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Old 07-08-2020, 17:56   #136
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

Guess the number of variations youíre going to get here from our lovely community is at least equal to the number of those commenting here - probably more

It is important to first determine where you want to cruise and the length of point to point passages.

When we are only two we try not to plan more than a single overnight passages - max two nights. It wasnít the case years ago but I got tired of the longer passages - not so much fun. Most couples I know add at least one more crew when leaving for a long voyage, transatlantic etc.

Anyway, in the day time keep things flexible and usually take naps in the cockpit if the conditions allow. At night, we take 2 hours shifts the first and last shifts may be longer sometimes.


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Originally Posted by TheNomadicAspie View Post
The wife and I are considering getting a 35-40 foot sailboat in the next few months. One of the things we were wondering about is how couples handle sleeping? I'm assuming you take shifts sleeping when sailing? Does it depend on conditions? Does anchoring somewhere eliminate the need for "keeping watch?"

Is there a guide or resource that would teach us what we need to know? We've been on the forums and watching YouTubers but need more concrete information about how to sail and realistically what to expect.
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Old 07-08-2020, 18:33   #137
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

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Sorry but thatís just not important. Weíre going to be a liveaboard couple with a 12yr old, how the hell are we going to shag??

Quietly.
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Old 07-08-2020, 18:41   #138
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

We are still Newbies and continue to take in more lessons than we give out -

On passage one of us is at the helm 24/7. Depending on where we are, we may run down for a pee or a PB&J but never for more than a couple minutes.

At anchor in calm protected waters we set our anchor alarms; 2 iPhones, 2 iPads AND the chartplotter and go to bed. Yes, weíre a little paranoid but our boat is our Baby.

At anchor in not so calm seas we still set all the alarms and set watches so one of us is dressed, ready but dozing.

The quarterberth really is a great place to nap, sleep and be ready.

So far we havenít run into anything.
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Old 07-08-2020, 19:01   #139
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

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Quietly.
Or at least quickly. When the 12-year old goes snorkeling on the nearby reef, or for a paddleboard tour of the harbor...

If the kid doesn't already have a paddleboard then Mamma & Pappa bear haven't been trying hard enough to make opportunity smile upon them.
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Old 07-08-2020, 20:19   #140
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

should add to our earlier comments that when we are on passage, and i am on watch the owner will sleep in her (our) queen size bunk.

on the on other hand when she is on watch, i snooze lightly on the settee...

btw, one of the most useful attributes on a boat is the ability to go from sound asleep to fully awake and functional in the blink of an eye. sometimes there is just not the chance for the usual rub and scratch and yawn and stretch. i'm not sure if it is something that you develop or are born with ?

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Old 07-08-2020, 20:52   #141
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

I have two different achor watch apps on my smart phone and also one on our boats autopilot. So far we have only had an alarm when we had a wind shift and moved over 200 feet while we swung at anchor. I only get up if there is an alarm or if the weather is severe.
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Old 08-08-2020, 00:20   #142
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

10 pages about sleeping... This just cracks me up... Here's the best advice that was passed on to me. Are you ready... Keep the rig up and the water out. That's the two things you have to do, the rest can be figured out as you go . Good Luck with your plans.
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Old 08-08-2020, 01:15   #143
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

We keep a formal watch at night. I take from 6-12 and my husband from 12-6. Unless I'm sick, I never sleep during the day, and he can sleep at any time. So, during the day, we keep an informal watch. We never keep watch while on anchor.

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Old 08-08-2020, 01:18   #144
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

Do you mean to tell me you haven't taught your kid how to operate the dinghy to go visit other cruising kids?

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Old 08-08-2020, 06:10   #145
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisr View Post
should add to our earlier comments that when we are on passage, and i am on watch the owner will sleep in her (our) queen size bunk.

on the on other hand when she is on watch, i snooze lightly on the settee...

btw, one of the most useful attributes on a boat is the ability to go from sound asleep to fully awake and functional in the blink of an eye. sometimes there is just not the chance for the usual rub and scratch and yawn and stretch. i'm not sure if it is something that you develop or are born with ?

cheers,
Right. - all three practices here are what old soldiers are trained for. Worked for me.
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Old 08-08-2020, 16:36   #146
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

The general rule of thumb "reef when you first think about it" is good advice and it applies to many of the "what should I do now" scenarios in sailing and particularly single handing. That thought process doesn't change much for me with crew of one, two or more.
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Old 08-08-2020, 18:00   #147
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

I've noted several folks upthread who report limiting their passages to less than two or three days at sea... as if this made life easier.

Our experience over many years of cruising is that "overnighters" are the very worst in terms of debilitation of the crew, often delivering us to the destination sleep deprived, groggy and not at peace with the world. Why? Well, the first night out usually finds us a bit tired to start with (last minute efforts) and not in tune with the boat, her motion or our watch schedule. Sleep for the off watch is difficult due to motion, changes in normal sleep times and the noises of passage. Meal times need adjusting to mesh with watch changes... all in all, the first day/night is usually our most difficult.

This quickly disappears for us, and by the third day we're well adjusted and enjoying the voyage. I can't imagine a worse plan than to regularly schedule coastal passages with stops every two days! Day hops, even extended ones (leaving well before dawn, for instance) are fine, longer ones are fine, but we try to avoid overnighters!

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Old 08-08-2020, 18:05   #148
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

Where it comes to reefing, sleeping and sailing, I deploy a split logic attitude:


(mind our boat is small, and split logic I have just invented the phrase 5 mins ago)


- during my watch I do not 'reef early', I actually reef a bit late as I hate sailing our boat when she is under-powered, (reefing early may lead to over-reefing),



- during my mate's watch (she is less experienced and physically smaller than me too) the boat will sail reefed properly, which makes my sleep way less comfortable.


However, should we get hit, I do not need to run naked to the deck and fight it. We get hit, I open one eye and ask her how it is going. Most of the time I hear 'just fine, why aren't you sleeping?'.


So I will say yes reef as conditions and crews' strength dictate. And if you are competent and conditions are brave but regular - do NOT over-reef.


Probably something you learn once you have had the same boat for X years and sailed her over Y miles, in all sorts of conditions. Each boat will be different in how much canvas she likes in a heavier blow.



b.
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Old 09-08-2020, 02:36   #149
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Depending on location, you can do a lot of cruising with few overnight passages.
Keeping an anchor watch as in someone awake on deck is foolish, and not realistic.
Use all chain, (no chafe) and have a good anchor alarm.

You can blow a lot of money Chartering, and Iím not sure what it would teach you as thatís vacationing and not life, and there are all kinds of classes you can spend money on, and again Iím not sure what that will teach you either as itís not real either.

Or you can buy a boat and start taking baby steps, start out Marina living and doing some day sailing and slowly begin to take longer and longer trips until one day you decide to keep going.

Some weather classes might not be a bad idea, or a couple of books etc. The rest in my opinion you can figure out.

Full disclosure, I took no classes, and didnít charter. I think Chartering to see if your going to like living aboard isnít realistic at all, itís like going on a Honeymoon to see if youíll like Marriage.


My wife was not interested in cruising and living on a yacht. We ended up buying a Sunsail 444 and have had it for 5 years now. We Have had so much fun that we just went back in on a moorings M4000 3 cabin. In 6 years time the kids will have finished school, now she is the one talking about keeping this boat afterwards and going cruising.

I think chartering is a good way to get a feel of if you are up for the yacht life.

Fyi, I always make sure my anchorage is such that the whole boat gets a good nights sleep...with the anchor alarm on! Probably not always easy to do when you cruising!
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Old 09-08-2020, 23:45   #150
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Re: Sleeping as a couple?

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This notion that it is okay to be underway and not have someone in the cockpit is foolish. As sailors, we should not be promoting this approach.

I agree. I will admit that I do catnap in the cockpit when appropriate, though, if I am alone. In the cockpit. Egg timer to keep me honest about doing regular horizon scans. However if more than one qualified watchstander is aboard, then someone should be AWAKE and ALERT continuously. It is the rule, after all. And there is no reason why it can't be followed to the letter. Okay, yeah, going below for a minute to grab a snack or a drink, well, if conditions allow, one has to be realistic. Just remember if you are headed for a ship beyond your horizon at 5kts and he is headed toward you at 20kts and you can't see him until he is within 10 miles, and you want to contact the ship or change course at say 5 miles distance, well you do the math. You only have to be wrong once.



You would probably be astonished at how NOT obvious a sailboat is to the men on a ship's bridge. Mid ocean, yeah they will turn to avoid you as the rules dictate. When they notice you. And not all ships or all watchstanders remain alert and attentive as they should. As YOU should. They don't call it the "snore to eight" watch for nothing LOL! Stand your watch to the minimum standards that you expect the other guy to follow. If you and the other guy are both screwing up, avoiding collision is only a matter of luck. If you are standing a tight watch, even if the other guy isn't, there will be no collision, and good luck is not required.



When you have the watch, the watch below's LIFE is in your hands. Be responsible. NO, I do not believe it is okay to remain below and poke your head out every few minutes. If you have a pilothouse, that is where you belong on watch. Or on deck. If not, the cockpit is where you belong when on watch. Don't gamble with your shipmate's life. Show you care. Stand a proper watch.
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