Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sleeping Napping While on Passage

Ready for naps for off watch person

If you are already a cruiser or the complete opposite -a non-sailor, this might not interest you. 
For you interested in cruising or soon to be cruisers….As you know, we just sailed from the BVI’s to St Martin.  It took us 23 hours, during which we had some naps when not on watch. Since it was just Tom and me, I set up the starboard salon setee so we could hot bunk our naps there if we wanted to.  Hot bunking is where one sleeps in the bunk and then gets up and take their watch and the off watch person comes down and gets into the bunk the other person was just in….thus “hot” bunking.  The salon is the best place as it is in the center of the boat and thus, less bouncing about.

I wrapped the seat cushions in a waterproof mattress pad.  We are trying our best to keep the salon cushions clean and free of salt residue.  Once salt get on and into the cushions, it will start breaking down the fabric and allowing mildew in.  Next I wrapped the all the cushion backs in a sheet.  A sheet was put on the mattress pad as well.  Then I pulled out a sleeping bag liner sheet.  Even though we are in the Caribbean, it can be chilly at sea.  A light sheet is all it takes.  I found these sleeping bag sheet inserts at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  They are perfect for hot bunking.  Finally I fixed up the lee cloth so we would stay in the bunk even if the boat was heeling side to side.

I actually used the starboard bunk while underway on this passage.  Tom opted to napped in the cockpit while I was on watch.         


  1. Hello HoneyRyder,

    I am Jerry from SV Mirador (Caliber 4072) and have a question about your sleeping arrangement described here.

    We've done quite a few two to four day ocean passages and have never found a need to use our lee clothes installed for both settees in the main cabin. My wife and I take turns sleeping in the owners cabin and the crew we've had aboard sleep in the quarterberth which is secure but pretty noisy due to the autopilot or diesel.

    Can you comment on the relative comfort and security of the main cabin with lee clothes compared to the forward berth?

    How does Tom sleep in the cockpit? I am six feet tall and my feet hang over the end of the cabin seat. Do you put in some kind of filler at the end of the cockpit to make it more comfoatable?

  2. Jerry - lee clothes work well. It's very secure and we can quickly get up and into the cockpit if needed. Additionally the other person at the helm can summon the off watch person easier. Tom is 6ft too. His feet hang off but it doesn't bother him. On our passage south, we all took turns sleeping on the floor of the cockpit in a nest of the cusions while crossing the Gulf Stream - it was a rough crossing. FYI - we refer to your web site often! Thanks!