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Barquito
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I am going to be doing my first single hand over-night (30 hours). I'll probably just stay up the whole time. But, if I find I need to take a few cat-naps, was wondering what a good timer would be. I want something that starts beeping quietly, then louder. It also shouldn't stop beeping until cancelled. Any suggestions?
 

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Old enough to know better
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Lots of phone apps if you have a smart phone, I know my android has a nice built in app that has an alarm, timer and stopwatch. Otherwise you might want to look in the nearest truck-stop, they are known for having very loud alarm clocks, either battery or 12 volt. I guess truckers are notoriously heavy sleepers. Hopefully not while driving though! Some people use wind up kitchen timers, but you have to be a pretty light sleeper for that to wake you up.
 

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My Raymarine Autopilot has a watch alarm..."Watch alarm
WATCH
The Watch alarm is activated in Watch mode when the timer reaches
4 minutes. It is not available from Standby mode."
 

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Lots of phone apps if you have a smart phone, I know my android has a nice built in app that has an alarm, timer and stopwatch. Otherwise you might want to look in the nearest truck-stop, they are known for having very loud alarm clocks, either battery or 12 volt. I guess truckers are notoriously heavy sleepers. Hopefully not while driving though! Some people use wind up kitchen timers, but you have to be a pretty light sleeper for that to wake you up.
Yup, a trucker's alarm clock would be my recommendation, as well... Mine will wake the dead, no way would I ever trust something as ordinary as a kitchen timer, but that's just me...

For serious singlehanding, or even sailing with crew, an alarm like the Watch Commander is tough to beat. Very nice unit, but I'm glad I bought mine when I did, the price of these things is really getting up there, now... If course, anyone with some electronics skills should be able to make something similar of their own...

Photo and Guide
 

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Master Mariner
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I have been using an old fashioned kitchen timer for over 40 years. No batteries, water won't hurt it and there's no snooze button. It certainly doesn't start out softly, but when you only use it for 12 minutes at a time (the time it takes when the average ship is invisible, till it's close enough to be something you should be concerned with), I really do not think a gentle wake up is too good an idea.
My other suggestion is not to lay in a bunk or get too comfortable; napping at the table worked best for me. Getting too comfortable when you are too tired is a recipe for disaster.
 
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Beneteau 393
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In the kitchen store line them all up and see which is loudest, and which has a memory so you dont have to put the number of minutes in again each time ypu use it.
 

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I am going to be doing my first single hand over-night (30 hours). I'll probably just stay up the whole time. But, if I find I need to take a few cat-naps, was wondering what a good timer would be. I want something that starts beeping quietly, then louder. It also shouldn't stop beeping until cancelled. Any suggestions?
I've done a fair amount. I'll take naps under the following conditions:
  1. Areas without frequent recreational traffic
  2. Only on offshore tack, never when headed toward shore
  3. Using a standard kitchen timer to wake me
  4. Keep a truckers timer set to kitchen timer +5 minutes.
  5. Wearing a tether to a jackline or strong point

Wake up and check conditions with the kitchen timer, then reset timers. If you are awakened by the truckers timer you should be scared. That's your safety backup, like a tether.

Great Lakes Single Handed Society is a great resource. I did the race once, but it was stressful enough I don't want to repeat.

GJ
 

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Super Fuzzy
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OK I'm not doing any overnight single handers as such, the Wombet is always there to share the load but that still means one of us will be alone on watch if the other is sleeping. While we try to stay awake it is possible to nod off so we keep a timer at hand.

I like the look of that Watch commander gizmo though I havn't looked at the price as yet.

We use an egg/kitchen timer, neither of us have ever slept through it.

OK so weather down here is relatively mild even in winter and we have a very well protected cockpit but one of us will always stay in the cockpit unless for short periods, say to plot position on chart, grab a cup of coffee or make a snack.
 

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Old as Dirt!
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I have a small wind-up kitchen timer that is fitted with a lanyard that I can wear around my neck. If I get really tired I'll heave-too on an off-shore tack and take a snooze at the nav table with a 10 mile guard zone set on the radar that triggers an alarm horn that will waken the dead. I've found that a couple of 30 minute naps can really make a difference to ones endurance.

FWIW...
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Another vote for the simple wind up kitchen timer.

In fact I use two and put them in an open tin box on the floor.

Has worked for me for many years.

On longer passages I try and stay awake at night and sleep during the day 40 mins max at a time, come up for a good look around and go back to sleep.
 

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Beneteau 393
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Thanks for the ideas, guys. It is just a 30 hour passage from Milwaukee to Sturgeon Bay, so probably I will just stay awake, but wanted some backup.
I am sorry, but thats unsafe and unseamanlike.

You need sleep. You need PROPER sleep.

As a solo sailor that means lots of 20 min cat naps.

Mark
 
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Thanks for the ideas, guys. It is just a 30 hour passage from Milwaukee to Sturgeon Bay, so probably I will just stay awake, but wanted some backup.
I do that route a lot. You have 115 Nmi which could be done in 30 hours if you keep up 4 knot average. If you can manage to maintain 5 knots then it's only 23 hours. That's a direct line which will take you past a zillion guys in little aluminum fishing boats as you pass Port Washington, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Two Rivers, Kewaunee, and Agoma. In the spring you also have a good chance for heavy fog along that path. That's not a route to take naps and you don't want to navigate the Sturgeon Bay ship channel while you're drowsy. You can avoid the fishing boats by going up the center of the lake but that would add 30+ miles to the route.

Transient dockage along the way is expensive. Kewaunee is a fine harbor to anchor out at, but most others have no anchorage space. I would generally anchor in Kewaunee for a break of a few hours and then go into Sturgeon Bay after a rest. The entrance to the ship channel is only a short distance from Kewaunee.

In general, solo and some careful naps is fine for offshore passage where there are no options for stopping, but if you have opportunity to stop at convenient ports along the way then by all means, stop and take a nap.

GJ
 
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