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  #81  
Old 09-24-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

This has been one highly entertaining thread. I do not want to be one of the pontificators and it doesn’t bother me at all if you are “asleep at the wheel” (unless of course, you are out there while I’m sailing about.) But I do want to offer a few observations from actual ocean experience.

How do you other singlehanders get insurance? My experience is you need a three crew (qualified) minimum. My SSS brethren (yes, I’m a member) are forced to go without on the SHTP and my own carrier (BoatUS) says my policy is void during the period when I do the Longpac. Their coastal coverage only extends to some sixty miles “offshore”.

The AIS unit that most of us have is a receiver. You need a transmitter before other ships can “see” you. The best a receiver can do is alert you of a developing crossing. I too have wired in a Piezio buzzer into my chartplotter (it will wake the dead - make sure you have a cut-off switch for daytime). The AIS receivers are only as good as the placement and quality of the receiving antenna. I use an active antenna switch on my mast head installation and still, it is only acquiring targets about 10-20 miles out. That translates to as little as 8 minutes warning of an impending collision. Fortunately, my Raymarine E80 sorts this out and warns only when the target’s projected course will go inside the guard circle. I know technology isn’t for everyone, but it works for me.

Looking at the tracks of global commercial shipping is a real eye-opener. I was surprised at the amount of traffic around Florida and down to the Yucatan. It also explains the close approaches I have encountered in both the Atlantic and Pacific. On the coast of California, I usually encounter at least one close approach an hour. Less than half are transmitting AIS. Sailing to Hawaii, we had a close approach about every other day. First there is the shipping going up and down the coast. Then there were two ships doing the great circle route from Panama to the Orient. As we got closer to Hawaii we had a Matson freighter doing the LA run. And we started to encounter fishermen in those big “factory” style ships. We also had close approaches with several fellow racers. I did an Atlantic crossing from the Canaries to Grenada. Pretty lonely trip. Most of our contacts were in and around the islands as shipping Doing the Gibraltar – Cape of Good Hope run are hugging the coast. Our most troubling close approach was of less than a quarter mile away and was with another yacht during one of our mid watches. They were either asleep or widely inattentive. They were Russian with a not very good command of English and had a hard time understanding that because they were on port tack, they did not have the right of way. Going down the Baja coast is like a freeway. Pretty much every ship going between the canal and the northern hemisphere will be hugging the coast. Add in a couple hundred sailboats and it gets real interesting. We had close approaches with someone several times a watch. During daytime, pretty easy, but at night… We had a close approach one night from another sailboat overtaking us with a crew either asleep or down below watching a movie. We also had a container ship who could not see us despite us having a tricolor, a radar reflector and us telling him our bearing using our AIS enabled chart plotter.
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  #82  
Old 09-24-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

I personaly have never had insurance but I don't think my boat has ever been worth more than 5 grand. Asleep at the wheel infers you are making way while asleep, asleep 150 miles off the coast with daglo orange weather cloths and hove to not making way is dangerous if someone else is making way while asleep. The veiw from the wheel house of a big commercial vessel is enormous and we keep a 24 hour trained and licensed watch keeper. I see those little sailboats out there and I know my colleagues do to. We don't want to hit them any more than they want to be hit. It happens, but almost alway's because the solo sailor did'nt make himself visible enough. Light it up, brighten your appearence. If 90% of the traffic is hugging the coast, reach out to further off shore. If your hugging the coast, plan to pull in. Common sense will out perform any gadget ever invented. Insurance is for......well, I'll refrain from that comment as not to offend probably all of you.
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Old 09-24-2012
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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
Laws were made to be written. All it takes is someone to push it through.
Perhaps we need a new category for single-handers, and a few others. We will call it Unwilling to Adhere to Colregs, abbreviated UTAC (pronounced you-tack). The light configuration will be black over black (remember black lights from the 60's.). I suggest that they would be below WIG's in the pecking order.
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  #84  
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

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Originally Posted by Capt.aaron View Post
I personaly have never had insurance but I don't think my boat has ever been worth more than 5 grand.
Do you carry public damage and public liability insurance for cover you when you might be found at fault? Very few collision cases result in 100% fault assessed against one vessel. You would stand to loose a lot more than your boat in any criminal or civil proceeding.

As an instructor I carry 2 million in liability. I occasionally add additional insurance when instructing on a privately owned vessel, rather than a charter or sailing school vessel. And I am not sure that 2 million is adequate.
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  #85  
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

Or maybe yachty's should stay near the yacht club where they are coverd and help is near and leave the big boy passages to the salts. You can have no balls in the rigging as a confirmation of your status. sailors have been single handling for milleniums before your holy book of rules.
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  #86  
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Do you carry public damage and public liability insurance for cover you when you might be found at fault? Very few collision cases result in 100% fault assessed against one vessel. You would stand to loose a lot more than your boat in any criminal or civil proceeding.

As an instructor I carry 2 million in liability. I occasionally add additional insurance when instructing on a privately owned vessel, rather than a charter or sailing school vessel. And I am not sure that 2 million is adequate.
I aint gonna hit anything around the bay, like an anchored boat, faster than I can fend off and even that has never happened since 1978 when I moved aboard with grandpa.
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Last edited by Capt.aaron; 09-24-2012 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

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Originally Posted by Pamlicotraveler View Post
We recently passed a sailboat at 3AM between the Balearics and Sardinia. They had all Nav lights on, an ais transponder sending out his(her?) position. We tried and tried to contact them via VHS to resolve our collision course and never could get a response. So we just altered course and sailed right by them, 50 feet away in the opposite direction. It was no danger in our case, but if we had been doing what he was doing we would have collided.
They may not have spoken the same language, but I presume you saw no one on deck. I guess, if two sleeping single handers meet, there is no available technology or technique to avoid the inevitable ruining of your day.
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

I do have insurance on my charter boat buisiness, but not on my little 28' engineless sloop.
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

George - good posting.

This summer I brought a Vic Maui boat back to Vancouver. We (crew of 6, then 5 - another story) saw a a couple of cargo ships. They were not of much concern as they were a long way off. We did see a significant number of vessels engaged in fishing (mainly tuna) mid ocean. We contacted a couple and one contacted us. In a couple of cases we were unable to establish contact. Not only did we have to dodge the vessels, we had to dodge the buoys marking the nets.

We were also dodging debris, most small bits styrofoam, fishing floats, oil bottles, water bottles, etc.. We saw one piece of dock 1'X1'X15' and we had a piece of fishing net go under the boat. Both were in daylight. We had a radio net for the return, other boats saw overturned hulls; one 23-30 feet, one 50 feet.

Vigilance is the price of safety.
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Last edited by jackdale; 09-24-2012 at 03:33 PM.
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
..... I am not aware of any limitation on coverage for sailing solo. Perhaps they will use that as a defense to deny coverage if I collide with someone while I am sleeping.

Another good reason to wake up every 15 - 20 minutes.
it's not uncommon for insurance endorsements to require compliance with laws and regs, which is where they might get you.
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