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Watch Commander
WC Pro

Connecting Watch Commander

Watch Commander should be connected with a positive locking plug to 12V.  We strongly suggest you do not use a cigarette lighter plug.  We use a West Marine #181867 plug and recommend that no power switch be installed.  On our boat, the Watch Commander is plugged in when we depart and only deactivated when we arrive.  


Red 12v positive
Black Ground
Other colors Varies by version of product - see printed instructions or online manual

NOTE: Always press RESET after connecting Watch Commander and after moving the time selector knob.

The Watch Commander is not waterproof and cannot be exposed to sea water.  A little dampness probably won’t hurt.  We leave ours in a baggie under the dodger.

Using Watch Commander

Select the time you wish to use and press RESET.  We use 12 minutes offshore and less when closer to land.  Choose your own times as appropriate for the situation, the probability of traffic and the speed of your vessel.  T  After the selected time interval has passed, the quiet beeper will sound and the LED will stop blinking.  If you don’t press RESET, the loud siren will sound in 30 seconds.

NOTE: You may press RESET any time you check the horizon.  We do.

Testing Watch Commander

Test Watch Commander each time you connect it.  Leave it set for the time you plan on using and simply let it go off.  Also, test a few times each day while underway by letting it go off.  Let the loud alarm go off once or more each day.

The TEST setting is only used to hear the beepers.  It does not verify that the Watch Commander is keeping time correctly.  It will sound the quiet beeper and, 40 to 50 seconds later, the loud siren.


The Watch Commander should be accurate to within 10 seconds every 3 minutes. Check it against your watch.   It is intended to remind you to check the horizon, not to measure time critical functions where high accuracy is needed.  (Actually, I can’t figure out why a cruising boat should ever have “time critical functions”.)

Online Manual

Watch Commander - current model with time ranging from 3 to 90 minutes

Watch Commander Pro - current model with time ranging from 3 to 90 minutes