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Old 09-20-2015, 12:24 AM   #61
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I give JDCAVE a lot of credit for asking the question about what he should have done.

As usual, I really enjoy all of your advice on this.

"Close calls" are wonderful teaching moments. Accidents teach, too, just not so wonderfully!
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:34 AM   #62
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My point was that one should not wait for the last instant to signal. Have rarely needed to signal except to announce my entrance/exit at a marina with high breakwater or to test/exercise the horn every day underway (enjoying the echoing under the Carquinez Strait bridges).

Correct. You shouldn't wait. But you should also use the correct signals.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:40 AM   #63
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It seems I don't have a clue either. What does 4 short blasts on the horn mean?
Nothing, it was a mistake made by JD and then reiterated by me. As someone pointed out earlier in the thread, it is is 5 short blasts, which in Canada would mean "danger" or "unsure of your intentions" and in the US Salish Sea waters would mean "unsure of your intentions"

Me, being completely and utterly ignorant, would not have caught the mistake if one of the more well informed TF folks hadn't pointed it out. Once again, I am learning from you all.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:47 AM   #64
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Correct. You shouldn't wait. But you should also use the correct signals.
Yes, but are you communicating "here I am, make your move" or "we're about to collide, let's make the best of it." It's a matter of timing.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:51 AM   #65
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Illegal for USCG documented vessels, but does it concern for us "tiny tot" recreational vehicles?
Not exactly sure what you are asking here.

It's not a matter of the legality of the way the name is displied.

But if you boated in the ICW or other areas with lots of narrow channels on a regular basis you would come to understand how frustrating it can be to be trying to do the right thing and call a vessel ahead of you to arrange a slow pass well ahead of time and find you can't read the vessels name until you are right in top of it.
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:54 AM   #66
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I get what CaptBill is saying. We should all know the rules and abide by them perfectly. If we don't, then we are placing every boater on the water at grave risk, increasing our liability in the case of a collision, face ridicule among our peers, and our mother's won't love us anymore. I don't disagree. OTOH, in the event that a skipper is oblivious to your existence, it would seem that ANY auditory alert would be better than nothing.

But I may be wrong....
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:58 AM   #67
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Not exactly sure what you are asking here.

It's not a matter of the legality of the way the name is displied.

But if you boated in the ICW or other areas with lots of narrow channels on a regular basis you would come to understand how frustrating it can be to be trying to do the right thing and call a vessel ahead of you to arrange a slow pass well ahead of time and find you can't read the vessels name until you are right in top of it.
Completely understand your point, but I'm doubtful the USCG enforces the font requirements applying to small-boat documented vessels.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:01 AM   #68
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Another thought....

I think Hawgwash makes excellent points. I have found that in most cases where I have found myself in less than desirable situations on the water, I can usually trace them back to poor or untimely decisions on my part. I think that JD handled the situation well but that is not saying that there may have been things that could have been done earlier to make the situation more of a non-event. Reading the discussions of these types of events is helpful to me
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:25 AM   #69
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Nothing, it was a mistake made by JD and then reiterated by me. As someone pointed out earlier in the thread, it is is 5 short blasts, which in Canada would mean "danger" or "unsure of your intentions" and in the US Salish Sea waters would mean "unsure of your intentions"

Me, being completely and utterly ignorant, would not have caught the mistake if one of the more well informed TF folks hadn't pointed it out. Once again, I am learning from you all.
Sorry Dave, I was also pointing out your error, but you stated it with such conviction I tried sarcasm. Please accept my apologies

As Capt Bill pointed out, again with some humour, a pilot boat in fog sounds 4 short, so it doesn't mean 'nothing' after all.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:37 AM   #70
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Yes, but are you communicating "here I am, make your move" or "we're about to collide, let's make the best of it." It's a matter of timing.

5 or more short blasts of the horn is not a collision only signal. And it can and should be sounded well in advance of a possible collision and any time you are in doubt of the other vessels intentions. There is no legally recognized "here I am, make your move" signal by the way. So it's not some timing issue in this case. Where you sound some meaningless signal firdt. And then follow it up with a collision signal after the meaningless signal has been ignored or misunderstood.

Clarity is the whole point of having defined signals. Otherwise what's the point of having them.

But in your case feel free to make them up as you go along. It's seems to have worked for you so far. Although perhaps the same can't be said for the vessels around you.



"When vessels in sight of one another are approaching each other and from any cause either vessel fails to understand the intentions or actions of the other, or is in doubt whether sufficient action is being taken by the other to avoid collision, the vessel in doubt shall immediately indicate such doubt by giving at least five short and rapid blasts on the whistle. This signal may be supplemented by a light signal of at least five short and rapid flashes."
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:43 AM   #71
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Completely understand your point, but I'm doubtful the USCG enforces the font requirements applying to small-boat documented vessels.
I don't believe anybody suggested they did.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:48 AM   #72
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I get what CaptBill is saying. We should all know the rules and abide by them perfectly. If we don't, then we are placing every boater on the water at grave risk, increasing our liability in the case of a collision, face ridicule among our peers, and our mother's won't love us anymore. I don't disagree. OTOH, in the event that a skipper is oblivious to your existence, it would seem that ANY auditory alert would be better than nothing.

But I may be wrong....

It's not that you're wrong. It's just that it's as easy to use the right signal in most cases as it is to make one up. And by using the right signal you are CYA in the event something bad happens.

And hey, sometimes the other guy actually knows what the hell the signal means and acts accordingly.




OK, you can stop laughing at that last part now.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:53 AM   #73
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Thanks for your comments Hawgwash. I agree that I should have responded differently. I should have:

1) Sounded 5 or more blasts in the horn immediately. This does not require him to respond on the VHF, only that he hears me. (That said, I don't think this would have promoted him to change his actions, as he didn't understand his obligations in the first place or slow down.)

2) At the same time slowing down to idle forward only.

3) do not turn to starboard, but maintain heading...turning to starboard would have increased the risk of collision in this case as he came across my bow before heading to his starboard.

I do not agree however with your assertion that Enterprise Channel isn't narrow: there isn't a lot of water between the kelp beds north of the reefs off Trial Islands. Also the track I showed on the chart is as I remember the situation but probably is a poor representation of the situation.

Typically I assess situations and regularly contact other vessels in VHF to arrange safe passes.


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Jim, I think you handled the situation as well as you could under the circumstances. It does sound like the other skipper was either not keeping a proper watch, or dumb enough to think a sail boat has right of way whether under sail or not - which helps to explain your initial hesitance, because you were waiting for him to do the proper thing. Having realised he was not going to, you did what was required. Yes, not stalling the engine would have been good, and needs addressing, but hardly something you would expect. The only thing I would add is to always make sure you turn on the breaker switch to your horn at start-up. Something I now always do, since once wanting the horn, and found like you, it was switched off at the main board.
Cheers,
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:55 AM   #74
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Well, thanks to a handy cheat sheet that one of you posted earlier and I printed out, I will be much further along at identifying the correct signal the next time I need it. Just need to get it laminated and find a spot in the cockpit for it where it won't simply blow away.....
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:02 AM   #75
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I had a similar encounter in my car, actually. I was parked behind another car in a parking lot. I had my keys out of the ignition, and was preparing to get out of the car when I noticed that the car ahead of me was starting to back up... toward me. The driver never even turned around to look behind her. She didn't know I was there until she hit me. I had about 2 seconds to react, and I tried blowing the horn. Turns out, my horn doesn't work when the car is off and the key is out. Who knew?

So, flip the horn breaker to 'on' and break the switch off... haha.
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:56 AM   #76
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Aside from the barbs thrown at sailors, the biggest problem here is time spent speculating on the other skipper's intentions. After 40 years driving large trucks, I can tell you that you can never know what's in someone elses mind. Much better to make a course correction obvious to anyone watching and to plan on keeping out of their way. If they blow by oblivious to your presence, so be it.

In regards to others who might understand sound signals, it might be an over generalization (like many here), but I would suggest that those are the folks likely to pay attention and not put you into the position of having to guess what they might do on the water.
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:51 AM   #77
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In regards to others who might understand sound signals, it might be an over generalization (like many here), but I would suggest that those are the folks likely to pay attention and not put you into the position of having to guess what they might do on the water.
Think that's true 90+% of the time. Not like there is an enforced requirement (test or licence) to know the rules if you operate a boat.

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Old 09-20-2015, 09:22 AM   #78
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MarkPierce: Your post #28 in regards to ships signalling when approaching "a plethora" of sailboats in a channel "one prolonged blast" is the proper signal. Considering the smaller boats cannot all be seen by the approaching ship or obscured by other sailboats.
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:27 AM   #79
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What would you suggest I should have done in this instance?
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Recognized that way too many sail boaters assume rules of the waterway do not apply to them.

My wife is a great helms person. When she spots a sail boat under power (aren't they all ), who is the obvious give way vessel but shows no I intentions of doing so, her normal refrain is "here we go AGAIN!"
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:53 AM   #80
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FYI, unless it's different in Canada, which I doubt, it's 5 soundings of the horn for the intentions not understood signal.
Is it your own boat on the pic ? GB motor yacht ?
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