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      A Few Simple Rules   05/22/2017

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fastyacht

Why you will ALWAYS need your own radar, and not just AIS

41 posts in this topic

They still have running lights on, though?    Most sailors don't have radar.  The visual lookout is still the most important thing.

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Thankfully they're probably limited to the gulf. Won't be able to pass thru strategic points like the Red Sea or Singapore without AIS. 

Im surprised no government's have dropped a few boarding commandos and make the tankers anchor away like suspected hijacked ships. Hold up the oil shipments and see who comes forward to claim it. 

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9 minutes ago, nolatom said:

They still have running lights on, though?    Most sailors don't have radar.  The visual lookout is still the most important thing.

Anyone who does an ocean crossing without radar is a fool. On the North Atlantic in summer you can spend more than half your days and nights in fog.

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1 hour ago, fastyacht said:

Anyone who does an ocean crossing without radar is a fool. On the North Atlantic in summer you can spend more than half your days and nights in fog.

So on average, what do you suppose the ratio is of sailboats which do trans-oceanic crossings to versus total sailboats?

 

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1 hour ago, Somebody Else said:

So on average, what do you suppose the ratio is of sailboats which do trans-oceanic crossings to versus total sailboats?

 

15,200:1

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17 hours ago, fastyacht said:

Anyone who does an ocean crossing without radar is a fool. On the North Atlantic in summer you can spend more than half your days and nights in fog.

So all the Mini sailors are fools?

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3 minutes ago, MarcusJtown said:

So all the Mini sailors are fools?

Without radar, absolutely. But because they are in the trade wind belt, they don't have the fog problem. On the other hand, they are unconscious part of the time and unable to do a proper lookout so yes, they are fools.

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21 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

Without radar, absolutely. But because they are in the trade wind belt, they don't have the fog problem. On the other hand, they are unconscious part of the time and unable to do a proper lookout so yes, they are fools.

Well what good is radar if you are asleep?

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1 minute ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Well what good is radar if you are asleep?

Only if it is running and wakes you up when it finds a target----

Some of us frown on unconscious sailing. We tend to get shouted down by the One Man Against The Sea fans though. Which I am guessing is what is happening here.
I started this thread because I thought it was worth putting it out there yet again that there are in fact commercial ships (not just Navy) that ply the seas without their AIS on. I have read suggestions that AIS makes radar obsolete. I disagree.
Going into the singlehanded topic is a Red Herring. Because it is on the face of it, irresponsible by the very philosophy of IRPCS which we are tacitly agreeing to and under which the idea of AIS as well as RADAR are applied.

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I was kidding :P

Seriously, it is kind of hard to rail against the poor watch standing practices of commercial ships when some of us do the same or worse. BTW, speaking of no AIS, a car carrier as big as a small town went by about 100 yards off my beam. I asked them if their AIS was on, seeing as I saw nothing on my plotter, and the pilot said it might be broken again. So there is that :o

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hardly news really. Oil traders (including non Iranians) often turn off AIS as to not give away positions of unsold cargos.
In the past ships would paint over and change their names while entering and exiting 
sanctioned or blacklisted ports. (Hard to get away with that nowadays). 
Many yacht racers turn off their AIS 

really just another  aide and if you rely soley on ais for collision avoidance in poor visibility that's not good 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, fastyacht said:

 I have read suggestions that AIS makes radar obsolete. I disagree.

 

Whoever thinks AIS makes radar obsolete is not considering the entire tactical picture.

Rocks above water broadcast AIS? Day marks?  Lobster pots? A quality, new HD radar can see all of these things and enhance safety.

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

Whoever thinks AIS makes radar obsolete is not considering the entire tactical picture.

Rocks above water broadcast AIS? Day marks?  Lobster pots? A quality, new HD radar can see all of these things and enhance safety.

So true - for us I think the game changer was also nighttime watch keeping. Not so much for avoidance, but being able to see weather with enough advanced warning is so helpful. Pretty sure we're seeing faster crossings on existing boats because of better weather routing but also having the confidence to not pull in two reefs before nightfall and just go with one because you have some reliable advanced warning knowing you have time to wake up your buddy before the system hits. 

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How many people contributing to this thread have done a trip greater than 1,000 miles non stop offshore?  I am reading some VERY erroneous responses. 

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1 hour ago, 2savage said:

How many people contributing to this thread have done a trip greater than 1,000 miles non stop offshore?  I am reading some VERY erroneous responses. 

me.

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11 minutes ago, fastyacht said:
1 hour ago, 2savage said:

How many people contributing to this thread have done a trip greater than 1,000 miles non stop offshore?  I am reading some VERY erroneous responses. 

me.

Me too. In command, on boats with and without radar, pre and post AIS. I'm not sure that the 1k nautical mile thing is relevant. I go through more grease pencils near shore than off. Anyway, my two cents:

RADAR is wonderful for lots of things. Collision avoidance is just one of the things it can help with. IMO, it's well worth having and using on vessels that expect to operate in less than ideal conditions. However, it is costly in money, weight, space, and power. On some small boats it is simply impractical. On others it's not practical to run it full time. Much as I prefer having radar reasonable mariners may do without. Evidence and experience suggest that it isn't necessary for safe navigation. So, I'm going to disagree with the thread title. "You" will not ALWAYS [sic] need your own RADAR. 

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5 hours ago, 2savage said:

How many people contributing to this thread have done a trip greater than 1,000 miles non stop offshore?  I am reading some VERY erroneous responses. 

Me too.

All done without radar or AIS.

However if I was to return to areas where fog is commonplace I would have radar. If I was to sail in areas where traffic broadcasting AIS was high then I would have AIS too.

But this is the typical traffic I encounter

Carriacou trader.jpg

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Having had radar on an every 20 minute watch, having found a big bright target well under a mile away on closing course, having found on contacting the ship via radio that they did not see us on their radar---having altered course and heard not seen that 95 rpm engine go by in thick fog, mid Atlantic Ocean---having experienced that, changed me at a young age.

The every 20 minutes came from my calculations based on a 28 knot ship and our actual radar range. We had not the power or fuel for continuous ops.

The Atlantic is a highway thru a wet desert wilderness. There is a lot of traffic.

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6 hours ago, 2savage said:

How many people contributing to this thread have done a trip greater than 1,000 miles non stop offshore?  I am reading some VERY erroneous responses. 

I have. Longest leg from Las palmas to Martinique. 

Can be safe with or without AIS or radar. But much prefer having access to both than without. 

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During the last 10 weeks, as we have worked our way from Port Townsend, WA. to Prince Rupert, B.C. we have encountered numerous boats without AIS. This includes large yachts, tugs pulling huge log booms, and large commercial fishing boats.

AIS is nice but...

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On 7/8/2017 at 0:07 PM, 2savage said:

How many people contributing to this thread have done a trip greater than 1,000 miles non stop offshore?  I am reading some VERY erroneous responses. 

What responses are in error?

Also please explain the 1,000 mile thing? Is it like I get to say "I am only going 800 miles this trip, so I have right-of-way" or what??????????

Seriously, if I leave my dock today for anyplace in the middle or other side of the Atlantic, probably most of my shipping encounters will be in the first 3 days or so and maybe the last 3 if I go all the way across.

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On 7/7/2017 at 8:01 AM, nolatom said:

They still have running lights on, though?    Most sailors don't have radar.  The visual lookout is still the most important thing.

Coastal cruisers may not. Most offshore sailors do.

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On 7/9/2017 at 2:07 AM, 2savage said:

How many people contributing to this thread have done a trip greater than 1,000 miles non stop offshore?  I am reading some VERY erroneous responses. 

I have.

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3 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:
On 7/9/2017 at 2:07 AM, 2savage said:

How many people contributing to this thread have done a trip greater than 1,000 miles non stop offshore?  I am reading some VERY erroneous responses. 

What responses are in error?

Also please explain the 1,000 mile thing? Is it like I get to say "I am only going 800 miles this trip, so I have right-of-way" or what??????????

Seriously, if I leave my dock today for anyplace in the middle or other side of the Atlantic, probably most of my shipping encounters will be in the first 3 days or so and maybe the last 3 if I go all the way across.

Truth. We saw a few ships leaving Tahiti...then nothing until we got within about 30 miles of New Zealand. Same thing on the Galapagos to Marquesas run. We saw one sail boat on AIS, and another at night as we passed them. We'd been in radio contact with both of them so it wasn't a surprise. But we didn't see anything else out there 1,500 miles from land.

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North Atlantic may be special. The traffic EU to NY/Charleston/Baltimore etc is remarkably "heavy" even at midocean. (meaning encountering commercial shipping midocean is going to happen--at least if you are sailing NY to the Solent. Also, there is fishing....depending on the season this can be heavy. And fog. Lots. So that puts a lot of demand on for radar.

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18 minutes ago, fastyacht said:

North Atlantic may be special. The traffic EU to NY/Charleston/Baltimore etc is remarkably "heavy" even at midocean. (meaning encountering commercial shipping midocean is going to happen--at least if you are sailing NY to the Solent. Also, there is fishing....depending on the season this can be heavy. And fog. Lots. So that puts a lot of demand on for radar.

I haven't done much N. Atlantic sailing. But the waters outside NY are pretty packed even if you don't go within a hundred miles of the city. That trip was before I updated the instruments so we had crappy monochrome radar and no AIS, and we were tracking dozens of contacts as we passed by at night.

But my offshore sailing in those areas is limited.

We used the radar in New England fairly frequently. Fog wasn't uncommon on trips to the Block Island or the Cape & Islands, never mind up in Maine.  I got AIS before the Block Island Ferries (the big slow ones) had transponders on them, which surprised me. I asked the ferry company about it, they said at the time there still wasn't a requirement but they'd planned to upgrade soon.

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2 hours ago, fastyacht said:

North Atlantic may be special. The traffic EU to NY/Charleston/Baltimore etc is remarkably "heavy" even at midocean. (meaning encountering commercial shipping midocean is going to happen--at least if you are sailing NY to the Solent. Also, there is fishing....depending on the season this can be heavy. And fog. Lots. So that puts a lot of demand on for radar.

I think the EU equivalent to East coast shipping would be between the English channel and into the North/Baltic Sea, or around Gibraltar. You can't sail between Gibraltar and Morocco without encountering bunch of no AIS fishing boats. 

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Annapolis > Newport/New York/Block Island will get you a shit-ton of traffic. Ships, tugs, tugs towing barges, tugs towing ships, fishing boats, cruise ships, tour boats, and pretty much anything else that floats.

 

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Warships dont transmit AIS and clearly USA ones dont receive it either

Fishing vessels not required to have in most countries either

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Life is Visual, Analog, RealTime 

Toys make it fun and easy

But are nothing more than toys to play with should you find the time

You Must remain incontrol of your world at all times

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In SoCal, I think most sailboats have radar.  Leaving LA Harbor for the 20 nm crossing to Catalina, you exit their entrance and cross the shipping lanes.  It's not uncommon to have a cpa of 500 feet or less with 3-4 tankers or containerships before exiting the breakwater.  You'll pass three more in the shipping lanes.  Often there is pea soup fog.  AIS receivers are great there.

Crossing to Hawaii, we saw about 10 ships.  They all spotted us on AIS and radar.  About half of them called and announced they were changing course with cpa's of around 1/2 mile.

Here in Hawaii, most sailboats have radar.

Whoever said most sailboats don't have radar does not speak for my observations.

 

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1 hour ago, Whisper said:

Here in Hawaii, most sailboats have radar.

Are you sure?

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1 minute ago, Rule69 said:

Are you sure?

In my marina, yes.  Overwhelmingly.  My walk-throughs of other marinas appeared similar.

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Just now, Whisper said:
3 minutes ago, Rule69 said:

Are you sure?

In my marina, yes.  Overwhelmingly.  My walk-throughs of other marinas appeared similar.

It's funny what we perceive. I'm reasonably familiar with sailing fleets in the Islands.  I have not done a survey so I don't really know.  However, my feeling is the great majority of the totality of the sailing fleet in Hawaii is not radar equipped. Of course, I could be wrong. I often am. But in this case I would be very surprised indeed. Maybe we're defining "sailboat" differently?

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39 minutes ago, Rule69 said:

It's funny what we perceive. I'm reasonably familiar with sailing fleets in the Islands.  I have not done a survey so I don't really know.  However, my feeling is the great majority of the totality of the sailing fleet in Hawaii is not radar equipped. Of course, I could be wrong. I often am. But in this case I would be very surprised indeed. Maybe we're defining "sailboat" differently?

Maybe we are defining them differently.  The dinghies, J-80's, small boats that were shipped here?  No.  The larger boats that sail inter-island or did crossings to get here from the West Coast , Mexico or South Pacific?  Almost all are equipped.  I'll glance at my marina tonight.

Even the sport fishing boats are equipped--despite day use only.

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My personal observations of sailboats on the Chesapeake is that a fairly even mix of boats are and are not equipped with radar.

However, most of the owners that I speak to, of boats that are equipped, admit to never using the radar, and admit to not really knowing how to use it at all.  Just because you see the "pie pan" in the rigging, doesn't mean it works, that the owner uses it, or that they even know how to use it.

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We just took our boat from New England to the Caribbean and back.  Almost 4k nm including one 1350 nm leg.  I used our radar zero times other than to turn it on and make sure it was working. AIS on the chartplotter was extremely useful. Eyeballs extremely useful.  Radar on this trip, not at all useful.  Unless you often sail in fog, which we do in our normal summer sailing in NE, I don't see radar as all that valuable.

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