Cruising Sailors Forum Archive

Re: What's a 'watch?' Somebody at the wheel 24/7?

Tom, yes, some automatic sheet release systems have been developed with mixed acceptance. I suspect that they are a nuisance ---except when 'ya coulda used one'. This whole 'on watch' thing is annoying to me. They were indeed keeping an active watch, just not 'outside'. They were far more effective, warm and inside for the conditions especially. If the 57 is like the other Atlantics, there's a wheel inside as well. What more vigilance should be required than to be standing next to the helm???

On my boat, there is NO outside cockpit. Does that mean I'm never on watch? (I'll answer that rhetorical question) Of course not!

You've identified the one Achilles Heel to multihulls-- they can reach a point of no return in extreme conditions. A monohull could lose their mast, but the survivability of dismasting is much better than surviving a capsize offshore. Some cruising cats may actually be more likely to be dismasted than capsized--sort of a safety factor I guess. Performance boats such as the White designs, Gunboats and others of that type just have to accept that capsize can happen no matter how vigilant.

As Clint Eastwood was fond of saying, "How lucky to you feel?". One's answer determines whether they sail in, on or own a multihull...

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