autopilot fever... - SailNet Community

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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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  #1  
Old 09-05-2007
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Rockter will become famous soon enough
autopilot fever...

I was on Loch Ness the other day, and the wind was light, and sun out.
It really is a great place.
The 10 ton ship was moving slowly, full sails hanging, often barely moving at all.
In the distance was another sailboat, maybe half a mile, motoring right at me. "He's come for a wee look", said I.
The distance closed, and closed.
"Get me the binoculars".
"Get me the klaxon".
Five blasts, five more.
Still right at me... and I mean right at me.
"He's on autopilot... there's no one on watch".

"Standby for engine start", motor start, sails back winded, hard to port... all very undignified stuff.

A head pops up, and a stupid woman tries to wave at me, from, like, 30 yards

My ship's name was clearly visible, so I did not swear, but I did some yelling. They retreated below again. A 10 year old was on board anyway, so no expletives.

700 feet of water, the sun is out, and some bozo is on autopilot for like, miles, risking both ships with a fancy autopilot toy.

Beware.
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Old 09-05-2007
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Unfortunately, lots of boats fail to keep a proper watch... from another post of mine on another thread:

Quote:
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.
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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
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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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Old 09-06-2007
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The boat's name was Direction?

Oh...heh...hehhhehhehhehheh!

Priceless!
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Old 09-06-2007
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Valiente-

Yes... it's name was Direction... maybe they'll change it to Miss Direction..
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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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Old 09-06-2007
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I had a similar experience last week, but the people were at the helm waving.....
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Old 09-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockter View Post
They retreated below again.
That's classic.

So farm animal stupid that they didn't realize what they were doing wrong. The really bad news is, they have offsping. Darwin may have to wait another generation to prune those genes.
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Old 09-06-2007
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Originally Posted by CapnHand View Post
That's classic.

So farm animal stupid that they didn't realize what they were doing wrong. The really bad news is, they have offsping. Darwin may have to wait another generation to prune those genes.
Not if they're lost at sea with all hands...and I think the kid was his... not on the other boat.
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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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Old 09-06-2007
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I thought was the whole point of autopilot; so that you don't have to watch or steer while you get some sleep below or read a book. That's how I use Snooze Control in my car.

DrB
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Old 09-06-2007
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Yes, the 10 year-old was on my ship... he is the one that bought the hamster that bit me.
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Old 09-06-2007
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Something similar happened to me the other day. I was power sailing out of Huntington bay when I saw a 35 foot personal fishing power boat on autopilot with the captain paying attention to his fishing gear and not where he was going. I was on a starboard tack and he was off my port bow on a collision course. Since he didn't see me, and since a sailboat can only go a certain speed I couldn't go faster in front of him so I decided to fall off and let him pass in front of me. So I do this and leave plenty of room for him to pass thinking I am being the nice one for moving. As soon as he sees my boat passing behind him he starts screaming at me about how I am now going to mess up his fishing line he is trowling off his stern and calling me an idiot. Oh boy was I mad and I let him know it. It just pisses me off that you have these a**holes out there who have no clue what they are doing and they don't pay attention and then they get mad at you because they think you are the wrong one. I wish I had a flaregun to shoot a hole in the morons hull. What did he want me to do...stay on my course so his boat on autopilot could ram my boat and sink both of us since he wasn't paying any attention and was in the middle of a crowded bay.
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