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Old 11-25-2013, 10:33 AM   #1
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Some lessons learned from anchoring and locations

We went to our favorite anchorage last weekend. I've anchored there many times and know the area well. Because the anchorage is located in the ICW about a mile from an inlet, there are some pretty strong currents that can force the boat to lay opposite the wind at certain times.

Taking this into account I anchored somewhat close to shore to reduce the dinghy ride but well away from the several mostly abandoned boats nearby and about 100 ft from a crab-pot buoy. What I didn't notice is one of the nearby sailboats had two anchors set at about 45 deg apart.

When the tide changed all the boats moved as I expected except the one that was doubled anchored. As I saw it getting closer and closer I felt sure it would settle several feet behind us. It did not and by the time I realized this, I was fending it off our stern. Time to start the engines and move. However, it's impossible to fend off a boat and be on the helm at the same time. The admiral goes up to retrieve the anchor and of course the windlass decides not to retrieve the entire rode, getting hung up with about half the rode out. Oh and I forgot to mention it's dark.

My wife with my help on the helm maneuvering the boat is able to retrieve the line and we moved, but she was rattled. All the while I'm very worried we were going to fowl one of the sailboats anchor line around one of our props or the crab-pot I couldn't see because it's dark.

That didn't happen but I learned this:

If an adverse situation is developing, correct it even if you think it will eventually correct itself. Don't wait, do it now.

It's not necessary to anchor close to shore when you have a powered dinghy and there is plenty of room elsewhere.

I did dive the boat the next day to make sure no lines were around the props.
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Old 11-25-2013, 11:39 AM   #2
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Tim:

Good lesson.

FWIW, two anchors set in a v formation is a very bad anchoring technique. If you have to use two anchors in a reversing current situation (and I don't like them in that case either), set one up current and another down current, so neither has to reset on the current swing.

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Old 12-30-2013, 08:09 AM   #3
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Tim:
FWIW, two anchors set in a v formation is a very bad anchoring technique. ...............
But you can't control how someone else anchors. Or does anything for that matter.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:39 AM   #4
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But you can't control how someone else anchors. Or does anything for that matter.


However if you use good techniques , a small floating ball to locate each anchor , it is easy for the next folks in the harbor to understand your anchor set.

If the ball has a line of 3/8 nylon it will help retrieve a fouled anchor with almost zero effort.

WE use an 8 inch red ball with a line tied to the anchor crown , lead thru the ball eye and ending with a std sounding lead.

The lead can be used in 30-40 ft of water if required as its out and handy.

When the anchor is set the lead and ball is simply pulled over the side , in thin water the the anchor and lead both reach the bottom , halving the length of line , so it is mostly accurate even in shallow water.

Until the water is so deep the ball is submerged the setup is over the anchor and passes the anchor location. to the next folks
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:45 AM   #5
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But you can't control how someone else anchors. Or does anything for that matter.


However if you use good techniques , a small floating ball to locate each anchor , it is easy for the next folks in the harbor to understand your anchor set.............
You are giving those "next folks" more credit than they may deserve. There is no test or license to operate a boat (in the USA) so those "next folks" may be anchoring for the first time in their lives. Or they've anchored a hundred times but never thought about it.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:45 AM   #6
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There is no test or license to operate a boat (in the USA) so those "next folks" may be anchoring for the first time in their lives.

Even so called commercial captains do not have to actually demonstrate any actual boating skills.

Watching , and if required picking up and moving , is better than a 1/2 ton of fenders.
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Old 12-31-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
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The ones that frustrate me are the "boaters" and I use that term loosely and seem to feel the need to anchor too close to you.

This happens every summer, more than once.

A "typical" anchorage in my area is something between 75 and 150' deep.

Sometimes you can find a shallower spot, but not that often.

So, you'll set your anchor with a very modest scope of approx 3-1 which means for me, not wanting to do the exact math being 300' of anchor rode in a 100' water depth.

In my area tides run something around 10' and tidal currents are fierce. Generally my boat will turn around with the tide, especially as the onshore breeze dies out at around 8:00 PM daily.

What that means is that I have approx 400' of possible movement.

So, some idiot will drop his hook three of four hundred feet away, and he'll I swear barely touch bottom with the anchor. Often times these are the all chain rode guys.

Then sometime close to bed time the wind will be down, the tide will turn and I'll find myself a boat lengths or so from said boater.

Pisses me off royally. Calling these types of guys on the radio doesnt seem to help. What I'm tempted to do is go out on the bow, fully naked and scare the idiots off.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:01 PM   #8
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Kevin, I found the best answer for your situation. I have the same experiences as well.

Go and buy old school rap CD's. Play them as loud as your stereo's can handle when you see other boats looking to anchor close to you.

It works!!!
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:04 PM   #9
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Anchoring is always an interesting experience, especially with other boats in the area. I anchored in an area last weekend that was plenty big for several boats but about an hour before sunset a 45+ trawler anchored about 50 yards from us. I had about 100 feet of rode out as the water depth was only 10 ft. I was the only boat at the anchorage when the trawler arrived. I could not understand with so much room why he anchored so close to me. I seriouly considered moving, but as it turned out we did not swing the entire night and no problems arose. I wondered though if a conflict occurred in the middle of the night, if the trawler guy would have moved.

CaptHead, any CD's you can recommend???
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:16 AM   #10
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Pisses me off royally. Calling these types of guys on the radio doesnt seem to help. What I'm tempted to do is go out on the bow, fully naked and scare the idiots off.

IT DOES WORK!!

In the US VI they used to rent steel house boats to almost anyone. The nav chart was a printed place mat.

These boats had demand start noisemakers , so every flush of the head would be a loud roar as mufflers were long gone.

Charterers were in told to anchor near the sail boats as there would be plenty of water.

Our solution , upon seeing this horror entering a bay was to strip down to bare , and find lots of things to do on deck.

They would either anchor on the other side of the bay , or choose another bay.
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Old 01-01-2014, 10:36 AM   #11
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A person in the process of anchoring may not be listening to his/her VHF. In my experience, I have to turn it down or off so that my wife and I can communicate. Once we're anchored, the VHF often stays off.

It does little good to complain about other people's behavior. We are powerless to change it.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:07 AM   #12
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Funny how even your home waters can catch you. We anchored last week in a spot that we used to frequent but haven't been into in about 3 years. Its always had very limited swing room and a soft muddy bottom but it has 360 degree protection and it was supposed to blow 20 plus from the NE that night so we went in.

First set we drug, which is tough to do in 8' depths with 75' of chain plus some rope rode out. Pulled up a huge ball of mud. Reset on a spot with a little whiter bottom. This time seemed to stick good. Let it swing in the wind for a while then backed down on it at 1200 rpm. No movey, me happy.

I set a waypoint on the gps, took a bearing, then had dinner etc. Checked it before bed to find we had very slowly drug about 150' which put us in a spot with less than a foot of water under the props. In this part of the world strong NE winds mean minus tides so I lost my nerve and decided to head back to our home slip. Another huge mud ball came up with the anchor.

It was a rough run home in the dark in 20 plus knots NE.

I used to hold pretty well in there, but I guess the mud has gotten deeper in the years since I have been in.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:08 AM   #13
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Where was that at, Doug?
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:22 AM   #14
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Dog Island. Tyson's Harbor all the way inside. May be better in the outside spot.
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Old 01-01-2014, 11:54 AM   #15
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Dog Island. Tyson's Harbor all the way inside. May be better in the outside spot.
Oh, OK. I have not anchored there in a long time. I was afraid that you might be talking about Shipping Cove, which is my favorite and has always had really good holding on the East side of it.
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