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Old 14-12-2019, 23:50   #31
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Many moons ago, when I was at OCS Rhode Island, our navigation instructor, an Quarter Master Master Chief (QMMC) summed up life at sea very nicely. He said that the first law of the sea was that "gross tonnage has right of way --- always. The second law of the sea was --- see the first law of the sea." ......
Well it certainly simplifies things and presumably all commercial seafarers know this.

A coastal oil tanker of 50K dwt always gives way to a ULCC of 500K dwt.
A destroyer always gives way to a battleship.
A 30' sailboat always gives way to a 40' sailboat.
A 8' dinghy always gives way to a 12' dinghy.

The only time you need to think is when both vessels appear to be the same size but even then, all you need to do is get on the blower and ask 'how big are you" and at the same time tell them how big you are.

The bigger guy can then do what ever he wants.

Who needs steeking colregs - all they do is complicate things and keep the sea-lawyers in a job.

Sheesh - why are we even talking about it.


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Old 15-12-2019, 00:13   #32
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

He said "gross tonnage", not displacement


So who has "RoW" when the situation involves "warships and vessels of primitive build" ?
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Old 15-12-2019, 02:22   #33
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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He said "gross tonnage", not displacement


So who has "RoW" when the situation involves "warships and vessels of primitive build" ?
My bad, cancel the displacement etc and revert to gross tonnage but the principle remains the same.

First - establish the gross tonnage of the other guy

Second - apply the rule of bigger gets RoW.

Presumably gross tonnage of both a warship and a vessel of primitive build can be established (????)

This isn't just reserved for WAFIs, any mariner can (must / shall) follow it.

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Old 15-12-2019, 07:39   #34
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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You were not stand on vessel. At two miles out with a large vessel in the centre of a traffic lane and a small sailing vessel outside it, there should be no risk of collision.
Stum, you apparently missed the part of my description where I said the AIS CPA (closest point of approach) was less than 0.1 nm (600 feet). That's too close for me to assess the crossing as being "no risk of collision."

The Bridge-to-bridge communications act I referenced applies to any vessel in US waters - not just inland waters, i.e., not just waters inside the COLREG demarcation line.

I was taught that it was always good form to arrange a crossing with any vessel at sea where the CPA is less than 0.5 nm, regardless of who is stand-on or give-way. Maybe you were taught differently when you got your Master's credential, but the whole point of the COLREGs is to avoid collisions. Can you make a case for how advising another vessel of your intentions on the radio could increase the risk of a collision? Do you assert the practice is somehow harmful?

I suspect we could argue ad infinitum because of our clashing legal versus practical perspectives.
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Old 15-12-2019, 08:16   #35
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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My bad, cancel the displacement etc and revert to gross tonnage but the principle remains the same.

First - establish the gross tonnage of the other guy

Second - apply the rule of bigger gets RoW.

Presumably gross tonnage of both a warship and a vessel of primitive build can be established (????)

This isn't just reserved for WAFIs, any mariner can (must / shall) follow it.

You guys are joking, right? How about: the vessel with the biggest guns has RoW?

(I'm not serious.)
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Old 15-12-2019, 08:29   #36
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Can you make a case for how advising another vessel of your intentions on the radio could increase the risk of a collision? Do you assert the practice is somehow harmful?
Frowned upon in UK based on evidence, you shouldn't need to make contact in the majority of cases anyway, just go with the IRPCS.
http://solasv.mcga.gov.uk/m_notice/mgn/mgn167.pdf
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Old 15-12-2019, 11:31   #37
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

a couple of comments:

The colregs are silent on the use of VHF (generally, although some observers suggest VHF usage is 'implied' in several places). Actual 'customary' VHF practices have had 'local flavoring' - in particular, UK being very vocally against and US more positive.

For those who are not aware of it, it might be worth looking up the Andrea Doria MS Stockholm collision (1956). There were many faults identified in the investigation . . . but one of the outcomes was additional US VHF legislation including requiring approaching ships in a similar situation to make contact with each other. This is obviously 'ancient history' but it has colored US practice.

The 'knock' on VHF in passing situations has mostly been in making/agreeing passing 'arrangements', especially ones which are not per the colregs. This practice has been shown to potentially cause extra confusion.

However, my read of the OP's comments is that is NOT what he is suggesting - I believe he has been suggesting confirming on the VHF that he will in fact follow his colregs compliant requirements/maneuver. One could ask why confirm you are simply following the rules, and he has said: because I have been on the bridge of these vessels and have seen that it reduces stress if we know a target at least acknowledges his responsibility. This practice would seem (to me) to be rather less troublesome than trying to negotiate a passing arrangement.

I will comment that I tend to use VHF when I am stand-on and have already taken extra actions to make my position as clear as I possibly can (including at night shining spotlight on mainsail), and the give-way vessel shows no indication at all of even being aware of me. I will make a vhf call to them, with enough advance time to be able to maneuver afterward if they don't respond and still don't act. Again, you can say I should just maneuver as required by the colregs, but since I suspect the other vessel is already not following colregs and might doing something unexpected - like turn port right into me, I prefer to make an attempt at communication.
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Old 15-12-2019, 11:43   #38
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

If you live by the "shall not impede" thingy, risk of collision will not exist in most pilotage waters. In open ocean waters, by all means, feel free to call and suggest or ask for a passing agreement that allows you to give way when you are otherwise required to stand on, if that is your preference and seems prudent. Or simply change course early enough and boldly enough to be easily noticed and make risk of collision not exist. In mid ocean your call will likely be a welcome diversion to a bored Mate and AB on the bridge so feel free to call and take a working channel.



There is a lot going on on a ship's bridge when under pilotage. Use the radio for passing intentions or agreement when you need to. Don't, when you do not need to. You should seldom ever need to, since you are not impeding, right?
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Old 15-12-2019, 12:05   #39
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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a welcome diversion to a bored Mate and AB on the bridge
I usually asked my wife to make the call, and the bridge teams were almost always delighted to hear a woman's voice
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Old 15-12-2019, 12:56   #40
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Stum, you apparently missed the part of my description where I said the AIS CPA (closest point of approach) was less than 0.1 nm (600 feet). That's too close for me to assess the crossing as being "no risk of collision."

The Bridge-to-bridge communications act I referenced applies to any vessel in US waters - not just inland waters, i.e., not just waters inside the COLREG demarcation line.

I was taught that it was always good form to arrange a crossing with any vessel at sea where the CPA is less than 0.5 nm, regardless of who is stand-on or give-way. Maybe you were taught differently when you got your Master's credential, but the whole point of the COLREGs is to avoid collisions. Can you make a case for how advising another vessel of your intentions on the radio could increase the risk of a collision? Do you assert the practice is somehow harmful?

I suspect we could argue ad infinitum because of our clashing legal versus practical perspectives.

He means, you shouldn't have been there in the first place -- you should not cross channels when traffic is coming down them. You should be obeying Rule 9 and be not impeding, and you should be doing that earlier than 2 miles out.


Understanding what the COLREGS actually mean and figuring out how they actually work is not a "legal" perspective, nor is ignorance of them any kind of "practical" perspective. I would suggest studying Rules 9 and 10 and how not impeding differs from giving way, for a start.


If you were taught that it is "good form" to make passing arrangements every time you detect a close CPA, you were taught wrong. I would suggest studying MGN 324 to understand the risks involved in resolving risks of collision in an ad hoc, orally agreed manner. Sometimes using the VHF is helpful in preventing misunderstanding, but radio calls are NOT a substitute for proper collision avoidance process carried out according to the Rules. "Good form" is to follow the Rules and take early and substantial action as required, so that there is never any drama and never any need to make radio calls. Sometimes there is a good reason to call, but most of the time it is a dangerous distraction. As the MCA said:


"Given the continuing number of casualties where the misuse of [VHF] marine radio has been established as a contributory factor, it has been decided to re-issue the MCA guidance on the use of . . . VHF.

"Key Points

"-- Although the use of Very High Frequency (VHF) radio transciever may be justified on occasion as a collision avoidance aid, the provisions of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREG) should remain uppermost. [i.e., follow the Rules, don't just make stuff up and try to agree about it, unless there is a compelling reason to deviate from the Rules.]


"-- The use of marine VHF equipment must be in accordance with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations. . . . [i.e., follow protocol -- positively establish contact, move to a working channel, pass your message, get an acknowledgement that it was received.]

"Although at sea VHF makes an important contribution to navigation safety, its misuse causes serious interference and, in itself, becomes a danger to safety at sea. IMO Member Governments have unanimously agreed to ensure that VHF channels are used appropriately and correctly. . . .


"There have been a significant number of collisions where subsequent investigations have found that at some stage before impact, one or both parties were using VHF radio in an attempt to avoid collision. The use of VHF radio in these circumstances is not always helpful and may even prove to be dangerous. . .


"Valuable time can be wasted whilst mariners on vessels approaching each other try to make contact on VHF radio instead of complying with the COLREG. There is the further danger that even if contact and identification are achieved and no difficulties over the language of communication or message content arise, a course of action might still be chosen that does not comply with the COLREG. This may lead to the collision it was intended to prevent."


https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...io_and_AIS.pdf


Proper radio procedure is also not a joke. Doing it wrong is at best discourteous and at worst dangerous. Maybe pilots just make "announcements" on their hailing channel, without properly establishing contact, but we do not. I don't know about the CG in San Francisco Bay, but the UK or German Coast Guards will chew you out and might well fine you, for blanking out Channel 16 for 30 miles around with such improper calls, in a crowded place like the Channel or the Elbe Approaches.
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Old 15-12-2019, 13:08   #41
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
If you live by the "shall not impede" thingy, risk of collision will not exist in most pilotage waters. In open ocean waters, by all means, feel free to call and suggest or ask for a passing agreement that allows you to give way when you are otherwise required to stand on, if that is your preference and seems prudent. Or simply change course early enough and boldly enough to be easily noticed and make risk of collision not exist. In mid ocean your call will likely be a welcome diversion to a bored Mate and AB on the bridge so feel free to call and take a working channel.

There is a lot going on on a ship's bridge when under pilotage. Use the radio for passing intentions or agreement when you need to. Don't, when you do not need to. You should seldom ever need to, since you are not impeding, right?

Exactly.
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Old 15-12-2019, 13:46   #42
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

I find that one part of the rules that people often seem unclear on is the definition of close quuaters. The collision rules are framed to provide predictability in order for ships to safely avoid each other when a close quaters situation exists but my aim is usually to avoid close quarters arrising at all with commercial vessels. I think a ships as occuping there cose quatres zone and make a coures alteration 3 to 5 mile out to avoid getting into that area.
Obviously you cant do this in a buisy waterway but these normally have small vessel channels to seperate traffic anyway.
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Old 15-12-2019, 13:58   #43
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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I find that one part of the rules that people often seem unclear on is the definition of close quuaters. The collision rules are framed to provide predictability in order for ships to safely avoid each other when a close quaters situation exists but my aim is usually to avoid close quarters arrising at all with commercial vessels. I think a ships as occuping there cose quatres zone and make a coures alteration 3 to 5 mile out to avoid getting into that area.
Obviously you cant do this in a buisy waterway but these normally have small vessel channels to seperate traffic anyway.

This is an extremely important point, and a major source of problems between rec vessels and ships. In open water their decision point is preferably about 10 miles and manuever no later than 3 to 5 -- as you say. 1 mile is typically the minimum CPA they aim for and 2 miles in uncrowded waters is common. So 2 miles out is about the limit for an orderly maneuver and 1 mile out is in extremis. Rec vessels often think in far closer distances than this and so misunderstand many situations. For example, they start thinking about what to do at 2 miles out when the window for normal maneuvering is actually closing, not opening, or wonder why the ship isn't giving away at 1 mile off (hint, at 1 mile, he's not going to give way, and very soon couldn't even see you if he tried).



This can be all different in pilotage waters and/or when multiple targets are being dealt with.



And this: "Obviously you cant do this in a busy waterway but these normally have small vessel channels to seperate traffic anyway" is also right, but even without specific small vessel channels, just staying out of the fairways and channels does the trick. Easiest and safest collision avoidance is just staying out of the channel.
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Old 15-12-2019, 15:07   #44
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Stum, you apparently missed the part of my description where I said the AIS CPA (closest point of approach) was less than 0.1 nm (600 feet). That's too close for me to assess the crossing as being "no risk of collision."

Nope, didn't miss that. Nor did I miss that you were 2 miles from a large vessel which was in the middle of a TSS lane which you were approaching in a small sailing vessel.



That CPA would only remain true if you continue to try to cross the traffic lane in close proximity to a large vessel using it.



In that situation, the prudent action is to immediately make a clear turn to parallel the TSS until the large vessel has passed so as to avoid impeding it.
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Old 15-12-2019, 15:12   #45
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Re: Courtesy when giving way

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Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
If you live by the "shall not impede" thingy, risk of collision will not exist in most pilotage waters. In open ocean waters, by all means, feel free to call and suggest or ask for a passing agreement that allows you to give way when you are otherwise required to stand on, if that is your preference and seems prudent. Or simply change course early enough and boldly enough to be easily noticed and make risk of collision not exist. In mid ocean your call will likely be a welcome diversion to a bored Mate and AB on the bridge so feel free to call and take a working channel.



There is a lot going on on a ship's bridge when under pilotage. Use the radio for passing intentions or agreement when you need to. Don't, when you do not need to. You should seldom ever need to, since you are not impeding, right?

That's it in a nutshell.
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