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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #21  
Old 08-28-2007
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Technically, my boat is a traily saily too. She actually draws 14" and 4' 3" according to the specs, but my boat is a bit more heavily loaded than the average one... so I call it 18"/4' 6" and that gives the outboard skeg a bit of wiggle room.
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Originally Posted by arbarnhart View Post
Interesting; so we traily saily types draft more than you and less than you? Mine is stated as 9" and 4' 9" but probably is down another couple of inches with people and gear.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #22  
Old 09-04-2007
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About 40'. How well do you hold your breath... for when your boat is sitting on the bottom of the ocean... upright...
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Originally Posted by RickBowman View Post
What is the inverted draft?
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #23  
Old 09-05-2007
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"Unfortunately many of the larger ships don't keep as good a watch as they really should."

SailingDog,
You've stated this a number of times before and I really think you might consider re-wording it. If your intent is to say that one should not rely on the other ship keeping a good lookout, I think that that is what you should say. The way that you consistantly phrase the comment would lead one to believe that you have personal and extensive knowledge of poor watchkeeping on board large ships. I do not know what knowledge on the matter you possess but I do know that I have a fair amount of sea time on large, and very large, ships and poor watchkeeping is not common or tolerated.

I'd also make the point that most boaters have little or no idea about watchkeeping and, in fact, rely on the professional mariner to see and avoid them. I'd also mention that, for the offshore sailor in trouble, his most likely chance of rescue will come from a merchant ship of some sort. Poor watchkeeping is not what brought that fishing boat to Ken Barnes aid. You'll notice that most large vessels have their radar on, you can see the scanners turning, at all times, regardless of weather.

Please either rephrase the statement in the future or offer some degree of evidence that what you say is factual. (it's been a burr under my saddle for awhile, no offense intended)
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  #24  
Old 09-05-2007
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SailAway, I understood SailingDog - Your wording is nicer and more precise though
Most merchant ships DO have great crews that do keep watches, however some of the smaller companies from obscure states have the WORST crew in the world! While I would excpect a containership from Maersk to keep watches I wouldn't trust the rusty coaster to have anything but a drunk weirdo (if any) on watch.
Last year a drunken navigator missed the Great Belt Bridge – The second biggest suspension bridge in the world, he sure could have done a lot of harm to others…
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  #25  
Old 09-05-2007
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Sailaway-

A good example... hmm... just a couple of weekends ago, I was approaching the harbor when a large fishing trawler, was leaving. The harbor has a fairly narrow exit through the hurricane barrier, and we saw the trawler headed for the large green buoy that marks the channel. He was headed straight for it... and I kept thinking, "They're going to turn any minute now, right?"

Wrong... they nailed the buoy dead square and knocked it down—breaking off the bow pulpit about halfway down its length on the trawler. When they hit, you could see someone in the pilothouse windows running across to the helm.

This was a professional fishing trawler, where the crew doesn't make any money if the boat is in the repair docks... It was about noon on a day with clear blue skies, and not a whole lot of marine traffic at the time. This is their home port, so the green can's location should be well known to them—yet somehow they hit it. BTW, the boat's name was Direction, and is apparently featured on a reality TV show about lobstermen. I'll post a photo of the boat in a bit, taken after its encounter with the buoy. I'd expect this of a weekend warrior...but thought that a commercial crew would do better... apparently not. The only good thing is that Direction is made of steel and wasn't damaged beyond the bow pulpit.

I have relatives who crew aboard merchant ships. One of my sister's in-laws is a tanker captain. Some of the companies keep a very good watch. However, many do not. I've nearly been run down in a Buzzards Bay by a container ship that had no one visible in any of the windows in the bridge—and that was when I was on a 65' lobster boat at the time.

I don't believe you should rely on the other ship or boat to be keeping watch. It has been my experience that many do not... small boats are notorious for this—especially if they're loaded with a bunch of teenagers who haven't the experience or the training to understand what their responsibilities are. Many of the larger boats seem to rely on radar to keep their watch...

Another well-documented example is the Ouzo, a 26' sailboat was recently run down by the Pride of Balboa, a large commercial ferry just off the Isle of Wight with no survivors. It is thought that if they had had a radar reflector hoisted, they might not have been run down. I don't believe that weather was a factor in this case... as IIRC, the weather was good at the time of the incident.

While my wording may bother you... it is the truth... and not all companies or ships are as diligent as yours.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.

Last edited by sailingdog; 09-05-2007 at 08:31 AM.
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  #26  
Old 09-05-2007
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My brother delivers yachts (motorboats; he isn't a sailor) for a living, mostly on the SE US coast, primarily in the Gulf. He has told me many times that the biggest danger out there is other boats, large and small. Weather is a distant second since he can get a fairly acurate forecast for at least a day or two and he can generally motor out of harm's way well in advance of anything major.

He has discussed this with me recently because of my growing interest in sailing. It worries him because he drives boats that can outrun a lot of ships or at least get out the way quickly and he thinks sailboats are sitting ducks.

Last edited by arbarnhart; 09-05-2007 at 08:41 AM.
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  #27  
Old 09-05-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
About 40'. How well do you hold your breath... for when your boat is sitting on the bottom of the ocean... upright...
My boat has positive flotation, though I suspect filling it with water would hamper navigation a bit.
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  #28  
Old 09-06-2007
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Dog,
You've got one actual incident that you've observed, the rest being anecdotal. Oh, I forgot the container ship on Buzzard's Bay, a place I have never seen a container ship, a place that virtually no container ship would have an interest in going-and it must have been a pretty small ship too!

It is not the point of watch-keeping to which I object, it is the broad and somehow authoritative brush with which you paint, when, in fact, you have just about zip for actual knowledge of how affairs are conducted on board merchant ships. Case in point, it would not be at all unusual for you to not see anyone in the wheelhouse of a container ship. The bridge deck is at least twenty feet deep and, at seventy feet or more above the water, I'd be amazed at how you could see anyone on the bridge. The mate on watch could be five feet abaft the window and you'd never see him.

Your assertions do not pass the smell test either. We've got a $100 million ship laden with $50 million in cargo, with a mate on watch who has years of education and, at a minimum, has sat through a week long USCG exam where the relavent section's passing grade is 90%, and he is very well paid as well as very knowledgeable of the fact that if he collides or runs aground-he'll most likely be held liable as he is the professsional. And you purport to tell us that many of them do not keep a good watch.

I will cut you some slack by acknowledging that you don't see very many deep sea ships in your neck of the woods. The longshoremen and inland congestion put the kibosh on Boston as a thriving port many years ago. The smaller the ship, the less rigorous the training.

And, I will admit that accidents happen. But, I do think if you're fair you'll be forced to admit that most keep a good watch; far better than the average boater, sail or power.
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  #29  
Old 09-06-2007
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Not one night off Cork my friend. Our transmission had failed, and I called and called and called to try to find out if he could see me. The Irish Coastguard eventually chimed in, knowingly. The big merchant ship just sailed on, answering no-one, in very clear conditions. I had to be there too... I had come a long way.

Not one night about 250 miles out either, same circumstances. A fishing flotilla, zig-zagging about in a wierd dance. They wanted fish it seems, above all, and answered nothing.

Most will keep a good watch.... the problem is knowing that they have seen you.
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  #30  
Old 09-06-2007
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OK, this UK report is a little dated (data for 1997/1998), but if you look at page 22 of the report, you will see that for vessels greater that 100 tons, the "collision and contact" rate was 53 and 41 per 1000.
http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources...ort%201998.pdf
That's real data, not antecdotes. That isn't incredibly high (especially if you extrapolate out how many miles or trips per year they make), but it is high enough to warrant keeping a close eye and not blindly trusting them to look out for you.

Anyone know of a more recent US study?
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