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Old 30-06-2016, 09:26   #1
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Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

Hi, fellow catamaran cruising couples.

I'm curious, what have you developed over time as your rules for wearing PFD's, and for using tethers when doing multi-day passages? Does it change when it's just the two of you vs. having multiple people on board?

Also, have you developed a preferred watch schedule for extended passages?

I'm looking for actual cruisers who have come to their own conclusions to relate their own practices, not theoreticians laying down the Holy Writ for the rest of us, pleae!
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Old 30-06-2016, 10:25   #2
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

Can't help you there--I spent 15 years doing double handed passages, but it was on a mono, and their rules are soooo different...
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Old 30-06-2016, 10:59   #3
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

We have been cruising a little while now. Here is our rules...

1. If away from the dock, PFD is worn at all times when outside of the cabin
2. Tether on night watch if outside of the cabin
3. We gauge the seas and may wear a tether during the day if its really rough.
4. Absolutely no peeing off the boat unless at anchor, mooring or dock.

As to watch. We do a shared watch during the day (i.e. someone always remembers to look every 15 minutes, sometimes its me, sometimes it her). We start our watch at 10pm and do 2 hour shifts. Sometimes we will give each other an extra hour if we are feeling good.
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Old 30-06-2016, 11:08   #4
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

When I single hand I wear my PDF and teather in at all times .
When I have one other person on trip I am more flexible except at night then we all wear PDF and teather in
As far as watches I usually run 3 hour watches . If I have another person who is not seasoned then I sleep in salon . If I have crew of 3 others then I start watches at dark and run a 3 hour watch.
Also I throw one reef in the main at dark just to be on safe side and do not go forward after dark. The fore sail is on a furler.
If for some reason deck work is needed then One person at helm ,all deck light on and then teathered in on jack lines.
At all times be safe. I watch the weather like a hawk and reef early.
Also if you feel like the weather is changing do what is needed to be safe.
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Old 30-06-2016, 11:11   #5
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

For a 2 watch rotation I use a modified Swedish watch system starting at 0600.

0600 - 1200 6 hours

1200- 1800 6 hours

1800 - 2300 5 hours

2300 - 0300 4 hours

0300-0600 3 hours

Pfd's worn when out of the companionway. Tethers as well.
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Old 30-06-2016, 14:45   #6
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

Dont have any rules for going forward, or indeed going backward other than Try not to hit anything.

But to answer your question, again we don't have any rules, just guidelines, the trouble with rules is they take over and you stop thinking. PFD on at night and PLB on the jacket. Reef in at night usually, watch keeping is simple, you stay on watch till you are tired, first yawn, off watch, some nights I can do all night others I cant make 3 hours, so if its the two of us, the principle is, stand watch while you can give it up when you aren't effective, works very well for us, but I do understand that others can get benefit out of a fixed schedule. Very very rarely tethered in daylight, almost always at night.
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Old 30-06-2016, 15:12   #7
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

Jacklin's rigged for night, typically offshore. Only go forward with tether AND another person in cockpit. Life jacket worn at night. Not tethered in if in cockpit. Three hour watch schedule if three crew. Four hour if two crew, or three hour for my wife as that is about her limit.
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Old 30-06-2016, 15:19   #8
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

Madame Capitaine's rules are: above 15kt winds, and always at night, PFDs on; tethered at night, always; tethered out of the pit in day

otherwise more or less like Factor describes
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Old 30-06-2016, 18:18   #9
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
For a 2 watch rotation I use a modified Swedish watch system starting at 0600.

0600 - 1200 6 hours

1200- 1800 6 hours

1800 - 2300 5 hours

2300 - 0300 4 hours

0300-0600 3 hours
Same here!
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Old 30-06-2016, 20:34   #10
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

On our recently sold Leopard 45 we had a very protected cockpit with full enclosure up most of the time, so it was more of an extension of the saloon. We did not wear PFD's at night unless the weather was quite ugly. Although, we did keep them in the cockpit right next to the helm with tethers attached and the jacklines rigged. I never went forward unless someone else was first called outside to observe.
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Old 01-07-2016, 05:00   #11
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

...during >100.000 miles the (iron!) rule
"if it's too far to swim ashore-tether!" has served us well...
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:40   #12
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

Double U: I don't want to highjack this thread, but 100,000 miles is a staggering figure. I've got to ask what has kept you going through 3 circumnavigations? Also how many years has this taken you?
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:58   #13
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

rereading my comment I meant this to be "while we were in the cockpit". When it comes to going forward I would almost always wear a PFD if going forward in an offshore situation.
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Old 01-07-2016, 07:05   #14
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

four coconuts:
1st one 7, 2nd 4 & 3rd 3 years.
...& the question is not "what kept us going?", it's "what made us stop?" (& the answer to that is: the schooling of our then-9-year old son)
2 sum up: of the many, many dreamers oft circumnavigations very few set out, fewer complete & - for "chosen few" it is THE life (""...& what it hasn't got is not worth having...")
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Old 01-07-2016, 08:43   #15
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Re: Bluewater Cats: Your rules for going forward?

When double handed (which is basically single handing with your crew asleep) I feel wearing PFD is pretty optimistic in warm water and delusionally optimistic in cold water. By all means wear one, but accept in your soul that it means nothing.

I recently added higher lifelines near the shrouds. I really like those.

Always set the jacklines. Always wear the harness offshore and always have the tethers clipped to the jackline... but not always to the harness. In this way everything is ready for use in just 2-3 seconds.

Cockpit. Not on most catamarans, not in settled weather. The cockpit is practically an extension of the cabin and falling out is nearly impossible. If I passed out, I would fall in on my boat. There are some cats with extreme outboard helms and winches, but mostly there is zero risk in the cockpit. If it really kicks up, that may change, depending on the cat. But in mine (center cockpit) a tether would only increase the risk of mishandling the boat and I cannot imagine weather, short of survival conditions under bare poles, where a tether would be safer. On the other hand, my last cat was more exposed and I regularly wore a tether in the cockpit. It also had no lifelines forward (not as bad as it seems--wide bow, no heel) So my feeling is that hard rules here don't fit.

Roll-overs and knock-downs. For mono sailors these are a great reason for tethers. For cat sailers they are great reasons not to clip a tether.

On deck. Very nearly always, and always if alone, even in flat calm weather. In part we do this as a matter of policy because when the crew comes up, if you are lying down or even kneeling on the tramp it looks like you are GONE. By always clipping, they know you are there somewhere, saving them panic. And who knows, you can always trip over your own feet, even in flat calm. One less thing to worry about.

If single handing in cold water I often wear a drysuit, even inshore. That will actually work, as compared to a PFD that will simply insure a few hours of misery.
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