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  1. #51
    Tidewaiter2's Avatar
    Tidewaiter2 is offline Registered User
    Location : Now will we actually get out of the Solent in 2014 the way this season is going.
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    Default AIS is the small boats comforter

    Quote Originally Posted by Conachair View Post
    A cheapish AIS reciever helps massively.

    If you have room to fit it and can afford it.

    Do a few crossings with one and then one without, then come back on here and say which you prefer. Once the fog comes down.
    +1. Even with an old, seperate radar, AIS def helps keep you out of the nutcracker jaws- ferries coming up ahead and astern, ships xing the lane out of the inshore traffic lanes, plus the 15 or so at 15-26kts coming up in staggered echelon from left or right according to where you are; the AIS pulls them in up to 20nm away, while our radar and eyes can only do 6/7nm.

    Almost info overload, but a great planning combination, with or without thr fogbank rolling in mid channel. Esp now a lot of the fishers have it for self defence along with the yellow road cone light!
    "Journos Luxury Yacht"=a hole in the water for time, money,affection,blood,sweat n tears

  2. #52
    john_morris_uk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by theguerns View Post
    After 245000 miles of SAFE sailing in yachts ranging from a circumnav in a 23 footer I will give you the best advice possible. MIGHT IS RIGHT in other words ALWAYS pass around the stern of another vessel NO MATTER what size this called the safe zone. ALWAYS give way and yes the wave pattern does change with all the large ships. If your yacht is sea worthy and you are a sensible sailor you can make the trip in SAFETY.
    You might have sailed thousands of miles, but you are still WRONG. You are just another yachtsman who drives the watchkeepers of shipping in a flat spin about what on earth you are doing and what you are going to do next. I suggest that the fact that you have survived says as much about the actions of shipping avoiding you as your percieved 'always avoiding shipping'.

    As has been discussed on here before, its actually quite difficult to assess the risk of collision from a ship that appear on the horizon six or eight miles away if you only have a hand bearing compass, but the ship has frequently oberved you on its radar, tweaked its course to ensure a safe CPA and then the bridge watchkeeper has sworn loud and long as you prat about altering course 'to keep out of his way'.

    Just obey the rules. Of course you don't stand on into the path of a ship that is obviously not seeing you and avoiding you in accordance with the rules - but you don't have to worry about that until the ship's only a mile or two away.

    If you do end up having a collision one day, you will be on very sticky ground when you try to justify the actions you took if they are not in accordance with the IRPCS.

    I too have sailed many many thousands of miles -and its VERY rare that a ship doesn't obey the IRPCS.
    Wishing things away is not effective.

  3. #53
    chinita is offline Registered User
    Location : Norfolk, boats: Pin Mill & Lagos
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    There seem to be many who have blind faith in the dilligence of Bridge Crew and the effectiveness of radar.

    I wonder if the crew of the Ouzo did:


    Transcript from the Pride of Bilbaoís Voyage Data Recorder (with bracketed commentary drawn from MAIB interviews).

    Smith: Heís showing a red, that one, Mike.

    Hubble: Itís what?

    Smith: (The lookout moves quickly towards Hubble and speaks with urgency.) Head on, head on. Itís pretty close.

    (Hubble leaves the chartroom and enters the wheelhouse, seeing a cluster of bright white lights close on the starboard bow.)

    Hubble: Is it a yacht?

    Smith: Yeah.

    Hubble: Whereabouts?

    Smith: Just right there.

    (The lookout sees a small yacht with two white sails pass close to the starboard bow. It disappears down the starboard side of the ferry and he runs over to that side of the wheelhouse. Meanwhile, Hubble turns to port to give the yacht room.)

    Hubble: Weíre clearing.

    (Worried that the stern would swing round and hit the yacht, he then turns to starboard.)

    Hubble: Coming to starboard now 15 degrees.

    (The lookout, now on the starboard side of the wheelhouse, can see no sign of the yacht.)

    Hubble: All right?

    Smith: Weíll see.

    (Hubble now moves to the starboard side of the wheelhouse to look.)

    Smith: See a light. (It is a red light about a point [11 degrees] on the starboard quarter.) [This sentence is transcribed as a statement, not a question.]

    Hubble: Aye.

    Hubble: No you canít, you canít see it can you?

    Smith: No.

    (Hubble moves quickly back to the centre of the wheelhouse to turn off some decklights at the rear of the ferry, which he thinks are obscuring their view of the yacht.)

    Hubble: Where is that bloody light switch, itís over here somewhere isnít it?

    (Hubble then rejoins the lookout on the starboard side.)

    hubble: Ah, thereís a light there. (He sees a red light four or five points off the stern on the starboard quarter of the ferry. He returns to the console and puts the ferry back on its original course. The lookout returns to his position on the port side. Hubble looks back and sees a white light about two points [22 degrees] to port of the stern.)

    Hubble: Canít believe he came up that quick, **** all on radar.

    Meanwhile, all was calm on the bridge of the Pride of Bilbao, with nothing showing on the radar. But at 1.07am the lookout, David Smith, spotted a white light on the starboard bow. From the ferryís Voyage Data Recorder, the equivalent of an aircraftís black box, and drawing on subsequent interviews by MAIB, it is possible to recreate the scene that followed on the bridge between Smith and Hubble.

    . . .

    Accident investigators believe that the Pride of Bilbao passed within 10m of the yacht. The Ouzo measured 7.7m (25ft) long, with its deck a few feet above the water. By contrast the Pride of Bilbao is 176m in length, 32m wide and more than 30m high, with a gross tonnage of 37,583. Its four Wartsila engines, producing 31,280 horsepower, would have been thunderous at such close range. Travelling at 19 knots in the open sea with the Ouzo on the windward side, where the waves would have been greater, the yacht never stood a chance.

  4. #54
    john_morris_uk is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by chinita View Post
    There seem to be many who have blind faith in the dilligence of Bridge Crew and the effectiveness of radar.

    I wonder if the crew of the Ouzo did:


    Transcript from the Pride of Bilbaoís Voyage Data Recorder (with bracketed commentary drawn from MAIB interviews).

    Smith: Heís showing a red, that one, Mike.

    Hubble: Itís what?

    Smith: (The lookout moves quickly towards Hubble and speaks with urgency.) Head on, head on. Itís pretty close.

    (Hubble leaves the chartroom and enters the wheelhouse, seeing a cluster of bright white lights close on the starboard bow.)

    Hubble: Is it a yacht?

    Smith: Yeah.

    Hubble: Whereabouts?

    Smith: Just right there.

    (The lookout sees a small yacht with two white sails pass close to the starboard bow. It disappears down the starboard side of the ferry and he runs over to that side of the wheelhouse. Meanwhile, Hubble turns to port to give the yacht room.)

    Hubble: Weíre clearing.

    (Worried that the stern would swing round and hit the yacht, he then turns to starboard.)

    Hubble: Coming to starboard now 15 degrees.

    (The lookout, now on the starboard side of the wheelhouse, can see no sign of the yacht.)

    Hubble: All right?

    Smith: Weíll see.

    (Hubble now moves to the starboard side of the wheelhouse to look.)

    Smith: See a light. (It is a red light about a point [11 degrees] on the starboard quarter.) [This sentence is transcribed as a statement, not a question.]

    Hubble: Aye.

    Hubble: No you canít, you canít see it can you?

    Smith: No.

    (Hubble moves quickly back to the centre of the wheelhouse to turn off some decklights at the rear of the ferry, which he thinks are obscuring their view of the yacht.)

    Hubble: Where is that bloody light switch, itís over here somewhere isnít it?

    (Hubble then rejoins the lookout on the starboard side.)

    hubble: Ah, thereís a light there. (He sees a red light four or five points off the stern on the starboard quarter of the ferry. He returns to the console and puts the ferry back on its original course. The lookout returns to his position on the port side. Hubble looks back and sees a white light about two points [22 degrees] to port of the stern.)

    Hubble: Canít believe he came up that quick, **** all on radar.

    Meanwhile, all was calm on the bridge of the Pride of Bilbao, with nothing showing on the radar. But at 1.07am the lookout, David Smith, spotted a white light on the starboard bow. From the ferryís Voyage Data Recorder, the equivalent of an aircraftís black box, and drawing on subsequent interviews by MAIB, it is possible to recreate the scene that followed on the bridge between Smith and Hubble.

    . . .

    Accident investigators believe that the Pride of Bilbao passed within 10m of the yacht. The Ouzo measured 7.7m (25ft) long, with its deck a few feet above the water. By contrast the Pride of Bilbao is 176m in length, 32m wide and more than 30m high, with a gross tonnage of 37,583. Its four Wartsila engines, producing 31,280 horsepower, would have been thunderous at such close range. Travelling at 19 knots in the open sea with the Ouzo on the windward side, where the waves would have been greater, the yacht never stood a chance.
    So what? We don't actually know what the OUZO was doing - except the best guess is that they appear not to have looked behind them. It was a wild windy night and its very easy not to look round and see what's coming up behind you!

    The conversation as reported should remind us all to keep a proper lookout and not ASSUME that the ship has seen you. If you don't think the ship has seen you then you have other options to ensure that they have seen you before you start pratting about and altering course in an unpredictable manner. This debate happens regularly on these forums, and there is only one proper answer; obey the IRPCS...
    Wishing things away is not effective.

  5. #55
    glennytots is offline Registered User
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    Default Crossing Separation Zones in Small Yacht

    Quote Originally Posted by simon14b View Post
    While asking questions if unsure is to be encouraged, I'm rather concerned that he signed himself as a 'Yachtmaster Offshore' in the other thread
    Ouch ! My point on the previous thread speculated about using an outboard on a longer passage at the western end of the Channel. This current thread is not to do with the law in a TSS as such but how we live with and apply this in practice in an area of the channel (ie the Dover Straits) of which I have no experience at all, and especially with regard to the limitations of my current yacht.... which PeterR addresses nicely....

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterR View Post
    I used to cross the channel to Belgium and France regularly in my Sonata ... the scenario that always worried me was a moderate to strong wind dead on the nose. An outboard, which I assume is what you have, will not provide any drive at sea in those conditions....
    On the Tonic, the outboard is offset such that drive is significantly reduced in a chop especially when on starboard tack. Thus I have to pick the conditions carefully and am keen to be as forewarned as possible as to any surprises.

    As regard the Yachtmaster, I did it 20 years ago and have only recently resumed sailing after a 15 year break. I'm not thinking I knew it all then nor ever think I will stop learning.

    Thanks for all the replies.

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennytots View Post
    Ouch ! My point on the previous thread speculated about using an outboard on a longer passage at the western end of the Channel. This current thread is not to do with the law in a TSS as such but how we live with and apply this in practice in an area of the channel (ie the Dover Straits) of which I have no experience at all, and especially with regard to the limitations of my current yacht.... which PeterR addresses nicely....

    On the Tonic, the outboard is offset such that drive is significantly reduced in a chop especially when on starboard tack. Thus I have to pick the conditions carefully and am keen to be as forewarned as possible as to any surprises.

    As regard the Yachtmaster, I did it 20 years ago and have only recently resumed sailing after a 15 year break. I'm not thinking I knew it all then nor ever think I will stop learning.

    Thanks for all the replies.
    Apologies, I took your third paragraph to be a query regarding the rules and your qualifications were worth mentioning last year

    Fortunatley the wind tends to blow straight up the channel so my experiance of passages from either Ramsgate or Dover to Calais is that they rarely involve having to punch a signifcant head wind. From memory most trips from Ramsgate turned into broad reaches once round the Goodwins with a substantial west going tide.

  7. #57
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    I love threads like this. So far reply 57 and no one has addressed/clarified the important issue.

    We have a variation from might is right so go behind, to always go behind, to if in doubt go behind BUT what constitutes going in front as you must decide this first before you can elect to go behind???

    As you go behind one boat you are bound to be crossing in front of another maybe only 1ml or 3ml or 20mls away but you will be crossing the bows of another.

    Some of these boats do 30mph so travel 1ml every 2 minutes! At some 5ml away from you they may have deviated some 1 deg to go behind you and then you try to go behind them!!

    Crossing Solent to Cherbourg I am surprised at how few times we have had to change our course (its not a TSS) and I am sure the majority deviate their course very slightly when mls away from small yachts to ensure a safe clearance as determined from their Radar but also surprised the few times when we were clearly the stand on vessel but prudance caused us to deviate to avoid what I considered an unnecessary collision risk/too close an encounter.

    I would remind people of the pedestrian waltz where you bump into someone and you both go the same, one way, then back, smile at each other then find a way past each other and that is as slow as 3-4mph let alone two boats trying to miss each other but one boat only being able to do 4kts and the other doing 28kts!!

    Surely the most important bit of advice is what constitutes going in front of a vessel and I would imagine I would want a longer clearance doing 4kts under engine in a chop in a small yacht that if I was able to do 8kts!!

    In Southampton water with boats going slow to go round the Bramble Bank there is a moving exclusion zone of 1km in front of the bows of any boat. What would you suggest for boats in the TSS going at cruising speed?? and would your advice vary dependant on what speed you could do under engine.
    Last edited by Sailfree; 25-01-12 at 12:41.

  8. #58
    jimbaerselman's Avatar
    jimbaerselman is offline Registered User
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamM376 View Post
    Having radar, it doesn't bother me whatever the visibility, day or night. Keeping out of the way is usually a matter of slight course change to time it so no-one is inconvenienced which, in my book, is a more courteous approach than that demonstrated by many who don't give a sh*t who they inconvenience by insisting on holding their course no matter what.
    Of course, with radar you can determine collision risk when the vis is moderate, so it's possible to remove collision risk at a very early stage. That's polite.

    I was considering the advice being given to the OP - in a 23ft outboard fitted sailboat. I doubt he would have radar, so in moderate visibility the boats he sees coming from port will almost all have already made a small change in course to pass behind him - if a collision risk had existed.

    To advise people always to aim behind vessels coming from port will increase, not decrease, risk of collision, especially in lower visibilities. The second step in what was nicely referred to in an earlier post as the pedestrian dance.

    On rare occasions a vessel may be half asleep. However, this will be very rare indeed when using the Dover straits, where all users know crossing traffic is dense.
    Last edited by jimbaerselman; 25-01-12 at 15:43.
    JimB
    http://jimbsail.info helps Skippers plan Europe Cruises

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sailfree View Post
    I love threads like this. So far reply 57 and no one has addressed/clarified the important issue.

    We have a variation from might is right so go behind, to always go behind, to if in doubt go behind BUT what constitutes going in front as you must decide this first before you can elect to go behind???

    As you go behind one boat you are bound to be crossing in front of another maybe only 1ml or 3ml or 20mls away but you will be crossing the bows of another.

    Some of these boats do 30mph so travel 1ml every 2 minutes! At some 5ml away from you they may have deviated some 1 deg to go behind you and then you try to go behind them!!

    Crossing Solent to Cherbourg I am surprised at how few times we have had to change our course (its not a TSS) and I am sure the majority deviate their course very slightly when mls away from small yachts to ensure a safe clearance as determined from their Radar but also surprised the few times when we were clearly the stand on vessel but prudance caused us to deviate to avoid what I considered an unnecessary collision risk/too close an encounter.

    I would remind people of the pedestrian waltz where you bump into someone and you both go the same, one way, then back, smile at each other then find a way past each other and that is as slow as 3-4mph let alone two boats trying to miss each other but one boat only being able to do 4kts and the other doing 28kts!!

    Surely the most important bit of advice is what constitutes going in front of a vessel and I would imagine I would want a longer clearance doing 4kts under engine in a chop in a small yacht that if I was able to do 8kts!!

    In Southampton water with boats going slow to go round the Bramble Bank there is a moving exclusion zone of 1km in front of the bows of any boat. What would you suggest for boats in the TSS going at cruising speed?? and would your advice vary dependant on what speed you could do under engine.
    I note no-one yet has suggested an answer to the decision time/distance so I will post my standing instructions to all crew. Boat is a 43DS with Radar/chartplotter and MARPA. We can do a max of 8-9kts with 75HP engine but say with wind on the nose I plan for 6kts if motoring.

    When crossing in front of the bows of a ship DO NOT CROSS with less than 2 mls. Decision time is therefore when 2mls away and potentially only 4mins before a collision. I know 2mls may seem to some a lot but its only 4min if ship is doing 30mph and its far enough away to sort out problems if you both turn the same way to avoid a collision and IMHO a positive alteration of course by a yacht at this stage prevents the ship starting to (further!) alter course.

    I suspect if I had a small yacht only capable of say 4kts I would extend the decision distance to 3 mls.

    Like the pedestrian waltz there is also RADAR assisted collisions so early /clear alteration of course if necessary is IMHO the way for safe Xings!!

    Any other opinions??

  10. #60
    Appledore is offline Registered User
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    This posting has been very interesting, but a little difficult to read and come up with a definitive answer . I've only crossed the Channel on my own boat (22 foot) twice and from Plymouth, and therefore not crossing the TSS's. However, there are always any number of ships either just entering or leaving, so it is always a case of 360 degree lookouts all the time.

    The first crossing, 3 years ago, caused me a bit of grief. We were on the French side of the Channel, and had been watching a ship lit up like a christmas tree, obviously some miles away to starboard. As it closed on us I decided to alter to Starboard, in very good time, to pass well clear if its Port side, and then behind it. No sooner had I done this, than the ship decided to turn to her Port, and therefore go in front of me! The distance off was still ok, so I turned to Port, and carried on with my intended course. Now the ship passes behind us, I suppose half a mile off, and it was a cruise ship, as I said, lit from stem to stern, and very difficult to have actually picked out her nav lights.

    I have always assumed she picked me up on Radar, and decided to alter for a sailing vessel. I wouldn't like to have had this happen in the actual TSS though!

    Geoff

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