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Old 09-01-2015, 03:08 PM   #121
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For our anchor chain we use colored cable ties as length markers, tightening them down and leaving the long tail on each one. Red, green, yellow, orange, one each 25 feet. Then red-red, red-green, red-yellow, etc. for over 100 ft. They go through the windlass fine, are cheap to replace from time to time when one goes missing, and are dirt cheap. The Admiral just holds up 1,2,3,4 fingers as the chain plays out to let the driver know how much chain is out.
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Old 09-01-2015, 03:36 PM   #122
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An old salt told me these 3 things:

1) when in doubt of your position or route, STOP THE BOAT, until you're sure. You can't get in too much trouble stopped.

2) Don't follow some other vessel assuming he knows where he's going. (See #1)

3) Try to cross a sailboat across his stern. (They tend to be a bit touchy about such things)
Or, if you do decide to cross their bow, make sure you leave a little extra room, the pointy end of one of those lead-bottomed money gobblers can do some real damage!
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:44 PM   #123
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If you have a chain-counter, time how long 20m (about 66ft) takes to deploy. Then when the counter fails (and it will) you can still anchor safely.

I use 20m because it's good for shallow water anchoring up to 6m (all chain rode) and also useful when fishing in 20m to know when the anchor has hit the bottom.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:06 AM   #124
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On chain painting. I painted the first three feet of my chain white so I'll know when the anchor is at the surface -- in case it's got mud on it a bit of slow motoring will wash the anchor. Also, it gives me notice that the anchor is almost up.

Then at 25, 50 and 75 feet, first red, then white, then blue paint.

Yes, the paint wears off. I simply spray it again.

Finally (I have 100' of chain) I painted the chain white from 90 to 97'. The final 3' are red so I know I'm almost at the end.

Like others, a small line (1/4" braided) is tied to the final link with the bitter end looped through an eyebolt in the anchor locker. The line and loop (a bowline) will come through the windlass with plenty to spare. It's about 25' long.

The best addition however is that first three feet being white. I wish I'd done that long ago.
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:21 AM   #125
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@ Janice. Good thought of last and first feet of chain.

@ Menzies. You're attempt at 'sea Lawyering' is hurting the knowledge base regarding prudent seamanship and regard for other vessels.

It has been drummed into me since I was a wee lad (both by my mentors as well as uscg Aux course) that indeed a vessel (meaning the operator) is responsible for damage, wash, wake and suction caused by their vessel. In addition, there is no 'magical wake level' to consider. It is in relation to the surrounding conditions. And conditions do vary and change. Probably not a good theory to be sharing with other 'newbies' who latch onto info sources like TF.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:45 AM   #126
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This is a bit embarrassing, but I had a bit of a 'oh... Duh!' moment shortly after getting my boat. (One of several hundred such moments, actually) At first, when I wanted to steer on something, I'd line my spot light or anchor up with it, thinking 'that makes sense, those things are on my centerline.' Of course they are, but the helm isn't. It's offset to starboard. So I was off 10 degrees all the time.

For the first few months I had the boat, I was wondering why I kept bouncing the starboard bow off the piling when I was coming into the slip. That's why. I really should have known better. It seems so stupid and obvious now.


could this be why my course plotter wanders
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:23 AM   #127
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@ Janice. Good thought of last and first feet of chain.

@ Menzies. You're attempt at 'sea Lawyering' is hurting the knowledge base regarding prudent seamanship and regard for other vessels.

It has been drummed into me since I was a wee lad (both by my mentors as well as uscg Aux course) that indeed a vessel (meaning the operator) is responsible for damage, wash, wake and suction caused by their vessel. In addition, there is no 'magical wake level' to consider. It is in relation to the surrounding conditions. And conditions do vary and change. Probably not a good theory to be sharing with other 'newbies' who latch onto info sources like TF.
I guess your mentors were just taking the less complicated way to boater education.

See below, especially those points highlighted. Those that casually toss about the "you are responsible for you wake" mantra, are doing a disservice to those who should be made aware that they are responsible for maintaining both their property AND ensuring that their vessel is not placed in harms way given normal and usual conditions.

But thank you for the opportunity to continue the conversation. Boaters, especially those new to boating, need to understand their responsibility - and in the case of conditions created on the water - IT IS A SHARED ONE.

------------------------------------------------------------

Charleston, SC Boat Accident Lawyers Discuss Liability for Wake Damage

Civil Liability For A Boat Accident Caused By Wake Damage
Added on September 5, 2013 Add Comment
Ship Charleston Harbor

Good morning to Captain and crew alike and welcome to the Admiralty Docket. Today our subject is one which clients ask us about from time to time and that could potentially affect all of us who are vessel owners, operators, or passengers in South Carolina: civil liability for boat accidents caused by “wake damage” (any damage caused by a vessel’s speed and motion through the water). In Charleston and other port cities ships and other large vessels share the water with smaller vessels of all kinds, both under way and moored at various locations. Vessels which are underway often produce a significant wake which can affect people, structures, and other vessels nearby. So….what does the maritime law have to say about wake damage?

THE GENERAL RULES

The general maritime rule applies to vessels of all types, from the largest ships to the smallest boats and personal watercraft, operating in the navigable waters of the United States (most, but not all, lakes, rivers, and coastal waters, no matter the depth, in South Carolina are “navigable waters” for these purposes). A vessel causing injury to others by her swell or wake is held responsible for any failure to appreciate the reasonable effect of her own speed and motion through the water at the particular place and under the particular circumstances where the injury occurred. Her officers are required to take all reasonable precautions to avoid injury to another vessel, including crew or passengers. All reasonable precautions must be taken even though past experience has shown that in the ordinary and usual course of events they are likely to escape injury.

Even when a larger vessel is proceeding on her ordinary course and at her customary speed, the admiralty law requires that all reasonable precautions must be taken. Smaller craft have the right to assume that larger craft aware of their presence will observe reasonable precautions and smaller craft are under no duty to warn the larger vessel of the danger.

A ship passing piers or docks where other vessels are tied up is obligated to proceed carefully and prudently so as to avoid creating unusual swells or suction which would damage craft properly moored or installations along the shoreline. The moving vessel must take into consideration the reasonable effect to be anticipated from her speed and motion through the water and must take such precautions by way of reduction of speed or alteration of course as may be necessary to prevent such damage.

On the other hand piers and docks along the shoreline are required to be kept in proper condition and vessels tied up there must be seaworthy and properly moored so as to resist ordinary and normal swells, even in narrow waters where heavy traffic may be anticipated. Some wash from passing vessels is bound to occur and must be anticipated and guarded against. Only unusual swells or suction which cannot be reasonably anticipated furnish the basis for a claim. Note that these rules are altered when a vessel proceeds within a “No Wake” Zone established by the United States Coast Guard or the SCDNR.

REMEDIES FOR THE INJURED PARTY IN A BOAT ACCIDENT

So, what civil remedies do people who have suffered personal injury or property damage in have in these circumstances under maritime law? It is surprising to many that there is admiralty tort jurisdiction over such cases that gives rise to admiralty law remedies. In many circumstances, the injured party can bring a civil claim against both the operator and vessel owner individually (or in personam) and against the offending vessel itself, in rem. The in rem claim against the vessel is perfected by procuring the vessel’s arrest by the United States Marshals Service, and the vessel can be sold and the proceeds held as security for the injured party’s claim if it is not bonded out.

To recover in a civil claim for injury or property damage caused by the wake of a passing vessel, the injured party or owners of the wake damaged vessel must prove that swells or suction caused the injury or damage, that the damaged vessel was properly moored to resist ordinary swells or suction (if the claim is for damage to a vessel outside of a no-wake zone), and that the offending swells or suction came from the passing vessel. The fact of injury or damage from swells or wake establishes the prima facie liability of the vessel creating the swells or wake. If this is proven, then, to avoid liability under the admiralty law, the passing vessel must show that she was powerless to prevent the injury by any practical precautions she could have adopted. Admiralty law has adopted a pure comparative fault standard, allowing the finder of fact to apportion fault among the various parties as it sees fit under the facts of each case.

Wake damage caused within an official “No Wake” zone can constitute negligence per se and the vessel owner and operator can be held liable for any personal injury or property damage proximately caused by the wake without the need to prove any breach of duty to those harmed.

More next week on The Admiralty Docket. Until then remember, your rights and responsibilities may change as you approach the shore and may God Almighty grant you pleasant sailing.

The Admiralty Docket is a blog written by Charleston, SC Boat Accident Attorneys John Hughes Cooper and John Townsend Cooper which focuses on maritime legal issues and current events in South Carolina and the Southeastern United States.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:25 AM   #128
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Comment to those new to boating or cruising. Do not rely upon any "You are responsible for your wake rule." As a practical matter there will always be those who violate any rule, for example speeding through a no wake zone. Also the rule is not clear cut in all situations. Especially outside of a no wake zone the boater is expected to prepare his or her boat for normal traffic. The actually law and thus responsibility varies among the multiple jurisdictions at least in the United States.

Whether the wake causing boat is legally responsible for damage caused by her wake is determined based on conditions, location, normal customs etc etc. The legal results of the extreme cases are easier to predict - sport fish passing a kayak at full speed. But is a sport fish in a non no wake zone liable for damage to a moored boat 100 yards from the center of the ICW. And what effect does the manner in which the moored boat is tied off have on the responsibility.

Anyway the important points are responsible boating means being aware of the damage your wake can cause. Responsible boating almost means to prepare your boat and yourself for any likely wakes.
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:33 AM   #129
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Comment to those new to boating or cruising. Do not rely upon any "You are responsible for your wake rule." As a practical matter there will always be those who violate any rule, for example speeding through a no wake zone. Also the rule is not clear cut in all situations. Especially outside of a no wake zone the boater is expected to prepare his or her boat for normal traffic. The actually law and thus responsibility varies among the multiple jurisdictions at least in the United States.

Whether the wake causing boat is legally responsible for damage caused by her wake is determined based on conditions, location, normal customs etc etc. The legal results of the extreme cases are easier to predict - sport fish passing a kayak at full speed. But is a sport fish in a non no wake zone liable for damage to a moored boat 100 yards from the center of the ICW. And what effect does the manner in which the moored boat is tied off have on the responsibility.

Anyway the important points are responsible boating means being aware of the damage your wake can cause. Responsible boating almost means to prepare your boat and yourself for any likely wakes.

Thank you, said better than I did.

[though I think you meant also rather than almost?]
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:35 AM   #130
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No different than adding a float like most do when cutting their anchor rode.....and if you anchor in more than 100 feet.... add more.

If the anchorage is so busy the day of or after you have to cut free your anchor than oh well....most get back to their $1000 worth of anchor and chain as soon as possible.

At least the poly makes it easier than dragging the bottom for your chain and nylon.

If only 1/2 lucky...you will find some boat over your rig with the poly in its prop...but you at least can get your rig back relatively easily...
One guy I know suggested keeping the long poly line separate but ready to deploy if needed, and keep a shorter cut-line between the chain end and fitting on the boat. The issue/reason is that if you have a long safety line at the end of the chain, and you manage to deploy all the chain such that nothing by the safety line is holding it, all you are left with on board is a poly line with 100's of pounds of anchor chain hanging off the end. You will have a tight line that you can't pull up, and no more engagement with your windlass. His recommendation was to adjust the safety line length such that the line is accessible from on deck so you can cut it easily, but short enough that the chain remains engaged in the windlass when fully deployed. That way a fast, gravity drop of your anchor and chain won't result in an unretrievable anchor.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:55 AM   #131
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Menzies:
a person crossing the street without using the cross walk does not give me permission to hit him. Neither does stupid action by small boat operator allow me to not exercise care to avoid harm.
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:02 AM   #132
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Menzies:
a person crossing the street without using the cross walk does not give me permission to hit him. Neither does stupid action by small boat operator allow me to not exercise care to avoid harm.
Agreed, however if he is crossing I95 (i.e. the ICW) and gets hit I would suggest he did not put himself in a safe situation given the conditions. If you hit him I would suggest that the court might put a substantial portion of the fault on him. Yes?
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:20 AM   #133
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Indeed but as you said substantial not total. His lawyers will be lined up
to prove your fault.
Keep in mind that admiralty law tends to make both parties liable for failing to exercise care and look out.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:17 AM   #134
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Agreed, however if he is crossing I95 (i.e. the ICW) and gets hit I would suggest he did not put himself in a safe situation given the conditions. If you hit him I would suggest that the court might put a substantial portion of the fault on him. Yes?
Maybe, but who the hell wants to find out?
Also, these days, it may all come down to who has the most "wherewithal"!

We try to be over-courteous, and extra-safe. It may cost me some time & fuel but feel it's worth the investment. Also, it's rewarding to see the acknowledgement of the effort.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:15 PM   #135
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I just like to practice common courtesy to other boaters and land owners. It would be nice if everyone would..... both the big boats and the little ones.... Seems common courtesy got lost in this conversavation. Of course I don't boat most of the time down on "I95 ICW". If I did it may be different, don't know. Fortunately the good majority of the boaters in our area do practice common courtesy.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:31 PM   #136
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Your Best Technique or Invention

Deleted due to excessive thread creep. Sorry all.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:35 PM   #137
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The guy you wake today might be the guy you're anchored next to tonight....and vice versa. My goal is to "boat nicely".
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:48 PM   #138
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...adjust the safety line length such that the line is accessible from on deck so you can cut it easily, but short enough that the chain remains engaged in the windlass when fully deployed. That way a fast, gravity drop of your anchor and chain won't result in an unretrievable anchor.
That is a really smart idea and one well worth considering. I've had to retrieve our anchor once by hand when the original windlass on the boat lunched some gear teeth. We were in about 30 feet of water so pullng in the chain was not a big deal. But I definitely wouldn't want to make a habit of it. I'm going to look into this suggestion. Thanks for posting it.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:53 PM   #139
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The guy you wake today might be the guy you're anchored next to tonight....and vice versa. My goal is to "boat nicely".
Bingo!
And that becomes even more relevant with all the cell phone videos and drones. Can work both ways.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:55 PM   #140
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Wow! So far off topic, so much for this thread.
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