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Old 06-10-2014, 00:45   #1
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Do you keep a Constant Lookout?


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Old 06-10-2014, 00:55   #2
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

Yes I keep a constant lookout. Even on the hook.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:01   #3
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

Well, somewhat less that your crew appear to maintain watch.

And somewhat more that the crew on this boat........(action around 2:45).


Just returned from a 24 hour solo coatal leg on Friday. I set an alarm every 30 minutes just to make sure I was awake but was always awake when it went off. Probably had a few miro sleeps especially during the death zone (0300-0500).
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:13   #4
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

Yes always on passages
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:35   #5
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
Yes I keep a constant lookout. Even on the hook.
? So no sleep for you?

On passages our rule is to keep a constant lookout, but it has happened that we have purposely broken the rule. For instance when bashing into the waves on engine, far away from shipping routes, we have taken shelter below with radar and AIS on. Regular checks would still be done.

When anchored, we do not keep a constant lookout. Just make sure the anchorlight is on and that you are anchored in a place where other boats would not come unless to anchor themselves.


Onno
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:39   #6
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

By 'constant' do you mean 'all the time' or at regular intervals?

So far I've set up 20 to 30 min watches on my boat unless in a definite shipping area then it's someone upstairs all the time.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:14   #7
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

Always, Always ALWAYS keep a constant watch!
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:28   #8
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

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Always, Always ALWAYS keep a constant watch!
Yes, but what do you mean by 'constant'?

Do you make a cuppa? Do you go down stairs to check radar? What about the dunny? Sleep?
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:46   #9
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

Depends on where you are... out in the middle of the ocean on a passage? Sure, go down and put the kettle on or go to the loo...
Usually, if we are on passage, we have a vacuum flask with pre-boiled water in it, basically you just jump downstairs, take your pick of coffee/tea and pump the water in, or you can use the water for a cup of noodles etc.

If it is coastal sailing, you cant afford too much time away from the deck. Things can happen pretty quickly.

It is really all about what you are comfortable with, we have sailed with couples that basically sit at the chart table, watch the radar and pop their heads up once in a while... they happened to be rammed by a wooden fishing vessel in the Java sea... funny thing, wood doesnt splash on a radar.. haha

find out what you are comfortable with and then go with that...
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:51   #10
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

Our policy of a good watch is every 15 minutes a real good scan is taken. By that I mean cutting your scan into 15 degree pieces of pie so to speak and getting a good look when you rise to the top of the swell and then move to the next 15 degrees etc. until you have done a real good 360 degree look. OK now go make your coffee or fool around with something or go back to your book but never let more than 15 minutes go by without a good scan.
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:51   #11
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

Whenever this is appropriate.

But I would lie if I said we are always in the cockpit, looking around and wide awake.

99% of the time perhaps yes.

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Old 06-10-2014, 08:33   #12
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

When I am in among islands (Georgian strait, BC) I do not put it on autopilot because of the proximity of land. This last summer I experimented with allowing myself to nod off for 5 minute intervals to see if it made the night passages easier.
Well it did, but I was uncomfortable with waking up and finding my boat heading directly to land, even though it was 7-10 miles away (over an hour away). The other boats did not bother me, they avoided the occasional side stepping sailboat.
Watch just every 15 minutes is just a luxury I feel I can not afford on the inside passage But out on the Pacific on the fishing boats (some very large) nobody is scanning the horizon, and it takes somebody getting up to answer their VHF. But maybe they have other things on their minds...
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Old 06-10-2014, 09:35   #13
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

Someone is always awake and on-watch, 24 hours a day. When offshore, the watch includes an instrument, systems and horizon scan every 10 minutes -- more often at times. Every 60 minutes, the position, heading, bearing, distance to waypoint, weather, and any other notables are recorded. When near-coastal the log frequency remains the same but the horizon scan is more frequent.
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Old 06-10-2014, 21:40   #14
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

No single handers seem to be answering. How odd! I must admit that on my first Pacific Crossing, after about 3 days of seeing nothing I started to sleep for an hour or two at a time. That was with 2 of us. I should say that the first evening out of Socorro Island we saw a freighter on the horizon. It wasnt until 30 years later that I saw a chart that showed the great circle route from Panama to Hawaii to go just below Socorro. Never saw another boat for the next 22 days. Never saw another boat between the Tuamotus and Hawaii (24 days). A couple of years later, I went from New England to Bermuda, and was horrified by the volume of traffic. I never sailed without a watch in the Atlantic or Carribean again. Way too much traffic. In the early days I always had a windvane. I cant imagine the fatigue factor sailing watch and watch with just 2 people and no self steering. Pay your dime and take your chances. ____Grant.
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Old 06-10-2014, 22:11   #15
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Re: Do you keep a constant lookout?

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Our policy of a good watch is every 15 minutes a real good scan is taken. By that I mean cutting your scan into 15 degree pieces of pie so to speak and getting a good look when you rise to the top of the swell and then move to the next 15 degrees etc. until you have done a real good 360 degree look. OK now go make your coffee or fool around with something or go back to your book but never let more than 15 minutes go by without a good scan.
Not good enough.. line of sight is roughly 7 miles, maybe a little more due to you being a couple feet above water line.
Container ships are known to travel at 30 knots or better.. So that 1/2 mile every minute... over a period of 15 minutes, Thats 7.5 miles and that container ship is closing down on you so fast it wont have time to alter corse, and when comming out of the cabin and seeing a ship closing down on you, I doubt youd have time to get out of his way..
and thats on calm seas.. any swell at all will change your sight......
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