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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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Old 09-10-2011
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Hailing at sea

When traveling off shore and coming upon a large commercial ship at night, how do you hail it to learn its direction, intentions,and whether is sees you. Do you hail it, identify yourself and say "holding for instructions on channel xx"?

Also, I was sailing into charleston on a busy day and the captain called a security, identified his vessel, and said something like "holding for traffic on 14." Was this right?
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Old 09-10-2011
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Best way is by caliing the Ships name if you have AIS. In my experience they never answer otherwise.
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Old 09-10-2011
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They tend to ignore you, unless you've been given the 5 horn salute.
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Old 09-10-2011
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Situation: 0200, local. 600 nm offshore US east coast bound Norfolk to Tortola. Skipper snug in his berth. Crew awakens skipper because, "There's a big ship coming over the horizon and we can't tell where its headed." Shake off the grog -- stumble to the cockpit. Yes, there is a big ship out there -- lights all over it, no sign of nav lights. Back below to look at the radar. Yes, a big ship out there -- range X.X, bearing XXX relative. Quick plot of BR's position on the paper chart. Run out the bearing and range. Determine target's position. Grab the VHF mic. Radio's on 16. Key the mic.

"This is sailing vessel Billy Ruff'n, Billy Ruff'n, WCZ 5291 calling the large commercial vessel at X Latitude, Y Longitude. I am the small sailing vessel bearing XXX degrees, range Y miles from your position. Requesting your course and speed. Over."

Approximately 2 seconds after I released the PTT button I heard:

"Billy Ruff'n, this is Queen Mary II. We are in transit from St. Thomas to New York, course is X, speed is Y, we have you on radar and in sight. Our CPA is 2.3 miles in approximately Z minutes. Over."

Somewhat overwhelmed, I replied:

"Roger that, Queen Mary II. As your navigational assets are far superior to mine and it's been a long time since I used a maneuvering board, I'll trust your CPA. Thank you, Captain. Have a safe trip. Billy Ruff'n, Out".

Shipmates, that's about as good as it gets at sea. At least until you get a transmit/recieve AIS in which case the above conversation would have been necessary. Nor would it have been necessary to wake the skipper because the system gives the watch standers all the data QM II relayed to us that night.

Buy an AIS and sleep well offshore.
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Old 09-11-2011
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Thanks,,,,last weekend I helped deliver a J160 from Newport to Annapolis that had ALL the bells and whistles. Radar, AIS, (even a class B Transceiver), AC and water maker. That AIS is fantastic. The CPA and TCPA feature makes life easy. But that doesn't seem to be the norm for me. So thanks for the info on the hailing.

Speaking of the Queen MaryII,,,,one of the other crew told a story of coming accross her. When the radio operator found out the boat name, he responded by saying something like "roger that QEII". A very formal british voice corrected him over the radio saying, "this the vessel Queen Elizabeth II." I guess those brits don't appreciate informality.
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Old 09-11-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
Speaking of the Queen MaryII,,,,one of the other crew told a story of coming accross her. When the radio operator found out the boat name, he responded by saying something like "roger that QEII". A very formal british voice corrected him over the radio saying, "this the vessel Queen Elizabeth II." I guess those brits don't appreciate informality.
On Lake Michigan I paged the Motor Vessel Badger, identifying myself as Sailing Vessel Compass Rose. The reply was a very quick correction, it was the Steam Ship Badger, not the Motor Vessel Badger. I think they used to be quite proud of the fact that they burned coal.

Jackson
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