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  #11  
Old 02-08-2011
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While having crew is the best and safest option, it isn't always possible.

Most single-handers will stay up at night and keep watch, when it is likely that the crews of the large ships are less vigilant. Taking short naps, under 15 min or so, will let you get some rest, but you need a very loud alarm to make sure you awake to check the surrounding waters regularly. Something like the Watch Commander, which I've used on some boats, is a good example of such a timer.



Another useful option is setting a watch zone on radar, if your boat is equipped with radar and can afford to power it all night long.

Of course, it matters where you are as well. If you're in coastal waters near a major port, where shipping traffic is likely to be fairly heavy, then keeping a vigilant watch is more important than if you're in the middle of the Southern Pacific, away from major shipping routes and ports--where other vessels will be very rare.
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  #12  
Old 02-08-2011
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SD, not meant to be disrespectful.

A 15 min nap interval is not beneficial. The body can't get into REM sleep.
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  #13  
Old 02-08-2011
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SD - I was basing my crew statement on the OPs desire to go 500 miles which is a 3 - 4 day trip.

I understand the solo racers undergo sleep studies and develop customized sleeping patterns.
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  #14  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
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A 15 min nap interval is not beneficial. The body can't get into REM sleep.
Yes, but getting into REM sleep means you also sleeping long enough to get run down by a commercial ship. Catnapping like that is very common among long-distance singlehanded sailors.
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Some research

Quote:
In this study, sleep-wake patterns and their relationship to performance were studied for 99 sailors involved in solo and double-handed ocean sailing races (a model of a highly demanding CW situation). Most sailors spontaneously adopted multiple nap sleep-wake schedules and adapted without major difficulties to such polyphasic patterns. 66.5% had mean sleep episode durations (SEDs) ranging from 20 min to 2h. Overall mean Total Sleep Time (TST) per 24h was reduced from a baseline of 7.5 to 6.3h. Race performance correlated negatively and significantly with mean SEDs and TSTs. Best performance results were obtained by those sleeping for periods of between 20 min and 1 h and for a total of 4.5 to 5.5h of sleep per day.
Polyphasic sleep strategies improve prolonged sustained performance: A field study on 99 sailors - Work & Stress
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Old 02-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Yes, but getting into REM sleep means you also sleeping long enough to get run down by a commercial ship. Catnapping like that is very common among long-distance singlehanded sailors.
I am willing to take a risk planning to sleep 30 min and wake up for 1 to 2 min for look out when I am soloing. I will do this under these condition.

1. During the day in the middle of the ocean
2. away from the shipping lane
3. Warning radar on board
4. Sleep in the cockpit and tethered
5. If the warning radar does not wake me up, a powerful vibrator will turn on near my ass following by a bucket of cold water pouring over my head. (Hey, I was born as a rocket scientist but was trained to prolong lives of others.)

For any coastal sailing I don't need sleep. I can go without sleep for 30 to 48 hours, but I will find safe harbor every 24 hours. I have many years to perfect the system to stay alive.
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  #17  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrinyDeep View Post
Newbie here. Going to purchase a cruiser in the next year or so, but just planning ahead. Say I wanted to cruise 500 miles over open ocean, how long would it take to get there, assuming average speed to be about 7 kts. Do you all sail all night, or do you heave to, and catch some Z's while you drift, or do you throw a sea anchor? I'm assuming going solo. Just curious what the standard practice is out there in the wide open sea.
You don't say the size of the boat you want to buy. To make 7k in variable conditions you should have a 45/50ft cruiser. On a boat with 36ft or smaller, not even on engine you would average that speed.

For sailing Solo you should have a radar with audible alarm and you should have an AIS transmitter.

You should have a lot of practice sailing solo, before attempting to sail solo non-stop and have to learn how to manage your sleep (lots of practice also).

As it was already said you should sleep mostly by day and stay mostly awake by night. You should also learn how to sleep and rest in short periods of time. The ideal is about 20m of sleep, to take a short look to see if everything is alright and have another short nap. It seems impossible to rest that way, but that's how solo racers manage their sleep...and sometimes they are not young lads, but well into the 40's and 50's

Regards

Paulo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
..

For any coastal sailing I don't need sleep. I can go without sleep for 30 to 48 hours, but I will find safe harbor every 24 hours. I have many years to perfect the system to stay alive.
If you go without sleep for 30 or 48 hours under changing conditions or heavy weather you will end up VERY tired much more than if you have adopted an adequate sleep and rest strategy, even if you need training to accomplish that. A more tired sailor is more prone to errors than a rested sailor

Racing is not only a great tool for perfecting boats, racing sailors are also a great source of learning. On long coastal races, with some offshore passages, like the Figaro, Solo sailors, all of them, go on a sleep/rest pattern if they have more than 24 hours of race before arriving and that's normally the case.

Regards

Paulo
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Old 02-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrinyDeep View Post
Hmm.. I guess I'll just have to find someone to take along to stay up late at night with me and travel to some tropical location. Preferably female
Once you have the sailboat the girls come naturally.
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PCP - Being a newbie to all of this, I'm not sure what I want to buy. Just know I want to get out there. I am looking for a boat that would do coastal cruising with the occasional vacation to some exotic place. i live in the Gulf Coast area, and every place seems to be 500 or so miles across from me. ie, Cancun, Key West, Caymans, etc. So, from lurking at various sites around the net, I'd guess I'm looking at a boat anywhere between 22' to 45' , just not sure yet. That's my next thread, "How big is too big?" I've got three kids, ages 3,4,and7, but not sure if they'd really be into sailing. They seem to like the idea, but have never been. I've sailed in a few Hobie Cats and once in a 12m boat, and had a blast every time.
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