Cruisers Forum

Join CruisersForum Today

Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 03-09-2010, 22:15   #16
Senior Cruiser
maxingout's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Fort Pierce, Phoenix
Boat: Privilege 39 Catamaran, Exit Only
Posts: 2,621
On board Exit Only our watch system is a non-system.

I stay awake until I can't stay awake any longer, and then I get someone else up. Because I am so tired, I instantly fall asleep when the next person comes on watch.

My secret weapon is DVDs. When I get my wife up in the middle of the night, she can easily take watch for 3 to 5 hours as long as there is a DVD running in her portable DVD player. It's totally magic. Every ten minutes she checks the horizon, and the DVD keeps her wide awake. If she should get tired, she gets me up or someone else up so that she can instantly fall asleep when she hits the bunk.

Nobody lays awake in their bunk counting the minutes before the start of their watch.

It's kind of a weird way to run a watch non-system, but it works extremely well on Exit Only. I end up taking more hours of watch than the others, but that doesn't matter because I still get my sleep, and I never lay awake in a bunk thinking about going on watch.

Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
maxingout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 22:58   #17
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 98
Over the years we have tried many various systems, also being ex navy we have tried splitting the dog watch's.

Now in the declining years we find the best system suited for us, bearing in mind we sail in the below 40degree latitudes, where the weather can change quickly is for 1hour on/off during night. (8pm-6am) and 3 hour stints the rest of the time with a shared 1 hour for lunch 1200 and tea 7pm.

eg:- 0600-0900
1200-1300 (Both sharing for communication and meal)
1900-2000 (Both sharing for communication/meal and setting
the boat up for night run)

Appreciate this will not suit everyone or for that matter anyone else, works for us.

The bottom line is to experiment and find out what works for you, but the best tip here has been "make sure the day watch is strictly adhered to and rest!


Get-a-Life is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2010, 23:27   #18
Registered User
Albro359's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Elyse is in Fiji
Boat: Amel Super Maramu 2000
Posts: 511
Two of us went from Vavau, Tonga to lautoka Fiji and then later on to Vila, Vanuatu with 3 on 3 off from 6pm to 6am then 4 on 4 off but relaxed most of the day time as the weather was easy.

I really think 2 hrs off is not enough to get quality sleep...3 is much better.

Going to Noumea in 10 days with me plus 2 inexperienced crew..that'll be interesting...a t least its only 2 days !!
See you out there ....... Alan S.V. Elyse
Albro359 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2010, 00:21   #19
Registered User
Solstice's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Living and working in San Francisco until the next time we go cruising.
Boat: Sceptre 41 #12
Posts: 63
Send a message via Skype™ to Solstice
We do 3 on 3 off all the time, but we're a little more relaxed about it during the day, but we still maintain the same schedule because it's easy to remember without writing it down. The first couple of days are a little tough, but then we adjust. My husband cooks, and I clean up. I agree with Charlie about reducing the sail at night, at least for my watch if my husband wants to be sure of uninterrupted sleep.

I like the idea of scheduling time together that someone else posted. I'll have to look into that.
Shirlee Smith
s/v Solstice
San Francisco
Solstice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2010, 01:19   #20
Registered User
rusky's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Queensland
Boat: Peterson 46
Posts: 340
Images: 6
On passage;

We dont use a rigid watch system. For the 2 of us, I do more of the 'On Watch' and rest when I feel I need it. I get well fed and get at least 10 hours per 24 at rest. My wife likes the midnight to 3 or 4 am anyway, when I like to sleep. She sleeps before midnight when I am wide awake.

During the day, as long as one of us is in the cockpit.

A 360 degree watch at least every 7-10 minutes to ensure a 'steel island' is not steaming up to us. We use an eggtimer [set for 10 min] in pocket to remind when to look around.
rusky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2010, 03:47   #21
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 741
Two thoughts, don't DVDs kill your night vision? We read with red lights and keep only red lights on in the nav station and the galley at night. And, waiting until you are too tired seems to me a recipe for diasaster, too tired is always one step past good judgment in our experience.
Hannah on 'Rita T' is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2010, 06:13   #22
Moderator Emeritus
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 32,215
Images: 240
Originally Posted by Hannah on 'Rita T' View Post
... We read with red lights and keep only red lights on in the nav station and the galley at night...
Extremely dim light of any colour will preserve night vision, since that what night vision is for - for seeing in extremely dim light. At these EXTREMELY dim levels, blue-green is the light wavelength we are most sensitive to, and therefore can be used at lower intensity levels than any other extremely dim colour.

Red light preserves night vision, at a higher intensity level than any other colour, since the dim light elements of the eye are insensitive to red light. This allows you to operate more effectively with red light, as a result of the greater light intensity possible, and therefore more detailed perception of the environment by the red-sensitive elements, of the eye without disrupting your night adaptation.

See also these articles:

Night Vision: The Red Myth
Night Vision - The Red Myth

Green or Red for Better Night Vision?

EQUIPPED TO SURVIVE (tm) - Green or Red for Better Night Vision?
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

GordMay is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2010, 06:46   #23
Eternal Member
capt_douglas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Boat: Vancouver 36 cutter????
Posts: 620
Send a message via Skype™ to capt_douglas
I've always found that daylight watches seem "easier" than those after sunset. I run 4-hour daylight watches and 3-hour night watches if I'm short handed (or 2-hour night watches if I've got crew). From experience, I've found that 2 hours off at night is too little time, and 4 hours on too long.

Some folks think that long/short watches with watches the same time every day is the way to go, but unless you really like those o-dark 30 watches, most folks like the cycling of the watch. I like the night watches personally so I tend to gravitate to those if given a choice.

I don't allow crew to listen to music or read when on watch and that can impact the "wakefullness" and "attentiveness" as well. Some folks find the cooler temps and a quiet the best time of day.

There are others that are more flexible, letting the crew sort things out. What works best is dependent on the vessel, experience, and conditions.

Capt. Douglas Abbott
USCG/MCA IV/M.I./C.I. 500-ton Oceans
capt_douglas is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Exhaust System Diagram (New System) SkiprJohn Engines and Propulsion Systems 19 28-08-2014 04:23
Watchkeeping Scheduling on Longer Passages Aussiesuede General Sailing Forum 26 12-04-2014 06:26
Watchkeeping Dangers csiunatc General Sailing Forum 4 09-08-2008 08:27
best system? beau Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 5 25-02-2007 21:09

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:19.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.