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Old 16-06-2011, 11:21   #31
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

Often, the choice comes down to:

a) deploying sea anchor and getting much needed rest in a remote area, or

b) crew attempting to enter a busy sea lane / harbour, completely exhausted and practically incapacitated due to lack of rest.

Argue the rule book all you'd like.
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Old 16-06-2011, 11:33   #32
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

I do not understand the need for a sea anchor.

As mentioned in a couple of other posts, just heave-to. Some of the crew can get some needed sleep, while others maintain the required lookout. And then switch watches.

BTW - I was once on a boat that was technically a NUC. We had taken out our transmission with a small piece of fishing net on route from Honolulu to Vancouver. We ran out of wind right at the entrance to Juan de Fuca. We spent a day and half adrift there with both Tofino and Seattle traffic monitoring us and warning the ocean going traffic of our presence. We did not have a the proper lights or dayshapes which is why we were not "legally" NUC.
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Old 16-06-2011, 11:34   #33
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

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Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
Incorrect. "The term “vessel not under command” means a vessel which through some exceptional circumstance is unable to manoeuvre as required by these Rules and is therefore unable to keep out of the way of another vessel."

Unless you have a broken rudder or something equivallent the vessel is under command. A sea anchor would not count unless (this is my interpretation) it was deploied in a serious storm and you could NOT simply cut it loose without great risk. In this case it is a bit like a broken rudder; you can't steer. Any thoughts on this?
Full agreement. NUC means the vessel is broken in such a way that it cannot be operated in accordance with the rules. It does not mean your underway vessel is working fine and you decided to crash out and go to sleep.

Obviously people sleep while underway leaving no one on watch (every sanctioned solo around the world race is a reminder of this), but if you slam into something you're 100% in the wrong.
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Old 16-06-2011, 11:35   #34
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

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I do not understand the need for a sea anchor.

As mentioned in a couple of other posts, just heave-to. Some of the crew can get some needed sleep, while others maintain the required lookout.
There are folks, especially on lighter displacement vessels with smaller keels, where the bow falls off too much in heavier wind. Using a sea anchor on a bridle (ala Pardey style) can keep proper angle and creates upwind turbulence that lessens the wave action a smidge.
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Old 16-06-2011, 11:44   #35
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

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There are folks, especially on lighter displacement vessels with smaller keels, where the bow falls off too much in heavier wind. Using a sea anchor on a bridle (ala Pardey style) can keep proper angle and creates upwind turbulence that lessens the wave action a smidge.
OK that is legitimate.

Hopefully any other vessels will give a wide berth. The on-deck crew might need to contact them and warn them about the sea anchor.
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Old 16-06-2011, 12:53   #36
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

This has to be about a balance of risks and a judgement call.

If you're adrift in the mouth of the straits of Juan de Fuca (that must have really sucked), then somebody needs to be awake at all times. Being tired is no excuse. If you're solo, then set an alarm for 10 minutes and suffer.

If you're a bit shagged out and you're 150 miles SW of the straits of Juan de Fuca, then you can easily sleep for a few hours with virtually zero risk to you or anyone else. I still wouldn't really want to do it as a matter of principle, but we went four days without even getting a hit on our AIS (30-50 mile range).

You need to understand where you are and what the risks are. Are there fishing boats or other cruisers out there with no AIS? Is it all commercial shipping? Nobody but fish? If you aren't solo and nobody is truly incapacitated (malaria or something), then keeping a basic watch at all times just isn't that hard. You can do short shifts for a while so people can recover, but I can't imagine a situation with two or more people on board where you can't keep somebody awake. Awake and able enough to make good decisions while approaching a difficult landfall is another matter. Might want to stand off for a while in order to rest and recover before doing anything really tough. Standing watch at sea isn't that tough, though (mentally).
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Old 16-06-2011, 13:06   #37
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

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This has to be about a balance of risks and a judgement call.

If you're adrift in the mouth of the straits of Juan de Fuca (that must have really sucked), then somebody needs to be awake at all times. Being tired is no excuse. If you're solo, then set an alarm for 10 minutes and suffer.
We ran our regular watch schedule. At least 2 on at all times.

BTW - in 2000 there was no AIS
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Old 16-06-2011, 13:47   #38
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

Case of a fishing boat adrift off the California coast struck and sank by a cargo ship in a traffic lane. Fishing boat with the crew below sleeping and displaying white all around masthead light. Cargo ship was responsible for collision. Fishing boat not responsible as drifting at night is a normal practice. The fact that the fishing boat was not maintaining a watch was determined to be irrelevant. The fact that the fishing boat was in a traffic lane was also irrelevant. The fact that the cargo vessel should have been able to avoid the fishing vessel was relevant.

Case of oil platform service vessels in the North Sea displaying the NUC signals and drifting with the crew below watching TV while waiting to dock with the platforms. The service vessels were directed to discontinue this procedure in this area due to interference with fishing vessels also working these waters. This directive stated that this was a special case and implied that this use of NUC signals was acceptable. There was no statement of rule violation in the directive.

After careful consideration it appears that while under sail, hove-to, or laying-to a sea anchor at night on the open ocean the tri-color light should be sufficient. The only vessels that might have right of way would be other sailing vessels. These vessels would most likely be going in nearly the same direction and at about the same speed. Thus, even if by some remote chance a collision should occur, it is highly unlikely that either vessel would go under.

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Old 16-06-2011, 14:39   #39
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

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No sorry, "Not Under Command", means Not Under Command, the reason for being Not Under Command is irrellevant.

Incapacitated crew, and deployed sea anchor, means the vessel is no longer able to manuver in present state, and should display the required signals, Two all around RED lights in vertical line, two BALLS in vertical line.
No disrespect, but is voluntary sleeping listed as incapacitated? Not that I am aware of. it's really the same as sleeping on watch, no? Please cite a reference.

Not to say I can't imagine myself doing this when single handing for a fast cat nap. Done it. But I recognize what I am doing is strictly improper.
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Old 16-06-2011, 14:41   #40
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

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There are folks, especially on lighter displacement vessels with smaller keels, where the bow falls off too much in heavier wind. Using a sea anchor on a bridle (ala Pardey style) can keep proper angle and creates upwind turbulence that lessens the wave action a smidge.
Agreed. My last boat would heave to, my current boat, not well under any combination.
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Old 16-06-2011, 15:11   #41
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

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Often, the choice comes down to:

a) deploying sea anchor and getting much needed rest in a remote area, or

b) crew attempting to enter a busy sea lane / harbour, completely exhausted and practically incapacitated due to lack of rest.
I'm not buying this, even given a short-handed crew. Shorten sail until the boat is as comfy as possible, and then set up a watch system. At the worst, the on-watch can snooze in the cockpit, naturally waking up ever 20 minutes or so, at which point the horizon can be quickly scanned.

Learning how to rest on a passage is an important cruising skill. The best sailors have mastered this ability, and have learned how to get to the end of a passage without exhausting themselves. A big part of it is learning how not to drive the boat to the point it wears you out. Not just reefing, but even switching to smaller headsails.

Resorting to a sea anchor just to catch up on your sleep is not the way better sailors are going to cope with the demands of passage making.
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Old 16-06-2011, 15:17   #42
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The conditions I would deploy a sea anchor in, would certainly not allow me to sleep knowing all the other crew are doing the same ........
I also would not deploy a sea anchor just to get some sleep ......
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Old 16-06-2011, 15:21   #43
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

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I'm not buying this, even given a short-handed crew. Shorten sail until the boat is as comfy as possible, and then set up a watch system. At the worst, the on-watch can snooze in the cockpit, naturally waking up ever 20 minutes or so, at which point the horizon can be quickly scanned.

Learning how to rest on a passage is an important cruising skill. The best sailors have mastered this ability, and have learned how to get to the end of a passage without exhausting themselves. A big part of it is learning how not to drive the boat to the point it wears you out. Not just reefing, but even switching to smaller headsails.

Resorting to a sea anchor just to catch up on your sleep is not the way better sailors are going to cope with the demands of passage making.
THANKYOU!!!!!!

i have never seen or heard of anyone setting a sea anchor just to catch sleep. thankyou. gawd knows i would not do that---i rather sail and keep a sleep timer on --someone on board will wake up and scan horizon-- even if watchman is sooo tired as to be unable to waken in 20 mins. on my boat i dont sleep well if there is an exhausted person on watch-- i will occasionally check the horizon as that individual, who is IN THE COCKPIT rests. worked fine.
having no one in cockpit is not merely lack of common sense, also is unsafe.
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Old 16-06-2011, 15:41   #44
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

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I'm not buying this,
I'm buying it. As skipper you think it will be a safer thing to do, then do it.

If the landfall, or other circumstances dictate then use what you think best to achieve it.

If the 2 man crew has just weahtered a 36 hour storm with no sleep and then needs to make a complicated harbor before the next storm front, he might well say 'lets hove to and both sleep for 2 hours then we can get into harbour safely'.

Those are the decisions as skipper can make
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Old 16-06-2011, 16:12   #45
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Re: Sleeping at a Sea Anchor ??

As a long time single hander, I sleep when I feel like it and let the vane take care of the boat. Actually, let the vane sail the boat all the time as I hate to drive. A few times when I've made landfall at night and didn't want to risk going into an unfamiliar port, have heaved to and gone to sleep. Have done it when I've been far enough offshore that a change in wind speed/direction and current wouldn't put me in danger. Don't reccomend doing this approaching a busy port like SF as there is just too much traffic.

BTW, not talking coastal sailing but offshore passages. Have done 72 straight hours at the helm on a coastal passage without self steering. Staying awake at the end was an unsafe condition. You really start seeing some interesting things after more than a day or so of no sleep. Should have heaved to and grabbed a couple hours of Z's. Even short periods of sleep are mightily refreshing.
fwiw, That's my normal sleep pattern at sea. Sleep for awhile, have a look around, back to sleep, awake again, etc. Don't set a schedule or rely on timers. Tried that and found myself feeling sleep deprived after a couple of days.

It would seem that the effort deploying and retrieving a drogue would take more time than the sleep would be worth. Hopefully your boat will heave to which only takes a few minutes to accomplish and pretty much does the same thing in normal sea conditions.
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