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Old 11-30-2014, 06:24 PM   #21
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Gentlemen, if I may use the term Thank you again for your thoughts and experiences.
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May you always have at least a hand's width of water beneath your keel!
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:32 PM   #22
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Don't ask if you don't like the answers.
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Old 11-30-2014, 06:36 PM   #23
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Oh my! I fear my attempt at humor was misunderstood. This was meant to seriously thank each of you for your thoughts. They are very helpful.
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Old 11-30-2014, 07:05 PM   #24
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Bob. Your question is valid. If an attempt at humor is offensive to others, who has the issue? The humorous one or the offended? Hmmmm.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:06 AM   #25
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Helm area has to be set up to make running at night enjoyable and safe. lights from the salon or berthing areas must be controlled. The darker the helm, the easier it is to see whats ahead. Chart plotters usually have better dimming features than computers with Nav programs. VHFs' and depth finders usually can be dimmed as well. a reasonably large flat surface near the helm can be used for a chart table, this helps the watchstander with whats ahead. An autopilot is the key, it is a great help to know your at least going in a straight line without having to constantly check steering compass. Situational awareness is the key to low stress night sailing. If you know your position in relation to other boats, hazards and aids to navigation you'll come to love night running.
Don't wait until the sun goes down to figure this stuff out. Several mini led flashlights around the boat help, cover lens with paper towel or two fingers for light control.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:15 AM   #26
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Quote:
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Helm area has to be set up to make running at night enjoyable and safe. lights from the salon or berthing areas must be controlled. The darker the helm, the easier it is to see whats ahead. Chart plotters usually have better dimming features than computers with Nav programs. VHFs' and depth finders usually can be dimmed as well. a reasonably large flat surface near the helm can be used for a chart table, this helps the watchstander with whats ahead. An autopilot is the key, it is a great help to know your at least going in a straight line without having to constantly check steering compass. Situational awareness is the key to low stress night sailing. If you know your position in relation to other boats, hazards and aids to navigation you'll come to love night running.
Don't wait until the sun goes down to figure this stuff out. Several mini led flashlights around the boat help, cover lens with paper towel or two fingers for light control.
Great input
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:38 AM   #27
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I use a laptop for main plotter, and it does not dim that well. I keep two sheets of smoked lexan as shields. Lay one over the screen, instant dim. Want more dim?, add the second sheet. Need to really see it??, remove lexan. No need to go hunting buttons or menus to change screen lighting.

To dim helm flashlight, some trashbag plastic over lens with rubber band. And yep, keep plenty of little led lights around, use those for hunting stuff instead of turning on the pilothouse lights. Some of my overhead lights are led reds, that helps somewhat, but the shielded flashlights are better.
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Old 12-01-2014, 10:34 AM   #28
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Going to sea with a shorthanded crew to begin with is a gamble.

With no flexibility, sea sickness, sickness, injury, excessive fatigue can change things fast.

Not saying don't do it, but be ready for the consequences.
I guess it depends on what you mean by "going to sea". If you are crossing oceans, I agree, only two would be risky. But going up and down the coast I don't see it being a problem since there should be places to bail out. Doing the ICW at night, for me, absolutely not, no matter how many people on board.

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Old 12-01-2014, 11:25 AM   #29
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We've completed 17 overnight passages offshore. I like to do at least one every season because it helps us to keep our skills sharp - there is nothing else like traveling at night and I learn something on every jump. The only time all the built-in electronics failed on our boat was at 11 pm, 15 nm offshore. It was a wonderful lesson about how our backups work.

We're working on putting together an overnight rally between St Petersburg/Clearwater and Panama City for 2016. We released a survey about 10 months ago and 1,200 boats were willing to commit to doing it. Although I doubt that many would go, there could easily be 500+. The St Petersburg Yacht Club is taking the lead because it's too big for us to handle now and they're looking to produce the event around April, 2016. If you're near that area then, it would be an interesting way to learn about overights and then do it with escorts by the Coast Guard and TowBoatUS.
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:41 AM   #30
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Had a similar issue along the south coast of PR in the middle of a very dark night. Threading our way around some offshore islands, one appropriately named Coffin Island, when both the chartplotter GPS and backup GPS lost all signals. Thank goodness for paper charts!


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Old 12-01-2014, 11:48 AM   #31
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I've always done 2hr shifts, whether I had 4 persons onboard or just 2. Day and night both. I don't remember why I decided that, but it seems to have worked out fine over the years. And I really love cruising at night. Of course, cruising sedately at 8 knots is a lot more relaxing and allows more time to react than in a higher speed boat at double that speed.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:15 PM   #32
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I absolutely love running at night, but only in good weather and not in highly frequented waters.
Watch shifts ad libitum, usually about 2 hours, depending on personal weariness.
Arriving the harbour in the morning hours, after the first boats have already left, is a welcome benefit of night-runs.
On some legs we could start really early in the morning and will still be too late for a nice dock/slip in the targeted harbour,
this silly race for dock-space is much more tiring than running at night.
But other cruising grounds might require different tactics.


Approaching Danish island Bornholm at sunrise, Baltic Sea, 2006
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:27 PM   #33
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Here was our experiance running at night. Would rather have had a crew of 4. I will not run at night once I am cruising the inside passage, too many logs and deadheads. The biggest issue on the west coast are crab traps.....

The Alaskan Sea-Duction: The Big Voyage
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:59 PM   #34
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I absolutely love running at night, but only in good weather and not in highly frequented waters.

Watch shifts ad libitum, usually about 2 hours, depending on personal weariness.

Arriving the harbour in the morning hours, after the first boats have already left, is a welcome benefit of night-runs.

On some legs we could start really early in the morning and will still be too late for a nice dock/slip in the targeted harbour,

this silly race for dock-space is much more tiring than running at night.

But other cruising grounds might require different tactics.





Approaching Danish island Bornholm at sunrise, Baltic Sea, 2006

Beautiful shot and nice looking boat. Is it a custom build or production boat? Any more photos of the boat?
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:23 PM   #35
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I guess it depends on what you mean by "going to sea". If you are crossing oceans, I agree, only two would be risky. But going up and down the coast I don't see it being a problem since there should be places to bail out. Doing the ICW at night, for me, absolutely not, no matter how many people on board.

Bob
Sure, I don't disagree......especially singe night runs into the second day afternoon....

As I said...just be ready for the consequences...which can be as simple as a turn and short run to a safe dock/anchorage.

The problem with fatigue...it is actually worse than alcohol use....at least by some that have studied both ad nauseum. The second to fatigue is loss of attention due to boredom and complacency.

So you don't realize just what you are doing sometimes till the paradigm shift catches up and you are on the rocks or worse.

As far as the ICW...that's a matter of comfort level. If something serious happens...in most places help is only minutes and at worst a few hours away.
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:25 PM   #36
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Thanks, Cardude! It's a Pedro Donky 30, please look here PedroBoat - Pedro Boat - Models for further informations.
Most boats built in the Netherlands are semi-custom - we specified an oversized chart-table and keel-cooling for instance.


Another shot from 2006, as we don't have this boat anymore.
"Butt" means "flatfish", just to avoid questionable questions from the beginning ;-)
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:31 PM   #37
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Sure, I don't disagree......especially singe night runs into the second day afternoon....

As I said...just be ready for the consequences...which can be as simple as a turn and short run to a safe dock/anchorage.

The problem with fatigue...it is actually worse than alcohol use....at least by some that have studied both ad nauseum. The second to fatigue is loss of attention due to boredom and complacency.

So you don't realize just what you are doing sometimes till the paradigm shift catches up and you are on the rocks or worse.

As far as the ICW...that's a matter of comfort level. If something serious happens...in most places help is only minutes and at worst a few hours away.


Wholeheartedly agree about this sentence: "The second to fatigue is loss of attention due to boredom and complacency.". But that's a problem not only present when running at night.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:09 PM   #38
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I routinely make the Michigan to Wisconsin crossing of Lake Michigan solo at night. (Much preferred to solo daylight in dense fog, which I've also done a couple of times). Virtually no traffic except for the big lakers and they're impossible to miss on the radar. On one occasion I lost a raw water pump on one of the engines while enroute....punched on the autopilot heading hold, pushed up the power lever for the second engine to maintain my schedule, and went below to replace the pump. Popped up every ten minutes to scan the horizon for lights, and check the radar. Essentials are coffee, radar, chart plotter, autopilot, two engines, and a good forecast of winds and waves from Passageweather. A moon is a big bonus. Overall trip is eleven hours (day/night). I'm pretty amped up when I'm alone out there in the dark...no problem staying alert for a single overniter. More than one nite/day would be another story.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:48 PM   #39
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Thanks, Cardude! It's a Pedro Donky 30, please look here PedroBoat - Pedro Boat - Models for further informations.
Most boats built in the Netherlands are semi-custom - we specified an oversized chart-table and keel-cooling for instance.


Another shot from 2006, as we don't have this boat anymore.
"Butt" means "flatfish", just to avoid questionable questions from the beginning ;-)

Very cool! Thanks for the pic!

Not sure if I would want to try to maintain all the teak on that other boat. Holy moly!
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:53 PM   #40
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Age and routine play another factor.

Those that routinely stay up late and live on below normal levels of sleep will due better. Or that are currently on a night shift at work or even a shifted "retired" schedule.

Youth also allows more fleibility.
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