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Old 29-06-2022, 10:02   #1
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Fog Signals: Is a whistle okay?

Can use a mouth blown rescue type whistle be used for legal fog signals under colregs for a 42 foot boat. I see some specs for frequency but that's not much use for me.


We don't have a bell, Do you?


What do you use for fog signals? I mean really use not what you carry to show the CG.


I'm not interested admonitions to just not go out. The boat has to move on Friday and while I won't leave in a pea soup, where we have to sail there's always a chance of hitting patches of fog. Boat has AIS and Radar.


Thanks


Kurt
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Old 29-06-2022, 10:10   #2
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Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

Whistles that you blow are typically 3khz to 5 kHz , well above the 700 hz specified as the upper limit of a small vessels whistle

You can buy a suitable plastic horn in most chandlers that you blow or an canister based compressed air version if you don’t fancy puffing
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Old 29-06-2022, 10:15   #3
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

A whistle is unlikely to meet the volume requirements, I think. We have proper fixed horns, so I installed a Fogmate controller to provide an automatic fog horn function.
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Old 29-06-2022, 10:39   #4
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

Been using it for the last week, my favorite has a deep tone that makes even the cattle boats shear off.
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Old 29-06-2022, 10:48   #5
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

Another satisfied FogMate user here. I can't say enough about that great little gadget.

Sorry if this is unpopular, but please do take the fog horn rules seriously. Use an adequate signal, even if it's mouth-powered. Use it about every two minutes in restricted visibility. Use the correct signal. That's one prolonged, two short if sailing, one prolonged if motoring. Prolonged means around five seconds. Count them out - one Mississippi, two Mississippi, etc.

This won't protect you from idiots who run in the fog without signals, or too fast, but it will prevent you from being one of them.
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Old 29-06-2022, 13:03   #6
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

I've used one of these: https://www.acmewhistles.co.uk/acme-signal-horn-566

If you're regularly in foggy areas I'd really suggest a VHF that supports automated fog signalling via loudspeaker.

For a one-off trip, buy a compressed gas horn and a few refill cans from your local chandlery.
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Old 29-06-2022, 14:40   #7
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

really!? just pay the $12 for the USCG air horn, add $7 for a spare can of gas. I also carry a cheap bugle type manual horn, but it is not nearly as loud. I have my VHF wired to my hailer horn, so it does the fog horn automatically. And Yes I have a Bell as required by law too, but I don't use it.

https://www.amazon.com/SeaSense-SL52...%2C1658&sr=8-4
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Old 29-06-2022, 15:44   #8
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

Lots of confusion because of the COLREGs use of the word "whistle". It certainly doesn't mean your typical sporting or PDF attached squeaker. Essentially, it's a fairly low frequency "horn" of some sort.



The word “whistle” means any sound signalling appliance capable of producing the prescribed blasts and which complies with the specifications in Annex III to these Regulations.

To ensure a wide variety of whistle characteristics, the fundamental frequency of a whistle shall be between the following limits:
...
(iii) 250 - 700 Hz, for a vessel less than 75 metres in length
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Old 29-06-2022, 15:52   #9
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

Hi, KayZee,

We're also from California. We have bell, horn, and no whistle.

Ann
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Old 29-06-2022, 15:53   #10
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

No,a whistleis no substitue ror a foghorn.


You'd probably be better off shouting.


Neither are necessary or adequate, when you can buy compressed air versions (which are the same as fprovided for ship's lifeboats.
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Old 29-06-2022, 16:11   #11
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayZee View Post
Can use a mouth blown rescue type whistle be used for legal fog signals under colregs for a 42 foot boat. I see some specs for frequency but that's not much use for me.


We don't have a bell, Do you?


What do you use for fog signals? I mean really use not what you carry to show the CG.


I'm not interested admonitions to just not go out. The boat has to move on Friday and while I won't leave in a pea soup, where we have to sail there's always a chance of hitting patches of fog. Boat has AIS and Radar.


Thanks


Kurt


A 42’ vessel (13m) is less than 20 so it is allowed to use a “whistle” with a frequency of 180-2100Hz with a minimum range of 0.5nm.
https://www.navcen.uscg.gov/navigati...gamated#Annex3

A referee’s pea whistle probably has the range but is going to be too high in frequency, 3-5kHz.
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_relea...-hli051019.php

As long as you are actually using the whistle for approximately the right length of time at the required intervals and don’t get hit, unlikely to be a legal problem.

Getting out and blowing the whistle or mouth horn every 2min is going to get old within an hour.
Make sure you have ear plugs or you run the risk of hearing damage.

Canned air is convenient but you can run into problems in extended periods of fog.

If this is a one off passage, consider getting a car horn some wiring and a switch. Temporary mount away from where crew are in the immediate vicinity.
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Old 29-06-2022, 16:15   #12
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

Please correct me if I am mistaken, but I don't believe there is a legal requirement to have a bell aboard unless you are a vessel greater than 20m in length, however I am certainly not criticizing the diligence of having one as a means of signaling when appropriate, or in an emergency.



Rule 35 (i) and (j) exempt vessels of 20m or less from sounding a bell, although they may do so if they wish as long as it is done correctly:


(i) A vessel of 12 m or more but less than 20 m in length shall not be obliged to give the bell signals prescribed in paragraphs (g) and (h) of this Rule. However, if she does not, she shall make some other efficient sound signal at intervals of not more than 2 minutes.


(j) A vessel of less than 12 m in length shall not be obliged to give the above-mentioned signals but, if she does not, shall make some other efficient sound signal at intervals of not more than 2 minutes.




As for what I have aboard for use in fog:


A 25W horn speaker wired to my VHF which can be selected to emit various sound signals, and a back up compressed air horn.
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Old 29-06-2022, 17:20   #13
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chasfgr View Post
\
You'd probably be better off shouting.
Shouting what??? "Foggg Horrrrn! Foggg Horrrrrn"

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Old 29-06-2022, 18:00   #14
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whiltle okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calif.Ted View Post
Been using it for the last week, my favorite has a deep tone that makes even the cattle boats shear off.
Source for buying this?
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Old 29-06-2022, 18:13   #15
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Re: Fog Signals: Is a whistle okay?

This is the one I like
https://www.amazon.ca/PJLANDI-Boatin...87263876&psc=1
It's loud, doesn't need compressed gas, and is plastic so doesn't rust. Plus it's a good priceClick image for larger version

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