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Old 01-17-2019, 08:52 AM   #1
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Channel 13 for Passing

OK, I’m going to try this idea which came up in discussions a couple months ago about radio usage in passing situations. I had this sign made up which I am going to hang below our name board (the name on our transom is obscured by the dinghy). This is in response to the generalized confusion we experienced in the snowbird boat parades last fall when some people were making their passing calls on 16 and some on 13. The 16 calls were usually at high power tying up the frequency for miles up and down the ICW as well as annoying people far offshore. This can also compromise safety if someone is in trouble offshore and only able to get in a brief Mayday call. We would ask 16 callers to switch to 13 but this further tied up the frequency and the passing boat would often be much closer by the time we got down to making passing arrangements. The Coast Guard agrees that passing arrangements should be made on 13 as I’ve often heard them call to ask radio users to shift their passing traffic off 16. I’m sure I’ll quickly get some replies that initial contact should always be made on 16 as everyone must monitor it. This is true as far as contact with a vessel not in visual contact or which may not be expecting your call. However, the regs seem pretty clear that 13 is to be used once vessels are in a situation where radio use to discuss passing or meeting is indicated. Passing on the ICW certainly applies to that. Further 13 is a low power channel. If someone is close enough to see this sign, be reminded of proper procedure, and know that we are expecting it, an initial call on 13 will avoid their forgetting (as I have so often done) to switch 16 to low power and blasting half a state with their call. We’ll always be monitoring 16, of course, but I urge other boaters to include 13 in their scan and promote proper use of the channel in passing.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:10 AM   #2
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OK, Iím going to try this idea which came up in discussions a couple months ago about radio usage in passing situations. I had this sign made up which I am going to hang below our name board (the name on our transom is obscured by the dinghy). This is in response to the generalized confusion we experienced in the snowbird boat parades last fall when some people were making their passing calls on 16 and some on 13. The 16 calls were usually at high power tying up the frequency for miles up and down the ICW as well as annoying people far offshore. This can also compromise safety if someone is in trouble offshore and only able to get in a brief Mayday call. We would ask 16 callers to switch to 13 but this further tied up the frequency and the passing boat would often be much closer by the time we got down to making passing arrangements. The Coast Guard agrees that passing arrangements should be made on 13 as Iíve often heard them call to ask radio users to shift their passing traffic off 16. Iím sure Iíll quickly get some replies that initial contact should always be made on 16 as everyone must monitor it. This is true as far as contact with a vessel not in visual contact or which may not be expecting your call. However, the regs seem pretty clear that 13 is to be used once vessels are in a situation where radio use to discuss passing or meeting is indicated. Passing on the ICW certainly applies to that. Further 13 is a low power channel. If someone is close enough to see this sign, be reminded of proper procedure, and know that we are expecting it, an initial call on 13 will avoid their forgetting (as I have so often done) to switch 16 to low power and blasting half a state with their call. Weíll always be monitoring 16, of course, but I urge other boaters to include 13 in their scan and promote proper use of the channel in passing.
Roger,

Great Idea, but that will be extremely hard to get everyone to do that. Heck, it's hard enough to get some folks to call on any channel.

I could just argue to pass using 16 without any chatter would take less time than switching freq.

Simple: Sea Life: "Gypsy Star, Sea Life, a slow pass on your port?"
Gypsy Star: "Sea Life, roger"

And if it can't be that simple, then switch.
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Old 01-17-2019, 09:11 AM   #3
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Nothing new here. Been trying to convince coneheaded ICW trippers to just leave 13 0r 9 up on dual watch because the bridge channels or commercial traffic is on there and near bridges so are many rec boats.


People just don't get it. they read a few magazines or posts on slow passes written by a bunch of wannabe experts and its all over and done with.


if they actually thought about it...they would try 13 or 9 first and have success with other like minded boaters...but alas....too many switch back to 16 and don't seem to get dual watch or tri watch on modern radios.


I am all for it...but try and get part time boaters to get it.


Even some will call and ask for starboard or port passes instead of one or two whistle passes and confuse the situation even more...so ch 16 is ALWAYS a lousy choice...but the one used by so many.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:41 AM   #4
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people seem to consider whistle signals rude and refuse to acknowledge or react.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:47 AM   #5
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Good idea but I to am sceptical. Many donít know what a slow pass is and canít use their radio over the roar of their engines, if itís even turned on. Hope Iím wrong. Please let us know how it works for you.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:50 AM   #6
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Why not stick to sound (horn) signals and stay off the radio completely?
Oh that's right it seems people know less about horn signals than they do about radio protocol.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:59 AM   #7
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If anyone is suggesting I meant using the horn versus the radio to convey whisle signals...nope...

Like most pros on the east coast, they use the radio and say see ya on one or two...never port or starboard...too big of a chance of confusion.

About half of therec boats I deal with on the ICW figure it out without coaching.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:08 PM   #8
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If anyone is suggesting I meant using the horn versus the radio to convey whisle signals...nope...

Like most pros on the east coast, they use the radio and say see ya on one or two...never port or starboard...too big of a chance of confusion.
Paul,

Would totally agree, except that I'd bet the bulk of east coasters never heard of the one to two. I didn't until I did the loop and met up with the term where the barges were. I've never heard it in FL where I've been boating for years. Oh, many once or twice.

And even then, one can screw up the one and two.

"I'm passing (overtaking) on the one" .... whose one? if the guy being passed thinks it's HIS one, were in trouble.

Just food for thought from us less experienced....
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:21 PM   #9
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Paul,

Would totally agree, except that I'd bet the bulk of east coasters never heard of the one to two. I didn't until I did the loop and met up with the term where the barges were. I've never heard it in FL where I've been boating for years. Oh, many once or twice.

And even then, one can screw up the one and two.

"I'm passing (overtaking) on the one" .... whose one? if the guy being passed thinks it's HIS one, were in trouble.

Just food for thought from us less experienced....

If both are facing the same way "the one" is the same side for both, no? It's the same as a horn signal.
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:21 PM   #10
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Just follow the written rules of the road, real easy then.
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Old 01-17-2019, 01:20 PM   #11
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If both are facing the same way "the one" is the same side for both, no? It's the same as a horn signal.
I was a bit confused for a while on the overtaking. If I were overtaking a tow on their port side that would be 'on the two' but if I were meeting the tow 'on the two' would mean meeting starboard to starboard. It seemed counterintuitive, but then once I thought of the signal the overtaking vessel makes it all made sense :-)
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:01 PM   #12
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There should be no confusion if you understand the whistle signals as written in the NAVRULES.

Its why they exist and why they are used by most of the commercial pros every place I have ever been. From Conneticut to Texas.

The rules discuss the use of radiotelephone in lieu of the actual whistle...so why not just say the signal versus what I am going to do on what side of me or you???....makes my skin crawl just hearing most of this confusion on 16, then the USCG coming on and telling peole to shift their traffic.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:34 PM   #13
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There should be no confusion if you understand the whistle signals as written in the NAVRULES.

Its why they exist and why they are used by most of the commercial pros every place I have ever been. From Conneticut to Texas.

I use whistle terminology with commercial traffic and port / starboard with yachts because you just never know if the recreational vessel has a clue.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:37 PM   #14
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Someone said on a FB forum:

Quote:
Another thought: it takes as much traffic on 16 to say “passing to port” as “switch to 1-3”. Problem is, switching to 13 to say “passing to port”, then switching back requires the helmsman to divert attention from what they’re doing, so can be a more dangerous step, without really freeing up ch16."

Good point and a prompt to clarify how I use the radio. I replied:

Yes. Actually, when people call me on 16 and say, "Gypsy Star, this is _________ sliding by you to port.", I just reply, "Roger". Usually though, they say something like, "Gypsy Star, this is the big plue trawler _________ on your stern hoping you are having a nice day and wondering if you would like a slow pass and which side you would like us to pass you on and if you know a good marina in the next 20 miles and where you are headed tonight." That's when I ask them to go to 13. Hopefully, the sign will get some of that off the high power 16 channel.
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Old 01-17-2019, 03:54 PM   #15
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There is a reasonable amount of river traffic in Brisbane and the standard approach by both ferries and ship's pilots is to use the colours: red-to-red, or green-to-green when passing. When overtaking they tend to say something like 'coming up on port (or starboard) side, is that OK?' It seems pretty simple and foolproof.

Its on Ch 12 in the Brisbane VTS zone, but once up-river at a certain point, and in secondary harbours around the bay that are not in the VTS zone, its Ch 13.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:48 PM   #16
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There should be no confusion if you understand the whistle signals as written in the NAVRULES.

Its why they exist and why they are used by most of the commercial pros every place I have ever been. From Conneticut to Texas.
I like to think I understand what one or two whistles mean. It's the radio interpretation that I got wrong - once.

On the WGICW you'll hear this between tows:

Boat A: Can I overtake you?
Boat B: sure, come on by on my two

To them it means that B will pass to the left of A, on A's port side.

It still seems grammatically incorrect to me.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:07 PM   #17
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I like to think I understand what one or two whistles mean. It's the radio interpretation that I got wrong - once.

On the WGICW you'll hear this between tows:

Boat A: Can I overtake you?
Boat B: sure, come on by on my two

To them it means that B will pass to the left of A, on A's port side.

It still seems grammatically incorrect to me.


Boat A: Can I overtake you?
Boat B: sure, come on by on my two



Boat A is trailing, wanting to pass.
Boat B is in front.

To them it means that B will pass to the left of A, on A's port side.
This is backwards. Swap B for A here and it will make sense.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:12 PM   #18
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And thats not what would normally be said.

Boat A want to pass boat B so the call is "boat B, boat A requesting a 2 whistle pass" on ch 13 or agreed upon channel.

Ussually the passing vessel picks a side, just like in real whistle signals and the lead vessel agrees or says no as in 5 whistles meaning danger dont do it.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:52 PM   #19
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Greeting: The fire has been lighted. Radio use a very deep hole. As a certified instructor, CPS, for almost 30 years, I have heard and listened to almost everything. First off a shore stn in Canada cannot respond to a vessel on #16. Secondly they can only operate at 1watt and if you read the various guides available you will find that almost all marinas publish the channel, in BC waters it is usually channel #66A/great lakes #68 using the Cdn frequencies. By reading you radio users manual you will find a listing of US/Cdn/international frequencies and be able to see which are common and what their intended use is. Channel #13 in Cda is for intership navigational traffic "ship's bridge to bridge". so when passing overtaking or generally wanting to advise your intentions, at 1w, because you can see the other vessel, yes use #13.


If equipped with AIS you might even get the vessels name and make the call more friendly, rather than a "Hey You up ahead".


Now to the issue of calling. Regardless of whom you call all call should first be made at 1 watt. If you do not reach the party after a reasonable time and no fewer than three attempts go to 25 watt. But you must remember that you are blanking out almost all the traffic when you make that call. 25 should only be used if initiating Mayday or Pan situation. All other calls should be initiated at 1W.


Many folk do not know that VHF is a line of site wave and reaching someone with an 6db antenna who is behind a mountain or very high hill you will not make contact. That is the problem in many areas around the NW. As in an anchorage be courteous when using your vhf and we will all appreciate it. Try your cell phone first. My rant
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:04 PM   #20
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Down south I had no problems hailing for passes. Everyone stuck to a particular channel from TX to LA and LA to FL. From FL North, seemed most were on 16. Getting people to respond got harder and harder once I passed the Carolinas. Some people would not respond to 16, secondary channel, horn, etc. I stay on 16 and will switch after hailing. I like your sign idea but depending where I am (upper/lower helm), what my visibility is, and where my attention is chances are I am not going to see your sign unless I am right on top of you. I tend to initiate my calls to pass a bit before I am right on top of someone. AIS is huge in identifying boats otherwise I try to see name if I can't see name I go by description (i.e. make/model boat). Also, I dont think channel 13 is necessarily the best channel to use in all locations. Some bridges use it where I have been.
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