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Old 12-14-2003
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Restricted maneuverability

You mention to “pass astern” of a survey vessel. Perhaps, as the skipper of one you could answer a question. Understanding that survey vessels oftentimes are trawling sensitive and expensive gear in their wake, I’m wondering if you could suggest a “general rule of thumb” as to how far behind these vessels one should be when crossing their wake? I understand that “Towed Arrays” for sonar and the like may be set quite far astern, out of the turbulent prop-wash. It may be that they will be set deep as well and would pose no danger to me as I pass over, but I really don’t know. I sail in New England waters and it seems that as our government wants exacting surveys of the fishing grounds off our shores, our meetings are by more then chance. Thanks!
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