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post #21 of 45 Old 08-08-2018
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Re: Fog

My Lowrance 3G Radar picks up just about everything, including boat wakes, which makes the target look a bit larger than it really is sometimes. However, there have been times that I had some difficulty seeing a nun buoy until I got within 1/4-mile of it. Same is true with some of the old, wooden skiffs used for waterfowl hunting that sit very low in the water - not much of a reflective surface. I understand that the new 4G radar systems are superior in these situations, though.

When my radar antenna was on a shorter pole (mine is not on the mast), I could actually see crab pot markers when they got within 300 feet of the boat. I was amazed, but to me, this was a PITA - too much stuff on the screen. When I raised the antenna to 13 feet, I no longer could see the crab pot markers, but those markers are not a problem for my boat. I have a full keel and the rudder is hung in such as way that the marker lines just slide down the keel down the bottom of the rudder and nothing get snagged. I have not snagged a crab pot marker since I sold my 27 Catalina and went with the Morgan 33 Out Island - not one. I would never sail the Catalina at night because I would snag a marker every couple yards.

Good subject,

Gary
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post #22 of 45 Old 08-08-2018
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Re: Fog

In addition to a hailer we also have, a bag New Years noisemakers, and also use our ships bell.
Thought about making a Foghorn Sound on a flashrive and playing through the speakers in our cockpit. Only issue is they face us....grrr


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post #23 of 45 Old 08-08-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Fog

Quote:
Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
Be under 12 meters (say 40 feet) in length.

Then you can (if you want) sound "some other efficient sound signal at intervals not to exceed 2 minutes", says Rule 35(h):

Trumpet?? big bass drum?? Fido's dog whistle?? Get Fido to bark?? Bronx cheer? Klaxon horn? Screaming argument every 2 minutes (perfect for certain couples)? Blast your stereo?? Think of the possibilities....
I didn't read that carefully before. I always thought I was breaking the rules but know I know I wasn't, just risking my life.

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post #24 of 45 Old 08-08-2018
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Re: Fog

I purchased one of these years ago for that reason https://www.overtons.com/modperl/pro...SABEgKxI_D_BwE

I have radar and a Hailer now and a couple of canisters onboard but I still carry this.
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post #25 of 45 Old 08-09-2018
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Re: Fog

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Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
The ColRegs are clear on this issue. If a sound signal is detected forward of the beam and it can not be determined if risk of collision exists, they shall reduce speed and stop if necessary until it has been determined if a risk of collision exists.
That's what the rule says, but it doesn't make it safe. Particularly, if you stop and lose rudder authority. Now you're a sitting duck. I always slow to a point that I think I'll be able to evade, given the visibility, but maintain control of the ship.

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Recreational sailors who chose not to sound their sound signals because they feel their skill alone with a RADAR is sufficient to prevent a collision is truly frightening because I would trust few pleasure craft RADARs to adequately detect a small fibreglass or wood boat and I would trust even fewer pleasure craft RADAR operators to effectively use their RADARs or even be reasonably familiar with rule 19.
I'm not advocating breaking the rule. I sound the signal. But I have a hard time agreeing that it makes much difference. It does make one feel like they are helping. The concept was invented before radar and AIS existed. If the operator isn't good enough to navigate with a (modern) digital radar, there is no way I can conceive of them doing so by hearing a fog signal.

Quote:
In my former career I dealt with some collisions in fog, not pretty. I worked on one particular vessel a good sized comercial vessel (over 200 ft) that had collided with about a 50-60 ft steel fishing vessel killing all on board. Both vessels were equipped with RADAR, sound signals were not used. One had at least 3 persons on the bridge. I wasnt on board at the time, but many of my former shipmates were and it never sat right with them.
Fair enough, but there is no way to know the use of a fog horn would have prevent it.

Quote:
There are some rules that dont really matter that much with pleasure craft, but when it comes to sound signals in the fog, people die because the rule is ignored.
Again, I'm not advocating breaking the rule, I just find it hard to believe that a fog signal is going to prevent many accidents. Here's a scenario I found myself in a couple of years back. We came through Quick's Hole, into Vineyard Sound and fog unexpectedly rolled over us. There are lobster pots and lots of traffic in the sound, so we slow way down. As it was unexpected, I had not raised my radar reflector (my mistake, although, not required in the ColRegs I might add). I'm monitoring radar and note a large ship gaining on us quickly from our six. I can hear it in the distance. No doubt, it's one of the high speed catamaran ferries heading to the island. I'm fairly close to shore, so find it odd they are too. I can't really evade by turning toward shore, but turning toward the center of the sound is what I expect them to do. I blow the daylights out of the horn. I even sounded 5 blasts, as I was getting spooked. They are making over 20 knots, which is slowed down for them, but not adjusting course. There is no bloody way they could possibly hear the horn on that deck. I don't recall hearing their horn, but I doubt you could hear it over their engine noise if they did. They're louder than the horn. When they get within a half mile or so, they turn out toward the middle of the sound and I eventually hear them roar past.

In all likelihood, they saw us on radar the whole time. Nevertheless, I find it impossible to believe my horn mattered at all.


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Last edited by Minnewaska; 08-09-2018 at 06:02 AM.
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post #26 of 45 Old 08-09-2018
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Re: Fog

When in doubt, There's always the radio. (all available means). Every tool in the toolbox. Many commercial operators will issue a "securite" giving their name, position course and speed. I do find Ferries to be less proactive in this. So, I'll just call them and ask them " can you see me now" ;-) and discuss a passing. "Yeah Captain, I see you, maintain your course and speed and I'll pass safely to your port."

I issued a Securite on the East River once at night , and had a Tug and Barge call me back to say he saw me and asked me to move to Starboard he was drifting a bit in my directiioon, and then thanked me when passed. The CG was on the River, I know they were Monitoring.

Last edited by tempest; 08-09-2018 at 06:55 AM.
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post #27 of 45 Old 08-09-2018
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Re: Fog

We have both a VHF fog hailer and a FogMate fog signal device using an actual 12V horn. There is no comparison, the FogMate/12V Horn is considerably louder. The VHF hailer is a good back up or good way to meet the COLREGS but may not be heard by some boats. We are hailed as many as two to three times a day in pea soup saying we can be heard but our direction is unknown to them (no radar) and we then relay that info via VHF. On most days we are the only boat on the water following the rules related to fog signals.

In the fog here in Maine these are the tools we use..

Monitoring VHF 13 & 16 minimum 100% of the time
Running Lights On
Radar (with a capable operator)
Radar Reflector
Fog Signals
AIS - Almost useless in Maine but not entirely
Slow Down
Ears
Nose
Eyes
Compass
Depth
GPS
Paper Nav Plot
Wind Direction
Lobster Pot Buoy Lay

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 08-09-2018 at 07:19 AM.
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post #28 of 45 Old 08-09-2018
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Re: Fog

The radio is a good idea. In the above scenario, I would have had to make a blind hail to the "vessel south of Cuttyhunk moving eastbound" or something like it. I can't see them to know who I'm hailing. They may or may not be the only one. As I recall, there were other slow moving vessels in the area.

Which brings me to my point. At some point, all vessels should be equipped with AIS technology that not only solves for this identification, allows for knowing who you are hailing, but could be expanded to ping another vessel and electronically ask them to acknowledge they see you.

I don't love big government regs, but if we all had AIS, it would become less expensive. It could even be a simply remote device that interfaces with your smartphone/tablet. These are the modern day shapes, lights and sound signals. Perhaps the law should simply say that one is not permitted in visibility below a certain threshold or at night without it. It's the way aviation works, certain equipment requirements for visual, others for instrument, others again for different types of airspace.
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post #29 of 45 Old 08-09-2018
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Re: Fog

If you look at tort-
if you have a capability (device) and don’t use it you are liable. Doesn’t matter if it’s radar,AIS, a horn, a bell, whatever....
If you have a capability and don’t use it due to lack of training/experience you are liable.
If you knowingly go out into fog in a vessel not equipped for it +/or trained in available equipment to mitigate risk you maybe deemed behaving in a unseamanlike fashion and have a big argument with your insurance.
Therefore both common sense, law, and insurance risk suggest you should do everything possible to avoid departures in fog and make transit in fog as safe as possible.
We call a fellow traveler on vhf as soon as we see them on AIS to make sure we pop up on their AIS so we know our AIS transmit works at least once a day. We have our AIS on a separate antenna not a splitter from the VHF.
Even on clear days turn on the radar briefly to make sure it works. Have the presets optimized especially “coastal “ so we have eyes in the fog. Some use “birds” for this.
We have a trilobe radar reflector on the mast. PS said good things about them. The foldable ones are nearly worthless.
We will put a light on the main when appropriate and always have running lights on in the fog.
We sound the horn. We turn the engine down to idle and listen periodically.
Historically our problem has been very small motor boats, big wooden fish boats and high speed sport fish. It hasn’t been ships nor non fishing commercial craft. Ferry routes show on the chart. Just run parallel to them until you are in the harbor. Always run on the edge of a channel.
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post #30 of 45 Old 08-09-2018
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Re: Fog

BTW I agree with Minnie. Any documentable boat even if operating on state numbers should be obliged to have AIS receive and SEND. Non transponders shouldn’t be sold. They are of little utility to both owner and others on the water in collision avoidance. Bigger wins. Bigger is even now more likely to have send/receive and you are more likely to not want him to hit you than you hitting him. If you don’t want to be hit have send/receive. Money difference isn’t worth it.

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