Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-11-2021, 19:07   #1
Registered User

Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 719
Watch Keeping Single Handing

Single handing violates all the rules. You cannot possible keep a proper watch 24/7, and if you could you would be so exhausted that you could not make rational decisions.



Many people do it, and if you are single handing it makes sense to minimize risks.



I've come to the conclusion that the optimal boat for single handing is a catamaran with a bridge deck cabin with all around view. With such a boat, you could nap in a cabin just a few steps from the cockpit, and in my case at least where I sleep in a recliner instead of a bed, wakening and taking a good look around without having to climb a companionway would make returning to restful sleep quickly much easier.


Lacking such a boat, it seems that the best alternative is to have a means to scan all around without leaving your place of repose. I've given such things some thought, and find that there are several possible alternatives........ I doubt that I'm the first to consider the alternatives. With my reclined sleeping position one obvious answer is to have a lexan dome and an elevated sleeping position......... Open your eyes and have a "look see". I've though about a sort of periscope with a rotating upper mirror in a "glass" view port........but that would be difficult to engineer... perhaps. Technology offers solutions too. We now have light amplification cameras. They could be located anywhere, but would need an actual rotating glass lens pod with a windshield wiper... but they could see when you and I could not. They could also offer zoom from wide angle to great magnification while amplifying low light.
AIS and radar offer guard zones, and most folks who single hand depend on that. You can't protect against containers, logs, whales...... Headly Nicole is believed to have hit a whale for example. There will always be risk. It is something we have to accept. One couple for example simply vanished........ No bad weather, nothing.... Probably propane, but who knows.

I can and do live with risk. I do things other folks would not even consider, but I like to cover my bases as much as possible.


Has anybody addressed this issue of watch keeping for single handers seriously? I've not seen it yet.
owly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-11-2021, 19:40   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Legend 37.5, 1968 Alcort Sunfish, Avon 310
Posts: 1,817
Images: 11
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

Peeking up every 5 or 15 minutes leaves a good window for stuff to happen. I stay in the cockpit except to cook. 24 hours isn’t a chore; by 72 though it’s tunnel vision.

Longer transits, which I’ve not done, are pretty much like Slocum did it. One has to sleep. Obviously (though oddly not always followed by pros) when near shore, be awake.
Tetepare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-11-2021, 20:18   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Boston
Boat: Farr 50 Pilothouse
Posts: 774
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

At night, when you would be most likely to need to sleep, being awake and on watch will do nothing to prevent you from hitting a container, log, or whale.
Muaddib1116 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-11-2021, 20:48   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,794
Images: 7
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

Black Feathers Cal 20 prepping for SHTP. I think his book said he has a bean bag under the dome.

https://www.sfbaysss.net/archive-sht...k_feathers.jpg
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-11-2021, 20:59   #5
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 11,426
Images: 58
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

There are some threads on the topic. Here is one:
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...le-188155.html
I haven't done singlehanded multiday trips since I was a kid, and at that time there was no AIS, or GPS and I had no radar. I slept at night and I survived but I am fully aware many will not find that wise or legal. Personally I don't see a way around getting real sleep one way or another. Sleep deprivation can make one make big mistakes, mistakes that are more likely to cause damage than whales, logs or other boats, IMO.
__________________
DL
Pythagoras
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-11-2021, 21:19   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Southern California
Boat: Bavaria 38E
Posts: 158
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

Seems to me it depends on where you are. Heave to six hours a day for restful sleep?
Auklet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-11-2021, 22:05   #7
Registered User
 
Orion Jim's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Noank, Ct. USA
Boat: Cape Dory 31
Posts: 2,503
Images: 8
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

I remember when a singlehander was considered an intrepid mariner….now we are apparently nothing more than rule violators. Ah…well….be that as it may. I have AIS B and a separate AIS receiver, both with proximity alarms. I have radar, and a radar reflector. I have multiple timers and I scan the horizon at regular intervals. Those intervals are closer together when I am in the area of established shipping lanes and when approaching or leaving coastal waters. I shall maintain my annual singlehanded offshore passages for as long as I am able.
Orion Jim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-11-2021, 22:50   #8
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 8,289
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Auklet View Post
Seems to me it depends on where you are. Heave to six hours a day for restful sleep?

How does heaving to compare with sailing slowly (reduced canvas)? Assume open water and not crossing major shipping lane during the time period in question (assuming there are places you would not heave to either). Discuss.


Personally, I would do better with more cat naps (I'll leave the length open ended). My mind would be more at ease.
__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing
https://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-11-2021, 23:56   #9
Moderator
 
Adelie's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: La Ciudad de la Misión Didacus de Alcalá en Alta California, Virreinato de Nueva España
Boat: Cal 20
Posts: 14,994
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

Until a singlehander kills or seriously injures another party while sleeping underway and it hits the news big most authorities are not going to take official notice.

If the boat is not attached to shore or the seabed it is officially underway and a lookout is required. Sleep is not an exceptional circumstance so it doesn’t legally qualify you as NUC although posting the lights for that are not a bad idea.
__________________
Num Me Vexo?
For all of your celestial navigation questions: https://fer3.com/arc/
A house is but a boat so poorly built and so firmly run aground no one would think to try and refloat it.
Adelie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-11-2021, 00:19   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Bellingham
Boat: Outbound 44
Posts: 9,207
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adelie View Post
Until a singlehander kills or seriously injures another party while sleeping underway and it hits the news big most authorities are not going to take official notice.

If the boat is not attached to shore or the seabed it is officially underway and a lookout is required
. Sleep is not an exceptional circumstance so it doesn’t legally qualify you as NUC although posting the lights for that are not a bad idea.
No cruiser does it, but technically the Colregs require an anchor watch too.
Paul L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-11-2021, 05:22   #11
Registered User
 
mikereed100's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cat in Chile, trawler in Ventura
Boat: 46' custom cat "Rum Doxy", Roughwater 41"Abreojos"
Posts: 1,935
Images: 2
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muaddib1116 View Post
At night, when you would be most likely to need to sleep, being awake and on watch will do nothing to prevent you from hitting a container, log, or whale.
All too true. We have had countless close calls during daylight and I can only imagine what goes on at night. For this reason we always slow down when it gets dark. 4-5 knots is comfortable, although we have done much less in areas where there are a lot of logs in the water such as Borneo or Costa Rica. I wouldn't think of moving at night in the Inside Passage of Alaska/BC.
__________________
Mike

www.sailblogs.com/member/rumdoxy

Come to the dark side. We have donuts.
mikereed100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-11-2021, 05:36   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 141
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

There is little you can do about floating containers but lots of ways to minimize risks offshore.

Big ships usually follow routs , so more care is required crossing, never parallel their route.

Ships require BIG engines which put lots of noise in the water.


If you are able to get almost normal sleep the engine sound can wake you but remember at 15K-22K you only have a few min before it comes over the horizon.


A white all around light is easy today with LED lighting.
FAST FRED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-11-2021, 05:39   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 9,713
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion Jim View Post
I remember when a singlehander was considered an intrepid mariner….
When was this time?

It's always been something of an extreme activity and in violation of the colregs.

I suspect it's a bit of revisionist history to believe there was a time when it was looked upon with favor by the majority of mariners. Per chance were you reading romanticized stories of single handers and assuming that represented the majority?
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-11-2021, 05:41   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Rochester, NY
Boat: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Posts: 2,580
Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
No cruiser does it, but technically the Colregs require an anchor watch too.

Very true. But it's also pretty generally accepted that on a smaller boat, complying with this all the time varies between impractical and impossible.
rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-11-2021, 05:45   #15
Deep Water Deliveries
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: PORTUGAL
Posts: 27,655
Images: 2
pirate Re: Watch Keeping Single Handing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion Jim View Post
I remember when a singlehander was considered an intrepid mariner….now we are apparently nothing more than rule violators. Ah…well….be that as it may. I have AIS B and a separate AIS receiver, both with proximity alarms. I have radar, and a radar reflector. I have multiple timers and I scan the horizon at regular intervals. Those intervals are closer together when I am in the area of established shipping lanes and when approaching or leaving coastal waters. I shall maintain my annual singlehanded offshore passages for as long as I am able.
Standard behavior once the pioneers have opened the way.. the rabble that follows is mostly less intrepid and in need of constant reassurance.. waggon trains, buddy boats.. the Arc.
The illusions of Life..
__________________


Born to be Wild.
boatman61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
single

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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
Setup for Single-Handing a Sloop boredinthecity Monohull Sailboats 35 25-11-2009 08:05
Woman Single-Handing to Mexico ? Jennymar Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 38 26-08-2009 12:19
Single-Handing a Tayana 37 jcsaw Monohull Sailboats 2 12-07-2009 04:28
Advice on (gracefully) single-handing a selden imf? deano Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 3 19-01-2009 18:04
Single Handing Kai Nui General Sailing Forum 79 15-02-2007 13:49

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:45.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.