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Old 08-01-2020, 02:20 PM   #1
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Anchoring app. Who *wouldn’t* want one???!!!

We rebuilt and outfitted our little trawler-style Mainship so we could enjoy cruising with as little stress as possible. We've added about every bell and whistle possible that we felt would help to bring that goal to fruition.
Two items really rank at the absolute top of those bells and whistles. While we’re moving from point to point, our autopilot ,with its rate compass,is indispensable.
The second equally important gizmo...well it’s not really even a gizmo since it’s not tangible...the second thing, is an anchor app.
Prior to us getting an AIS 3 or 4 years ago, I can’t say we really used any type of anchoring app. We weren’t cruising much at all and only occasionally anchored overnight since the boat wasn’t outfitted for cruising anyway.
Anyway, the Vesper AIS we have has a WiFi signal that we use for a gps position and AIS target display on our iPad charting program
(We actually use that more than the networked Garmin navigation equipment since the charts are updated frequently ,but I digress). I had been interested in an anchor app and tried several like drag queen, anchor zone etc. They’re all fine, I just figured that since we leave the AIS on while anchored, why not use it for the anchor app position.
An anchor app is about the best thing I can think of that gives me piece of mind while trying to get a good nights sleep! No matter the conditions, heavy winds or changing tides, an anchor app saves me from getting up blurry-eyed in the middle of the night trying to get a bearing and access our location. I just reach up and grab my phone off of the overhead shelf and check to see that we’re still in the preset zone. After a verification I just roll over and go back to sleep!
Attached are a few screen shots I took of a couple of the cast anchorages we’ve visited.

Click image for larger version

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ID:	105797 this one is after being anchored all night. You can see our “breadcrumb” trail coming to the anchorage, where we dropped the anchor then where we backed up to set the hook. Then, throughout the night, the breadcrumbs depict our movement on the hook.

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ID:	105799Click image for larger version

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ID:	105800 These are of a particularly shallow anchorage we chose off of Adams Creek on the ICW. The first one shows us coming in close to shore to make sure the depth was ok in close and where we dropped the anchor. The second shows our movement over the last evening.

Click image for larger version

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ID:	105801Click image for larger version

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ID:	105802 These last two show the same thing at the Hospital Point anchorage in Portsmouth VA. The first shows us picking a spot between several other anchored boats , dropping the anchor and backing down to pay out the chain/rode. The last shows we stayed in the predetermined safe zone.

You can see how an app like this really helps ease your mind in a crowed anchorage or skinny water!
I figure this maybe might help someone who isn’t aware of or hasn’t used an anchor app before.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
.
An anchor app is about the best thing I can think of that gives me piece of mind while trying to get a good nights sleep! No matter the conditions, heavy winds or changing tides, an anchor app saves me from getting up blurry-eyed in the middle of the night trying to get a bearing and access our location.
A proper anchor and gear that has been put to the test works even better.

And an anchoring app doesn't stop others dragging into you, so we don't anchor near others.
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:53 PM   #3
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I am half and sorta half....there are places that I trust with my gear and there are places I trust y gear...but a little nervous about current swaps and bottom.


Other than that...my Raymarine anchorwatch is loud enough to wake me in all but a howling gale if sleeping below...but then I sleep in a chair in the salon anyway. East to crack an eye and see if ranges have changed too much.


So I stopped using phone stuff...but I can always wifi the chartplotter image to my phone if I want to see more....
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Old 08-01-2020, 02:55 PM   #4
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Anchoring app. Who *wouldn’t* want one???!!!

Simi I don’t see where I gave an indication of using inadequate anchoring gear! I actually have great (and proven) confidence in our equipment! The app is a tool that helps me. And yes, we *try* to and prefer to anchor in a private anchorage but in the last screen shots I posted, there were other boats in the popular anchorage but we chose it because we’d run 12 hours that day and that’s where we ended up.
Not sure how you can find a fault in having the app but I guess your glass is half empty and mine is half full...a half full glass that I can enjoy more knowing at a glance I’m securely anchored!
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:07 PM   #5
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No one is faulting you...just different strokes and we explained ours....with our concerns and how apps work with them.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:10 PM   #6
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I am half and sorta half....there are places that I trust with my gear and there are places I trust y gear...but a little nervous about current swaps and bottom.


Other than that...my Raymarine anchorwatch is loud enough to wake me in all but a howling gale if sleeping below...but then I sleep in a chair in the salon anyway. East to crack an eye and see if ranges have changed too much.


So I stopped using phone stuff...but I can always wifi the chartplotter image to my phone if I want to see more....


Honestly we haven’t been cruising anywhere as long as you have so you’re probably a little more used to your boats anchoring traits but I will use all of the help I can get if it makes my life easier!
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:17 PM   #7
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I don’t see where I gave an indication of using inadequate anchoring gear. I actually have great (and proven) confidence in our equipment! The app is a tool that helps me.
If you have such confidence in your gear why are you waking up during tide and wind shifts?
If you have such confidence why do you need to use an ap?

Quote:
And yes, we *try* to and prefer to anchor in a private anchorage but in the last screen shots I posted, there were other boats in the popular anchorage but we chose it because we’d run 12 hours that day and that’s where we ended up
.

Still wouldn't get me squeezing through boats to anchor amongst them but that's me.
I'm in a spot now were we did an overnighter to get to.
Must be near 100 boats here (Airlie Beach - Whitsundays)
I could have got in a lot closer, there is space but I'd rather stay out back away from the potential draggers.

Quote:
Not sure how you can find a fault in having the app but I guess your glass is half empty and mine is half full...a half full glass that I can enjoy more knowing at a glance I’m securely anchored!
Where did I find fault?
I merely said if your gear is above and beyond you sleep well and don't need to wake up to check an ap as you KNOW you are securely anchored.
I guess that means my glass is totally full, no half measures for me thanks. (-;
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:20 PM   #8
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Question, can you monitor the system when away from the boat? Does it have internet connectivity, or just local WiFi?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
We rebuilt and outfitted our little trawler-style Mainship so we could enjoy cruising with as little stress as possible. We've added about every bell and whistle possible that we felt would help to bring that goal to fruition.
Two items really rank at the absolute top of those bells and whistles. While we’re moving from point to point, our autopilot ,with its rate compass,is indispensable.
The second equally important gizmo...well it’s not really even a gizmo since it’s not tangible...the second thing, is an anchor app.
Prior to us getting an AIS 3 or 4 years ago, I can’t say we really used any type of anchoring app. We weren’t cruising much at all and only occasionally anchored overnight since the boat wasn’t outfitted for cruising anyway.
Anyway, the Vesper AIS we have has a WiFi signal that we use for a gps position and AIS target display on our iPad charting program
(We actually use that more than the networked Garmin navigation equipment since the charts are updated frequently ,but I digress). I had been interested in an anchor app and tried several like drag queen, anchor zone etc. They’re all fine, I just figured that since we leave the AIS on while anchored, why not use it for the anchor app position.
An anchor app is about the best thing I can think of that gives me piece of mind while trying to get a good nights sleep! No matter the conditions, heavy winds or changing tides, an anchor app saves me from getting up blurry-eyed in the middle of the night trying to get a bearing and access our location. I just reach up and grab my phone off of the overhead shelf and check to see that we’re still in the preset zone. After a verification I just roll over and go back to sleep!
Attached are a few screen shots I took of a couple of the cast anchorages we’ve visited.

Attachment 105797 this one is after being anchored all night. You can see our “breadcrumb” trail coming to the anchorage, where we dropped the anchor then where we backed up to set the hook. Then, throughout the night, the breadcrumbs depict our movement on the hook.

Attachment 105799Attachment 105800 These are of a particularly shallow anchorage we chose off of Adams Creek on the ICW. The first one shows us coming in close to shore to make sure the depth was ok in close and where we dropped the anchor. The second shows our movement over the last evening.

Attachment 105801Attachment 105802 These last two show the same thing at the Hospital Point anchorage in Portsmouth VA. The first shows us picking a spot between several other anchored boats , dropping the anchor and backing down to pay out the chain/rode. The last shows we stayed in the predetermined safe zone.

You can see how an app like this really helps ease your mind in a crowed anchorage or skinny water!
I figure this maybe might help someone who isn’t aware of or hasn’t used an anchor app before.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
I am half and sorta half....there are places that I trust with my gear and there are places I trust y gear...but a little nervous about current swaps and bottom.


Other than that...my Raymarine anchorwatch is loud enough to wake me in all but a howling gale ....
Same here.
Out amongst the reef for several nights a few weeks back with drying stuff 150ft behind us , current on the tide change and 30knot squalls coming through every few hours.
Ran opencpn anchor watch, but still slept like the dead.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:47 PM   #10
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Anchoring app. Who *wouldn’t* want one???!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caphenning View Post
Question, can you monitor the system when away from the boat? Does it have internet connectivity, or just local WiFi?


This is just onboard local WiFi. To do what you’re speaking of, I would would think you would need a system that uses a SIM card and cell signal to remotely monitor the ships position from afar.
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Old 08-01-2020, 03:55 PM   #11
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If the position is from the AIS, wouldntcit be broadcast to any device that can receive it?
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:19 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by boomerang View Post
This is just onboard local WiFi. To do what you’re speaking of, I would would think you would need a system that uses a SIM card and cell signal to remotely monitor the ships position from afar.
Well, my boat has an LTE Hotspot and its independent internet connection, I’m just wondering if you can remote in to the AIS stream.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:33 PM   #13
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My thanks to Boomerang for the post. I’m surprised at some of the responses. We have ground tackle that I really trust (Vulcan 33, chain - let’s not get into chain vs chain/line) and an Axiom with anchor watch. Having one more tool to help relax is not a bad thing - especially here in the PacNW with our potentially large tidal range and attendant tidal currents. I sleep well at anchor but nothing like an extra bit of input if I do wake up in the middle of the night and want a quick check without becoming fully awake to get out of bed and make a visual check topsides. Again, thanks Boomer!
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:38 PM   #14
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We also use the Vesper WatchMate App on my mobile phone by the side of the bed. It also alarms in the PH.

One thing you may want to consider doing, either everytime or now and then, is to leave it on as you leave the anchorage. That will test that everything is set up and working properly.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:40 PM   #15
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I have no need for an anchor app as my Raymarine can handle an anchor watch. However, thanks for sharing the app. It’s very possible that I might find myself on some other boat that is not adequately equipped and the app might come in handy.
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Old 08-01-2020, 05:45 PM   #16
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My thanks to Boomerang for the post. I’m surprised at some of the responses. We have ground tackle that I really trust (Vulcan 33, chain - let’s not get into chain vs chain/line) and an Axiom with anchor watch. Having one more tool to help relax is not a bad thing - especially here in the PacNW with our potentially large tidal range and attendant tidal currents. I sleep well at anchor but nothing like an extra bit of input if I do wake up in the middle of the night and want a quick check without becoming fully awake to get out of bed and make a visual check topsides. Again, thanks Boomer!
Yeah, I don’t get when people reject situational awareness advantage, it’s kinda boggling really. “I can do it like the old sea dogs did...” The old sea dogs would have sold their souls to have the advantages we have today. I started in this industry in the late 80s when we still did ocean passages on a sextant, and if the boat had one you’d get LORAN as you got close to land, otherwise it was RDF and Radar for landfalls; if you had Radar....

What we have now does not diminish me personally, it empowers me professionally, even if it is my boat. Information is always good.

The thing that interested me here is it’s using the AIS, so it should also indicate the passing traffic, at least anything big enough to do significant damage to my boat.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:19 PM   #17
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If the position is from the AIS, wouldntcit be broadcast to any device that can receive it?


It’s a weak WiFi signal that doesn’t reach much farther than a boat length. Same thing with most onboard WiFi-enabled equipment like chartplotters, KVH satellite antenna hubs etc. They have a very low-power WiFi transceiver so as to not interfere with your boating neighbors. We have a WiFi receiver onboard that picks up and increases the strength of weak WiFi signals at marinas or anchorages and I’ve not ever seen it pick other boats electronics WiFi signal. Often we pick up other boats onboard wireless WiFi routers but not their weak electronics WiFi signals.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:25 PM   #18
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Yeah, I don’t get when people reject situational awareness advantage, it’s kinda boggling really. “I can do it like the old sea dogs did...” The old sea dogs would have sold their souls to have the advantages we have today. I started in this industry in the late 80s when we still did ocean passages on a sextant, and if the boat had one you’d get LORAN as you got close to land, otherwise it was RDF and Radar for landfalls; if you had Radar....



What we have now does not diminish me personally, it empowers me professionally, even if it is my boat. Information is always good.



The thing that interested me here is it’s using the AIS, so it should also indicate the passing traffic, at least anything big enough to do significant damage to my boat.


The vesper app as does the SEAiq charting app does show AIS targets too but most of the time we’re not too close to the channel traffic so I don’t pay too much attention to other boats. I’m just happy to know we’re not dragging into their path!
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:06 PM   #19
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My thanks to Boomerang for the post. I’m surprised at some of the responses. We have ground tackle that I really trust (Vulcan 33, chain - let’s not get into chain vs chain/line) and an Axiom with anchor watch. Having one more tool to help relax is not a bad thing - especially here in the PacNW with our potentially large tidal range and attendant tidal currents. I sleep well at anchor but nothing like an extra bit of input if I do wake up in the middle of the night and want a quick check without becoming fully awake to get out of bed and make a visual check topsides. Again, thanks Boomer!


You’re welcome! If I have a tip that I think might help somebody, I’m happy to share it.
With a comparatively light 34’ ,16-18k displacement boat, we’ve had really good success with our 35# Delta and 65’ of 3/8 chain (and most always a 7-1 scope!). It’s held us through squalls and 180 tide changes with never an issue. Yet. There’s always the possibility that I’ll get lucky and drop the anchor right on top of an abandoned crab pot or something and it’ll hold just fine until that middle-of-the-night squall comes up. That’s when the anchor watch app will be priceless.
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:23 PM   #20
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The last anchor-draggin 30 ton moran who just missed my boat (last week) was not on AIS. I would surmise there is a correlation between AIS users and good ground tackle technique/habits. Maybe not causal, but correlates.

I use a anchor alarm when off a lee shore or if forecast is iffy. But like psn, one eye asleep, one eye awake, the ocean never sleeps!
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