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Old 02-25-2016, 11:31 AM   #1
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Anchoring along heavily traveled waterways

Suppose you are traveling down a river, like the Mississippi, its late and you want to stop for the night, just before sunset you happen upon an inlet that's deep enough to anchor in but shoals quickly.

How does one anchor so that when a large, fast moving tow comes by you don't end up aground in the middle of the night or worse?

Thanks.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:40 AM   #2
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Don't anchor in the channel. There are safe havens in so many places.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:47 AM   #3
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Places like the Mississippi River have wing dams along the sides as a way to self-dredge. Those dams often form sections that are protected from commercial traffic and current. We also always left our AIS running at night to warn tows where we were. There are a few good intersections and areas where there are natural anchorages too. It's quite a bad idea to just anchor along the edge of one of these rivers. Tows do bank their loads when they need to for a variety of reasons.

Because AIS is so common and/or required among commercial traffic on the major rivers now, they don't talk by radio as much. So the warnings to recreational traffic have gone away. For that reason, I think an AIS transponder is a required piece of equipment for cruising along these rivers today.
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbodine88 View Post
Suppose you are traveling down a river, like the Mississippi, its late and you want to stop for the night, just before sunset you happen upon an inlet that's deep enough to anchor in but shoals quickly.

How does one anchor so that when a large, fast moving tow comes by you don't end up aground in the middle of the night or worse?

Thanks.
I have no experience with the Mississippi river, but did pretty much that in the St Lucie canal on the Okeechobee waterway. Anchored in a feeder canal and used a stern anchor to keep me out of the waterway. Simply I felt it was important to be completely in the feeder canal so that any traffic close to the shoreline couldn't suck me into the waterway. Think anchoring in the waterway is a bad idea.

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Old 02-25-2016, 01:18 PM   #5
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I may be reading your question different from the others that have posted replies so far. Am I to assume you have anchored out of the main channel and in an inlet ? Your worry is that a tow may suck the water out from under your boat when it passes. If that is your concern don't worry too much. Set your anchor properly, leave on your anchor lights and a few deck lights and even though you may get some water movement out from under you it will come right back.

As mentioned above, the Miss. does have dikes often laid at 90 degree angles to the shore at various heights to control channel depths, some of these are over a half mile long. I would tend to stay away from these at all costs unless you are an accomplished and knowlegable river pilot. These dikes may be visible one day and under a few feet of water the next. They all create some turbulence when near.

AIS is a good thing and radios are still monitored by the commercial river boats.
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Old 02-25-2016, 02:20 PM   #6
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We've anchored on the side of the river on both the Ohio and MS due to lack of coves or inlets like you generally find on the Tennessee. On those trips, we would look for wide a wide section of the river where we could pull in behind the wing dams and the water was sufficiently deep. There aren't many good places to drop anchor, so we learned that even if there is a couple more hours of daylight, stop if you find a good one. As for wakes from the tows, by the time they get to you, they aren't that bad, just a little rocking.
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Old 02-25-2016, 03:06 PM   #7
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Stop earlier in a safe spot.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:43 PM   #8
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If you are unable to find an inlet/outlet outside of the river, anchor somewhere that the commercial traffic is not going to want to be near. You will note that descending vessels will tend to take up often the whole river coming around bends and usually end up on the bend side of the river. An ascending vessel will come up below the points where the current is less. Don't get too close to the points but you can usually find a safe place below the point about where the bar starts in fairly weak current. Leave some deck lights on.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:31 PM   #9
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Stop earlier in a safe spot.

Plan your trip each day. Then work your plan. Trouble seldom likes to follow a well thought out plan.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:40 PM   #10
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Don't anchor in the navigable channel, and show cabin lights in addition to the anchor light.



Yes, don't show running lights while anchored.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:27 AM   #11
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"and show cabin lights in addition to the anchor light.

Yes , now that the price has dropped to cheap a bunch of lawn lights with a solar top work well. Ring the boat with them!

Replacing the stock batt with a better one will keep them lit all night.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:00 AM   #12
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Talk to the tows! Tell the first one by that you are stopping for the night and ask them to pass it on. Be sure to light the boat up and turn the running lights off!
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:48 AM   #13
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Personally, I wouldnt anchor behind a wing dam unless I had to. I would rather anchor in a long straight stretch, to the side as far as possible out of the channell. With lots of lights. About the only guys that wont slow down for you, on the lower Miss, are the river pilots. But, they inherited the river from there great grandfathers and are not required to.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:49 PM   #14
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Kulas44: I wish I could find something at fault in your statement in regards to River Pilots. You are absolutely correct I know and trained one that is at least third generation.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:53 PM   #15
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I have spent lots of time on the lower Miss. and have never seen them slow down, or answer a call to do so. Supply boat capts will slow if they can see you and definitely will if you call them.
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Old 03-01-2016, 07:58 PM   #16
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Yep, I spent about 10 years in the Harbor. Was the last pilot on the Steamer President. If you have been there that long.
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Old 03-01-2016, 08:11 PM   #17
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I've anchored many places along the upper Mississippi and the Illinois rivers and have been passed by many tows on both and have never had any problems with wakes from tows. I've been rocked by more pontoon boats but they leave at dark.


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Old 03-04-2016, 12:06 AM   #18
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LMAO kulas &ulysses !! Guess you have to be here ......
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