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  1. #11
    Seajet's Avatar
    Seajet is offline Registered User
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    I've motored across the Channel a few times in a 22' boat, though a bit to the West of Dover ( a longer trip though ).

    I'm, sure you know the old method of taking a hand bearing on an approaching ship; if the bearing stays the same, you're on a collision course - so make it plain you are altering course to go behind.

    Binoculars with an integrated compass are very handy.

    Once when unforecast fog descended mid Channel, I had to tack to & fro all night in the separation zone, very tiring but infinitely preferable to bimbling across a shipping lane blind !

    Do have plenty of fuel - to motor the whole way if necessary; my 5hp 2 stroke gives 2.5 hours per gallon at 5 knots.

    Setting off in the dark is preferable to arriving at night; people say 'it's much more obvious at night' but that's assuming the lights are all working !

  2. #12
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    There is a well defined "informal" traffic lane for N/S ferry traffic from Dover, don't have the details to hand but they are detailed on Imray charts and in Reeds. Avoid those and you halve your problems.
    Formerly known as colmce.
    http://www.seafieldfarmcottages.co.uk

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seajet View Post
    - so make it plain you are altering course to go behind.
    Very important - don't waffle around or you'll make them nervous. Change course enough so your intentions are clear and be prepared to cut across close astern on engine rather than mess around re-trimming sails. I've sometimes called up a vessel to advise them of my intentions.

    Although the rules are specific about your heading being 90 degrees to the TSS, no-one will complain if you alter course to avoid a collision.

  4. #14
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    The lanes are full of things the size of a block of flats travelling at 30mph; usually best to make a clear change of direction and pass behind them. We hope that the ship then can see what you intend. Sometimes they will do a minor tweak in course while still on our horizon to avoid a yacht. Usual route to Boulogne takes you west of the ferries.
    Timings: trouble is if you are in the Granville in Dover then the gates are closed at the best time to leave. Ask at marina tower about parking overnight on the pontoon with the lifeboat.

  5. #15
    BoyBlue49 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamM376 View Post
    Very important - don't waffle around or you'll make them nervous. Change course enough so your intentions are clear and be prepared to cut across close astern on engine rather than mess around re-trimming sails. I've sometimes called up a vessel to advise them of my intentions.

    Although the rules are specific about your heading being 90 degrees to the TSS, no-one will complain if you alter course to avoid a collision.
    +1

    Just use common sense and you will be ok. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill, thousands of sailing yachts do this crossing each year. Don't be surprised if you are ignored on VHF.
    Good luck.

  6. #16
    davidjackson's Avatar
    davidjackson is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pye_End View Post
    Once a collision situation is deemed to exist then 'normal' collision avoidance rules then apply - ie you may still be the stand-on vessel at this point.
    Not following this, can you please give more information?

    The IRPCS state that the small vessel must not impede the passage of the vessel using the TSS. Therefore, if, now, a collision is deemed to exist, then you are in breech of the regulation by definition, aren't you?

    Secondly, if a collision is deemed to exist, no one is stand-on because both vessels have an obligation to avoid the collision?

    Hoping to learn something.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seajet View Post
    Once when unforecast fog descended mid Channel, I had to tack to & fro all night in the separation zone, very tiring but infinitely preferable to bimbling across a shipping lane blind !

    Setting off in the dark is preferable to arriving at night; people say 'it's much more obvious at night' but that's assuming the lights are all working !
    Sudden fog is a very common hazard in the Dover Straight adding spice to a TSS crossing.

    The separation zone can be the safest place if it descends but look out, lots of French fishermen think the same and the zone sometimes gets crowded with anchored boats! The Varne bank is another 'safe' spot small boats head for. Of course, the bar-room lawyers will tell us it is strictly against rule 10(g) to anchor in such places - that doesn't stop it being the safest thing to do.

    Beware though, I've known ships follow yachts in thick fog. On one occasion we headed for the relatively safety of the Ridens bank off Calais when a fog descended, only to be aware a cargo ship had left the TSS and was following us. Concerned that it might run into us and unable to communicate, there was nothing we could do but make for shallower water where eventually it stopped, probably grounded, in about 4m. We left it there, it was low tide, so it probably got off safely.

    I don't entirely agree with your tip about leaving at night. The Dover Straight can easily be crossed in daylight and the TSS itself only takes a couple of hours. For a first trip at least, a night passage of the TSS is not to be recommended. And dawn is a prime time for summer fog.
    Last edited by AndrewB; 23-01-12 at 19:33.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennytots View Post
    I am thinking about taking my Jeanneau Tonic 23 (with outboard) across the Straits of Dover this year if the conditions are suitable (ie F 2-4 / slight). . . . . . . Any thoughts from sailors of small yachts who have made this trip? . . . .
    Did you not get suitable replies when you wrote on a thread, (message 9) on 15 June last year:

    http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=240120

    regards David - DSW Marine Engineering
    www.dswmarineengineering.com

  9. #19
    Pye_End's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidjackson View Post
    Not following this, can you please give more information?

    The IRPCS state that the small vessel must not impede the passage of the vessel using the TSS. Therefore, if, now, a collision is deemed to exist, then you are in breech of the regulation by definition, aren't you?
    As Searush implies in post 6 this is as clear as mud and always open to debate.

    'Rule 10. (a) This Rule applies to traffic separation schemes adopted by the Organization and does not relieve any vessel of her obligation under any other Rule.'

    Ie you are not supposed to get yourself into a situation, but if you do then all the other Colregs still apply.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidjackson View Post
    Secondly, if a collision is deemed to exist, no one is stand-on because both vessels have an obligation to avoid the collision?

    Hoping to learn something.
    The rules for vessels in site of each other state that if there is a risk of collision, there will be one vessel that has a duty to keep clear, and the other has a duty to stand on. It is only when the actions of one vessel alone is not sufficient to avoid a collision is that the stand on vessel is required to take action.

    Rule 17 (a) and (b)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by lenseman View Post
    Did you not get suitable replies when you wrote on a thread, (message 9) on 15 June last year:

    http://www.ybw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=240120

    Not checked, but several in our club do it every year.
    'Reinstate MadFrankie'

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