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Old 11-12-2009, 11:39 PM   #21
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Having spent the past 20 years developing software, I have no confidence at all in electronics. It is often good, but there is no way to prove that there are no bugs in a system. This is a fundamental weakness in software. Correctness is not provable except in trivial cases. All software ships with bugs. Almost all software ships with known bugs.

That doesn't mean it isn't good, but it does mean it isn't foolproof.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:54 AM   #22
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That doesn't mean it isn't good, but it does mean it isn't foolproof.
Which serves to underpin my point - all the pieces of technical equipment found on a ship's bridge are AIDS to navigation only. They are not infallable.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:07 PM   #23
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Which serves to underpin my point - all the pieces of technical equipment found on a ship's bridge are AIDS to navigation only. They are not infallable.

Aye // Stephen
Problem is folks are using them as the primary nav.

it was happening in the industry when i was skippering the big boys and i doubt that it has changed.

there are folks out there that think paper charts are archaic and i dont think thats going to change.

the trend seems to be that many sailors are now relying on the computer nav systems and not learning the art of real navigation. i find it scary to be honest.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:23 PM   #24
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i find it scary to be honest.
I have to agree with you. Unfortunately you are absolutely right

Aye // Stephen
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:27 AM   #25
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Coyote,

You missed my point I think. The examples I took were "text book" examples of collissions. One does not have to go far back at all to find instances of collissions at sea. Indeed, the collission I mentioned with the KURAMA took place only earlier this year.

The last colission I know of happened just last month. Lloyds reported,

Another fairly recent incident happened in Santos, July 23 where, again according to Lloyds, the combined chemical and oil tanker Baltic Champion (23240 gt, built 2003), inbound to Santos for cargo operations, and bulk carrier Amazing Grace (25967 gt, built 1998), outbound from Santos for India with 43,000 tonnes of sugar in bulk, collided at Santos outer roads at around 1400, local time, yesterday. Both vessels sustained hull damage. There were no injuries and no cargo leakage. The incident did not affect the transit of vessels through the Santos Canal. Both vessels anchored at Santos outer roads for the necessary inspections and investigation."

Collissions happen all too frequently but fortunately they are however not as common as groundings. The assumption that yachts are more difficult than, as mentioned in the previous post, a container vessel to see on RADAR is absolutely correct. RADAR works by targets reflecting radio waves to the transmitting vessel. We see thing is much the same way. Light is reflected from objects into our eyes. Is it easier to spot a container ship with colourful boxes, each the size of a small yacht, piled five-high on deck or to see that little white boat amongst the white wavetops?

I am surprised at member twomt who stated

I would claim that AIS is anything but a stupid system nor do I understand the reference to "calling". If stupid occurs anywhere in the formula for collissions it is generally on the part of the bridge watch - or lack of it. AIS is, like the other systems at the disposal of the navigator, only and aid.

To reiterate (and give some new) the good advice:

1. Do not paint your vessel white. Instead choose a more highly visible colour. Also, have a high visibility stripe in your sails.

2. Have a good sized RADAR reflector or better, an active reflector. Yet better is to have both!

3. A RADAR reflector should have a minimum reflection equivilent of 4 sq. m. Note, this is a MINIMUM.

4. Assume that you have not been observed by vessels arround you if they have not taken early, positive action to keep out of your way, assuming that you are the "stand on" vessel after having established that risk for collission exists.

5. At night or in poor visibility, show correct, type-approved navigation lights

Aye // Stephen
How about; staying out of the shipping lanes and having a capable watch, a person at the helm is NOT considerred

to be a person on a watch.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:06 PM   #26
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... and having a capable watch, a person at the helm is NOT considerred to be a person on a watch.
... I am sure glad that all authorities, associations and insurance companies involved in sailing and pleasure boating are not of the same opinion.

Just imagining me at the helm as my mate is taking a nap below, the coast guard comes by and does not find the person on watch!

Except on charter boats or mega yachts there is in most cases only a crew of two. This is normal and this is accepted. The man at the helm (or at the remote control of the self steering system) is the watch, sitting outside or in the deck house, observing the ship, its systems and the weather and traffic outside.

But who in the round can give some more detailed information of how the watchkeeping is done on big ships?

I have this picture: one person sitting on the helmsman seat, feet up on the desk, auto pilot engaged, looking around once in a while, sharpening his senses when the VHF or the radar alarm or the AIS sounds.

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Old 11-20-2009, 03:47 PM   #27
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Uwe,

On a well run merchant ship you will have an officer on watch together with a seaman lookout and another seaman ready to take over from the autopilot but probably carrying out other suties when hand steering is not required. During the hours of daylight the seaman who is not lookout can do other things in the proximity of the bridge, such as painting. So, a minimum of 4 eyes at all times.

On European ships there is frequently another pair of eyes, i.e. the cadet om watch. In areas of dense trafic, the master will probably also be on the bridge or, at least, very close to it.

On warships, depending on the size of the vessel, you will typically have about 15 persons on the bridge.

But then there are the cost-cutting, convenience flagged, rogues with possibly not a sole on the brifge when far out to sea. It is all a question of priorities. Whislt the man on the street may severely criticise FOC (flag of convenience) vessels he is often the one who promotes them by not being willing to pay the extra euro or dollar for goods to be transported on well runs ships crewed by sufficient numbers of well trained seamen. We are biting our own tails here!

Aye // Stephen
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