Join Date: May 2003
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Auto pilots use electricity and are prone to breaking so most people probably rely on the windvane for sailing and an autopilot for motoring.
Most of the container ships run between 20 to 30 knots at sea so they can go from under the horizon to in your face in 20 minutes which is one reason for the short sleep periods. When I was younger and less brilliant, I crossed in front of one rather than adjust my course and wait for it to pass and I can say that I think the pressure wave on the bow of that ship looked as tall as my mast. Now I try to always stay 3 or 4 miles away.