What do you expect a watch stander to to. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-01-2013 Thread Starter
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What do you expect a watch stander to to.

This is a sister thread to this thread:

https://www.sailnet.com/forums/genera...ake-watch.html

Someone is helping you move your boat or you are the captain turning the boat you are responsible for to a person for a solo night watch.

What do you expect.

Sometimes it comes down to very small details.
Are you supposed to stay in the cockpit at all times.
Is it OK to use the head
If their is a dodger can you lookout from behind the dodger.
What if it is raining?
Can you close your eyes?
Are their any logging duties
What about the engine.
What about sail trim
What about course
What about sighted ships
What about 360's

Do you actually give detailed directions or just turn over the helm?

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post #2 of 17 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: What do you expect a watch stander to to.

For me it depends on who they are, and what we are doing. If it is an experienced person that I know, and we are just doing a coastal delivery I probably wouldn't do much more than give a SitRep as I head to bed. And inexperienced person, or offshore or bad weather, ect would be a little more detailed.

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post #3 of 17 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: What do you expect a watch stander to to.

everyone with whom i have sailed has done a report to next shift. cover traffic, potential weather issues, what may feel wrong with boat,any new sounds...stuff that might be necessary during the time on watch.
and i rarely sleep well with someone else in my home, so i will pay attention to what is going on around as well..
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: What do you expect a watch stander to to.

Hold a course, don't hit anything. In normal conditions make sail adjustments as required. Stay on the boat-tethered, wear a life jacket. Update the charts. Log any communications. If using the engine monitor the temp and pressure.

Use of Head is optional...

At 5 kn. on a 3 hour watch we're talking about 21 miles or so..
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: What do you expect a watch stander to to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest View Post
At 5 kn. on a 3 hour watch we're talking about 21 miles or so..
might want to check you math there...

Aside from the personal safety requirement of always being clipped in while on watch alone, day or night, fine weather or foul, STAY AWAKE AND WAKE ME UP IF ANTHING CHANGES is my only rule. if the person has sailing experience or the desire to learn, I encourage them to tinker with sail sets in decent weather. i

other than that, a change of watch briefing and logbook entry are required but those take place while both people are awake.

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post #6 of 17 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: What do you expect a watch stander to to.

Presuming fairly benign conditions then I'd not bother with tether or life jacket when in cockpit but insist when going forward. No one goes forward at night unless they are tethered and have a watch partner. If conditions warrant then yes to PFD and tether.

Are you supposed to stay in the cockpit at all times. - preferably
Is it OK to use the head - yes
If their is a dodger can you lookout from behind the dodger - I hope so
What if it is raining? - What if it is raining ? That's why god gave us Gill and hopefully a dodger.
Can you close your eyes? - Is that a trick question ?
Are their any logging duties - hourly. Presuming GPS equipped log position.
What about the engine. - if motor sailing monitor temp etc.
What about sail trim - adjust as necessary.
What about course - hold. Major course change only with skippers involvement.
What about sighted ships - observe. If you even think that maybe on a converging course then get skipper on deck.
What about 360's - every fifteen minutes.

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post #7 of 17 Old 11-01-2013
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Re: What do you expect a watch stander to to.

Quote:
might want to check you math there
Would be nice to get that distance at that speed.

Basically though, whatever you expect of yourself, less your responsibilities of being captain of the boat.

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Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
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post #8 of 17 Old 11-02-2013
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Re: What do you expect a watch stander to to.

Good discussion to have.

For those that don't know already I do a lot of deliveries. In the past year I've been doing more and more owner-aboard along with brokerage clients as crew so I get some unknowns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Are you supposed to stay in the cockpit at all times.
On most things I'm open to discussion. Not this. No one leaves the cockpit without another person on deck. With people forward someone is always in the cockpit. That means if crew wakes me for an issue that requires someone to go forward (usually me but not always) and the person forward needs help that means bringing another person up.

This "rule" is problematic with only two aboard. So much decision-making is situational. I've brought everyone back to the cockpit for a discussion before dealing with a problem. In other circumstances I've had ALL crew on deck.

Boy do I have some stories. *grin*

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Is it OK to use the head
Yes
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
If their is a dodger can you lookout from behind the dodger.
I've been offshore without a dodger once. I'll suck it up again if I have to, but all my crew get transportation and per diem if you want us to head offshore like that. It might be cheaper to add a dodger.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
What if it is raining?
You get wet. I had one crew (who was in other ways a problem child that I ultimately put on a plane home) volunteer for an extended watch - she said "I'm already wet - why should anyone else get wet?" She stood for six hours, the last three in the rain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Can you close your eyes?
No
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Are their any logging duties
Yes - position and conditions at change of watch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
What about the engine.
Depending on pre-departure assessment I check the engine once or twice a day under power. Depending on crew this may be delegated but there is ONE person who is the engineer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
What about sail trim
No major changes without me. Minor trim is okay. My go-to crew have more flexibility and they know it, and so does everyone else. Most major changes ("It's Tuesday, time to tack") happen at watch change with three on deck (off-going crew, on-coming crew, and me).
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
What about course
In standing orders. Avoiding collision is an exception but should never be a surprise and plenty of time to wake me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
What about sighted ships
Watch for CPA and TCPA. Wake me only if there is a problem. Wake me if you're worried. Wake me if you're lonely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
What about 360's
Every five minutes or so is encouraged. Certainly less than ten minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Do you actually give detailed directions or just turn over the helm?
All in our pre-departure discussion.

Things you didn't ask about:

- I expect (and am awake for) watch handover that includes a summary of current conditions, any actions taken, traffic observed, and anything else that might help the relief do a better job.

- Understand the amount of time your relief wants to get up and get ready - some people need five minutes and some need 30.

- If your relief wants coffee, tea, or whatever get that set up for them. That may mean getting the percolator going 20 minutes before watch change and waking your relief at 10 minutes before watch change.

- Never hesitate to wake the skipper.

- Light discipline is paramount. This is a real pet peeve for me. I truly DESPISE headlamps, even though I use them. The problem is that the person wearing one looks at anyone (often me) coming up the companionway and ruins night vision. Bad. We talk about this pre-departure. You blind me once you get a discussion. You do it twice and I hold your headlamp for the rest of the voyage. I HAVE TO BE ABLE TO SEE WHEN I COME ON DECK. There are implications: if your next watch is scheduled to start in the dark you should have your gear laid out where you can find it in the dark to get ready. If you have to use the head there should be a source of low light that 1. doesn't ruin your night vision and 2. doesn't spill out on deck to reduce the on-watch night vision. Smartphones with the backlight turned way down work great. The little LED candles are okay although a little bright for my taste. You do turn the backlights on nav instruments down to the lowest level at night don't you? Way offshore you can cover depth and probably boat speed.

- I expect concern and respect for the off-watch. Circumstances allowing I expect no conversation that might wake someone sleeping. Take it to the cockpit. If you're clipped into jacklines (again circumstances permitting) hold the shackle off the deck so you don't wake anyone below dragging metal bits along the deck.

- I expect participation in boat chores. This may be a little unique to me. I do most or all the cooking but I'll hand up potatoes or carrots to the watch to peel. I may hand up shrimp or hard-cooked eggs to shell. You're going to get asked to dump the garbage bowl over the side. Depending on interests I may send up grating. Some people want to learn about cooking offshore so I may take a portion of a watch so crew can practice mise en place.

- I don't delegate the ugly stuff on Auspicious or on delivery. If someone gets sick I clean it up. If the head needs to be cleaned and certainly on arrival I do it. I may ask for help emptying fridge and freezer on arrival but I'll do the head down cleaning.

I'm sure there are other things that will occur to me.
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post #9 of 17 Old 11-02-2013
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Re: What do you expect a watch stander to to.

Good discussion.
Dave- excellent write up!

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post #10 of 17 Old 11-02-2013
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Re: What do you expect a watch stander to to.

Call me.
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