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Old 05-02-2018, 17:54   #46
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

The ball does look like a Radar reflector, but it isnít.
https://search.defender.com/?express...shapes&x=0&y=0
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Old 05-02-2018, 18:03   #47
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Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
Boatie - is that a "no" to me :-)?

A "ball" doesn't have to be a ball in the physical sense, to be a satisfactory "ball" when seen from a distance. COLREGS, in fact, call for "a ball OR SIMILAR SHAPE" IIRC.

Clearly, in a 30-footer, I like the collapsible jobs that will stow flat under a cushion.

We can argue the finer points. E.g. a radar reflector, painted black and worn permanently qua radar reflector while underway, puts you OUT OF compliance. So have two - one black to be used as an "anchoring ball" and the other, the permanently worn one, left in bare metal. Again, I doubt its practical efficacy, but it does keep you in compliance.

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Yes.. the one you say is a reflector is in fact a day shape.. if it was a round radar reflector it would have a flat plane going round the middle..
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Old 05-02-2018, 18:22   #48
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Yes - I hang my head. You are right and so is a64. I shouldn'ta flitted past those pics so fast. Grovel ;-)

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Old 05-02-2018, 20:08   #49
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Still I have never seen one used.
Once or twice on large Commercial vessels, but never on any pleasure Boat.
I ought to get one just as a conversation starter.
Q. Whatís that?
A. Itís an anchor ball.
Q. Does it float or something? How does it work, what does it do?
A. It lets people know your anchored.
Q. How does it do that?
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Old 05-02-2018, 20:08   #50
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post

The job pictured above is really a radar reflector pressed into duty as a "day shape", A nod to COLREGS has been made by painting it black. For purposes of collision avoidance I think it's pretty useless, but it does keep you in compliance. ......

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No its not.... its lacking the third horizontal plane....

Its a dayshape, hoisted in the fore triangle as a dayshape.....

and also... 'Vessels of less than 20 meters length may use shapes of smaller size commensurate with the size of the vessel'.... I agree... pretty useless....

Oooops.... dunno how I missed your last post...
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Old 05-02-2018, 20:57   #51
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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Great post! I agree with the trip up the Potomac as a highlight. There is also some great cruising in New England in the mid-summers. The great loop is a fantastic exploration of mid america, but you really do need a power boat for that.

There are special anchorages marked on the US charts where anchor lights (and presumably balls) are not required, but most of those have mooring fields. Don't expect to see a lot of anchoring balls in the rest of your trip around the world.

One question for you is about the visa situation. Did you get b1/b2 visas, were they necessary, and what was the longest you stayed on them?
There are a great many designated anchorages in the US but very few special anchorages exempting display of day shape and night anchoring light. Most boaters seem unable to distinguish the difference!
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Old 05-02-2018, 21:16   #52
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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I'll give away my invention: get a dodecahedron radar reflector, spray paint it black, and hoist it over the foredeck with your foresail halyard and a downhaul line. Problem solved. And you get an extra radar reflector as a bonus.
Yes! This is exactly what I plan on doing. I was going to do it a couple of years ago when I spent the summer cruising, but the only black paint I had was textured and was concerned that it might disperse the radar energy. I plan on getting some glossy black paint for this purpose.

I find that the majority of boaters do put on anchor lights, but I have never seen the ball day shape on anything less than about 60' or so. Also, note that anchor lights are not required in designated anchorages. So the OP might have noticed a lot of non-illuminated boats on those types of places or mooring fields.
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Old 05-02-2018, 21:25   #53
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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There are a great many designated anchorages in the US but very few special anchorages exempting display of day shape and night anchoring light. Most boaters seem unable to distinguish the difference!
This is new to me.

I've never seen any reference to any difference between special anchorages and designated anchorages.

Care to point out in the Colregs where the difference is noted or explained?
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Old 05-02-2018, 21:46   #54
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Citations Special Anchorage: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/33/109.10

Designated Anchorage: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/33/109.05

Note that this is US law, not COLREGS.
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Old 05-02-2018, 22:08   #55
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Quote: "Oooops.... dunno how I missed your last post... "

Same reason that anchoring balls in the rigging of a 30-footer, of a size "commensurate with the size of the vessel" are dang near useless :-)

But thanx for helping to pull me up sharp :-)!

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Old 05-02-2018, 22:38   #56
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Being American I might be a bit biased....

I think that you can find some really ugly Americans but in general we are a very nice crowd.

I've been climbing all over the world - Pakistan, Chile, Argentina, Peru to name a few.In all those places the locals in the mountain villages all say that they find Americans to be respectful, nice and generous. In some cases the locals say that American are the nicest.

Perhaps that us just a local saying that the country you come from is the best but I'm not so sure.

As you noted when you get out with "normal" Americans you will be welcomed.


Just an observation.
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Old 05-02-2018, 23:26   #57
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

Never seen an anchor day shape on a small recreational vessel? Well, look at my current avatar soon because my avatar frequently changes. The day shape is attached to the bow's burgee stanchion.
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Old 06-02-2018, 01:38   #58
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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RE The Great Loop - not on with our boat - 7 1/2 foot draft - 61 foot air draft - we'd love to do it - but in a motorboat.
You've done the worst part for water draft.

Air draft is similar to water draft, I would recommend a bit shorter if you were buying but if you already have the boat it's certainly doable.
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Old 06-02-2018, 01:44   #59
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

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It is truly sad that I no longer feel welcome in America. Yes, I am sure if I did visit, that citizens would offer free dockage and a warm welcome as usual, but recent developments have left me, as many others, feeling alienated from our closest neighbour.

Sad.
I suspect you are getting taken in by the standard xenophobia common to all parts of the world.

I've heard the stories about everyone hates Americans in Europe...yet when we travel there, the people are always warm and friendly. I'm sure there are reverse stories for people traveling to America.

As long as you are arriving legally, what is leaving you feeling alienated?
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:46   #60
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Re: European Impressions of Cruising the US

There is no DAY SHAPE, that must be some kind of american invetion and no one else using that wording as far as I know. Day shape could only be general "name" for all different SHAPES that had to be hoisted during the day, depend in situation . I never ever heard anyone in Eyrope calling "anchor ball" day shape. than if that is day shape how you then call three balls in a vertical line or one black cone pointed down or two black cones or one black diamond or black ball black diamond black ball etc. etc. .....they are alll "day shapes, aren't day.

If you are, let say, vessel restricted in ability to manoeuvre and someone telling you go and hoist day shape, which one. or if you just dropped anchor and some one telling you, go and hoist day shape, what you are going to do, which one.

isnt more logical if you are told go and hoist anchor ball.



And about "radar reflector"

first that has nothing to do with radar reflector simple becouse when they started using "anchorage balls" on the ships, radar have not been invented yet and apart metal or this days plastic frame it is made from fabric so not very good for "reflecting" anything.
second, it was originaly full ROUND ball at the begining made weaving willow, than ROUND ball made from wire and fabric around and later days they started making those colapsibiles/folds up for anchor locker in a special place away from the chain or whatever..

Not to mention that Visibility wise they are actually quite easy to spot, more so than chain alone especially when the sun is low .
Also while approaching a busy and seemingly packed anchorage it's nice to be able to spot the one's that are not about to start moving .
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