Join Date: Aug 2016
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Re: What is your favourite watch system?
Good write up. As you mention, it comes down to how many teams of watch standers you have. I've stood watches on 4 systems, each one for years.
I've done 4 on 4 off with, a dog watch system that used 2x2 hour dog watches in the evening to rotate who's on what hours. I didn't realise it at the time, but that was a pretty silly watch system as regular sleep hours weren't possible. I was young at the time and didn't need much sleep.
With 3 teams I've done 4 on 8 off. That was awesome because you got 8 hours of sleep and 8 hours of leisure time every day. Good system, but it needs lots off people since you need at least 3 people who are competent to stand a watch on their own.
6 on 6 off is an industry favourite for 2 teams. I did it for years. It's terrible, it feels like your a slave to the watch system. The watches are long enough that they feel really long, but the off time isn't long enough to ever get a decent sleep. After a few months of that, you can barely think.
The best system I've used for two teams is "8 and 4" and 4 and 8. So the less experienced watch keepers does from 8 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, then has 4 hours off to chillax, then is on at 8 pm until midnight, then off for a full 8 hour rest. The other team does midnight until 8 am, then sleeps all day until 4. Then does a 4-8 watch, then chillaxes from 8 pm to midnight. This system might sound terrible because somebodies stuck with midnight to 8, but it's not that bad, because every one is on a routine and every one gets a proper 8 hour sleep. I can go months on end with this system and still feel somewhat human.