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Old 05-08-2012, 07:19 AM   #1
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Noise Levels at anchor?

Hi Ya'll!

We've talked about chines and hull shapes and anchoring, But I can't find anything on the noise level when the water hits the hull at anchor.

Tom and I spent a night at anchor recently. SKinny Dippin' was dancing all over the place. Mostly bow to stern bouncing, not swinging or beam rolls. The chain and snubber kept us dead into the wind. You would have thought we were in 20kt winds or more. We weren't. 10 tops. 1-2 foot chop on the Neuse.

Besides the dancing, which we'll mostly attribute to being light on fuel, the noise of the water slapping on the hull was WAY louder than I would have ever thought. We have hard chines, semi displacement.

My question is, would these conditions have the same results on other hull types? Is a smooth full displacement hull much quieter than one with chines? Or would all boats in our size range have the same slapping effect in this type of chop?

Thanks in advance for your opinions!
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:26 AM   #2
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My old Mainship 34 was a little noisy in the V berth. Other owner's group members called it "plippers" when the waves would slap the bow. Some would go to great lengths to try to stop the noise.
I liked it. It soothed me to sleep. When they got louder it woke me up and I knew the wind had picked up. If it stopped I knew it was calm and could rest easy.
In my Albin we sleep in the aft cabin and it is too quiet.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:13 AM   #3
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Sometimes in my boat the water is noisy, other times it is not. There's not much you can do to change it. You're not going to trade boats because of it are you?
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:50 AM   #4
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I don't know. I doubt there is a real solution here. There was a lot going on this weekend as we got caught out in our first squall. There was large amounts of anxiety and some fear because of so many unknowns. It was our first anchor watch night and neither of us got more than an hour or two of sleep. Still, we learned a LOT about Skinny Dippin's limitations and our own. One of the primary ones is that the slapping of the water on the chines (or the side of the hull, which is Bess' question here) stands to keep us awake. It's not healthy. One of our questions is whether or not full displacement hulls (or sailboats) have the same sort of slapping issue and whether Skinny Dippin' is the boat we want to take to the Bahamas (or wherever we end up). What good is a boat we can't sleep on at anchor, even in small seas?

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Old 05-08-2012, 11:23 AM   #5
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I have spent my share of time on different boats in different weather and conditions. I think i comes down to time on board. The boat and more importantly your mind will get quieter as you spend more time onboard. The admaral and i spent most of the winter on new to us our 36' trawler in Dana point harbor. The first week she could not sleep because of the dock lines pulling and squeeking. Oh and a cup of water poured on a line on the cleat will quiet it down about 75%. A couple of weeks ago we had 35 knt wind one night and she slept right through it. Anchor watches are another story. But give it some time and the boat will quiet down.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:38 AM   #6
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There's no solution. I've been hammered in sailboats and powerboats - big and small. Offshore, inshore and at anchor. Mother nature is going to deal you some sleepless nights if you mess with boats and water.
It's more about picking your weather windows, choice of anchorages than it is about boats and anchors. That said....bigger can be better.
I do carry earplugs and have used them many times on deliveries when not on watch.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:34 PM   #7
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We figure about one night per week of less than perfect sleep when at anchor. We also carry earplugs and each have our own Hella fan at the head of the bed. That gray noise goes a long way of masking the inconsistent noises you hear (or think you hear) when at anchor.

Your first squall and all you last was some sleep, that's good.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
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One of the reasons my wife bought full displacement round hull trawler is because we very seldom hear the water lapping against the hull. The first time she went on the Eagle she noticed how stable and quiet the boat is. I found her laying on the master bed in the bow listening. We were sort of newly weds so I figure hey this is great, BUT not to be. Darn! When at anchored we sleep in the pilot house as the dinette makes in to a bed. During the winter the wind/rain storms come the south and hit the Eagle directly broad side creating 6 to 12 wakes, which we also do not hear.

I think part of the reason is the water line is just below the floor and our floor is heavily carpeted, and the bed is sort of insulated with the mast bath in the bow, built in closet/draws on both sides. Which are stuffed with cloths which also deadens the sound. So you might want to look at ways of insulating/deadening/absorbing the sound.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:21 PM   #9
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We have a 30,000 pound boat with a semi-planing hull. We have been on a mooring in the San Juans in winds that gusted over 50 mph and the whitecaps coming into the bay pitched us up and down so much that we had to postpone dinner with friends who were going to dinghy out to the boat because it was too dangerous for them to reach us even though the distance was only a hundred yards or so.

There was lots of wind noise and noise of the whitecaps going past us in these instances. But I don't recall much or any significant hull noise. We were on a mooring buoy so our mooring lines were rope. So we had no chain noise although with our snubber the chain never moves around in the bow roller anyway (although it might have under those conditions even with a snubber).

As the boat pitched the swimstep sort of sloshed in and out of the water which was obvious to hear if we stood on the aft deck but I don't recall hearing this inside the boat. And there were no thunks and bumps from the afterbody of the hull rocking out of water and coming back down with a whack because we stayed pretty much pointed into the wind and waves the whole time.

Had the water been more confused, or had we yawed a lot more and gotten off at a bit of an angle to the waves I have no doubt that we would have started getting "slap" from the hard chine hull rolling clear and then whacking back down. It does this when we're underway in choppy water at an angle to or across the waves.

The waves never slapped against the side of the hull, at least not to a degree to make a whack. We have been anchored or moored in rougher water and we'll sometimes hear the burble of the waves passing down the length of the hull if we're in bed right next to the side of the hull, but we've never had them whack against us. But again, on a mooring or at anchor, we're almost always lined up with both the wind and the waves in the bays we tend to frequent.

As long as we know we are securely positioned, particularly on a big park buoy or on a dock, we like the noise and motion. We sleep much better under those conditions than if it's a dead calm, dead silent night.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GonzoF1 View Post
It was our first anchor watch night and neither of us got more than an hour or two of sleep. Still, we learned a LOT about Skinny Dippin's limitations and our own. One of the primary ones is that the slapping of the water on the chines (or the side of the hull, which is Bess' question here) stands to keep us awake.
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what do you mean it was your first anchor watch night?
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:40 PM   #11
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I do'nt remember ever being annoyed by plippers aboard Willy.

In the attached photo you can see along the water line of the hull that there is no surface that's anywhere near horizontal. Actually the hull at the WL is closer to vertical. Even in the stern. Full displacement hulls tend to be this way but the sterns of hard chine FD boats where the transom is partly or largely out of the water the stern quarters can produce heavy plippering. Spray rails and hollow chines are big offenders. Horizontal surfaces at the WL cause this and basically the solution to the problem is available only at the time of purchase of the boat. At that time you should say Hmmmmmmm This one's a plipper.

Here you can see Willy getting her blisters dressed up for a few more years. Need to do the grind out little divots and epoxy coating thing. It's not much of an issue on Willy but needs to be done every 2 or 3 years.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:52 PM   #12
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I think a lot of it depends on hull form/chines at the waterline. We have had noisy boats and we have had quiet boats. Our Bayliner 45 is very quiet, even with the master stateroom all the way forward. The monk 36 is dead quiet whether in the forward or aft stateroom. Our 2005 Silverton 38 Sport Bridge was louder not not unbearable....if wind picked up it would be irritating but on normal nights it was just a nice gentle sound that lulled me to sleep.
But I must confess...we don't keep an "anchor watch" at night when anchored out. I set the anchor solid and test it for holding and keep a casual eye on it for the first hour we are set to make sure we are not drifting but then I more or less don't think twice about it and sleep like a baby. I typically sleep really well while anchored out....the more times you do it the more comfortable and fun it is. Picking the right spot goes a long way to make sure you sleep well too.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:50 PM   #13
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what do you mean it was your first anchor watch night?
Our first time having to take alternating anchor watches. But when either of us were off watch, we could not sleep. It could have been less from noise and more from FEAR. We had no idea if the ground tackle would hold and the anchor alarm kept going off when we would swing 90-180 degrees (yes, I know what I did wrong there).

Like I said, we learned a lot about limitations that fateful night. On a posative note, we DID learn that our ground tackle works well. Never moved at all (far as I can tell). Still, with 10-20k winds from the wrong direction and 1-2 ft seas being about our limit, we either have a long way to go learning and/or tolerating sea conditions or we need to realize that Skinny Dippin' might not be our perfect boat after all.

Have you guys ever heard of rounding off the chines? To possibly build a "cover" over the chines to round them off (or make the pointy... like a catamaran hull) and possibly prevent the horizontal water from hitting the horizontal hull?

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Old 05-08-2012, 03:07 PM   #14
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Our first time having to take alternating anchor watches. But when either of us were off watch, we could not sleep. It could have been less from noise and more from FEAR. We had no idea if the ground tackle would hold and the anchor alarm kept going off when we would swing 90-180 degrees (yes, I know what I did wrong there).


Tom-
Not to break rules but how many on this forum actually follow this directive to have someone on anchor watch 24/7?
Around here (if in a protected anchorage) people dont really have anyone on anchor watch...
btw 10-20 kts winds is not the weather i would anchor in overnight.
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:18 PM   #15
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Have you guys ever heard of rounding off the chines? To possibly build a "cover" over the chines to round them off
If you round off the chines you will reduce the efficiency of your hull, particularly if you cruise at speeds above hull speed.

In fact, there is a company here in Seattle that makes "chine sleeves" for certain models of Bayliner boats in the 32-38 foot range or so that were built with rounded chines. These fiberglass sleeves are permanentaly bonded to the hull and convert the rounded chine edges to hard chine edges. This increases the efficiency of the hull by adding a bit of hydrodynamic lift at semi-planing speeds to bring the stern up and the bow down. The installation of these things is not cheap but I have heard and read over the years that they do a very effective job of what they are supposed to do.

So rounding your chine edges would in effect be recreating the hull configuration that motivated the development of the hard chine sleeves for semi-planing boats that were built with rounded chines. Your stern will squat more and your bow will be higher. So perhaps not a good idea?
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:27 PM   #16
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Not to break rules but how many on this forum actually follow this directive to have someone on anchor watch 24/7?
Around here (if in a protected anchorage) people dont really have anyone on anchor watch...
We don't keep an anchor watch unless it's quite windy, which in the time we have owned the boat has been only two or three times that I can recall. We don't know anyone else around here who maintains an anchor watch at night unless conditions warrant it, which they rarely do in our protected bays and anchorages. Unless you deliberately anchor somewhere that's going to expose you to windy conditions.

With the decent forecasting up here and the huge number of anchorages we have available and the relatively short distances between them it's not too often you get trapped in an exposed anchorage because you didn't know beforehand what was going to happen or the forecast was wrong. It's happened to us only once in 13 years, which is what motivated us to get a better anchor.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:33 PM   #17
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With the decent forecasting up here and the huge number of anchorages we have available and the relatively short distances between them it's not too often you get trapped in an exposed anchorage because you didn't know beforehand what was going to happen or the forecast was wrong. It's happened to us only once in 13 years, which is what motivated us to get a better anchor.

This is exactly what happened. Forecast was hit & miss possible storms. Radar had one line coming through, would have taken MAYBE an hour. 30 minutes into it the whole eastern half of the state LIT up with wall to wall storms. That's when we knew we needed to take turns on watch. We were in an exposed anchorage totally unprotected. The forecasted turn of the winds was supposed to be slight and around 6am the next morning. But the weather turned. It "should" have been fine. We did our homework, we had the anchor set in 8 feet of water with 70 feet of chain out. I dropped an extra 30 up to 100 before it started.

Mostly I couldn't sleep because of the dancing of the boat. (not swaying, up and down bow to stern bouncing..she stayed dead into the wind the whole time) After the storm did pass, I stayed on watch in the salon and would lie down on the sofa for short periods. In the salon, the water hitting the bow was insane. In the aft cabin not so much. But from the bed, when the stern would bounce back in the water, you could hear the water get into the exhaust and then swoosh back out.

It was an experience for sure. Other than lack of sleep, it really wasn't that bad. The boat performed as she should. The ground tackle held firm. The snubber kept the load off of the bowsprit. I was more worried about the anchor letting go and us drifting ashore.

BUT...I was curious if full displacement was better in the noise department. Maybe I'm just secretly thinking of ways for Tom to buy me that Kady Krogen after all!
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:47 PM   #18
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I'm just secretly thinking of ways for Tom to buy me that Kady Krogen after all!
With Mother's Day next Sunday, I think this is no-brainer for Tom!
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:53 PM   #19
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Last overnight anchoring adventure, wavelets were hitting the exterior sink outlet (about an inch or so above waterline) creating gurgling noises exiting from the galley sink. Too lazy that night, however, to shut the thruhull.

Previous time the plippers(?) were busy, and we ended up sleeping in the saloon.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:58 PM   #20
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There's no solution. I've been hammered in sailboats and powerboats - big and small. Offshore, inshore and at anchor. Mother nature is going to deal you some sleepless nights if you mess with boats and water.
It's more about picking your weather windows, choice of anchorages than it is about boats and anchors. That said....bigger can be better.
I do carry earplugs and have used them many times on deliveries when not on watch.
Actually, there is a solution but it involves a bit of work.
Pioneer had reverse chines which used to slap and bang away all night. I got advice from a respected designer and reshaped them with glass over foam to an upward angle of 10 deg. I only reshaped them where they cross the waterline - about a meter on each side. The result is a twist in each side but you would never notice to look at. Difference is amazing and no downside.
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