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Old 26-11-2014, 00:45   #16
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Re: Comprehensive Watch Change Process and Checklist

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
For the few overnights we have done, we first started with a rigid schedule and then found that loosening it worked well. My wife knows when I am getting good sleep and vice versa, so we let each other sleep if we are still good to go.

However, what I did not know was how detailed a change over should be. Do you write down the engine temp, oil temp, etc... in the log book? Do you discuss VHF or SSB interactions? What about gear that broke? Do you tidy the lines? Make food? Discuss the upcoming four hours? What about AMPS and battery charge?

I think that once we identify a formal process, we will identify where we each have gaps and then focus on those for the change over. For example, if she notices that I fail to keep an eye on the engine stats, my wife will make sure we check that out together before the switch over.
zboss - do you keep a logbook? I ask because a number of the items you mention would be written down. Engine hours/malfunctions etc. If you keep a motor log -these would be in there (not everyone keeps a motorlog).


Radio contacts? When we change watch we discuss it if the situation is still developing - say the watchkeeper has agreed a port to port passing witha larger ship - yes that is definitely something to discuss. Other radio contacts? If the situation has passed - not necessarily.

Broken or malfunctioning gear? always

Actually a properly kept logbook would contain virtually all the information a relieving watchkeeper would need to know

Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to keep a proper log.
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Old 26-11-2014, 20:36   #17
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Re: Comprehensive Watch Change Process and Checklist

I keep a maintenance log, parts log, etc. but we do not keep an actual logbook. My wife is hung up thinking that keeping a partially written travel blog somehow equates to a logbook. Its an uphill fight.

Her opinion of this is rooted in my knowledge gap.
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Old 26-11-2014, 21:22   #18
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Re: Comprehensive Watch Change Process and Checklist

One way to think about keeping a logbook is to consider it a legal
Document that would hopefully help you explain the situation in a court of law if it were to came to that.

Good watch changing habits are an essential part of good seamanship. Not much to add that hasn't been said already.
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Old 26-11-2014, 23:02   #19
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Re: Comprehensive Watch Change Process and Checklist

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
I keep a maintenance log, parts log, etc. but we do not keep an actual logbook. My wife is hung up thinking that keeping a partially written travel blog somehow equates to a logbook. Its an uphill fight.

Her opinion of this is rooted in my knowledge gap.
Yep - uphill fights are a bear

As benjiwood noted, a log is a legal document and courts actually place a lot of weight on a properly kept log. So if someone t-bones you at sea and your log shows you had AIS/radar/nav lights turned on, the court place a lot more credance in your explanation than in someone who stands there empty -handed and says "Yeah we were cruising along with everything on."

Try getting your wife to keep a very basic log. Time, position, course, wind, waves, comments

And fill it in every 2 hours - this is not a major effort and will shortly become second nature . then you can start adding whatever else you feel is necessary.

Actually, we like our log - sometimes we go back and read some of the comments and bring back great memories (and we also keep a travellog)
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Old 27-11-2014, 06:06   #20
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Re: Comprehensive Watch Change Process and Checklist

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One way to think about keeping a logbook is to consider it a legal
Document that would hopefully help you explain the situation in a court of law if it were to came to that.
Its not a legal document.
Any bit of paper with scrawl on it can be tendered 'in court'. If its accepted as admissible is another thing entirely, as is the weight a court will put on it. Its just the same as writing on the back of a beer coaster.
Commercial vessels are different.
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Old 27-11-2014, 17:07   #21
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Re: Comprehensive Watch Change Process and Checklist

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Its not a legal document.
Any bit of paper with scrawl on it can be tendered 'in court'. If its accepted as admissible is another thing entirely, as is the weight a court will put on it. Its just the same as writing on the back of a beer coaster.
Commercial vessels are different.
You are both correct and mistaken here Mark:what:

Maintaing records is not legal except where mandated by marine agencies. (MARPOL, COAST GAURD)

However, the quality of any log used in evidence will certainly be scrutinized as to content and consistency.

The good news is that pleasure boaters are judged to a much lower standard than professionals..... Which I believe is a mistake.
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Old 01-12-2014, 16:45   #22
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Re: Comprehensive Watch Change Process and Checklist

I haven't seen it mentioned here, and some may disagree at least in part that it should be a change over item. So two items, the first I think people will agree on is:
-Take a look in the bilge, see if you've made water, and if so how much and why.
-The second might be more of a daily depending on circumstances is a quick check of your ullage. I'd say if you're motoring, then at least fuel level should be a change over item.
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Old 01-12-2014, 17:00   #23
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Re: Comprehensive Watch Change Process and Checklist

Safety checks at watch change is a good idea since you have more people already awake if a problem is found.

Your use of ullage is mistaken as it is normally a safety measurement of empty space when bunkering to allow for expansion and/or spillover in a seaway

this explains the difference
http://www.marineinsight.com/marine/...y-of-sounding/
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Old 01-12-2014, 19:10   #24
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Re: Comprehensive Watch Change Process and Checklist

Thank you Pelagic for the link. I am familiar with the difference between ullage and a sounding, I didn't come to use the term by accident though.
A sounding tells you how much fluid is in a tank, and ullage tells you how much fluid isn't in a tank.
I agree, ullage is useful for petro chemical cargos, because it does allow you to calculate for expansion. Ultimately they are two terms used for measuring how much fluid is or isn't in a tank though.
I used the term ullage because I have a large funny shaped fuel tank on my boat, and I tend to measure from the tank top down (because I can see the top of the fuel level with a flash light). You may have noticed I said "check" your bilge and take an "ullage" of your fuel tank.
About 17 or 18 years ago I did a stint on a chemical tanker as a third officer and learned the distinction then.
We can call it a sounding if you are in the mood for splitting hairs though.
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