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Old 23-08-2013, 09:42   #16
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

as close as you want to be.. within your personal safety margin...... for non military craft. I doubt the alarm had anything to do with you.

Interestingly, The Trident Nuclear sub base is up on Hood Canal here in WA state. Before 9/11 I observed a fast cigarette style boat zoom up and stop right in front of the Sub dock (covered area) for a close look. You could see the navy security boat coming at maybe 35 knots, took them a while to get there. The cigarette waited until he got close and then zoomed off! I bet they dont allow that since 9/11....
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Old 23-08-2013, 10:04   #17
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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
it is a good idea to give anchored ships a wide berth,as if there is a wind change,they can swing faster than you can motor or sail out their radius of swing.
I have seen this in action off of Ilha Grande in Brazil. Watched a 30'er get smacked. Sailed into the wind shadow and the wind changed 40degrees. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion...don't think anyone was hurt. Damn funny commentary from the VHF though...
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Old 23-08-2013, 10:12   #18
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

Thanks for all the input.

I had never considered that the alarm may have been coincidental. Who knows, maybe it was. Taking that view, maybe the crew just came up to the bow to break the boredom and watch a boat sail past. As I said they didn't seem concerned.

Anyway I will now stop searching for some hidden regulation about distance off.
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Old 23-08-2013, 10:41   #19
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

Travelling regularly in and out of San Diego, it was impossible to avoid many warship movements if you were already mid-channel when they decided to enter or leave. Keeping watch on VHF, the USCG and Navy was very good about announcing ship movements into the channel and I'm sure pleasure craft not watchkeeping on channel 16, 22 or 22a gave them fits. We were in South Bay off the Graving yards headed for the marina just after 9/11 and were escorted out of the area by 3 navy security RIB's with .50 cal guns trained on us the whole way. No annoucement other than hailing loudspeaker in english and spanish.
These guys and women are there to protect us and the harbor facilities where they are based so I'm inclined to cut them a lot of slack in their enforcement/courtesy announcements of ship movements. Big safety factor in my mind inasmuchas you can't stop, start or change course on a dime in an aircraft carrier or large troop carrier, particularly in a narrow commercial channel. Just my opinion... Phil
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Old 23-08-2013, 10:50   #20
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

In a race when I was a kid sailing a Moth (about 10 feet long) I sailed between a ship and its anchor chain.


Yep, I won the race
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Old 23-08-2013, 10:51   #21
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

Anybody that has a 50 cal trained on me gets cut a lot of slack.
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Old 23-08-2013, 20:09   #22
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

As one of the guys on the anchored vessels we appreciate more space rather than less. The only exception is if your wife or daughter is good looking.
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Old 23-08-2013, 21:44   #23
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

The Coast Guard port captain can and does put restrictions on how close you can get to large vessels. A security zone is done with large passenger vessels frequently. There is also a security zone set up with large petroleum vessels on the SF Bay.
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Old 23-08-2013, 21:51   #24
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

We were coming into San Diego when one of those navy boats came zooming up to us with blue lights flashing, guns trained on us. Scary. Didn't take long to figure out....they got on the bullhorn and said, "Move to the green side of the channel to allow the submarine to pass." You got it......
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Old 24-08-2013, 06:42   #25
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
I doubt it. If you sailed into the side of them it would barely scratch their paint. On the other hand, it might well damage your boat enough to sink it. And any follow-up investigation--if there even was one--would put you 100% at fault, since they were anchored at the time.

As to the OPs incident and the alarms, unless the ship was carrying hazardous and/or sensitive materials, and was therefore operating under some sort of national security guidelines, I suspect that the timing of the alarm was just a coincidence. I really doubt that they care very much if some small boat is stupid enough to sail into the side of them when they are anchored.
Agreed any damage to the tanker would be nothing but, a scratch at worst and for my boat major if we hit. That was not my concern. My concern was if you are sailing in the harbor where the 9/11 attack happened people can be a little more skittish.
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Especially around big fuel tankers laying about at anchor. Some people remember the USS Cole incident too. With the VTS cameras all over the harbor I also did not want to do anything that may trigger a visit from the Coasties either.
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:44   #26
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

Here's a different hazard in sailing too close to an anchored ship:

About 10 miles out from the entrance to the busy Gladstone, Qld harbour there are often a whole slew of giant coal and ore ships anchored awaiting their turn at the docks. They lie just about on the rhumb line that we sail coming in from New Cal or Vanuatu. One day we sailed within about 100 metres of one of these behemoths. No one on deck, no worries on our part... until a huge cloud of ravenous mozzies detached themselves from the ship and attached themselves to US. It was unreal - one minute sailing along in ideal conditions, not a worry in the world, next minute attacked by a bazilion tiny vampires. A brisk outbreak of chemical warfare ensued, but it was hours before we were free of them... just in time to greet the sand flies in Gladstone!

Cheers,

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Old 24-08-2013, 13:57   #27
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

As has been already mentioned it is easy to get blanketed. Mind the current, if you get too close the water running by the tanker can suck you in. Watch the bow if you see two streams of water coming out then they are could be weighing anchor. If it was noon on Sunday, it was probably a drill alarm. Best bet give them a wide berth!
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:11   #28
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

before you get within 100 yards of a navy vessel they will already have come out in the armed patrol boat to meet and greet
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:21   #29
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

I know that there are security zones around tanker off loading areas. They are not worried about the idiot sailor who has to get a close look and runs into the ship but the idiot terrorist who has a boat loaded with C4 ala USS Cole. A loaded tanker, even an empty one because of residual fuel, is an extremely attractive target for Jihadi A-holes.
Can't imagine that they don't have a security zone around them in any American Port. Now, an LNG tanker would set off a truly stupendous fireworks.
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Old 24-08-2013, 14:49   #30
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Re: Sailing close to an anchored ship

in usa one is supposed to give ships 500 ft of space per laws written post uss coles. we, as recreational boaters, are supposed to have 100 ft of safety , however this is debatable. the big ships 500 ft is not negotiable, especially in navy towns such as san diego.
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