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Old 09-07-2013, 15:17   #706
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Yikes ! I have already worn one out. I hope its not an omen
I still have my 30 year old Morin. The tritium cell died, so I got the Plastimo; I hope the florescent material lasts.
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Old 09-07-2013, 17:52   #707
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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About 450 posts ago a guy named "TonyB" made a comment that was completely flamed by the 'purists' and technically correct crowd.

It was, "When in doubt, steer for the stern of the vessel." It is actually the absolute, correct way to avoid collision.
Am I a 'purist' or one of the technically correct crowd?

Since you apparently missed the point I made about 450 posts ago that in an interaction between a slow-moving sailboat and a freighter going 20+ knots where risk of collision exists, the sailboat is basically in front of the freighter, so you can't point at the stern; you can't see the stern; the stern is on the other side of a big wall of steel.
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Old 09-07-2013, 18:00   #708
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Am I a 'purist' or one of the technically correct crowd?

Since you apparently missed the point .
It doesn't matter which one you are!

Just a sailor off the 509 ( I think)


No. I didn't miss your comment, I don't agree with it. You are a very literal person. Of course you can point at the stern when you are at the bow of an oncoming ship. (Versus continuing to point at the Bow). Having been on the receiving end of this event I can assure you that the relative motion line immediately opens up which shows it works. I only said this since the previous answer mentioned almost the same solution.

You mentioned a few posts ago that you didn't think a person would have much luck getting a relative bearing in 12' seas. Once more, I think you have missed the whole point of the dilemma. It is not the guys in 12' seas that I am worried about figuring if risk of collision exists. It's the guys out on a flat calm day, who have more money than brains and ZIPPO experience!
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Old 09-07-2013, 18:28   #709
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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I think what you are saying is that you are a stickler for the specific word(s) of the Colregs, BUT, The phrase 'Stand On-Give way' is a morph of the 'old' term 'Right Of Way.'
It is NOT a "morph" of the old term. The old terms were replaced as they were too ambiguous. A lot of thought was put into codifying the responsibilities of both the give way and stand on vessels, so that there would be some predictability when a risk of collision arises.
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There is a HUGE difference between perceived Confidence and actual Competence. Cure THAT and the topic will go away. It doesn't matter what you call it: Right of way, stand on, give way. If you are going to be run over.... get out of the way. Part of this conundrum is simply being able to discern IF you are about to be a bow ornament for a ship.
With this, I agree. But I don't see how it has any bearing on interpretation of the colregs, or why you would proclaim that I incorrect - when clearly I was not.

Also, telling people to always be the give way vessel, when there will be occasions they should stand on, does little to fix the problems.
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Old 09-07-2013, 18:43   #710
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Of course you can point at the stern when you are at the bow of an oncoming ship. (Versus continuing to point at the Bow).
Versus??? They're on the same bearing - at best a degree apart.
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You mentioned a few posts ago that you didn't think a person would have much luck getting a relative bearing in 12' seas. Once more, I think you have missed the whole point of the dilemma. It is not the guys in 12' seas that I am worried about figuring if risk of collision exists. It's the guys out on a flat calm day, who have more money than brains and ZIPPO experience!
Not me. You must have me confused with Jackdale, but I'll take that as a compliment.

Never sailed in Protecteur - filled up there a few times, though.
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Old 09-07-2013, 18:51   #711
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Re: Freighters vs. sailboats

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
Am I a 'purist' or one of the technically correct crowd?

Since you apparently missed the point I made about 450 posts ago that in an interaction between a slow-moving sailboat and a freighter going 20+ knots where risk of collision exists, the sailboat is basically in front of the freighter, so you can't point at the stern; you can't see the stern; the stern is on the other side of a big wall of steel.

How did you end up in such a predicament -- did you fall asleep at the helm? You should be able to see a freighter in plenty of time to plan to sail behind it. It's not like they're hard to see.
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Old 09-07-2013, 20:11   #712
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Versus??? They're on the same bearing - at best a degree apart..
Ill bite

So who violated the Colregs? The ship or the sailboat. Does it matter? Who's life is in imminent jeopardy? At a certain point in time the sailboat must act. Where should the sailboat turn? To point at the bow of the ship? No. You will only hasten the collision. Ideally you point in a right angle away. But for all practical purposes you point to go BEHIND the ship. He concept of pointing at the stern is to be done when you are off to the side before you have waited SO long that you are dead ahead of the bow of a ship. It is this exact issue that is the topic here. There seems to be a good number of 'Darwins Darlings' out there who keep pushing the envelope.

I am thinking really hard here to try to recollect a specific time I have had a yacht appear dead ahead ( and stay there) until extremis. It is very odd to find a vessel on either a direct reciprocal course or the exact same course as you. An if O was on a yacht I sure as heck wouldn't let that happen for long.
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Old 09-07-2013, 20:55   #713
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by cappy208 View Post
Ill bite

So who violated the Colregs? The ship or the sailboat. Does it matter? Who's life is in imminent jeopardy? At a certain point in time the sailboat must act. Where should the sailboat turn? To point at the bow of the ship? No. You will only hasten the collision. Ideally you point in a right angle away. But for all practical purposes you point to go BEHIND the ship. He concept of pointing at the stern is to be done when you are off to the side before you have waited SO long that you are dead ahead of the bow of a ship. It is this exact issue that is the topic here. There seems to be a good number of 'Darwins Darlings' out there who keep pushing the envelope.

I am thinking really hard here to try to recollect a specific time I have had a yacht appear dead ahead ( and stay there) until extremis. It is very odd to find a vessel on either a direct reciprocal course or the exact same course as you. An if O was on a yacht I sure as heck wouldn't let that happen for long.
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Old 09-07-2013, 22:26   #714
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

I have been running this around in the conundrum machine. Ad nauseum.

This issue is happening not because some people do not know the Colregs. It is not happening because they are confusing Give way, Stand On, or Right of way. It is not because they want to die. It is not because they are standing there, waving the Colregs as they are run over. (all to recap the previous highlighted posts.)


It is happening simply because ordinary sailors do NOT understand how to tell if (or when) they are on a collision course with another vessel.

Why?

Because they do NOT understand Relative Motion. In truth they do not fully comprehend True motion either. BUT, as it was taught in RADAR OBSERVER CLASS, Relative (motion) Runs you over.

Sailors who look at another vessel see their heading, see the offending vessels heaidng, and ASSUME they can infer the actual closing situation. Until and unless you attend a class you WILL NOT GET IT!

Then, once learned, the Rapid RADAR Plotting techniques need constant polishing, to gain competence. Once the concept is learned, it is readily transferable to 'line of sight' (as has been described several times in this thread)

The bottom line is: Learn how relative motion is affecting your perceptions of what it REALLY happening out there.

Many people have been inputting, but people are still getting run over, or having close encounters with ships. Just looking out the porthole is not enough to figure it out. Explaining how to sight on someone (however done, HBC, Binocs, etc) is useless if the person does not grasp the concept of Relative motion.

To bring this into another plausible analogy, I am sure you have been aboard some one else's vessel, when they were operating, and they 'almost' run over a bouy, or clip a dock. How does this happen? Usually, it is the person NOT seeing side slip, or current set. This is a vector issue. The EXACT same topic as why yachts are getting run over by ships. Some people don't grasp 'set' some don't get Leeway. Some have a hard time 'seeing' what is happening. THIS is the issue.

No rules, No blame, just NO education! There's always something else to learn aboard. Relative motion is one of them. Learn it before it kills you!
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Old 09-07-2013, 22:35   #715
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
It is NOT a "morph" of the old term. The old terms were replaced as they were too ambiguous. A lot of thought was put into codifying the responsibilities of both the give way and stand on vessels, so that there would be some predictability when a risk of collision arises.
With this, I agree. But I don't see how it has any bearing on interpretation of the colregs, or why you would proclaim that I incorrect - when clearly I was not.

Also, telling people to always be the give way vessel, when there will be occasions they should stand on, does little to fix the problems.
OK, I will agree that the phrases have been changed for legal clarity. BUT, the concept is the same, regardless of the word used to describe the action. It is not that you are incorrect. It is just that you are beating a dead horse. The observance of, or lack of observance the regs is NOT the issue. It is the yachts inability to figure out IF they are about to die. Extremis is FAST.

Some interesting posts were made by 'racers' proclaiming that they 'know how to push the envelope' and thus are experienced at maneuvering. Having come from that background, this is a false assumption. What competitive racing instills is how to use the rules to your advantage, to force capitulation to your advantage. These 'ship encounters' are COMPLETELY opposite. Nevermind the mindset of dying to be stand on!
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Old 09-07-2013, 22:46   #716
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by cappy208 View Post
I have been running this around in the conundrum machine. Ad nauseum.

This issue is happening not because some people do not know the Colregs. It is not happening because they are confusing Give way, Stand On, or Right of way. It is not because they want to die. It is not because they are standing there, waving the Colregs as they are run over. (all to recap the previous highlighted posts.)


It is happening simply because ordinary sailors do NOT understand how to tell if (or when) they are on a collision course with another vessel.

Why?

Because they do NOT understand Relative Motion. In truth they do not fully comprehend True motion either. BUT, as it was taught in RADAR OBSERVER CLASS, Relative (motion) Runs you over.

Sailors who look at another vessel see their heading, see the offending vessels heaidng, and ASSUME they can infer the actual closing situation. Until and unless you attend a class you WILL NOT GET IT!

Then, once learned, the Rapid RADAR Plotting techniques need constant polishing, to gain competence. Once the concept is learned, it is readily transferable to 'line of sight' (as has been described several times in this thread)

The bottom line is: Learn how relative motion is affecting your perceptions of what it REALLY happening out there.

Many people have been inputting, but people are still getting run over, or having close encounters with ships. Just looking out the porthole is not enough to figure it out. Explaining how to sight on someone (however done, HBC, Binocs, etc) is useless if the person does not grasp the concept of Relative motion.

To bring this into another plausible analogy, I am sure you have been aboard some one else's vessel, when they were operating, and they 'almost' run over a bouy, or clip a dock. How does this happen? Usually, it is the person NOT seeing side slip, or current set. This is a vector issue. The EXACT same topic as why yachts are getting run over by ships. Some people don't grasp 'set' some don't get Leeway. Some have a hard time 'seeing' what is happening. THIS is the issue.

No rules, No blame, just NO education! There's always something else to learn aboard. Relative motion is one of them. Learn it before it kills you!

No, the only time I have seen that happen the person wasn't paying attention, or with docking, was still learning how to dock.

Where are all these near collisions with freighters happening? There are a fair number of freighters and cruise ships in Tampa Bay and through the Skyway Bridge, in a channel for some distance beyond, but I've never heard of any near-collisions.

And truly, it wasn't hard at all to learn how to avoid collisions. I learned it in my first, extremely basic sailing class.

People have to judge how other objects are moving in relation to themselves all the time, not just on the water. It's not hard.

Maybe these near-misses are more common than I realize, but I'm not aware of them.
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Old 09-07-2013, 23:45   #717
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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Originally Posted by cappy208 View Post
I have been running this around in the conundrum machine. Ad nauseum.

This issue is happening not because some people do not know the Colregs. It is not happening because they are confusing Give way, Stand On, or Right of way. It is not because they want to die. It is not because they are standing there, waving the Colregs as they are run over. (all to recap the previous highlighted posts.)


It is happening simply because ordinary sailors do NOT understand how to tell if (or when) they are on a collision course with another vessel.

Why?

Because they do NOT understand Relative Motion. In truth they do not fully comprehend True motion either. BUT, as it was taught in RADAR OBSERVER CLASS, Relative (motion) Runs you over.
Cappy, many thanks for all your detailed, informative and very patient posts on this thread. I think you have gone a long way to enlightening many members.

I agree that understanding relative motion is the key.

Many people simply do not realise that if you are scanning the horizon every 5 min (with reasonable visibility) there is a possibility that ANY boat you first spot anywhere on the horizon is going to hit you.

They are ALL moving closer to you. From the instant any boat is spotted on the horizon you need to start assessing if you are at risk of colliding.


Most of us do not have the luxury of sufficient power to run a radar for the entire duration of long trips, so learning how to determine if the boat spotted is on a constant heading relative to us is critical (using 'line of sight' or hand bearing compass).
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Old 10-07-2013, 04:42   #718
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

agreed.



Lets assume we keep an excellent lookout (your 5 min interval)..

Say you spot a freighter.. its nighttime, skies are clear, sea state is low so you can spot it at 12nm.. its making 20kt, you are making 6kt..thats a potential closure in 25mins. You have a decision time and an action time component.. so, if you spot the target at 12nm you have about 15-20mins to track, assess and decide what to do.

Now.. seas are a bit higher, its hazy.. you spot the target at 8nm.. so, potential closure in 20mins.. now you only have 10-15mins to decide...

Now make it windy, raining, and blowing and its higher seas... you see the vessel at 4nm.. thats 10 mins for a potential closure.. giving you 5mins to decide what to do...

As you can see from the simplistic math, keeping a good watch is critical, and is the understanding of closing speed and distances.. We have sailboats, and we go slowly.. many times we can get fooled into thinking that things happen slowly, but here we see what is reality..danger can creep up very quickly.

Certainly in the last case, there is little time to be remembering how to judge relative bearing... this is a skill that needs to be developed and practiced constantly such that an assessment can quickly, efficiently and confidently be made to the threat level of the target and any course corrections be implemented.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post

Many people simply do not realise that if you are scanning the horizon every 5 min (with reasonable visibility) there is a possibility that ANY boat you first spot anywhere on the horizon is going to hit you.

They are ALL moving closer to you. From the instant any boat is spotted on the horizon you need to start assessing if you are at risk of colliding.


Most of us do not have the luxury of sufficient power to run a radar for the entire duration of long trips, so learning how to determine if the boat spotted is on a constant heading relative to us is critical (using 'line of sight' or hand bearing compass).
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Old 10-07-2013, 05:49   #719
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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......
As you can see from the simplistic math, keeping a good watch is critical, and is the understanding of closing speed and distances.. We have sailboats, and we go slowly.. many times we can get fooled into thinking that things happen slowly, but here we see what is reality..danger can creep up very quickly.

Certainly in the last case, there is little time to be remembering how to judge relative bearing... this is a skill that needs to be developed and practiced constantly such that an assessment can quickly, efficiently and confidently be made to the threat level of the target and any course corrections be implemented.
Mystic, you are absolutely right.

It amazes me that many people do not keep a better lookout. In good conditions I used to scan every 10 minutes, and this has reduced to five (and I scan constantly with decreased visibility and/or bigger seas).

I posted this 6 months ago, but I think the tips given for scanning technique are worth repeating:

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Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
......
If a boat is spotted I keep an eye on it every few minutes to see if we are at risk (I look to see if it is stationary relative to some point on the boat, with me in a fixed position). If so, I take a compass heading and repeat this every few min (a very useful technique).

We use our engine infrequently (320 hours in 4 years of full time cruising), so when sailing the radar is put on only on if a spotted boat close to being on collision course is within about 5nm of us, or if we are in a busy area and there are lots of boats around.

The method of scanning is important. Our eyes cannot smoothly track unless they have a target to follow (they move in jerky movements). Our peripheral vision is extremely poor in picking up detail so the most effective way of scanning the horizon during daylight conditions is to deliberately move your eye in small increments (take around 150-200 samples as you go around the horizon). During daylight conditions our acuity is roughly halved 2 degrees off our central fixation, so aim for 180 scans.

This is important even when sailing on short trips. How many of you look behind every 5-10 minutes?

At night our central vision is very poor, so when scanning actually concentrate about 4 degrees from the point where you are looking (either look a bit above or below the horizon or to the right or left of the point you want to examine). One degree is roughly a thumb width at arms length.

After one bad experience (it wasn't a close call, but scared me none the less) I have learned that reading while on watch is not a good idea. Nor is listening to music or talking books (sound is an important cue to many problems).
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:16   #720
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Re: Freighters vs. Sailboats

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agreed.



Lets assume we keep an excellent lookout (your 5 min interval)..

Say you spot a freighter.. its nighttime, skies are clear, sea state is low so you can spot it at 12nm.. its making 20kt, you are making 6kt..thats a potential closure in 25mins. You have a decision time and an action time component.. so, if you spot the target at 12nm you have about 15-20mins to track, assess and decide what to do.

Now.. seas are a bit higher, its hazy.. you spot the target at 8nm.. so, potential closure in 20mins.. now you only have 10-15mins to decide...

Now make it windy, raining, and blowing and its higher seas... you see the vessel at 4nm.. thats 10 mins for a potential closure.. giving you 5mins to decide what to do...

As you can see from the simplistic math, keeping a good watch is critical, and is the understanding of closing speed and distances.. We have sailboats, and we go slowly.. many times we can get fooled into thinking that things happen slowly, but here we see what is reality..danger can creep up very quickly.

Certainly in the last case, there is little time to be remembering how to judge relative bearing... this is a skill that needs to be developed and practiced constantly such that an assessment can quickly, efficiently and confidently be made to the threat level of the target and any course corrections be implemented.

This is the concern I have about many coastal cruisers I know, who plan a trip, say to the Tortugas. It can actually be hard to find people to crew with you. Most people have job and other land-based commitments that keep them from taking a two-week trip without a lot of planning -- and then that trip competes with other travel they want to take, visiting friends, family, etc.

When people are full time cruisers/live aboards, they have their own boats and no need (and quite possibly no desire) to travel in close quarters for an extended period of time on someone else's crew.

I've known a number of situations where people have taken crew not ready for things like night watches. Not only are they not used to it but they don't really know what they should be looking for. Shrimping fleets look quite distinctive on the water once you know what they look like, but you have to really keep some distance from them, and they're another example of something you don't want to collide with that has limited or no maneuverabiity. It isn't just freighters.

At the same time I reject the notion that it's hard to learn. When vision is impaired (haze, or worse, heavy fog), everyone will struggle with it. Even in waves, there's no reason to end up so close to the bow that you can't see the stern.

I don't think it helps things to exaggerate the difficulty. Just because there are isolated incidents (here, anyway) where there's just no visibility doesn't mean we shouldn't teach this very, very early. It was taught to me very, very early -- and very simply -- and has served me well.

And truly, i worry more about the guy out on his power boat for the first time with no classes -- or even more so, skidoo type craft -- than I do freighters.
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