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Old 19-09-2012, 09:33   #181
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

In channels or shiping lanes we have no choice but to intermingle and interface with large vessels. This is pretty much understood.
Open water is a totally diferent story. I have crossed the Gulf of Mex many times and lived in the Carribbean for a short while. In all my sailing/cruising I have never had the need to cross the path of a large vessel close enough for COLREGS to kick in. "Large enough for COLREGS to kick in" means never close enough for the larger vessel to have to alter course for me. You can be the Stand-on vessel and 100% legal in what you do but why do it? Just to excercise your right? You can walk in the 'hood' at night anywhere in the USA, its legal, and flash your money around, which is also legal and within your rights in the USA, but why would you want to? Why expose yourself to a possible danger when you don't have to? It's the freaking ocean, there is lots of room for everyone. That's just me and my laid back attitude talking.
If you really want to join hands and sing Kum By Ya, just call the ship on 16 and say "Skip, I'm going to cross you at your stern. Have a good one" We are talking about a 1 or 2 degree change in your course for about 30 minutes. No need to even adjust your sails. This can be done from about 4 or 5 miles away.
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Old 19-09-2012, 09:49   #182
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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You can be the Stand-on vessel and 100% legal in what you do but why do it? Just to excercise your right?
You still don't seem to get it. This isn't about the stand-on vessel's rights. Rather, it's about the stand-on vessel's responsibility to maintain course and speed.

When the stand-on vessel fails to maintain course and speed, chaos often ensues.

It's the little boat zig-zagging all over the place unpredictably that gives the big boats indigestion.
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Old 19-09-2012, 10:10   #183
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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You still don't seem to get it. This isn't about the stand-on vessel's rights. Rather, it's about the stand-on vessel's responsibility to maintain course and speed.

When the stand-on vessel fails to maintain course and speed, chaos often ensues.

It's the little boat zig-zagging all over the place unpredictably that gives the big boats indigestion.
Absolutely.

No vessel has rights. All vessels underway have obligations at all times. Maintain a watch be all available means. Maintain course and speed, if stand-on. Alter course, speed or both, if give-way. Avoid collisions. Etc..

A case in point about perceived zig-zagging.

One night I gybed out of the edge a TSS (no vessel was were being impeded). An cargo ship outbound, asked for permission to enter the median because he was concerned about a meandering fishing vessel. I should note that I was lit as a sailing vessel and was perplexed that a commercial vessel could not see that.
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Old 19-09-2012, 10:29   #184
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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You still don't seem to get it. This isn't about the stand-on vessel's rights. Rather, it's about the stand-on vessel's responsibility to maintain course and speed.
You are the one that don't get it. This is not about rights, it's about safety. Rule 8 a) Any action shall [be taken in accordance with the Rules of this Part and], if the circumstances of the case admit, be positive, made in ample time and with due regard to the observance of good seamanship. I believe a radio communication between 2 vessels agreeing on a much safer course of action would apply.

When the stand-on vessel fails to maintain course and speed, chaos often ensues.
The stand-on vesel does have the right to surrender this right if a prior communication and agreement is made. When everyone knows what the new plan is, there is no chaos.

It's the little boat zig-zagging all over the place unpredictably that gives the big boats indigestion. A slight alteration in course is not zig-zagging all over the place unless you personally cant hold a straight course - don't speak for my skills. Anyway, after I spoke to the bridge on the large vessel there is no unpredictability.
Here we go again - If you feel this great need to stand up for your rights and perceived responsibilities, go for it. I prefer to avoid the crossing and COLREGS is no longer an issue.
Lets take this from another perspective. You are the stand-on vessel maintaining course and speed. You misjudge the freighters speed and he gets to the estimated point on intersection a little faster than you thought. This can put you at a smaller crossing angle and you are no longer the stand-on vessel. Now what?
Don't take this personal, I give this example saying you, when it can be anyone else. Someone else may not have total mastery of the wind speed and direction and the equipment available to calculate the large boats precise speed and direction
That's you. I am not you.

I did this for a living. When a commercial vessel assumes that the pleasure craft knows what it is doing or the pleasure craft assumes that the freighters capt knows what all intentions are or is even paying attention - there is a problem.
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Old 19-09-2012, 10:40   #185
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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.........A case in point about perceived zig-zagging.
.... I ... and was perplexed that a commercial vessel could not see that.
Thanks Jack, you accidentally proved my point while you were disagreeing with my point.

Both vessels have a responsibility. I choose to avoid the situation entirely and I'm sure the larger vessel appreciates it also. We dont have to monitor eachother constantly because of close proximity.
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Old 19-09-2012, 11:10   #186
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Yes, and if a merchant vessel can see a small sailboat from 5 miles, clearly the small sailboat can see the merchant vessel and has ample time to keep out of harms way unless anchored!

Foggy
Reminds me of a time when I was working off Ashdod. Had seen a yacht under sail, and could hear Israeli Coastal Defence repeatedly calling the yacht, but getting no response. Off that coast, if a vessel does not report in, its likely to receive an unpleasant visit. I called the CD and offered to get the attention if the sail boat, and advise them to call in. So off we go, chasing up behind this yacht, at about 0.5 cables astern of them, I lent on the whistle. The reaction was quite startling, 3 guys leapt up, beer cans knocked over.
Not keeping a good look out, but they appreciated the heads up about reporting in. The reason they had not heard the VHF was because they had the stereo cranked up.
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Old 19-09-2012, 12:08   #187
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

After years of passagemaking, deliveries and countless miles, I have been fortunate and lucky not to have to make a last minute course adjustment to avoid collision. Forward planning and situational awareness, common sense and an understanding and practice of colregs is all you need to stay safe out there in my experience. Now retired, there is little reason to worry myself about the issues that arise at night or under limited visibilty conditions but the discussion is fascinating to read and takes very little imagination to place myself once again in the situation many of you describe. Capt Phil
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Old 19-09-2012, 13:17   #188
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Just going back to Rakuflames first post with the quote from the magazine.
The International Maritime Organisations minimum standards with regards to turning and stopping distances are that a vessel can be brought to an emergency stop within 15 x vessels length, and the turning radius be no more than 2.5 x vessels length.

Even a VLCC when brought from full ahead to stop (no astern movement on the prop) will slow down within a short time, for that type of ship, its the last 2 kts which takes all the time to come off. The speed can be bled off more quickly by "fishtailing", putting the rudder hard over one way and then the other repeatedly.

As for AIS, most pleasure boats, if fitting a transponder, will fit a Class B type. Ships over 500 GRT are required to have Class A.
I would say that the majority of commercial ships will have the AIS interfaced with the radar and /or the ECDIS, and that is what the watchkeeper will be looking at for AIS targets, not the actual AIS unit itself.
Now with a Class A AIS unit set up like this, they have the ability to filter out Class B AIS targets. The Class B target will only show up if it comes within the "guard zone" set by the watchkeeper. In restricted waters, this might be a a CPA of 1 mile and a time to CPA of 15 minutes.
The reason for being able to filter out the Class B targets is to de-clutter the targets. Here in the UK, especially around the Solent, in the summer months there must be hundreds of Class B targets, which can be a real distraction.
This in itself is not a problem, in restricted waters, there will (or should) be extra watchkeepers on the bridge. The problem is that when the vessel departs from these restricted waters, they may forget to remove that filter, or that the watch keeper is ignorant of this facility.
So if you have AIS fitted, you still might not be detected until the big ship is close to you
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Old 19-09-2012, 13:34   #189
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Nigel - Thanks for that.

A concern I have re: AIS on pleasure craft is that a dense concentration of AIS targets on a chartplotter screen may obscure aids to navigation and other crucial information.
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Old 19-09-2012, 13:36   #190
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

I'm surprised that there has been no mention of distance off that might apply to the application of colregs. I guess it's because colregs makes no mention of it. If I was the stand on vessel and a freighter was 10 miles away for me common sense applies, not colregs. If the freighter is 5 miles away I'm certainly becoming interested, but not thinking of colregs. If it's 2 or 3 miles away, I'm still not thinking of colregs, I'm thinking do I need to alter course significantly so the freighter can see my intentions and I clear him by a comfortable margin? If he's 50 metres away and on a collision course it means I haven't been watching because I should not be in that position where I'm relying on colregs to keep us apart. Anyway, at 50 metres on a collision course don't you turn the same direction as him and then colregs makes him the overtaking vessel? If a collision should occur it's important to make sure some of the ships paint is left on your stern so that you have proof that you were the stand on vessel. There's colregs for you.
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Old 19-09-2012, 13:41   #191
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Freighter stop/turn radius

Interesting figures. Thanks Nigel.

So, if we have a 700' vessel, it will take approx 2 miles to stop and/or have a 1/2 mile turning radius. Depending on wind speed and direction, a sailboat will be moving at 4 to 6 kts average. By the time someone realizes there is an OH $hit moment, it can get pretty hairy.
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Old 19-09-2012, 14:04   #192
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Greg - As soon as I see another vessel I am thinking about Colregs. I like a 360 scan about 10 minutes.

Almost all of my sailing is with students so we start asking questions. Where are we? Open water, narrow channel, harbour, TSS? What direction are they moving? Are we overtaking? Crossing? Head-on? What is the bearing to the vessel? Is it changing? Substantially? What type of vessel is it? Where does it fit on the pecking order? If under sail, what tack at they on? What tack are we on? Are we stand-on? Give-way? Must we keep clear? Will we impede if in a TSS? What should we do?

In the event of a collision, the responsibility will most likely be shared. That seems to be meyreading of the case law.
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Old 19-09-2012, 14:09   #193
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Re: Freighter stop/turn radius

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Interesting figures. Thanks Nigel.

So, if we have a 700' vessel, it will take approx 2 miles to stop and/or have a 1/2 mile turning radius. Depending on wind speed and direction, a sailboat will be moving at 4 to 6 kts average. By the time someone realizes there is an OH $hit moment, it can get pretty hairy.

Hi Tony

Hopefully, one or both parties were adhering to the other bits of the colregs, and to my my mind, one of the most important, KEEPING A PROPER LOOKOUT.
In 20+ years as skipper on anchor handling tugs, there gave been as you so nicely put it, OH $**** moments, in all the cases, we have been towing and restricted in manoeuvrability, and the only conclusion I came to was that there was no one on the other vessel keeping a look out
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Old 19-09-2012, 14:17   #194
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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After years of passagemaking, deliveries and countless miles, I have been fortunate and lucky not to have to make a last minute course adjustment to avoid collision. Forward planning and situational awareness, common sense and an understanding and practice of colregs is all you need to stay safe out there in my experience. Now retired, there is little reason to worry myself about the issues that arise at night or under limited visibilty conditions but the discussion is fascinating to read and takes very little imagination to place myself once again in the situation many of you describe. Capt Phil


Thanks Capt Phil for sharing your passagemakeing, real life experiences!!! Yes as mentioned many times in previous posts, there are times to use whistle commands in crowed channels. But for the most events, just keep out of the way!

Situational awareness, common sense and an understanding and practice of colregs! WOW! POWERFUL!!! Just use the old KISS proverb!

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Old 19-09-2012, 14:27   #195
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Re: Freighter stop/turn radius

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......... one of the most important, KEEPING A PROPER LOOKOUT...... OH $**** moments, in all the cases, we have been towing and restricted in manoeuvrability, and the only conclusion I came to was that there was no one on the other vessel keeping a look out
Nigel:
Unfortunately, the UK does not have a monopoly on that. Its hard to keep someone on look-out when you could hardly keep them awake.

Your earlier post also struck a familiar bell - When I was working the offshore oil fields, nobody was on radio watch either because the VHF radio was turned down so they can listen to music. And these are on commercial vessels.
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