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Old 29-12-2012, 14:15   #31
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Good question. When we sail locally within a constant time zone, we use 24 hour military time/local. If we sail through different time zones, we always use GMT for consistency and as an aid when taking our noon and evening sites.
This. It's also important for SSB use to have either a wristwatch or a clock at the nav station set to Zulu. In your log, your lat/lon will then determine if you need to remember if it was morning or evening.

I use "military time" on my Suunto watch. I didn't wear a watch until about five years ago, and so have never done otherwise.
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Old 29-12-2012, 14:22   #32
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I strictly use weems and Plath time. Right now it is 10:15 on US east coast w&p time. So I can have a late breakfast or tuck in fir the night. I have the whole day ahead or Not. Also my barometer is weems and Plath with the needle lying in the bottom of the glass I assume its late in the day and I'm about to die in one hell of a storm. Notice also that the card acts like an inclinometer.
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Old 29-12-2012, 16:13   #33
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

^ ^ ^

"Inclinometer"...that's pretty funny.

Perhaps you are sailing on the Sea of Tranquillity...hence the plummeted pressure?
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Old 29-12-2012, 16:42   #34
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^ ^ ^

"Inclinometer"...that's pretty funny.

Perhaps you are sailing on the Sea of Tranquillity...hence the plummeted pressure?
Good lord no tranquility . Barometer has kicked it's needle off. I must be doomed and time has gone backward. The boat has tipped below rain. My ditch kit is in the cockpit. Feel like I am nearing a cliff. Ohhh my I'm going over a cliff. But wait
It's warm below and I have a job. The boat isn't healed over. I M getting bad information. I phone says 18:38 et. The sun will rise in the morning and ohhhh I drifted from the thread. Shitty tiimex had the right time. Weems and Plath is run by the us congress. Looks nice but is better used as bilge ballast.
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Old 29-12-2012, 23:50   #35
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

Like Jackdale, when we left Mexico we kept on Baja time time until we made landfall in the Marquesas. We keep informal watch during the day so we could have switched the clock then without messing up any shifts but we didn't. We do also have a wristwatch with the wrist part ripped off at the nav table showing UTC for when our brains are too addled to do math and figure out the time for an SSB net.
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Old 30-12-2012, 02:14   #36
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

On ships we keep zone time with very few exceptions. For instance, docking at Le Havre, then Southampton and then back across to Antwerp, often you would dispense with changing the clock for just those few hours in Southampton. You just have to remember that you are an hour ahead of local time. On a Persian Gulf shuttle run, which I am doing now, Jebel Ali to Ash Shuwaykh and back, over and over, we keep ships clocks on UAE time and just remember that we are an hour difference from local time while we are in Kuwait. Officially, when clocks are to be changed, clocks are generally changed at midnight, but for watchkeeping purposes, we advance or retard 20 minutes each watch so nobody has to eat the full hour.

On my boat I do similar. Watch and clock are kept, normally, on zone time. If I am singlehanding, I will advance or retard at midnight. With crew and keeping two watches, we split the hour. With three watch sections, we split the hour evenly. The official clock advances and retards the full hour at midnight. When retarding, that means there is a 25 hour day in my log book. The last, 25th, hour begins at 2400, and 2459 is the last minute of the day. When advancing, that new day is only 23 hours long and begins at 0100 in my log. It is simple enough to convert to GMT for celestial solutions. Anybody who can't do that in their head is going to have difficulty working an LOP or planning a GC route, anyway.

Time is an arbitrary thing. You could, of course, keep whatever time you like. However, it is normally found that advancing or retarding when entering another time zone is most practical and comfortable. But do it how ya feel it. If it is more convenient for you to not change clocks on your boat, then don't. If you like GMT, well, go for it. Home port time works fine if you only cross over into the next zone and return. It's your thing.
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Old 30-12-2012, 03:08   #37
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

Interesting that there are no many approaches. We keep one clock, at nav station, for radio nets and the like. Other than that we use local zone time and change at appropriate lines of longitude. In port we use the local time which usually but not always is the same as standard time zones. We may start evening watches at slightly different times (7 or 7:30) depending on whether we are in the eastern or western part of the zone, and also on when it gets dark which is related to latitude of course.
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Old 30-12-2012, 04:16   #38
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

Bruce, your setup is the one I like best. I still haven't acquired a 24 hour "Zulu" clock, however. They aren't common, and I'm keeping my eyes peeled for one that isn't new and $500. What I'd really like to score would be a rated, eight-day chronometer with a 24 hour "ring". Such things are considered antiques now, however, and are rarely expected to be accurate, just "salty".

The idea of variable time shifting based on location within the zone is sound. My kid hobby of astronomy showed me quite early that I had to do a "sunfast" calculation to offset "Ottawa" from "Toronto" time in order to figure out when dusk would happen.

If it's grasped in what way these measurements are arbitrary, it's easy to slide 'em around a bit for the convenience of the crew.
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Old 30-12-2012, 06:25   #39
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

I always use local time except for HAM radio where I use the accepted UTC which is the same as GMT.
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Old 30-12-2012, 07:54   #40
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

Cruising the English Channel, there are three possible local standard times - UTC, BST (same as CET winter), and CET summer time. I find it's not worth changing back and forth, so ship's clock (a WWII era Chelsea US Navy surplus ship's clock which keeps astonishingly good time for a mechanical clock) stays on UTC regardless. My watch and phone are always set to local standard time (the phone switches over automatically).
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Old 30-12-2012, 12:26   #41
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

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Cruising the English Channel, there are three possible local standard times - UTC, BST (same as CET winter), and CET summer time. I find it's not worth changing back and forth, so ship's clock (a WWII era Chelsea US Navy surplus ship's clock which keeps astonishingly good time for a mechanical clock) stays on UTC regardless. My watch and phone are always set to local standard time (the phone switches over automatically).
That's the sort of clock I was mentioning. I can adjust for 10-15 seconds a month, but I just like mechanical over battery clocks for durability. A misting of oil and you're good for decades. It is rare that I've found a ship's clock with more than the standard ten-buck consumer grade quartz guts and an easily corroded battery holder. That's the sort I refuse to pay $500 for...I can stick with a waterproof watch for less than half that price.

But a good mechanical ship's clock/chronometer is indeed a treasure for when you just have to know "five minutes to local noon" or "five minutes to weather/cruiser's net."
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Old 03-01-2013, 17:44   #42
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

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That's the sort of clock I was mentioning. I can adjust for 10-15 seconds a month, but I just like mechanical over battery clocks for durability. A misting of oil and you're good for decades. It is rare that I've found a ship's clock with more than the standard ten-buck consumer grade quartz guts and an easily corroded battery holder. That's the sort I refuse to pay $500 for...I can stick with a waterproof watch for less than half that price.

But a good mechanical ship's clock/chronometer is indeed a treasure for when you just have to know "five minutes to local noon" or "five minutes to weather/cruiser's net."

Alchemy, a friend of mine thinks that those of us who prefer mechanical clocks are hopeless Romantics since they rarely keep time within 30 seconds or less a day, are affected by weather and must be continually adjusted by radio signal UTC. He buys cheap "atomic watches/clocks" for $30. or under that keep perfect time and last indefintely. However, he also carries his pencils in his shirt pocket in a plastic sleeve and wears plastic soled shoes.
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Old 05-01-2013, 21:33   #43
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:00   #44
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

I have three identical bass ship clocks on my last yacht. They were arranged horizontally from left to right:

UTC/GMT | Home | Local

On my yacht log, I use both UTC and Local time.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:09   #45
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Re: What ship's time do you keep?

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Spring summer & fall.
I was sailing with some buddies in the Gulf Islands. On a leisurely beat in Trincomali Channel someone casually asked "What time is it?" The response was "August." I have always felt that that epitomizes a nice coastal cruise.
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