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Old 09-25-2016, 04:59 PM   #201
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Captain Larry...I have heard this about RADAR before....

The consensus from lawyers, USCG that have been approached in Marine Safety, and loads of others is ....no...radar on our little boats is not expected to be on all the time.

The key words are.... "
(a) .........appropriate to the prevailing circumstances and conditions .......

Broad daylight and unlimited visibility in many places would not warrant the use of radar by a watch of one, often not specifically trained in its use.

The other giveaway to me is how many radars are out there, not being always operated, and yet I have never seen one thing in print saying that it is expected to be on all the time.

If you have found something out of the COLREGS that does address this in print....I would be interested in putting this debate to rest at some point.
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Old 09-25-2016, 08:31 PM   #202
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Wow, 200+ posts. Amazing amount of talking for such a limited subject.
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:46 PM   #203
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Wow, 200+ posts. Amazing amount of talking for such a limited subject.
More %age chance to meet scary at night than during day.
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:46 AM   #204
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Wow, 200+ posts. Amazing amount of talking for such a limited subject.
Well....that's what happens when the Colregs are adapted to simplistic rhymes when all the rhymes are saying is really rule 2 of the regs....which any decent boater could call sea sense.

It takes that many posts for many to see that the huge disagreement is really just agreeing when you know the subject material and more importantly the components well enough...
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:55 AM   #205
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Like many of you, and apparently your attorneys, I've questioned the verbiage about when you need to use radar, if you have it. The USCG has some additional verbiage about this in their FAQ's on their Navigation Center:


Am I required to have Radar?
Radar is not required on vessels under 1600 GT (33 CFR 164.35), however, Rule 7 states that proper use shall be made of radar equipment if fitted and operational. In other words, whoever has one must use it. The Navigation Rules are not meant to discourage the use of any device, rather they expect prudent mariners to avail themselves of all available means appropriate...as to make full appraisal of the situation (Rule 5), e.g. the use of radar. At issue is whether the use of radar is appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and that is a determination made by the Master; and, ultimately decided by a trier of fact.

Sentence #3: In other words, whoever has one must use it.

The things that changed my mind on this subject are, (1) Chapman School was very emphatic about this while I was studying to get my Masters rating, and (2) it was a test question on my USCG exam, (3) I've decided it's a CYA matter. If I should be involved in a collision and wasn't using my onboard radar, could a skillful attorney convince a jury that I hadn't abided by Rule 7.a and 7.b? I've never been in a collision, however, I've had two very close calls in the BVI's, one near a reef and one in a channel. In both cases I had the right of way but had to take extreme measures to avoid a collision.

I understand that each of us has our own interpretation of what's required by COLREGS and ultimately we're going to do what we believe is appropriate. To me, the prudent and easy thing is to simply turn on my radar whenever I'm making way.

I really enjoy the dialog and occasional debate which occurs on this site. I've been boating for a long time but continue to learn from the rest of you.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:30 AM   #206
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I taught captains licensing and am a pretty good source for crew resource management and risk management.

In a confined waterway in clear blue conditions, and relatively confined operating area and medium traffic conditions.....I can make a pretty good case where it is a distraction, more dangerous than looking outside for a short handed crew.

So I will continue to teach and profess that like all electronic navaids....in clear blue situations...they can be more dangerous than a help.

I lived it too many times with new skippers and copilots.

The USCG usually thinks in terms of commercial traffic...and anything less than 65 feet, most have a real hard time relating to us smaller guys.

They have 4 guys on a boat trying to do what BOATUS and Sea Tow do da in aND out.....most of the time their training gets in the way of what 1 guy with the right amount of experience can do.

For ships...sure, they have plenty of experience...short handed smaller vessels...they lack terribly.

I was operations office at a large USCG facility in charge of small boat stations and saw it every day, then an assistance tower that worked with them for 13 years.

So from an instructor, operator and outside supervisor.....I wholeheartedly say the more a recreational boater spends looking at electronics versus the outside aND understanding what they see...the more dangerous they are.

Even the USCG left in....up to the Master, then up to the courts to decide. That fully explains they don't have the "absolute correct" answer.

Even like the good Samaritan laws often turn up....if you are using it and have a collision...we're you formally trained to use it? There is too much to say whether it is required or nit...but because the USCG even in their facts leaves an out, as does the Colregs.....all the sources I trust say...it is still up to the Master...it is NOT a requirement.... done deal.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:37 AM   #207
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I understand that each of us has our own interpretation of what's required by COLREGS and ultimately we're going to do what we believe is appropriate. To me, the prudent and easy thing is to simply turn on my radar whenever I'm making way.
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:42 AM   #208
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I understand that each of us has our own interpretation of what's required by COLREGS and ultimately we're going to do what we believe is appropriate. To me, the prudent and easy thing is to simply turn on my radar whenever I'm making way.
But when grilled on the stand in a maritime court...what is the average boater going to say about their use of radar?

Maybe you can defend yourself...but a decent expert witness will tear apart the average boar owner and their use of radar.

Whether one uses it or not is not the question...it's whether it is mandatory...and it isn't by the sheer weight that in every reference to it I have seen, including the Colregs, it refers to "prevailing conditions".
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Old 09-26-2016, 09:57 AM   #209
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I taught captains licensing and am a pretty good source for crew resource management and risk management.

In a confined waterway in clear blue conditions, and relatively confined operating area and medium traffic conditions.....I can make a pretty good case where it is a distraction, more dangerous than looking outside for a short handed crew.

So I will continue to teach and profess that like all electronic navaids....in clear blue situations...they can be more dangerous than a help.

So from an instructor, operator and outside supervisor.....I wholeheartedly say the more a recreational boater spends looking at electronics versus the outside aND understanding what they see...the more dangerous they are.
Agreed!
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:31 AM   #210
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One thing that all this points out too is the value of two people at the helm. That allows one to concentrate on what can be seen visually while the other is double checking with electronics. This isn't always a luxury we have, but it was one the OP had on this day. I'm guessing the sailboat could have had it as well. One of the two active helms persons on the OP's boat got distracted and "was pulled off the job." Don't know what was going on the sailboat.

When 10 miles offshore and nothing on the radar then there's a little opportunity for relaxing. However, when returning in the dark through a channel, that's the time I always want someone on watch right beside me. If there is a 1 in 100 chance of one person making a mistake, the odds of two persons doing so is 1 in 10,000.

Now, slightly off course for a moment. Boaters often say they don't single hand their boat simply because someone else is with them. Sometimes they say the other person helps with the lines when docking. If the other person, not in this case but just in common practice, is off baking cookies or doing the laundry, then you are single handing. Even if the second person has no training, they at least have eyes to pick up something you might miss.
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Old 09-26-2016, 10:53 AM   #211
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Good points all. On my sailboats, I only used RADAR when I felt that conditions warranted. There were really two reasons that. The first is that I felt, and still feel, that eyes are better looking out than looking in. This was drilled into me during my VFR training decades ago and has been my experience on boats for the past 50 years. The second is limited plotter real estate. I only had one display and under normal daylight conditions, that real estate was better used for other information. When visibility was poor or at night, I would use the RADAR. Now on my boat I have the luxury of two display screens. It is much easier to display the RADAR without sacrificing other information. However, under normal daylight conditions, I am convinced that I am safer looking out at the water at traffic, than I am looking at a RADAR display.

However, I also have concluded that I need to spend more time with the RADAR so that under poor visibility conditions I am better at interpreting it. Hence, I have used the RADAR much more, even under ideal conditions, just to get that practice.

FWIW, I don't tend to do things in any area of my life simply to CYA. Some day that may come back to bite me, but it hasn't so far. My own layperson interpretation of the COLREGS is that when I will use RADAR when it enhances safety but not when it could distract from it.

BandBs point about more than one pair of eyes is very important. The other night, we had three of us actively looking for traffic and obstructions. Only one of us spotted the unlit anchored boat.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:06 AM   #212
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A navigation class instructor told our class that the best nav equipment you have are on each side of your nose.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:32 AM   #213
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I don't want to get into what is required or what a good lawyer can do to you in court. What most of you are discussing, maybe without realizing it, is Bridge Resource Management (BRM). This is HUGE in commercial shipping! With todays modern equipment you not only have to be trained generically you must also be certified on ship specific equipment.


Most commercial ships today have one man watches during daylight and clear weather. Most companies will also have specific bridge manning requirements for weather, traffic, arrival, departure, etc scenarios. But the all revolve around BRM. Using all the tools and personnel that are available to you.


Dhays you talk about using the radar during daylight to become more familiar with it. Absolutely, the only way to learn and understand what you are looking at when you can't see. You mentions 3 people acting as look outs at night, Bridge Resource Management.


I realize trawlers and big commercial ships are different. But the practice of BRM works for all boats no matter what their size. Know what is on board, Know how to use it, not just radars, but chart plotters, radios, auto pilots, engine controls. Know how much your crew knows, even your quests.


The better you Bridge Resource Management, the less likely you are to end up facing one of those lawyers that can make anyone look bad.


Quick story...somewhat quick


Years ago there was a ship outbound the Delaware River in fog. It mistook the highline power cables crossing the river around Pea Patch Island for a ship. At the time it had the latest and greatest ARPA on board, but no one on board was properly trained in its use. Even though the pilot should have realized where they were as well as the Master, the ship allided with and took down the towers. The ship was found unseaworthy due to the crew not being properly trained in the use of the equipment on board and it cost the company millions of $.


BRIDGE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
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Old 09-26-2016, 08:02 PM   #214
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Quick story...somewhat quick


Years ago there was a ship outbound the Delaware River in fog. It mistook the highline power cables crossing the river around Pea Patch Island for a ship. At the time it had the latest and greatest ARPA on board, but no one on board was properly trained in its use. Even though the pilot should have realized where they were as well as the Master, the ship allided with and took down the towers. The ship was found unseaworthy due to the crew not being properly trained in the use of the equipment on board and it cost the company millions of $.


BRIDGE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Funny you bring this up. I was sitting at home doing my taxes when this went down. I picked up the phone and called our control room at Hope Creek. They had just synchronized the main gen to the grid when the 500 kv line to Keeney Delaware tripped out. The Shift Supervisor had a good laugh when I told him that a ship ran into it. No seriously! When I drove down to the dike where the line crosses, the high towers were gone. The ship was outbound and missed the turn in fog and drove straight into the base of the tower on the west side also pulling down another 2 towers. Now there are rock jetties for protection.
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Old 09-27-2016, 10:38 AM   #215
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High Wire... that was many years ago when I was a very young 3rd Mate working for Sun Oil.
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:47 AM   #216
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I don't want to get into what is required or what a good lawyer can do to you in court. What most of you are discussing, maybe without realizing it, is Bridge Resource Management (BRM). This is HUGE in commercial shipping! With todays modern equipment you not only have to be trained generically you must also be certified on ship specific equipment.


Most commercial ships today have one man watches during daylight and clear weather. Most companies will also have specific bridge manning requirements for weather, traffic, arrival, departure, etc scenarios. But the all revolve around BRM. Using all the tools and personnel that are available to you.


Dhays you talk about using the radar during daylight to become more familiar with it. Absolutely, the only way to learn and understand what you are looking at when you can't see. You mentions 3 people acting as look outs at night, Bridge Resource Management.


I realize trawlers and big commercial ships are different. But the practice of BRM works for all boats no matter what their size. Know what is on board, Know how to use it, not just radars, but chart plotters, radios, auto pilots, engine controls. Know how much your crew knows, even your quests.


The better you Bridge Resource Management, the less likely you are to end up facing one of those lawyers that can make anyone look bad.
===

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CaptWill,

Interesting, learn something everyday.

I'm familiar with the concept but didn't know it was popular in boating. In flying we use what's called CRM (Cockpit Resource Management)..... same thing for planes as BRM is for boats. And CRM has drifted down from the airlines into general aviation.

Seems like BRM should be introduced to pleasure boating, been to some classes, but has not been mentioned.

I've already got a little start on it with specific duties, protocols, checklists, etc. One little thing I do is keep the mate or Admiral informed as to what I'm doing if not obvious, like "coming up on plane", or "going to pass on the starboard"... etc, so we both thinking the same thing, and if either has an objection we do the safer thing.

A small start and didn't know what it's called. Post more ideas if you have them, great stuff.
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:24 AM   #217
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Seevee


BRM was plagiarized from the airline industry. From your background you are familiar with what it takes and needed to operate a safe and well informed boat.


The most important part of BRM or any resource management, is the inclusion of ALL personnel. It wasn't that long ago... ok maybe longer than I care to admit, that the Captain was the WORD and was not questioned. Everyone on the bridge assumed he knew everything there was to know. BRM, as in CRM makes everyone part of the team. It is important that everyone knows that and that they have input to the decision making without fear of reprimand. It has been a hard nut to crack with many of the OLD SCHOOL Captains. But they are coming around and they see the benefit. As in the airline industry, checklists have become the norm, arrival, departure, anchoring, etc. They enforce and remind us of what needs to be done.


So yeah... everyone takes part. They need to be informed as to what the captains intentions are. Including what he hopes to do and what his bailout plan is if it doesn't work. It is important that everyone knows they have a part in keeping the boat and crew safe and are comfortable to speak up. Sometimes this is a very difficult concept.


There is so much more to the process. We constantly put our officers through weeks of training and refresher courses in BRM. Most of it really is common sense, which at times is difficult to teach.


Stay safe and enjoy
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Old 09-28-2016, 08:43 AM   #218
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Seevee

There is so much more to the process. We constantly put our officers through weeks of training and refresher courses in BRM. Most of it really is common sense, which at times is difficult to teach.


Stay safe and enjoy
Ah yes... that sometimes elusive magic of common sense. Not only difficult to teach some times, but, also too often difficult to self-comprehend regarding what avenue to travel during unexpected, not-easily-understandable emergency situations.

I find that most of the correct answers/actions to overcome occurring circumstances follow the line of common sense. However, in the heat of the moment "that sense" can either be confused or too rushed for clear actions. Of course, hindsight is often 20-20!

Courses taught regarding the what-ifs for dealing with emergencies can help common sense come to the forefront during emergency. Self rehearsed and group rehearsed emergency actions are a good thing.

Be it that one is Captain or subordinate on any vessel it is wise (i.e. common sense) to listen carefully to others' input for solving an emergency.
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:47 AM   #219
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If the area you reference is a designated anchorage, you're not required to have an anchor light.
That's a wrong and deadly conclusion. In all the many designated anchorages in the San Francisco Bay/Delta, only the special anchorage in Richardson Bay does not require anchor lights.

" 109.10 Special anchorage areas.
An Act of Congress of April 22, 1940,
provides for the designation of special
anchorage areas wherein vessels not
more than sixty-five feet in length,
when at anchor, will not be required to
carry or exhibit anchorage lights. Such
designation is to be made after investigation,
by rule, regulation, or order,
the procedure for which will be similar
to that followed for anchorage grounds
under section 7 of the Rivers and Harbors
Act of March 4, 1915, as referred to
in 109.05. ..."

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-20...l1-part110.pdf
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:13 AM   #220
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Interestingly, the one additional course required for everyone wanting to get the STCW endorsement for their USCG license, to make their USCG license legal outside the US, is HELM, Human Element Leadership and Management.

Course Syllabus:

Students will be able to control the operation of the ship and care for persons on board at the management level through the use leadership and managerial skills to ensure that:

The crew are allocated duties and informed of expected standards of work and behaviour in a manner appropriate to the individuals concerned;

Training objectives and activities are based on assessment of current competence and capabilities and operational requirements;

Operations are planned and resources are allocated as needed in correct priority to perform the necessary tasks;

Communication is clearly and unambiguously given and received;

Effective leadership behaviours are demonstrated;

Necessary team member(s) share an accurate understanding of current and predicted vessel state and operational status and external environment;

Decisions are most effective for the situation;

Operations are demonstrated to be effective and in accordance with applicable rules.


It's essentially a recognition that knowing how to operate a vessel isn't enough, you must manage and lead it. You must be able to use all your crew effectively. The aspect I find most related to this topic is "Decisions are most effective for the situation."
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