-handed for 75% of my cruising life and tend to just get my head
down at nite... usually midnight till the sunrise wakes me and then top up my kip with day time snooze's in the cockpit
Comments about 'crewed yachts' being dangerous are accurate as I was T-Boned by a French boat 5 miles of Start Point as I neared the end of a 47 day solo crossing from St Martin
FWI in Aug 2001 aboard my Beneteau
321 Mewa... it was 5.30pm, perfect visibility, smooth seas and light winds.... they were heading for Salcombe(Nth) and I was Eastbound for Poole. They were motor
sailing at around 5-6kts while I was ghosting under main and poled out Genoa
1-1 1/2kts... I had seen them but assumed they would pass my stern... so went below to start preping tea... stuck my head
up a few minutes later and they were a mile or so away and definitly passing astern so I returned to my cooking
... next thing I knew there was a loud bang and I was thrown over the stove... I dashed topside to see four people emerging from below... no one was on watch and I can only assume course adjustments were being made from below with Auto-helm remote
control.... to make matters worse the B#*turds took off(reversing for a long way so I could not see the name of the boat) with no offers to help, leaving me with a 19ft split on the hull deck
joint and a 4ft vertical split in the hull
just forward of the Stbd shrouds, bent pole and destroyed Genoa
... ended up calling the Coastguard for a tow as I had lost
power 1400 miles earlier during a bad storm with lightning
... was towed into Salcombe.
The Coastguard had put out an all points for the other boat and they were caught sneaking into Salcombe. The Harbourmaster and Coastguard were fantastic and sorted out a lot of things for me... for which I was very grateful as after the long passage
and the 'incident' I cracked up a bit... all I wanted was Death and Destruction of the boat and Skipper
This was a occasion when 'Nude Sailing' was a handicap as the French claimed that I was asleep at the time... in fact I'd been maintaining my Carribean Hue on a beautiful day a watching an RN destroyer carrying out anti-aircraft excercises out of Plymouth all afternoon.
Co grabbed that and with me being uninsured I was in a pickle...
only got 50% of my damages paid eventually... thanks to advice from Panteanus, who I've used many times and would recommend to anyone needing boat cover...
I could have got nothing but for them.....
I was not keeping a good lookout
I did not give way to a boat from my Stbd (Joke...??)
I still get my head down as and when needed... obviously not while I'm in the middle of Shipping
Lanes but I figure good rest is essentail to overall safety
.... I sleep on the floor at the base of the companionway
giving me quick access to deck
in emergencies... also you'd be surprised how far off you can hear a ships screws down there...