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Radar or VHF Assisted Collisions

Refueler

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We got on the bridge of Stena Explorer Holyhead to Dun Laoghaire doing around 40 kts. When I asked how much they slow down in fog, the reply was they have a schedule to keep so don't.
That is common for most Merch ships in fact ....

An OOW to reduce speed without calling Master first - is of course allowed under IRPCS. But in real life - Master would be whispering in that OOW's ear if he did.

In 17yrs at sea as an OOW ............ I can only remember a couple of times reducing speed on passage. Dare I say this also - unless in traffic scheme or an area where you expect to meet other vessels - sound signalling was hardly ever used
 

laika

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The bottom line is that the last several replies have highlighted the fact that I definitely need to hit the COLREGS books again and brush up.
The bottom line for me is that it made me realise that it's 15 years since I did the RYA radar course during which time I have done no more than play with radar for a few minutes on a handful of occasions (I don't currently have it on my boat) and I have therefore needed to spend some time this morning revising manual plotting and derivation of course, speed and aspect. Much as I like to use the minimum of electrickery, if I do install radar and am sailing, as usual, short handed and monitoring targets in a complicated situation I suspect I may rely on electronic target tracking rather than having plotting paper, pencil and a protractor on deck.
 

Daedelus

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I've heard this before - it's mince! If you are moving other than directly towards or away from a land feature its bearing will change, the bearing of a boat on a collision course doesn't.
Strange, I've used it successfully for years.
 

Kukri

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East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
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capnsensible

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The bottom line for me is that it made me realise that it's 15 years since I did the RYA radar course during which time I have done no more than play with radar for a few minutes on a handful of occasions (I don't currently have it on my boat) and I have therefore needed to spend some time this morning revising manual plotting and derivation of course, speed and aspect. Much as I like to use the minimum of electrickery, if I do install radar and am sailing, as usual, short handed and monitoring targets in a complicated situation I suspect I may rely on electronic target tracking rather than having plotting paper, pencil and a protractor on deck.
Yeah. Bridge watch keepers use radar constantly. The average sailor doesn't really put enough practice in. I include myself in that. So now and again, I like to nip out on a calm day with good viz and train myself.
 

Graham376

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Boat on Mooring off Faro, Home near Abergele
Yeah. Bridge watch keepers use radar constantly. The average sailor doesn't really put enough practice in. I include myself in that. So now and again, I like to nip out on a calm day with good viz and train myself.
Good idea, too many people wait until they need to use the radar and then try to learn in poor vis. Daytime practice is best when it better illustrates how different targets show up and then disappear when messing with settings.
 

Refueler

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Another little gem from my Cadet days :

On radar course .... got stuck in front of a screen and told I had to con my way through ............ believe me - it was a screen that looked as though someone had thrown a bowl of rice at it ....

I know most ahead of me had failed to get through ... so first I decided f**** this and switched down ranges till I had a manageable set of targets and took each one as it came ...

Understand that the Lecturer had possibility to alter one or two targets ...

I scraped through ... seriously .. I mean SCRAPED through !!

Another incident ...... I was 3/O on watch one evening .... West Africa about 40 - 50nm offshore ... mind in neutral as usual ... thinking about all those jobs waiting for me at home next vacation !!
AB points ahead .. and there were all these faint lights ... he goes out on bridge wing and rushes in .. COME LOOK >>>

Those faint lights turned out to be literally candles in jam jars on front of dugouts who were fishing ! ... and we were steaming into a large number of them ...

This was over 40nm offshore !! No time to avoid them ... but they all passed down the sides ok ...
 

PilotWolf

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Long Beach. CA.
Yeah. Bridge watch keepers use radar constantly. The average sailor doesn't really put enough practice in. I include myself in that. So now and again, I like to nip out on a calm day with good viz and train myself.
My last company had two on each vessel.

Many people including those who should know had no sea how to set it up or tune them, the smal with the the rain and sea clutter controls. One capatin used to turn them up so high to get a clear screen small boat targets would disappear.

Switch it on and play on a clear day.

W.
 

prv

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if I do install radar and am sailing, as usual, short handed and monitoring targets in a complicated situation I suspect I may rely on electronic target tracking rather than having plotting paper, pencil and a protractor on deck.
I think that's only sensible. The tools are there, on modern kit they're pretty good, it would be perverse not to use them. To me there's no shame in admitting that a computer is better at doing vector maths than I am.

Pete
 

PilotWolf

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I did my radar on server unlimited here in th e US. Is a 5 day course, and used to be renewed every 5 years but last year the USCG removed the renewal requirement if you spend a certain number of days at sea . They use computer generated training plots and the final exam they have a simulator. One guy had struggled all week and during the exam he couldn't get any of his plots to work out, turns how he had 5 degrees of rudder on and was going around in circles whist trying to plot his targets

Similar tale to wha a capatin friend told me! He got called. urgently to the bridge one night, after they hit something in the dark.

They obviously stopped to pick the fishermen up but apparently when he asked the OOW how he knew it had sunk his reply was " Well half went down the port side and the other half down the starboard side sir"

That was some where in the Indian ocean, I think this was back in the late 50's so not sure what radar if any they had.

W.
 
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Refueler

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My last company had two on each vessel.

Many people including those who should know had no sea how to set it up or tune them, the smal with the the rain and sea clutter controls. One capatin used to turn them up so high to get a clear screen small boat targets would disappear.

Switch it on and play on a clear day.

W.
Standard ship inventory is a minimum of two separate radars. Many ships today have 3 ....
 

Refueler

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I only mentioned it to illustrate the fact that there was no excuse for not knowing how to use them or actually turn them ion

W
I sailed with a few Masters in the late 70's and early 80's that insisted radars were switched off once you got offshore. One in particular - I was that close to a collision because of it.

West Africa heading west before turning north .... fully loaded 300,000 ton tanker. Its late afternoon / early evening and clear skies ... sun setting dead ahead .... total white out .....
Ab was moaning about his lack of overtime .. I was getting fed up with hearing it - I was not Ch.Off so not my business !

Then we notice a faint silhouette on stbd bow ... I mean it was so difficult to see ....

I ran in and kicked of the Auto ... put wheel hard over ... with other hand grabbed phone and called E/R (the vessel was a Steamship and condensor intake was stbd aft .. at full speed and hard stbd turn - it could cavitate and engine shut down ... ) I asked Eng'rs to keep her going - I needed that propwash over the rudder ....

As the ship swung .... boy my life just flashed in front of me ... and so slowwwww ! The other vessel was a white Fruit Reefer and she passed so close across our bow ..... I was sure I noted no-one in the wheelhouse or on bridge wing ... track later showed she made no alterations at all (yes I was the give way ... )

She passed and I started to bring her back on course ... called E/R and thanked them for their help ...

I was just starting to relax ... heart getting back to my chest ... when a voice from behind :

OK 3rd Mate ... no good me shouting at you - lesson learnt I think ...

The Master was standing against the rear wall ...

We sailed together various ships after and in fact he requested my sign on ...we got on very well ... but I did actually question his Command Rule of switching off Radars AND VHF once offshore ...
He only changed when Shell gave an instruction to vessels that radars etc. were to run at all times when ships not docked.
 

prv

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I sailed with a few Masters in the late 70's and early 80's that insisted radars were switched off once you got offshore.
Did they ever advance a reason for it? Preserving magnetron life / scanner bearings / etc, or just “newfangled nonsense” attitude?

Pete
 

Kukri

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A “radar off” story from the early 90s:

A cruise ship owned by an extremely well known company ran down and sank a small Cuban tanker.

The Officers were Italian. The Master still had the rule that the radars had to be turned off. Two officers of the watch plus three lookouts (big passenger ship stuff).

Their careers were saved by a girl passenger who had had a row with her boyfriend and stormed out of the disco and walked forward on deck to get some air. It was almost completely dark but she saw the Cuban tanker lying low in the water, stopped, showing no lights (it turned out that she had had a breakdown and was lying by “dead ship”)
 

prv

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Helped by the “no lights” evidence, but by the 90s surely they should have been keeping a radar watch?

Pete
 

capnsensible

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Some may have heard of 'Perisher', the Submarine Command Course. Watching those guys in action holding a three dimensional tactical picture in their heads whilst prosecuting a contact and avoiding counter attack is awesome. Armed with two stopwatches and brainpower. I learnt masses about decisions under intense pressure from those guys, my Captains.
Really helped me understand relative movement when messing about in small craft. 👍
 
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