Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 67 Old 07-12-2015 Thread Starter
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Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters

We had a beautiful sail up to Philadelphia's Penns Landing on Friday evening. We had dinner and stayed the night. We motored back Saturday due to lack of wind.

All of a sudden my AIS alarm started going off, and I looked back to see this jerk bearing down on me from behind. He was doing 26 knots. I tried hailing him on the radio to warn him of impending collision, both with an open hail (by name) and a DSC (by MMSI). No response. He passed me to starboard about 60 ft away. My worst fear (that he was down below and boat on autopilot) was not realized - he was at the helm with guests. Apparently he was just totally oblivious to the damage that his 4' wake might cause.

I was unable to change course by much before the wake hit. As he approached I was afraid to turn at all because I did not know what side he was going to pass me on. After he passed I had only a couple of seconds to try to get my bow pointed toward the wake. We were tossed around quite a bit since the wake was mostly broadside.

Nothing got permanently damaged on my boat. Things weren't secured like normal because there was no wind and I knew that I would be motoring in totally benign conditions. Fortunately my laptop was stowed on the floor in a bag - I had removed it from the dinette table before departing. But other things did get tossed around quite a bit.

Since I now had his MMSI number in my radio log, I decided to do a little searching online. I can't find the guys name, but his boat name popped up immediately. (The Tardis, MMSI #338186002) I can also see where he spent the night, and also where he apparently keeps his boat during the week. With satellite imagery I can pinpoint it right down to the very slip that he rents. So if there was damage and I wanted to take action, I would have no problem finding the guy.

I wonder if these guys realize that their AIS transponders basically guarantee that they could be held accountable for their stupid actions.
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post #2 of 67 Old 07-12-2015
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re: Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters

I've had a few similar incidents with idiot powerboats. Ironically, the most recent one was with a Canadian Coast Guard cutter when we were in a narrow marked channel, setting up to enter a marina. We were under sail and this crazy cutter ploughs full-bore past us, throwing a huge wake and leaving us unable to turn into it. Wasn't hard to identify these turkeys.

Interesting use of AIS though TakeFive. It's great you could track them down, although it reinforces my hesitation to use an AIS transponder. Great use in this case, but it's not hard for my suspicious mind to come up with any number of nefarious uses of AIS transmissions (mostly via governments and corporations).
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post #3 of 67 Old 07-12-2015
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re: Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters

"Securité-Securité, Securité-Securité, Hello all stations with special attention of the US Coast Guard, be advised that the vessel "The Tardis" is recklessly and at high speed and close aboard with severe wake is navigating in the XXX channel on the Delaware River at XXXX° N, XXXX°W in X direction. Im am currently checking for injuries and damage due to the large close aboard wake from this boat "THE TARDIS". USCG Please stand by for further" ........ . Such will 'document' your incident, if needed for further action.
You can also do this by dialing #CG

Id also consider to shot-gun/broadcast a full written detailed report of such an incident to several of the major marine insurance carriers.

Mr. Sheff's "THE TARDIS" is on register at: Office of Science and Technology

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post #4 of 67 Old 07-12-2015
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re: Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters

Another thing to consider, you can search for an MMSI with the FCC Ship License Search to find a persons name, and other details. Looking up that guy's MMSI, it doesn't show up on the FCC database, so it's likely issued from BoatUS. Another method of contacting for damage claims, directly with the insurnace company.

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post #5 of 67 Old 07-12-2015 Thread Starter
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re: Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters

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Originally Posted by Rhapsody-NS27 View Post
Another thing to consider, you can search for an MMSI with the FCC Ship License Search to find a persons name, and other details...
Yes, I had tried that, but it became clear that it was an unlicensed radio with BoatUS-supplied MMSI.

I've also searched the USCG documentation registry many times, but didn't think of it this time because I assumed the boat wasn't big enough to document. (Objects look smaller when traveling close to the speed of light. )

I think this thread is diverting to a useful purpose, which is to document the various ways one can look up a boat captain's identity. It my come in handy for when someone really does need to investigate a marine incident.

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post #6 of 67 Old 07-12-2015
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re: Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters

After a few years now, navigating the ICW down South, I can count on one hand the times an irresponsible idiot has done something like this. The overwhelming majority of power boaters seem to be very good at making contact and doing a slow pass. It really is a pain for them and I'm always grateful and let them know it. Perhaps it's worth keeping a piece of old 2" polyethylene hawser, strategically dropped overboard for occasions such as this:-) Only kidding....maybe.

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post #7 of 67 Old 07-12-2015
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re: Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters

Nothing personal Take Five but coming from the powerboat crowd, I don't think I've seen a powerboat traveling at 26 knots toss up a 48" wake. Unless it's a big ass boat like Mike experienced.
You sure about the size of that wake

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post #8 of 67 Old 07-12-2015
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re: Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters

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Nothing personal Take Five but coming from the powerboat crowd, I don't think I've seen a powerboat traveling at 26 knots toss up a 48" wake. Unless it's a big ass boat like Mike experienced.
You sure about the size of that wake
Bayliners, searays, other power cruisers, Vikings, most sport fishing boats can do 26kts and throw a massive wake. I test drove a 42' Searay cruiser with two 450hp Caterpillars and it did close to 20 with wrong size props and a fouled bottom.

Even 23' wakeboard boats can throw close to that size wake at that speed.

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post #9 of 67 Old 07-12-2015 Thread Starter
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re: Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters

Nope, not sure of anything. Too busy trying to react to get out a yardstick.

The essence of my point is unchanged by a few inches.

His bow was high, his stern dug in (not on a plane), and he was less than two boat lengths away from me, so no chance for the wake to damp out.

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post #10 of 67 Old 07-12-2015
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re: Privacy considerations for ignorant powerboaters

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
After a few years now, navigating the ICW down South, I can count on one hand the times an irresponsible idiot has done something like this. The overwhelming majority of power boaters seem to be very good at making contact and doing a slow pass. It really is a pain for them and I'm always grateful and let them know it. Perhaps it's worth keeping a piece of old 2" polyethylene hawser, strategically dropped overboard for occasions such as this:-) Only kidding....maybe.
Oh come one now !!!!!! if one gets severely waked on the AICW, 99% of the time its a New Jersey Boat and usually its a BIG 'sport fisher', ('cept JonEberg, of course). :-o
In NJ, its probably in their DNA to wake 'everyone and everything', especially in the NJ inlets - just like driving the ever-courteous NJ turnpike. Everyone there does this (including and especially the water cops); and therefore, a severe waking should be 'EXPECTED' anywhere near NJ.
So, its probably a widely accepted 'cultural thing' endemic to NJ.

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