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The AIS B worm turns again

Old 10-05-2008, 08:28 AM
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Default The AIS B worm turns again

from Panbo.com
"The really new, and surprising, info about Class B is illustrated in the slide below. The USCG has decided that B transponders should not transmit boat names, as in many cases they are not official or data-based. Instead of a name, that field will be filled with “US#” and the boat’s state registration or federal documentation number. This idea wasn’t discussed much in the meeting, but later on a number of people were grumbling about it. A lot of AIS users really appreciate the ability to hail other vessels by name, or just see who else it out there. I can see how the scheme is more orderly, and will distinguish Class A and B transponders well. But will it reduce the usefulness of AIS, or will we adapt to it? What do you think?"

What this means in a nutshell is that people will call you by your registration number, not by the name of your boat. Are you going to hear them?
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Old 10-05-2008, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

I have read a couple of reports into ship v boat collisions here in Australia. One of the recommendations in the report is the installation of AIS, not only for tracking and collision avoidance, but also enabling vessels to call other vessels by their name/callsign on VHF to clearly confirm their proximity to one and other and their avoidance intentions.

The other recommendations were fitting radar and a radar reflector, either passive or active (transponder). In both reports the smaller vessels were not fitted with either radar or a reflector. One was a commercial fishing boat and the other was a sail boat.

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Old 10-05-2008, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

Personal opinion, is that registration or documentation number identification or hailing is a bad idea. I run a lot on the ICW and call vessels by their name (hopefully it is readable--if not it becomes "East bound Tug and tow at mile marker 175...." Calling " 223 334 789 " is much less effective for not only the boat you are hailing, but for any other boats who may have traffic concern in the area.

What are vessel traffic schemes going to do? Currently if you are a small boat, you check in and Identify by boat name and description--not by CG doc number. I own 5 boats with state registration and cannot tell you what one of those numbers is. I own one documented vessel, and again I don't know off the top of my head what my Doc number is.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

The British AIB report of the collision of a Ferry with the sailing vessel Ouzo included very objective tests of radar reflectors. Conclusion: they are worthless. AIS is at present, the best solution, and AIS B is within the reach of recreational boats. The Coast Guard's decision to not use the vessel's name is A. Stupid and Dangerous or B. ill-advised depending on the pay grade of the person you're talking to. My real name is Jean. Nobody calls me that. My driver's License is D123-456-789. I wouldn't hear that either. I answer to "Sandy" from across a crowded room, or over a PA system. If my life is in danger, PLEASE call me Sandy. Who should we call about this?
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

Ben at Panbo.com says the Coast Guard is now "Not set on using numbers for named boats."
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:54 PM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

sandyda - 10/7/2008 1:26 AM

The British AIB report of the collision of a Ferry with the sailing vessel Ouzo included very objective tests of radar reflectors. Conclusion: they are worthless.
I have one in my garage which I have never used. I will leave it there now.

Thanks.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

Try saying "Foxtrot Lima four ninner, ninner, three, Foxtrot November"--fast--the FL number on my Tom Cat.....

I would not give up on Radar reflectors. They are far better than nothing on a small boat, which has very little reflecting area. We picked up a research vessel at 15 miles when crossing the Atlantic. My boat was 62 foot glass, motor sailor with wooden masts, and not much metal above the waterline--some wire shrouds and stays; I asked the skipper of the Research vessel to let me know when he spotted my boat--equipt with a high end reflector about 55 feet above the water. He spotted it at 12 nautical miles, but said he would have missed it without knowing my position. At 10 miles he had a consistant echo.

Another time, we were on a passage from Norfolk VA and were about off Cape Cod. I saw dozens of echos on my radar, but only one set of running lights. I went on the VHF and asked what was happening. It turned out that the lobster fisherman had 4" x 4" rain catch radar reflectors on each of his lobster pot bouys--and I was picking these up at several miles distance. There have plenty of studies which show the effectiveness of the various reflectors. The simple Davis give consistantly good results, for a low price. I carry these on the boats I currently own.
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

Yes, there were tests that said reflectors worked, but... [from wikipedia]
There is an Historical parallel to this discussion. In 1890, Lakota Indian Ghost Dancers wore Ghost Shirts, specially-consecrated garments which they believed rendered them impervious to harm from rifle bullets when in battle against the whites. In later tests (December 29, 1890) it was determined that these findings were in error. See The Wounded Knee Massacre.
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Old 10-07-2008, 05:39 PM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

Airplanes communicate every day using their FAA registration number, not the name of the airplane. "Gulfstrean November 5669 Alpha, Los Angeles approach; descend and maintain flight level 250." It is not a problem.

If a pilot, be it a boat pilot or an airplane pilot, can't remember the vessel he is driving/flying, then maybe he is not qualified to be captain in command.
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Old 10-07-2008, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

May be they are not qualified to be a CAPTAIN..... N 5669 A is not a Gulfstream, not even close... it's a 1956 cessna 172 registered in Utah.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

jethro1 - 10/8/2008 10:39 AM

Airplanes communicate every day using their FAA registration number, not the name of the airplane. "Gulfstrean November 5669 Alpha, Los Angeles approach; descend and maintain flight level 250." It is not a problem.

If a pilot, be it a boat pilot or an airplane pilot, can't remember the vessel he is driving/flying, then maybe he is not qualified to be captain in command.
It's not so much about remembering your own callsign, it's more about remembering the callsigns of other vessels on an unsteady wet environment. Pilots can easily have a notepad and pen ready, having this on a center console boat is not so easy.
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:56 AM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

Airplanes have numbers, boats have names. Airplane drivers use N numbers or call signs or flight numbers, boat drivers use names if they have one. FAA records use N numbers. The Coast Guard Document database lists names. The FCC ship's radio license lists names. FAA regulations specify how to call and answer using numbers. Marine rules of the road specify calling and answering by ships name. When you're flying, you expect to be called by a number. That's how you were taught. On a boat you expect to be called by the vessel's name. That's how its done.
So, for anyone who is still unclear about the distinction, here's the gouge. if the wheel can be pulled or pushed without breaking anything, you're in an airplane. People on the radio will call you by number. If the engine quits and your altitude remains about the same for a long time, you're in a boat, with a name, or in an airplane, on the ground. Step out and check.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

Capthorace - 10/7/2008 6:19 PM

May be they are not qualified to be a CAPTAIN..... N 5669 A is not a Gulfstream, not even close... it's a 1956 cessna 172 registered in Utah.
I just made up an N number. I should have checked the FAA database before I used this as an example.

If you're wrong someone on the internet is going to point it out!
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: The AIS B worm turns again

For those that may not know, any aircraft with a registration starting with N is registered in the USA. In Australia they start with VH. Each country has its own prefix.

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