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Old 02-08-2013, 07:37 PM   #1
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Anchoring in a slough

In the California Delta it is common practice when anchoring in a slough to tie the bow off to a tree on the bank with a anchor off the stern. What is the proper procedure to do this? Do you drop the stern anchor fist and play out the line as you are easing into shore, tie off the bow and then back away while pulling in the stern anchor line? Or vice versa?

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Johnny
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:04 PM   #2
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A slough is a bad place to anchor.

Some things I'd be think'in about.

Logs, old boats barges ect, tree branches, washing machines and just about any other kind of garbage and other stuff is likely to be on the bottom.

Use a cheap anchor like a low end Claw as the chances of loosing it is high.

River traffic can cause big wakes from passing craft so you'll not want to be in a position that you can't rise up and down considerably w/o damage.

I think all sloughs are, to some degree tidal so a very safe tolerance for falling and rising water should be observed.

If you use one anchor try and find an anchor that is known for very dependable re-setting performance or/and one that breaks out less frequently when the current reverses.

Seek out (as you seem to be doing) from others in your area for tips like Mark or Pineapple Girl. Because of industry, types of trees up river and many other variables unique to any specific area local knowledge should be valuable to have and know. What you see on the shore may be a clue to what's on the bottom there or perhaps industry and/or development erase all traces of clues.

Good luck
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:18 AM   #3
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Art is the member whom spends tons of time anchored and has a good system to be emulated. Hopefully he will chime in soon.

When my dad owned a houseboat on the delta he was fond of nosing into the tule reeds and wrapping a line around a fat clump of them and calling it good. If the current moved us about too much he'd toss a small Danforth off the stern and pull it taught. In several years of his method never once recall breaking loose or drifting off anywhere. We recently purchased our boat and we'll do a variation somewhere between what Art does and my dad did. A lot depends upon your boat size and design.

If you find a cove adjacent to the slough swinging on the hook is a lot easier. We used to do that at Franks Tract a lot and will be starting there on our boat soon. South-West side of Quimby Island was a favorite slough for my dad to tie off and fish at.

What kind of boat and where are you at Johnny? We are at Perry's in Isleton. See ya out there.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:37 AM   #4
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The Bruce, and its copies, are ideal for sticky-mud-bottomed sloughs.

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Old 02-09-2013, 05:51 AM   #5
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Well we are still noobs at this but we generally get our dinghy involved for both tying to something on shore and deploying the stern anchor. Art is probably the best person to hear from. Or Al.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
The Bruce, and its copies, are ideal for sticky-mud-bottomed sloughs.

Point of order Mark. The anchor most visible in your pic is a CQR, not a Bruce. Yes I know most on here know the difference...but not all...?
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:08 AM   #7
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I've spent a lot of time anchoring in the Delta and adjacent waters, mostly in a 43' Mainship. Never was that big on the tieing to a tree method, I think we might have done it twice that I can recall, once bow, once stern. I preferred to anchor parrallel to the bank so we didn't stick out as much, including having a line out into the channel. Preferred methodology was to set the bow first, back down and set, drop the stern and set it as we came forward on the bow rode. For this kind of anchoring, a couple of Danforth style anchors are ideal, though the boat in question had a Delta on the bow and a smaller Danforth as the stern. I really like a Danforth/Fortress for a stern anchor as they stow flat and are easy to handle manually. Plus they have great straight line holding power and set quickly. Allow for any tidal range by giving adequate scope. Where there was a little more current shift and current speed, we used a Bahamian moor a few times, just for the practice.

There are a number of beautiful spots to anchor out all over the Delta that have relatively low traffic, as they are "dead end" or less direct routes than other channels. It all depends what you are looking for activity and socially wise. Summer weekends can get a little crowded and rowdy in some spots like The Meadows, Mildred Island and Venice/Mandeville cut, among others.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:39 PM   #8
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Point of order Mark. The anchor most visible in your pic is a CQR, not a Bruce. Yes I know most on here know the difference...but not all...?
I figured most of you could readily pick out the Bruce (the darker-colored anchor). Here's a Claw (Bruce clone) by itself:

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Old 02-09-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
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... Never was that big on the tieing to a tree method, ...
Tying up close/under a tree brings the peril of wildlife dropping/climbing in. Also, insects can be a problem close to vegetation. We startled a 30-inch-long iguana and it fell into the Belize River, missing the boat by inches.

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Old 02-09-2013, 02:16 PM   #10
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We noticed that 'bow in the weeds' thing when we trailered out that way...quite popular. Most is done well off the main drag in shallow water so commercial traffic isn't a problem.

What we did was drop the hook and get a good bite on the bottom...this is the anchor that you would depend on, then motor slowly into the 'bushes' and tie the bow off to a clump or tree without getting our feet wet. We were just visitors so we never learned the point of doing it that way unless it keeps you from swinging out into the channel where locals are speeding by. We very seldom see that technique where we boat, although we did grab a palm tree, stern to, at Silver Glenn Springs off Lake George...makes for a tropical feeling on the aft deck.



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Old 02-09-2013, 06:13 PM   #11
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...
...What we did was drop the hook and get a good bite on the bottom...



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Old 02-09-2013, 07:03 PM   #12
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Thanks for the response and info. We are members of Club Nautique in Alameda, CA where I took their Basic Power Bareboat and Inshore Navigation classes, (including twin screw) allowing me to charter any of their power boats from a 29' Ranger Tugs to their Mainship 430. Club Nautique is more of a sailing club as they only have 3 power boats. But I am so glad I went the charter route as it gives me more experience on different type boats to see what I like and I don't have all the headaches of boat ownership. Late last year my wife and I chartered the Ranger Tugs and cruised from Alameda to Benica the first night, then to Rio Vista the second and on to the docks at Old Town Sacramento via Steamboat slough for the third night. Great adventure! Although my wife did not like all the foot traffic on the dock since it is a public dock without access control but I loved all the social life myself. People love the Ranger Tugs design and many would stop to chat and ask questions. On the way back we cut over I think around Courtland to Sutter slough connecting with Miner slough and anchored out in Minor slough where Minor connects back with Steamboat. Very peaceful. Back again to Benica for another night, (great restaurants), and then to the Berekely marina where we celebrated our 30th anniversary at the Japanese style restaurant. What a trip! End of next month, I have their newest fleet addition, a brand new Beneteau 34 trawler reserved and I am trying to decide where to go. Petaluma maybe or maybe back up into the Delta. Not sure. Any recos?
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Old 02-09-2013, 08:48 PM   #13
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Johnny, that is the very same Mainship 430 "Thousand Aces" we used! Club Nautique was perhaps the best money we ever spent on boating for a variety of reasons. Try going on some of the sailing events if you can, they used to have them where power members could come along as crew.

Glad to see you hit some of our old cruising grounds. May have done my best docking/departing job of all time at Old Sacramento, bringing the Aces in and out on one engine into a tight spot (had a bad neutral interlock, don't worry, that was 10 years ago) Enjoy!
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:16 PM   #14
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I see you are in NC. My hometown is Charlotte. Been in CA for almost 18 years and it will be a hard move back home sometime. This area is awesome and I would love to stay but supporting an aging parent may bring me home. I only took out Thousand Aces twice late last year. Only day trips. It is a big boat for someone learning , especially in the SF bay. We took friends under the bay bridge over to Angel Island thru raccoon straight to Sam's in Tiburoun. Luckily, both times I backed Thousand Aces in the docks at Sam's as if I knew what I was doing as there are dozens watching you. Twin screws are easier... Lunch at Sam's and then a quick tour thru Sausalito and finally along the city front including McCoveys cove. That is a nice day trip. Finally, I am learning, have a lot more to learn, but not afraid to ask!
Thanks!
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:29 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=markpierce;133416]Tying up close/under a tree brings the peril of wildlife dropping/climbing in. Also, insects can be a problem close to vegetation. We startled a 30-inch-long iguana and it fell into the Belize River, missing the boat by inches."

You missed out on a good meal! I've had Iguana a couple of times, it is pretty good. In Guyana one time they included Iguana's eggs in the curry.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:10 PM   #16
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Ahoy Johnny – sorry for joining this party late!

I read through the entire thread and can say IMO many good recommendations in several posts have been posted. I recommend you again read “caltexflank” post # 7 by George... he pretty well lays out general delta anchoring.

I do have a delta “hooking” process that works very well for us:

1. Locate “back” sloughs that have plenty of width/depth and that are real near a larger slough where the majority of boat traffic passes... that way you get few wakes, if any at all.
2. Heading away from levy, on the opposite side of slough (usually on the outer edge of an island)... slowly (far less than walking speed) gently nose your boat directly into the tules... watching depth finder that you still have ample water under boat. Due to most sloughs being fairly deep to within a few feet of the island edge it is usually easy to nose your craft up onto the edge of tules so that the boat can be temporally held fast by friction on its bow. With boat pointed 90 degree angle to island edge and with its nose slightly up on the edge the water depth at center of hull will likely still be 3’ to 6’ deep and the depth at transom may be 12’ to 18’ deep. This is considering boats 32’ and longer which don’t draw more than about 3’.
3. So... now that your boat is temporally held firm by its nose being slightly nosed up on the tules – place engines in neutral/idle and go to bow of boat deck.
4. Take a rather light weight (25 +/- lb – depending on your own strength and “toss-ability”) fluke type anchor (danforth or grappling hook design – I use a small danforth) that is fastened only to an appropriate o.d. line (no chain) and become a Boating Cowboy! By that I mean... carefully coil the line with long coils in one hand or on the deck and take shaft of the anchor in the other hand. Then you toss the anchor as far as you possibly can straight ahead into the tules (20’ to 30’ usually works well). Wrap the line around windless and pull the anchor snug into the tules and the mass below them. Then, let out about 12’ additional line to lay loose at bow edge of boat into tules. Chock line tight and return to pilot station. Place engine(s) in reverse and slowly back the boat nose off the tules at island edge. Soon as boat is free go into neutral till anchor line becomes taught. Soon as line is taught place motor(s) in reverse and gently pull back to set anchor.
5. Shut down motors! Your boat is now firmly anchored to freely to swing slightly with tide or wind and still not get more than approx 45 degree angle to island edge.

Swimming, diving, runabout using (if you have one with you) as well as all other fun things is then yours for the asking! Also, if desired it is then easy with dingy to set a rear anchor if you like. The “Back” sloughs not only provide fairly deep areas at island edge but the water is usually pretty clean due to continual tidal/current flows. Whereas inner harbors of the islands are often chocked with bottom growth weeds, floating debris, and shallow areas due to silt build up that also keeps the water murky.

There are more details to explain on this method of delta R&R enjoyment. PM me with your ph # and I’ll return mine to you. We can phone chat if you’d like... Delta is a Blast!

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Old 02-10-2013, 11:25 AM   #17
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... We took friends under the bay bridge over to Angel Island thru raccoon straight to Sam's in Tiburoun...
Sam's is an institution. My Dad took us there a couple of times a year via his sloop in the 1960s. Unfortunately, abalone is no longer on the menu.

Lunch at Sam's last year via Carquinez Coot and Mahalo Moi to Angel Island (Ayala/Hospital Cove) and then ferry to Tiburon.



Vicky and Perla at Sam's. Dock is behind.


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Old 02-10-2013, 12:06 PM   #18
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Merlin has a friend?
Yes. Kasey dog dog. My daughter's pet. More about that trip here:

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Old 02-10-2013, 05:03 PM   #19
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Yes. Kasey dog dog. My daughter's pet. More about that trip here:

One More Time Around: Duck Delivers Delight in DeLand
Jeff - You and family sure do enjoy life; with your great way of doing so!! - Congrats!! Art
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