How can you sleep at night? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 29 Old 09-03-2008
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Originally Posted by pegasus1457 View Post
Does the radar paint an image of a 3/4 submerged container? I understand that some 10,000 of them (yes!) are lost from container ships each year.
And I bet they drift well away from the shipping lanes.

If you collide with a ship there is at last a chance that someone on the ship notices, but with a container .... it's adios, baby
That's twice that I've read comments about the possibility of hitting containers. Granted, I don't know much about sailing, but I'm curious if this is a peril to actually be concerned about? (Do ships hit containers often?) On one hand, I'd think you'd certainly want to keep an eye out. On the other, how likely are you to see what I imagine would be a partially submerged container?
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post #22 of 29 Old 09-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasus1457 View Post
Does the radar paint an image of a 3/4 submerged container? I understand that some 10,000 of them (yes!) are lost from container ships each year.
And I bet they drift well away from the shipping lanes.

If you collide with a ship there is at last a chance that someone on the ship notices, but with a container .... it's adios, baby
Do you think you have a chance in hell of spotting a submerged container at night at sea? Not a prayer. While keeping watch I've come within yards of hitting really dangerous stuff like trees and unlit buoys...never had a clue they were there. Watch is more about checking the radar, checking the horizon for lights and making sure everything is working right and is appropriate for the conditions.
While the numbers of containers lost each year varies it is certainly in the thousands. Thankfully most sink. Others wash ashore like our Frito container here on the outer banks which remained quite tasty! They are a risk day or night but thankfully we don't hear much about sinkings being rampant as there is just too much ocean and too few FLOATING containers at any point in time to be of much concern.
BTW...a good radar will paint a small can buoy so if a decent portion of the metal container is above water...you will see it on radar if not with your eyes.

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post #23 of 29 Old 09-04-2008
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it depends on the buoyancy of the container so in some situations you will not see it on radar. all kinds of things in the water: trees, containers, palettes, drums etc. if you see an obstacle on a transport route it is a good thing to send securite message
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post #24 of 29 Old 09-04-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
.....
While the numbers of containers lost each year varies it is certainly in the thousands. Thankfully most sink. Others wash ashore like our Frito container here on the outer banks which remained quite tasty! They are a risk day or night but thankfully we don't hear much about sinkings being rampant as there is just too much ocean and too few FLOATING containers at any point in time to be of much concern.
BTW...a good radar will paint a small can buoy so if a decent portion of the metal container is above water...you will see it on radar if not with your eyes.
Most shipping containers used nowadays have the annoying habit of floating either 1' or so exposed or 1' or so under the surface (depending entirely upon what's inside - be it stuffed toys or refrigerators).

It is a SOLAS requirement that shipping containers have one or more sacrificial plates fitted that corrode quickly in seawater and are *supposed to* sink the container within 24hrs or so, but you're only going to be concerned about hitting a container if:
a) You're in a shipping lane (so you should be keeping a good watch anyways) and
b) There's been a storm in that area in the last 24hrs that *might* have dumped a container or two off the high side of a rusted hulk (oops! sorry.. I meant "ship").

In any case, given that the sea is never flat immediately after a storm on any of the world's oceans, practically speaking, you ain't going to see it - even on radar - unless you've got the wave return setting down really low and even then only if you get lucky.

Summary: If you're worried about hitting a container, stay out of the sea lanes - but then if you feel safer knowing that there are ships around to rescue you if you get sunk, stay close to the sea lanes. Of course, you can't go too far from the equator because you might get hit by a whale and you don't want to be close to land because you might find yourself on a lee shore..

..so, in the end, if you're worried about hitting something - anything at all - stay home in bed, leave the boat in the dock... and leave the oceans to Simon.

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"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"

Last edited by Classic30; 09-04-2008 at 04:13 AM.
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post #25 of 29 Old 09-04-2008
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I've never seen a container, but I've seen more than a fair number of pilings, oil drums, large chunks of fishing nets with floats on them, and other things that you don't want to tangle with.

As to the original question, when I single handed to Hawaii from Long Beach, I'd routinely sleep during the day--sometimes as much as four hours at a time, followed by getting up, taking a noon sun shot, then another nap. I figured even the morons out there would see me during the day. I stayed awake all night--and was glad I did, because I saw at least a half dozen ships that might not have seen me.

On recent passages we've had full crews, so four hours on and four off were the norm. Fortunately, on the last trip, we only had to roust out the off-duty watch once when a squall hit us.

A friend of mine is currently crewing on a large motor yacht, and they have enough people aboard to have three people on watch at all times, and stand four on and eight off. Must be nice.

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post #26 of 29 Old 09-04-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasus1457 View Post
Does the radar paint an image of a 3/4 submerged container? I understand that some 10,000 of them (yes!) are lost from container ships each year.
And I bet they drift well away from the shipping lanes.

If you collide with a ship there is at last a chance that someone on the ship notices, but with a container .... it's adios, baby
Pretty well, yes, and the odds of seeing one awash at night, even with two people on watch, are very poor.

There's two options: a steel boat with a stem thicker and stronger than a container (difficult, but a real argument for a collision bulkhead plus using limber hole plugs underway!); and/or forward-looking sonar with a proximity alarm and a range useful enough to wake you to see whether it's a whale sleeping on the surface or a container full of plush toys from China.

Personally, if I have to be sunk...
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post #27 of 29 Old 09-04-2008
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Originally Posted by 0verdrive View Post
That's twice that I've read comments about the possibility of hitting containers. Granted, I don't know much about sailing, but I'm curious if this is a peril to actually be concerned about? (Do ships hit containers often?) On one hand, I'd think you'd certainly want to keep an eye out. On the other, how likely are you to see what I imagine would be a partially submerged container?
Ships hit boats on occasion, but sometimes the only evidence is an unidentifiable piece of railing wrapped around the bow bulb spotted by the pilot as they finish a transocean cargo run.

Again, steel gives you a chance here, but note that this boat's mast was snapped off by the concussion.

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post #28 of 29 Old 09-04-2008
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Ships hit boats on occasion, but sometimes the only evidence is an unidentifiable piece of railing wrapped around the bow bulb spotted by the pilot as they finish a transocean cargo run.

Again, steel gives you a chance here, but note that this boat's mast was snapped off by the concussion.

Mast??? Forget about the mast. The poor man lost his grilll!!

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post #29 of 29 Old 09-04-2008
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Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
only Cams and wimps sleep at night in a crossing....real man (like me) don't sleep...

back in 1923 when I was crossing the atlantic East to west from new York to Frankfurt, via the Indic Ocean, on my wood ornamented rich, 5 foot thick Valliant hull built in 1845, with a over full keel and skeg hanging rudder, proudly spiking the sky with my 4 mast tripple decker double core plank on carbon fiber sloop ketch, with a hoyt rig on the port spreader, I spent 46 days without sleep.

Off course it help the fact i did not pay the Sears credit card bill and I knew they were going to cut my credit off, and that makes me lose my sleep....

But what kept me going was the thought of watching Oprah once again....once I hit the famous atlantic islands of Madagascar...

Having nothing to eat for 67 days and drinking my own urine, only because I like the taste, and making margaritas with the water from washing my socks, also helped in keeping awake....

Man once I landed..I slept a whole 3 hours...then moved on to my next trip, a cruise to Siberia, via Serbia, and then I got 5 Knockroaches...but that's another story...

And we missed this Guy ??


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