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  #61  
Old 03-29-2014
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Great story! You are one intrepid guy and your finance is amazing.

I learned to sail on a 16 foot sloop. There's no motor, just the wind. It blows you around and you learn how to work it to advantage. Once you gain proficiency sailing, applying those basics to a bigger boat is easy. I'm always impressed with folks who buy a big boat and take it out sailing without a priori experience or formal lessons. I don't mind swimming in the pool, but I guess I've always like to start in the shallow end.

I recommend you go out again soon and often (and with your amazing finance, if she will). I think it would be good if someone with experience accompanied you the next few times. Very quickly, you need to know how to deal with sails in high winds, how to heave to, and learn man overboard responses. Also, you should think about joining some regattas to climb that learning curve for sailing techniques.

If you can take her out and bring her back in, you're a sailor. Congratulations on your successful maiden voyage.
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  #62  
Old 03-29-2014
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

I agree with James to a certain extent. You do need to focus on sailing the boat, and starting out with too many electronics can be a dangerous distraction as you tap at the screen and make other adjustments.

However, going down below to plot your DR position on a chart is not all that simple in river sailing. It's fine in open water, but on the Delaware River you could hit shore or stray into a tanker's path before you come back into the cockpit. On a river you are always close to obstacles and can really benefit from instant feedback the right electronics provide.

Having a simple GPS device in the cockpit is the simplest way to do it. You always have your position relative to shore, navaids, and shallow bottoms instantly available at a glance. You'll tack a lot in the river, and every time you tack you'll be glad you have your GPS. A depth finder tells you that you have enough water where you are, but a GPS with a depth finder tells you that you'll run out of water in 2 minutes.

If you want something that's waterproof and almost failproof, a Garmin handheld attached to your binnacle with a $8 bicycle mount would work great (if you have a wheel - I can't remember what your said your boat has). Many like the pushbutton GPSMap 78, I like the touchscreen Oregon (marketed for hikers now, but works great with a Bluechart chip). The Oregon 450 is about $200, plus about $100 for the North America chip.

If you don't want waterproof, or are willing to use a pouch in rainy weather, I really like the 8" Win8 tablets that have been coming out the last several months. For a little over $200 for the tablet, you add OpenCPN and free charts and you have a much bigger display than the handhelds, plus all the added functionality of Windows software. Look carefully to find one with GPS built-in and use the GeolocationTCP freeware with it. The current 8" models with internal GPS are Miix2 8", Toshiba Encore, and Asus ViviTab Note 8. I chose the Miix2 because it has the brightest screen, but it may be too bright for nighttime sailing.

AIS is extraordinarily helpful for dodging the big boats in the Delaware, but it does add complexity and can lead to information overload while you're learning to sail. I did not add it until my second year. Stick with a handheld VHF for the first year, and consider upgrading to a GX2200 (or other VHF with full AIS transponder) next winter when you check out/fix your antenna issues.
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Last edited by TakeFive; 03-29-2014 at 11:53 AM.
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  #63  
Old 03-29-2014
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Larry, I hope you can get her back out a little more often than once every ten years! It must be really windy where you're at if the weather windows are so few and far between.. lol

James, I'm trying! The marine supply store is on winter hours and this weekend when it's open, it's rain and more rain. I'm in no danger of spending big money on gizmos, I assure you.

Zephyr, distance cruising!!! That's the dream. I'm still learning to walk though and bumped my head on the coffee table last time.

Ded, I'm impressed with people (like yourself) who have the patience and discipline to take things step by step. I'm normally like that, but I own a townhome with no yard, so trailer sailor wasn't an option.

Take 5, some sort of gps (better than my phone) is on the short list. I have all the paper charts for my vicinity, so I may well go with a 2 y.o. $50 tablet with my navionics app for the season.

This rain is so frustrating. I love chatting with you all, but I know I need time on the water. The prospect of spending another full week "forum" sailing is very discouraging.

Big members sale at west marine today.. getting my vhf handheld for $100. If can't sail, might as well spend money on sailing.

Thanks,
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  #64  
Old 04-02-2014
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
That may be the case in Australia, but in the US inland waters where the OP sails, it's the danger signal.
I have read and re read to ColRegs for international and US inland water. no where does it mention 5 blasts or whistles for danger but clearly states..
-INLAND-Sound and Light Signals
RULE 34-CONTINUED
(d) When vessels in sight of one another are approaching each other
and from any cause either vessel fails to understand the intentions or
actions of the other, or is in doubt whether sufficient action is being
taken by the other to avoid collision, the vessel in doubt shall
immediately indicate such doubt by giving at least five short and rapid
blasts on the whistle. This signal may be supplemented by a light signal
of at least five short and rapid flashes.

-INLAND-
Sound and Light Signals
RULE 36
Signals to Attract Attention
If necessary to attract the attention of another vessel, any vessel
may make light or sound signals that cannot be mistaken for any signal
authorized elsewhere in these Rules, or may direct the beam of her
searchlight in the direction of the danger, in such a way as not to
embarrass any vessel.

Am I missing something. http://www.uscg.mil/directives/cim/1...m_16672_2d.pdf
For Great lakes http://www.great-lakes-sailing.com/colregs.html
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Last edited by SimonV; 04-02-2014 at 06:27 PM.
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  #65  
Old 04-02-2014
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Simon-
"the vessel in doubt shall immediately indicate such doubt by giving at least five short and rapid blasts on the whistle. "
They're being diplomatic and saying "doubt". When you are in US waters and you hear five blasts on a whistle or horn, you will also hear a string of exceptionally mundane profanities from the bridge of the other vessel. Five blasts does not mean "Huh?" it means "WTF DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING, YOU !^$#@&"
See, that's how they "express doubt" along the waterfront in Brooklyn and Hoboken and other old ports.
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  #66  
Old 04-02-2014
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Simon-
"the vessel in doubt shall immediately indicate such doubt by giving at least five short and rapid blasts on the whistle. "
They're being diplomatic and saying "doubt". When you are in US waters and you hear five blasts on a whistle or horn, you will also hear a string of exceptionally mundane profanities from the bridge of the other vessel. Five blasts does not mean "Huh?" it means "WTF DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING, YOU !^$#@&"
See, that's how they "express doubt" along the waterfront in Brooklyn and Hoboken and other old ports.
LOL. I agree with your faultless description. In my original post I was lax in my approach to the original advice given, not wishing to offend the poster of this onerous advice.....2. Carry a couple of cheap air horns and don't be afraid to use them. 5 short blasts means "I am in trouble." You don't have to be sinking, burning etc. to warn that BFS that you don't have things under control.
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  #67  
Old 04-02-2014
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Beej
Practice, practice, practice, with paper chart, compass and depth sounder. The water between the overhead power lines and Newcastle has no large tankers and freighters, but does have shallow areas to practice navigation by depth sounder.

Add the electronics as you get more comfortable.

Stay on the Pea Patch Island side of the refinery channel so that you don't even need to think about the tankers.

By the time Garys Sailnet gathering at Perryville (across from Havre de Grace) comes around in June you will be an expert.
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  #68  
Old 04-02-2014
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Thanks Ulladh.

I appreciate the advise. Weather is looking favorable for this weekend!
I'm most concerned just about my basic boat handling skills.. steering a steady course, roughly appropriate sail trim and power, and (of course) docking and departure.

I want one or two "walks in the park" before I take on any real navigating. I'm open to counter arguments. This area you're talking about.. is it north or south of the I295 bridge? We made it very nearly to New Castle on our maiden trip going around pea patch "the long way." Looking forward to the Havre de Grace weekend

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  #69  
Old 04-02-2014
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
LOL. I agree with your faultless description. In my original post I was lax in my approach to the original advice given, not wishing to offend the poster of this onerous advice.....2. Carry a couple of cheap air horns and don't be afraid to use them. 5 short blasts means "I am in trouble." You don't have to be sinking, burning etc. to warn that BFS that you don't have things under control.
OK you want to go all sea lawyer on me. "Five to stay alive" will be understood by most (but not all) other (commercial) vessels underway. Recreational, well, I watched a guy set off SOLAS parachute flares to celebrate the Forth of July. He didn't understand why about 15 vessels in the north end of Lake Michigan began reporting a Mayday.

Note that the rule states "or is in doubt whether sufficient action is being taken by the other to avoid collision," I humbly suggest that when a BFS (big frigging ship) is bearing down on me because he doesn't understand that I am "not under command" (since in the case in point our author felt that he could not get out of the way in time) he would rather I gave him 5 then hit me. As I said before - the paperwork is a bitch. (Rule 3 - definitions - not under command: The term "vessel not under command" means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.)

Note also that rule 2 says:

2. Responsibility
(a) Nothing in these Rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these Rules or of the neglect of any precaution which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.
(b) In construing and complying with these rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.

So perhaps you are correct that "5 to stay alive" is not technically correct. But just as I doubt anyone would give you grief for saying MAYDAY when you could have used PAN I doubt the master of a BFS would complain if you gave him 5 to avoid a collision. Of course you could argue it out in Admiralty Court if you survive the collision.

Fair winds and following seas.

PS I think you meant "erroneous" rather than "onerous."
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  #70  
Old 04-03-2014
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Re: Maiden Voyage Newbie Trainwreck

Where does this "5 shorts means i am in trouble" comes from?
I never heard of that and cannot find any reference either...
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