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Old 22-09-2012, 23:44   #346
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

three is 'I'm going in reverse'

lol maybe you were closer than you thought.
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Old 23-09-2012, 01:00   #347
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

It all begins with an alert lookout.

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Old 23-09-2012, 04:11   #348
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It all begins with an alert lookout.
Why's he looking outside?

The ais display is inside.
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Old 23-09-2012, 07:36   #349
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
Hard to believe we are still talking about this.

Get an AIS class B; contact the radio operator; arrange a passing and/or aim for the stern.
See and be seen. Get an AIS transponder.

I regularly receive class A traffic at greater than 40 miles. You should be able to monitor CPAs well before getting a visual on the traffic and, like the big boys, make necessary course correction early (TCPA 30 mins or greater) to get the CPA you want. If you are the stand on vessel, monitor the target's course, speed, CPA and TCPA. You will be able to assess when or if the target is adjusting course to avoid the risk of collision. (They may have filtered out classs B targets and not seen you.) No need to use the radio and wake up your sleeping crew!
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Old 23-09-2012, 08:15   #350
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
OK, I'm ready to report on my conversation with about 10 oceangoing commercial ship captains on these topics. I learned a hell of a lot of new things.

2. An absolutely astonishing thing I learned was that they think in vastly longer distances and time horizons than we do -- there is a total disconnect between us. They manage crossings using ARPA and powerful radar and they have worked out and executed their course changes sometimes 20 or even 30 miles out, which is long before we ever know they exist.

So there is something of a paradox -- they want us to know the Colregs by heart and live by them. That was said over and over and over again by the captains I talked to. Yet since the Colregs kick in only when a vessel has sight of another and a risk of collision exists, we will often not, in open water, even have a chance to apply them. So even if we are the give-way vessel, they will usually not have waited for us to figure out what is going on, and they will have maneuvered themselves, long before we even know there's traffic.

My own manuevering horizon is two miles -- I will calculate my maneuvers to stay at all times at least two miles away from a commercial vessel. Two miles is the point at which I start maneuvering and switch over to giving-way if I am the stand-on vessel, if we are on 0-CPA courses, and the commercial vessel has still not altered course. This may not be enough as I now understand. Two miles is nothing for them -- too late already to really do anything. Thirty minutes TCPA is a critical point for them in many situations. 30 minutes!

4. I got conflicting advice (even from the same guys in the same post!) about strictly following the Colregs versus using common sense and keeping clear. I guess they somehow want us to do both. But they definitely do NOT want us screwing up their calculated CPA and TCPA by changing course erratically -- which includes too little too late manuevers -- and too late may be several miles off. They need a steady course and speed from us in order to manage the situation -- no manuevers from us in close quarters unless they are demanded by Colregs and/or the situation, and then only a clear and obvious manuever which they can see and react to. Interestingly, one guy complained about our tacking -- how hard it makes for them to calculate a crossing.

5. THE paramount issue in a crossing situation is the ability to identify a collision risk -- and of course keeping a good lookout so that this ability can be put to use. The "I" in WAFI comes from (a) ignorance of the Colregs; and (b) inability to use a radar and/or HBC to identify a collision risk at a safe distance. They implore us to take radar courses -- they say you can't learn it on your own [I confess that I learned on my own]. Radar, as I understood, is THE tool for dealing with crossing situation, for them. But they say situational awareness -- which they complained many times we lack -- is even more than being a competent radar operator -- we should be using stanchions as transits and using our eyeballs to guess at collision risks all the time.

6. They do make allowances, assume we are idiots prone to making unexpected manuevers, and generally try to steer to give us a wide berth. However, they remind us that a certain percentage of commercial vessels do not keep proper watches, and might even willfully ignore a sailing vessel.

8. They complain that many of us do not have transmitting AIS [I confess that I do not to this day! But installing this winter.] They are astonished that we would not invest $1000 in this and yet still venture out to sea where we can encounter ships, to get run down like roadkill because they can't see us. They consider this an essential tool and as I understand they rely on it heavily.
Dockhead, great post!

Glad to hear that you will be installing an AIS. I have found my AIS transponder to be invaluable. It gives us the same capability as the commercial ships to monitor collision risk and make our decisions early. It is far more accurate than the MARPA mode of my radar and it's range is usually far greater. If, at 12 miles range, the CPA is less than a mile, I will adjust my course early to increase the CPA. I usually receive class A traffic at ranges greater than 30 miles and class B signals around 10-15 miles depending upon their antenna placement. My antenna is at the top of my mast (about 65 feet up).

There is still a lot of other traffic out there that requires a good lookout, but it is nice to know what the commercial traffic is doing when it comes into view.
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Old 24-09-2012, 18:34   #351
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Oh Oh. Lookout, there's a bull in the china shop!
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Old 24-09-2012, 18:40   #352
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I don't know why this tickled my funnybone so much, but I laughed for a long, long time when I read this. Commercial mariners' joke about Colregs and sailboats:

What are the four cases where sail gives way to power?

Answer:

1. When the sailboat is in the shadow of the ships side and is becalmed,
2. When the sailboat is confused about what he sees.
3. When the sailboat is smaller that whatever else it is about to hit.
4. When the sailboat is exhibiting sound judgment.


ROTFLMAO.

Stern note to the beginners on here -- this is a JOKE. Lest we next get into a heated debate about the precise meaning of "confused about what he sees".
On the non-joking side, the one that too few sailors know is that sail gives way to power when it's the overtaking vessel. When a sailboat overtakes any vessel, even a speedboat, it is required to stay clear.
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Old 24-09-2012, 19:27   #353
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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On the non-joking side, the one that too few sailors know is that sail gives way to power when it's the overtaking vessel. When a sailboat overtakes any vessel, even a speedboat, it is required to stay clear.
Absolutely.

Also sail gives way to RAM, NUC, CBD and vessels engaged in fishing. How many know the dayshapes and lights.
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Old 24-09-2012, 20:06   #354
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

As a commercial mariner (Master 500' ATB tug and barge combination) who also sails a Ranger 30, a 19' sharpie, and a sunfish when the grandkids come home, I can elucidate a little on this topic.

To really kick a dead horse here, the names of the Nav lights are always confused by manufacturers. Lets start at the top. The white all around light on the mast head is the anchor light. The white light on the forward side of the mast is the MASTHEAD light. The Red and Green are Sidelights. The white stern light is The Stern Light. These are NOT the name of the locations, it is a physical and technical description which is found in the Colregs book.
There are several other important lights that are either or. SV's can have a Red over Green placed on the masthead (not to be confused with the masthead light earlier mentioned!) But this is only to be used when under sail, and in conjunction with the RG on the pulpit. Alternately a SV may have a RGW tricolor on the masthead. (these are my ABSOLUTE favorite to be seen above spray, seas, and rain) BUT, they are NEVER to be used with ANY other RED or Green lights.
Regarding the Nav lights. When I am approaching a yacht (power OR sail) i have to make decisions about how to meet, pass or just plain miss them. Often (more often than not) they don't answer the radio. Often they are lit incorrectly (at night.) Often they are in inland waters, sometimes in international. (Gee, it IS refreshing to be able to speak to fellow yachters about even the subtle differences between the two!) But i started this with running lights. If I see a vessel lit wrong (as some of you have even confirmed on this web site!!) I must also assume that the operator is ignorant of the Colregs. One of the things they teach us at every Rules of the Road refresher course is: "You MUST be properly lit. If you are improperly lit you are already partly at fault in an accident." So we pretty much bone up on this stuff. It is the lights and shapes that are our FIRST confirmation of WHICH Rules apply to our little encounter off the coast of New Jersey! If you are sailing and lit as a Power driven vessel, guess what!? I am going to TREAT you as a power driven vessel. Similarly, if you are a sailing vessel under power, and LIT as a SV, I am going to treat you as a POWER driven vessel.

I am taking the liberty here, using my years of experience to devine whether a vessel is under power or under sail. And also to share it with you too! (And my co workers are all pretty much devoid of the knowledge!) If you are a SV (sailing) and you have improper lights on which indicate you are under power I can tell. If you are lit as a SV under sail, underway, making way directly upwind (or thereabouts) and i can see your masts bare..(excepting terrible weather and you are hove too) . Some of the really dumb things I have seen. A SV with the RGW tricolor on the mast. PLUS the white light on the front of the mast indicating you are under power. This light combination does NOT exist in the rules. I have seen the RGW tricolor, the white light on the mast and the RG sidelights on the pulpit. Wrong! I have seen SV with RGW, RG, Anchor, masthead, and rg on pulpit. Wrong! I have seen SV under power with the RG masthead, and the white light on the mast. Wrong!

Regarding other lights. Upward shining spreader lights are the BEST safety feature you could have. Of course you wouldn't bother have them on all the time for battery conservation. But for a way tp quickly illuminate the upper half of your sails for a great visual warning of your position is awesome. They also come in handy for trimming sails, and spinnakers too. and since the don't shine down, they don't take as much of your night vision away. And using the spreader lights does NOT shine a light directly forward which can be confused with a masthead light (indicating under power.)

Regarding maneuvering:
If I have to make assumptions about what the intentions of another vessel are, the biggest part of the decision making process is to assess their possible heading. We all know where the pointy end of the boat is going. I am talking about the destination. When the next tack is coming, and other constraints. I am lucky. I know for instance if a SV has a reacher out, and a pole, and a vang on the main main, that they aren't going to be tacking. Similarly, I can pretty well figure out when the guy is going to come about as he is getting close to shore.

What stumps ALL of us is random, unknown useless tacking/gybing for no reason. It is one thing to say: Power driven vessels keep out of the way. It is another thing to say, The SV is going here, there, and with no apparent destination. Now couple that with my vessel. I am 500' long. I travel at 10 knots. I have (for a vessel this size) a nimble turning radius of about .5 of a mile. I can stop in about .6 to .8 of a mile. There is NO way I can participate if a SV has safely crossed my bow at a half mile, then abruptly comes about, and sails right back and I loose sight of him under the bow! There is such a HUGE disconnect between what is acceptable to safe vessel operation, that I can't fathom what is (or most likely NOT) going on in these persons mind.

There has been such a mish mash of info, thoughts, and experiences on this post alone, it is hard to figure out where to start this duscussion!
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Old 24-09-2012, 20:19   #355
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Absolutely.

Also sail gives way to RAM, NUC, CBD and vessels engaged in fishing. How many know the dayshapes and lights.
Glossary:

RAM: Restricted Ability to Maneuver
NUC: Not Under Command
CBD: Constrained By Draft
Fishing: An archaic religion, mostly practiced by Druids during the Dark Ages.
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Old 24-09-2012, 20:22   #356
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Glossary:

RAM: Restricted Ability to Maneuver
NUC: Not Under Command
CBD: Constrained By Draft
Fishing: An archaic religion, mostly practiced by Druids during the Dark Ages.



Ok, there goes the first shot across the bows of a few fishermen.

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Old 24-09-2012, 20:45   #357
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

Coming next: The EBL line and how it could save your life.
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Old 24-09-2012, 21:08   #358
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Coming next: The EBL line and how it could save your life.
I can hardly BEAR the wait for the line!
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Old 24-09-2012, 21:15   #359
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Do you *really* think that people who are avoiding one vessel would do it in a way that made them run into another? I just don't understand that kind of thinking. ...
Bingo! Yes, actually the problem sometimes is a lack of thinking, or what might be called poor or overloaded cockpit crisis management -- fixation on one problem situation to the detriment of awareness of others or too-little too-late jerking around in crowded waters that makes the problem so much worse.

From the landward perspective:
"The pedestrian didn't know which way to go, so I had to run over him."
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Old 24-09-2012, 22:12   #360
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Do you *really* think that people who are avoiding one vessel would do it in a way that made them run into another? I just don't understand that kind of thinking. ...
This is the biggest issue when avoiding yachts with commercial vessels. Your yacht has a turning radii of its length. My vessel has a turning radius of 6 times its length. I am trying to make meeting plans with you at around 2 miles minimum. (sometimes less, if our apparent closure rate is really slow) Think of it this way. If you took a big box and put a couple pingpong balls (representing your turning radius) in it, there would be plenty of room to move them around, and keep them a long way apart. Now put a couple basketballs (representing My turning radius) in there. Now try to move the pingpong balls around. It gets crowded doesn't it!?

Meanwhile, I am looking out at 8, 10, 12 miles for a couple 900' container ships that are making my 500' tug look like a little boat. They are converging at a combined rate of closure of around 30 knots. That means I am going to have a CPA with them sometimes before you even get to me! At 30 knots, a ship and I are 12 miles apart may meet in under 24 minutes. It takes me around 7 minutes just to turn a complete circle. In the time it takes me to turn half way around (3,5 minutes) the ship is about 10.5 miles away! Now that I have avoided you, I have less time to get clear of the ship! Oh yeah, there is another one coming from the port bow at 14 miles. Great, I just turned 45 degrees to miss you, now I have two more ships coming, and you decide that you really want to go back into port now, come about, and that time I took to avoid you was wasted, and it put both oncoming ships right on top of me. Now I have to avoid you AGAIN!

Yes, it happens. Avoiding one often makes two more near misses! Especially if I have to turn to miss you again.

I really didn't have to make this scenario up. It happens all the time. A simple radiotelephone call would go a LONG way to make my day. Maybe even yours!
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