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post #4 of Old 09-06-2017
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Re: What is your favourite watch system?

I'm pretty much a traditionalist. Three crew, 4 on and 8 off whenever possible. Add another person and it goes down to 3 on 9 nine off, which ain't half bad. Add another and it gets even better, but then you need a bigger boat or y'all had best be amiable folks.
My watch has always been the navigator's watch, 8 to 12, which gets me 2 of my three daily sun sites plus most evening sites and their reductions on my watch or at least close, eating up the least amount of my sleeping time. Of course, with GPS all that is reduced to seconds, but being the creature of habit I am, I hang on to my 8 to 12 watches. Anyway, I hate sunrises.
I did one TransAt on a 55 foot schooner and there were 9 of us, and they did 2 on and 10 off, with me not needing to take a watch. We had chess games and card games going 24/7: we were all so well rested, even in some pretty heavy weather.
Some of the larger sailing vessels I've sailed on or operated had 4 crew on each watch of the 4 on and 8 off schedule, but it was still all hands for sail handling or maneuvering on those big girls.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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