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Old 10-06-2023, 12:18   #1
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Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

Does anyone have a reasonable watch schedule for a crew of 3?

The requirement is to have 2 on watch between 2000 and 0600.

We recently did a delivery with 3 total on board, best we could come up with was 4 hours on, 2 hours off for each:

Person A is on from 2000 to 0000.
Person B on from 2000 to 2200.
A & B on until 2200 then B is off.

Person C on from 2200 to 0200 with A until 0000 when A goes off.

Person B back on at 0000 to 0400 with C until 0200.
C off at 0200 when A comes back on.

A & B on until 0400 when B is off and C comes back on until 0600 with A.

Confused????
So were we but got it done.
I was the 2000 - 0000 and then 0200 - 0600 which really sucked.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Marc
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Old 10-06-2023, 14:41   #2
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

Short crew, why 2 up? I'd do 3 on 6 off 8 to 8. Daytime watch is terrorist watch since someone is usually on deck. If you see something, say something.
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Old 10-06-2023, 17:17   #3
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

Option 1
Time On watch Off watch
0000-0300 A+C B
0300-0600 B+C A
0600-0900 B A+C
0900-1200 A B+C
1200-1500 C A+B
1500-1800 B A+C
1800-2100 C A+B
2100-2400 A+B C

Advantages: Everyone gets at least two unbroken six-hour periods of rest in 24 hours plus there are always two people on watch during the dog watches.
Disadvantage: Every day, each person pulls a 6 hour watch.

Option 2 Day1 Day2 Day3
Time On watch On watch On watch
0000-0300 A C B
0300-0600 B A C
0600-0900 C B A
0900-1200 A C B
1200-1500 B A C
1500-1800 C B A
1800-2100 A C B
2100-2400 B A C
Repeat pattern

Advantages: There are six-hour periods of rest when off watch. The watches rotate daily.
Disadvantage: Single watches during the dog watches 2100-0600.

Option 3 Day1 Day2 Day3
Time On watch On watch On watch
0000-0300 A C B
0300-0700 B A C
0700-1100 C B A
1100-1300 A C B
1300-1500 B A C
1500-1800 C B A
1800-2100 A C B
2100-2400 B A C
Repeat pattern

Advantages: There are eight-hours off watch for the 0000-0300 watch (i.e. 8 hours off every three days).
Disadvantage: Single watches during the dog watches 2100-0600.
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Old 10-06-2023, 19:58   #4
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

Navy has been doing watches for a long time, 4 on 8 off period. If you canít stand a 4 hour watch by yourself you should not be aboard. Watch-standing is not about the comfort of the watch-stander, itís about keeping the crew well rested. 3 dog tired crew members are useless. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-06-2023, 08:52   #5
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wind1113 View Post
Does anyone have a reasonable watch schedule for a crew of 3?

The requirement is to have 2 on watch between 2000 and 0600.

We recently did a delivery with 3 total on board, best we could come up with was 4 hours on, 2 hours off for each:

Person A is on from 2000 to 0000.
Person B on from 2000 to 2200.
A & B on until 2200 then B is off.

Person C on from 2200 to 0200 with A until 0000 when A goes off.

Person B back on at 0000 to 0400 with C until 0200.
C off at 0200 when A comes back on.

A & B on until 0400 when B is off and C comes back on until 0600 with A.

Confused????
So were we but got it done.
I was the 2000 - 0000 and then 0200 - 0600 which really sucked.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Marc
Wind Rose
Marc,

The following is based on my experience as an adventure racer and running crews after major storms. It has been used on all my deliveries for the past 5 years. IT WORKS and does not wear out a crew. As I developed it, it is named the USCGMaster.com watch schedule....


0900-1200 Crew Moe 3 hour watch 6-off
1200-1500 Crew Larry 3 hour watch 6-off
1500-1800 Crew Curly 3 hour watch 6-off
1800-2100 Crew Moe 3 hour watch 7-off
2100-0100 Crew Larry 4 hour watch 8-off
0100-0500 Crew Curly 4 hour watch 8-off
0500-0900 Crew Moe. 4 hour watch 7-off

0900-1200 Crew Larry. 3 hour watch 6-off
1200-1500 Crew Curly. 3 hour watch 6-off
1500-1800 Crew Moe. 3 hour watch 6-off
1800-2100 Crew Larry 3 hour watch 7-off
2100-0100 Crew Curly. 4 hour watch 8-off
0100-0500 Crew Moe. 4 hour watch 8-off
0500-0900 Crew Larry. 4 hour watch 7-off

0900-1200 Crew Curly 3 hour watch 6-off
1200-1500 Crew Moe 3 hour watch 6-off
1500-1800 Crew Larry 3 hour watch 6-off
1800-2100 Crew Curly. 3 hour watch 7-off
2100-0100 Crew Moe. 4 hour watch 8-off
0100-0500 Crew Larry. 4 hour watch 8-off
0500-0900 Crew Curly 4 hour watch 7-off

It looks confusing, but is simple. Moe always follows Curly, Curly follow Larry and Larry follows Moe. Unless the crew is bona fide stooges, they should be able to follow it....

The great thing about this schedule is that it works WITH the normal circadian rhythm. 2 of 3 crewmen get 8 hours off during the normal sleep period. The one who is on 0100-0500 gets 7 hours off before and after. He comes on at 1300, when most of the boat is awake. If his/her fellow crewman see him/her as tired. They can watch the boat while that person takes a short nap.

Dinner, is usually prepared by the 1500-1800 person. We target dinner for 1700-1730. After eating together, he minds the helm while the other two clean-up. And then everyone gets rest.

I try to download a weather update around 1600 and reef the boat as needed. I almost NEVER shake out a reef when the sun is heading down. 50% of the times I have, I end up waking up to help set a reef!

Depending on vessel, conditions and crew- sometimes we can set a reef single-handed. My standing order #3 is "When in doubt, wake the captain." So I am the first guy who gets awaken to set a reef. I select crew that works as a team. So if I get dragged out of bed at night. They will usually take 1/2 of one of my daylight watches so I can sleep.

I have run this schedule for over 30 days and had no observable declination is mental acuity or morale. What I really like about it is that no one gets stuck with a "lousy watch". Everyone get a chance at every watch.
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Old 12-06-2023, 10:18   #6
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by GLS View Post
If you canít stand a 4 hour watch by yourself you should not be aboard.

In an ideal world, I agree.


But many times there is a "less than qualified" member and having an experienced crew on watch at the same time, particularly at night/difficult conditions is often reality.


We have frequently experienced this crossing at night from FL to the Bahamas. One experienced on watch then joined by "less experienced" for second half of that watch. "Less experienced" continues the second half of their watch along with the other experienced hand who then finishes their watch alone.


Both safe for the crossing and "less experienced" gets valuable experience.


Would this work for an ocean crossing-- NO!
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Old 12-06-2023, 11:02   #7
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

The US Navy Subforce shift to 8 on 16 off many years ago. I do not know if the surface force did it too. The medical research showed this gave you a better rested crew to get 8 hours of uninterupeted sleep. I did not like it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GLS View Post
Navy has been doing watches for a long time, 4 on 8 off period. If you canít stand a 4 hour watch by yourself you should not be aboard. Watch-standing is not about the comfort of the watch-stander, itís about keeping the crew well rested. 3 dog tired crew members are useless. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-06-2023, 12:57   #8
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

When I did a delivery run from California to Puget Sound, we did 4 on, 8 off. However the next person was dressed and ready to assist the on-watch person, but down below in the saloon snoozing.

Wasnít perfect, but worked. This was in a center cockpit sailboat, with a canvas enclosed cockpit, so not fully exposed to the elements, but not in a comfy wheelhouse either.
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Old 12-06-2023, 19:43   #9
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

Our most recent trip it was 4 hours from 0600 to 1800, and 3 hours from 1800 to 0600. This gives the crew a rotating schedule, and a minimum of 6 hours of off watch at a time. Worked really really well. 1 person on watch.
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Old 16-06-2023, 13:11   #10
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by GLS View Post
Navy has been doing watches for a long time, 4 on 8 off period. If you canít stand a 4 hour watch by yourself you should not be aboard. Watch-standing is not about the comfort of the watch-stander, itís about keeping the crew well rested. 3 dog tired crew members are useless. Just my opinion.
It might depend on the weather conditions and sea state also whether its just being on watch with auto or hand steering??
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Old 26-06-2023, 02:09   #11
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

When shorthanded, best thing is to have only one person up at a time. I'd do 3 on 6 off 'round the clock.
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Old 26-06-2023, 18:05   #12
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

Iíve found that a four-hour off-watch period is the minimum to get reasonable sleep.

If youíre happy with having one crew member on watch, then either 3 on, 6 off or 4 on, 8 off work well.
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Old 26-06-2023, 18:58   #13
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

I found the simplest for a crew of three was either 3 on 6 off or 4 on 8 off. Depending on the crew. Sometimes 4-hour watch in the middle of the night is difficult if the boat is taking care of itself and all you are doing is literally keeping watch.

Anything more complicated than that is more complicated, but I don't see how it is any better.
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Old 27-06-2023, 04:31   #14
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

with me + 3 other crew... i'm the 2nd eyes on watch.


meaning they would rotate 3 hours on /6 hours off... and then i'd do my normal single hand routine.. (wake up ever 20 mins to scan horizon/check radar and course)



i notice i start feeling less alert around day 3-5

(the solution is find an 'organic' excuse every ~3 days to 'heave to' to for a few hours ...helps with keeping captain and crew well rested and alert)


/never crossed an ocean...
//max time with this was 10-11 days
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Old 27-06-2023, 08:45   #15
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Re: Watch Schedule for Crew of 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by chubby View Post
with me + 3 other crew... i'm the 2nd eyes on watch.


meaning they would rotate 3 hours on /6 hours off... and then i'd do my normal single hand routine.. (wake up ever 20 mins to scan horizon/check radar and course)



i notice i start feeling less alert around day 3-5
Thanks for verifying my data.

If a watch schedule does not compliment the normal circadian rhythm- it will result in loss of mental acuity and fatigue.

ONLY having long rest periods between 2100 and 0600 will yield quality sleep. Can you do something else for a short period? Yes. But why? Passages are a long marathon-like slog. Asset #2 (behind boat) is the crew. A prudent master ales care of the boat AND the crew
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