What exactly does the Capt expect when you are on nite watch? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 09-15-2006
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What exactly does the Capt expect when you are on nite watch?

I have not been in a sailing vessel overnite. Just wonder what to expect? In my naÔve way of thinking, it should be including

1. no hitting other vessel
2. follow the planned course
3. trim the sails if needed
4. make log entry etc.
5. alert captain if hell breaks lose.

It canít be that difficult, right?????
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Old 09-15-2006
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Check out John Neal's website

I've always liked the watch orders used by John Neal and posted on his FAQ. We've used them to good effect on our boat. See http://www.mahina.com/faq.html near the bottom of the page.

-tk
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Old 09-15-2006
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Rock,

How fun! First night on watch!

I like that list from Mahina Tiare that Tom sent you a link for. Your list was pretty good too.

One note that I feel needs extra attention. the Mahina list say's "keep a 360 degree lookout". I cant stress this enough.

All too often people ignore the stern quarters when on watch. Make sure you look all around the vessel frequently. Here in So-Cal there is a great deal of commercial shipping as well as a hefty Naval fleet. Theese guy's can come up on your stern faster than you can believe. Freighters move at 17 knots or so and can turn from a small dot to overshadowing monstrosity in less time than you will believe.

I like to keep a colregs booklet with me on watch, it helps keep me entertained figuring what type of vessel I have spotted and what he is engaged in as well as noting his heading. If his signals indicate a fishing trawl for instance or a barge in tow the info could save your proverbial bacon.

Dont worry, have fun. There is nothing so cool as dawn at sea!

Dewey
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Old 09-15-2006
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One thing I got for my crew is a "rules of the road" quick reference card. I keep it hanging from a hook just inside the companionway, so they can grab it easily. It has a summary of the different light configurations in it, which comes in really useful for night watches. Also has a summary of the sound signals used in ColRegs. I think it is a lot easier than having them flip through a booklet.
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Old 09-15-2006
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Best answer to this question is to ask the Captain what he expects. He will probably mention the points posted above. If you haven't stood a night watch, he will probably appreciate your candor and how serioiusly you are taking your responsibilities by asking him.
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Old 09-16-2006
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Hi rockDAWG,
I usually tell new crew members who have not been on night watch before that the hard part is staying awake. I like crew members to be on their feet and doing various chores (lookout, radar monitoring, navigation, charting, systems checks, etc.) to keep active.

I review my expectations with all crew members before they stand their watch. Over the years I've distilled it down to a checklist:

http://www.smartcaptain.com/SC-Topic...ndingWatch.php

Hope this helps,

Jeff
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Old 09-16-2006
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One other thing... don't listen to a walkman/iPod/MP3 player... as a lot of information at night comes via the ears.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

óCpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 09-16-2006
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The initiator of this thread wondered: "It canít be that difficult, right?"
Well, my friend it depends more on your condition than the level of your experience. Try once to stay on alert when your body does not respond ... That's why skippers try to have the crew as fit as possible!
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Old 09-16-2006
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To elaborate on #1

In addition to not hitting other vessels, I would make #1a No being hit by other vessels!!!

Depending on the size of the crew and duration of the trip (e.g if it is only 1 or 2 nights), doubling up the watch can make it easy and fun! You can lengthen the time if you have more crew!
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Old 09-17-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulk
Best answer to this question is to ask the Captain what he expects. He will probably mention the points posted above. If you haven't stood a night watch, he will probably appreciate your candor and how serioiusly you are taking your responsibilities by asking him.
This answer, to what on the surface is a simple question, probably best sums it all up.
Most of the answers seemed to assume the watchman was just entering the English Channel or sailing off the coast of So. Ca. If you think the same attitudes prevail when you're 1500 miles off shore then I submit you've never been there.
Conditions change depending on the amount of traffic, weather, etc. What if you are single handing?
Sailingdog, If you think that you can stop a man from listening to music or a book on tape during a long passage, then I've got to think that your experience in that regard is limited. Or you have got some unreasonable expectations. There have been some deaf sailors you know. One just has to have sense enough to take the headphones off once in awhile. Just like they have to have sense enough to look around sometimes.
A watch is a watch, if you are charged with the responsibility of the vessel what difference does it make what time of day it is. It's just harder to stay awake at night. Which takes me back to the comment about singlehanding. If any of you guys tell me you have never slept on watch, then you've never singlehanded.
Not all the questions asked on this site have to become so complicated nor the answers so convoluted.
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