Call Waiting - Sail Magazine

Call Waiting

Bob Hayes of Coral Gables, Florida, asks:"I’ve just returned from cruising in the Caribbean, and I can’t say enough about my AIS. It was great to be able to see the ships around us and to use their Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) numbers to hail them on the VHF. But when we got closer to Miami on our way home we began having some close calls with foreign vessels,
Author:
Publish date:
CallPhoto1

Bob Hayes of Coral Gables, Florida, asks:

"I’ve just returned from cruising in the Caribbean, and I can’t say enough about my AIS. It was great to be able to see the ships around us and to use their Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) numbers to hail them on the VHF. But when we got closer to Miami on our way home we began having some close calls with foreign vessels, particularly container ships, because they would not reply to my hails on Channel 16 or 13. Aren’t they required by law to answer a call made to them on Channel 16?"

Gordon West replies:

These ships are required to guard Channel 16, but sometimes there are language problems. There may also be times when the VHF volume control on the bridge is turned down to keep the working area quiet.

To get their attention my first suggestion would be to put the ship’s AIS-derived MMSI number into your DSC (digital selective calling) radio and send them a DSC hail. You should also continue to hail them on Channel 16.

If things get tight and you fear for the safety of your boat and crew but are still unable to raise the vessel in question, select the DSC “all ships” alert feature and push the button. When you do, you will get the attention of every ship within a few miles. Using the name and MMSI number you see on your screen, you can then call the ship you want to talk to on Channel 16.

Even if their VHF volume is turned all the way down, the all-ships DSC call will 1) trigger their non-emergency alarm, 2) shift their VHF to Channel 16, and 3) automatically increase the ship’s speaker volume so the bridge personnel can hear your voice call.

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more