[QUOTE=wafinator;56224]Recently, the Coast Guard had apparently contacted my company and demanded that all their tugs display proper dimensions for only the tug on their AIS. Up until this point, every ATB in the fleet had their AIS set to display the dimensions of the married unit, which the boat is with, only in push mode, for 99% of the time expect for supply and fuel runs. This of course is the size of the unit which is received by all other AIS-fed devices, including the plotter on our own vessel and anyone else’s within range, most significantly, opposing traffic.
This has raised two concerns for us: 1) the AIS data feed on our plotter (we run Coastal Explorer) seems to override the program options input, so that now we have a little tiny icon displayed. Prior, it was useful to have the full unit, especially in close quarters maneuvering, anchoring, etc. Though one obviously wouldn’t rely solely on that data alone (nor that of any single navigational device), it proved helpful in any number of situations. 2) Opposing traffic now sees “just a tug” ahead of them, as opposed to the married unit 5 times its length, twice its draft, and 25 times its GRT. Whether or not this affects decisions by that traffic is yet to be proven (ie., whether a ship that might have moved slightly towards their side of the channel will now barrel down the middle as usual), but I’m sure it does in some respect, and regardless doesn’t realistically relate the vessel ahead of them. Both of these to me are safety concerns.
Now, I’m sure the reasoning behind this stems from regulations about manned/unmanned vessles, tugs, barges, etc. But does it make any sense in the real world?
Interestingly enough I was recently scanning Coast Guard Advisory Notice CGAN-2011-045 regarding the dredging off Bergen Pt in NY/NJ and noticed this: “The barges…will be equipped with AIS and programmed to display the correct equipment size and location to AIS receivers.” While not policy, it contradicts their stance towards us and appropriately errs on the side of safety. Fancy that.
[B]Check here forquick reference guide on programming your vessels parameters. Pay attention to the formula on where the antenna should be installed. If not installed correctly with that formula, you may be read as “on land a few feet” for example, instead of at the dock. So if your system in installed already, Just out of curiosity, use the formula to see if yours is in correct or as close to as possible. Vessels that are in “close quarters maneuvering” can “read” the other being 15 feet off there actual position, because of misplacement of the antenna. So 15 feet “closer/farther” than you thought, can make or break your day.
If you are running light tug, for example, you don’t want anyone in traffic ‘reading’ you as a tug/tow. Although lighting arrangement’s, radio communications etc. should verify. The “type of ship and cargo” is a numeric code ( IMO SOLAS or 46 U.S.C. 2101 ). For example you are a[B]ctually engaged in towing and length of
[/B]the tow exceeds 200 meters (656 ft) or breadth exceeds 25 meters. The up shot is, you are transmitting that you are a tug, but code better reflects your configuration.
As for vessels that different, or not up to date destinations for example, Doug is right. “AIS programming decisions based on prudent seamanship…” you got it, not everyone will participate in taking time to keep [I]everything[/I] up until it is [I]mandated[/I]. After all, if the captain/crew/company care, it reflects.
As far as “[/B]1) the AIS data feed on our plotter… seems to override the program options input, so that now we have a little tiny icon displayed[B]”. Research that with the manufacturer, they can help you, if it’s a new problem to them, they should know about it.[/B]
[U]Capt. Schmitt[/U]“Also realize that most traffic in your area probably knows you are an atb and assumes you are in the notch until proven otherwise. If you are a company like Bouchard or Reinauer everyone knows you are an atb and never leave the notch. Therefore your ais data does not matter to them.”
[B]I do not agree at all, “most” and “probably” are evil adjectives for assumptions, and you should never speak for anyone on which data [I]matters[/I].[/B]