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Old 10-24-2015, 11:15 AM   #81
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Been thinking a bit more about when I use AIS and came up with these:

Transitting north or south in Puget Sound we (obviously) stay out of the VTS area, which means we're running along either shore - and passing ferries and their docks. Sometimes you can see the cars going on / off while docked and be able to gauge a departure, but that's often difficult. The earliest notice you'll get is when their speed changes from 0 knots.

Similarly I use AIS to plan crossing the VTS when there's traffic. I really don't want to start to cross in front of one of the cruise ships leaving downtown Seattle - they tend to gather speed very quickly because...well, I don't actually know why but they seem to always be in a hurry.

Transitting the locks is another place where it's handy to know about inbound & outbound commercial traffic. Nothing you can do about it - they have priority - it's just one more data point (along with any chatter on 13) to help gauge the wait and whether to tie up for a long wait.

On reflection, then, I use AIS mostly to help avoid collisions - which, of course, I am obligated to do under Rule 7 of the NavRules:
(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.
There was a proposed change to paragraph (b) to change radar to "all electronic means" that didn't make it through because, in part, (a) really covers that anyway. So my question for those who have transmitters in "stealth mode", what are you going to tell the authorities in the event you are in a collision? Nothwithstanding BandB's concern about piracy at sea, I think you'd be in a very poor position indeed.
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:50 AM   #82
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So my question for those who have transmitters in "stealth mode", what are you going to tell the authorities in the event you are in a collision?
I doubt that would be a valid question as long as use is optional.

Though I tend to favour it, as another useful tool, anyone who can't avoid a collision without AIS should just stay ashore.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:13 PM   #83
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Nothwithstanding BandB's concern about piracy at sea, I think you'd be in a very poor position indeed.
My piracy issue only applies in very limited situations. Not in general use and not in congested or highly trafficked areas. We only went dark in a section miles offshore and where during the entire night we didn't pick up any other boat on radar. Areas of high piracy, we'd choose to avoid rather than go dark. The area we were in was one the locals referred to as occasional petty piracy.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:19 PM   #84
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I doubt that would be a valid question as long as use is optional.
What part of this statement says "optional" to you?
Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists.
The fitting of collision avoidance gear is indeed not required. But, if fitted and operational, its use is not "optional" in avoiding a collision.

It sounds like you may not be familiar with the NavRules. I know you don't currently have a vessel, but if you do buy a vessel 36' or longer who will be required to carry a copy of them per the Code of Federal Regulations:
4. Am I required to carry a copy of the Navigation Rules? Per 33 CFR 83.01(g), the operator of each self-propelled vessel 12 meters or more in length shall carry on board and maintain for ready reference a copy of the Inland Navigation Rules. Electronic copies of the Navigation Rules are acceptable, however, only if they are currently corrected to the latest Notice to Mariners and can be made available for ready reference. The unwritten rule of thumb: 'readily' means that you are able to avail yourself of a Rule(s) within 2 minutes of the need to do so.
Now if you believe that CFRs are "optional"....

Edit: I just realized you are in Canada. I'm pretty sure that the NavRules are harmonized to Canada, but maybe your federal regulations are different and you don't have to actually carry the NavRules.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:39 PM   #85
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What part of this statement says "optional" to you?
Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists.
The fitting of collision avoidance gear is indeed not required. But, if fitted and operational, its use is not "optional" in avoiding a collision.
This statement trips up a lot of boaters. "Appropriate" does not mean "have to use it." In a USCG presentation to our boating club a number of years ago this topic came up. A question was asked "who determines what is appropriate?" Answer- you do, meaning the captain or whoever has responsibility for the vessel.

Another question was does this mean if your boat has a working radar you have to have it on when you are underway? Answer- no. However if you have a working radar and you are involved in a collision or accident that using your radar might have prevented had you been using it then you may be deemed at least partly responsible for the accident.

I suspect the same holds true for AIS which, like radar, is not required for recreational boating. Use it if you determine it is appropriate for the conditions. If you don't think it's appropriate you are under no obligation to use it.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:42 PM   #86
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Not using your AIS

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Originally Posted by refugio View Post
On reflection, then, I use AIS mostly to help avoid collisions - which, of course, I am obligated to do under Rule 7 of the NavRules:
(a) Every vessel shall use all available means appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions to determine if risk of collision exists. If there is any doubt such risk shall be deemed to exist.


There was a proposed change to paragraph (b) to change radar to "all electronic means" that didn't make it through because, in part, (a) really covers that anyway. So my question for those who have transmitters in "stealth mode", what are you going to tell the authorities in the event you are in a collision? Nothwithstanding BandB's concern about piracy at sea, I think you'd be in a very poor position indeed.

Yup! Exactly! If your got it, under the COLREGS, you're obligated to use it.

I don't agree with Marin's interpretation here. I think you'd be on thin ice if being investigated after a collision if you had it and didn't use it.

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Old 10-24-2015, 12:45 PM   #87
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Yup! Exactly! If your got it, under the COLREGS, you're obligated to use it.


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Not true according to what we were told by the USCG. The word "appropriate" is the key.
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:46 PM   #88
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This statement trips up a lot of boaters. "Appropriate" does not mean "have to use it." ...However if you have a working radar and you are involved in a collision or accident that using your radar might have prevented then you may be deemed at least partly responsible for the accident.
Correct, you are not required to use it under way - but you are required to use it (and every other means) to avoid collision. If you want to call that "optional"...
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Old 10-24-2015, 12:53 PM   #89
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It is optional. The option is whether or not you are willing to risk being determined to bear some or all of the fault in the event of an accident. Judging by the number of boaters I know or have met who have radar and never turn it on, it's an option frequently selected.
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:28 PM   #90
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I'll let you maritime lawyers duke it out.
I do have one question though;
Where would this fit in the world of black and white?
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Mine wasn't transmitting after 5 years and I didn't know it!
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Old 10-24-2015, 02:48 PM   #91
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I'll let you maritime lawyers duke it out.
I do have one question though;
Where would this fit in the world of black and white?
Somewhere close to driving around with a rear tail lite burned out and not knowing until a policeman was nice enough to pull you over and tell you. Then you realize that maybe it's something you should check periodically. Well, not maybe. It is. Same with turn signals.

One should verify periodically that their AIS is working. Same with much equipment. Time to find out emergency bilge pump doesn't work is not in an emergency.
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Old 10-24-2015, 04:37 PM   #92
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Neither AIS or RADAR has to be on in all conditions...per USCG and other maritime scholars.

Especially for small, slow toyboats like ours that can stop or turn within the main bang dead zone on the typical radar.

If you have a collision...they may make it a point in the investigation.... but there are many circumstances where neither would have prevented or provided useful info on the collision any more than normal eyesight...therefor would be so insignificant as to not even have had to be on.


If no watch was using visual cue to prevent collision...then obviously AIS or RADAR alarms would be huge.


But the misreading of the COLREGS about mandatory use is pretty common....at least for US mariners....as other countries may enforce it differently.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:13 PM   #93
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My piracy issue only applies in very limited situations. Not in general use and not in congested or highly trafficked areas. We only went dark in a section miles offshore and where during the entire night we didn't pick up any other boat on radar. Areas of high piracy, we'd choose to avoid rather than go dark. The area we were in was one the locals referred to as occasional petty piracy.

Keep in mind that our boats are all out in public view, so any notion of location private was long ago tossed out the window. There is NOTHING private about the location of your boat as long as it's in public view, which is pretty much all the time.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:34 PM   #94
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Keep in mind that our boats are all out in public view, so any notion of location private was long ago tossed out the window. There is NOTHING private about the location of your boat as long as it's in public view, which is pretty much all the time.
I wasn't referring to privacy, but to piracy areas.

As to privacy, you're right, the boat is obvious to one who can see it. I only answered the initial question as to whether some don't use AIS because of privacy concerns. We do use ours, it identifies the boat. In no way does it identify us personally, so not something we're concerned about.

Someone also mentioned it telling people you're not home. Well, it's so extremely easy to identify homes where the owners are away. Burglars just case a neighborhood or streets and quickly know.

We do turn ours off at marinas. I think having 400 boats at a marina sending signals would be quite distractive and serve no purpose.
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:10 PM   #95
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I wasn't referring to privacy, but to piracy areas.
Sorry, probably shouldn't have quoted your reply. It was really more of an aggregate reply to the privacy issues. Masking you as owner of the boat is another topic. We considered that and ultimately concluded it was unlikely anyone would really care. In that respect, it's good to be nobody :-)
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:15 PM   #96
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Keep in mind that our boats are all out in public view, so any notion of location private was long ago tossed out the window. There is NOTHING private about the location of your boat as long as it's in public view, which is pretty much all the time.
Nevertheless, one can query the internet to find your last/current location if using AIS to broadcast one's location, so one does not need to be within visible range of your boat.

What? Me worry? Only a tiny minority of you use their real name on this site.
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:55 PM   #97
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Nevertheless, one can query the internet to find your last/current location if using AIS to broadcast one's location, so one does not need to be within visible range of your boat.
True, but public info and the accessibiity of that info are two different things. Take land records as an example. They are public and have been for hundreds of years. But now anyone can access many of them online where previously you had to physically go to a county or town clerks office. Ditto for vessel documentation records. Now anyone can see who owns any documented boat, give or take the backlog at the USCG documentation center. But there is now doubt things have changed.

Oh, and through my keen research and deductive reasoning, I have determined that your real name is Mark Pierce. But I promise not to tell anyone.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:19 PM   #98
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Keep in mind that our boats are all out in public view, so any notion of location private was long ago tossed out the window. There is NOTHING private about the location of your boat as long as it's in public view, which is pretty much all the time.

That's true. I saw yours the other day docked at Salmon Bay. That doesn't mean you are on board. But if someone sees on AIS that you are on the move, sees your blog is updated, and your facebook status says what a good time you are having wherever, then someone can be reasonably sure you aren't home. Finding an address on the internet is easy. Using google street view shows someone what it looks like. For me, not broadcasting my AIS position is part of an overall personal risk management plan. Just like not updating a blog in real time, not showing my SPOT location on a blog, not updating social media while away from home, and having a home security system. Maybe I'm paranoid or giving criminals more credit than they deserve, or both. Burglary rings use facebook status to target victims. AIS is similar location based information. They may never catch on, but if or when they do, I won't be a target.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:22 PM   #99
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True, but public info and the accessibiity of that info are two different things.
Identity theft was officially calculated last year at $16 Billion. I think it was probably double that. I've known many victims. 20 years ago I was victimized by a female housekeeper. Unfortunately my name could pass for male or female. She obtained 9 department store cards and went on a shopping spree, then she decided to purchase a double wide mobile home. The loan was approved and delivery scheduled. On the day of delivery someone in the mobile home dealer office decided to verify employment. They were immediately suspicious not thinking I was buying one.

The rest of the story. At that time identity theft itself wasn't a crime so no charges there. Nothing had been taken from me so no crime there. Nothing taken from the mobile home company so at most a misdemeanor. Now, the department stores, nine felonies. One problem. None of them would prosecute. Too much trouble and no benefit to them. Oh, and this wasn't her first time plus her mother was in prison for various fraudulent acts of the same nature.

Some criminal acts are so easy in today's world, I'm amazed we don't have more.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:31 PM   #100
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That's true. I saw yours the other day docked at Salmon Bay. That doesn't mean you are on board. But if someone sees on AIS that you are on the move, sees your blog is updated, and your facebook status says what a good time you are having wherever, then someone can be reasonably sure you aren't home. Finding an address on the internet is easy. Using google street view shows someone what it looks like. For me, not broadcasting my AIS position is part of an overall personal risk management plan. Just like not updating a blog in real time, not showing my SPOT location on a blog, not updating social media while away from home, and having a home security system. Maybe I'm paranoid or giving criminals more credit than they deserve, or both. Burglary rings use facebook status to target victims. AIS is similar location based information. They may never catch on, but if or when they do, I won't be a target.
Can't argue with you. It's all a calculated risk, and we each calculate it a bit differently and tolerate different risks to different degrees.

Oh, and even though someone can tell pretty easily when I'm somewhere else, they don't know who else is in my house..... That's my secret weapon - sort of.
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