For most of my 30+ years, I worked 6+6. In the beginning it was running with a single “Chief” but you got OT for anything off watch.
Later, I did get to do 4+8 which was nice but there will always be guys that just do not understand that the off watch time is to relax and sleep, not to watch movies for 8 hours then bitch about being tired.
As CE and being on call 24/7 6+6 can be tough. It always seemed that if I was going to have any sort of breakdown, it would happen after me being up for 24+ hours in port doing repairs. There were more times than I can count that after being up for those 24 hours, I had to stand my 6 hour watch when sailing.
The times that I filled in on other vessels as an AE, I stood the 12-6 watch and if would take a day or two to get used to but after that it was no big deal.
Let’s face it there is no way that Tug Companies are going to 4-8 top to bottom as they will bitch about cost and the crews will bitch about overcrowding!
The number one thing that used to piss me off was how much the WH crew would bitch if they lost the third mate but turned around and bitch when we would get a third AE.
This argument is like most onboard, you can’t please everyone!