Even though I work on a big boat, on my time off I frequently sail a little boat. Madness according to some of my colleagues.
Regardless of which I am on presume the watch keeping on the other is a incompetent or drunken fool until action proves otherwise and I am pleasantly surprised.
I have my limits, if no action is seen, I take the action required.,
As for ARPA. Even a relatively small sailing vessel with a simple radar reflector can be picked up well enough in most circumstances for an ARPA to effectively track the vessel. If the radar is appropriately set for the prevailing conditions. Basic watch keeping.
Heavy rain and rough seas will certainly make detection and tracking of small vessels more difficult. Even so particularly S band Radar is very good at picking up small vessels.
Odds a good you are being tracked in most circumstances.
But remember my first presumption should still apply. It’s better to be pleasantly surprised.
I always carry a HBC on my sail boat JIK I have the sudden urge to take a bearing as per the col regs. I don’t have AIS, I just eye ball it most of the time. Even though my little boat is bouncing about and going in approximately a straight line at a steadyish speed.
I can tell if a vessel is steady by watching the back ground. If there is any, or by comparing its relative bearing just visually. Compared to fittings on boat or just the horizon from my position. Not quite kosher but it works. Well enough for hand grenades or horse shoes.
If it looks like it’s getting bigger quickly, in roughly the same point or O’clock, it’s coming close.
If they take action it should be apparent.
If not and it keeps getting bigger and you become concerned.
Take your own action.
It’s been a long long time since I crossed the channel or transited up and down.
Self preservation, don’t impede, if the big boat is give way and you are stand on. If in doubt Don’t turn to words it, turn away, put him behind you. After he is past go back to your course.
If you are sailing they are mostly give way and you are mostly stand on.
Remember don’t impede. It’s better to take action early and avoid getting into a close quarters situation in the first place.
Much less stressful.
I have read else where about ships being spotted on AIS making small alterations many miles away to avoid small vessels. Maybe some do.
I don’t. any newbie who does will get my boot six lace holes deep.
If I alter for you, I will make it obvious. I will show you my other side light.
When in a busy traffic lane, I often made small alterations to jockey for position with other ships. Not for the small vessels.
Most I would leave until closer then make a more obviously seen alteration. I could do this because I intentionally kept my distance from other big vessels.
What they do in the Chanel today I can’t say. I don’t work there and haven’t for many many years.
Today my tolerances may be very different to some others. I may tolerate much less CPA than some other vessels. Depending upon the circumstances.
In some circumstances I pass other ships with a CPA on 1 cable. (Narrow Channel)
Open water out of the question even with a small vessel.
My vessel is very highly maneuverable. What I may tolerate other less manoeuvrable vessels may not.
I encourage use of the throttle. It’s use routinely expected.
Many deep sea ships the throttle is a big deal.