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post #66 of Old 09-23-2012
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Re: Is sleeping OK?

Wow - what a great thread. I am sure some of my comments will irritate or surprise some, but here goes:

I am of the belief, right or wrong, that many of the rules are written with lawyers, insurance companies, and commercial vessel in mind. For example, and correct me if I am wrong for I have no interest in looking it back up, but technically, if you are anchored, are you not required to keep a 24 hour anchor watch? Really? Now, how many of you fellows sit up all night and watch your anchor? If you do, you are not cruising, I will tell you that. You find a good anchor spot, you drop the hook, you light your boat up (I use an anchor light and the landscape lights and my LED stern light and anything else to be seen within reason) and you go to bed. You get up a few times at night maybe to check your hook or to make sure your neighbor is still there, and that's it. But, technically, aren't we all required to maintain an anchor watch too if ourside a desg anchorage?

As far as single handing, the way I see it, if two boats are displaying the proper lighting, etc and hit each other, then neither was maintaining a proper watch and it is both faults. 50:50 if you hit eah other at sea. I am not talking coastal stuff or racing which is a whole other discussion. So in my opinion, the whole rule is moot from a legal standpoint. From a practical standpoint, if you single, you have to sleep. Get your sleep as best and as safe as you can. Do it in a way that minimizes your risk as best as possible for you and your vessel as the other vessel should do the same. If you get hit, well, you did your best and they did their best and you both ran out of luck.

Now, I do think, like it or not, that commercial vessels shoiuld live to a whole other standard than yachties. Sorry... I do. I think they should stand anchor watches and stand all night watches at sea. They are getting paid for it and they are a commercial vessel. That is the price of doing business and businesses should incorporate the cost of crew into their equation. Also, their potential to damage is significatlyy greater than us shmucks with a plastic boat and and sail. So yeah, I do think they should stand by the rules.

I am not saying I do not believe in the principle of the rules. I undersand why they are written. Where practical, it makes sense. However, for some it is not practical. But the law and insurance companies will never try to differentiate between them. They need someone to blame.

I am not belittling the laws. Given my firm stance on safety, others wil find my comments surprising. But as much as I appreciate a firm set of rules for seamanship, so do I believe in the right of the individual and the freedom of the single hander. Hey, if you have the crew or can get the crew to do 3-8's or 3-4's, good for you. It is safer for you and the other vessels. But some cannot. And for them, I keep a watch on my boat and give them a nod on their way by.

Also, when I make out of a large port, I often sail out many miles from the rhumb line then make my course. I am sure this is just make believe from me, but the way I see it, if I was a commercial captain, I would want to get to the next port as short a time as possible. So if I get off that line, I only have to worry about other vessels when close to port. That is my theory anyways... probably wrong but it makes me feel better!!


PS I rarely, RARELY see another boat at sea. In fact, when it happens, we are all grabbing the binocs like a movie star is walking by. Exceptions is close to ports and off the coast of San Diesgo which seemed to be a highway for commerical and military traffic.

PSS Is it just me, or is the deepest freaking sleep of your lives when at sea? Oh my ghosh, but about 12-18 hours out and I am in the deepest REM and dreams of my life. At the same time I am also more in-tune with every noise and creak and can tell by them when something is not right. Just me????? DOn't lie!! I'll tell you this: if they sold a maching that made like a sailboat at sea, I would buy it and live my life in bliss (at least until a woman's voice came on and said, "honey... your turn!")

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