Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 53 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up?

There is no way for me to tell what his intentions were, but on the Hudson River and LIS I am constantly aware of and for many years I have sailed around freighters, tugs and barges and commercial ships. In confined channels and harbors too.

If a ship were coming directly at me I would watch carefully and look at the chart but I would not react until he was close.


Its something to watch. But its not the ship you see that can run you down, its the one you don't see.
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post #22 of 53 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up?

The bit I want to mention is what I call points of confluence (it probably has a proper name in navigation but I dont know it).
When there a point, headland etc that makes all, or many ships come into one point I call it a point of confluence. Its an area to be particularly aware.

This situation is similar. The OP and all the ships in the area are heading for one point. But to get there each may have a slightly different waypoints. We may all be steering 070 but still we cross paths.

In that situation I will hold my steady course. At 6 knots when a ship is 4nm astern doing 12 knots its stupid for me to do anything else. He needs to know my constant course so he can avoid me. How does he avoid a continually changing target?

Now getting back to the other general discussion that often comes up in these threads: ship fear.
I assure you theres nothing to worry about, only things to learn. There are so many busy ports around and areas where ships go that to take some advice you would need to transport your boat by land.

Looking at this photo below you will see, if you look closely 5 ships, and one has just gone ahead of us, you can see the wake (actually he's gone astern of us. Its a Port to Port situation). 2 ships are virtually superimposed on themselves and look like one. Theres no fear here! I had time to play with the wheel and take photos! No there was no bangy bits!.





Now lets have a look at this well known port. This ais grab is when I was heading up there the first time.

One NEEDS to be able to handle ships to make a run up here in a seamanlike manner.
Let me pop that one at you in another way: I think its UNseamanlike to be afraid of ships.

Go out and play with them and you will see its all A-OK.

Back to the OP: It was a flat day, both boats under power one clearly "stand on". Maybe the Captain of the ship was training a helmsman saying: "OK here's a safe situation, come a bit closer to the sailboat and I'll tell you when you are close enough for safety."

He would have been expecting a boat on a good, stable course going to a known point: a point of confluence not far ahead.


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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 09-10-2013 at 08:55 AM.
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post #23 of 53 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up?

You can look up the vessels track for the time period in question on MarineTraffic.com or see its recent history.
Live Ships Map - AIS - Vessel Traffic and Positions 12:58:00 PM
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post #24 of 53 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up?

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Originally Posted by Seaduction View Post
You can look up the vessels track for the time period in question on MarineTraffic.com or see its recent history.
hey thats a neat trick!!!!!!!!!!!!

You can see both his course changes as in the OPs post. The changes look by hand too as they are a bit wobbly (as mentioned in the OPs post). Also you can see the point of confluences I was talking about with the lock but before it the headland, - North Point off Alpena - more accurately the buoy off the 6 meter feature. So as someone else said in an earlier post he has to line up for channels that may be better marked on a commercial chart plotter.

With historical tracking of AIS on Marinetraffic.com its, as SVAuspicious says, AIS territory!! If you have it no one can play silly buggers with you

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post #25 of 53 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up?

It has always been my understanding that the Lake freighters, and ocean for that matter, are using GPS auto pilot routes mostly pre set by their home offices for efficiency. The ships responsibility is to keep watch that nothing is happening in the route that would force them to take control.

The thought that a ship would be toying with me has certainly never crossed my mind. These guys are professionals and any change of course affects their time and costs.......and that is how they get paid.

If you have concerns it is your responsibility to contact them and ask intentions. Even though they are professionals does not confirm that they know you are there. They are 1000 foot, and you are a little blip.They probably do, but if not they would certainly prefer that you contact them. In most cases you will get a contact that says they see you and that they will pass within X if you hold your course. Or, please move over to port 10degrees and we will pass X.
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post #26 of 53 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up?

One word starts a discussion like this. Ego.

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post #27 of 53 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up?

"Here lies the body of Johnny O'Day
Who died Preserving His Right of Way.

He was Right, Dead Right, as he sailed along
But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong!"

Just sayin'...
In most scenarios, it is safer for the stand on vessel to hold their course and wait for the give way vessel to respond appropriately. There are other times (encountering a large commercial vessel, tanker, freighter, etc.) when, for safety's sake you should just give a wide berth and get out of their way. Understand their relative lack of maneuverability and consider how your movements to avoid him might appear on the bridge.
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post #28 of 53 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up?

The AIS track seems to indicate pretty clearly that he wasn't messing with anyone, just steering a course.

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post #29 of 53 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLucas View Post
"Here lies the body of Johnny O'Day
Who died Preserving His Right of Way.

He was Right, Dead Right, as he sailed along
But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong!"

Just sayin'...
In most scenarios, it is safer for the stand on vessel to hold their course and wait for the give way vessel to respond appropriately. There are other times (encountering a large commercial vessel, tanker, freighter, etc.) when, for safety's sake you should just give a wide berth and get out of their way. Understand their relative lack of maneuverability and consider how your movements to avoid him might appear on the bridge.
One additional thought, and something I've also stressed teaching my kids to drive -- always be predictable. This is where holding your course as the stand-on vessel is important; or, if you are obligated or choose to give-way, that you do so in a way that is easily perceptible by the other vessel. To not do so is dangerous. In a different scenario, if while racing you were on starboard tack and approaching another sailboat on port at 90 degrees, you wouldn't call 'starboard' and then alter your course. You hold your course (i.e. be predictable) and allow the other vessel to respond accordingly. In the case of a large commercial vessel and as others have stated, if you choose to give way, make your intentions obvious by either making a larger course change or radioing your intentions. Being predictable on the water is both safe and good seamanship.
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post #30 of 53 Old 09-10-2013
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Re: Was the freighter messing with me, or did I mess up?

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I thought colregs dictated that something as poorly maneuverable as a freighter would be the stand on in this meet up? Under sail would be stand on in all situations except when encountering a stalled vessel or a commercial vessel with limited stopping power and maneuverability?


the freighter has the "right of way" and sailboat best be moving its self out of way. freighter as least moveable vessel also has 500 ft of protection surrounding it, as per patriot act post uss coles....it also takes a lot longer to stop and start them. sailboats are recreational and need to get out of the way of the big boys.

sailboats are not magical things that require freighters and other merchant shipping to get out of way--it is the opposite--YOU get out of THEIR way. even when under sail..

as long as you see and continue to see the long side of the freighter you are fine--it is when you see the small pointy end only that you need to concern yourself with being run down. then get the f out of the way.


btw--when ye play chicken with a freighter the freighter wins--and he cannot even visually see you. he does see you on his radar


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Last edited by zeehag; 09-10-2013 at 11:29 AM.
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