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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation > Is Radar an absolute necessity?
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Thread: Is Radar an absolute necessity? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
3 Weeks Ago 02:44 PM
Mabinogion
Re: Is Radar an absolute necessity?

Seen the pics of the 4x300 hp powered fast fisher rammed into a restaurant in Florida? Notice the T-shaped thing sticking up out the the wreckage of both? I think its probably something to do with radar which might be a reasonable aid to navigation at planing speeds in thick fog.
3 Weeks Ago 05:16 PM
JonEisberg
Re: Is Radar an absolute necessity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mabinogion View Post
I am inclined to agree, why worry about the rules, let's just all do as we wish and the guy with the biggest....boat, wins the urinating contest.
Or better still, let us introduce some consistency for the benefit of those with more than a single brain cell, starting on a Monday, the Colregs apply to those heading left to right, those heading right to left can ignore them and then on subsequent days, staring on, erm, oh yes, Tuesday, those heading right to left are bound by the Colregs, but those travelling left to right can ignore them.
Of course, during the course of a week, things would become biased towards the Monday crowd, so just to ensure equality of treatment with clarity of application, Sunday's are totally rule free, whether you be headed right to left or left to right.
OK, clear and unequivocal.
Oh yes, and don't bother with radar, lights, sound signals, shapes or keeping a watch as no other idiot will be.
Have fun, matelots!
Once a yachtie, always a yachtie.
And yet, I wouldn't mind having a buck for every time I've heard some sailor remark, in a thoroughly snarky tone, "What's the deal with all these stinkpotters running around out there, and showing off their spinning 48-inch open array radar antennas, on a day like this?

:-)


3 Weeks Ago 04:47 PM
Mabinogion
Re: Is Radar an absolute necessity?

I am inclined to agree, why worry about the rules, let's just all do as we wish and the guy with the biggest....boat, wins the urinating contest.
Or better still, let us introduce some consistency for the benefit of those with more than a single brain cell, starting on a Monday, the Colregs apply to those heading left to right, those heading right to left can ignore them and then on subsequent days, staring on, erm, oh yes, Tuesday, those heading right to left are bound by the Colregs, but those travelling left to right can ignore them.
Of course, during the course of a week, things would become biased towards the Monday crowd, so just to ensure equality of treatment with clarity of application, Sunday's are totally rule free, whether you be headed right to left or left to right.
OK, clear and unequivocal.
Oh yes, and don't bother with radar, lights, sound signals, shapes or keeping a watch as no other idiot will be.
Have fun, matelots!
Once a yachtie, always a yachtie.
3 Weeks Ago 04:17 PM
aloof
Re: Is Radar an absolute necessity?

If you are serious about the COLREGS (nobody here is) then you really cannot cruise on a small boat. One can cite dozens of rules broken all the time. So forget about this silly radar on troll (it comes up in almost every radar thread on every forum).

Or, alternatively, get serious about the simple and unequivocal Rule 5, Look-out. How many here have a watch standing all night, with radar on, while in a pleasant cruiser anchorage. Oooops, almost criminal dereliction of duty as a Captain! There is no wiggle room in Rules 1 thru 8. If you are anchored in navigable water connected to the high seas, or in a slip so connected I suppose, stand the watch with all lights and day-shapes.

And about that inverted cone ... I'm sure I'll put that up ...
4 Weeks Ago 11:25 PM
Stumble
Re: Is Radar an absolute necessity?

Main,

Like I said, turning it off to wait for fog is one thing. Not turning it on when in fog is a different issue.

The question I was answering is if you had to have it on all the time, and I don't think the law requires that.
4 Weeks Ago 09:59 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Is Radar an absolute necessity?

There are plenty of interesting cases out there. This owner insisted that his nav lights impeded his vision:

"The accused was charged with dangerous operation of a vessel causing death. The charge arose out of a collision between a vessel being operated by the accused and another vessel. A passenger in the accused’s vessel died as a result. The collision occurred at night in total darkness. The accused’s vessel was displaying no navigation or running lights. The accused’s evidence was that the running lights impeded his night vision and his practice was to turn them off in conditions of reduced visibility. The accused’s vessel was proceeding at a speed of 26 miles per hour and the other vessel was proceeding at 32 miles per hour.

It is not required to prove the accused deliberately operated the vessel in a dangerous manner. The accused was operating his vessel at an unsafe speed, without navigation lights, in a narrow channel where there was a risk of collision and he did not keep a proper look-out. This is operation of a vessel in a manner dangerous to the public and the actus reus is proved. With respect to the mens rea element, the accused’s manner of operation of the vessel displayed a reckless disregard of extreme risk and in the circumstances, exhibited a marked departure from the norm.

Decision: Accused guilty.
Comment: The accused was later sentenced to two years in prison."


This one is interesting too:

"This case concerned a collision involving two fishing vessels. One vessel, under the command of the plaintiff, was in the process of laying lobster traps and proceeding in a northerly direction while the other vessel, under the command of the defendant, was proceeding westerly. The defendant argued he had the right of way pursuant to Rule 15 of the Collision Regulations (the vessel which has the other on her starboard side shall give way). The plaintiff, on the other hand, said he had the right of way as he was a vessel engaged in fishing pursuant to Rule 3.

Decision: The plaintiff was 75% at fault and the defendant 25% at fault.

Held: The plaintiff, although laying traps, was not restricted in his ability to manoeuvre and therefore Rule 3 did not apply. The defendant had the right of way but he ought to have exercised greater care and his failure to see the plaintiff’s boat was a failure to keep a proper lookout contrary to Rule 5."


This one for improper navigation light use:

"This case involved a collision on Okanagan Lake between a 26' sailboat operating under power and a 19' motorboat. The collision occurred at dusk. Both vessels were destroyed and the occupants of each were injured. The owner of the sailboat alleged that the collision was caused by the negligence of the other vessel in proceeding at an excessive speed and failing to maintain a proper lookout. The owner of the motorboat argued that the collision was caused by the negligence of the sailboat in failing to have the proper running lights and in turning to port immediately before the collision instead of to starboard as required by the collision regulations. It was uncontested that the driver of the motorboat did not see the sailboat until immediately before the collision and took no steps to avoid the collision. After reviewing all of the evidence the Judge found as a fact that the sailboat was not properly lit and that this was the cause of the collision. The owner/operator of the sailboat was therefore held to be completely at fault."


Alcohol and lack of running lights:

"This matter involved a collision between a small runabout and a sailboat under power in a narrow channel. The main issue in the case was liability and apportionment. The Trial Judge found the parties equally at fault. The operator of the sailboat was at fault for not having the proper lights, for operating on the wrong side of the channel and for failing to take evasive action. The operator of the runabout was at fault for operating his vessel while impaired by alcohol and for failing to observe the other vessel."

No anchor light and alcohol:

"Apportionment of liability was the issue in this small vessel collision case. The Plaintiff's vessel was at anchor and was hit by the Defendant's vessel. The Court apportioned liability 70% to the Defendant and 30% to the Plaintiff. The faults on the part of the Defendant were traveling at night at an excessive rate of speed when having consumed sufficient alcohol to have affected his judgment and vision. The faults on the part of the Plaintiff were not having an anchor light and anchoring his vessel in an area where through traffic was predictable and probable."


And finally not using radar:

"This interesting case involved a collision between the Canadian Naval vessel "Kootenay" and the "Nordpol" on June 1, 1989, in conditions of fog. At the time of the collision the "Kootenay" was engaged in anti-submarine exercises that required her not to emit any radar or radio signals. The "Kootenay" was observed on radar by those on board the "Nordpol" but she could not be raised by radio and her movements were erratic suggesting she was a fishing vessel. The "Nordpol" therefore maintained her course and speed of 13.5 knots assuming the "Kootenay" would pass astern of the "Nordpol". Of course, the "Kootenay" did not pass astern. A close quarters situation developed and the two ships collided. The Court held that both ships were liable and apportioned liability 70% to the "Kootenay" and 30% to the "Nordpol". The "Kootenay" was held primarily responsible because she created the dangerous situation by participating in naval exercises in busy shipping lanes, in fog, without having given any notice to vessel traffic or shipping and without the use of any navigational aids such as radar. The "Nordpol" was also criticized for excessive speed, for failing to take avoiding action and for failing to appreciate the close quarters situation and risk of collision. On the issue of damages, the Court had to consider what was the appropriate date for conversion of foreign currency and what was the appropriate method of calculating loss of use for a warship. On the first issue, the Court reaffirmed that damages incurred in a foreign currency are to be converted to Canadian dollars using the prevailing rate on the date of the commission of the tort. On the second issue, the Court held that there should be damages for loss of use of the "Kootenay", calculated using the capital cost of the ship. It did not matter that the "Kootenay's" duties were performed by other naval ships. There was still a loss to the Defendant; a loss of a "margin of safety"."

I suppose if even a Navy ship not using radar during training exercises can be held 70% at fault it is not a stretch to assume the courts would not look to favorably on "I was worried about my batteries" as an excuse.....
4 Weeks Ago 09:56 PM
MikeOReilly
Re: Is Radar an absolute necessity?

This is all very amusing. I'm in the process of installing radar b/c it will be a useful tool for our cruising grounds. Much like a depth sounder or anemometer, radar gives real-time data about what's actually going on in low-visibility areas. THAT is the real reason you should have it, and use it. This whole argument about what the courts will demand seems pretty theoretical, and divorced from reality.
4 Weeks Ago 07:00 PM
Mabinogion
Re: Is Radar an absolute necessity?

Well shucks, I guess we will just have to await the outcome of any legal action by Law Enforcement, the Restaurant Owner, customers or passengers of the boat that ended up inside a Tampa restaurant earlier this week having been travelling at high speed in thick fog.
There was a licensed skipper allegedly in charge and fitted with 1200hp of outboard power, then the radar, as obviously fitted, should not have been a drain on available power!
4 Weeks Ago 05:51 PM
Stumble
Re: Is Radar an absolute necessity?

Frankly I don't know of, any case where a small recreational vessel was even involved in a maritime casualty lawsuit where radar was even an issue. Nor can I imagine where it would be. The cost of the lawyers would far exceed the value of the boats so why bother.

But I would certainly be willing to argue to a court that 'proper use ' on a small sailing vessel includes operating with it off to preserve battery power in the event of fog or rain.
4 Weeks Ago 05:40 PM
Mabinogion
Re: Is Radar an absolute necessity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
Try Rule 7(b) then, it seems if you have risk of collision, and radar, you had better use it..

"Proper use shall be made of radar equipment if fitted..."
There are no if's or buts involved With regard to radar in the collision regulations

Perhaps people should peruse an up to date on-line copy of 7(b), if fitted and operational means what it says on the box.

Just because it is switched off or drains your battery if used is no excuse.

Edit: BTW, what does being on standby mode do to power useage with a modern digital radar?

Any Nautical advocates or other maritime legal specialists able to comment?
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