COLREG Survey - Familiarity with sailboat day signals

MRS OCTOPUS

Anarchist
716
248
AUSTRALIA
theory: Original poster works for USCG and wants justification for writing huge tickets to pleasure boats :) - "nobody is using their day shapes properly"
Yer, good point.
Poster has a bee in his/her bonnet re motor sailing.
4 of the 5 knowledge questions are regarding the shape exhibited when motor sailing.
Normally it’s pretty easy to work out if an approaching sailboat has the thumper running. It’s not as if there’s total carnage out there through not displaying the correct shapes on recreational vessels.
Good chance OP is a pedantic little fellow . :)
 

Go Left

Super Anarchist
5,303
625
Seattle
In the PNW I have never seen a recreational vessel fly a day shape. I have been hounded by Vancouver Port Authority boats for not flying an inverted cone between first & second narrows despite being under 9m and not legally requiring one.

I'd be surprised if anyone on this forum has a cone on their boat.

I think a ball is useful for RC boats or others which anchor in odd places.
The value of a signal is that the intended viewer understands what it means.

I would guess - wild dart here - that less than 1% of the people out there on pleasure craft would view an inverted cone as anything more than a puzzlement and/or the skipper's wife's party bra hung up to dry.

Hoisting a cone is like sending a birthday card to a dead uncle...it's not going to be read by anyone who cares and it's going to confuse the remainder. I guess it's the thought that counts.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,102
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worldwide
The value of a signal is that the intended viewer understands what it means.

I would guess - wild dart here - that less than 1% of the people out there on pleasure craft would view an inverted cone as anything more than a puzzlement and/or the skipper's wife's party bra hung up to dry.

Hoisting a cone is like sending a birthday card to a dead uncle...it's not going to be read by anyone who cares and it's going to confuse the remainder. I guess it's the thought that counts.
This is probably true

In the US you don’t need any qualification , license to operate a boat… only the ignition keys
 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
10,197
6,391
Canada
They do want you to use an anchor ball in Australia. When our southern neighbors see this thread they'll say "Of course you must use an anchor ball"
 

MRS OCTOPUS

Anarchist
716
248
AUSTRALIA
Anchor ball is very rarely seen in Aus. Mostly Euro cruisers passing through and a couple of local pedants.
I have never heard of law enforcement getting involved, but there is always exceptions.
Most Australians wouldn’t know what an anchor shape was, I don’t mean that in a bad way. It just doesn’t make one safer in most small boat anchorages.
 
Around here they sometimes say that a motoring cone means "I have an RYA assessor on board" :)

... but yes, I've seen them used as intended and done so myself. Same with anchoring balls. That's not to say everyone does so but you do see people doing it right.
 

nolatom

Super Anarchist
3,687
701
New Orleans
I've seen it, but rarely. And done it rarely, since typically lacking the day shape. Daytime has much less risk of misunderstanding than nighttime.

And most of us do use that forward 20-point white light on the mast at night to signal we're propelled by machinery.

Uh, don't we??? I try to when I've got such a light. Nowadays my typical "nighttime" sail and/or motoring a sailboat, are on smallish unlit school boats when we've stayed out late to watch sunset or moonrise as a treat. I carry a battery red/green and tie or tape it onto the mast or forward cleat. And put a white flashlight on the transom with a ball of translucent wax paper or similar, taped on, as a bootleg stern light. Given a second flashlight, could cumshaw a steaming light if I could hoist it up the mast, I guess. Sometimes I do, sometime not.

The "do you see and understand me" fear I have the most, isn't at night. It's late afternoon on a weekend when powerboats heading west toward our marina entrance are looking up-Sun, reflecting off the water too, may have been drinking all day, and may be on autopilot with no one looking out (Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, where of course no one drinks while underway ;-)

A useful jingle for masthead lights offshore:

Red over White, fishing at night
White over Red, Pilot (boat) ahead
Red over Green, sailing machine
Red over Red, Captain is dead

;-)
 
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AHoleMel

Member
177
18
Tonnage has always worked for me.
the BMFer will always win
And if you feel the other is wrong... internation signal to show they be #1 in your mind as you pass left to left..
 

Foredeck Shuffle

More of a Stoic Cynic, Anarchy Sounds Exhausting
The value of a signal is that the intended viewer understands what it means.

I would guess - wild dart here - that less than 1% of the people out there on pleasure craft would view an inverted cone as anything more than a puzzlement and/or the skipper's wife's party bra hung up to dry.

Hoisting a cone is like sending a birthday card to a dead uncle...it's not going to be read by anyone who cares and it's going to confuse the remainder. I guess it's the thought that counts.
To justify not using them, because everyone else is doing it would use very poor logic. COLREGS are there to prevent navigational mishaps. If the rule is incorrect or improper it should be changed, not ignored.
 

Switchtack

New member
16
0
SoCal
Only once had I been approached by the Harbor Patrol for not showing a dayshape when motoring down the bay with the main up on a 43' yawl. It looked like a young cadet being trained. I simply walked up to the mast and released the main halyard, the main came down and we weren't "motorsailing" anymore.
 

gptyk

Anarchist
784
440
California
Only once had I been approached by the Harbor Patrol for not showing a dayshape when motoring down the bay with the main up on a 43' yawl. It looked like a young cadet being trained. I simply walked up to the mast and released the main halyard, the main came down and we weren't "motorsailing" anymore.

Was that in SoCal?

My observation is that the day shape for a sailboat under power around here is main up, sheeted in tight, and going 6 or so knots. It's the local indication for sailboat under power during the day.
 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
11,078
2,712
The value of a signal is that the intended viewer understands what it means.

I would guess - wild dart here - that less than 1% of the people out there on pleasure craft would view an inverted cone as anything more than a puzzlement and/or the skipper's wife's party bra hung up to dry.

Hoisting a cone is like sending a birthday card to a dead uncle...it's not going to be read by anyone who cares and it's going to confuse the remainder. I guess it's the thought that counts.
I completely agree. I didn’t know what the cone meant til reading this thread. The only reason I even bother with the anchor ball is for times like when the tugboat captain pushing a barge damn near ran us over. It let the Coast Guard punish the shit out of him.

Edit: and just for fun, this is when the dickhead drove his barge through the finish line of the Lightning NA’s missing the RC boat (displaying an anchor ball) by about ten feet. Should the tug have been displaying anything?

7A2F77BE-633E-453F-ADD3-8903E8808E27.jpeg
 
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Go Left

Super Anarchist
5,303
625
Seattle
I've seen it, but rarely. And done it rarely, since typically lacking the day shape. Daytime has much less risk of misunderstanding than nighttime.

And most of us do use that forward 20-point white light on the mast at night to signal we're propelled by machinery.

Uh, don't we??? I try to when I've got such a light. Nowadays my typical "nighttime" sail and/or motoring a sailboat, are on smallish unlit school boats when we've stayed out late to watch sunset or moonrise as a treat. I carry a battery red/green and tie or tape it onto the mast or forward cleat. And put a white flashlight on the transom with a ball of translucent wax paper or similar, taped on, as a bootleg stern light. Given a second flashlight, could cumshaw a steaming light if I could hoist it up the mast, I guess. Sometimes I do, sometime not.

The "do you see and understand me" fear I have the most, isn't at night. It's late afternoon on a weekend when powerboats heading west toward our marina entrance are looking up-Sun, reflecting off the water too, may have been drinking all day, and may be on autopilot with no one looking out (Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, where of course no one drinks while underway ;-)

A useful jingle for masthead lights offshore:

Red over White, fishing at night
White over Red, Pilot (boat) ahead
Red over Green, sailing machine
Red over Red, Captain is dead

;-)
I don't think I've ever seen a red over green mast head light on a "sailing machine". If I did, it would confuse the heck out of me.

Masthead tricolors are bad enough to judge size and distance with. Ignoring the weight and windage. Stupid things should be banned.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,102
1,469
worldwide
I don't think I've ever seen a red over green mast head light on a "sailing machine". If I did, it would confuse the heck out of me.

Masthead tricolors are bad enough to judge size and distance with. Ignoring the weight and windage. Stupid things should be banned.
Small craft are not required to carry status lights
 

ryley

Super Anarchist
5,543
682
Boston, MA
Stupid things should be banned.
wow you sure have an opinion on a lot of things. Tell you what. you come race against me on an overnight. I'll turn on my deck-level running lights and set my asym and I guarantee you won't see my bow lights. you at least have a fighting chance of seeing my masthead light when the kite is up.
 

Monkey

Super Anarchist
11,078
2,712
wow you sure have an opinion on a lot of things. Tell you what. you come race against me on an overnight. I'll turn on my deck-level running lights and set my asym and I guarantee you won't see my bow lights. you at least have a fighting chance of seeing my masthead light when the kite is up.
I’ll chime in on that. I hate the stupid regs that say one or the other. I hate tricolors for the exact reason that you can’t sort out what you’re dealing with on a foggy night. I also hate deck lights because A-Syms block them. Most of all, I hate that it’s against the rules to use both which would just solve the damned problem.
 


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