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post #1 of 25 Old 11-12-2013 Thread Starter
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Falling asleep at the tiller

This will make ya think. Good autopilot needed along with an alarm to wake you if you go too far off your course


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post #2 of 25 Old 11-12-2013
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re: Falling asleep at the tiller

Don't fall asleep, period.
Kinda cool how the locals are helping them


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post #3 of 25 Old 11-12-2013
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re: Falling asleep at the tiller

Seven miles offshore. That means that at an average speed of 5 kts it would take over an hour to get to shore. That means the guy had been sound asleep for at least that long, probably much longer, since he most likely approached the shore on a diagonal, not a direct path.

It could just as easily been a frieghter that ran him down and killed him.

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post #4 of 25 Old 11-12-2013
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re: Falling asleep at the tiller

I have heard of people soloing at night with a kitchen timer.. set it for 15 minutes.. take a nap, alarm goes off, check around the boat, set the alarm for another 15 minutes....

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post #5 of 25 Old 11-12-2013
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re: Falling asleep at the tiller

If I understand the story correctly, the guy had bought two sailboats in NY that were both damaged in hurricane Sandy, he was sailing one of the damaged boats and towing the second damaged boat, offshore, in October, heading for South Carolina to repair the boats.

Falling asleep and waking up on the beach was a good outcome for this guy, I think.
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post #6 of 25 Old 11-12-2013
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re: Falling asleep at the tiller

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
I have heard of people soloing at night with a kitchen timer.. set it for 15 minutes.. take a nap, alarm goes off, check around the boat, set the alarm for another 15 minutes....
That is something of an old cruisers standby. Pre mobile phones quite useful but today you can set an alarm on your phone to go off say every fifteen minutes and achieve same result.

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post #7 of 25 Old 11-12-2013
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Re: Falling asleep at the tiller

Hey,

I recognize the boat on the beach. It used to belong to a member of the same sailing association I belong too. Lots of boats were damaged last year, I didn't know that Belle was one of them.

Barry

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post #8 of 25 Old 11-13-2013
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Re: Falling asleep at the tiller

The role of Superman is vastly overrated.

The last hundred years or so of extensive research into sleep and fatigue pretty much all comes to the same conclusion every time. When a mortal is sleep-deprived long enough, they WILL go to sleep and stay asleep until they've gotten some rest. And you can bang a bell, fire a cannon, pour icewater on them, it doesn't matter. Kitchen timer? Yeah, that just tells you it is time to get some sleep.

But folks keep putting on the red cape and blue tights and thinking they're the exception to the rule. Pretty much like the guys who put down a fifth of Jack Daniels and swear they're good to drive.
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post #9 of 25 Old 11-13-2013
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Re: Falling asleep at the tiller

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Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
I have heard of people soloing at night with a kitchen timer.. set it for 15 minutes.. take a nap, alarm goes off, check around the boat, set the alarm for another 15 minutes....
I've done that up to seven days on my own boat - never on delivery of course. Not recommended. A kitchen timer simply isn't loud enough. A couple of years ago I did my longest run using the alarm on my iPhone. Other than weather, e-mail over SSB, cooking, eating, or using the head I was on the 15 minute schedule 24 hours / day.

I'll say I was physically functional straight through but complex judgment deteriorated after about three days. I wouldn't do it again. My current threshold is 36 hours including a margin, so a planned run of 24 hours or so.
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post #10 of 25 Old 11-13-2013
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Re: Falling asleep at the tiller

Four comments from someone who has soloed the Atlantic crossing:
1) Anyone serious about single handing (definition of serious - wants to stay alive) has a "cross track error" alarm that sounds if the boat strays from course.
2) 15 minutes does not make it. You never get any rest. About 30 minutes is the minimum. Even so, every once in a while you need to go 45 minutes to an hour or you will fall asleep (as noted above) and not wake up until your body is satisfied.
3) Again if you are serious you have a lot of other alarms - AIS and radar in case someone gets too close, weather, etc. None of this is foolproof but it is better than nothing. The big danger is not getting hit by another ship - they are rare offshore - but a weather change. Waking up in a thunderstorm or rapid weather change is scary and very dangerous.
4) No telephone, kitchen timer, etc. is loud enough to "wake the dead." I use the siren from an old car alarm. I can sleep through everything else.

Just my opinion.
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