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post #21 of 31 Old 08-13-2012
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Re: Sleeping underway risk

Your question emphasizes the need for an awake and alert lookout on watch while underway. This is difficult to achieve when singlehanding on an extended voyage or a couple cruising together.

The potential risks of striking objects underway include floating but submerged trees and shipping containers. These are difficult or impossible to see at night and don't appear on radar.

In blue water, you can't anchor for the night somewhere protected. in inland and coastal waters, you usually can!
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post #22 of 31 Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Sleeping underway risk

couple cruising together makes watch list--time and hours f watch --when in gom for my near year of cruising there we did 4 hour watch --single handing is different--grab a nap for a few minutes every couple of hours when not in a busy location and nothing on horizon.


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post #23 of 31 Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Sleeping underway risk

I would rather die instantly of a broken neck than drown while waiting for rescue.

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post #24 of 31 Old 09-06-2012
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Re: Sleeping underway risk

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
I think this is the most "out there" thread I have seen yet.
Sailing is probably the safest sport there is & if you are worried about which way to sleep in a bunk and DYING, quite possibly you should find something else a little less dangerous, like staying on the couch.
Agree, too much time, got plenty else to ponder while pounding big head seas waiting for the dawn.
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post #25 of 31 Old 09-06-2012
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Re: Sleeping underway risk

Let's see - die with a smile on my face sailing or slogging it at work? Tough choice, NOT
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post #26 of 31 Old 09-16-2012
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Re: Sleeping underway risk

I registered so I could reply to this.

I've raced and cruised offshore several thousand miles, some of it single-handed and did the same in the Pacific Northwest inland salt waters for years. I've been there when boats hit rocks, logs and sand bottoms.

I would never sleep head-forward. You can make all the silly hypothetical arguments you want, but I'd prefer to risk having my feet slammed against the bulkhead than my head.
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post #27 of 31 Old 09-16-2012
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Re: Sleeping underway risk

Grew up sleeping with a hand pressed against the deck head to prevent body slam in the forepeak, feet forward to avoid wearing a bald spot in the Bryillcream . Just more comfortable that way . No comment on safer, Dad never hit anything, We had more pressing factors to consider.
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Last edited by Capt Len; 09-17-2012 at 10:55 AM.
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post #28 of 31 Old 09-16-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Sleeping underway risk

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Originally Posted by Quester View Post
I registered so I could reply to this.

I've raced and cruised offshore several thousand miles, some of it single-handed and did the same in the Pacific Northwest inland salt waters for years. I've been there when boats hit rocks, logs and sand bottoms.

I would never sleep head-forward. You can make all the silly hypothetical arguments you want, but I'd prefer to risk having my feet slammed against the bulkhead than my head.
I feel honored that you registered so you could add to my little thread. Thank you for your comments. Welcome aboard.

I'm in agreement with the group that says that the risks are very low. I've personally never heard of a spinal injury on a sailboat due to sleeping head forward.

The alternative for most boats is very simple just sleep head forward. It's not like I'm recommending something ridiculously hard like always wearing a life-jacket (which I also do by the way).

We all make dozens of judgement calls while on the land and on the water every minute.
Look both ways before crossing the street.
Wear a condom
Is my head low enough to clear the boom.
Check the paper chart to confirm what I think the gps is saying.
Throw the pillow to forward or aft on the bunk

The list goes on and on, what is one more minor consideration.

I think that the difference between people that are "lucky" and people that are "unlucky" is that the "lucky" ones make hundreds of very small, maybe unnoticeable choices not out of fear but because they have a habit of visualizing events.
That visualization causes them to subtly change the way they handle lines, walk on the deck, navigate everything.

These subtle changes never matter 99.999 percent of the time.
But rare events happen much more often than we expect.
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post #29 of 31 Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Sleeping underway risk

Y'all need velcro sheets and 'jammies. Keeps the offwatch in place way better than a lee cloth, even if you roll the boat. (G)
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post #30 of 31 Old 09-17-2012
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Re: Sleeping underway risk

If I laid in my rack worrying about hitting a container I'd not be sleeping anyway.
In the Navy you put you head where the light was in the coffin rack - didn't matter which way it was facing. We had belt straps to hold us in on submarines and the smaller ships.

I've only owned 4 boats - all of them had berths that were designed to be feet to bow.

Lessons learned are opportunities earned.
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