News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int
Sail-World.com : Use the Magic of S.T.O.P. for Safer Sailing Navigation
Use the Magic of S.T.O.P. for Safer Sailing Navigation


'Lighted-buoy - easy to confuse with a light structure sometimes'    .

I was snookered one night when I confused a lighted buoy for a light structure. Both aids showed similar light characteristics and were within 100 yards of each other. As we proceeded south, we kept the flashing light ahead just off the starboard bow. Suddenly, our spotlight picked up the reflective tape of the light, 50 yards off the port bow!

We made a sharp left turn at the last moment to leave the light structure to starboard. We were high up on a flying bridge that night, looking down into the water, and the light structure got lost in the shore lights.

From this incident was born the concept of S.T.O.P. It's easy to use and works most anywhere. We used the technique described below to train students at the Chapman School of Seamanship in nighttime operations inside narrow, tricky channels with multiple turns and lighted and unlighted buoys and beacons.

At first, they were a bit apprehensive. Just the concept of being underway at night was as foreign as a new language to many of our students. But in just a short time, they saw how fast and easy S.T.O.P. could clear up confusion, provide rapid orientation, and boost their confidence to navigate at nighttime.

Follow these easy steps to success:

S -- Slow or Stop:

After you arrive at a prominent aid to navigation such as a light structure or lighted buoy, slow to a crawl or stop or anchor. Use this first step for safety before you go any further. That way, you will not risk sailing outside of the channel limits or running aground on a shoal.

T -- Take a Bearing:

Use your nautical chart for this step. You should already have plotted your magnetic course to the next light structure or lighted buoy. Use a handbearing compass to locate and confirm the next marker. Stand on the centerline of the boat and align your body so that you are in line with the bow. Hold the handbearing compass to your eye. Turn your entire body until the bearing matches your next plotted magnetic course.

For example, let's say your next plotted course will be 175°Magnetic. If you use a handbearing compass, hold the compass to your eye. Concentrate on the bearing--not any object ahead. Turn your body until the magnified handbearing compass bearing reads 175°Magnetic. Stay in position; lower the handbearing compass from your eye. Look straight ahead and you should sight your desired light or lighted buoy. Shoot a quick second bearing to the marker to confirm.

Turn the boat to that bearing and head for the marker. Note: Confirm the light characteristic with timing (see Sailing Tips box below). If you have a spotlight, check the color and name (numbers, letters, or number-letter combination) as you approach the marker.

O -- Orient to the Big Picture:

Familiarize yourself with the visual picture before you move on. Scan to the right, left and ahead of your boat. Time and confirm the next light that lies ahead (see Sailing Tips box below). Turn off the spot light (if being used). That way, you will retain your night vision.

P -- Proceed When Ready:

Know what lies one or two steps ahead. Navigators call this 'keeping ahead of the boat'. As you proceed, verify the color, name, and shape of each unlighted beacon or buoy that you pass. When you pass one pair of markers, already be familiar with the characteristics of the next pair coming up.

Use this same technique with course changes. Keep at least one step ahead of the boat with the next course ahead. Will you turn left , right, or continue straight at the next lighted marker? If you lost an engine and had to clear out of the channel, would deeper water lie to the left or right of the dredged channel? Stop if in doubt and go through the four steps of S.T.O.P. again.

With this well proven technique, you can experience the magic of nighttime sailing in confidence and safety--wherever in the world you choose to cruise.

John Jamieson (Captain John) with 25+ years of experience shows you the no-nonsense cruising skills you need for safer sailing worldwide. Visit his website at www.skippertips.com and sign up for a free weekly sailing tip-of-the-week. Discover how you can gain instant access to hundreds of sailing articles, newsletters, videos, Free e-Books and more!


by John Jamieson

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=103966

8:59 AM Sun 10 Mar 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Practical

Related News Stories:

09 Mar 2013  Product of the Week: Shipstik - solving your berthing problems
08 Mar 2013  After Hurricane Sandy: How to get around the 'new' waterways
06 Mar 2013  Stop shouting and get headsets - that work!
24 Feb 2013  Product of the Week: Removable sailing pouches
24 Feb 2013  Product of the Week: Removable sailing pouches
22 Feb 2013  Checking your rigging
19 Feb 2013  Cruising Association's mobile App, going gangbusters
18 Feb 2013  West Marine's 'Green Products of 2013' announced - both practical
15 Feb 2013  Autopilots - about to get more 'intelligent'
15 Feb 2013  Autopilots - about to get more 'intelligent'
MORE STORIES ...






Cruising USA































Estimating the diversity of life by Australian Institute of Marine Science,














Will your lifelines pass this sailing test? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida


Aventura's passage to Annapolis by Cornell Sailing,






Earth Wind Map - with typhoons by Sail-World Cruising,














Canadian shipwreck discovery solves 170-year-old mystery
British couple help stranded Syrian refugees to safety
Blue Planet Odyssey yacht completes Northwest Passage transit
World ARC fleet embarks on leg 11, across the Indian Ocean
Pantaenius and Camper & Nicholsons Marinas become strategic partners
How to make a distance scale for faster navigation
New maps of the polar regions reveal unseen world beneath the ice
Naval Commanders talk on-going piracy threat at sea
Erie, Pennsylvania - Small place, big boating
EU Naval Force frigate, ESPS Navarra aids yacht in the Gulf of Aden
Insurance, towing and safety 'provisions' reminder for snowbirds
A guide to steering without a rudder + Video - a must read and watch!!
You scratched my seagrass!
Cocos Keeling Islands - Yet another paradise for the World ARC fleet
Hurricane Odile: Two Brits missing in Mexico after yacht overturns
Sailor texts girlfriend for help after yacht sinks in Bristol Channel
Gas safety: don’t let it go off the boil
Arctic sea ice summer minimum 2014: A scientific perspective
British Virgin Islands, a taste of Caribbean cruising
The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show
Are you ready to enter that marina?   
Cruising the Bay of Quinte and Thousand Islands   
Ten safe and clean refueling tips for boaters   
World ARC fleet moored at Christmas Island   
Blue Planet Odyssey welcomed to Bora Bora   
Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons   
Blue Planet Odyssey - Aventura makes landfall in the US   
World ARC fleet bids farewell to Bali   
Antarctic Team discovers mechanism for massive ice shelf collapse   
Baltic 4 Nations - Next edition sets sail July 2015   
BoatUS offers 'Boater's Guide To Winterizing'   
Yachts prepare for second Atlantic Odyssey, departing this November   
Thai drama with Phuket yacht clampdown   
Sailing Rallies launch two new events at PSP Southampton Boat Show   
World ARC crews in Bali   
Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up?   
Images of marine sunsets by Tripadvisor   
Citizen science model proposed to fill fundamental ocean data gap   
Ocean Cruising Club celebrates 60th Anniversary with record gatherings   
The Boat Cookbook   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT