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Old 18-09-2012, 09:29   #136
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Thanks for that notice. I have yet to purchase a transmitting AIS...is it obvious?

So I will have to learn the etiquette. As has been pointed out, the intentions of each vessel is soon apparent on AIS so verbal arrangements would rarely be necessary, I would assume. I was thinking of bridge to bridge comms on Ch. 13, not babbling on 16.
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Old 18-09-2012, 09:42   #137
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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I was thinking of bridge to bridge comms on Ch. 13, not babbling on 16.
On the West Coast we can contact ferries, commercial traffic, fishing boats, etc. on the appropriate Vessel Traffic Services channels.
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Old 18-09-2012, 09:48   #138
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Tony, I think you missed Raku's point (back on page 3). She is suggesting that "no one said that......" when by all normal interpretation, she had raised it in the OP.

At least IMO .
I think I missed everyones point . There is a lot of 'answering a previous post' going on. I was just trying to explain the rationale of that one particular post that you referenced and I had not gone back to some of the previous posts.
I got a laugh from your statement "Clearly you believe you meant something different to what I clearly thought you meant but right now, I have no idea what you really meant so please tell me where / how I got it wrong"

I no longer have any idea as to who is referencing what and the length of some posts rival "Gone with The Wind". All I know is that I am not going to get into a fight with a freighter to excersise my right as a stand-on vessel. In the open, I can telegraph my intentions by a course/heading change way in advance and never be close enough to have to exchange passing/crossing signals. In tight channels, I will simply move to the right as far as I safely can. If I can leave the channel and parrallel it to avoid a big wake, I will do so. In most cases he will be constrained by draft and have the ROW anyway not to mention that he will be moving much faster than me and I don't want to be run over.
I am real big on radio communication with large vessels in small channels. Once you establish contact and both agree on how you will pass or be passed, that becomes the new 'rule'.
If you have to maneuver narrow channels and there is a tow vessel coming in a reciprocal course, pushing several barges at a crab angle to fight the cross wind, covering most of the channel, I prefer to pass him stbd to stbd and come along side the barge and then cross back behind his stern. Absolutely nothing wrong with this maneuver if you both agree on the passing signals. I prefer this than to be looking way up at a barge not knowing if I need to move over more when it may be too late or if I will be pushed up on the bank by its wake.

So far, in all my years of boating, I have not ever had to make an emergency maneuver with a large vessel.
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Old 18-09-2012, 10:19   #139
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Thanks for that notice. I have yet to purchase a transmitting AIS...is it obvious?

So I will have to learn the etiquette. As has been pointed out, the intentions of each vessel is soon apparent on AIS so verbal arrangements would rarely be necessary, I would assume. I was thinking of bridge to bridge comms on Ch. 13, not babbling on 16.
Actually I wasn't aware contacting ships via VHF was not encouraged 'til it came up on another forum not too long ago. From memory some of the ships operators had procedures in place which basically said don't answer the VHF if a yacht calls up. Most of the time anyway. Causes more problems than it solves.

Anyway, I've had no need to even consider that course of action since an AIS receiver got fitted. A tweak 4 or 5 miles off is all that's needed, if at all.
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Old 18-09-2012, 10:26   #140
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Actually I wasn't aware contacting ships via VHF was not encouraged 'til it came up on another forum not too long ago. From memory some of the ships operators had procedures in place which basically said don't answer the VHF if a yacht calls up. Most of the time anyway. Causes more problems than it solves.
On the other hand, when a ferry transits Active Pass in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia they issue a Securite message asking that any concerned traffic contact them on channel 16 or channel 11 (VTS).
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Old 18-09-2012, 11:02   #141
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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I think I missed everyones point . There is a lot of 'answering a previous post' going on. I was just trying to explain the rationale of that one particular post that you referenced and I had not gone back to some of the previous posts.
I got a laugh from your statement "Clearly you believe you meant something different to what I clearly thought you meant but right now, I have no idea what you really meant so please tell me where / how I got it wrong"

I no longer have any idea as to who is referencing what and the length of some posts rival "Gone with The Wind". All I know is that I am not going to get into a fight with a freighter to excersise my right as a stand-on vessel. In the open, I can telegraph my intentions by a course/heading change way in advance and never be close enough to have to exchange passing/crossing signals. In tight channels, I will simply move to the right as far as I safely can. If I can leave the channel and parrallel it to avoid a big wake, I will do so. In most cases he will be constrained by draft and have the ROW anyway not to mention that he will be moving much faster than me and I don't want to be run over.
I am real big on radio communication with large vessels in small channels. Once you establish contact and both agree on how you will pass or be passed, that becomes the new 'rule'.
If you have to maneuver narrow channels and there is a tow vessel coming in a reciprocal course, pushing several barges at a crab angle to fight the cross wind, covering most of the channel, I prefer to pass him stbd to stbd and come along side the barge and then cross back behind his stern. Absolutely nothing wrong with this maneuver if you both agree on the passing signals. I prefer this than to be looking way up at a barge not knowing if I need to move over more when it may be too late or if I will be pushed up on the bank by its wake.

So far, in all my years of boating, I have not ever had to make an emergency maneuver with a large vessel.
This post explains a lot of the differences we've had. "Large vessels in small channels" is a very particular environment with its own procedures, customs, and even rules. The open sea is a another particular environment which is very different. In some posts you were talking about one environment, and others were talking about another -- so a bit at cross-purposes.

I hate to keep beating a dead horse, but I can't resist commenting on this:

"All I know is that I am not going to get into a fight with a freighter to excersise my right as a stand-on vessel."

I think in fact we all completely agree about this. Standing on a bit at first -- in the open ocean! -- to give a freighter a chance to make the first move, when he's the give-way vessel, is NOT the same thing as "getting into a fight", or "exercising a right", which no one recommends. It's following a procedure, which is different. It goes back to the difference between being a stand-on vessel, which actually doesn't give you any "rights" which you can "exercise", and having the right of way, which does. I know you find this a meaningless semantic difference, but a lot of people find the distinction very helpful.

So I think a most, maybe all of our disagreements just reflect different environments, different practices, different distances. When you encounter "big ships in little channels" of course you can forget about standing on from the beginning -- there's nothing a big ship in a little channel can do to avoid you even if he wanted to.

It reminds me a little bit of the racing dinghies in Poole Harbour. Putting the shoe on the other foot! My boat is 31 95/100 tons displacement, Thames measure, and draws nearly 8 feet. She will definitely not stop on a dime, and dead slow is over 5 knots. When motoring out of Poole in the ship channel at low tide, I am definitely constrained by draft. Nevertheless, the racing skippers seem to always insist on tacking right under my bows as if I weren't even there! They must have a death wish! Even if I were not constrained by draft -- which means I can't turn to avoid them, without running aground -- they must understand that also I cannot stop in 3 feet or even in 30 feet! And that I cannot even see them from the cockpit if they are closer than 20 feet off. Being a stand-on vessel definitely does not give you any right to just tack under the bows of a larger vessel -- it's simply stupid, you don't even need to look at the rules to know that. I guess that is what some of you were trying to say; believe me, no one disagrees with you. None of us would ever act like that in regard to a large commercial vessel.
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Old 18-09-2012, 11:10   #142
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

I think it's important to note that this "VHF contact is not encouraged" thing appears to be a UK thing and not an American thing as far as I know. When necessary I have called freighters and they happily answer and I have had freighters call me. Not very often at all, but it does happen. Usually they call to let me know they will be throwing a large wake. I guess that since the Gulf of Mex is very shallow for a long way out, it has its own set of problems.
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Old 18-09-2012, 11:18   #143
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Dockhead

It seems when 'answering a previous post' on this thread, it shows up 2 pages later.
My point was that in the open sea, I can make just a sublte change of heading and course long enough in advance that we will not cross anywhere near the point where the COLREGS kick in. In a reciprocal passing situation, my adjustment would be just enough that their RADAR would show that we are not going to conflict regardless of which side we will be passing eachother.
A ship will plot and track your course on its radar and know if the possibility of a collision exists. They know that if you maintain course and speed all is good or all is about to erupt.
Incidentally, those small little radar reflectors, even the cheap ones work great. Commercial vessels pick them up well.
I recommend everyone that cruises near commercial vessels get one.

When I kid about getting into a fight with a freighter, what I am really saying is for instance, I am going to cross him at the proper angle where I will be the Stand On vessel. Being in a relatively slow sailboat or trawler do I want to assume that he sees me and will veer off a tad? If we are close enough for me to even think about that, it is best for me to keep a parallel course as in reciprocal passing and delay my crossing until I can cross behind his stern. Since I will be crossing behind him, the COLREGS don't apply because there will never be a chance of collision to be avoided in the first place. Many people that have not had exposure to large vessels have no idea how fast they are coming up on you. They just appear to be slow - but they ain't.

Nothin like beating a dead defenseles horse. He can't fight back, so nothing lost.
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Old 18-09-2012, 11:38   #144
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Its good to make any course alteration obvious to the other vessel visually. In a crossing situation I would at least alter course enough to show the port side light, and in a head on situation, enought to make it obvious that an alteration has been made.
We still use the gyro compass repeater to ascertain whether risk of collision exist, but that is something that 99% of pleasure craft will not have. The radar/ARPA is very useful to get other information such as course and speed of the tracked vessel, and to give early warning of a close quarters situation.
AIS is very useful, but should not be used as a tool to make decisions on, although an AIS will provide information on CPA and TCPA, it can be very inaccurate.
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Old 18-09-2012, 11:52   #145
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

ok then?? If these big guy's cant see safely and manouvre their boats safely why not ban them from the sea? make it safer for smaller guys .they should not be out there if they pose a hazard to anyone!! think about it!!
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Old 18-09-2012, 12:06   #146
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
I think it's important to note that this "VHF contact is not encouraged" thing appears to be a UK thing and not an American thing as far as I know. When necessary I have called freighters and they happily answer and I have had freighters call me. Not very often at all, but it does happen. Usually they call to let me know they will be throwing a large wake. I guess that since the Gulf of Mex is very shallow for a long way out, it has its own set of problems.
I believe the UK advice came from research done by Maib and MCA which concluded that using VHF radio for collision avoidance was not a good idea.

Note it's not talking about "VHF contact" but using VHF for collision avoidance.

I only saw this quite recently and it is quite counter intuitive initially. Not sure what other countries take on it are.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mgn_324.pdf

Quote:
7. There have been a significant number of collisions where subsequent investigation has
found that at some stage before impact, one or both parties were using VHF radio in an
attempt to avoid collision. The use of VHF radio in these circumstances is not always helpful
and may even prove to be dangerous.
Quote:
13. Although the practice of using VHF radio as a collision avoidance aid may be resorted to
on occasion, for example in pilotage waters, the risks described in this note should be clearly
understood and the Collision Regulations complied with.
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Old 18-09-2012, 12:19   #147
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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ok then?? If these big guy's cant see safely and manouvre their boats safely why not ban them from the sea? make it safer for smaller guys .they should not be out there if they pose a hazard to anyone!! think about it!!
There are several ways to look at that. If you took a vote from the general population of the world, which incidentally are not boaters, and gave them the chioce to see if they want to shut down all ocean commerce so some pleasure boats can play, which way do you think they would vote?
I can also put a spin on your comment and say, if small pleasure boats can't be seen, they are a hazard to navigation and should not be allowed out there. After all, commercial ships have been out there for thousands of years and pleasure boats for only about 100.

All joking aside, just about all navigation aids, rules etc were set up for commercial trade. That includes docks, channels, buoys, markers, LORAN, GPS, SATNAV etc.
The 3rd coast is not unlike the other coasts where there are shallow waters, many channel markers are not visable from one to the next unless you have radar - think commercial vessels. Only recently, has radar been in a price range available to pleasure craft.
If a train can't stop because someone misjudges their speed, should we ban trains.

If it were not for commerce, there would be no ICW or any of the connected inland waterways on the eastern half of the US.

Commerce is necessary, weekend playing on the water is not. If anything were to be banned, it would be pleasure craft. Money rules.
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Old 18-09-2012, 12:40   #148
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Therefore a vhf set is obligatory when entering large commercial ports.

To avoid collision, I 'll call up any vessel when I foresee serious problems. A few times, I received a 'thank you" from the bridge of the called up vessel.

We navigate in overcrowded waters, having Antwerp and Rotterdam in direct vicinity.
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Old 18-09-2012, 12:50   #149
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
I believe the UK advice came from research done by Maib and MCA which concluded that using VHF radio for collision avoidance was not a good idea.

Note it's not talking about "VHF contact" but using VHF for collision avoidance.

I only saw this quite recently and it is quite counter intuitive initially. Not sure what other countries take on it are.

http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mgn_324.pdf
Guess What?
You just tickled an old memory and caused me to do some quickee research. I'm sure everyone will correct me if I am wrong and I welcome the correction. Here goes....
Way back when, like 25 years ago, all the passing signals were by whistle signals or light signals. No mention of radio. I just looked up the rules of the road and guess what - NO CHANGE. Still no mention of radio use in communicating passing/crossing signals.

Then I copied this under their Telecommunications section.

MARITIME COMMUNICATIONS


Although telecommunications technology is improving quickly, people at sea do not have access to the same telecommunications infrastructure people ashore have. Like people ashore, Mariners need to access international shore telephone and data public switched networks. Additionally they need to access many maritime specific communications listed below:
  • Mariners need to be able to communicate with other ships of any size or nationality.
  • Mariners need to be able to receive and send urgent maritime safety information.
  • Mariners need to be able to send or receive distress alerts in an emergency to or from rescue coordination centers ashore and nearby ships anywhere in the world.
There is no specific mention of passing/crossing signals via radio.
In high traffic areas radio communication is absolutely essential.
For one thing, if you are inside some vessels, especially oil field vessels, they are very noisy and you wont hear anythin outside unless it's already too late.
With high traffic, you wouldnt know who was tootin' who and who was giving and getting the finger first.
Does this mean that radio communications are frowned upon here in the US also? My initial thoughts are "yes," unless I missed something.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm????????????????
Apparently, this is something most everyone chooses to ignore and I will continue to ignore and use my radio when I think it wise - like in collision avoidance.
Even the USCG ignores the whistle and light flashing rules and uses the radio. If you idly chat on 16, they will warn you to get off because it is a hailing frequency used for boats to communicate passing/crossing signals.
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Old 18-09-2012, 13:31   #150
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

what was it that the Joker said in the batman movie ............. why so serious?

sometimes I wonder how some can find any enjoyment in boating if such simple rules cause such argument
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