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Old 17-10-2020, 08:21   #1
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Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

Sailing alone with AIS, and windvane steering or autopilot, can you get a few consecutive hours of sleep at night, or does the need for watching make that impossible? Coastal or trans-ocean..what do you do?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 17-10-2020, 23:11   #2
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

Hm, I guess everyone fell asleep.
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Old 17-10-2020, 23:30   #3
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

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Sailing alone with AIS, and windvane steering or autopilot, can you get a few consecutive hours of sleep at night, or does the need for watching make that impossible? Coastal or trans-ocean..what do you do?

Thanks,
Jim

Big ocean, little boat.

And good tech helps
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Old 17-10-2020, 23:41   #4
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

Coastal, I stand up and check 360 degrees, ais etc and if nothing is in sight reset the alarm for 15 minutes and nap in the cockpit. Alarm on wrist so never fails to wake me. That's nz coastal, of course, where you might see one boat in 24 hours.

Busier areas with traffic, separation zones, fishing boats, ports, or shipping lanes then plan to be there when you're wide awake or find somewhere to anchor quietly for a nap.

Crossing oceans, once a day out and not in shipping lanes then you can probably go for longer as long as you have noisy ais and radar alarms
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Old 18-10-2020, 02:58   #5
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

Look at the book on singlehanded sailing by A.Evans. You can download an electronic copy for free from the singlehanded sailing society (thank you for providing this):



Resources | Singlehanded Sailing Society


Regards,



-Richard
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Old 18-10-2020, 04:12   #6
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

Quote:
Originally Posted by river251 View Post
Hm, I guess everyone fell asleep.
Nope. Just lots of previous threads on this topic, River.

I'll see if I can find the links for you...
LittleWing77

Here are probably the most useful:
Singlehanded Passagemaking - Best Practices
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...es-206147.html

Sailing Long-Distance Solo
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...lo-218832.html

More pertinent to your sleep question:
Singlehanded Sleep Schedule
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...le-188155.html

There are many, many more - going back to 2007 - but these three will probably answer your questions thoroughly.
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Old 18-10-2020, 05:27   #7
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

This is a quandary. Good seamanship includes a good watch, but any single-hander has to sleep. My father in-law, long ago, was deck officer on a frieghter, way off the shipping lanes in the Pacific, and evaded a sailboat, buttoned up, and non-responsive to the ship's horn. A freighter (God Forsaken Sea) docked in Yokahama with standing rigging wrapped around it's anchor. And so on.

So where's the compromise? I think that if I had to do it (I have no intention thereof) I'd say that a radar, and a clear radar screen, was a minimum for sleeping. AIS is great, but it won't stop you from hitting something without AIS.

You'll have to decide what's right for you.
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Old 18-10-2020, 05:55   #8
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

This is going to be a problem that will have to be worked out by each singlehander.

Here there are obstacles as for as 15 to 20 miles offshore. So you'd probably want to be out further.

Then especially if you are older this sleeping for 15-20 minute BS isn't real sleep. You will not be rested the next day.

Some of us can barely sleep at anchor and are checking every hour or so when we wakeup.

So my plan is to attempt short hops here and there. My first one will be maybe a 200 mile run from Cape Lookout around the Outer Banks back to the Bay. The problem with this is I'll have to stay out all the way or attempt to enter one of the hairy inlets along the outer banks that has no clear channel and local knowledge is recommended......so I'd stay out unless there was an emergency or something......or maybe sleep a bit during the day hove two or moving very slowly. The noise alone will be enough to keep most of us awake until we adjust

I'll probably try and leave an hour or so before sunrise in Summer and sail all that day then overnight and hopefully get in the 2nd day using that 15-20 minute BS technique and when I do get back it will take days to get back to normal sleepwise

And I don't mean doing this without testing first. I'd be hanging out at Cape Lookout for a few days checking my planned route then wait for the right wind forecast.....15-25 knots out of the South or SW would be much appreciated

Equipment-wise I plan to use my AIS CPA Alarm, autopilot, and add an Echomax Active XS Radar Reflector that alarms when it is painted by radar.

https://www.landfallnavigation.com/c...D_BwE#132=1663
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Old 18-10-2020, 06:31   #9
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

I worry more about hitting whales than other boats.. can't see them.
AIS alarm, light sleep (problem is I can sleep pretty good at the helm), a look around when a change in sounds wakes me. The big boats you can see when they're miles and miles away so easy to stay aware of those.
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Old 18-10-2020, 06:46   #10
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

I set several alarms for one hours naps as much as possible. I sleep day or night or whenever I feel I might be able to sleep.

Obviously not when there is heavy traffic close or close inshore, but otherwise as much as possible.

no radar no AIS.

Did a 16 day run with this system, was excelllent.

If there is no wind I drop the sails, shut off the alarms, light my boat up with the spreaders and nav lights off if it's at night. I get a few hours in a row then.

Just answering the OP, not interested in arguing or dealing with the trolls
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Old 18-10-2020, 08:34   #11
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

Richard, thank you very much, that will be great to read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Topspin View Post
Look at the book on singlehanded sailing by A.Evans. You can download an electronic copy for free from the singlehanded sailing society (thank you for providing this):



Resources | Singlehanded Sailing Society


Regards,



-Richard
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Old 18-10-2020, 08:37   #12
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

Littlewing (and everyone else) I apologize for not doing my due diligence. I'm always quick to ask a big question I have without searching to see if it's already been answered, as it often has. Thanks, I'll try harder to belay my typing fingers and look at what's there.

Thank you very much for providing these links.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Nope. Just lots of previous threads on this topic, River.

I'll see if I can find the links for you...
LittleWing77

Here are probably the most useful:
Singlehanded Passagemaking - Best Practices
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...es-206147.html

Sailing Long-Distance Solo
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...lo-218832.html

More pertinent to your sleep question:
Singlehanded Sleep Schedule
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...le-188155.html

There are many, many more - going back to 2007 - but these three will probably answer your questions thoroughly.
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Old 18-10-2020, 08:44   #13
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

"Red over red, Captain's in bed".LOL!

I catnap in the cockpit, 10 or 15 minute egg timer set. Some guys can do this. Some can't hack it more than one day. I can get by okay for 4 or 5 days, never tried longer solo passages than that. Never had AIS or radar available on any boat I sailed solo on multi day runs but I would still if so equipped, do regular horizon scans. "My radar must have malfunctioned" is not going to wind back the clock to before a disaster, nor help you out in court.
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Old 18-10-2020, 09:04   #14
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

Such an interesting question. As I anticipate being a single handed sailor at some point I have tried to come up with a useful sleep strategy. Anyone who has been in the military has spent periods of at least 24 hrs. w/o sleep. So I think I could go w/o sleep for that period of time, longer in a pinch, then find a place to put in/anchor so I can catch up relatively undisturbed. Anyone tried this?

Of course after, say, 36-48 hrs, alertness and efficiency fall off considerably, but 24 hrs. is really not that bad. The best idea is to make your hops short enough that your need for sleep is not overtaxed very often.
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Old 18-10-2020, 09:40   #15
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Re: Fifth question: Sailing alone, and sleep

Quote:
Originally Posted by river251 View Post
Sailing alone with AIS, and windvane steering or autopilot, can you get a few consecutive hours of sleep at night, or does the need for watching make that impossible? Coastal or trans-ocean..what do you do?

Thanks,
Jim
You sleep and let the rule book readers write about it forever
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