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Knowledge and skill pertaining to the operation, navigation, management, safety, and maintenance of a small ocean going vessel.

seamanship in 20 years time Messages in this topic - RSS

Dick
Posts: 254


10/4/2016
Dick
Posts: 254
Hi Nick,
Firstly, can I sign up is a Petty Officer on a large commercial vessel for an ocean passage when you set that up? I am not sure how much safer a cruiser that would make me, but I would love the opportunity.
I also agree that there are many recreational boats going to sea who do not have the experience, the training nor often the boat to venture far from shore.
What are your normal sailing grounds where you find such need to do avoidance procedures? The ships you are hailing: do you hail by name (from rx AIS) or position (tanker at approx. lat/lon off starboard bow)? Were the collision avoidance procedures you described where you were the stand on vessel, and you deemed collision was possible and needed to break out of your “maintain crs & spd” obligation in order to avoid?
I am curious as my experience differs so markedly, (most recently 5+ yrs in Northern Europe: 6-7 mo/yr on the go E to St. Petersburg, west to Ireland, N to Lofotons, lots of shipping lanes and traffic). I do rx AIS and find that makes a difference. To call a ship by name increases the likelihood they will respond, dramatically so if the hailer is a woman in our experience. We have 4-5 years where we also tx our boat data through AIS and find that makes a difference. I now notice boats, 4-6 miles out adjust crs a few degrees to miss me. I talk to far fewer vessels than I did before rx/tx AIS and most of those are fishing with erratic courses and have had no collision avoidance occurrences lately.
When, in the rare instances where a vessel I have not been able to contact on VHF and I are on a (near) collision crs and I am stand on, I make a last hail saying something like this, “Vessel (name x 3). This is Alchemy (rep), on high power vhf ch 16. I am sailing on a starboard tack in open water. I have hailed (vessel name) on ch 16 numerous times with no response. I believe I must change crs and spd to ensure there is no collision. If nothing heard, I will start the changes in a few moments.” Mostly, I get a grudging response to this.
Note: I use and announce high power as I want all vessels to know what is going on and the ship’s involved and some may document. I announce my intention of breaking out of my “maintaining crs & spd” obligation and why. When crs change is made, I further announce the new crs and spd and intention (pass astern or hold station till the ship passes). Later document all in your log.
The above I used in Central America and places in the Med. N Europe I have found very professional and I have rarely had to contact the helm of commercial vessels. AIS has made a very big safety contribution, I believe, to recreational vessels at sea with the big boys.
With regard to paper charts, I suspect you will find most cruisers rarely using paper charts for navigation, especially around land and in coastal cruising. My paper charts serve 2 functions: first they are used for routing and planning as they allow me to see the big picture (such as picking courses through the islands of Norway), but I do no plotting on paper charts these days. The other paper charts carried are generally small scale and for emergency use to get us safely into a large port if a catastrophe such as a lightning strike occurs. I carry divider and parallel rules, know how to use them, but rarely do so. Same with my sextant.
Finally, regardless of all the above, I agree that there remains a very strong argument for proper watch keeping.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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nick@dwyer.ie
Posts: 6


10/3/2016
nick@dwyer.ie
Posts: 6
Based on my experience I can 't agree.

I have given up counting the amount of times I have had to make a collision avoidance maneuver.

Normally I sail a steel ketch that is always spotted from far off on a radar. My VHF gives a strong and clear signal, but often gets no reply to from commercial vessels on a collision course.

SOLAS already requires commercial ships to have Radar and AIS and manned watches. I recently had a captain of a commercial vessel for dinner and he confirmed that actually although regulations require that Radar and VHF be turned on and monitored, since the advent of AIS OOW rely nearly exclusively on AIS. For unless small boats have AIS the risk of collision is actually higher than before. I remember the days when OOW actually kept a visual look out, but then that was last century.

Regarding insurance claims , if I get hit by a container ship they will probably not be aware of the collision and the chances are that I ll either sink and if not, will not be able to establish a successful claim from their insurance company.

Recently I read a notice to mariners issued by an authority in the US, stating that they were no longer required to carry paper charts, which is frankly shocking. I must find it and post it here.

Since the advent of GPS, the numbers going to sea in small vessels has increased enormously and as world trade expands commercial traffic is also increasing. I have been shocked at the lack of understanding of some of these small boat skippers. Indeed I recall when asking a skipper why did he hit the reef, his reply was because it was not on the chart plotter.

This link is some interesting reading
https://www.shipinsight.com/knowledge-base/what-solas-requires-and-permits/


I argue that with increased traffic out there there is a stronger argument for proper watch keeping by that I mean keeping a regular look out as a central part of our watch keeping systems. And I think it would be wonderful if commercial captains were required to do at least one ocean passage in a small craft and that small craft captains were required to make an ocean passage as a petty officer on a large commercial vessel.
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Dick
Posts: 254


9/30/2016
Dick
Posts: 254
Agree, Dick

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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Hasbun
Posts: 49


9/30/2016
Hasbun
Posts: 49
The most likely scenario is that
1/ automated ships will still require a manned watch for the next few decades
2/ automated ships will have automated infrared, radar, laser, and AIS electronic watches

Think about 2/. The shipping companies could not risk the enormous liability of running over small skiffs, jet-skis, windsurfers, artisanal fishermen, and even swimmers. Hence, target detection will be paramount.

My bet is that in future, hardly anyone will ever be run over by large ships, unless with malicious intent or in case of severe malfunction.

In other words, the risk of collision will be much smaller than today. As to seamanship itself, well, all bets are off!
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Dick
Posts: 254


9/30/2016
Dick
Posts: 254
Hi Nick,
Although there can be scary scenarios, I suspect that cruising in small boats will just continue to get safer and safer, as it has over the past few decades.
Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

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Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy
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nick@dwyer.ie
Posts: 6


8/26/2016
nick@dwyer.ie
Posts: 6
How safe are small vessels if large vessel don 't keep a decent watch.


http://www.maritimepropulsion.com/news/the-human-aspect-the-499922#%2EV8AqrZMpCtA%2Elinkedin
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