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Running on autopilot, no look-out?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Norseman, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Thx, I guess.
    Never thought of it that way.
    I only flew jumbos at 480 knots, on a good day.
    Not sure how fast you were going in the F-4 fighters? Mach 2.2?
    Hat off to you Sir, nowadays I get dizzy at 10 knots and again, if some some
    lazy or stupid so called Captain left the bridge and tried to sink my boat and kill me and my family on auto pilot, I would get grumpy.
    I would turn away early however, not sure why anybody is arguing about that?
  2. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Aye Mate: The 228,000 ton super tanker I made my bread on only did 13 knots, not quite Ocean Speed.
    Max speed on the 31,500 ton chemical tankers I also worked aboard was about 16 knots, if that.
    No jet lag being a Mercant Mariner in the old days.
    Modern container ships however may run at 30 knots if fuel is cheap.
    Minimum crew these days, perhaps the Look-Out is sleeping and the Mate on watch is busy on Facebook.
    Best to look behind you if crossing oceans on a dark and stormy night..
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Naw, You would be dead.

    Ya need to read court/case history. It will scare you.

    Anchoring in 900 feet (as the original post, Nassau to Chub) was referenced to would be fun also.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  4. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    All that stuff just versifys that the thud you heard, was not a whale. You believe those big ships can stop or turn quickly?
  5. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    You can't hear a thing, it is all nice and quiet back there at the bridge:)
  6. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Arrrrr
    GOOD.
    Ya say ya can't hear no ladies whine from da bridge???
  7. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Norseman, at my time, the German F-4 was capable of doing 2.3 Mach because of their stronger engines but this was depending on the OAT at altitude. Only at -70 degrees Centigrade or colder, you could see anything above Mach 2.0. The fastes I ever personally saw was 2.28. The DME counter was klicking pretty fast, I must say :). The fastes plane, they still let me fly today (the privatly owned CJ2 with less than 12.500 lbs MTOW, because of age) is 0.72. But our new bird comming up will see me doing .92 (with a cup of coffee and in the back). Norseman, we are getting older.

    rcrapps, you are right, the big boys could not stop for you, if they will see you 30 sec prior impact and they most likely would not be able to turn away fast enough. But if the ships operator has set a clear cut SOP about operating the ship and its systems and the crew will adhear to those rules, they will see you early enough in order to avoid you. The problem can be the neccessary maneuvering space for this evasive action. On the open sea, this will not present any problem but in high density traffic zones or in the approach sectors of large harbours, available space to maneuver might become close and this both lateral and as far as available depth below the keel is concerned. In the English Channel, the ARPA may report seeing up to 250 targets at the same time within 40 NM radius. Traffic in all direction from 5 to 40 Kts, fishing boats, ferries and even those stupid light towers refusing to alter course for your mighty box carrier :D.

    But the single handed blow boater in his 30 ft sailboat going for a sleep under auto or wind pilot on the middle of the ocean without active radar (with MARPA alarm set) and active AIS B is really pressing his luck. My father would have said, he deserves to be driven over :rolleyes:.

    Btw. Did you know, the number one reason for Captains on merchant ships under offshore flag here in Europe, for being alcoholic, is lonliness.
    They have nobody to talk to on board. The average seaman on watch only speaks the mandatory command words neccessary to understand and repeat those words for steering and the chief eng only the words for his engine and the rest of the crew NOTHING in english. STCW does not require a minimum command of the english language under those flags. The typical offshore flagged feeder ship with 18 crew may consist of crew from 10 to 12 different nations from all over the world.

    Old joke in Europe: What do you need emergency drills on Middle East or Italian owned ships for. At the first indication of distress, the officers are gone anyhow (greetings from Capt. Schettino, the hero of the italian merchant navy. He is still a free man and attenting parties).

    Capt Ahab.jpg

    Sleep tight tonight, your mercant navy is awake.

    Sorry, got carried away again.
  8. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    I'm assuming there was someone unseen operating the vessel at the lower helm - I believe that may rise to the level of criminal conduct if it weren't manned.
  9. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    This original story is ridiculous... There is no way for the sailboat skipper to know whether someone was standing watch or at the helm since many boats have both upper and lower helm. Y won't see if someone is at the lower helm thru the glass until you're reAlly close.

    There is a lot trwffic between nassau and chub, and even more approaching the NW channel. I pretty do like captain J when approaching other boats, incl sailboats, and I usually wait till I'm sure of th other guys intention to change course and give them a wide berth. Maybe half a mile, and then turn 20 deg so my wake won't affect them. So I guess at a half mile distance someone could think I was going to run then over and chances are they won't see me thru th skylounge glass...

    That said I have also seen or encountered way to many boats, usually sportfish but sometimes MYs, with a Captain who think he is too good to alter course and buzz you close if y don't move... Funny how when that happens I usually spot some debris just ahead that forces me to change course...
  10. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

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    Just this morning on the ferry ride to work I saw a small pocket trawler a couple miles away coming up the river we were crossing, a couple minutes later I glance back up from the book I was reading and he was still on the same bearing. I chuckled thinking about reading this and another thread and how we might be about to finally establish which was the better hull material, steel or fiberglass.:eek:
    Fortunately (for him!) the ferry master was watching him too and he kept slowing and finally reversing while giving the Kahlenbergs a good workout. Idiot passed right across our bow and there was no one on the flybridge or saloon helm! Amazing in a sometimes busy waterway, with turns, someone would set the pilot and leave for that long!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2016
  11. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I am not going to fight a boat or a car for space. They want my space so badly, just take it. Rushing for the parking space, fine. Fight over who enters the marina first? Definitely not going to fight with one who has decided he want's the middle half of the ICW.

    I just don't really care that I had the right of way and he took it. As long as no one gets hurt, it's a good day.
  12. Chasm

    Chasm Senior Member

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    Unless such an incidents happens far outside: Report them! And I don't mean in a forum.
    After all - You can't know what is going on. Is it BUI? Is there a medical problem and they need help?

    Handing some actual work out should also help with the amount of "random" inspections. ;)
  13. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    One more typical example of one of those blow boaters on autopilot. Long night on the watch, fresh morning, in heavy need for a decent cup of coffee and then this ugly assembly of rusty steel comes into view. And even has the right of way!! One of those days, you would like to be the skipper of a torpedo boat :).

    an ugly ship.jpg

    Just joking. Would I ever wish to sink a ship? :p
  14. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    You don't need an MTB, those things sink themselves

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  15. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    The Car Carrier tipped over because of falsification of the stability data as the crew were in a hurry. he Tricolor had 3 collisions in a month, the 3rd one sank it.
  16. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Three in a month? Ships with AP and no lookout kept hitting her?
    Man,, that's some bad luck.
  17. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    The tippy one had an Indian Captain who came out looking good as he drove the ship up on a sandbar to prevent it from turning turtle and sinking.

    Stability data falsified? Blame it on Chief Mate. :D
  18. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    3 collisions in a month?
    Wow, turn on Nav-Lights, turn off Autopilot, put somebody on the bridge, whatever it takes.
    Maybe I am an old fart, but I keep trying to avoid collisions at all cost, whatever it takes.
    On a ship like Big Red, which crashed 3 times in a month, there should be 15-20 men (or females, whatever) available at all times to man the bridge wings for look-out, for monitoring radar and AIS, etc.
    Even the cook and the mess girls can be put to good use if the ship is in danger. (Which obviously it was)
    Use all resources.
    And back to the Azimut in the Bahamas and the sailboater who thought the "Rules" will keep him safe and sound.
    Hoping to hear from the Captain. You out there Sir?
  19. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Btw. The number one reason for violation reports by the authorities both in the air and on the water or running aground while under autopilot is the DIRECT TO function. The Autopilot is one of the finest invention in boating and flying, the problem is the operator.

    During my pilot training at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, there was one more training squadron with students from Latin America and some Middle East countries. Very rich guys from the upper class of their countries. After their first SOLO flight, most of those rich boys bought large Winnebagos and Corvettes. And a lot of them chrashed their uge Campers and expensive sportscars within days.

    One Guy took his Winnebago for a weekend tour to Corpus Christi. Half way down the way, he was found in the wreckage of his 40 ft camper all 4 wheels up in the air. Questioned by the sheriff, he complained about the technical reliability of his brand new camper. He said: I switched on the Autopilot and went in the back to get a cold dring out of the fridge but this bloody autopilot failed and the car left the road and turned over.

    As you see, it is always the fault of the autopilot (or was it the operator? :)).
  20. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Aye, true words.
    Nowadays it is autopilots on cars.
    The first Tesla sold in Turkey rear-ended another vehicle as the Tesla driver was cock sure his car was going to stop, autopilot and all. (He was wrong)
    When I was in flight school in the US back in 1978 we sure had a few incidents, drunk Norwegian student pilots with big V-8 powered cars ending up in the ditch and up against trees and many of us in the jail house over night. (Not me of course)
    Luckily we did not kill anybody and none of us got hurt too bad.
    Different lifestyle with big cars and big motorcycles to be had for $1,000 and drive-in liquor stores and understanding cops if ya got stopped for going fast.
    Good old days in Tennessee in 1978.
    (Is this a great country or what?:)

    Back on topic: A Mega Yacht on autopilot hauling tail with nobody on the bridge..
    No excuse really if as reported by the sailboat guy in the Bahamas.
    If the Azimut Captain is reading this, he is probably laying low in the terrain.
    Should be easy to track him down, but not my job, nor is this forum the place to start an investigation, but I sure would like to hear the other side of the story.