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Old 13-11-2012, 12:52   #31
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

Human lookout 24/7. Not just a good idea, it's the law.

Rule5.html
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Old 13-11-2012, 15:03   #32
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

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Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Human lookout 24/7. Not just a good idea, it's the law.

Rule5.html
It may be the law, but the article concludes:
"Although it is true that the determination of a proper lookout is left to the mariner, it is also true that courts of law assign as a contributory fault the lack of a proper lookout in a very large proportion of collision cases."

I think many people get very casual about keeping a proper lookout. Frequency of scanning 360 degrees and techniques to maximize efficiency (and differences in technique between day and night) need to be thought about and adhered to. Many cruisers I have come across are very casual about this.

Hope this thread raises awareness.
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Old 13-11-2012, 15:36   #33
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

Most of the stuff one hits will not be seen in the popular 10 to 20 minute scans. Except in congested areas large ships are not the problem as the chances of randomly hitting one is exceedingly slim. Here in the PI the problem is tiny fishing craft and their floating objects. One or two minutes is all a lookout will have to avoid a collision after first sighting. Offshore in SE Asia there are FADs and logs. My experience is that one would have less than a minute from first sighting to collision unless conditions were very calm. At night the only warning is the clunk on the hull.

There is no solution. Watch standing at night is almost useless. I slow the boat down and sleep. I figure sleeping is no worse than the typical cruiser "on watch" 24/7 head down in a book or iPad. I have passed several that never saw me wave.
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Old 13-11-2012, 16:09   #34
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

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Originally Posted by daddle View Post
......
Watch standing at night is almost useless. I slow the boat down and sleep. I figure sleeping is no worse than the typical cruiser "on watch" 24/7 head down in a book or iPad. I have passed several that never saw me wave.
All the more reason to keep a decent lookout yourself!!!!!!
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Old 13-11-2012, 16:15   #35
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

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Jack dale makes a good point there are two types of collisions; vessels and debris.

I always require a set of eyes on deck 24/7. Scans every 15 minutes, with more frequent in heavier traffic areas. At night on long passages with the family I do this with a 15 minute repeating timer attached to my gear and sleep between scans and then get a good 2-3 hour sleep during the day when my wife is on watch. Her night watch consists of keeping the kids safe and happy in the boat.

Regarding debris, as I mentioned in another thread I have smacked large debris twice, one time I was staring right at the water hand steering when we hit a submerged object. We were a day and a half out of the Panama Canal on the Caribbean side and nailed what we think was a 50gallon drum. The collision sound was loud enough and sounded metallic-y, we assume it was a drum based on the shaped of the fibreglass chunk it removed and the fact that the boat survived the impact.

I was staring right at whatever we hit and it didn't even register. Only so much you can do or prepare for, the rest is rolling the dice, just like leaving your house everyday for work.
left over mine?

We were following the West side of Grand Traverse Bay trying to stay outside of 14 feet while avoiding big water. We hit a glancing blow that didn't leave a mark. Good thing. We are 55,000 disp and 6-8 draft. I think we scooted over the top of a boulder. GPS chart showed 20 to 30.
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Old 13-11-2012, 16:17   #36
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

Our "lookout" procedures vary with location and conditions and I believe this is true for most cruisers. When we are subject to fog near shore or in shipping lanes we are most vigilant with one of us at the helm in the visual world and another plastered to the radar screen in the virtual world. When we are passing among coral heads we have one at the bow or the spreaders pointing out the favored course to the helmsman. During clear times day or night in open waters we are much more at ease, but we keep an alert person at the helm. Underwater floundering debris is not anticipated and no reasonable effort is wasted in anticipating such a collision. If we hit something submerged I will be gratefull that I have a gentle profile with my full keel and not a harsh angle presented from my hull to keel as common with many fins, but these thoughts of hitting a container or such must be put in the realm of lightning strikes or falling meteors,- 'can't just give up adventure for the fear of risk.
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Old 13-11-2012, 18:45   #37
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

Here we use only two tricks:
1) there is ALWAYS at least one person in the cockpit (we are two),
2) when offshore, if in doubt, we always get out of their way.

No radar here, just passive AIS. Active one once we agree on which model we like best.

Use binnocs at night. Stand up while looking around. Look around in regular intervals @ max 5 minutes.

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Old 13-11-2012, 18:48   #38
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

Eh I guess this one too:

At night, do not look for the light where you think you spotted it.

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Old 14-11-2012, 03:38   #39
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

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Eh I guess this one too:

At night, do not look for the light where you think you spotted it.

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Please clarify this thought. Are you simply suggesting not to overlook an area where the light might actually be present by concentrating your attention on the wrong place?
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Old 14-11-2012, 03:54   #40
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

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Please clarify this thought. Are you simply suggesting not to overlook an area where the light might actually be present by concentrating your attention on the wrong place?
Applies to very faint lights watched at night.

The cones (or whatever it is) responsible for night vision (low light) are off center. Thus by looking to the side of the place where the light is, you will see it, but when you look right at it, you will not.

Takes a doctor to explain in proper vocab but air pilots and many seamen know to use it.

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Old 14-11-2012, 04:06   #41
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

The central portion of our vision, the fixation point, does not have any rods only cones. Rods provide us with the best vision under very low illumination.

The maximum rod concentration on the retina is about 17degrees from fixation.
So in very dull illumination our best vision is not when we looking at an object, but off to side (or above or below).This takes some practice, because in our modern bright world it's a skill rarely used.

It is worth practicing.

The exact degree of eccentric fixation depends on the brightness and also if we want to see colour (to identify navigation lights).
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Old 14-11-2012, 04:33   #42
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

Doh.

As Noelex explained in actual terms!

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Old 14-11-2012, 05:58   #43
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daddle View Post
Most of the stuff one hits will not be seen in the popular 10 to 20 minute scans. Except in congested areas large ships are not the problem as the chances of randomly hitting one is exceedingly slim. Here in the PI the problem is tiny fishing craft and their floating objects. One or two minutes is all a lookout will have to avoid a collision after first sighting. Offshore in SE Asia there are FADs and logs. My experience is that one would have less than a minute from first sighting to collision unless conditions were very calm. At night the only warning is the clunk on the hull.

There is no solution. Watch standing at night is almost useless. I slow the boat down and sleep. I figure sleeping is no worse than the typical cruiser "on watch" 24/7 head down in a book or iPad. I have passed several that never saw me wave.
I've also had experience with fishing boats at night in SE Asia. I agree - many of them (most?) are not properly lit. The fish traps are a danger, too. But I never hit one and it was because we (often two of us at night) kept a very careful watch.
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Old 14-11-2012, 06:09   #44
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

Nothing like a few near misses to keep you on your toes ,its hard to transfer those feelings to crew members who have not had the scare

As in sailing past an unlit well on moonless night !
Seeing an unusual wave pattern dead ahead 20x12 steel tank!
Seeing tug leaving drilling rig NO! towing it !!!
SHIP! so close I had to look up to see nav lights
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Old 14-11-2012, 06:33   #45
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Re: Lookout - What Do You Do?

i do not worry so much about things to hit in ocean--i did catch a drifting jig net on my way here---but the things i most watch for are weather changes-- the subtle changes in sea state and air that come together before any bad stuff hits--always has a decent warning interval--these things do not show on any electronic gizmo.
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