Friday, May 30, 2008

Maritime News

One of three mariners unfairly jailed in Greece after cocaine was found on the banana-carrying freighter Coral Sea "lost contact with reality" after bail was denied for the second time in the seven months since their arrest.

Ships are twice as likely as five years ago to be involved in a serious casualty, announced one classification society. Smaller crews and decreas­ing levels of experience and complex technical cures to those problems are the main causes.

Japanese whaling in the Antarctic was harassed by the Sea Shepherd, whose crew threw stink bombs on the factory ship Nisshin Maru and managed to hide a satellite device on a killer boat. Australia, which had the patrol vessel Oceanic Viking on scene, condemned these actions but warned Japan to take actions to prevent violence.

The container ship Maersk Santana had a machinery failure and ended up aground across the traffic lane at Hamburg. In Qatar, the rolro Grande Napoli grounded in shallow water out­side the Doha pilot station. In Dubai, the freighter Farsi went aground after an anchor chain broke. A coast guard tug also went aground during rescue attempts. While trying to deliver fuel at New Providence in the Bahamas, the Shell tanker Ficus struck a reef and stayed there for some time.

The Russian dry-cargo river-sea freighter Ataman went aground in the Aegean Sea although the weather was fine and the chief mate was the duty officer. While being towed to a repair yard because of a hole in its engine room, the coastal reefer Arlu ran aground near Makhachkala (a Russian port in the republic of Dages tan on the western shore ofthe Caspian Sea). The product tanker Breakthough ran aground at the famed Cocos (Keeling) Islands off Australia.

Three vessels more-or-less simul­taneously collided in Akashi Strait in Japan's Inland Sea. The oil tanker Golden Phoenix and the fishing ves­sel Eisei Maru 5 survived but the small Belize cargo ship Gold Leader sank, taking with it three of its crew of nine.
The beer-carrying Don Wilfredo capsized and sank off the coast of Philippine's Sorsogon province. The coast guard and navy rescued 17 of the crew of 19. However, 76,744 cases of beer were not rescued.
The freighter Rezzak sailed in bad weather from Russia's Novorossisk for Turkey's Bartin, a 24-hour voyage. It never arrived although a life raft, life jackets, and other oddments were found. There were subsequent suspicions of maritime fraud: the same manning agency handled the tug Jupiter 6, which also disappeared during a voy­age in 2005.
Northeast of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians, fire swept the fish processor Pacific Glacier and most of its crew was evacuated while firefighting continued, eventually successfully.

Steering failure on the rolro Otani left her adrift on the Japan Sea and awaiting arrival of the salvage tug Slavyanka. Hurricane-force winds off Denmark caused the rolro Victoria VI to lose five trailers overboard and enough cargo shifted so that the vessel developed a list.
In Felixstowe, high winds caused the mooring lines holding the Chinese container-crane carrier Zhen Hua 23 to snap and the ship slid along the pier. The aftermost of seven cranes knocked over a shore-based container crane and that toppled the next crane. Luckily, a parked car stopped the rolling carnage but the car wasn't good for much any more.


Across the English Channel near Rotterdam, sistership Zhen Hua 10 carrying five towering container cranes ran aground at the Hoek van Holland when it anchored too close to shore in high winds and it took four powerful tugs to pull it free. A Dutch inspector said it was questionable whether the crane-carrier (a semi -submersible con­version of a tanker) had enough power in light of its "wind-sensitive" cranes. In Hamburg, a shore-based container crane knocked antennas and satellite domes off the container ship COSCO Ningbo and across the North Sea Southampton was still cleaning up from the dropping of gantry-crane parts onto a boxship about two months earlier.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Altitude Intercept Method

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

AIS 2.0: The Next Version


Data communications required to implement eNavigation are likely to overwhelm the capacity of the 10-year-old design of AIS. The next version of AIS should not only address this constraint, it should also act as back-up, both for AIS and for VHF voice communications, while reducing ship operators satellite telecommunications costs.

Redundancy
AIS is gradually becoming an inte­gral part of the aids that mariners use to conn a ship, not yet as important as Radar and GPS but probably about on par with VHF. Ships are already required to carry at least two radars, and it now seems likely that they will be required to carry a terrestrial system like eLoran as a backup for GPS.
Do we need a backup for AIS too? To the extent that mariners have started us­ing AIS target information for collision avoidance, the answer is yes. Mariners already rely on AIS for the name and position of a ship when hailing a it via VHF, and I wouldn't be surprised if mariners are also using (T)CPA derived fromAIS data for collision avoidance, because it generally is more accurate and up-to-date than (T)CPA derived from radar.
Voice VHF, too, should have a back­up system. Inadvertent keying on an operational channel blocks all calls, and interference makes VHF calls very hard to understand in some areas.

Capacity
The major reason we need AIS 2.0 is throughput capacity. Using AIS for messaging is still at an early stage but it is clear that it should be the primary method, rather than voice VHF, to convey important safety related in­formation to the mariner, because it is both more efficient and more effec­tive to communicate this information. Examples of information that can be communicated by messaging include traffic advisories, such as the location of other vessels, navigation hazards, hydro and meteorological informa­tion, traffic organization information, including lock order, procession through one-way channels.

Aids to Navigation
There are serious efforts underway to formulate standard AIS safety related messages that will convey this informa­tion and display it for the mariner, in the context of the situation at hand, on an ECDIS or an enhanced Radar screen. Some of these efforts have already been completed, including Aids to Naviga­tion (AtoN) messages and messages that address regional safety issues in places such as the Strait of Malacca or the Great Lakes. The US Coast Guard is currently in the process of formulating regional safety related AIS messages, and we can expect that eNavigation will not only require the transmission of safety related messages but also the transmission to government authorities of ship, voyage, cargo and passenger reports including customs, immigration and cargo clearance reports, port state, agricultural, health and other inspec­tion reports and hazardous materials reports.

All will use the meager 19.2 kbps throughput capacity available with AIS 1.0. In some areas, however, condi­tions are already reaching the point where AIS cell size will be reduced to accommodate just the regular AIS message traffic, ships positions and identifications. The system needs more capacity to fully realize the po­tentially significant benefits of safety messaging and to streamline reporting to government authorities.

The system also needs more through­put capacity to allow relaying of AIS messages from one station via another station. Relaying messages is not pos­sible with AIS 1.0 because doing so would take too much of the throughput capacity, especially in dense ship traf­fic areas.


Alternatives
Additional throughput capacity, unfortunately, doesn't come easily. Operators will need additional Radio Frequency Spectrum as well as additional hardware, both shore-side and on ships.

You might be able to avoid acquiring additional spectrum and installing new hardware if you use satellite communica­tion infrastructure already installed on most ships. Satellite communications, however, have the disadvantage of being expensive, mostly because the cost of building and launching satellites and operating land earth stations needs to be recovered in per-kilobytes toll charges. Also, shipboard satellite equipment is expensive to install and maintain. These costs are serious impediments to using satellite communications for AIS 2.0 purposes. Satellite communication cost was a major stumbling block in the implementation of Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT).

Designating more 25 KHz VHF channels to AIS might be easier, politically, than acquiring spectrum bandwidth in a higher frequency range, but it will not be enough to provide the required increase in throughput capacity and would still require new hardware.

The WiMAX Solution
Beyond using SatComm and ad­ditional VHF channels for AIS, what are your options?

One option that deserves to be con­sidered is the more modern Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Ac­cess (Wi MAX) protocol, which uses a higher frequency. It can achieve a range of about 15 NM (line-of-sight) and can easily achieve throughput of 1.5 megabit per second (mbps) or 80 times more than AIS. In fact, WiMAX was designed to handle up to 75 mbps for Metropolitan Wide Area Networks (MWAN). WiMAX currently requires a base station, but could be adapted to operate between ships if one of them assumes the role of a base station, as we now do with AIS 1.0.
WiMAX uses spectrum bandwidth 3 times more efficiently than AIS. WiMAX's spectrum efficiency in terms ofbits per second per Hertz is between 1 and 1.5. In comparison, theAISprotocol has a spectrum efficiency of only .38 bits per second per Hertz. This means that a throughput of 1.5 mbps could be achieved with WiMAX within about 1.25 MHz of spectrum bandwidth.
Regardless of the need for AIS 2.0, ships that are in port or at anchor near shore are likely to start using WiMAX to substitute for expensive satellite communications.
If WiMAX is also used for AIS 2.0, there already are well-established methods to give priority to safety related messages: "Quality of Service" (QoS) and "Differentiated Services" (Diff Serv). They will ensure that WiMAX general telecommunications traffic doesn't interfere with higher priority safety-related message traffic.
While underway WiMAX's through­put capacity would be used to back-up AIS 1.0, for safety related messaging and forreporting to government authorities. It could even provide backup for VHF voice communications through Voice over IP (VoIP).
In the future, WiMAX will also al­low ships to automatically establish a "Mobile Ad-hoc Network" (MANet). This is a major step beyond relaying of AIS messages from one station to another. It has the effect of increasing the range of Wi MAX well beyond 15 NM in areas where there is dense ship traffic such as the English Channel and the Strait of Malacca. Dense traffic in this context means that many of the ships in the area are within WiMAX range of each other. Coincidentally, AIS safety related messaging to support eNaviga­tion would likely be in high demand in these very same areas.
ITU recently adopted WiMAX as a worldwide standard (ITU-R M.1457) and there already are a number of ven­dors who sell the necessary hardware, so, unlike AIS, we won't have to start from a clean sheet. Instead we will be able to take advantage of the economies of scale inherent in a well-established industry standard.

WiMAX limitations
WiMAX also has its limitations: Unlike AIS, and because of its higher frequency, WiMAX is limited to strictly line-of-sight communications. To compensate WiMAX repeaters will need to be installed to provide coverage around capes and islands that are close to shipping channels.
Also, if we are going to rely on WiMAX's much higher throughput capacity for safety messaging, then what would be its back-up? AIS 1.0 will not be able to handle safety messaging in dense ship traffic areas without signifi­cant AIS cell contractions. Although costly, satellite communications could provide WiMAX backup for safety messaging on ships that already have this equipment on board. Voice VHF would be the backup for WiMAX AIS safety messaging for ships that do not have satellite communications equip­ment on board.

WiMAX Spectrum
WiMAX technology is readily available today. Acquiring spectrum bandwidth for marine safety and for reporting to government authorities will be much harder. Major mobile phone service companies are spending billions to acquire spectrum for their customers. The maritime industry cannot com­pete on that scale. It might be possible, however, to negotiate co-existence on a spectrum band that is currently used by land earth stations for earth-to-space communications because land earth stations typically are more than 15 NM in-shore.
AIS will grow in importance as an aid to navigation, even more so with the addition of safety messaging in the framework of eNavigation. AIS will need more capacity to accommodate such safety messaging and it also needs a redundant system to become a truly reliable aid to navigation. It will not be possible to use AIS for transmission of reports to government authorities without increasing the avail­able throughput capacity.
The advent of WiMAX creates an opportunity to achieve these goals without imposing new car­riage requirements but, instead, use public-private partnerships.
We can expect that ship operators will start to realize that they can sig­nificantly reduce their satellite com­munication cost by using WiMAX when in port or at anchor near shore. This will create business opportunities for port administrations to provide ship operators with WiMAX service by investing in the necessary shore-side infrastructure.
Now is the time to start spectrum negotiations and to formulate minimum WiMAX equipment requirements to ensure that ship operators investments in WiMAX equipment will also increase AIS capacity and, simultaneously, pro­vide a back-up for both AIS and voice VHF.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

How to Determine the GHA and Declination of a Star (Example and Solution)

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Maritime Security

Brazilian Pirates
There have been reports that vessels anchored off the Brazilian port of Santos have suffered three pirate attacks during the first weeks of March.

While details about the vessels and crews have not been released, two of the vessels are Brazilian flagged and the other is a Danish flagged vessel.

Each of the attacks followed the same pattern while the vessels were anchored in the bay. Each attack took place at dawn involved between six and eight pirates in small launches. The pirates were armed and on one occasion held one of the crew hostage to enforce compliance from the rest.

Santos could be heading for one of the worst years for pirate activity with five attacks already this year as compared to 9 in 2007 and 13 in 2006.

100% Scanning
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has implemented part of their overseas scanning program and con­tinues to plan for 100% scanning of all inbound containers by the year 2012.

Under the Secure Freight Initiative, CBP personnel work along side local authorities to screen containers for nuclear and radiological materials at the foreign port, prior to loading on vessels bound for the US.

Full scan­ning is now working at the ports of Port Qasim, Pakistan, Puerto Cortes, Honduras and Southampton in the United Kingdom.

In addition to the above ports, Singapore's Brani Terminal, Busan, Korea's Gamman Terminal, Hong Kong's Modern Terminal and Salalah, Oman's terminal are all scheduled to become operational soon under phase one of the Secure Fright Initiative.

Full scanning of all inbound contain­ers has been a frequent call of legislators dating back to the days just after 9/11. Congress last mandated 100% scanning in the 2006 Safe Ports Act.

In addition to screening at foreign ports, radiation portals have been established in more than 1000 locations in the US and 91 % of all Canadian containers are being scanned.

Over 195 million conveyances (trucks, cars, containers) have been scanned for radiation at ports and border crossings. Over 1.1 million alarms have been resolved since the program began.


TWIC Dashboard
The Department of Homeland Se­curity has established a TWIC "dash­board" to provide current information and statistics on TWIC enrollments, card issuance, and the adjudication
process.

As TSA build toward the pro­grammed 149 enrollment centers and 1.5 million cards, the March 12th data shows 84 enrolment centers open, 226,314 pre-enrollments, 154,043 enrollments, 64,867 cards printed and 33,334 cards activated.

While enrollment shows a positive growth, activating the remaining enroll­ment centers, issuing and activating the projected 1.5 million cards will be a challenge to complete.

On a percentage basis, the latest data show only 56% of the projected enrollment centers open and only 15% of port works have even started the ap­plication process. On a positive note, average enrollment time is 9.6 minutes and has been decreasing since the first centers opened.

Initial disqualification letters have been sent to 2,481 (1 % of applicants) and of those, 10 have received final disqualification letters. 1095 appeals have been filed and 22 waivers have been granted.

Federal officials report a growing compliance with TWIC, retail­ers and shippers in worry that a national shortage of workers will occur if workers either delay or refuse to apply.

The Long Beach Press Telegraph reports that there have been esti­mates predicting as many as 20% of the truckers in the San Pedro Bay area may be forced out of business because of their inability or unwillingness to get a TWIC before years end. The truck driving force, more than 50 percent of whom are immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America, includes a sizable population of undocumented workers according to published reports."

TSA and Coast Guard officials continue to emphasize, "Don't wait, no one will be allowed unescorted entry on a facility or vessel without a TWIC."
The dashboard can be viewed by going to the Coast Guard Homeport website, homeport.uscg.mil. Click on "Port Directory", then select "Corpus Christy", then "TWIC Dashboard" under "Homeland Security".

Saturday, May 24, 2008

How to Determine the GHA and Declination of the Moon (Example and Solution)

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Applying for a Merchant Mariner Document

The first step is to fill out an application (Form CG-719B). Depending on which credential you are applying for (License as a Deck,Engineering, or Radio Officer, Certificate of Registry as a Staff Officer, or Merchant Mariner Document for unlicensed personnel), the following general requirements may also apply:

1. Professional service or experience

2. Age

3. Citizenship

4. Social Security Number

5. Payment of user fees

6. Physical examination (Form CG-719K) for licensed officers or unlicensed Qualified Ratings (Able Seaman (AB), Qualified Member of the Engine Department (QMED), etc.)

7. Physical agility, flexibility, and strength standards for Unqualified (Entry Level) Ratings (Ordinary Seaman (OS), Wiper (WI), or Stewards Department) and Lifeboatman (LBMAN) of vessels greater than 200 Gross Register Tons (Domestic Tonnage) operating beyond the boundary line (These standards are outlined in Navigation and Inspection Circular (NVIC) No. 2-98)

8. Criminal record review

9. National Driver Record (NDR) check

10. Passing a written examination

11. Completion of Coast Guard approved training

When you have determined which credential to apply for and you are ready to submit your application package, send it to one of the 17 national Regional Examination Centers (RECs) for evaluation. The time to process an application varies greatly with the complexity and type of credential applied for, but you will be notified in writing whether you have been approved or if additional information is required. You can contact the REC that is reviewing your application any time after submittal on the status of your evaluation.

The Coast Guard has a web site (http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/ marpers/pers.htm) that has links to information concerning the licensing and documentation of merchant mariners as well as guides to the different credential types. In addition, the address and phone numbers of each REC are also listed in the site. Surf the web site above to get guides for the other credentials or for general merchant mariner license and document information.

How to Apply for STCW 78 Certification

The process to apply for a STCW Endorsement form to meet the provisions of the 1978 STCW convention (STCW-78) is very similar to applying for a U.S. merchant mariner credential. Your first step starts with filling out the application (Form CG-719B). The STCW form is based on the U.S. License, Certificate of Registry (COR), or Merchant Mariner Document (MMD) for which you are applying. If you began service or training before August 1, 1998 and obtain the STCW form before February1, 2002, then you must only meet the requirements of STCW-78, which is the same as the requirements to maintain your U.S. merchant mariner credential, and prove proficiency in Basic Safety Training. Until February 1, 2002, you may serve on a seagoing vessel with a STCW-78 form as long as you also provide proof to your employer of having proficiency in Basic Safety Training that meets the requirements of STCW-95. By that date,you must fully comply with STCW-95 and obtain a STCW-95 form because

the STCW-78 forms become invalid on that date. If you do not already have a STCW-78 form and plan to embark on seagoing service, you may apply for one at any REC and at no cost. For additional information, look up web site at www.uscg.mil/STCW or contact your local REC.

How to Apply for STCW 95 Certification

The process to apply for a STCW Endorsement form to meet the provisions of the 1995 amendments to the STCW Convention (STCW-95) also starts with filling out the application (Form CG-719B). This can be done at the same time as applying for a new U.S. merchant mariner credential or renewing or raising the grade of an existing credential. You must meet all of the general requirements for the U.S. License, COR, or MMD as well as any additional requirements required by the STCW Code.

Depending on what type of U.S. merchant mariner credential for which you are applying or already hold, the following additional STCW training requirements may apply in order to qualify for a STCW-95 form:

1. Basic Safety training

2. Bridge Resource Management training

3. Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA) training

4. Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) training

5. Training and demonstrated proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats

6. Advanced Firefighting training

In general, to prove that you have completed the necessary additional training, you must have completed a training course approved by the Coast Guard or have the training documented in a Training Record Book (TRB) as part of a Coast Guard approved training program. In some cases, there are grandfather provisions in meeting the training requirements if you started your sea service before August 1, 1998. Just like for the STCW-78 form, you may apply for the STCW-95 form at any REC at no

cost. For more information, see web site (www.uscg.mil/STCW) or contact your local REC.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Rules for U.S. Vessels Visiting Foreign Ports and Passing Through the Panama Canal


International conventions and their associated regula­tions establish a uniform international set of standards. Such direction allows vessels to trade from nation to nation on a single set of certificates issued by a vessel's nation of registry that are honored by the other nations in whose ports the vessel will call. As a safeguard, the international conventions do allow the officials of a foreign port to conduct cursory verification exam­inations on board arriving foreign vessels under a port state control (PSC) clause.
Unless the PSC examination uncovers conditions that establish clear grounds to believe the ship does not comply, in some respect, with the international regula­tions, the certificates issued by the ship's country of reg­istry are honored by the port state. This system of international regulations prevents the certain chaos that would come from each individual nation developing and enforcing its own unique regulations for ships in­tended to travel from port to port around the world. This principal of "reciprocity," whereby one nation honors the certificates of another, helps facilitate trade and commerce while maintaining safety, security, and environmental protection.

Complying With Regulations for International Voy­ages
Once upon a time in the not-too-distant past, most U.S. vessel operators that had routes to other nations could generally assume that compliance with U.S. regulations met or exceeded the requirements of the international regulations. By simply asking the local Coast Guard in­spection office (or one of our authorized vessel classifi­cation societies), we would issue international certificates as a complement to our own certificate of inspection, which still doubles as an international safe manning certificate. But with the passage of time, the world community has taken a much more active role in crafting comprehensive and more detailed rules for vessels on international voyages.
In some cases, these international rules have departed from the direction that the U.S. had previously decided to take in a particular area. Also, the process of convert­ing international conventions into new U.S. laws and regulations strains Coast Guard resources to keep up due to the increased volume and frequency of changes at the international level. Extensive analysis and public comment are required as part of the process of convert­ing international regulations into U.S. regulations.
The Coast Guard reached the conclusion that a U.S. reg­ulation already in place achieves the same result as a proposed new international regulation, but the inter­national community had taken a slightly different tech­nical approach. In some of these instances, we elected to file notice with the International Maritime Organi­zation and its member nations of our intention to issue an international convention certificate to U.S. vessels compliant with the equivalent U.S. regulation. In addi­tion, we may choose to reserve our position on inter­national conventions and regulations that conflict with U.S. law or regulation. This process acknowledges that we will honor evidence of compliance with interna­tional regulations when foreign ships call in U.S. ports while also eliminating the Coast Guard's obligation to apply these international regulations on U.S. ships that comply with U.S. laws.

Smaller Vessel Operators Take Note
Most operators of large oceangoing vessels are well aware of the requirements of the international regula­tions that apply to their ships when visiting foreign ports. What is less well known or appreciated is that many small-to-medium-size vessels may be subject to these international rules even if there is no correspon­ding regulation in the United States. This latter situa­tion has become increasingly common as smaller U.S. vessels become subject to international regulations due to differences between U.S. tonnage calculations and the often significantly higher numbers resulting from international tonnage calculations.
Even vessel categories traditionally exempted from do­mestic trade (that only occasionally venture beyond the U.S.) are sometimes surprised and baffled that compli­ance with our U.S. laws and regulations does not trans­late into full compliance with international regulations, and that a vessel that is under the tonnage threshold do­mestically is well above it for the international tonnage.
Some regulations may not even apply internationally depending on the vessel category, such as barges, yachts, and commercial fishing vessels. One unwary operator of a small U.S. fishing vessel found this out when he made port in an Asian nation. The interna­tional regulations regarding having navigational equip­ment and up-to-date charts on board applies to virtually all self-propelled vessels on international voy­ages-regardless of size or category. To avoid being de­tained by foreign port authorities, it is best to work with your local Coast Guard inspection office well before a planned voyage to ensure that you are aware of all the applicable international requirements and that you have ample time to work up to compliance.

Noncompliance Detention
Being detained in a foreign port for noncompliance hurts not only your vessel, but all United States vessels that trade internationally. Virtually every nation now belongs to an organization known as a port state memorandum of understanding (MOU) that collects and distributes in­formation on regulatory infractions by foreign ships on a regional basis. These MOU s tabulate information about habitually noncompliant foreign ships visiting their ports. A negative ranking is assigned if a pattern of below-average levels of compliance emerges for:

1. One particular ship
2. The ships of a particular ship owner, operator, or charterer.
3. The ships flying the flag of a particular country.
4. Ships inspected by a particular classification society.

A negative ranking results in the recommendation of increased inspections in the noncompliant categories for the vessel or vessels in that category. To date, all but a few U.S.-flagged ships have maintained superior records of compliance. Regretfully, a small number of U.S. vessels are detained each year in foreign ports for various reasons. Over half of the vessels detained are small-to-medium-sized vessels that were simply igno­rant of the international requirements and, in many cases, were not required to be inspected by the Coast Guard for domestic operation. They mistakenly be­lieved that this would be the case when they ventured outside of the U.S., as well.
These detentions hurt all U.S. ship operators by affect­ing our overall national record. The total number of U.S. vessels making international voyages is much less than that of that many other nations with large ship registries. Since inspection targeting under the port state control MOUs is based on a percentage calculation of vessels inspected versus vessels detained, it takes only a small number of foreign port state detentions of U.S. vessels to negatively affect the U.S. ratio of com­pliant to noncompliant vessels. The unhappy result is increased U.S. vessel inspections throughout large re­gions of the world, and the resultant delays and costs associated with those increased inspections. As another negative effect, cargo shippers might shun U.S.-flagged ships to avoid delays to the delivery of their cargo. Doing your part to ensure that your ship complies with the international regulations and keeping your ship in good condition will help all U.S. ship operators main­tain a good reputation.

What to Do if You're Detained
The international convention requires that the port state notify the Coast Guard of any U.S. vessel detention, and that we follow up on the vessel to ensure it is in compli­ance. The Coast Guard vigorously investigates all PSC detentions of U.S. vessels and works with foreign PSC authorities. If we feel the detention is justified, the Coast Guard (and/ or our recognized class society if applicable) will act in a swift manner to verify the information with our own inspectors and initiate corrective action.

There have been rare instances where the Coast Guard received notification from a foreign PSC that a U.S. ves­sel was detained for a very minor item that, under Coast Guard policy, would not normally have been considered a detainable item if it was for a foreign ship visiting the United States. Although we do eventually receive notification from foreign PSC authorities of all U.S. vessel detentions, U.S. vessel operators are encour­aged to notify the Coast Guard of any detention in a foreign port. That way, we can discuss the matter with the foreign PSC authorities immediately and provide assistance in resolving the issue and expediting the re­lease of the U.S. ship from that port.

Appeal Procedures
If there is disagreement regarding the seriousness of the deficiency and its status as a detainable item, the vessel owner may appeal the detention. Procedures for appeal are outlined on the home page of each port state control MOU. Below is a listing of some of them:
1. Paris MOU (Europe and Canada) - webpage: www.parismou.org
2. Tokyo MOU (Asia and Canada) - webpage:
www.tokyo-mou.org
3. Vina Del Mar Agreement (Central and South America) - e-mail:
ciala@sudnet.com.ar
4. Mediterranean MOU - webpage: www.med­mou.org
5. Indian Ocean MOU - webpage:
www.iomou.org
6. Caribbean MOU - e-mail: caribmou@ caribbeanmou.org
7. Black Sea MOU - e-mail:
vit@tmou.org

Smooth Sailing
When venturing beyond U.S. waters, it is best to as­sume nothing regarding what may or may not apply to your vessel from international regulations. Seek the advice and assistance of your Coast Guard vessel in­spection department at your regional Coast Guard sec­tor command well before your intended voyage.

For vessels that need to make a rare single voyage out­side of the U.S. to complete a transit from one area to another, it may be possible to obtain a one-time exemp­tion certificate from the Coast Guard for international regulations if the vessel is otherwise in compliance with the applicable U.S. regulations. If you are not sure, it is better to ask in advance than to be held by local officials in a foreign port for failure to comply with international regulations.

Here are some helpful tools on the Internet to assit you in keeping up-to-date with changes in the conventions.

The Coast Guard recognizes several class issue certificates for U.S. vessels. All maintain webpages that contain helpful information for vessel operators on understanding international regulations:

1. Germanischer Lloyd (GL), a U.S. Coast Guard-recognized class society, provides a free annual summary of IMO rule changes. GL's "IMO pilot" is available as a download from the GL Home page at
http://www.gl ­group.com under "client support," "down­load center," "IMO pilot."

2. The American Bureau of Shipping provides information under "regulatory information" at http://www.eagle.org.

3. Lloyd's Register of Shipping offers "Reducing the Risk of Port State Control" under "docu­ment finder" at http://www.lr.org.

4. Det Norske Veritas has helpful information at http://www.dnv.us. Search under "Port State Control".

5. Bureau Veritashas information under "on­line services," then "Veristar," at http://www.bureluveritas.com<> .

6. Information on obtaining International Mar­itime Organization regulations is available at the IMO home page at http://www.imo.org/.

Determining a Planets GHA and Declination (Example and Solution)


Thursday, May 22, 2008

GHA and Declination of the Sun (Example Problem)

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Celestial Navigation without a Sextant


Items needed: The Nautical Almanac, Sight Reduction Tables (H.O. 249, Vol. II or III), accurate time, plotting paper, graph paper, scratch paper, pencil, dividers, and plastic plotter.

A. Note body (sun) (while the concept applies to the moon, stars, and planets as well, this examination will be of the body most com­monly used; when applying this procedure to the moon, use the" Altitude Correction Ta­bles-Moon," found on the inside back cover of the N.A.), date, deduced latitude and long­itude (DR position). Select upper or lower portion (limb) of the sun for a one-time effort. To increase your chances of success with the sun, there is the possibility of taking both up­per and lower limb readings. This is fine, but keep the mathematical calculations separate, as the main correction for the semidiameter of the sun is added for the lower limb and subtracted for the upper limb.) Determine height of eye above water.

B. Try to judge the instant at which the se­lected limb crosses the horizon (when it ap­pears in the case of a rising sun, or disappears when setting) and note the exact watch time. In the case of the moon, to some degree, and the stars and planets, in particular, it is recom­mended that you use binoculars to increase light-gathering ability and to improve the esti­mate of when the body crossed the horizon. Use of this technique for stars and planets is generally limited to clear nights with substan­tial moonlight providing a clearly defined horizon. At dawn and dusk, when these bodies become more visible than during the day, the ambient light usually impairs your ability to pick up the bodies as they rise or be certain of their departure when they set.
There is, however, the possibility of "bob­bing" a limb of the moon or the planets and stars at any time during the night. The technique may be used for either a selected body disappearing over the horizon to the west or one scheduled to appear in the east. For a disappearing body, a low position in the boat is desirable for an appearing body, position yourself as high as possible. Either way, by standing upright and stooping, it is possible for a few moments to make the body appear and disappear. As this occurs, note the time and judge your average height of eye to ob­tain the "dip" factor.

C. Since you have no series of readings, you cannot plot them on graph paper. Conse­quently, you cannot be entirely confident that the timing was correct and was not overly in­fluenced by the motion of the vessel. Uncer­tainty of 20 seconds as to when the limb or the body actually appeared when rising, or disappeared when setting, produces an un­certainty of approximately five nautical miles in your calculated line of position (LOP). However, if you are without a sextant, ac­curacy of plus or minus five miles might well be considered a magnificent success.

D. Even though no sextant was actually used, the calculations for producing the observed altitude (Ho) are the same. The difference is that the sextant altitude is zero, since the ob­servation was made when the limb or body was, in effect, brought down to the horizon. Obviously, there is no sextant error correc­tion. Therefore, the calculation is worked as folIows:

1. Take observed read­ing (0°00.0').
2. Subtract dip for height of eye found inside front cover of the Nautical Almanac.
3. The result is apparent altitude. (Ha)
4. From page A3 of the Nautical Almanac, under "Sun," se­lect the month period and upper or lower limb correction. (Alt. Corr.
5. Due to the low Ha, it is desirable to correct for the effects on the atmosphere of baro­metric pressure and temperature. See page A4, "Altitude Correction Tables Additional Corrections," in the Nautical Almanac. Lacking exact baro­metric and tempera­ture information, it is worthwhile making a guess in order to ob­tain the best adjust­ment possible.
6. The result is the ob­served altitude of the sun. (Ho)

E. One additional point must be made, about the determination and construc­tion of the intercept for the LOP. Due to re­fraction, the limb of the sun (or other body) is always below the actual horizon. The effect of atmosphere is to permit observation when otherwise the limb would have disappeared. As a result, there may be some positive and negative numbers in your calculations. In such instances, the corrections must be deter­mined algebraically. For negative altitudes, a negative correction is numerically added. Normally, with the Ho being greater than Hc, the intercept would be toward the sun (or other body). Since the intercept is negative, however, the LOP is placed away from the sun. Also algebraically, a positive correction must be numerically subtracted.

In both instances, you can appreciate that the rule "Ho more than Hc, place LOP toward the body" still applies. It just takes some reassur­ance that a negative Ho with a larger number than the negative Hc is actually just "more negative" and therefore smaller, or that a negative Ho must pass all the way up through zero to be compared with a positive Hc. The result is addition. Again, since a negative Ho is obviously smaller than a positive Hc, the in­tercept must be away from the assumed posi­tion (AP), with the intercept being the sum.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Celestial Navigation (Almanacs and Coordinates)

"CLICK HERE TO VIEW"

Celestial Navigation (Getting Prepared)

But before you start taking altitudes of celestial objects, you must be able to find them with the sextant. Trying to find a star with the sextant on a rocking boat is not easy The eyepiece has a small angle of view and the sight is twisted by the sextant mirrors.
One way to find a star is to turn the sextant upside down, point it at the star, and bring the horizon up to the star by adjusting the arm.
It is best if you know the approximate altitudes and azimuths of the stars you are going to observe.





One of the best times to takes sights is on the 04-08 watch. Take advantage of the time of the day when the sky is in best condition for celestial navigation. In the civil twilights, the times when the sun is 6° below the horizon, it's dark enough to see the stars and planets, and light enough to see the horizon.

Take the following items to the deck of the boat:


1) Sextant.

2) Watch.

3) Pencil.

4) Paper, attach the paper to a board, so it's easy to take notes and your work will not be carried away by the wind.
Try to establish a routine to handle these items. You will be observing two numbers (altitude and time) at once, possibly on a rocking boat, so don't let these items make things difficult in the critical time. Save the documentation of your work.


When taking an observation, set your sextant to the expected altitude and point it to the expected azimuth, using a hand compass. The celestial body will probably show in your view.
Adjust the sextant to the correct instrumental altitude. Write name, time and altitude of the observed celestial object.


It's good practice to adjust the sextant micrometer drum always in the same direction. For example, put the star below the horizon and then bring it up by turning the drum in the same direction in all observations. If you go past, repeat the operation from the start. Do the same for the Index Error measurement. The sextant will give different readings, depending on the direction you adjust the drum. Using the same direction for both altitudes and index error measurements cancels this problem.


After adjusting the sextant's drum, read the watch first, because it's changing fast. Write the time. Then write the sextant altitude. Before taking altitudes, measure the Index Error,
Set the altitude to 0°00' and point to the horizon. Adjust the drum until both sides of the horizon are level. Read the Index Error and write it down.


To get good results in celestial navigation, you need to be methodic. As you know, there are many steps, and its easy to make a mistake.
Read the measurements out loud before writing your notes down. (navigators are said to speak to themselves). Make your notes in an organized format. In the header of the table, write date, assumed position, time of twilight and index error. Have a plan ready before going on deck.


But even with all the care, some errors will show. Wrong time or altitude (the so called 60 mile error). Bad star identification. Even wrong date. One of the biggest mistakes is simple adding and subtracting. The important thing is to detect mistakes.
Having good dead reckoning navigation helps a lot. If one of your lines seems out of place, you may have made a mistake. This is why it's good to take several sights.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Saturday, May 17, 2008

monster wave

Heavy seas

Coast Guard Exam Questions #1

1) BOTH INTERNATIONAL AND INLAND: You are underway in low visibility and sounding fog signals. What change would you make to the fog signal immediately upon losing propulsion?

Not Under Command – Rule 3 (f) defines this vessel as follows: “A vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to maneuver as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel.

A. Begin sounding two prolonged blasts at two-minute intervals.

Incorrect: This signal indicates that a power-driven vessel has deliberately stopped its engines and is “making no way through the water.” This vessel is able to continue making way, immediately upon an engine order.

B. Begin sounding one prolonged blast followed by three short blasts at two-minute intervals.

Incorrect: This signal is sounded only by a manned vessel being towed.

C. Begin sounding one prolonged blast followed by two short blasts at two-minute intervals.

Correct Answer: The moment that propulsion is lost, the vessel is considered to be “Not Under Command” and the vessel is no longer able to maneuver to avoid a collision.

D. No change should be made to the fog signal.

Incorrect: One prolonged blast at intervals of not more than two minutes is the signal for a power-driven vessel, underway, and making way through the water, under normal conditions.

2) When entering from seaward, a buoy displaying a composite group (2+1) flashing red light indicates __________.

A. a junction, with the preferred channel to the left

Correct Answer: The light is the same color as the topmost band with the preferred channel to the left, hence the secondary channel to the right. This buoy would be painted with three horizontal bands, such as red on top, green in the middle and red on the bottom in this instance.

B. a sharp turn in the preferred channel, to the right

Incorrect: The characteristic of the light marking a sharp turn in the channel is quick flashing and would not be that of the composite group (2+1) because the latter characteristic is permitted only on junction buoys. A sharp turn to the right, in either the primary or the secondary channel, would be marked with a red buoy on the inside of the turn and, if lighted, would be red.

C. the starboard side of the secondary channel

Incorrect: The starboard sides of the primary and secondary channels are always marked with red buoys. When lighted, the lights will be red, but not with the composite group (2+1) characteristic.

D. a wreck, to be left on the vessel’s port side

Incorrect: A sunken wreck near either boundary of a buoyed channel will be marked with a lateral mark. If lighted, the light color will be the same as the buoy color, and it would not have the composite group (2+1) characteristic. Therefore, the marker for a wreck on or near the left hand boundary would be green. As an alternative, this wreck may be marked with an “isolated danger mark.

3) A vessel is heading magnetic northwest and its magnetic compass indicates a heading of 312°. The quadrantal spheres are arranged athwartships. What action should be taken to remove this error during compass adjustment?

Note: Ideally, the compass would indicate 315° on this heading, but indicates 312° because of the deviation caused by the mass of “soft iron” in the vessel’s structure. Quadrantal spheres are made of “soft iron” and compensate for this type of deviation. The quadrantal spheres can be arranged either fore-and-aft or athwartships, the latter being much more common. The distance that a sphere can be moved “all the way in” (toward the compass) or “all the way out” (away from the compass) is approximately six inches. The required movement of the athwartship spheres is opposite in direction to their being installed fore-and-aft, and the mass of the spheres proportionally affects the amount of compensated deviation.

A. If the quadrantal spheres are all the way in, replace them with larger ones.

Incorrect: This would only be true if the spheres were arranged fore-and-aft.

B. If the quadrantal spheres are all the way out, remove one of the spheres.

Incorrect: Removing one of the spheres would make the deviation asymmetrical and more detrimental.

C. If the quadrantal spheres are all the way out, move the spheres in.

Incorrect: This would only be true if the spheres were arranged fore-and-aft.

D. If the quadrantal spheres are all the way out, replace them with smaller spheres.

Correct Answer: The three degrees of easterly deviation exist because the spheres are overcorrecting.

4) The equipment required to remove an on-deck oil spill on a barge transferring oil must either be carried on board or __________.

A. on a tug standing by

Incorrect: Under normal circumstances a tug is not required to stand by during an oil transfer.

B. available by contract with the shore facility

Correct Answer: Title 33 CFR 155.215 (c) The oil barge owner or operator may rely on equipment available at the transfer facility receiving from or discharging to the barge, provided the barge owner or operator has prearranged for the use of the equipment by contract or other means approved by the Coast Guard.

C. kept at the shoreside hose connection during transfer

Incorrect: There is no requirement for the equipment to be near the hose connection.

D. kept in a protected shoreside location readily accessible

Incorrect: Although in practice the equipment may be sheltered, the only requirement is that it must be “ready for immediate use”.

5) BOTH INTERNATIONAL AND INLAND: A power-driven vessel is underway and fishing with trolling lines. This vessel __________.

A. must keep out of the way of sailing vessels

Correct answer: By definition, this vessel is not “engaged in fishing” because it is using “trolling lines (or other fishing apparatus) which do not restrict maneuverability.” Therefore, the rule for an ordinary power-driven vessel applies, mandating that the vessel trolling keeps clear of the vessel under sail.

B. must sound a one prolonged, two short blast signal in restricted visibility

Incorrect: This is the warning signal to be sounded by vessels “engaged in fishing.” Since this vessel is not engaged in fishing, it shall sound a signal of one prolonged blast, while underway and making way through the water, or a signal of two prolonged blasts if not making way.

C. is the stand-on vessel when overtaking power-driven vessels

Incorrect: Any vessel overtaking another is a give-way vessel. Therefore, if this vessel were to overtake another, it “shall, so far as possible, take early and substantial action to keep well clear.”

D. All of the above

Incorrect: Only one, of the three answers above, is correct.

6) Which statement about a simple conic chart projection is TRUE?

CONIC PROJECTIONS -

Simple Conic: A single tangent cone is used. The latitude at which the cone is tangent is the “standard parallel”.

Secant Conic: The cone is tangent at two latitudes, two standard parallels, cutting a “secant” of the earth.

“Lambert Conformal” Conic: A secant conic in which the spacing of the parallels is altered so that the distortion is the same along these parallels as it is along the meridians.

Polyconic: A series of cones used to eliminate the limitation in latitude that can exist with a secant cone and improve quality of presentation with regard to equal-area.

A. It is an equal-area projection.

Incorrect: Polyconic projections are used in higher latitudes where equal-area is desired. However, true equal-area is not possible with any conic projection.

B. It is a conformal projection.

Incorrect: Conic projections are not customarily used in practical navigation, except in high latitudes where the distortion in area of a Mercator projection would be extreme and detrimental. In this case, Lambert conformal projections are used.

C. Meridians appear as curved lines with this type of projection.

Incorrect: All meridians (lines of longitude), indicated on conic projections, appear as straight lines, converging at the apex of the cone(s).

D. The scale is correct along any meridian.

Correct answer: The parallels of latitude are concentric circles and the distance along any meridian between consecutive parallels is correct, in relation to the distance on earth. Since the distortion along the standard parallel (where the cone is tangent to the earth) is minimal, a simple conic projection can be used to map an area having a wide spread of longitude if the spread in latitude is relatively small.

7) What shall be conducted during a fire and boat drill?

A. All watertight doors in the vicinity of the drill shall be operated.

Correct answer: Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations, 46 CFR 199.180, requires “checking the operation of watertight doors, fire doors, in the drill area.”

B. All lifeboat equipment shall be examined.

Incorrect: During the conduct of the fire & boat drills, lifeboats are required to be ”lowered” and their engines “operated”, as per 46 CFR 199.

C. Fire pumps shall be started and all exterior fire main outlets opened.

Incorrect: Although the fire pumps are to be started, 46 CFR 199.180(f)(2)(ii) only requires that “two jets of water” need to be used “to determine that the system is in proper working order.”

D. All of the above

Incorrect: Only one, of the three answers above, is correct.

8) The color of the flare sent up by a submarine indicating that a torpedo has been fired in a training exercise is __________.

A. white

Incorrect: A white flare or star is not a signal that a submarine would send during an exercise. The signal of three white star rockets, fired one minute apart, is a signal from a maritime rescue unit meaning, “You are seen.” “Assistance will be given as soon as possible.”

B. green

Correct Answer: Green or black is used, under training exercise conditions only, to indicate that a torpedo has been fired or that the firing of a torpedo has been simulated. By this signal, merchant ships are to be aware of naval activity in their vicinity.

C. yellow

Incorrect: A yellow flare indicates that the submarine is about to come to periscope depth. Upon sighting this flare, naval surface ships participating in the exercise will terminate antisubmarine tactics and all surface ships will clear the vicinity.

D. red

Incorrect: A red flare indicates an emergency condition exists with the submarine. The submarine will attempt to surface immediately. In the case of repeated red flares, merchant ships are obligated to notify naval authorities

9) A chart projection depicting the poles and a small area on either side of a connecting meridian, that is sometimes used for star charts, is the ?

A. azimuthal gnomonic projection

Incorrect: An azimuthal gnomonic projection is produced when a plane is placed tangent to the earth and all other points are projected geometrically from the center of the earth. All bearings from the point of tangency are represented without distortion and the projection indicates true azimuths. This projection is not centered on a connecting meridian.

B. Lambert conformal projection

Incorrect: This projection is formed by using a secant cone to intersect the earth at two standard parallels. The area between the two standard parallels is compressed, and the area beyond is expanded proportionally. When the spacing of the parallels is altered so that the distortion is the same along them as along the meridians, the projection becomes conformal.

C. transverse Mercator projection

Correct Answer: This is a special case Mercator projection in which the cylinder is tangent to a meridian. It is used for charts covering a large band of latitude but extending a relatively short distance on either side of the tangent meridian. This display may be used for star charts to show the sky at various seasons of the year.

D. polyconic projection

Incorrect: This projection eliminates the latitude limitations of a secant conic projection by using a series of cones with each cone tangent to a parallel of latitude. At the edges of the chart, the area between the parallels is expanded to eliminate gaps. The scale is correct along any parallel and along the central meridian. It is not adaptable for star charts.

10) A vessel is heading magnetic north and its magnetic compass indicates a heading of 356. What action should be taken to remove this error during compass adjustment?

Basic compass adjusting knowledge:

1. Red indicates the north seeking pole and blue the south seeking pole of a compass.

2. A magnetic north heading on a magnetic compass is 360

3. To remove the compass error in this question the compass card must be rotated counter clockwise.

A. If the blue ends of the magnets are to port, and the athwartship tray is at the top, you should remove some of the magnets.

Incorrect: Removing magnets from the tray would decrease their combined magnetic field. The blue ends to port wouldhave less attraction on the red north end of the compass and less repulsion on the blue south end of the compass allowing the card to rotate clockwise increasing the error.

B. If the blue ends of the magnets are to starboard, and the athwartship tray is at the bottom, you should remove some magnets.

Correct Answer: This would likewise decrease the combined magnetic field of the corrector magnets. However, in this case the blue ends are to starboard. Lessening the attraction of the blue ends on the north end of the compass and decreasing the repulsion on the south end would permit the compass card to rotate counterclockwise, thereby removing the error.

C. If the red ends of the magnets are to starboard, and the athwartship tray is at the bottom, you should reverse the magnets.

Incorrect: Previously the red ends on the starboard were repelling compass north and now with the blue ends to starboard the corrector magnets are attracting the north end of the compass. Reversing the field of the corrector magnets would cause the compass card to rotate clockwise, thereby increasing the error.

D. If the blue ends of the magnets are to starboard, you should raise the athwartship tray.

Incorrect: Raising the tray would increase the effect of the magnetic field of the corrector magnets on the magnetic compass. This would increase the attraction of the blue ends on the starboard side to the north end of the compass causing the card to rotate clockwise, thereby increasing the error.

11) The database information that should be shown when a chart is first displayed on ECDIS is the __________.

Note: An electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) is a navigational information system, which, with adequate backup arrangements, can be accepted as complying with the up-to-date chart required by regulation V/20 of the 1974 SOLAS Convention. It assists the navigator in route-planning and route-monitoring by displaying selected information from a system electronic navigational chart (SENC) with positional information from navigation sensors. The system is capable of displaying additional navigation-related information, if required.

A. display base information

Incorrect: This is the level of SENC information which cannot be removed from the display, consisting of information which is required at all times in all geographical areas and in all circumstances. This level of information alone is not intended to be sufficient for safe navigation and it is not displayed first.

B. standard display information

Correct Answer: This is the level of SENC information that should be shown when a chart is first displayed on the ECDIS. The level of the information it provides, for route-planning or route-monitoring, includes the display base information and may be supplemented with additional information to suit the navigator's needs.

C. system electronic navigational chart

Incorrect: This is a database resulting from: (1) the transformation of the electronic navigational chart (ENC) by ECDIS for appropriate use, (2) updates to the ENC by loading up-to-date files, and (3) other data added by the mariner. It is this database that is actually accessed by ECDIS for the display generation and other navigational functions, and is the equivalent to an up-to-date paper chart. However, this is more information than should be displayed at one time on the ECDIS.

D. chart display information

Incorrect: This is not a recognized technical standard phrase used to describe a particular set of ECDIS display information.

12) INTERNATIONAL ONLY: If a towing vessel and her tow are severely restricted in their ability to deviate from their course, the towing vessel shall show lights in addition to her towing identification lights. These additional lights shall be shown if the tow is __________.

Note: There is a difference between the International Rules and the Inland Rules in this respect. The International Rule 27(c) requires the restricted in ability to maneuver lights (RAM) only when towing astern.The Inland Rule 27(c) requires the RAM lights regardless of the position of the tow. Also note that the International Rule refers to vessels towed in Rule 24 (a) only, while the Inland Rule refers to all the vessels towed in Rule 24.

A. pushed ahead

Incorrect: These additional lights would be required for a vessel pushing ahead under the Inland Rules.

B. towed alongside

Incorrect: These additional lights would be required for a vessel towing alongside under the Inland Rules.

C. towed astern

Correct Answer: The International Rule 27(c) states that only towing vessels in Rule 24 (a) (towing astern) shall show theadditional lights for a vessel restricted in its ability to maneuver when the towing vessel and its tow are severely restricted in their ability to deviate from their course.

D. All of the above

Incorrect: Because this question pertains only to the International Rule, choices "A" and "B" are incorrect

13) The flammable limits of gasoline are 1.3 to 7.6 percent volume of the air. You are testing a tank that contained gasoline by using a combustible gas indicator. Under testing, the tank sample registered "55" on the instrument’s dial. What is the concentration of flammable gases?

A combustible gas indicator is used for detecting and measuring the percentage of vapors given off by a flammable liquid relative to the lower explosive limit (LEL). The actual concentration of a specific gas in the space measured by a combustible gas indicator is determined by the meter reading multiplied by the LEL.

A. 0.7%

Correct Answer: The indicated value was calculated by multiplying 55% by the lower explosive limit stated as 1.3.(55% = 0.55) X 1.3 = 0.72%)

B. 4.1%

Incorrect: The indicated value was calculated by multiplying 55% by the upper explosive limit stated as 7.6.(55% = 0.55) X 7.6 = 4.18%)

C. 5.5%

Incorrect: The indicated value was calculated by multiplying 55% by 10, which is a non-factor. (55% = 0.55) X 10 = 5.50%)

D. 55%

Incorrect: The indicated value is only the meter reading and must be factored by the multiplier to produce a value of percent volume of air as the answer.

14) The free surface correction depends upon the dimensions of the surface of the free liquid and the __________.

The height of a vessel’s center of gravity is initially determined without considering the effect of free liquid. This correction is the distance by which the vessel’s center of gravity is raised by the effect of free liquid in a tank. This vertical distance is directly proportional to the surface dimensions (length and breadth) of the tank and inversely proportional to the vessel’s displacement.

A. volume of liquid in the tank

Incorrect: The depth of free liquid in the tank is not a factor.

B. displacement of the vessel

Correct Answer: As noted above, the correction is inversely proportional to the vessel’s displacement.

C. location of the tank in the vessel

Incorrect: The correction is not related to the location of the tank.

D. height of the center of gravity of the vessel

Incorrect: The center of gravity will be raised from wherever it would otherwise be, if there were no free surface effect.

15) When bunkering at anchorage, which of the following signals must be displayed?

The required warning signal for vessels transferring combustible and flammable bulk liquids are cited in 46 CFR 35.30-1(a).

A. A red flag by day, red light by night

Incorrect: These are the required warning signals if the vessel is “Fast to a Dock.”

B. A red flag by day, ONLY

Correct Answer: This flag may be left up at night. There is no requirement to take it down.

C. A red light by night, ONLY

Incorrect: A red light is not displayed at anchorage because it could be confused with a vessel’s port sidelight.

D. No signal is required, at anchorage

Incorrect: Vessels transferring oil are required to display a red flag during daylight while at anchorage.

16) You are upbound approaching a lock and dam, and see two green lights in a vertical line. This indicates __________.

Locks and Dams – The required lighting is specified in 33 CFR, part 207.

A. the downstream end of an intermediate wall

Correct Answer: Two green lights mark the downstream end of either the river wall or the intermediate wall, whichever extends farther. The upstream end is required to have three green lights. These green lights signify that the lock is in use.

B. that a double lockage is in progress

Incorrect: Double lockage is indicated by an interrupted flashing light on each end of the intermediate wall.

C. the downstream end of the land wall

Incorrect: Each end of the land wall is required to be marked by one red light.

D. the navigable pass of a fixed weir dam

Incorrect: The assembly that - when removed - allows for a navigable pass through a dam is a "wicket”. If the wicket assembly were removed, there would not be a need to operate the lock because the water upstream of the dam would be at the same level as the water downstream. In this case, the lights in choice “A” would be red instead of green to signify that the lock is not in use. An open weir would not establish a navigable pass and a fixed weir can’t be opened

17) A vessel is signaling to you by flag hoist, and the answer pennant is hoisted closeup. You should __________.

Note: A naval vessel might communicate with a merchant vessel by flag hoist while under the constraint of radio silence. The term “close-up” means that the flag or group of flags is hoisted all the way up to the yard, which is the horizontal spar extending from a mast to which the signaling halyards are rove. In this scenario, the signaling vessel is indicating that signals have been completed.

A. hoist flag “C”

Incorrect: The hoisting of flag “Charlie” would indicate an affirmative answer to a question that had been asked by the vessel signaling.

B. wait for further signals, after a short delay

Incorrect: If the vessel sending the signal wanted you to wait, it would have hoisted “Alfa-Sierra”.

C. hoist flag “R”

Incorrect: Although “Romeo” means received, the appropriate reply should indicate your understanding of the fact that theother vessel is finished signaling. See choice “D”.

D. expect no further flag hoists

Correct Answer: You would hoist your answer pennant close-up to indicate that you understand that the other vessel is finished signaling.

18) A jack-up rig, while level in transit at a ten-foot draft, experiences a wind gust, which results in a starboard draft of 11 feet 6 inches. What is the heel?

Note: Heel is the difference between the port and starboard drafts that is caused by environmental conditions. If a difference between these drafts exists because of off-center weight, it is called list.

A. 1 foot 6 inches to starboard

Incorrect: The starboard draft has increased by 1 foot 6 inches due to the wind gust. However, this measurement expresses only half of the heel.

B. 3 feet to starboard

Correct Answer: An increase in starboard draft of 1 foot 6 inches implies a decrease in port draft of the same measurement. The difference between these two drafts is 3 feet. The direction of heel is to starboard.

C. 3 feet to port

Incorrect: Three feet is the correct amount of heel. However, the heel is to starboard.

D. 1 foot 6 inches to port

Incorrect: The heel is twice this amount and in the opposite direction.

19) Which vessel is NOT required to have a “Pollution Placard” posted on board?

Note: The requirement for the placard is stated in 33 CFR 155.450. The placard must be at least 5 by 8 inches and displayed in a conspicuous location. It is required on all US and foreign vessels in US waters, except those less than 26 feet in length and those vessels that not governed by the pollution regulations of 33 CFR 155. The text of the placard is a summary of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

A. 215-foot naval auxiliary vessel

Correct Answer: Part 155 does not apply to: “A warship, naval auxiliary or other ship owned or operated by a country when engaged in non-commercial service.”

B. 75-foot towing vessel

Incorrect: All towing vessels of 26 feet or more in length are required to have the placard.

C. 50-foot cabin cruiser used for pleasure only

Incorrect: The placard is required on all pleasure boats of 26 or more feet in length, as well as commercial vessels.

D. 150-foot unmanned tank barge

Incorrect: The requirement for the placard is the same for all tank barges; manned or unmanned.

20) Which space(s) is (are) deducted from gross tonnage to derive net tonnage?

Note: Gross Tonnage is the entire internal cubic capacity (volume) of the ship expressed in tonsof 100 cubic feet to the ton, except certain spaces which are exempted such as spaces on or above the line of the uppermost complete deck, passenger spaces, open structures, open space between the shelter deck and the next lower deck, and water ballast spaces. Net Tonnage is the total volume of cargo carrying capacity of the vessel.

A. Companions and booby hatches

Incorrect: Companions and booby hatches are located on or above the line of the uppermost complete deck and are covers to protect stairways or ladder ways leading to spaces below and, therefore are exempted from gross tonnage calculations. They are not included in a vessel’s gross tonnage, and therefore, cannot be a deduction. 46 CFR 69.117(b)(2)

B. Chart room

Correct Answer: A deductible space must be used exclusively for, and be reasonable in size for its intended purpose. The chartroom is a space for keeping charts and nautical instruments for plotting the vessel’s course and is a space that is included in the calculation of a vessel’s gross tonnage. Since a chart room is included in the calculation of the vessel’s gross tonnage, it is a deductible space when calculating the net tonnage of a vessel since it does not add to a vessel’s cargo carrying capacity. 46 CFR 69.119(e)

C. Open structures

Incorrect: Open structures are structures that are located on or above the line of the uppermost complete deck that are under cover (sheltered) but open to the weather, such as a covered exterior passageway and are exempted from gross tonnage calculations. They are not included in a vessel’s gross tonnage, and therefore, cannot be a deduction. 46 CFR 69.117(d)

D. All of the above

Incorrect: Answer “B” is the only correct answer to this question.