Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: on the boat - Chesapeake
Thanked 158 Times in 141 Posts
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Re: Tips on Watch Standing
4 on - 8 off works well on 3 watch systems. remember to to account for berth arrangements. Simple hot bunking does not work.
Agreed. Depends on the boat. Often rotating hot-bunking is required. Slightly bigger boat and everyone gets their own rack. Sometimes I sleep on the floor. Depends on boat layout. I despise boats with the head forward. Heads should be at the foot of the companionway.
For two-watch system, I have had success with a modified Swedish system. 0600-1200, 1200-1800, 1800-2300, 2300-0300, 0300-0600. I like at least two on a watch. BTW - this is a long passages without an autopilot.
I rarely move a boat without an autopilot. I've had to turn the a/p off as fuel got low a couple of times. As long as the weather is settled a four hour watch is still fine -- I staff for single-handed watches. If each of two crew can't stand a watch alone what does putting them together gain? I have had two-handed watches on owner-aboard deliveries when there was a training component to the job.
My preferred crew size is four (including me). Crew stand 4-on/8-off while I do the cooking, weather, first called, and generally keep an eye on things. It gives me the time and energy to work on any skills a particular crew member wants support with, check in at watch changes and once or twice during watch, and still get enough rest to be on top of my game. YMMV. This is what works best for me.
sail fast and eat well, dave
beware "cut and paste" sailors.
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