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NZ shipping lanes/radar reflector/ais


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Thanks for that warning IT. I didn't realize that kind of delay. Mind you, I just stayed well out the way of a Vessels course and it was more about knowing what was where and if a vessel was leaving a Port or heading to a Port for me. But good to know not to rely on it for close up use. Mind you, after using this on the Laptop, I now want to get a dedicated AIS unit. It's brilliant.

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Yes in the Harbour limits, how far do they extend out in Auckland? Wouldn't want to test it either way.

 

Reminds me of a poem.

 

Here lies the body of Michael O'Day.
He died defending his right of way.
He was right, dead right, as he sailed along
But just as dead as if he'd been wrong.

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If you mean the watchkeepers on the ship Knotty they probably wouldn't, AIS is however far more user friendly, ours will trigger an alarm before we even see the issue, especially all the ferries ripping around Auckland.

For a small boat it is a lot cheaper and less cumbersome than radar and when interfaced with a chart plotter you wonder why you didn't get one sooner. With the touch of a finger you can see the speed and direction of the vessel in question, how close it will get and the time of the nearest approach.

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Why would your eyes see a AIS display but not a radar display?

 

radar returns are still ghostly things

 

sometimes they show a return on a gannet setting on the water

 

other times they are blind to channel markers 

 

at least with AIS you get an indication of what is giving the return, ie mmsi, name of vessel or object, speed etc

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If you mean the watchkeepers on the ship Knotty they probably wouldn't, AIS is however far more user friendly, ours will trigger an alarm before we even see the issue, especially all the ferries ripping around Auckland.

For a small boat it is a lot cheaper and less cumbersome than radar and when interfaced with a chart plotter you wonder why you didn't get one sooner. With the touch of a finger you can see the speed and direction of the vessel in question, how close it will get and the time of the nearest approach.

While I do agree with that Willow, a good modern radar with Marpa will do that as well, even if the target boat has no electronics at all. :-) However, it does rely on the skill of the operator to set it correctly. Ais is much easier

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As an indication of the power of ais we were anchored in the waiheke channel on Saturday and I was picking up a ship 52nm away heading south off great barrier, and hat was over the top of hills.

 

Offshore we set our ais alarm to 1nm cpa, so that's a vessel that will pass 1nm or less from us but often it can be 40+ nm away at the time. This plus a visual check every page turn on your book gives a high level of comfort

 

As for radar yes the new gear is great, we use it for spotting thunderstorms ( as the wind usually doubles near them ) and also for entering channels or anchorages at night they are purfect but they have a much higher user error rate

 

I can sleep in my bunk with pretty much any muppet in the cockpit knowing that the alarm will wake me up even if it wakes them up too

 

 

CPA = Cloeset Point of Approach

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People need AIS alarms in Auckland harbour to see the most lite up and visible boats on it????

 

Holy crap that is just so wrong....... so so wrong.

 

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Thanks Eric. Just ordered a VHF/AIS through the link you put up.

 

Thanks also for your advice over the phone Matt. I will get this radio and go from there. If it's not making sense a visit to GH may be in order.

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I am travelling down the east coast of the south island atm we see about 3 ships per night as soon as i figure out which way they are heading i turn 90 degrees to them and give them heaps of room i dont trust ais as only some boats have tnem and some trawlers turn theirs off so their competitiors cant get tneir spots you cant beat having a sharp lookout not reading or playing on their phones.all big ships have two white lights front one low rear one high you can tell their course off these they also usually take a direct route from a to b so if you plot that line and stay 5 miles away from it you will see less ships

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People need AIS alarms in Auckland harbour to see the most lite up and visible boats on it????

 

Holy crap that is just so wrong....... so so wrong.

 

Sounds like your getting wound up there fella, no one needs any of these navigational aids but they sure as hell make things easier and safer.

 

Think very little sleep for days on end coming into the city hard to make out much of anything on a dark night, even when clear things get lost in the background lights. Busy concentrating on the ship in front of you and you may not notice the fast ferry coming up behind until the alarm goes off.

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I am travelling down the east coast of the south island atm we see about 3 ships per night as soon as i figure out which way they are heading i turn 90 degrees to them and give them heaps of room i dont trust ais as only some boats have tnem and some trawlers turn theirs off so their competitiors cant get tneir spots you cant beat having a sharp lookout not reading or playing on their phones.all big ships have two white lights front one low rear one high you can tell their course off these they also usually take a direct route from a to b so if you plot that line and stay 5 miles away from it you will see less ships

 

The key to safe navigation is to NEVER trust one source of info. If the lights look right and the AIS agrees, all good. If there is no AIS, take a compass bearing, and watch it over a few minutes - if the same, or similar, or to rough to be sure, possible collision!

There is no need to turn 90 deg away from them, and you should never turn to port - turn to port, see you in court! A turn to port can also CAUSE a collision if the ship is turning to stb (as he should) to avoid a potential collision. If a course alteration is required, turn to starboard. A ship has to give way to a sailing vessel in open water, regardless of it's size, if in doubt, verify situation via VHF, AIS, Lights, compass bearing, radar, whatever. If none of that is available, and you are in doubt, Turn to Starboard!

A ship in open water is unlikely to come within a mile of you, and may begin it's turn while it's still over your horizon. If it knows you are there - and they usually do, especially if your have an AIS Transponder.

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Sounds like your getting wound up there fella, no one needs any of these navigational aids but they sure as hell make things easier and safer.

 

Think very little sleep for days on end coming into the city hard to make out much of anything on a dark night, even when clear things get lost in the background lights. Busy concentrating on the ship in front of you and you may not notice the fast ferry coming up behind until the alarm goes off.

 

The ferries have far more reason to worry about you than you have about them. They have very good radar that allows them to see ALL things like the 3 dudes in the 9ft tinny fishing just off 19 buoy for example, that's something AIS can't.

 

Just hope you don't mow those 3 guys down while your busy looking inside your cockpit at the boats behind you.

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“and you should never turn to port - turn to port, see you in court!

 

This advice has not been considered – you are giveway vessel – other vessel is on your stbd side

The rule says for a standon vessel:

 
if it is a power-driven vessel in a crossing situation, if the circumstances of the case allow, it must not alter course to port for a vessel on its own port side.

 

 
 
For the original poster
My understanding is that there are no designated shipping lanes around NZ. Is that correct?

Correct

 

If not are there any unofficial shipping lanes they tend to follow?

There is a voluntary code for vessel carrying oil / hazardous cargoes to keep 5nm off till required to alter to make port.

 

How likely is it to bump into one night sailing up the east coast? (Upper NI)

The last run I did from Akl to Tauranga  - saw about 10 ships. on the coast.

 

I've read that radar reflectors aren't that effective as the ships watch often doesn't pay much attention. Fair call?

A radar reflector will no hurt and it may well help.

 re Fair call - same as saying all yachties are WAFIs that do not know the rules.

 

In the Gulf of Thailand the company I used to work for had 10-20 ships working there - not one had a collision in the years I was there - on the 6nm range you could have from 0 - 300+ targets. Most of the officers were Filipino, Thai, Indo, Burmese with the odd whiteman every so often.

 

Ais may be an option as I am thinking about getting a small laptop for charts so a receiver may not be too much outlay to add on but seems a bit overkill for what I am doing. Any thoughts?

A good set of binos, good nav lights, spare glasses if required.

An AIS receiver can be great but will not help you if you nod off. Remember AIS is not compulsory for all vessels - ships will have it but most local small craft do not yet have AIS units (either class A or B).

 

 

My advice:

- keep a good lookout

- always consider that the other guy might be a nutter, asleep, half blind...

- be conservative - take early action - if in doubt chicken out

- do not assume the other vessel will see you.

- most good size ships running coastwise will be in 30m+ water - some vessels suffer from harmonic vibrations at service speed in water shallower than 2 or 3 times the draft - can spill your coffee if not careful...

- if planning a coastwise passage check the shipping movements on the port company websites in the port you are between.

 

 

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The ferries have far more reason to worry about you than you have about them. They have very good radar that allows them to see ALL things like the 3 dudes in the 9ft tinny fishing just off 19 buoy for example, that's something AIS can't.

 

Just hope you don't mow those 3 guys down while your busy looking inside your cockpit at the boats behind you.

Well in the 40 years I have been steering a yacht can't say I have ever mown down any fishermen but never say never.:)

 

Spend enough time in the ocean and you get to appreciate the technological advances that improve things out of sight.some people still swear that GPS is not good and we should spend our time taking sun shots and plotting charts. My argument is that if Captain Cook had gps he would have definitely used it. In his day and accurate clock was white man's magic.

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