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Old 04-23-2010, 08:53 AM   #21
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

I have not over come those fears in the 30 years of boating and/or 15 years of being a live a board.* I have those and a lot more to the point I do not enjoy taking our 58 ft out.* The dink and the run about I enjoy and take out daily during the summer, but to get me to take the big boat takes some doing. I prefer the big boat tied dock so I can relax and enjoy.* Anchoring to me is a big pain in the BUT and when you start comparing the real/total cost of anchor vs. the dock they are not that great, but best part*is you get a good night sleep.* **********
*
To help limit one of your concerns.* You can check the % of amps left with a volt meter. This is how we did it in the old days before they made expensive fancy gauges. However, you do have to turn the charger and large amp draws off and let the battery bank rest for a couple of minutes. The common practice is not to draw below 50%, but you can go as low as 25%. *Many of the older analog volt meters use to have the % on the meter. *

Volts *****%

13.2 ***100%
12.6 *****75%
12.2 *****50%
11.8 *****25%
11.2 *******0%
*
*
Furthermore you should be able to calculate/estimate total DC* amp draw.* If you do not know how then ask as it is not that difficult.*

*
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:06 AM   #22
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

Phil,
That's a handy guide. My SO insists someone stay on watch when we anchor out. She can't sleep otherwise- so we all take shifts. It's a PITA but to date we have never been boarded by pirates as we slept
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Old 04-23-2010, 12:32 PM   #23
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Getting Used to Fear

We spend months each year in challenging waters (BC and SE Alaska), anchoring about 2/3 of the time.* Seems to me there are some problems that are likely to cause inconvenience or cost, and others with possibly significant danger.* Our strategy is to set up our equipment and operate in such a way that we have very few in the significant danger category, and reduce the probability or consequence of all as much as reasonably possible.* Some thoughts:

Electrical: as others have said, isolation of starting batts is critical.* Adequate house bank and charging capacity is major convenience issue, but not quite critical.* OTOH, it's fairly easy to set up so that house bank capacity is rarely a problem, and to monitor your situation.* I'd sure recommend an amp-hour meter, and also analysis of your amp-hour requirements.

For anyone who would like to go through the process of calculating house bank amp-hour requirements, I could send an Excel spreadsheet that makes the analysis much easier.

Anchoring:* definitely a danger issue.* Make your anchoring gear about as good as possible, and practice, practice.* Religiously pay attention to your technique until you are confident you're doing it well.* Religiously monitor the condition of your gear, to be sure it remains in good condition.* You won't be too comfortable until you have successfully survived several nights with significant wind.* No substitute for experience here.

Shallow water:* Our boat is considerably more vulnerable than yours, since it has a sterndrive and no protective keel, and we travel over rocky bottoms rather than mud or sand.* I'd want to lower the probability of a problem, and change this as much as possible from a danger issue to an inconvenience.* Get a decent fishfinder and calibrate it accurately.* It will show you the bottom depth trend, not just depth at the moment.* Slower in shallows, for sure.* Experience will ease the fear.

Other general fear-easers:* Have backups for every key thing practical, including isolated battery banks, anchor gear, radio and GPS, propulsion, spare parts and appropriate tools.* Keep your propulsion system maintained to a high standard, and check everything well before setting out on a long cruise.* Keep a very good handle on the weather forecast, and stay put if it sounds threatening.* Experience will help you judge what is really threatening, in a particular location, for your boat and crew.

-- Edited by RCook on Friday 23rd of April 2010 12:34:41 PM

-- Edited by RCook on Friday 23rd of April 2010 12:38:31 PM

-- Edited by RCook on Friday 23rd of April 2010 12:49:51 PM
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:56 PM   #24
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

And along the lines of what Peter said regarding "patience".........My wife says you are never truly aground unless you are out of rum!!!!!!!
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:59 PM   #25
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

I have a hard time understanding the "Fear" some have voiced about some of the issues regarding the use of their boats. Someone wrote "fear is healthy", I believe caution... or concern is a great attribute to what we do in our boats.... fear get's you in trouble.* A large part of what makes us comfortable on out boats is a understanding of the workings of systems, the mechanics of how things work on the boat etc. Read everything you can get your hands on, as mentioned Chapman's* is a great resource.

When you understand the workings of your boat some of what I think should be termed anxiety should lessen. We have sailed and cruised all over the world and have experienced 60kts at anchor for about 6 hrs in the middle of the night in Moorea and have only drug anchor once.. (1) time. that's it. That happened because the anchorage in Fiji was strewn with crap and we pulled up the anchor wrapped in a huge blue tarp.
Have we hit bottom???... you bet!.. a number of times. We always have got off under our own power... eventually!. We even have hit a couple unmarkled rocks at slow speed ( that gets your attention real quick! ). Went to start the boat once after sitting on the hook a few days and click... click.., bad sound, but not the end of the world. Our starting bank and house banks at that time couldnt be connected, but a short set of jumper cabeles did the trick. My point is learn all you can about your boat... if the unexpected happens roll with it, work around it.. do a McGuiver.* The best part of boating begins when you stow the dock lines!
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:09 PM   #26
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

Hollywood, thas what I'm talkin' about!!!! Ultimately, it is risk management. Very much what Rcook was talking about. So you run your batteries out. Just have a way to dig yourself out of it. I have never run mine out but am prepared if I do. And that preparations is what alleviates the anxiety. What is the real risk of running your batteries down....nobody is gonna get hurt and no fiberglass is gonna get damaged. That is what I always used to tell my wife and she finally understands this when I say it. What is the worst that could happen??? Now anchoring goes from damaged pride to damaged boats and potentially worse. But that is on a case by case basis. If you are in an anchorage by yourself and it is sand and mud....likely not much harm is gonna be done if you drag. I am not trying to minimize the importance of these things but I am trying to minimize the anxiety.

As you were....
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:14 AM   #27
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Getting Used to Fear

I feel sorry for Phil, because he has a large boat, and possibly a not too handy and nervous SO, (no disrespect, and sorry if wrong, maybe it's just he who is nervous?), and he is anxious every time they go out. That a bit sad really, but he compensates in other ways. I guess it also illustrates a point sometimes made in discussions re what boat to buy. Sometimes big is not better - smaller is.... depending on what you like doing, and how many you do it with. That one of the quandaries live-boards face I guess. When it's your home, bigger is better, but then when it comes time to leave the dock.....

I love anchoring out - to me that's freedom. I guess being a quack, and on call a lot in younger days, being away from it all, no phone (unless I turn it on), and no link to land is good, really good. And the best part is when the sun starts to go down - and you don't need to go anywhere.....no need to up-anchor and return to the dock...you're out there, anchor set, snubber on, and your entire purpose in life is to enjoy that sunset, nice food....perhaps some wine or a beer, and then the peace (usually) of the night, and then waking up in some picturesque anchorage in the stillness of a lovely sunny morning.* Better than sex.....fortunately, because the one downside to our boat is no island double - just V-berths....and yet I still love it.
Am I getting through to you Phil? Are you feeling a little bolder? Maybe not, because you wake up on your boat every morning, so I guess the novelty has worn off a bit.....? Pity. However, I hope GonzoF1 is starting to get a fire in the belly, because he should.


-- Edited by Peter B on Saturday 24th of April 2010 06:17:47 AM

-- Edited by Peter B on Saturday 24th of April 2010 06:21:01 AM
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Old 04-24-2010, 06:44 AM   #28
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

It's not that I (we) can't handle it, and I honestly STILL believe that we DO have the perfect boat for our situation. Maybe part of te anxiety is from just not wantint to do something stupid that will cost us unnecessary money and time.

Skinny Dippin' is pretty well equipped for what she is. Sure, she doesn't have all the letest bells and whistles, but a decent house bank and charger (albeit... older), a genset, all-chain anchor rode, very reliable engine (Perkins 6.354), and she was well taken care of by the PO. We are still reading up in the Chapman book, Nigel's boat maintenance book, and took the safe boating course over the winter. We still enjoy every minute on her and don't feel like we bought too much boat at all.

I do think it's a total risk management thing. However, you guys ARE making me a little more as ease with it. Whenever we get into shallower water and I mention it to The Carbon Wife Unit... she'll usually say something like, "It only takes FOUR." and she is right, of course. Still, I always try and think ahead that, like I said, the bottom will suddenly shoot up to two feet or wonder what could happen to the underside of the boat should I hit a log. I suppose I'll get used to it once I am more familiar with some more of my surroundings.

One question about anchoring and setting the tackle: When you back down, do you keep it just pulling on the windlass? How much pressure can that thing take before it tears the gears and/or clutch out of it? Or worse, tears it off the deck? I have not taken the windlass apart yet, so I am not yet familiar with the inner workings, so I am at a disadvantage until that happens.

Thanks again for all your help so far. You guys are great!
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:41 AM   #29
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

If everything is set up close to the way it should there should be no way to hurt the windless... you should be able to plow the anchorage first. Our boat weighs in at 66000lbs and we turn a 38" prop so trying to set the hook with much above idle without a snubber in place will either dig new rather large trenches for the crabs to play in , or my windless will eventually reverse itself and run out more chain( this is a bad thing, I can not help but think it is WAY too much strain for its associated parts). We have a built in chain snubber that the admiral locks down prior to setting the hook, but a couple times anchoring in a lot of current has caused the above thing to happen. The key to setting the hook is to get the appropriate scope out and SLOWLY back down until she stops and the chain looks ready to walk down.* We are all chain(400' X 3/8" ) and a 90lb bruce and the setup is so heavy it sinks into the bottom on its own... well not quite. I know a lot of folks prefer the Rockna anchor, I have had Bruce's for over 20 years and they work great if you are gentle to start, before really loading them up** ( they should of had a female name... a lot of similarities ! ).* My final thought is this. It appeared the original poster had a lot of broad fears, if it is not just boating related there are other ways of helping one cope with stress/fear. My main reason to do boats is to LESSEN my stress level in life!. A perfect day is 80 deg, anchored in a secluded spot, a great boating book or magazine, a perfectly blended margarita, while watching the kids wakeboard behind the tender! ( insert deep sign of contentment.... )
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:21 PM   #30
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

Gonzo,You might want to kill the audible on your sounder. Mine flashes in skinny water and for me that is a less exciting.
Another thought (I lived in Belhaven as a teenager and remember the waterways), consider idling onto a mud bank in/out of gear to ease into a grounding. Then- keeping your rudder straight- back off of the bank adding throttle till she is floating again. A few rounds of this would give you experience to keep you from worrying about not being able to get free.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:11 PM   #31
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Getting Used to Fear

Quote:
GonzoF1 wrote:

One question about anchoring and setting the tackle: When you back down, do you keep it just pulling on the windlass?
It's not a good idea to put any strain on the windlass other than normal retrieval if you can avoid it.* We never set the anchor against the windlass, or even the bow pulpit.* I made up a short (15' maybe), heavy line with a chain hook on one end that we use to set the anchor against.* So our routine is to deploy the anchor and once it's down and the rode is paid out we put this short "snubber" on the chain and secure it to a deck cleat.* The we give a bit of slack with the windlass so the anchor rode is being held by the snubber and deck cleat, not the windlass.* We then set the anchor against the deck cleat.* Once we're satisfied the anchor is set, we remove the heavy snubber and install our regular long snubber bridle.

If we're only going to be anchored for a few hours we won't bother with the long snubber bridle ... we'll simply leave the heavy setting snubber in place.

To unset the anchor, if simply parking the boat over it with all the slack out of the chain doesn't work it out using the boat's movement, we'll put the heavy snubber back on and cleat it off, slack off the windlass a bit, and then give the boat a shot of reverse to* to unset the anchor with the heavy chain-hook snubber.* Again, the strain is being put on the deck cleat via the heavy snubber, not on the windlass.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Saturday 24th of April 2010 09:14:01 PM
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:52 PM   #32
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Getting Used to Fear

I can't believe the bowsprit isn't designed to carry any load capable of holding the boat in place just as well as any cleats. My windlass (Vetus) has a gypsy pawl. Just a little lever that I flip to catch a tooth and relieve any tension on the gypsy. The catenary of the chain is more "snubber" than any length of line can provide.

-- Edited by surveyor1 on Saturday 24th of April 2010 09:57:14 PM
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:58 PM   #33
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

Yes Marin, I think you are being a little bit too nit-picky (over cautious - trying not to use anal,) there. The GB ( and any other decently built boat) bowsprit and winch should be more than capable of the little bit of tension required to dig an anchor, especially a decent quick-setting type anchor, such as you have. All that stuff about thick anchor-setting snubbers, the swapping to a lighter riding snubber, etc, is for those with old style anchors. That's all tooooo much trouble. However, GonzoF1, the main reason Marin is going to these lengths is because he has not yet adapted to, and gained enough faith in, the new anchor he has, (a Rocna if I remember correctly Marin), and is basing all he just said on that required to set a CQR/plough, Spade, Claw, or Bruce. That is why I suggested you get a Rocna (or here in Aussie, the equivalent is a Super Sarca, because these new quick-setting roll-over bar type anchors only need the barest weight of the boat drifting back really to set them. Maybe just the lightest bit of reverse in idle at most. Actually, what I like to do is what I think they call the yachtsmans' running set. You approach at idle towards where you want to set the anchor, downwind if possible, so the bows of other already at anchor are facing you. You then pull back to neutral, hit the down switch, Making sure everything is set to go and no safety snubber hooked on, hawse pipe cover off etc, and let her go, putting her hard over at the same time, then you just keep letting out till about enough rode is out, then stop, and let the momentum of the boat take up the slack, set the pick and turn the boat head to anchor spot all in the one manoeuvre, indicating it is indeed set. Works a treat as long as there is room. If not do it the traditional way, but with Rocna or Sarca there is no need for strong bursts in reverse....truly. You should try this Marin. No disrespect here - just not wanting to see a fellow boater bust a gut or waste time and effort unnecessarily. Worse still, not be reaping the benefit of the new anchor you paid good money for by over-complicating what now should be a really easy thing. Besides we don't want to scare our Gonzo any more than he is already.
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:53 AM   #34
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

"To help limit one of your concerns. You can check the % of amps left with a volt meter. This is how we did it in the old days before they made expensive fancy gauges. However, you do have to turn the charger and large amp draws off and let the battery bank rest for a couple of minutes."

OF course this technique " how we did it in the old days " is why folks would replace their batts annually in the old days.

The batt set must "rest" ( no load) for 10 to 24 hours before a hydrometer (temp compensated) or volt meter will work.

The old big scale Danforth voltage gauges were not even calibrated (tho pretty to look at).

The hydrometer with a log is OK but no where near the real instant charge and discharge information an E - meter will provide.

Backing down on an anchor is fine for a sailboat with reasonable sized engine + prop.

A simple rule of thumb is that 17K will produce 1 lb per sq ft of wind load.

SO the vessel BIG PIG if 20 ft wide and 20 ft high will be 400 sq ft of wind load , so 400 lbs of anchor load , 2X the wind speed . and its 4X the wind load.

But even 1600lbs is ZERO compared to what a 50,000lb boat backing will snatch the anchor with .

Most boats with a nice big efficient prop will produce between 20 and 25 lbs of thrust for every HP at the prop shaft.

Since the diesel gov will not let the engine die at our 6-71 idle of 400rpm is probably more idle thrust than that 32K breeze.

Even our 32x32 at (3-1reduction ) at idle will stretch a dock line enough to be scary!

The best way not to worry about the anchor dragging is TWO anchors.

The extra 5 min is worth the effort EVERY time.
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:21 AM   #35
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

Chain and washdown.
With a washdown system how much of a pain is an all chain rode coming off of a muddy bottom. Pull a little, wash it off? Pull some more and wash? The security of all chain would be great but with muddy bottoms like we have it's gonna get messy. Anybody dealing with that?
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Old 04-25-2010, 08:29 AM   #36
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

Simple washing is a very hard thing to do and actually get the chain clean enoiugh not to stink up the vessel.

There would seem to be 2 choices ,

a REAL wash down pump a 2 inch engine driven (100+gpm) Jabscoe that will actually give a chance of blasting ALL the mud away,

or a locker with a heavh spray that could be run for an hour or so after retreval that could flush the mud out an over sized drain.
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:46 PM   #37
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

A fast setting anchor certainly removes a lot of stress.

We used to have a CQR 60 (copy) and I was never confident that it was set. Quite rightly as it turned out on several occasions. It would plow on and eventually come to a*gentle stop.

Now we have a Delta 55 which sets instantly and will cause the windlass to creep (hydraulic) when backing down at idle.*There is*no doubt*any more. Idle revs should be more than enough to set the anchor - or even the wind if there's 10kn or more.

I am not a fan of two anchors, even in a blow.
I have tried this a couple of times and it's fine until another boat drags down and snags one or both of your anchors. Then you will spend the rest of the night, in a howling gale, trying to untangle the mess and not ding the topsides too*much.

A properly sized single anchor with an extra weight if necessary, like an anchor buddy, is much easier to manage.

Bigger is better and an all-chain rode is also a stress reliever.

However, I do agree with FF re the SOC meter, it takes the guess work out of battery management.

Cheers,
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Old 04-25-2010, 05:30 PM   #38
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

The advice I've gotten here in the past few days really helped keep my fear in check this Saturday as we explored Mott's Channel. I really didn't fret too much when we passed over some 7's and 8's crossing by some inlets and even the 4.5' we saw as we left the marina and low tide.

We did have a battery issue, although it wasn't due to anchoring out and running them down. She just wouldn't crank and I killed the battery in the process. So I just ordered one of these:
http://www.amazon.com/Jumpstart-9906.../dp/B000JFJLP6 until I can get a good 8D starter battery and replace the welder's wire that currently wires (hey... a pun!) the starting system. I think I am losing a lot of usable amps in the wire.

Like I mentioned before, we are still going to wait to anchor out for our first time until we are closer to our home port. If something goes wrong, help is nearby and just a dinghy ride away. By then, I may get an amp meter to measure what we are pulling so I can more easily monitor it.

I am still not clear on if we can leave the chain thru the windlass as we set the anchor though. Sorry.
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:19 PM   #39
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

Peter, My wife has not concerns/worries because she knows I will worry enough, double/triple check thing and have back up for the back up.* I have mentioned before that we/I did not buy the big ugly trawler to take it out, but to be a dock condo in Seattle.* I am perfectly happy being tied to the dock, and like the live aboard live style.* Besides we use our boat 24/7 365 days, so there is not need/pressure to take it out.


*
Another big factor for the first 10+ years my best friend, a maintenance mechanic who taught me a lot about the Eagle went with me/us 90%.* However, his new wife does not like boating so now I sort of lost my best friend and mechanic.* )-;* I have not weenied myself off or found a substitute for Pat. *If Pat goes I am ready to leave the dock, if Pat does not go its very hard to get me to leave the dock.* It is really nice to have another set of eyes, hears, and hands that you trust.*


*
As far as measuring the amps with a volt meter, you do not have to wait that long to get a reasonable reading. **As long as there was no big amp draw and the charger is turned off.**Besides is you sort of know the amp draw you can estimate very closely what amps have been used, and occationally you can go between 50% and 25%.*
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:18 AM   #40
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RE: Getting Used to Fear

["I am still not clear on if we can leave the chain thru the windlass as we set the anchor though. Sorry."]

Gonzo, please read my last post again..and consider that anchor...in short, yes, you should be able to. It does not need to be a stump-pulling effort.
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