or not?
There are two rule 34(a) Inland and International. They are different.

This explains the differences - Rule 34
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Old 13-01-2014, 10:27   #11
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Re: Sound signals question

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
There are two rule 34(a) Inland and International. They are different.

This explains the differences - Rule 34
Thanks . . . interesting . . .more complex than I expected . . .

so, reading that, my understanding is:

International
34a does in fact apply to overtaking
34c comes into play only when "the overtaken vessel must maneuver to allow the other to pass"

These sound signals (A, and C) are different and mean something different - A = I am going to take an action, C= I am going to take an action and need you to also.

That seems clear - do you agree?

Inland
Here I am still confused.

with respect to 34a, they show a picture (figure 3) that shows two overtaking situations. So, I presumed 34a applied to overtaking.

But then, with respect to 34c, they say it "these signals must be given in all overtaking situations involving two power driven vessels, whether in open water or confined". This seems to clearly excludes the international "when the overtaken vessel must maneuver to allow the other to pass" solution as to when to use 34a vs 34c.

So, they seem (to me) to define two different (inland) overtaking rules. That cannot be right.

What am I missing/misreading? The only logical solution I can see is that in Inland, unlike international, 34a does not apply to overtaking.

NOTE/Edit: But the 34a and 34c inland signals are the same (unlike international) so, practically speaking it does not (appear to me) to make any practical difference. But still, I presume that 34a and 34c in some way (that I do not yet understand) do not overlap.
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Old 13-01-2014, 10:59   #12
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Re: Sound signals question

You might try contacting Chris Llana. His email address is on the authors page.

Authors.html

He has helped clear up matters for me.

As a Canadian, I am not that cognizant of the Inland rules as I seldom sail inside the demarcation lines.
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Old 13-01-2014, 11:56   #13
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Re: Sound signals question

**** man, just call 'em on the radio. When I tried to use sound signals, I got bitched at for not hailing on the VHF. Seamanship, what?
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Old 13-01-2014, 12:34   #14
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Re: Sound signals question

Shoot, I'm with tamicatana! No one but me seems to use the horn! Then they look at me like I'm crazy. But.... they look at me! If they see me, that's a good day. While they're looking I give them a hand signal.
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Old 13-01-2014, 12:43   #15
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Re: Sound signals question

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
You might try contacting Chris Llana. His email address is on the authors page.

Authors.html
Thanks. I just did that.

Do you agree with my interpretation (above) of the international rule 34?
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