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post #1 of 157 Old 08-15-2014 Thread Starter
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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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post #2 of 157 Old 08-15-2014
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Re: Give AIS a rest

I can only imagine how much the commercial operators hate the pleasure boat community using AIS indiscriminately. Honestly guys, they don't want to talk to you and the only thing they do want from you, is for you to keep well clear of them.
Having stood on the bridge of ships and sailed small craft extensively, I can say without qualification that small craft are nothing more than bothersome mosquitoes to them.
Even in a potential collision situation at sea in the dark, you would be much better served to just avoid the situation than presuming that the watch stander on that bridge is even awake and that you both have a common language.
AIS may be a wonderful tool, but collision avoidance is still the responsibility of the smaller vessel.

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post #3 of 157 Old 08-15-2014
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Re: Give AIS a rest

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but collision avoidance is still the responsibility of the smaller vessel.
Huh?

Not according to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.

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Re: Give AIS a rest

If recreational vessels continue to force the rules onto large commercial vessels, the next convention on COLREGS, which will not include the recreational crowd, will fix the problem. We might not like the solution.
There are times and places where strict adherence is required for safety reasons. But as pointed out by Minnewaska and Capta, get out of their way when you can. Don't make life unnecessarily combative.
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Re: Give AIS a rest

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
...
AIS may be a wonderful tool, but collision avoidance is still the responsibility of the smaller vessel.
Collision avoidance is the responsibility of both parties and AIS is just one more tool that makes it easier to avoid a problem. The problem is not AIS, it is few jerks who have a new toy that makes it easier for them to show how important they are. I generally use AIS as a tool to allow we to keep out of the way (talking about open ocean here) but there have been a few times I have called ships to insure that safe passage is enhanced.

One thing I have noticed is the number of ships that make a minor course change to avoid me even when we are 5 to 10 miles apart. You will see them alter by 2 or 3 degrees until we pass and then they resume course.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #6 of 157 Old 08-15-2014
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Re: Give AIS a rest

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Huh?

Not according to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
Oh for crying out loud. So you've read the rules, we applaud you.
However, the last vessel that can avoid a collision must avoid the collision, so in what universe do you believe a large commercial vessel would be that vessel? It will always fall on the smaller, more maneuverable vessel to avoid a collision in the end. But you keep telling yourself that you are the stand on vessel, when that ship can not possibly do what you, as an amateur pleasure vessel operator thinks it can, and runs you down.

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post #7 of 157 Old 08-15-2014
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Re: Give AIS a rest

I have to agree with Minne and Capta.

We're a LOT more maneuverable and have a LOT more to lose. How hard is it to tack or alter course a few degrees?

Can you imagine a tanker trying to slalom between all the pleasure boats out on a nice weekend?

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Re: Give AIS a rest

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I can only imagine how much the commercial operators hate the pleasure boat community using AIS .....
I was thinking the same thing.


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Re: Give AIS a rest

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Huh?

Not according to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
I've never read it clarified when the stand on rules come into effect. Is it sufficient to say that your AIS will alert you to a potential conflict long before either vessel would be require to stand-on or adjust course in the colreg?


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Re: Give AIS a rest

I can imagine it must be perplexing for a ship close off the coast passing some port on a Saturday afternoon... But one must realise not only do ships have to obey Colregs but also these days ships are very manoeuvrable. A button twiddle and they don't steamroller Mum, Day and the 6 kids having a day sail.

Sure there will be peanuts who abuse it, but they are, I'll bet, in the minority.

All ships have to do is run an extra mile off the coast, or if leaving/entering port stick to the channel and mention that in the VHF TXs.

Oh, one other thing, a joystick twiddling ship at 18 knots has much better chance of avoiding a sailboat going up wind, or deep downwind at 4 knots than the other way around.

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