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Chastened
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4,862 Posts
Seven miles offshore. That means that at an average speed of 5 kts it would take over an hour to get to shore. That means the guy had been sound asleep for at least that long, probably much longer, since he most likely approached the shore on a diagonal, not a direct path.

It could just as easily been a frieghter that ran him down and killed him.
 

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Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
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3,217 Posts
I have heard of people soloing at night with a kitchen timer.. set it for 15 minutes.. take a nap, alarm goes off, check around the boat, set the alarm for another 15 minutes....
 

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If I understand the story correctly, the guy had bought two sailboats in NY that were both damaged in hurricane Sandy, he was sailing one of the damaged boats and towing the second damaged boat, offshore, in October, heading for South Carolina to repair the boats.

Falling asleep and waking up on the beach was a good outcome for this guy, I think.
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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17,137 Posts
I have heard of people soloing at night with a kitchen timer.. set it for 15 minutes.. take a nap, alarm goes off, check around the boat, set the alarm for another 15 minutes....
That is something of an old cruisers standby. Pre mobile phones quite useful but today you can set an alarm on your phone to go off say every fifteen minutes and achieve same result.
 

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Hey,

I recognize the boat on the beach. It used to belong to a member of the same sailing association I belong too. Lots of boats were damaged last year, I didn't know that Belle was one of them.

Barry
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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13,645 Posts
The role of Superman is vastly overrated.

The last hundred years or so of extensive research into sleep and fatigue pretty much all comes to the same conclusion every time. When a mortal is sleep-deprived long enough, they WILL go to sleep and stay asleep until they've gotten some rest. And you can bang a bell, fire a cannon, pour icewater on them, it doesn't matter. Kitchen timer? Yeah, that just tells you it is time to get some sleep.

But folks keep putting on the red cape and blue tights and thinking they're the exception to the rule. Pretty much like the guys who put down a fifth of Jack Daniels and swear they're good to drive.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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5,689 Posts
I have heard of people soloing at night with a kitchen timer.. set it for 15 minutes.. take a nap, alarm goes off, check around the boat, set the alarm for another 15 minutes....
I've done that up to seven days on my own boat - never on delivery of course. Not recommended. A kitchen timer simply isn't loud enough. A couple of years ago I did my longest run using the alarm on my iPhone. Other than weather, e-mail over SSB, cooking, eating, or using the head I was on the 15 minute schedule 24 hours / day.

I'll say I was physically functional straight through but complex judgment deteriorated after about three days. I wouldn't do it again. My current threshold is 36 hours including a margin, so a planned run of 24 hours or so.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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652 Posts
Four comments from someone who has soloed the Atlantic crossing:
1) Anyone serious about single handing (definition of serious - wants to stay alive) has a "cross track error" alarm that sounds if the boat strays from course.
2) 15 minutes does not make it. You never get any rest. About 30 minutes is the minimum. Even so, every once in a while you need to go 45 minutes to an hour or you will fall asleep (as noted above) and not wake up until your body is satisfied.
3) Again if you are serious you have a lot of other alarms - AIS and radar in case someone gets too close, weather, etc. None of this is foolproof but it is better than nothing. The big danger is not getting hit by another ship - they are rare offshore - but a weather change. Waking up in a thunderstorm or rapid weather change is scary and very dangerous.
4) No telephone, kitchen timer, etc. is loud enough to "wake the dead." I use the siren from an old car alarm. I can sleep through everything else.

Just my opinion.
 

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Tundra Down
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1,290 Posts
A useful thread. A serious topic. The Principle of Natural Selection at work again. It seems to have lots of opportunity within this fraternity. Here is a sleeping story with a happy ending. My personal experience with "falling asleep at the tiller".

One calm August afternoon I set out in the Marshall Catboat from Lewis Cove on Passamaquoddy Bay. The wind came in bands that marked the surface all the way across the bay. A light puff and an equally long calm followed by the same sequence. I didn't care about progress toward a destination so I relaxed and watched the strips of wind slowly progressing toward me. Stretched out on the port seat with my head resting comfortably on cushions and my right arm draped on the tiller. What a perfect day! Zzzzzzz! BUMP, bump, bump, BUMP! The trusty catboat depth gauge alarm startled me awake! In this gentle breeze "Cat Boat" had sailed close enough to the southern tip of Navy Island for the cb to be "bumping" off the rocks beneath us. No surf. No waves. A gentle brush with the bottom. No harm done. I wasn't even tired! Ha!

Down
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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Auspicious-
For most of the population, nearly all of the population in general, the accident and error rate DOUBLES after 12 hours "on the job" whatever that job is. Most folks are simply so fatigued, with such clouded judgment, that they are certain they're still OK after 12 hours.

But again, study after study keeps finding the same results. If you've been "on the job" at whatever that is, after 12 hours it is time to settle back, relax, take a nap, put the sharp objects away. If you've been taking breaks, obviously, it isn't beddy-bye time quite yet but if you've been on the helm for 12 hours straight...Cruising ain't combat.
 

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Master Mariner
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That is something of an old cruisers standby. Pre mobile phones quite useful but today you can set an alarm on your phone to go off say every fifteen minutes and achieve same result.
I've used the kitchen timer for a great many years and never once has one had the battery die or water damage. I'd not risk MY boat on a cell phone!
 
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Since these were hurricane-damaged boats can we assume they were uninsured? If so, not only is he out the purchase price of both boats but also the cost of recovery. What a shame.

What make/model were those boats?
 

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Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
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probably why the one was already cut up. He used the lead to help with the price of recovery
 

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First String
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Discussion Starter #16
I lot to be learned from stories like this.
I have not but just started me sailing carrier and I have a great deal of respect for the elements and what they can do to a boat off shore.
Keep it simple keeps it small, don’t chance it, everything in moderation, if unsure ask. That’s one I have so many great people out there helping me with my questions and pointing me in the right direction. it seems to me that anybody can do this with the right equipment and the right experience.
Great threads on this site one could right a how to book with the stuff f4rom real sailors.

Thanks guys
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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17,137 Posts
I've used the kitchen timer for a great many years and never once has one had the battery die or water damage. I'd not risk MY boat on a cell phone!
Good point, well taken. I do use phone alarm cos its louder than the kitchen timer but rest assured I also keep a kitchen timer on board.

In this day and age we all (or at least most of us) rely on an array of electrical geejaws, widgets and sundry gadgets to get us through but some of us still have on hand the odd museum piece should the power shut down.
 

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If you need a settable alarm that can wake all except the stone deaf and dead, Google "Truckers sleep alarm" I have one and it is louder than the smoke/fire alarms in my house. You can also pick one up at any truck stop for $20~30 bucks. If you use one in a hotel, the people from next door will wake up if you don't.

I use it when I am working long hours and short sleep to be certain that I wake up on schedule.

I am not telling tales here, some of them are rated 80 to 120db sound level.

Have FUN!
O'
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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Crikey ! That would wake the dead no doubt at all. I am simply not that heavy a sleeper.
 

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If you need a settable alarm that can wake all except the stone deaf and dead, Google "Truckers sleep alarm" I have one and it is louder than the smoke/fire alarms in my house. You can also pick one up at any truck stop for $20~30 bucks. If you use one in a hotel, the people from next door will wake up if you don't.
Second the truckers alarm, they're a good way to go... No freakin' way would I trust a kitchen timer, or a phone alarm...

But, for serious singlehanding, these are pretty slick:

"Watch Commander" Watch Alarm Timer - Alarms & Detectors - Safety & Regulations - Downwind Marine





However, I think this guy had more 'issues' than an inadequate alarm clock/timer...

I can't imagine what possessed him to go out around Hatteras with 2 "storm-damaged" vessels in tandem, there's a true Recipe for Disaster if I ever saw one :)
 
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