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Old 07-25-2015, 06:34 PM   #21
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AIS
Bright running lights
Radar
Radar reflector as high as practical
Spotlight
Bright deck lights that can quickly be turned on from the helm when a vessel closes within a mile of you

Ted
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:05 PM   #22
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The only time we have traveled at night has been crossing the corner of the Gulf usually between Apalachicola and Anclote Key. I just turn my mast spreader lights on in addition to the required nav lights. The Spreader lights are LEDs so don't use much in the way of amps. Once in a while we've anchored in bayous shared with commercial traffic, I'll leave turn on the spreader lighs then too, in addition to the LED anchor light.
So far so good. I also have a couple of solar garden lights stuck in rod holders, they do a pretty good job of lighting the side deck walkways, but they usually go off sometime early in the morning.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:35 PM   #23
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:38 AM   #24
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As well as the required lighting, I sometimes use the two downward facing spreader lights, which reflect on the FB deck.
It is important you, and other skippers, retain good night vision. Even brief exposure to strong light can affect it. I think my spreader lights are ok in that respect. Our Maritime Authority has a bad habit of setting up very bright flashing strobe lights as channel dividers, on busy nights like NYE.
My greatest improvement in night vision came from bilateral cataract surgery. "Wow, it`s really that bright out there at night?"
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:41 AM   #25
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Almost all of the confusion could be eliminated with a rule change.

Allow strobes to flash , say every 10 seconds to mark any vessels position,

Have the strobe flash every second for an emergency.

No big deal.
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:00 AM   #26
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I do like to be visible at night Click image for larger version

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Old 09-12-2015, 03:33 AM   #27
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AIS

It's nice being in Europe where ALL working boats are required to have it.

Made it much easier as I progressed thru the entire fishing fleet yesterday.
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:46 AM   #28
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Ships are not very manuverable , and many barely have a watch stander .

If a watch standrer has to call an officer , to wake the captain to make a course change , at 18K of closure you could be chum .
in hos prop wash..

IF you wish to avoid a collision at sea your EYEBALLS are far more useful than a carbon arc searchlight shined into the bridge, which may be unoccupied.

Get out of their way!! Regardless of some rule stuck on a bulkhead.

This is why I think 3 is the minimum crew for an ocean jaunt.

4 on --- 8 off or 3 on ---6 off gives everyone enough rest to not go to sleep on watch.
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:35 AM   #29
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FF,

While I usually agree with you, in this case, my experience so far does not match your conclusion.

Since I've had AIS transceiver, my close encounters with giant behemoths had been virtually nil and on the open ocean, with room to maneuver, it's been ZERO.

Previous to the transceiver, off the Atlantic coast, I averaged one a night, meaning de did but see me and I changed course.

With the transceiver, even it at 8 miles, we were on a converging course, THEY never got within 3 miles and it was usually 5.

In don't sees them until about 7 to 8 miles. They clearly see me before that since their antenna is so high.
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:15 PM   #30
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I nearly ran down a sailboat several years ago. It was a very dark night, and he wasn't displaying ANY lights. Not one. If he hadn't lit a cigarette just before attempting to cross my bow, I never would have seen him. He never did show up on the radar, either. He might be the only person I know who's life was saved by smoking.

So, turn your nav lights on for a start. Definitely upgrade to the brightest nav lights you can. So many small boats don't even seem to meet the minimum requirement for brightness.

I'd recommend AIS to anyone. It makes it much easier for us to see you. You'll show up on the AIS screen, the radar screen, and the chart plotter. You'll show up there well before radar will see you. It's not uncommon for me to pick up AIS signals from ships 45 miles away (two tall antennas will do that.) You'll also show up in situations where the radar may not ever pick you up. If it's raining like hell and the radar is washed out, chances are I can't see you either, but AIS will work.

It won't prevent drunken stupidity, but it can definitely be very helpful.
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:23 PM   #31
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Gee, I thought sailboats were always the stand on vessel anyway and you were also obliged to illuminate him with your searchlight and give way in any possible scenario on earth. One of these days I might mount a mast to my boat just to give myself free reign of the seas and make the Queen Mary move aside for me.

(Couldn't help it.)
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:08 PM   #32
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I agree, excellent comment.
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Old 09-12-2015, 05:46 PM   #33
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The new AIS signature buoys are a pain in the ass! We don't need to know that the Ambrose chnl buoys are 99 NM miles away. Same with Chesapeake, Charleston etc.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:01 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
Gee, I thought sailboats were always the stand on vessel anyway and you were also obliged to illuminate him with your searchlight and give way in any possible scenario on earth. One of these days I might mount a mast to my boat just to give myself free reign of the seas and make the Queen Mary move aside for me.

(Couldn't help it.)
You have to be purely under sail to have those privileges. I suspect they were not under sail in your case Wayfarer?
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:48 PM   #35
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In Mexico we had solar lawn lights all along the side rails. Anchoring with just the anchor light was an invitation to trouble. The anchor light is just lost with the stars at night and tired fishermen in pangas are not looking up.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:33 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
Gee, I thought sailboats were always the stand on vessel anyway and you were also obliged to illuminate him with your searchlight and give way in any possible scenario on earth. One of these days I might mount a mast to my boat just to give myself free reign of the seas and make the Queen Mary move aside for me.

(Couldn't help it.)
Gee, and I thought that all power boats were incapable of throttle control and their captains used sailboats like autocross racers use cones (get as close to them as possible at the highest possible speed but just barely miss them)....


No excuse for any vessel to not display the required nav lights at night. For a sailboat, that includes a steaming light so you know that the vessel is under power, even if the sail is up.

While under sail, the sailboat is usually the stand on vessel, but not always. Most sailors do try to not inconvenience power boaters. I am also sure that most power boaters do their best to be courteous to sailboats. Unfortunately, it is the exceptions that stick out in our minds. It also doesn't help that most power boaters (this forum being an exception) are ignorant of the basics of sailing and sailboats so don't understand the issues sailors face, but that is because of a lack of knowledge not animosity.

I also assume that there have been times when my actions under sail have inadvertently caused inconvenience to power boats due to my own ignorance of the realities of running a SD or planing hull down the water way at full throttle while trying to get a blender to work for the next round of drinks.

(I could help it, but chose not to).
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:45 PM   #37
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The new AIS signature buoys are a pain in the ass! We don't need to know that the Ambrose chnl buoys are 99 NM miles away. Same with Chesapeake, Charleston etc.
Hm... I've never heard of those. Interesting idea, but I'm not sure what the point would be. I haven't had a lot of trouble finding entrance buoys lately. Have you?

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You have to be purely under sail to have those privileges. I suspect they were not under sail in your case Wayfarer?
To be honest, I can't even say for sure. Despite the fact that he was only a few hundred feet from me, I never really did get a good look at him. By the time I saw him, we were already in extremis, and both of us were responsible for avoiding collision. All I really had time for was a quick danger signal and a bunch of hard right. I did flash him with the spotlight, but couldn't control the light and the helm at the same time, so I went with the helm. In case it wasn't clear, I was driving this when that happened:



I didn't mean to pick on sailboats specifically. In this case, it happened to be one, but I've seen many power boats do dumb stuff. I have no problem following the rules, and find myself adjusting my course to avoid sailing vessels on a fairly regular basis. I would gladly have altered my course in this case, had I seen him, which brings us nicely back to the OP. Please be visible at night. Thank you.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:29 PM   #38
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AIS
Bright running lights
Radar
Radar reflector as high as practical
Spotlight
Bright deck lights that can quickly be turned on from the helm when a vessel closes within a mile of you

Ted
Perfect listing IMHO.

We assume night travels are akin to running in fog and avoid the other vessels accordingly.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:36 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by kthoennes View Post
Gee, I thought sailboats were always the stand on vessel anyway and you were also obliged to illuminate him with your searchlight and give way in any possible scenario on earth. One of these days I might mount a mast to my boat just to give myself free reign of the seas and make the Queen Mary move aside for me.

(Couldn't help it.)
Nope, only when their engines are off and they are actually sailing - a rarity in the PNW.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:16 AM   #40
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Nope, only when their engines are off and they are actually sailing - a rarity in the PNW.
I think you guys are missing his sarcasm.
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