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Old 11-01-2016, 11:15   #76
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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yeah - that was what Dockhead and I ended up doing during our run up the channel in a storm. Simply couldn't cross at right angles like we were supposed - force 8/9 and 6 meter waves - we would have broached.

Coast guard gave us permission - still pretty cool. Like I said earlier - Just peachy! Can't wait to do it again! (yeah right - not in a million years)
Indeed, stuff of nightmares! You are barely under control surfing down the big breaking seas (more than 6 meters I believe!) and just can't navigate -- you can only go in one direction, slightly off dead downwind, is safe. Then you come up on a TSS!! Thank God is wasn't land!

We were sailing under almost bare poles -- just a little scrap of jib out -- and making just 7 or 8 knots most of the time, just right for maximum control.

We called the Dutch Coast Guard, who were very accommodating, then put out a Securite call, warning traffic about what we were doing. Then I called every ship as it approached us and agreed how we would pass each other.

Interestingly, every ship that night answered my radio calls. I guess they were not in "ignore pleasure traffic" mode in that blow.


Carsten did an excellent job helming (did I mention that?), and managed to dodge all the rest of the breakers. After midnight, we managed to alter course to E and dodge in behind the Frisian islands, and the sea state immediately calmed down. The next day was sunny and much calmer. We had a pleasant sail and arrived in the afternoon in Helgoland. The gin has never tasted sweeter!!
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:20   #77
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Originally Posted by Sandero View Post
Speaking of AIS... doesn't it make sense for the aids to navigation to show on AIS? I believe virtual AIS can be broadcast. Is this a common practice? If not why not?
Its coming in now. New York harbor approaches have AIS on the channel markers (either real of virtual, I don't know)

The future there will be many.
And at the cost of a physical channel marker around $200,000 (!!!) there will be many governments wanting to cut budgets!
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:32   #78
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

I learned to assume that any unknown person may be entirely devoid of conscientiousness because some actually are.
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:43   #79
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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It is very bad, very dangerous practice specifically forbidden by the COLREGS, to do as you suggest, unless it's done (a) prior to "risk of collision arising", as defined in the Rules; and (b) done with a large, not small change of course and/or speed which will be evident to the other bridge. You should study collision avoidance some. Both the rules, and practical techniques.
...
An you continue with this

I guess you did not understood. It seems that me and donradcliffe do the same thing. What I do is to avoid a situation where COLREGS would apply (regarding risk of collision) changing course regarding any ship in a way there is not any possibility of risk of a collision and much sooner a ship would be changing its course to avoid a collision with me.

I change my course, in a lighter or bigger way to be sure about that. Sometimes a small change of course will do, other times a big change of course for some time is what I do and yes. I sail on waters with an heavy traffic, do this dozens of times a year, I know how to do that and when to do that.

I always pass far away from ships and only when I am restricted on my sailing ability (by Islands) I allow a situation where I have to use COLREGS rules regarding Risk of collision and in that case I do not only follow the rules as if I have any doubt I contact the ship.

What the COLREGS say is:

"Risk of collision (a). Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist. "

Only if a risk of collision exists should be followed the COLREGS in what regards "Action to avoid collision"
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Old 11-01-2016, 11:55   #80
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

"The basic problem isn't the technology, it's very human and is reflective of the fact, not opinion, that many mariners these days lack basic navigational and situational awareness skills.

It's senseless to try to cast blame for why this is. It just is, and we have to live with it.

AIS is NOT synoptic, i.e., it doesn't show EVERYTHING you can hit or which can hit you." Btrayfors

Very well said! There are some on this forum who are very accomplished sailors who use a heavy complement of electronic aids, to their benefit, while practicing prudent traditional seamanship. In my opinion, they represent a small group of sailors. The majority, however, rely on these electronic aids because as Btrayfors said above: they "lack basic navigational and situational awareness skills." I am continually amazed how many sailors I meet today cannot plot a fix, course line or EP on a nautical chart and rely totally on their GPS plotter to determine their position. To use AIS exclusively as your eyes in shipping lanes, or elsewhere, is foolhardy, at best, and potentially deadly. If ever there were a time that a mariner should be extremely vigilant is when traversing shipping lanes. To assume you have been seen by a ship is nothing short of suicide. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:07   #81
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
"The basic problem isn't the technology, it's very human and is reflective of the fact, not opinion, that many mariners these days lack basic navigational and situational awareness skills.

It's senseless to try to cast blame for why this is. It just is, and we have to live with it.

AIS is NOT synoptic, i.e., it doesn't show EVERYTHING you can hit or which can hit you." Btrayfors

Very well said! There are some on this forum who are very accomplished sailors who use a heavy complement of electronic aids, to their benefit, while practicing prudent traditional seamanship. In my opinion, they represent a small group of sailors. The majority, however, rely on these electronic aids because as Btrayfors said above: they "lack basic navigational and situational awareness skills." I am continually amazed how many sailors I meet today cannot plot a fix, course line or EP on a nautical chart and rely totally on their GPS plotter to determine their position. To use AIS exclusively as your eyes in shipping lanes, or elsewhere, is foolhardy, at best, and potentially deadly. If ever there were a time that a mariner should be extremely vigilant is when traversing shipping lanes. To assume you have been seen by a ship is nothing short of suicide. Good luck and safe sailing.
This could be solved if there was some sort of licensing requirement for recreational boats. But imagine the next generation... they barely know how to use a pencil (or know what it is) or a pen! It's mice to them!
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:32   #82
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Indeed, stuff of nightmares! You are barely under control surfing down the big breaking seas (more than 6 meters I believe!) and just can't navigate -- you can only go in one direction, slightly off dead downwind, is safe. Then you come up on a TSS!! Thank God is wasn't land!

We were sailing under almost bare poles -- just a little scrap of jib out -- and making just 7 or 8 knots most of the time, just right for maximum control.

We called the Dutch Coast Guard, who were very accommodating, then put out a Securite call, warning traffic about what we were doing. Then I called every ship as it approached us and agreed how we would pass each other.

Interestingly, every ship that night answered my radio calls. I guess they were not in "ignore pleasure traffic" mode in that blow.


Carsten did an excellent job helming (did I mention that?), and managed to dodge all the rest of the breakers. After midnight, we managed to alter course to E and dodge in behind the Frisian islands, and the sea state immediately calmed down. The next day was sunny and much calmer. We had a pleasant sail and arrived in the afternoon in Helgoland. The gin has never tasted sweeter!!
Damned right! And the second martini tasted just as good as the first - albeit it lasted a lot longer.
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:35   #83
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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This could be solved if there was some sort of licensing requirement for recreational boats. But imagine the next generation... they barely know how to use a pencil (or know what it is) or a pen! It's mice to them!
There are many countries that require licenses, some easy ones others graded licenses from easy to difficult ones.

There are many things you don't learn with from the studies and experiences needed to get a license, specially in what regards to sailing in a practical way, but this type of stuff is the one where formation is more pointed too, things that have to do with safety, like collision avoidance, maydays and that type of stuff.

Teachers are Sea Captains with professional licenses and decades of experience and not only text books. Their experience is very valuable to acquire the knowledge how to sail safely in what regards security.

One of the things I remember well is that on a small pleasure boat, regarding a ship, you should only enter on a situation where Rule nº8 of COLREGS should be applied (Action to avoid collision) if you cannot avoid it in first place, meaning if you cannot avoid to be on a situation where risk of collision is possible. Premature changes of course to avoid that situation were recommended.

Off course, that is the theory, only practice can teach you how to do that correctly. Everybody starts to exaggerate making huge detours. Only practice will teach you what the right amount of deviation you have to do, if any, not to be on a situation with a CPA that justifies the use Rule 8 of COLREGS.
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Old 11-01-2016, 13:27   #84
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

There was an occasion on my watch last year on our way to Tasmania, where I asked the oncoming merchant vessel by VHF how he wanted to handle our situation, because the CPA had got under a quarter mile, and my risk tolerance was wearing a bit thin. He said he would avoid us, and he did--but he passed us starboard to starboard, which surprised me!

Next time I will ask for that to be clarified, will it be port to port, or stbd to stbd, because it is a PITA to gybe singlehanded, and I prefer not to get Jim up--he needs his sleep--to avoid someone, and coming up would have had me right in his path, at the same time as another one was coming up our wake... [Don't get me wrong, I will bother Jim if I can't handle a situation or am concerned about it, but I was glad the situation was resolved by the ship avoiding us, and we able to keep sailing.]

This is obviously not the high density traffic that the English Channel and Singapore sailors have to handle, but from how the ship handled the situation, it would seem that Dockhead is correct: they prefer for us to stand on, at this time, anyway. It is a time of change and rapid technological advance, and how people stand watches is changing, not always for the better. Consider Boatie's post about the Mark One Eyeball. Even before we had radar, a long time ago, we still were able to keep ourselves safe, and stay clear of problems with only our measly 4 mi or so of vision. I think it was Btrayfors who wrote about turning away from tonnage--on San Francisco Bay, where i learned to sail, we used to call it the Gross Tonnage: they get to be "stand on"--it's gross! Inside the Bay they have constrained ability to maneuver, as well.

Cheers, guys,

Ann
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Old 11-01-2016, 14:21   #85
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Didn't work for me in LIS... I see no aids to navigation...
here's a bit of Europe showing nav aids broadcasting. Lot of them at it though it's not uncommon to get navtex messages about one being down.
not sure where LIS is...

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Old 11-01-2016, 14:26   #86
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

I had a bit of a lesson in the vagaries of AIS in October south of Fernando de Noronha. This was at night.

A cargo ship was off our starboard bow and the triangle on the screen pointed straight at us. While triangle appeared to moving to port, it was still pointed straight at us. The vessel navigation lights also implied a crossing of our bow.

I checked the CPA and TCPA which indicated a course and speed that would take the ship well past our bow. But I noticed that the status was "moored."

To verify what I was seeing I called the vessel and verified they were crossing well ahead of our bow. I was relieved, but forgot to ask about the 'moored" status.

For those experts out there would the "moored status" effect the orientation of the triangle? I had not encountered that before.

I also did not get a screen shot.
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Old 11-01-2016, 16:42   #87
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

Jack, the apex of the triangle symbol should align with compass heading if a compass heading is provided (it should be with Class A).
If no compass input, then it aligns with COG
I have seen some grossly in error, which I think may be an error in data transfer from compass to AIS rather than a misaligned gyro.

As for the moored status, obviously the guy setting up the bridge gear on departure forgot to change the status, and subsequent OOW's have not checked the status.

Always worth giving them a call and a polite reminder about the status if it appears in error. On some set ups, the operator can honestly believe he has changed the status, but it does not happen. Found this on my last two tugs. The AIS information could be set from the ECDIS (integrated with the AIS), but if you got the button sequence wrong, the AIS data would not update. We found it best to change the data directly at the AIS unit.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:47   #88
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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An you continue with this

I guess you did not understood. It seems that me and donradcliffe do the same thing. What I do is to avoid a situation where COLREGS would apply (regarding risk of collision) changing course regarding any ship in a way there is not any possibility of risk of a collision and much sooner a ship would be changing its course to avoid a collision with me.

I change my course, in a lighter or bigger way to be sure about that. Sometimes a small change of course will do, other times a big change of course for some time is what I do and yes. I sail on waters with an heavy traffic, do this dozens of times a year, I know how to do that and when to do that.

I always pass far away from ships and only when I am restricted on my sailing ability (by Islands) I allow a situation where I have to use COLREGS rules regarding Risk of collision and in that case I do not only follow the rules as if I have any doubt I contact the ship.

What the COLREGS say is:

"Risk of collision (a). Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist. "

Only if a risk of collision exists should be followed the COLREGS in what regards "Action to avoid collision"
.
Well, this contradicts the premise of your previous post, which was that "even if I'm the stand on vessel". If you're the stand-on vessel, then a risk of collision already exists, and the procedure you described is very bad, in fact, a museum of typical collision avoidance mistakes made by recreational sailors, and the reason why commercial mariners refer to us as "WAFIs" -- Wind Assisted F**** Idiots.


As I wrote before, if you can prevent a risk of collision from ever arising, by maneuvering early enough, there's nothing wrong with that. But I really doubt that many recreational sailors are able to do this. It is very, very typical that recreational sailors misunderstand the decision-making horizons of commercial ships' bridges, and make the wrong moves at the wrong time. In open water, a well-run commercial bridge (not the one discussed in the original post of this thread) has analyzed a crossing, made a decision, and has made a maneuver to create a safe CPA by about 10 miles out.

At 10 miles out, a ship will seem hull down on the horizon, and tiny, from the deck of a sailboat, and most recreational sailors haven't even noticed it yet. Are you maneuvering from before 10 miles? To have detected a risk of collision and worked out and executed a maneuver by that time, without using AIS, is almost impossible. If you're a really good radar operator, maybe with radar.

What is more typical is that recreational sailors wake up at 5 or 6 miles out, when the decision point has long passed for the ship. The recreational sailor is not capable of analyzing the CPA, and does not realize that there is no risk of collision, and makes a sudden move, forbidden by the COLREGS because you are obligated to stand on, and which has a 50% chance of creating a risk of collision, where one didn't exist. This type of behavior is dangerous and wrong, and is why they call us WAFIs.

You cannot solve this problem by just assuming that a risk of collision always exists. You are obligated to use "all means available and appropriate" to determine the risk of collision, and it is extremely important to the process to be capable of distinguishing a real risk of collision from a 1 mile CPA, and this cannot be done without the application of skill and technology, and without investing significant effort to doing it. Maybe you do this very well - I've never sailed with you -- but you can't determine that from your previous post, which shows attitudes and procedures typical of the typical mistakes which WAFIs make.


Edit: One should also not assume that because you are broadcasting "B" class AIS, that you will see the ship, before the ship sees you. I believe someone posted something like that above. A well-run ship's bridge will be using S-Band radar in open water, and ARPA, and unlike the case described in the original post, will not be relying on AIS. These radars are incomparably more powerful than ours, and have antennas mounted high on the superstructure. They will often see you from 20 miles off.
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:55   #89
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
I had a bit of a lesson in the vagaries of AIS in October south of Fernando de Noronha. This was at night.

A cargo ship was off our starboard bow and the triangle on the screen pointed straight at us. While triangle appeared to moving to port, it was still pointed straight at us. The vessel navigation lights also implied a crossing of our bow.

I checked the CPA and TCPA which indicated a course and speed that would take the ship well past our bow. But I noticed that the status was "moored."

To verify what I was seeing I called the vessel and verified they were crossing well ahead of our bow. I was relieved, but forgot to ask about the 'moored" status.

For those experts out there would the "moored status" effect the orientation of the triangle? I had not encountered that before.

I also did not get a screen shot.
I have noted that the orientation of the triangle icon is fairly frequently completely off in SE Asian commercial vessels, and occaisionally so elsewhere. I can only assume that the AIS has not been correctly set up. The status is likewise frequently wrong.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:02   #90
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Re: Over-Reliance on AIS -- Collision off Dungeness

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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Jack, the apex of the triangle symbol should align with compass heading if a compass heading is provided (it should be with Class A).
If no compass input, then it aligns with COG
I have seen some grossly in error, which I think may be an error in data transfer from compass to AIS rather than a misaligned gyro.

As for the moored status, obviously the guy setting up the bridge gear on departure forgot to change the status, and subsequent OOW's have not checked the status.

Always worth giving them a call and a polite reminder about the status if it appears in error. On some set ups, the operator can honestly believe he has changed the status, but it does not happen. Found this on my last two tugs. The AIS information could be set from the ECDIS (integrated with the AIS), but if you got the button sequence wrong, the AIS data would not update. We found it best to change the data directly at the AIS unit.
Good to know, though I don't usually try to hail them in SE Asian waters anymore, if local vessels. I have tried few times to do this with Indonesian vessels and drawn a blank. Certainly would do elsewhere, although find it far less frequent in the Atlantic or Pacific regions.
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