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Old 12-14-2010, 01:01 AM   #1
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Boats' Automated Fog Signals

I'm curious as to what extent you folks have automated systems for sounding fog signals and reasons for and not.* I've purchased a controller which will cause repeated fog signals within the required*two-minute time span.* There are periods of fog here in the Bay Area and lots of nearly 24-hour*tug/tow and ferry activity, and I'd rather once*push a button or two for the systematic sounding of the horn so to focus on piloting the boat.* There is more than enough to focus on*during low visibility beyond remembering to sound the horn.* And then there is anchoring, particularly at night when one might want to sleep.

-- Edited by markpierce on Tuesday 14th of December 2010 02:03:49 AM
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:54 AM   #2
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

I bought a Uniden VHF that has fog signals built in. One less job someone (me) has to do when running in fog.
I have never used it at anchor.
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:56 AM   #3
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

Quote:
markpierce wrote:

I'm curious as to what extent you folks have automated systems for sounding fog signals and reasons for and not.* I've purchased a controller which will cause repeated fog signals within the required*two-minute time span.* There are periods of fog here in the Bay Area and lots of nearly 24-hour*tug/tow and ferry activity, and I'd rather once*push a button or two for the systematic sounding of the horn so to focus on piloting the boat.* There is more than enough to focus on*during low visibility beyond remembering to sound the horn.* And then there is anchoring, particularly at night when one might want to sleep.

-- Edited by markpierce on Tuesday 14th of December 2010 02:03:49 AM
I purchased a top of the line ICOM about ten years ago that included the fog/hailer feature and found it to be very handy. I don't know about other radios, but this one required an add-on amplifier to get the most volume. It was about six hundred dollars itself, so the little scotsman on my left shoulder talked me out of that. It's still pretty loud.

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Old 12-14-2010, 10:09 AM   #4
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Boats' automated fog signals

I have one of the old fashioned types.* Luckily we don't get much fog here 'cause she complains about it no end when I hand her the stop watch!


-- Edited by Avista on Tuesday 14th of December 2010 11:09:46 AM
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:21 AM   #5
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

I had one on my last boat but don't have one now, I really miss it.
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:54 AM   #6
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Boats' automated fog signals

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markpierce wrote:

I'm curious as to what extent you folks have automated systems for sounding fog signals and reasons for and not.
As mentioned in other discussions we have a Standard Horizon LH5 intercom/hailer on the boat.* One of the things it does is broadcast various horn signals through the horn speaker mounted under the flying bridge overhang.* They're loud but not near as loud as our air horns, so we use the LH5's horn as a "timer" for blowing the air horns when we're in fog.* When the LH5 horn goes off every two minutes we hit the button for the air horns.* Very handy.

We also use the LH5 intercom function to communicate with the flying bridge and the foredeck.


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 14th of December 2010 12:54:43 PM
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Old 12-14-2010, 01:57 PM   #7
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

Running in fog has a high pucker factor. Having an automated signal is one less thing to worry about while keeping a sharp lookout. Having your fog signal answered at close range by someone you can't see increases the pucker.

The device that I have used for this is a loud hailer. Although I have never hailed anyone, the automatic signals for under way and for anchor are worth the money.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:28 PM   #8
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

Quote:
markpierce wrote:

And then there is anchoring, particularly at night when one might want to sleep.

-- Edited by markpierce on Tuesday 14th of December 2010 02:03:49 AM
If you were at anchor and needed to use your fog signal then you would more than likely be on watch and not sleeping anyway

Allan

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Old 12-14-2010, 04:12 PM   #9
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

Unless you have spent the bigger bucks for a separate power hailer amp, many of the integrated hailer/vhf radios don't make a lot of noise.* You do want to be heard!

In the absence of a dedicated timer for your main horn/whistle, using the hailer fog signal to time the event is a practical solution.

The best solution remains to not go out in the fog if at all possible.
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:21 PM   #10
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Boats' automated fog signals

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Doc wrote:

Running in fog has a high pucker factor. Having an automated signal is one less thing to worry about while keeping a sharp lookout. Having your fog signal answered at close range by someone you can't see increases the pucker.
We actually really enjoy running in the fog.* We have never not gone out or delayed a run because of fog.* Maybe it reminds us of flying on instruments, so going somewhere in near-zero visibility is not at all scarey.* We have a real good radar and two*big plotters so it's not like there is any mystery in where we are, where we're going, and what's around us.* Our only requirement is that we can see just enough ahead of the boat to spot debris, crab pot flots, etc.* Although when it's super foggy the water is usually glass smooth so the crab pot floats show up on the radar display.* But two or three boat lengths is all we need, and we almost always have at least*that.* On the rare occasions when it's less we just slow down.

In any event, an advantage of the LH5 hailer/intercom I forgot to mention is that when it's not broadcasting a voice or horn signal, its horn acts as a microphone. So if we turn*the volume*all the way up we can hear the horns from the ferries and other vessels in our vicinity inside the cabin over the engine noise.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 14th of December 2010 06:25:26 PM
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Old 12-14-2010, 05:31 PM   #11
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Boats' automated fog signals

Quote:
Marin wrote:

*
Doc wrote:

Running in fog has a high pucker factor. Having an automated signal is one less thing to worry about while keeping a sharp lookout. Having your fog signal answered at close range by someone you can't see increases the pucker.
We actually really enjoy running in the fog.* We have never not gone out or delayed a run because of fog.* Maybe it reminds us of flying on instruments, so going somewhere in near-zero visibility is not at all scarey.* We have a real good radar and two*big plotters so it's not like there is any mystery in where we are, where we're going, and what's around us.* Our only requirement is that we can see just enough ahead of the boat to spot debris, crab pot flots, etc.* Although when it's super foggy the water is usually glass smooth so the crab pot floats show up on the radar display.* But two or three boat lengths is all we need, and we almost always have at least*that.* On the rare occasions when it's less we just slow down.

In any event, an advantage of the LH5 hailer/intercom I forgot to mention is that when it's not broadcasting a voice or horn signal, its horn acts as a microphone. So if we turn*the volume*all the way up we can hear the horns from the ferries and other vessels in our vicinity inside the cabin over the engine noise.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 14th of December 2010 06:25:26 PMI'm with Doc on this one. I won't go out in fog, but obviously I will proceed if suddenly fogged in. There are too many boats that don't have radar, and also too many that don't offer a good radar signature. Add to that their ignorance of any need for a fog horn of any sort.

I'll never forget the time we got caught crossing Rosario Straight in peas soup. We came out of the fog just in time to see a little Bayliner running full tilt boogie right along the fog line, perpendicular to our own line of travel. I had barely picked him up on my radar, and kept slowing and slowing to avoid a collision. Unpuckering was slow to occur.

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-- Edited by Carey on Tuesday 14th of December 2010 10:30:25 PM
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Old 12-14-2010, 07:06 PM   #12
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Boats' automated fog signals

Yea I don't go every where in the fog but I do always go to Block Island regardless of the fog and I always return to the dock if there is fog.
I have some routes that I avoid traffic.

(I have an excellent first mate that monitors the radar and allows me to run the boat and do the visual)

-- Edited by jleonard on Tuesday 14th of December 2010 08:09:21 PM
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Old 12-14-2010, 09:34 PM   #13
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

Quote:
jleonard wrote:

Yea I don't go every where in the fog but I do always go to Block Island regardless of the fog and I always return to the dock if there is fog.
I have some routes that I avoid traffic.

(I have an excellent first mate that monitors the radar and allows me to run the boat and do the visual)

-- Edited by jleonard on Tuesday 14th of December 2010 08:09:21 PM
Having the first mate working with you is essential. It's difficult for one person to monitor all the devices, plus steer and do log/Bayliner watch at the same time. Not to mention the fact that if you are both busy, there is less time for puckering. Up that is!

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Old 12-14-2010, 09:55 PM   #14
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

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Having the first mate working with you is essential.

*
Absolutely.* When we're running in the fog my wife drives the boat as has sharper eyes than I do and is better at picking out debris in the water even in poor visibility.* So she steers and*watches the water*and monitors the compass and*one of the GPS plotters.

I work next to her working the radar.* Getting a complete picture of what's going on around us from the radar requires tuning through the range and gain adjustments*on an ongoing basis as well as using the variable distance and bearing lines to track the progress of targets relative to our boat.* I also monitor the second plotter and watch out the windows as well.

We didn't buy the $500 box that overlays the radar on the plotter but we can approximate the same thing by changing the plotter I'm monitoring from north up (our normal mode) to course up.



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Old 12-14-2010, 10:35 PM   #15
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

Quote:
Jay N wrote:

Unless you have spent the bigger bucks for a separate power hailer amp, many of the integrated hailer/vhf radios don't make a lot of noise.* You do want to be heard!

In the absence of a dedicated timer for your main horn/whistle, using the hailer fog signal to time the event is a practical solution.

The best solution remains to not go out in the fog if at all possible.
Great suggestion Jay. I hadn't considered using it as the timer.

On another note, I really like your boat. Do you have more photos of it somewhere on this site? I think I can speak for a bunch of us that would like to see more. Maybe you could post them to the Customs and Conversions thread? I'm just sayin.

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Old 12-14-2010, 11:03 PM   #16
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Boats' automated fog signals

Quote:
Carey wrote:

Great suggestion Jay. I hadn't considered using it as the timer.

Still, one is distracted by having to take action to sound the horn*every time the timer goes off.** Something like this would be handier:

http://www.kahlenberg.com/documents/...erBrochure.pdf

-- Edited by markpierce on Wednesday 15th of December 2010 12:06:18 AM
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:13 PM   #17
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Boats' automated fog signals

Quote:
markpierce wrote:

*
Carey wrote:

Great suggestion Jay. I hadn't considered using it as the timer.

Still, one is distracted by having to take action to sound the horn*every time the timer goes off.Hmm.... we certainly don't find it distracting.* The LH5 beeps off and whoever is at the helm--- usually my wife in fog-- simply pushes the air horn button between the throttle and shifter quadrants.* After a few minutes it becomes virtually automatic.* Like Pavlov's dog-- hear the beep, push the button.* No thinking required

-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 15th of December 2010 12:14:45 AM
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:53 AM   #18
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Boats' automated fog signals

Our boat came with a Cybernet CTX-1000 intercom/hailer/foghorn, etc. So far, I have only had to use it on one occasion, a trip back from the San Juans that was thick pea soup for the first 4 hours or so. It sure seemed loud enough by itself although clearly not as loud as the ferry (presumed but only seen on radar) heading the other way in relatively tight quarters.

To be honest, we didn't start the automatic foghorn until we heard the ferry's, although we did keep it on after that until the fog lifted/lessened. Having the radar overlay on the plotter seemed much more useful in avoiding collisions. The 3 or 4 other boats we encountered, and gave wide berth to, during the fog run were not making any noises.

-- Edited by Tonic on Wednesday 15th of December 2010 02:53:43 AM
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:47 PM   #19
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

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*The 3 or 4 other boats we encountered, and gave wide berth to, during the fog run were not making any noises.

-- Edited by Tonic on Wednesday 15th of December 2010 02:53:43 AM
Reminds me when I was in a car at night in the Philippine boondocks.* Some drivers didn't have their car lights on.* Was told this was to "save their batteries."

Well, at least I hope they heard your horn.

Maybe it would have been a good time to make a channel 16 call to those boats, and thus announcing to the immediate world, that these boats were underway without making required sounds and so creating a navigational hazard.

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Old 12-17-2010, 11:54 PM   #20
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RE: Boats' automated fog signals

Quote:
Still, one is distracted by having to take action to sound the horn*every time the timer goes off.** Something like this would be handier:

http://www.kahlenberg.com/documents/...erBrochure.pdf

-- Edited by markpierce on Wednesday 15th of December 2010 12:06:18 AM
Hi Guys, haven't logged onto this site for some time, and found this thread. I'm in the UK, where fog can be thick and sudden, and around the Channel Islands it can be in strong wonds as well. The worst time for us was en route in clear skies and brilliant sunshine when a thick fog bank rolled over us reducing vis to just a few yards.

My eldest son immediately became OICW (Officer in Charge of Weapons (radar)), whilst I drove. Being ever cautious, I have an active radar reflector (Sea-Me X & S bands) so I'm seen, and a set of v loud Kahlenberg air horns*(so I'm heard) with the M485*controller.

Having used the controller*in anger many times now, I wouldn't be without it for the world. One less thing to think about which is really good when under pressure.

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