Submarine ship life shifts

Sorry if this has been posted before but i Cant find anything on the forums and the search doesn't give any results.

I know that life on board subs works in shifts. I am just wondering what the shift pattern is like. (How many hours on how many off)

I am looking at WS (sound)

Also is the shift pattern the same for all the boat or do different rolls have different shifts

I know that people will moan about answering something thats probably been answered before but any help would be appreciated


Lantern Swinger
You’d be FWD so your watchbill would likely be 6hours on 6hours off whilst at sea.

One of the experienced guys will likely be along to confirm/correct at some point


War Hero
As LTP said, you'll be working a 6 on/6 off shift pattern (or 1 in 2) at sea based around mealtimes. 1st watch being 0700 - 1300 & 1900 - 0100, 2nd watch unsurprisingly then being 0100 - 0700 & 1300 - 1900. All fwd watchkeepers work the same routine. Back afties work different patterns.

I will caveat the above statement by saying it applies to SSN's. I'm led to believe that SSBN's (who used to run a 1 in 3 watchbill) now work 1 in 2, but don't quote me - I've managed to stay well clear.


Lantern Swinger
MESM watches? West Country routine worked nicely (forenoon, first, afternoon, middle, dogs, morning, long off) brilliant if you went nocturnal.