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Old 08-07-2014, 01:03 PM   #1
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Piloting tip

In spite of our weather vigilance, sometimes it's rougher out there than we intended. We still would rather pilot from the upper helm most of the time but wanted an easy way to communicate that someone safely negotiated their way down below, or is coming topsides. We have FS radios, but this is easier.

If Sally is heading below, we drop the rpms enough to notice. When she gets there, she puts it back to cruising speed and I know she's there. After she's done what she's doing and wants to come up ( a more hazardous situation because I don't know when that is going to be and can't just watch for her) she drops the rpm again until she gets topside.

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Old 08-07-2014, 06:56 PM   #2
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Mods,
I think this post is in the wrong area?
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:07 PM   #3
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Jeff, Thanks for the tip. Same problem on my boat.
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:24 PM   #4
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Good idea for those with multiple helms.
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:15 AM   #5
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Mods,

I think this post is in the wrong area?

Thanks, moved to General Discussion.

Nice tip btw
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:18 AM   #6
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We either stomp on the flybridge deck or blow the horn, whichever is appropriate.

An intercom would be a much better solution.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:31 AM   #7
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We use the vhf.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:36 AM   #8
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We use the vhf.
I'm assuming two, one for each person?

My VHF has an "intercom" feature but I've never gotten around to reading how it works so I don't know if it would be suitable for what we're talking about.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:06 AM   #9
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Good idea for those with multiple helms.

For those of us fortunate to have a flybridge!



HOLLYWOOD
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:18 AM   #10
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"For those of us fortunate to have a flybridge!"
Now you've done it! Mark is going to clobber you. I'm staying out of this one.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:02 AM   #11
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We always use the rpm method when switching helm control.

We had and used an intercom on the boat, then I switched to Panasonic cordless phone system that have bluetooth connectivity to cell phones, achieving a dual purpose. You could instantly see where the person was on the boat by the assigned station name on the handset. Really a great addition to any boat with a decent number of AC outlets (though they do hold a charge a long time) , your cell phone can be cozy and dry and on charge in the place of your choice.
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Old 08-08-2014, 11:08 AM   #12
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"For those of us fortunate to have a flybridge!"
Now you've done it! Mark is going to clobber you. I'm staying out of this one.
Better get below Parks. You make a grat target up on the bridge.
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Old 08-08-2014, 02:56 PM   #13
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For those of us fortunate to have a flybridge!



HOLLYWOOD

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Old 08-08-2014, 03:13 PM   #14
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I would think that for a split second, when the rpm's drop, you think, "Oh no. What just happened?"
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Old 08-08-2014, 05:30 PM   #15
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I would think that for a split second, when the rpm's drop, you think, "Oh no. What just happened?"
Exactly!
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Old 08-08-2014, 05:47 PM   #16
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The OP described a well thought out and simple plan...no surprises if everything is normal as it is all EXPECTED...

I don't like fiddling with RPM if I don't have to but it's really no big deal either.
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:43 PM   #17
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Our boat has a hands-free intercom between the upper and lower helms. When we first got the boat and drove from the flying bridge when the weather permitted, we'd use the intercom to communicate.

As I've related before, we almost experienced a boat fire shortly after getting the boat because we were driving from the flying bridge and had no idea a piece of equipment at the lower helm was heating up to the point of igniting the wood cabinet it was mounted in. Only my wife's appearance in the cabin to get something alerted us to what was going on before we had a full blown fire to deal with.

After that we decided we would not drive from the flying bridge anymore. This decision was made easier by the fact that neither one of us likes actually driving the boat from up there anyway; we were there mainly for the view. We both feel much more connected to the boat down below and both of us can judge close-in maneuvering and docking much more accurately from the lower helm than from the flying bridge.

However, guests or sometimes whichever one of us is not driving will ride up there when the weather is nice, so the intercom continues to come in very handy.

I personally don't like the idea of anyone other than the person actually driving the boat changing the power setting. The method described by the original poster is harmless enough, I guess, under most circumstances, although I don't like the part about the person not driving pulling the power back with no warning to the person who is driving. So it's not a practice either I or my wife would endorse. Not when there are other methods available to convey the same message that don't require the power setting to be changed by someone who is not driving the boat.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:23 PM   #18
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You don't do it with no warning, that's what. It is part of a pre-arranged helm command shift change. The change in RPM in our case is so slight, you notice the signal from the movement of the throttle lever more than anything else. The signaler becomes the person in command of the boat at that moment.
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Old 08-08-2014, 10:45 PM   #19
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Handy tip, George.
Good communication is always important to ensure safety, however it's done.

I don't have a flybridge, but moving to and from the bow on my boat while underway has a fairly high risk. It involves walking along the 8" wide gunwale with no railing, but a full length handrail along the pilothouse. The person is in always in full view of the person at the helm.
I assess the conditions, and decide whether it requires a lifejacket, a harness connected to the lifeline, or its simply to dangerous to be done. I also do regular MOB drills.

With any task, its all about assessing the risk and implementing the necessary mitigation measures to reduce the risks to a comfortable level.
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Old 08-09-2014, 07:51 AM   #20
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When one of us goes below while underway, he/she will knock on the bridge before going into the cabin. And repeat when coming back up. If my wife is going below, and I don't hear the knock, I start looking in the wake. If she does not show in 20-30 mins., I figure it's time to turn around(grin). Sure hope she does not read this.........
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