How are you using AIS?


You can still monitor the radar, call approaching vessels on VHF, sound the danger signal, etc. Even if you can’t actively about the collision you can take measures to prevent it.


If they aren’t in sight then those rules aren’t in effect.

If they are in sight then none of what you cited should be a valid argument.


Flare up lights, flares, possible start the bow thruster and swing the bow out the way, drop the anchor in shallow water and the stern will swing, at least change the aspect, start the engine in spite of not 100% useable.

The other thing is isn’t being in a “risk of collision” situation with a ship DIW a vioilation of Rule 2?


Definition of NUC.
Rule 3. The term “vessel not under command” means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.


Yes, in some cases at least.

From Farwell’s:

The same line of reasoning that presumes it bad seamanship to hit a vessel that is moored or at anchor applies when a collision occurs between a vessel with way upon her and one that is lying dead in the water.

There are a some cases cited, this was is a ship stopped in the Delaware River:

The obligation on the part of free vessels to avoid risk of collision with those incumbered, or at rest, is imperative…

Another case, a ship stopped waiting for a pilot:

In was in any event the duty of Sestriere, as a matter of good seamanship in the special circumstances of the case… to take timely action to keep clear of the Alonso who arrived on the scene first…


People forget to check the gyro feed into the AIS… Hell people forget to look at manuals before getting underway… I told me cadets to spent a few days reading manuals then ask questions before approaching any piece of equipment… Then ask the mates about any things that bit them in the ass as new mates… learn from mistakes not repeat them


Yes to this. “Read the fucking manuals” should be as much of a broken record saying as “look out the fucking windows.”


There’s the problem; a lot of the newbies are so focused on all the electronic crap (digital thumbs but can barely tie their own shoe laces) that they forget the most important, the infallible , the original anti-collision device that pre-dates the Pyramids: good folks, I would like to introduce you to the ‘Mark 1 Eyeball’.


I’ve trained a few new third mates, the issue is that new mates do not have enough confidence in situational awareness built on visual alone. They have to be taught/shown.

I’ve had some success in telling the mates they can use radar/ais (appropriately of course) to deterime a course change but that the only place where they can give helm commands is at the centerline window next to the gryo repeater. I tell them the last thing they must do is find the new course on the gyro repeater then look to see where that is visually.

In some cases new mates shift quickly from 100% electronic to visual with electronic verification.


In the ‘good old days’ (swing the lantern a bit here) I remember only having one radar and we were forbidden from using it during the daylight hours; everything was done by taking ‘a series of compass bearings’.
Prior to ARPA vectors were either plotted directly on to the PPI (not an insurance policy but a Plan Position Indicator) with a chinagraph pencil or transferred on to a paper plotting sheet.
You could only effectively plot up to 3 ships at a time; any more and error would be introduced due to the time that it took to take and process more than 3 separate nuggets of information.


And never, ever turn the radar off even in port, keep it on stand by. Turning it on and off burns out the tubes.


On my first ship as 2nd Officer the Master had got into his head that the radar would “blow up” after 300 hrs. of use. He insisted on records being kept of when the radar was switched on and off and only allowed it to be used in REALLY bad visibility.

Why?? Because two years earlier the CRT had been replaced and the new one came with a 300 hr. guarantee.

On one of my earliest 12-4 watches I thought it would be safe to switch it on to take a bearing, but I found out that the AC/DC transformer was next to his bedroom. He pretty quickly appeared in the wheelhouse and enquire about the visibility. I got a scolding.

I learnt to leave the radar on standby and only turn it on briefly when need, then quickly turn it back to standby.
I just had to leave the daylight hood on, since he would NEVER actually look into the radar himself,


We had a tube go and the Old Man wanted to know if we could use one out of the ships (only) TV to fix it.


You say that like there aren’t still Captains that believe that to be the case with the modern radars… only it’s “It’ll burn out the magnatron” now.

(Though I admit, out of years of habit built from sailing with guys like that, I cuss every time we’re doing a fast turnaround and someone turns them off… too many memories etched in my head of “how long it takes for them to warm up” before my brain clicks that they aren’t the ancient relics I started out on.)


So, how long DID it take for those old relics to “warm up”?


The old relics of radars I worked with were from about the mid to late 70s, the old relics I worked for who wanted them on the stand-by were WWII era. The circa 1976 radars I worked with didn’t have vacuum tubes, and if I remember right, they only took a minute or two to warm up. But since the WWII era Captain wanted them always in stand-by, I didn’t get much experience cold starting them, so I might be off on that.


As I recall, most radars would time out and be ready to operate with in three minutes. Not much different than now. I remember the old high persistence crt screens that showed nice trails.


Most modern RADARs are on all the time and improperly tuned, so yeah.


Notwithstanding any other points of comparison, a properly operating and tuned CRT radar often had sharpness and resolution that would be eye-popping compared to most of what I see today or have seen since, well, the demise of the CRT radars.

On smooth water they could be tuned so finely as to pick up individual seagulls on the surface at 1/4-mile and sometimes even 1/2-mile range.

But I digress. It takes good policy-making and real discipline to not misuse your electronic nav-aids, whether AIS, ECS, ECDIS or whatever. That technically falls primarily to the master but shoreside management should also be both knowledgeable and deeply involved in it since many masters don’t know any better themselves. I’m referring mostly to the limited-tonnage crowd, including myself, though I’m sure that there are masters in the “Master Mariner” club that don’t really have it fully together by a long shot.

From my seat in the peanut gallery what I see is that there is an awful lot just left to chance. That’s poor policy and practice.


Exactly… I lost my sea project book long ago so I can’t tell you what type they were, but on the Mormacstar, they were old enough to have the daylight hoods. As for how long they actually took to warm up, I couldn’t tell you because I, “the shit for brains cadet,” was immediately sent to help clean the bilges the one time I turned one off and never saw how long it took to bring it back up. That experience forever etched in my brain and I still fight it after the asschewing I got.