Originally Posted by CptCrunchie
This is one of the two reasons I'm taking this poll.
The first reason is to ask whether people have and/or use a cone.
But having one is absolutely meaningless if the other boats have no clue what it stands for. I'm only one boat out of millions. How many boaters even know what one is, much less have one or know what it means?
This is the same for the Diver Down flag. Being a diver, I cannot tell you how many times boats have infringed on it.
In fact, diving Elbow Reef off Marathon in the FL Keys, my buddy and I watched a boat pass over us, trailing a 12lb lead ball followed by a monster hook. It passed right between us, so close that the boat had to have just missed running over our 2' x 3' flag.
Where the rubber meets the road, is whether displaying one prior to an accident
would make any difference to not displaying one. I understand the law - that sailboats have a certain right of way in various circumstances because of their limited ability to avoid a collision when under sail - that using the motor
while the sails are up is sending misleading information.
However, most of us pretty much know when we are in a possible collision situation, whether we see flopping sails and prop wash on a boat moving past, or flopping sails on a boat that is not moving.
Many people do not know the meaning of a diver down flag [any version thereof] and I have found many an ignorant power boater or PWC
driver actually drawn to such surface floating flags
, or to diver down boats which appear to be abandoned because everyone has gone diving or snorkeling and the vessel mounted flag makes them curious so the boaters go towards the no one aboard boat to observe more closely. Or even more typically the boaters simply are not keeping watch. Ditto as to a raised flag indicating a skier or wakeboarder down. There are videos on YouTube of divers coming to the surface when a boat has arrived and such boat is trying to lift
their diver down float from the water
because the boaters do not know what the floating flag means. There is even one where the diver is pulled to the surface by their air hose which hose is connected to a floating compressor
mounted on a tube with a diver down flag as the boater is trying to lift
float out of the water
and into their boat. The boater just thought it was someone's equipment
that had drifted away. Stupidity and boating
go hand in hand and when you add alcohol to the combination things really become interesting. And be sure that ignorance is even more common than stupidity, yeah I know that is hard to believe. So be careful out there, assume you are just chum waiting to be further cut and stirred by a propeller
or hit by a keel
Two of my boats have cones and balls and I do deploy them, IF there are other boats about, yet fully recognizing that one in a hundred or a thousand other boaters will know what the hard to see and to discern the shape of black thingamajig is indicating. The motoring cone being hoisted on the forestay, say a few feet higher than the drying towels and laundry
[a.k.a. universally unrecognizable signal flags] and such cone not visible except from the fore or sideviews where it is not hidden from sighting by a fore or main sail.
Two of my boats are used on inland lakes and are small [26 and 18 feet] and are not equipped with the day signals and one has a free standing mast
vessel and its sail has no halyards so I have no method of raising a day signal for displaying such, albeit that sailboat could be equipped with a motor; yet our vessel [the smallest of four sailboats] does not have a motor per say, as it is propelled by wind
when there is wind
and by use of tandem Mirage drives when there is no wind or modest wind. As to COLREGs, I am a bit uncertain when a vessel that is no longer dependent on just the wind for propulsion
, such as when we are using single
or tandem Mirage drive assistance, if such pedal power provides any stand on priority such as a sail powered only vessel. The tandem Mirage drives are used intermittently, when we tire we stop pedalling, so if we were to display a "motoring" cone it would need to be intermittently raised and lowered which would be complicated and confusing, up one moment, down the next. That trimaran
sailboat with Mirage drives tends to really attract other boaters such that they come close by to observe the craft and we tend to have to be wary of the other crafts presence, course, intentions and their much larger displacement
and size, such that we are always giving way out of self-preservation. We don't anchor
that free standing mast
boat except very near shore, I mean very, very near shore, like wading up to your knees close to shore or more commonly just beach its bow on shore, so displaying an at anchor
ball during the day would be really over doing the precautionary messaging. I suppose we could display the black anchor ball by just dropping it in the water alongside the boat as it would then look like a mooring
On my larger boats, when motor sailing at night the large revolving disco mirrored cone is displayed with multicolored strobe spotlights and by a revolving disco mirrored ball when anchoring
. That is at least when the vessel is operating under party mode [not under command & likely under the influence], often then rafted to other similarly skippered party boats.
Hmmm, now I am wondering what the proper displays are for boats rafted together. Are they to display as being one floating object [e.g., AIS] or each vessel individually. How are they to display when rafted together but not at anchor or motoring, say just bobbing about and drifting wherever nature takes them, towards or away from shore [with no one person given duty to be at "watch" per say being otherwise occupied, likely pumping and dispensing from the beer
kegs]. COLREGs not being on anyone's mind when mob
rafting as a party center, so with present clarity of mind this being an apt time to consider and ask for guidance on proper indicating of rafting, heck perhaps some derivation of a tow or tug vessel, albeit one not under power but which may be underway [likely uncontrolled, yet potentially controllably, or poorly controllable]. "mob" in that instance being a rowdy crowd and not a Man Over Board. A mob
that likely can be heard far beyond being seen.
I believe there is a display for a vessel which has become laid up on the shallows or onto the shoreline as to indicating its status or intentions for COLREG purposes, i.e., land yacht, give way and / or approach with caution.