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Old 08-01-2018, 12:25 PM   #1
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When On Autopilot Stay Alert

Autopilot is not a reason to leave the helm. In fact it is the best reason to stay and keep alert and minimize distractions.
Million-dollar fishing boat sinks after hitting shrimping boat during tournament

Million-dollar fishing boat sinks after hitting shrimping boat during tournament | Fox News
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:40 PM   #2
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Um, well, not to sound insensitive or anything, but... DUH!



Just another reason not to spend the money to fix or replace our ancient autopilot that does not work. That's why we've hand steered over 3,500 miles...
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:55 PM   #3
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Not a terribly credible report:

Another fisherman, John Hafernick, who was out on the water around the time of the incident, said he heard the boat was on autopilot at the time, going about 32 knots an hour, while the captain measured a blue marlin that was over 100 inches long.
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Old 08-01-2018, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Um, well, not to sound insensitive or anything, but... DUH!



Just another reason not to spend the money to fix or replace our ancient autopilot that does not work. That's why we've hand steered over 3,500 miles...

Well, my first reaction was "Of course it was in Texas." However, I very quickly recalled the "Nap Time" incident. The other thing I noticed was that the 61" sportfisher was going 31 mph! Damn that is fast. I just can't fathom that amount of speed on the water it is so far from anything that I'm used to. The skipper was apparently measuring a Marlin that was caught. Say that took him only 1 minute to measure the fish. At that speed he would have traveled over 800 meters or almost a 1/2 nm!



I would not put up with my autopilot being non-functional if I could afford to fix it. It is a huge asset and greatly reduces fatigue. However, if I step out of the PH door to look at something with the binoculars for 30 seconds I'm standing 3 feet from the helm, traveled 100 meters and am able to see where I'm going.
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:13 PM   #5
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31 knots is not hard to do with enough hp. i did some work on a 60ft sport fisher with 1600hp c32's. she could cruise at 35knots and topped out about 40 iirc.
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:14 PM   #6
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The nice thing about auto pilot it gives you one less thing to look at, like the compass. That way you can focus on the floating debris, crabpots, and other boats.
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:29 PM   #7
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Wifey B: We sometimes go more than 31 knots. We do it on autopilot. We watch at all times from helm. We are able to keep a better watch because of autopilot. We don't use it as an excuse not to keep a good watch.
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:31 PM   #8
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I find the auto pilot to be invaluable when we are cruising. It allows me to have a better handle on situational awareness since I am not tied to the steering wheel all the time. I do not leave the helm while it is on auto pilot. We always have a designated lookout also.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:18 PM   #9
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Wifey B: We sometimes go more than 31 knots. We do it on autopilot. We watch at all times from helm. We are able to keep a better watch because of autopilot. We don't use it as an excuse not to keep a good watch.

I agree that it is easier to keep a better watch with AP. I don't have a problem with AP on a fast boat, I just can't imagine someone leaving the helm under those conditions.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:32 PM   #10
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Stupid is as stupid does.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:56 PM   #11
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I agree that it is easier to keep a better watch with AP. I don't have a problem with AP on a fast boat, I just can't imagine someone leaving the helm under those conditions.
Wifey B: I can't imagine any of the situations where one leaves the helm and the boat continues on autopilot. Don't agree with going for a sandwich or to use the bathroom or with sleeping at the helm. For any of those, put it in neutral and sit or at worst an idle.
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:10 PM   #12
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Wifey B: I can't imagine any of the situations where one leaves the helm and the boat continues on autopilot. Don't agree with going for a sandwich or to use the bathroom or with sleeping at the helm. For any of those, put it in neutral and sit or at worst an idle.
Yup, I never leave the helm on auto pilot or just in gear.
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:13 PM   #13
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Can't imagine having that much faith in technology.

My favourite is still the fellow that was on auto-pilot and away from the helm while transiting the Second Narrows in Vancouver Harbour. Had to go party with the teenage girls on deck. If you have every gone under that bridge you know how stupid this was.

Yacht crashes into CN second narrows rail bridge
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:18 PM   #14
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Was the capt on a collision course when he left the helm? A minute at 30 mph is a half mile so he had to see the shrimper. Maybe the shrimper changed course? No one on board could measure a fish except the capt? Iím sure thatís one minute that he would like a do-over.
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:19 PM   #15
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:22 PM   #16
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It appears the captain didn't just leave the helm; he went aft/below in the cockpit. He'll be relieved of his captains status when it's all over, I'm sure.
I used to be a full time captain and logged many miles on a 47' & 63' sportfish ,both of which cruised @ 35 knots & topped out at 44. Truthfully ,sometimes I would leave the helm with the autopilot on for a bathroom break or to grab something to eat/drink. I would (and still do on our slow trawler) slow down and make sure there was no one anywhere close to being in my path before leaving the helm.
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:19 PM   #17
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We don't know whether this was a licensed USCG captain or that he was operating a charter boat. While I suspect some basis in fact, the entire article is based on a single witness and 'what he heard'.

I'm apprehensive to jump to conclusions.
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:23 PM   #18
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If running a charter boat he had to be a USCG licensed captain.

Leaving the helm wasn't the mistake, colliding with the shrimper was.
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:37 PM   #19
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Then there's the guy that got hit by a Seattle ferry because he set the autopilot (while in a fairly narrow channel) and then went to use the head. At least it probably helped him finish quicker when the ferry hit his boat.
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Old 08-01-2018, 08:17 PM   #20
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Leaving the helm wasn't the mistake, colliding with the shrimper was.

Since this is TF and since I donít know what Iím talking about, of course Iím going to weigh in.

I would disagree (respectfully). Colliding with the shrimper was the result of a mistake, not the mistake itself. The mistake was failing to keep an adequate watch which led to his failure to avoid a collision. Leaving the helm while on AP was simply how he failed to keep an adequate watch.

I think I get your point however. Leaving the helm while on AP in itself wasnít the problem. The problem was failing to keep an adequate watch. There may be other situations where leaving the helm, even at his cruise speed, would still have allowed an adequate watch. Hard to imagine that the radar was completely clear for 1 nm around him when he chose to leave the helm (assuming the mythical 1 minute away from the helm).
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