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    Re: Fatal interaction betweeu yacht and ferry.
    From: Bill B
    Date: 2007 May 08, 17:34 -0400

    > From: Chuck Taylor 
    > Some very fine theoretical considerations about radar reflectors have been
    > raised here, but I take a more practical approach:  When motoring in company
    > with a friend, I asked him by radio how well he could see me on his radar. I
    > figure that if he can see me well, then so can other vessels.
    Good thinking.  Almost like a radio check.  But I seem to be missing
    something here.
    In later posts we read about "aiming" a shop-built reflector at the vessel.
    The means one can see the vessel.
    As a prudent navigator wouldn't one be taking bearings of the craft to see
    if it was a pass ahead, pass behind, or collision situation?
    I also use my sextant to get a bow to transom angle, estimate the length of
    the ship, and compute a rough distance.
    Then I can get on the radio and raise the ship, give it my bearing
    (recipricol of my bearing to the vessel) and rough distance so they can spot
    me visually even if I am not on their scope.
    Following is a conversation from memory:
    SV C-ROSE: South bound cargo vessel, this is the 35 ft sailing vessel
    Commercial traffic:  Yes?
    SV C-ROSE: You should see us at a bearing of 288 degrees true, distance
    approximately 1.4 statue miles.  Do you see us?
    Commercial traffic:  Yes.
    SV C-ROSE:  We appear to be on a collision course.
    Commercial traffic: It appears so.
    SV C-ROSE: Do you anticipate any change in course or speed?
    Commercial traffic: No.
    SV C-ROSE:  We will alter course and speed to pass astern.
    Commercial traffic: OK.  Thanks.
    For the curious, Great Lakes chart scales are in statute miles (5280 ft. per
    mile).  Hence the need to specify units.  While most every pleasure sailor I
    know works in kt and nautical miles instead of mph and statute miles, I like
    to be clear.
    What concerns me that even a 1 nm distance and on a collision course,
    commercial vessels have never hailed us first, even if they are way outside
    the recommended traffic lanes.  (In the above case he must have been
    watching us long enough to also determine we were on a collision course.)
    They seem to assume we have seen them.  I can testify that I have seen a
    pleasure powercraft skimming across the surface of Lake Michigan on auto
    pilot with no one above deck. A *very* near miss once.
    Commercial sailors indicate that they get very nervous at distances a small
    craft might consider safe.  If so, why the silent treatment?
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