Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Thanked 315 Times in 295 Posts
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Give AIS a rest
This was a new phenomenon. Over these last few weeks, I've repeatedly heard sailboats hailing commercial vessels, having identified the commecial vessel via AIS. Generally, a good practice to establish contact and avoid confusion.
However, more often than not, the sailboat noted their AIS suggested they would "come close" or some such and either implicitly or, in one case, explicitly asked the tanker to alter course. One even hailed a cargo vessel to identify that it wasn't transmitting AIS, in violation of regs. This guy just become the AIS police? He even said, "you could have run us over". Wow, I was about a half mile away and would estimate visibility at about 2 million miles that day. Geesh.
First, your AIS is going to alert you to a potential conflict that may be well far enough away to avoid when you get there.
Secondly, these guys in the commercial vessels are at work, while we are tootling to our next sunset cocktail. I don't really care what the stand on rules are going to be when we get that close. I say, alter course early (before the rules apply) and give the fella a break.
I heard one yo yo hail and identify himself as the "sailboat, under sail, a half mile off your starboard bow, what are your intentions?" The cargo vessel replied "we will maintain course and speed". The sailboat replies that their AIS suggests a conflict, they are under sail, and again asks the cargo vessel their intentions. The cargo skipper replies, "we will maintain course and speed". There was tons of sea room in their vicinity.
Good for them.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.