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Old 11-04-2010, 19:14   #1
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Sleeping at Sea

Is there such thing ? I mean what happens to your boat while you sleep ? I dont mean while in port, i mean your out at sea heading somewheres and you need to sleep. What do you do ? stop the boat have a nap then keep going ?
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Old 11-04-2010, 19:28   #2
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You get one of the other crew members on the boat to drive while you sleep.
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Old 11-04-2010, 19:37   #3
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I have crossed the gulf six times from Texas over to the keys and back single handed, I get into a routine with sleeping during the day for 15 minute naps, if you call it that and then stay up all night I do have radar on the boat and can set up safety zones but the alarm wound not wake me up so I don't sleep at night at all. I sail at around 6 knots and you can grab a 15 or 20 minute nap get up take a look around and then lay back down. I have a large cockpit and the side seats are 7 feet long so with a good cushion and a pillow it is not that bad.

It is just what I do.......
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Old 11-04-2010, 19:45   #4
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There are plenty of people who like to single hand and just take 15 minute cat naps. Sometimes this isn't even possible if you are near a major shipping port, near fishing grounds, etc. The rest of us prefer to sail with at least one other person who we trust enough to run the boat without us. People like different length watches from 10 minutes (winter with an exposed helm) up to 6 hours or so. 4 on and 4 off is pretty standard.
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Old 11-04-2010, 20:16   #5
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I have never been on a yacht where there was not at least one other person to stand watch. I can tell you I would not feel uncomfortable sailing without someone awake and on watch. If I was going to sail singlehanded, I would want to do it in a steel monohull just in case I ran into something while I was asleep.

When we were sailing up the Red Sea, one of the singlehanders fell asleep and ran his yacht up on a reef before he could tack away from the shore. In enclosed bodies of water, singlehanding is particularly challenging. I also met a Kiwi in the Red Sea who fell asleep as he was tacking up the Red Sea, and we woke up just before driving his yacht ashore, and he quickly tacked saving his yacht from major damage.

The most unique watch system I have ever seen was an engaged couple cruising on separate yachts. They met while cruising singlehanded in their own yachts, and they fell in love. Matters were further complicated by the fact that the female yachtie became pregnant. They decided on a New Zealand wedding as they sailed across the Pacific. They developed a watch system that seemed to work good for them.

They kept the yachts in close proximity as they sailed across the Pacific. One person would sleep and the other would stand watch on the second yacht. When their watch was completed, the other person would wake up and take watch for both yachts. That way they both got a good amount of sleep.

There are a lot of ways to skin the cat if you are creative.
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Old 11-04-2010, 20:39   #6
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It's called a watch system. Most of us stand watch four hours on, four hours off. Just like they did in the days of the square riggers. Amazing how well your body will adapt to such a system when conditions are ideal, and how poorly you adapt in storms. Or even gales.
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Old 11-04-2010, 20:49   #7
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There are several different watch systems. This is from another forum

The Art and Science of Standing Watch - SailNet Community

I happen to like a modified Swedish system for 2 watches:

0600 - 1200 (A)
1200 - 1800 (B)
1800 - 2300 (A)
2300 - 0300 (B)
0300 - 0600 (A)
0600 - 1200 (B)
1200 - 1800 (A)
1800 - 2300 (B)
2300 - 0300 (A)
0300 - 0600 (B)

You can get a great long sleep each day. The night shifts are shorter. The two day cycle automatically dogs. The watch changes occur at meal times. The on - watch prepares the meal, the next watch cleans up.
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Old 11-04-2010, 21:45   #8
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solo

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
I have never been on a yacht where there was not at least one other person to stand watch. I can tell you I would not feel uncomfortable sailing without someone awake and on watch. If I was going to sail singlehanded, I would want to do it in a steel monohull just in case I ran into something while I was asleep.
Rightly or wrongly I do it solo. On a steel monohull . I felt very uncomfortable at the start, but once you get a few thousand miles under the hull rarely seeing another boat you get used to it, a bit anyway. If there is such a thing as a normal offshore passsage then it would be getting of the continental shelf as quickly as possible, get way out to sea, away from the inshore fishing boats and longliners which sometimes fish along the shelf. Usually off the shelf you are offshore from the commercial traffic going up and down the coast as well. Before that I can´t relax. Then it´s down to the radar alarm (LOUD) and ais alarm. I try to get up once an hour and have a look around, I need to write down the time each time I get up cos there´s no way I´ll remember when I last looked.

I think the 15 minutes thing is rubbish, I´ve yet to meet a singlehander who does this (offshore) and I believe it more dangerous than getting at least an hour in at a time. Really quickly sleep deprivation takes over and your judgement completely falls apart. Unless perhaps you are Ellen Macarthur which I´m not.
The Red Sea sounds horrible solo, if i ever make it out that neck of the woods then I´d have to think long and hard about going round South Africa instead.
I did Cape Verde to Brazil buddy boating with 2 other boats. While it was nice to have someone to chat to it was actually more stressful at night as the radar alarm had to be turned off. Of the 3 boats 2 of us were solo and the crewed boat had his autopilot synced up to gps so he was always close to the rhum line. The other 2 of us solo boats would wander away at night either side of the crewed boat then in the morning you knew which line the crewed boat was on but not if he was in front or behind. But we always found each other again and bunched up a bit again during the day for a chat and to lie about what size fish we caught .

Coastal solo even for a single night is horrible, stressful and to be avoided if at all possible. I can do a day/night/day without going too crazy but I think it´s *really* important to admit to yourself that your judgement is going to be impaired. I try to think through any important decisions carefully, then have a cup of coffee and think some more.

Offshore solo is beautiful, empty and an experience not easily forgotten.
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Old 12-04-2010, 00:19   #9
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Our watch system is:
0000-0400
0400-0800
0800-1300
1300-1900
1900-2400

Person ONwatch cooks.

Every second day you get 9 hours night time sleep in 13 hours!
on your day of long night watches you get a full 6 hours off before the night and, when finished and tired you are only sa few hours from your double night shift off
Your 'long' day you only cook once.

Its the most marvlous system I've seen and we arrive fresh as a daisy after any time at sea
Other benifit is with long off watch periods we are more likely to stay up a while and chat together.

Mark
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:09   #10
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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Coastal solo even for a single night is horrible, stressful and to be avoided if at all possible. I can do a day/night/day without going too crazy but I think it´s *really* important to admit to yourself that your judgement is going to be impaired...


I think this is right… sleep deprivation is s subtle thing at first and even if you don’t feel exhausted mental acuity (for me, at least) dips drastically after the 24-30 hour point, and probably measurably after as little as 18 hours with no break… I’ve not done any off-shore solo sailing, but occasionally do some coastal stuff where I’m at the helm for twenty plus (no auto-pilot or wind-vane, so the option of rest between 30-60 minute observations doesn’t exist -- yet) and I’ve gotten to where I guard myself – ironically, if by myself, I’ll press on, but if accompanied by another person that is a non-sailor and not competent/comfortable on the helm, I feel responsible to get some rest in a cove or something… In years past I did quite a little long-distance motorcycling, and found the same deal there… I loved spanning three-quarters of the continent in one long ride, but caffeine and wind/water in the face only does so much and I’ve had some scary experiences when pushing it -- for me at least I fear I’m getting into potentially dodgy territory after 24 hours even if I feel fine…
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Old 30-11-2013, 22:48   #11
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

is there a device on boats that allows one to get a full nights sleep. can a windvane keep a boat on course if say the wind changes direction?? is there a nother type of device as well?? if you have to specualate or lie dont respond.
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Old 30-11-2013, 23:08   #12
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

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is there a device on boats that allows one to get a full nights sleep. can a windvane keep a boat on course if say the wind changes direction?? is there a nother type of device as well?? if you have to specualate or lie dont respond.
Well aboard Sthomper,

No need to speculate or lie.

There are three main devices that will keep the boat on course.

1. Crew - not always reliable but can be shouted at if they foul up.

2. Autopilot - fairly reliable to keep boat on a constant heading and if interfaced to GPS etc, can keep boat on a constant track - doesn't work though if there is a major wind shift.

3. Windvane - fairly reliable though some have a steep learning curve. Won't keep the boat on a steady heading or track but will hold the boat constant relative to wind direction. If wind changes direction, so does the boat by the same amount. Not usually a problem (more a blessing) when well off-shore. Not so good inshore.

I have used all three and really, the crew is the best approach but the others have their place.

Note that the autopilot and windvane can both be shouted at but this has far less effect than shouting at crew - at least that has been my experience. Be warned though, if you shout enough at the crew, you will need an autopilot or windvane.

Note also this thread 3 years old.
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Old 30-11-2013, 23:47   #13
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

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is there a device on boats that allows one to get a full nights sleep. can a windvane keep a boat on course if say the wind changes direction?? is there a nother type of device as well?? if you have to specualate or lie dont respond.
Not really no. The masters of this are the Mini sailors,a nod they get in the routine of 15 minute naps combined with longer naps during the day or when conditions allow. But it is routine to stay up and push for 48 hours at a time. There is a lot written about this, and it can be very dangerous both mentally and physically. Visual hallucinations are extremely common among the solo distance racers, and have led in at least one case to a confirmed suicide (based on the logs). With cardiac issues also common.

Long distance solo non-racers tend towards a longer sleep cycle, which is slower, but also safer, and less prone to fatigue induced hallucinations.
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Old 01-12-2013, 00:30   #14
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Angry Re: Sleeping at Sea

Yep,

Just ask the skippers of the WSDOT ferries.

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is there a device on boats that allows one to get a full nights sleep. can a windvane keep a boat on course if say the wind changes direction?? is there a nother type of device as well?? if you have to specualate or lie dont respond.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:08   #15
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Re: Sleeping at Sea

is there a device on boats that allows one to get a full nights sleep (other than gps guidance)????

i was asking this forum not ferry captains per se. give them a ring for eh?
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