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Old 24-02-2011, 19:12   #1
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Kids and Watches

Hello..
I'm aiming this more at families that have done a few 1000nm plus passages non-stop..
My kids all take watches, we do them in three hour shifts, the night watch is six hours, but we all wake up through the night, so the person on night watch is usually never alone for long, this said they have become quite accomplished sailors during the course of their lives and have picked up everything little but by little bit, they know how to operate all of the boats systems from the Nav system to all the sail control systems
I am wondering what ages parents here allow have confidence in their kids and their ability to take a watch without being supervised, and what parameters you do this under, Ie: if there is a need to tack, do you allow them to just perform this at their own judgment, course changes if needed, or do you have them come and talk to you first?
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Old 25-02-2011, 22:27   #2
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6 hours at night is a very very long watch. On a three person Crew I run three or four hour overlapping watches. Giving 5 hours of sleep

As to age that depends , but in general 14-16+ but there are many 10 year old better sailers then their parents. However it's the maturity to take decisions and also to know when not to, that really counts
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Old 25-02-2011, 23:19   #3
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Re: Kids and Watches

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
6 hours at night is a very very long watch. On a three person Crew I run three or four hour overlapping watches. Giving 5 hours of sleep

As to age that depends , but in general 14-16+ but there are many 10 year old better sailers then their parents. However it's the maturity to take decisions and also to know when not to, that really counts
Dave
Yeah 6 hours is long, but as I said they are never alone for long, if one of the kids has it that night, they often take the time to get ahead on their school work, one of them loves to draw, he will often spend most of the 6 hours drawing things he has taken photos of in our travels.

I should have also said in the original post, if we're going through a period of very heavy weather, I don't have the kids stand night watch, only if the winds are less than 32 knots. Most of our sailing seems to be done in winds 15 to 30 knots, we don't often see more than that.
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Old 26-02-2011, 07:01   #4
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I'm not a fan of haphazard relief of watches , putting teenagers on watch and then checking on them means nobody sleeps. Better do short watches and only relieve on standing orders. Ad hoc checking or ad hoc watch changes eventually exhausts the crew as nobody really knows whose on or off.

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Old 26-02-2011, 07:12   #5
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Re: Kids and Watches

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I'm not a fan of haphazard relief of watches , putting teenagers on watch and then checking on them means nobody sleeps. Better do short watches and only relieve on standing orders. Ad hoc checking or ad hoc watch changes eventually exhausts the crew as nobody really knows whose on or off.

Dave
Isn't a case of checking on them, more as everyone one the boat wakes up a couple of times through the night, I trust them to complete the watch and make their own decisions, we just go up on deck presuming it isn't freezing out and just say hi and talk for 5 mins, usually nothing to do with the watch.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:56   #6
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Re: Kids and Watches

We don't cruise at night except to roust the flying fish for a scenic run.

At Anchorage, our GPS has a drift alarm.
I'm a wear-a-belt-with-your-suspenders person that has the conventional anchor off the bow, and a box anchor off the stern.

I do sleep lightly though, and the wife is up all night anyway.
The thought of watches never crossed through my pea-sized brain.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:22   #7
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Re: Kids and Watches

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... My kids all take watches ...
I'm not in favour of kids having watches. They should learn to use a sun dial first, as did my generation.
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Old 04-04-2011, 16:12   #8
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Re: Kids and Watches

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I'm not in favour of kids having watches. They should learn to use a sun dial first, as did my generation.
Says Abraham :P
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Old 04-04-2011, 16:33   #9
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Re: Kids and Watches

Sundial. Aww come on. They should be able to tell the time by glancing up at the sun; it improves situational awareness.
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Old 04-04-2011, 16:37   #10
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Re: Kids and Watches

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I'm not in favour of kids having watches. They should learn to use a sun dial first, as did my generation.
Groannnnnnn!!! Gord.

I have a 12 year old nephew that is more capable than my 27 year old son. My boy is great if you want to kill every bad guy on every video game ever made. My nephew wants to go to the Air Force Academy and has never gotten below an "A" on any report card. So, that just show to go you that age is not the determining factor. No one knows the maturity level of your children any better that you do.

If they are capable of tacking during the day, I would think that it's no different at night while on watch. Now a jibe may be a horse of a different color.......unless it's a charlie horse and then it wouldn't be a horse at all now would it?

Really, it sounds as though your underage labor is capable of these decisions if they can do the navigation. I believe it will show that you have trust in them and make them all the more mature. Good job raising the young uns' and good luck in your choice. I say go for it. What's the worst that can happen. A little off course and a little later getting there. If there was a rush you wouldn't have gotten a sailboat.
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Old 04-04-2011, 16:47   #11
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Re: Kids and Watches

As soon as they are legally allowed to take over responsibility, it is OK. In EU it is often 18 y.o..

If they were my kids and sailing ones I would let them keep the night watch as soon as they have the stamina and skill to do so - if that's what they want.

Our standing orders are - if anything, wake up the skipper (on my boat - that's me), nomatterwhat. This applies to anybody on watch, no matter what age or competence level.

I started sailing at 4 (that's what mu parents will claim) and as far as I remember I was a decent sailor at 14. I was pretty strong by then too. But I bet there will be huge individual differences.

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Old 04-04-2011, 16:50   #12
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Re: Kids and Watches

There is so much variation in kids’ maturity and decision making skills that you can’t make a hard and fast rule on this.
Sleep deprivation is no good for anybody, least of all developing young brains.
Personally I wouldn’t put any of my kids on a night watch, but each to their own.
I suppose if they are a night owl, and feel confident and can be trusted then why not.
As for 6 hour watches I think that is too long for anyone to remain attentive without a break.
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Old 04-04-2011, 17:02   #13
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Sundial. Aww come on. They should be able to tell the time by glancing up at the sun; it improves situational awareness.
And cornea health.
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Old 04-04-2011, 17:04   #14
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Re: Kids and Watches

BTW

Who's Abraham?

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Old 04-04-2011, 17:14   #15
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Re: Kids and Watches

Keep in mind that when Gord was younger it had just stopped raining after 40 days and 40 nights. Ever see the movie "Waterworld". That's about it. He's been sailing for a day or two.
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