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Old 03-28-2014, 08:07 PM   #1
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Coast Guard Bell Question

Can anyone confirm that the coast guard dropped the requirement that vessels over 39 feet are required to carry a ringer bell? Thanks , Tyler Temple
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Old 03-28-2014, 08:59 PM   #2
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according to the USCG brochure...page 26

you don't need a bell till over 20 meters

Federal Requirements
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Old 03-28-2014, 09:49 PM   #3
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We have also heard the same thing and when we had a vessel inspection last Fall with no bell it was not an issue.
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:05 AM   #4
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Bell

I'm not sure what a "ringer bell" is, but the fog signal for a boat at anchor is the same regardless of size. Without a bell how can you make the proper signal to avoid being run into?
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:21 AM   #5
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Rule 33 is different for Int'l (bell over 20m) and Inland (bell over 12).

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/CIM16...2013-07-01.pdf

I've read elsewhere that USCG doesn't want to enforce the Inland version, wants to wait until the Int'l and Inland rules are made to agree... but that's not authoritative.

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Old 03-29-2014, 02:18 PM   #6
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Rule 33 is different for Int'l (bell over 20m) and Inland (bell over 12).

http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/pdf/CIM16...2013-07-01.pdf

I've read elsewhere that USCG doesn't want to enforce the Inland version, wants to wait until the Int'l and Inland rules are made to agree... but that's not authoritative.

-Chris
See my link in post #2...don't think the manual you are looking at has the change.
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Old 03-29-2014, 02:20 PM   #7
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I'm not sure what a "ringer bell" is, but the fog signal for a boat at anchor is the same regardless of size. Without a bell how can you make the proper signal to avoid being run into?
There are several ways of signaling without a bell...generally they are letting you know that any noisemaker will do...all you are doing is letting others know something is there....vessels under 65 feet I think they assume are maneuverable enough to sort it out.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:05 PM   #8
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See my link in post #2...don't think the manual you are looking at has the change.

Yes, I know, but AFAIK it's the latest published edition of COLREGs.

-Chris
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:26 PM   #9
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Yes, I know, but AFAIK it's the latest published edition of COLREGs.

-Chris
It might be but still have changes past that edition.

The Fed requirements brochure I believe reflects the most recent changes.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:41 PM   #10
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Check out the notation in red regarding the Colregs change.
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:19 AM   #11
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Ah. That's the ref I was trying to remember about not enforcing.

That said, when our local Aux guy does his inspections, he says his checklist still requires a bell, his basic reference (latest published COLREGs still requires a bell...

So he won't pass a boat without a bell until the instructions he's been given are changed.

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Old 03-30-2014, 07:44 AM   #12
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Bell

Thanks - since the regs still say a bell will probably get one - been trying to find one on-line but all seem to be $200-$300 bucks - seems kind of high for a silly 8" bell?
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Old 03-30-2014, 07:53 AM   #13
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When I bought my boat 8 years ago it came with a very nice shiny bell. It was still in its box in a locker!! I did not know where to hang it for best effect (not much at best!!). I contacted the USCG and actually still have a copy of their email response saying to not bother with the bell.
Apart from air horns, electric horns, and whistles, the best insurance to my way of thinking is one of the canister type air whistles. They let out a piercing blast for a few bucks and are always there in an emergency. Let the bell go the way of the buggy whip!!
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:02 AM   #14
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When I bought my boat 8 years ago it came with a very nice shiny bell. It was still in its box in a locker!! I did not know where to hang it for best effect (not much at best!!). I contacted the USCG and actually still have a copy of their email response saying to not bother with the bell.
Apart from air horns, electric horns, and whistles, the best insurance to my way of thinking is one of the canister type air whistles. They let out a piercing blast for a few bucks and are always there in an emergency. Let the bell go the way of the buggy whip!!
I agree - have whistle and several air canister horns if main horn fails
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Old 03-30-2014, 08:02 AM   #15
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If the Aux examiner looks at the back of his form, it says:


SOUND PRODUCING DEVICES:
To comply with Navigation Rules and for distress signaling purposes all boats must carry a sound producing device (whistle, horn, siren, etc.) capable of a 4-second blast audible for mile. Boats larger than 39.4 ft. are also required to have a bell (see Navigation Rules.)

Tell him to call his Division Staff Officer - VE. The NAV Rules trump some outdated AUX form. Thats why it says SEE NAVIGATION RULES! He should know better.


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Old 03-30-2014, 09:57 PM   #16
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Thanks - since the regs still say a bell will probably get one - been trying to find one on-line but all seem to be $200-$300 bucks - seems kind of high for a silly 8" bell?
very silly as the USCG is not enforcing the rule and sure as hell I have NEVER heard a rec boater ringing one in the fog...just the electronic ones that make reasonable sense on a limited crewed vessel.

plus it's in print from the USCG if not in the CFRs or Navrules yet...just show them a copy of the brochure in the link I posted earlier.
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:49 PM   #17
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I can't imagine anyone ringing the bell every minute for hours at a time. If one is serious about bell ringing, one needs an automatic one.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:11 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Wire View Post
If the Aux examiner looks at the back of his form, it says:


SOUND PRODUCING DEVICES:
To comply with Navigation Rules and for distress signaling purposes all boats must carry a sound producing device (whistle, horn, siren, etc.) capable of a 4-second blast audible for mile. Boats larger than 39.4 ft. are also required to have a bell (see Navigation Rules.)


Tell him to call his Division Staff Officer - VE. The NAV Rules trump some outdated AUX form. Thats why it says SEE NAVIGATION RULES! He should know better.


Yeah, yeah, he knows all that. The latest published Nav Rules (COLREGs) actually agree with his form anyway (need a bell). Nothing in his (written) instructions allow him to refer to other newer brochures and flyers published by CG. He's spoken with his hierarchy people, and has never been given anything authoritative. IOW, he does know better, but hasn't been able to do much about it.

FWIW, I am not arguing that folks should by a damned bell; don't really give a flyin' rat's a$$. Just reporting what I've read and encountered. Do as you damn well please. (He says, suffering from antibiotic reactions for the last week or so...)

-Chris
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:56 AM   #19
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Given the typical government propensity for blindly filling in boxes on forms, I would simply relabel a portable air horn with big letters saying "BELL".
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