Expedition Expedition Navigation Software

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5/23/2018 12:06 pm  #1

7 person watch schedule

this isn't related to expedition...we are doing the Block Island Race and there are some disagreements onboard for the watch schedule. race should take no more than a day and a half. also, our skipper is NOT navigating, another crew member is but our skipper wants to float and doesn't want to be part of a specific watch.


5/23/2018 12:55 pm  #2

Re: 7 person watch schedule

Not sure what the specific questions is...

As far as the skipper goes (I'm assuming he is the owner) -- I'll tell you what my old crew boss impressed upon me: "Your job is to keep the boss happy and with all his fingers." - I was doing Nav and sharing runner duty with the owner at the time.


5/23/2018 3:48 pm  #3

Re: 7 person watch schedule

As I understand it, you have 7, that is 3 person x 2 watches and one float?  Or 2 person x 3 watches and one float?  And the owner wants to be the float?  What role does he/she fill?  Steerer? Port runner tail trimmer?  How strong are the watches as they stand?
In 1 1/2 days it wont kill the navigator to stand a watch, but it will kill the rest of their watch since the nav has lots of other duties.  What can you delegate to the owner?  Radio scheds?


5/23/2018 4:02 pm  #4

Re: 7 person watch schedule

we are a 41 foot boat, and with only 7 people onboard the navigator is also taking the role of bowman. our skipper is naive and only wants 7 people. our skipper wants to float and so does our navigator. also, our skipper designed a Swedish watch system where crew get 2 one hour off watches every 5 hours. I think this is stupid, as the crew won't have time to eat or sleep. what are your thoughts? 

     Thread Starter

5/24/2018 2:57 am  #5

Re: 7 person watch schedule

So not knowing more about the boat - Normally for "sailing" you need 3 people on watch - main trim, headsail trim, and helm.
I would agree that 2 hours (non-consecutive) every five hours doesn't make much sense. You will have people on "watch" that are idle and people with precious little off watch time that will be pressed into duty for every sail change/manoeuvre so may very well miss their entire "off watch" hour.

Having said that - assuming you aren't doing a touch and go or turn and burn at the end - You can treat this as a sprint and ironman the whole race.


5/24/2018 5:01 am  #6

Re: 7 person watch schedule

It looks like the starts are before noon, so at 186NM, 1.5 days (=5kts average BSP, pretty conservative), you've probably got one overnight to deal with.  If it were me, I'd go with 4hrs on/4hrs off, two watches of 3 and one floater with a the best and second-best helmsperson on each watch.   I suggest the watch schedule start at 2PM.  You'll be past the excitement of the start and had a chance to settle the boat down.  This will put the overnight watch from 2am to 6am, the time when energy and attention are at their lowest and often the time when the big gains or losses are made.  Make sure the Navigator and your strongest helmperson are on-watch from 2am - 6am and pushing the crew to hit the target speeds and monitoring yellowbrick to see who's in breeze. There's really not enough time to get into a regular watch-standing rhythm.  No one will be able to sleep the afternoon of the first day, so that's a great opportunity for the off-watch to heat up the evening meal and boil water so the overnight watches can make hot beverages.  In my experience, if the crew started the race well-rested and not severely hung over, they should be in pretty good shape through day 2 on 4 hours of solid rest.  Perhaps the floater can spell the Navigator when you don't need a person at the bow so the Navigator do his job.  By 10am day 2 both watches will be up so all hands will be available.  


5/24/2018 12:37 pm  #7

Re: 7 person watch schedule

I should clarify - best helmsperson and navigator on watch for start, 6pm - 10pm watch, 2am - 6am watch, etc.  2nd best helmsperson on the other watch.  Good luck and fair winds!


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