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Old 04-08-2012, 14:23   #1
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Sleeping While Auto Pilot Is On

While sailing is it normal to set the autopilot and go down and sleep till morning or get what sleep you want?
I'm thinking if you are making a big blue crossing one may but while doing the islands ( caribbean ) you should have somebody on watch?
Anybody?
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Old 04-08-2012, 14:32   #2
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

You need to take a sailing course. It will answer all your questions.
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Old 04-08-2012, 14:39   #3
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

Many do. None should.

COLREGS: The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea

According to Rule 5*, all vessels are responsible for maintaining a proper look-out at all times; including single-handed crews, unmanned crafts, and recreational boats. The term look-out implies watching and listening so that he/she is aware of what is happening around the vessel.

* "... Rule 5 - Lookout
Every vessel must at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight (day shape or lights by eyes or visual aids)and hearing (sound signal or Marine VHF radio) as well as by all available means (e.g. Radar, ARPA, AIS, GMDSS...) in order to make a full assessment of the situation and risk of collision ..."
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:06   #4
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The only time I have heard of a incident was that Australian girl who was asleep in a known channel. Ignore gotds pasted quotes. We sleep off shore. But we do not sleep like a 9 to 5 job. Really depends on where you are. Sailing up the Chester river I watch steer check charts. 300 miles off shore I my life becomes tiny segments of 15 minutes.. 9 to 5 means nothing. You start a life with a different cycle. Hope that helps.
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:20   #5
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

Legally, as GordyMay points out, all vessels are required to keep watch. The legal precedent on Rule 5 is that "look-out" means human observation not just electronics etc. From a practical perspective, large commercial traffic can come over the horizon quite quickly so best to be watching for it.

Traditionally, the way this is done is to keep rotating watch schedules where one or more crew are "on-watch" while the others are "off-watch".
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:21   #6
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

Depends how much you want to wake up warm and dry.
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:33   #7
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

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Depends how much you want to wake up warm and dry.
Or at all...
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:39   #8
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

Its not just other boat traffic. There are a number of situations that can develop with a boat and it's systems that are best handled immediately. Things like shackles, knots coming loose. Wires getting hot and smoking. Bilge pumps that start running continuously. Diesels that leak all their oil out.....approaching squalls can hit suddenly with violent gusts. Eventually something fails and the interval it takes to wake up and get up topside and assess the problem and come up with a response can cost valuable time. Whoever is on watch is supposed to catch a lot of these things in time before the drama starts.

Some days it wouldn't matter if you slept 8 hours straight. But how do you know which day that is?
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:40   #9
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

Most pirate victims report waking to find men in the cabin. There are better ways to wake up, but most include a possibilty of death.
In the wide ocean it's a reasonable risk, coastal or shipping lane it's stupidity.
I reserve the right to express an opinion.
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:44   #10
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
Its not just other boat traffic. There are a number of situations that can develop with a boat and it's systems that are best handled immediately. Things like shackles, knots coming loose. Wires getting hot and smoking. Bilge pumps that start running continuously. Diesels that leak all their oil out.....approaching squalls can hit suddenly with violent gusts. Eventually something fails and the interval it takes to wake up and get up topside and assess the problem and come up with a response can cost valuable time. Whoever is on watch is supposed to catch a lot of these things in time before the drama starts.

Some days it wouldn't matter if you slept 8 hours straight. But how do you know which day that is?
Just asking, but do you often have that much go wrong on one voyage?
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:48   #11
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

We take watches offshore, but for the most part we are not totally with it when on watch at night. Trust me when something goes wrong you wake up fast and at least you are not as sleep deprived.

You just get a sense too when things are starting to go wrong and you wake up. It's a pretty rhythmic sleep out there and anything that changes that is usually noticed.
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:48   #12
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

You only need one to ruin your day. Hey it's a judgement call. Everybody sleeps at the same time, or not.
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:50   #13
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Rubbish. I'm not a known sailor with a following. So my experience solo is just rebel crap. Let's look at my favorites Webb chiles, Slocum Robert Manrey, Knox johnson, blondie, Roger Taylor etc... And then a few hundred without accolades. Yes we sail we ignore the likes of over documented Duffey crap and we sail. Yes you can.
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:52   #14
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

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The only time I have heard of a incident was that Australian girl who was asleep in a known channel.
There are plenty more things that happen "out there", but don'T make the MSM "news". One blog I arrived at from this forum described how a sailor noticed a freighter come into harbour with a sailboat's mast caught on its anchor and a streak of paint on the hull. "Education of a Falcon" springs to mind with regard to the identity of that witness...help me out, someone.

I shudder to think how many "missing at sea" cases are because someone nodded off and got run down by a freigher....or smashed from below by a sub, like that Japanese trawler that got KO'd by some subsea hoon showing off for bigwigs. Not much one can do about the subs...perhaps a kind word or two as you scrape yourself off the deckhead , but I doubt it.
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Old 04-08-2012, 15:57   #15
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Re: Sleeping while auto pilot is on

Oh lord, another single hander thread. Maybe I should throw in an anchor...
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