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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This was a new phenomenon. Over these last few weeks, I've repeatedly heard sailboats hailing commercial vessels, having identified the commecial vessel via AIS. Generally, a good practice to establish contact and avoid confusion.

However, more often than not, the sailboat noted their AIS suggested they would "come close" or some such and either implicitly or, in one case, explicitly asked the tanker to alter course. One even hailed a cargo vessel to identify that it wasn't transmitting AIS, in violation of regs. This guy just become the AIS police? He even said, "you could have run us over". Wow, I was about a half mile away and would estimate visibility at about 2 million miles that day. Geesh.

First, your AIS is going to alert you to a potential conflict that may be well far enough away to avoid when you get there.

Secondly, these guys in the commercial vessels are at work, while we are tootling to our next sunset cocktail. I don't really care what the stand on rules are going to be when we get that close. I say, alter course early (before the rules apply) and give the fella a break.

I heard one yo yo hail and identify himself as the "sailboat, under sail, a half mile off your starboard bow, what are your intentions?" The cargo vessel replied "we will maintain course and speed". The sailboat replies that their AIS suggests a conflict, they are under sail, and again asks the cargo vessel their intentions. The cargo skipper replies, "we will maintain course and speed". There was tons of sea room in their vicinity.

Good for them.
 

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I can only imagine how much the commercial operators hate the pleasure boat community using AIS indiscriminately. Honestly guys, they don't want to talk to you and the only thing they do want from you, is for you to keep well clear of them.
Having stood on the bridge of ships and sailed small craft extensively, I can say without qualification that small craft are nothing more than bothersome mosquitoes to them.
Even in a potential collision situation at sea in the dark, you would be much better served to just avoid the situation than presuming that the watch stander on that bridge is even awake and that you both have a common language.
AIS may be a wonderful tool, but collision avoidance is still the responsibility of the smaller vessel.
 

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but collision avoidance is still the responsibility of the smaller vessel.
Huh?

Not according to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
 

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If recreational vessels continue to force the rules onto large commercial vessels, the next convention on COLREGS, which will not include the recreational crowd, will fix the problem. We might not like the solution.
There are times and places where strict adherence is required for safety reasons. But as pointed out by Minnewaska and Capta, get out of their way when you can. Don't make life unnecessarily combative.
John
 

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...
AIS may be a wonderful tool, but collision avoidance is still the responsibility of the smaller vessel.
Collision avoidance is the responsibility of both parties and AIS is just one more tool that makes it easier to avoid a problem. The problem is not AIS, it is few jerks who have a new toy that makes it easier for them to show how important they are. I generally use AIS as a tool to allow we to keep out of the way (talking about open ocean here) but there have been a few times I have called ships to insure that safe passage is enhanced.

One thing I have noticed is the number of ships that make a minor course change to avoid me even when we are 5 to 10 miles apart. You will see them alter by 2 or 3 degrees until we pass and then they resume course.
 

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Huh?

Not according to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
Oh for crying out loud. So you've read the rules, we applaud you.
However, the last vessel that can avoid a collision must avoid the collision, so in what universe do you believe a large commercial vessel would be that vessel? It will always fall on the smaller, more maneuverable vessel to avoid a collision in the end. But you keep telling yourself that you are the stand on vessel, when that ship can not possibly do what you, as an amateur pleasure vessel operator thinks it can, and runs you down.
 

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I have to agree with Minne and Capta.

We're a LOT more maneuverable and have a LOT more to lose. How hard is it to tack or alter course a few degrees?

Can you imagine a tanker trying to slalom between all the pleasure boats out on a nice weekend? :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can only imagine how much the commercial operators hate the pleasure boat community using AIS .....
I was thinking the same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Huh?

Not according to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
I've never read it clarified when the stand on rules come into effect. Is it sufficient to say that your AIS will alert you to a potential conflict long before either vessel would be require to stand-on or adjust course in the colreg?
 

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I can imagine it must be perplexing for a ship close off the coast passing some port on a Saturday afternoon... But one must realise not only do ships have to obey Colregs but also these days ships are very manoeuvrable. A button twiddle and they don't steamroller Mum, Day and the 6 kids having a day sail.

Sure there will be peanuts who abuse it, but they are, I'll bet, in the minority.

All ships have to do is run an extra mile off the coast, or if leaving/entering port stick to the channel and mention that in the VHF TXs.

Oh, one other thing, a joystick twiddling ship at 18 knots has much better chance of avoiding a sailboat going up wind, or deep downwind at 4 knots than the other way around.

Mark
 

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I sail in one of the busiest ports, the port of Los Angeles and you don't get in the way not at all! If you expect a 1200+ ft ship that weighs 20,000+ tons to move out of your way then you need to have your head examined. Here is a little tidbit about ships.
Some of the world's biggest container ships are about 1,300 feet long - that's nearly 400 meters or the distance around an Olympic running track - with a maximum width of 180 feet (55 meters). Their engines weigh 2,300 tons, their propellers 130 tons, and there are twenty-one stories between their bridge and their engine room. They can be operated by teams of just thirteen people and a sophisticated computer system and carry an astonishing 11,000 20-foot containers. If that number of containers were loaded onto a train it would need to be 44 miles or 71 kilometers long!
 

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I can imagine it must be perplexing for a ship close off the coast passing some port on a Saturday afternoon... But one must realise not only do ships have to obey Colregs but also these days ships are very manoeuvrable. A button twiddle and they don't steamroller Mum, Day and the 6 kids having a day sail.

Sure there will be peanuts who abuse it, but they are, I'll bet, in the minority.

All ships have to do is run an extra mile off the coast, or if leaving/entering port stick to the channel and mention that in the VHF TXs.

Oh, one other thing, a joystick twiddling ship at 18 knots has much better chance of avoiding a sailboat going up wind, or deep downwind at 4 knots than the other way around.

Mark
Have you been on a ship bridge to make these claims? You're right, it is easy for the ship to change heading, but it takes quite a long time for the ship to actually respond to that command. Ship design hasn't changed, electronics maybe but you get a 100k ton 700ft vessel moving it doesn't just turn like your 40ft boat. Even if the stern doesn't shift to make the bow appear to be turning, the ship is still sliding straight.

And all a recreational boat has to do is stay out of the channel or stay one mile closer to the coast..

Lastly, no you are incorrect, it is not easier to avoid a sailboat for a ship. A sailboat can alter course much faster than that ship. That is just silly to even try to argue.

I do in fact pilot these vessels, even the 6k ton 300ft supply boat with z-drives I'm on doesn't just respond on a dime, and it's MUCH more maneuverable than a single screw one rudder ship. I'm not just making this up or blowing smoke.

This argument comes up all the time, yea as a sailboat, you have rights over the big ship. But if you want to risk your life because you think it can just "get out of your way because he's a motor vessel," your wrong and my opinion not being prudent or wise. It's physics and hydrodynamics prove you move a heck of a lot easier than them.

Unless you are bound by some unique circumstance that keeps you from taking or gybing or turning up to slow down or douse sail momentarily then you/we should not impede these commercial vessels. They are working so we can enjoy goods across the world. Would you want someone to come get in your way or cause you to alter you course of job just because they have the right? Like osha coming in your workplace just because they have "rights" to..
 

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It can take a hell of a lot longer for a sailboat to turn with spinnaker or genoa poled out, boom with a preventer, and windward runners set.

Fortunately the people who make the rules seem to understand that better than many here.

If you ship is uncontrollable the drop the hook.
 

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Have you been on a ship bridge to make these claims? You're right, it is easy for the ship to change heading, but it takes quite a long time for the ship to actually respond to that command. Ship design hasn't changed, electronics maybe but you get a 100k ton 700ft vessel moving it doesn't just turn like your 40ft boat. Even if the stern doesn't shift to make the bow appear to be turning, the ship is still sliding straight.

And all a recreational boat has to do is stay out of the channel or stay one mile closer to the coast..

Lastly, no you are incorrect, it is not easier to avoid a sailboat for a ship. A sailboat can alter course much faster than that ship. That is just silly to even try to argue.

I do in fact pilot these vessels, even the 6k ton 300ft supply boat with z-drives I'm on doesn't just respond on a dime, and it's MUCH more maneuverable than a single screw one rudder ship. I'm not just making this up or blowing smoke.

This argument comes up all the time, yea as a sailboat, you have rights over the big ship. But if you want to risk your life because you think it can just "get out of your way because he's a motor vessel," your wrong and my opinion not being prudent or wise. It's physics and hydrodynamics prove you move a heck of a lot easier than them.

Unless you are bound by some unique circumstance that keeps you from taking or gybing or turning up to slow down or douse sail momentarily then you/we should not impede these commercial vessels. They are working so we can enjoy goods across the world. Would you want someone to come get in your way or cause you to alter you course of job just because they have the right? Like osha coming in your workplace just because they have "rights" to..
The only rule that is worth following around the world in my humble opinion is COLLISION avoidance...

anything else is not even remotely noteworthy when compared to a collision...

I wont get into this in personal detail or whatever Im sure we have all had similar oh **** moments but honestly stop the rules say this run to mommy attitude becase its written somewhere in some rule book so I have the right etc...

If you cant tack your boat quickly or move out of the way under sail...may I suggest maybe picking up golf or cards?

Unless you are restricted in mobility, showing the navigation signs for this and have no auxiliary power and no wind and your rudder is unresponsive and your cat is dying and grandma is freaking out and your are sinking too oh and a whale decided to jump right next to you and a volcano is exploding and impeding visibility and saturn decides to crash into planet earth:

MOVE THE F AWAY....:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:laugher:laugher:laugher:laugher:laugher:laugher:laugher:laugher:laugher

avoid a collision no MATTER WHAT

good points boatyardboy
 

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Oh for crying out loud. So you've read the rules, we applaud you.
However, the last vessel that can avoid a collision must avoid the collision, so in what universe do you believe a large commercial vessel would be that vessel? It will always fall on the smaller, more maneuverable vessel to avoid a collision in the end. But you keep telling yourself that you are the stand on vessel, when that ship can not possibly do what you, as an amateur pleasure vessel operator thinks it can, and runs you down.
And it is clear that you have not read the rules nor do you understand them.

The rules make the actions of vessels predictable. That is what everyone should want.
 
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formerly 'BoatyardBoy'
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It can take a hell of a lot longer for a sailboat to turn with spinnaker or genoa poled out, boom with a preventer, and windward runners set.

Fortunately the people who make the rules seem to understand that better than many here.

If you ship is uncontrollable the drop the hook.
If your sailboat is uncontrollable cut the lines. And I seriously doubt it takes longer than a large ship to respond to rudder command.
 

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Maneuverability is really not a deciding criteria. A port tack boat running wing on wing is less maneuverable than a starboard tack boat on a beam reach. Guess who is give way.








BTW - port tack wing on wing is give way to just about every other sailing vessel.
 

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If your sailboat is uncontrollable cut the lines. And I seriously doubt it takes longer than a large ship to respond to rudder command.
This situation assumes that no one have an adequate lookout.
 

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And it is clear that you have not read the rules nor do you understand them.

The rules make the actions of vessels predictable. That is what everyone should want.
I agree, though it's predictable that a smaller much more maneuverable vessel should heed passage for a larger less maneuverable one.
 

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Collision avoidance should rely on all available means. AIS is the new gizmo. I prefer to use a hand bearing compass in conjunction with radar using an EBL and MARPA, if available.

I will admit that AIS was handy when I was rendezvousing with an 1100 foot container ship to medevac one of my crew 1000 miles north of Hawaii two years ago. I could pick out the ship while they were still over the horizon.
 
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