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Old 08-13-2012, 09:49 AM   #1
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See ya on the two, whose two?

OK, I confess, I am confused when passing tows on the river. It's easy enough when meeting head-on. See you on the two is starboard to starboard, no problem. But, when overtaking you ask the tow captain what side would he prefer you to overtake him on and he says I'll see you on the two. Sometimes they are clever and say something like "why don't you crawl up on them two's". So, what is it his two or my two. Is it his two if he says it or my two if I say it.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
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On the two you turn to port, on the one you turn to starboard. Doesn't matter if head on or passing.

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Old 08-13-2012, 10:08 AM   #3
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1 is starboard and 2 is port. both his and yours.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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If I didn't know what they meant, the two previous responses might confuse me more. One whistle for a port-to-port passing, two whistles for a starboard-to-starboard passing. Probably the hardest thing to understand is the overtaking situation. If I ask to pass you, I become the "burdened" vessel. The burden is on me to stay out of your way, since you are slower. You say "Come by me on two", which is MY two or starboard, since I am the burdened vessel. So, I come by you on two whistles, leaving you on my starboard side. Chuck
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:51 AM   #5
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he says "I'll see you on the two" would be his port side. That's how I take it.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:51 PM   #6
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The way captains courses teach rules (hopefully not insulting those that did it the hard way or those that know from taking the boxed courses)..

International - the whistle signal means you are turning and doesn't matter what the other guy does...1 whistle turn to starboard....2 to port.

Inland - the whistle signal is about what side you intend to leave the other guy on ...so without even turning if you leave the tow to your port...its a one whistle...on the two means you'll leave him to starboard.

I'm not comfortable how the river guys are saying it but I'm guessing that if you initiated and he says on the two (that's his agreement whistle to you) and you should leave him to starboard.

from the inland navrules -

i) shall indicate that maneuver by the following signals on her whistle:
  • one short blast to mean "I intend to leave you on my port side";
  • two short blasts to mean "I intend to leave you on my starboard side";
  • three short blasts to mean "I am operating astern propulsion"
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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This is all very confusing.
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Old 08-13-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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When I turn on the VHF I hear the commercial ships using the one whistle, two whistle talk, but as a practical matter, every time I've been on the ICW (SE USA), people say something like "I'd like to give you a slow pass on your port (or starboard) side."

I mean, if you're communicating by voice, what's the point in confusing things with talk of whistles. Who has a whistle on their boat anyway?
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #9
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Isn't there a whistle on each lifejacket?
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:29 PM   #10
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On the Texas, Louisiana portion of the ICW we are dealing with 10-15 encounters with tows every day. They will almost always say two whistle or one whistle. Sometimes just say come by on the one, or two. A friend, Charles Culotta says to think, "one whistle I am on the right, two whistle I am on the left" passing or meeting it works.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
When I turn on the VHF I hear the commercial ships using the one whistle, two whistle talk, but as a practical matter, every time I've been on the ICW (SE USA), people say something like "I'd like to give you a slow pass on your port (or starboard) side."

I mean, if you're communicating by voice, what's the point in confusing things with talk of whistles. Who has a whistle on their boat anyway?
Because it's the "exact" and professional, non-confusing way to do it. Whistle signals are without a doubt and have to be responded to in kind...even on the radio.

That's why the pros do it that way. Recs can do it any way they want...as long as there's no collision who cares? Pros would be run through the wringer if they did anything else...and it's not confusing to them.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:14 PM   #12
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The whistle signal reference is used on inland waters because tows tend to be long and swing wide. They drive the bow and swing the stern around it. On a turn in the river, they usually swing to the outside of the turn. You don't want to get caught over there when that huge pusher swings around with a big prop wash. The whistle signals, if used properly, will let him know that you are coming by on the safe side. When you have plenty of depth in a wide channel, they don't really care which way you pass or meet as long as you stay away from the bow and blind spot.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:03 AM   #13
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Quote:

from the inland navrules -

i) shall indicate that maneuver by the following signals on her whistle:
  • one short blast to mean "I intend to leave you on my port side";
  • two short blasts to mean "I intend to leave you on my starboard side";
  • three short blasts to mean "I am operating astern propulsion"
These rules are correct and leave little room for misinterpretation. The problem is people are.self-centered and tend to think of things from their perspective but these rules are from the other captain's perspective. Try visualizing from the other captains wheel and it'll make sense.

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Old 08-14-2012, 08:40 AM   #14
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Thanks. I was thinking correctly about it but sometimes the way the tow that is being passed speaks, it tends to confuse you if you think about it too much. It's something you don't want to have any doubts about, especially when the channel narrows.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:26 AM   #15
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Thanks. I was thinking correctly about it but sometimes the way the tow that is being passed speaks, it tends to confuse you if you think about it too much. It's something you don't want to have any doubts about, especially when the channel narrows.
Inland rules require an initiation and a response to avoid the confusion... the communication is required when within 1/2 nm of each other in meeting/crossing situations or whenever ready to pass. It's the requirement often ignored by rec vessels and almost always ignored in th NJ ICW...
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Inland rules require an initiation and a response to avoid the confusion... the communication is required when within 1/2 nm of each other in meeting/crossing situations or whenever ready to pass. It's the requirement often ignored by rec vessels and almost always ignored in th NJ ICW...
Half mile ... that's about the maximum range of most recreational boats' horns (120 dB).

Often ignored? I'd say always unless, maybe, there is confusion or imminent risk of collision. Can't imagine everyone honking at each other (or crowding the radio waves) whenever meeting/crossing within half a mile. Same for commercial vessels.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:17 PM   #17
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Half mile ... that's about the maximum range of most recreational boats' horns (120 dB).

Often ignored? I'd say always unless, maybe, there is confusion or imminent risk of collision. Can't imagine everyone honking at each other (or crowding the radio waves) whenever meeting/crossing within half a mile. Same for commercial vessels.
Commercial traffic in busy waterways are probably doing it on ch13..thus the "spoken" radio whistle signal...

On the Atlantic and I'm sure the Gulf intracoastal waterway, if you keep ch 13 , even ch 16 you will get calls quite often about passing boats. The experienced boaters and/or the ones with captains licenses are likely to use the whistle signal radio call...but often they know the rec boater in front or whtaever doesn't really understand so they will use the layman's method....

In NJ they don't even bother teaching whistle signals in the boater's safety course as no one would remember and hardly anyone ever uses them (real or on the radio).
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:59 PM   #18
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One whistle is for the easy thing to do for Americans who drive on the right side of the road, it means to just keep to the right. Two whistles is unusual for us to keep to the left, so it is twice as much effort to blow two whistles. To back up we have to turn around and look so it is much more effort, so three whistles for backing. If you want everyone to know where you are, just blow a long whistle so people will look at you when leaving a place of restricted visibility. And for people to really notice you, just keep blowing your whistle again and again five or more times for the danger signal.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:05 PM   #19
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Commercial traffic in busy waterways are probably doing it on ch13..thus the "spoken" radio whistle signal...
.
Here on the Ohio River it's only and always ch 13 for communication between tows and to tows. I always have the big VHF on 16 and the handheld on ch13. Channel 13 is a 5 watt channel anyway so, it wouldn't make any difference.
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Old 08-14-2012, 03:14 PM   #20
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Here on the Ohio River it's only and always ch 13 for communication between tows and to tows. I always have the big VHF on 16 and the handheld on ch13. Channel 13 is a 5 watt channel anyway so, it wouldn't make any difference.
I'm pretty sure CH 13 is only one watt so it should interfere with very little that's not nearby.....as it was designed for.
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