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Old 01-12-2013, 21:25   #31
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

Have done more than 10,000 miles of open ocean sailing, all of it steered by wind controlled self steering. Have never had a situation where shifting winds drastically changed the course without me being aware of it, asleep or awake. Out on the open ocean, winds tend to blow steady for lengthy periods and when they do change rapidly, the motion of the boat with the resulting confused seas made it glaringly apparent. Way more boats have come to grief from autopilots, IMHO.

ON passages off soundings, sleep when I feel like and for as long as I feel like it. Have done it since I started making long offshore passages short handed in the 70's. Don't sleep as long as when I was younger usually waking up every 2-3 hours, now. Still haven't seen anything out there at night.
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Old 01-12-2013, 21:55   #32
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

Quote:
Posted by conachair: I would put the risk of personal injury with no one to help out much higher than collision.
In the last Vendee globe 3 of the boats had collisions even with AIS and radar. Two with fishing boats and one with a free floating channel buoy.
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Old 01-12-2013, 23:58   #33
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

Wotname; To knowingly commit a negligent act that will increase the chance of an accident is morally wrong. Lets say two sailboat collide with loss of life one boat single hander asleep the other a small family with 2 small kids asleep below, one kid dies in the collision. Where does that leave the sleeping singlehander morally? does it matter that it is a relatively rare type of accident? Because it is rare does that make the wrong right? As I stated before I doubt this is going to change any single handers behavior no more so than changing the attitudes of a habitual drunk drivers.
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Old 02-12-2013, 00:11   #34
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

Matey, most of my life is morally wrong according to some (many?).

Using your definition, everyone I know (or have ever met) have knowingly committed negligent acts and are thus immoral. Even listening to the radio while driving could qualify.

But this is probably not the place to discuss this subject so lets leave alone until we met and we talk it over while having a lemonade or two.
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Old 02-12-2013, 01:00   #35
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In the last Vendee globe 3 of the boats had collisions even with AIS and radar. Two with fishing boats and one with a free floating channel buoy.
Radar wasn't turned on then, and they weren't off the shelf.


Edit. Take that back. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/oth...-continue.html
Edit again - but this guy was on watch in the cockpit it says..?

I would say fishing boats are more of a risk for not keeping a watch.

You can't be legal but you can reduce the risk.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:10   #36
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

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Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
Wotname; To knowingly commit a negligent act that will increase the chance of an accident is morally wrong. Lets say two sailboat collide with loss of life one boat single hander asleep the other a small family with 2 small kids asleep below, one kid dies in the collision. Where does that leave the sleeping singlehander morally? does it matter that it is a relatively rare type of accident? Because it is rare does that make the wrong right? As I stated before I doubt this is going to change any single handers behavior no more so than changing the attitudes of a habitual drunk drivers.
This is assuming the boat with the family is also not keeping a watch.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:14   #37
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

I dont sail single handed, view where invented to help a skipper get some sleep.

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Old 02-12-2013, 08:54   #38
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pirate Re: Sleeping at Sea

Everyone goes on about the single hander being illegal/irresponsible etc..
Often the Rule of the Road at Sea is quoted.. however this applies to heavy traffic areas and international shipping routes.. what you folk are prattling on about is like saying 'Green Laners' should be restricted to 50mph the same as on the highway...
Any solo sailor with a healthy love of life IS going to be alert and take reasonable care when navigating the busier area's... else I would have died long ago... instead of just one collision since 1965 when I was solo (2001) and T-Boned by a boat motor sailing at 6knots with all 4 crew members down below and unaware of my existence..
I was aware of theirs so carried on cooking my supper... but made an error of judgement on tidal effect off Start Point on a Spring ebb... with a light breeze from astern... so instead of passing my stern they struck me just fore of my mast... then the basturds did a runner.. this was in perfect vis at around 1730 hrs 1st of August.
So don't lecture me about 'Responsible Skippers and Crewed Boats' mate...
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:13   #39
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyschulman View Post
Wotname; To knowingly commit a negligent act that will increase the chance of an accident is morally wrong. Lets say two sailboat collide with loss of life one boat single hander asleep the other a small family with 2 small kids asleep below, one kid dies in the collision. Where does that leave the sleeping singlehander morally? does it matter that it is a relatively rare type of accident? Because it is rare does that make the wrong right? As I stated before I doubt this is going to change any single handers behavior no more so than changing the attitudes of a habitual drunk drivers.

I'm sure you know solo sailing is nothing new:

LIST OF SOLO CIRCUMNAVIGATORS
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:16   #40
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

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This is assuming the boat with the family is also not keeping a watch.
At night even a vigilant watch keeper can miss things. I suppose that is why it is ideal if all active boats have an active watch keeper so that the chances of one seeing the other are higher.

An example is on our last over nighter trip I was keeping watch, it wasn't even that late, maybe 11pm and everyone else on board was asleep. I had noticed what I thought was a sail boat about 5 miles off our bow, based on the running lights that I saw I concluded that it was traveling perpindicular to us and wasn't a problem or a concern. I went about my business which included cleaning things up a bit for the night, checking the GPS course, and topping off the fuel tank. Next thing I know about 10 minutes later I look off our port side to see that same sail boat just past us a lot closer than I was comfortable with. I certainly hope they had an active watch AND had an eye on us as they passed as even though I KNEW they were in the vicinity and WAS keeping what I would consider an active watch at one point they had disappeared from my view/watch (probably behind the sail or something) and changed course and ended up awfully close to us.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:20   #41
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

I am not trying to change behavior or wage a crusade here all I am trying to do is point out that on a public site such as this when the question of sailing without a proper watch is brought up it should be acknowledged that this is not proper behavior no different than speeding or overdoing the booze. That people are going to do it anyway is not the point. That it is in the nature of humans to do so is not the point. The point is there is a standard of correct behavior in this circumstance and that calls for a proper watch at all times. Single handers who ignore that standard can even though rare find themselves in the position of causing a collision except for the probability factor no different than somebody who causes an accident by excessive speed or DUI and most of those people if asked prior to the accident would make very light of their transgressions regarding the accepted standards of behavior.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:30   #42
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

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This is assuming the boat with the family is also not keeping a watch.
Even if no one was standing watch in the family boat that would not totally absolve the other boat from fault.

Have posted this before and guess it's time to post it again. Far offshore and out of shipping channels is no guarantee there's no risk of collision. I have twice had to change course to avoid colliding with another sailboat with no one standing watch.

Once was about halfway between the Windward Passage and Jamaica. I was headed north back to FL, middle of the night, no moon and totally overcast to boot so very dark. We were runnning on AP but standing watch. About 2 am I think I see a shadow dead ahead but no lights and not sure if anything was really there. Then maybe 100 yds away I can make out sails heading straight for us. Sailboat headed south with no running lights and obviously no one on watch since we were well lit.

If I had asleep letting the AP run the boat or if I had not been paying close attention we would have collided. With 25 kt winds and 6-8' swells it could have been exciting.

So just in my limited sailing around the Atlantic and Caribbean I have had two close calls with sailboats that had no one standing watch which makes me think the odds are a bit higher than some believe.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:56   #43
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

The above discussion brings up an interesting question: you are well offshore and exhausted is it safer to heave too and sleep for a few hours or too sleep while under autopilot? Assume lights and AIS/radar.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:13   #44
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

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The above discussion brings up an interesting question: you are well offshore and exhausted is it safer to heave too and sleep for a few hours or too sleep while under autopilot? Assume lights and AIS/radar.
No problem unless Boatman61 is out solo and is below asleep as well.

Seriously, either way I think about the same and 99.9% safe. Based on other threads and discussions I would consider AIS only a guard against large, commercial vessels but for now, plenty of smaller boats, fishing trawlers, pleasure boats and such don't have AIS.

If the sea conditions aren't too rough then radar with a guard zone set should cover most of the non AIS boats but still not 100%. I once spoke with a tug pulling a string of barges to discuss our crossing. It was pretty choppy and he could not see me on his radar when we were less than 2 miles apart. I was on a 32' glass boat with an aluminum mast and no radar reflector. I assumed I would show at least a little return but none. I did buy a reflector as soon as I got home but there's still plenty of boats without.

So if it was pretty rough even the radar might miss a small boat.

Heaving too might give a very slight advantage since it would slightly reduce the closing speed with another vessel, giving them a little more time to spot you.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:40   #45
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

Suppose there are two of you aboard, you're three days out on a just-begun voyage, and you come down with the flu, and both of you are too sick to keep a proper watch. This actually happened to Jim and me, and moralizing aside, we were hard put to keep hydrated while we had the fever. What we did do, was heave to, and we had the anchor light on at night, so that anyone approaching would be able to tell they were overtaking, and keep clear. As it happens, if someone did come, they successfully avoided us.

The point is that regardless of rules or laws, the world is as it is, and sometimes something may happen that renders you "irresponsible." And the rest of the world copes with it.
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