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Old 03-03-2013
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing

Very nicely done. And I think the diagrams/placards are a great idea.

"...When you come on watch and before going topside, check the bilges..." Do you add a routine check of the thru-hulls as well at some point? Head and galley thru-hulls kept closed when not actually in use?

(“water on the outside”). Review the log entries from the time you were last on watch. Check any “standing orders” from the skipper. If it’s night time, run through the radar scans. Note the barometric pressure. Has it changed in the last few log entries?

" If the engine is running, check the operating gauges and fuel level in the day tank."
Check the oil dipstick too, or do you rely on the oil pressure/temp gauges?

" Assemble your diversions: iPod, book, etc."
I've always been of split mind on that. I like to listen to music, but without sight (because it is dark) AND without sound, the watch is impaired at night. Even for sail trim, I can hear the sail shifting before I will see it and earbuds would block that. And also block monitoring the radio. They're fun, but...?

"Wake the next watch 10-15 minutes their scheduled time to relieve you."
If you're going below to operate the radar every 20? minutes? Coming back down at 15 is pointless, might as well wake the next watch when you finish a "20 of" radar pass.

"You see any smoke, " Given the way things can happen, physically seeing any smoke might be a good reason to call ALL HANDS and wake everyone, not just the skipper. Bear in mind that your cushions are probably polyurethane foam, which generates cyanide and other good things. If a cushion is on fire, you want everyone on deck or firefighting ASAP.
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