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Old 04-01-2023, 05:57 PM   #1
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Where to drop anchor when stern tying?

We are looking to do some anchoring in Desolation Sound area this summer, and I have perhaps a newbie question. We want to anchor in bays about 300' wide. If the depth of water is 30', and we want to be about 50' or so from shore when anchored, at a 5:1 scope, this means you're dropping the anchor pretty much on the opposite side of the 300' wide bay. Is this where most people are dropping the anchor in this situation, or are most simply using a shorter scope and dropping anchor more-or-less in the center of the bay? Example coves may be Laura Cove, Melanie Cove, Princess Cove Wallace Island, etc.

Neither seem like ideal options as in the former, you're pulling the anchor down slope and in the way of boats possibly on the other side; the latter, you're setting the anchor with a short scope. Maybe I'm missing something. What is the solution?
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Old 04-01-2023, 06:14 PM   #2
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I used shorter scope, did stern tie at Laura Cove.
All chain helps.
Was more concerned about finding good bottom conditions vs sketchy rock. Some places took 3 tries.
And being in the lee of weather
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Old 04-01-2023, 07:48 PM   #3
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Make sure your stern line is highly visible. When I cruise that area, I carry 600ft of floating line.

Also, talk to and watch other folks and see how they do it.
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Old 04-01-2023, 09:22 PM   #4
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I always watch everyone drop their anchor because sometime you learn something. Laura Cove is fairly tight in spots and no one dropped past the middle. 30-40% with most being closer to 30%.
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Old 04-01-2023, 09:34 PM   #5
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Good advise to observe what everyone else is doing in these anchorages. Shorter scope is better and will generally work well since your boat is being held in tension between the anchor and a hard point on the shore. Be wary though if the wind comes up and is on your beam. Then, the shore tie is a pivot that won't give way, but your anchor potentially will, putting you on the beach.
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Old 04-02-2023, 08:02 AM   #6
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Iím always more worried about how to set in areas like Pendrell where itís very deep going quickly to shallow and you set against the ledge, if that makes sense.

As well as how far off the shore to avoid bugs.
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Old 04-02-2023, 01:57 PM   #7
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In Melanie Cove we dropped about 30pct of the way out toward the middle, which allowed us about 100' of chain. Initially I dropped maybe 120', then tied to a shore ring, then used the windlass to pull us forward again to 100' of chain. The things to watch out for are 1. Weather. A broadside wind is bad news when you're stern tied, particularly if you're between other boats. 2. The tide. If you anchor and stern tie at high tide,when the tide goes put your bow is slackened and your stern is tightened. Vice versa when the tide comes in. Consider these things and add some slack as appropriate to the chain and stern tie line based on predicted tides. Unfortunately, if the person stern tied next to you didn't consider this and anchored at low tide, their anchor can drag when the tide come in.
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Old 04-02-2023, 02:43 PM   #8
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When you say 30%, are you referring to 30% of the entire width of the bay (north-south)? So you dropped anchor basically just inside the middle point of the cove width. So basically you're still aiming for a roughly 5:1 scope, and wherever that puts your anchor is where you drop? Great for coves that are wide enough, but in more narrow coves like Laura, I guess people are just using a shorter scope and dropping anchor more-or-less in the center and then backing down from there?

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Originally Posted by Juliet 15 View Post
In Melanie Cove we dropped about 30pct of the way out toward the middle, which allowed us about 100' of chain. Initially I dropped maybe 120', then tied to a shore ring, then used the windlass to pull us forward again to 100' of chain. The things to watch out for are 1. Weather. A broadside wind is bad news when you're stern tied, particularly if you're between other boats. 2. The tide. If you anchor and stern tie at high tide,when the tide goes put your bow is slackened and your stern is tightened. Vice versa when the tide comes in. Consider these things and add some slack as appropriate to the chain and stern tie line based on predicted tides. Unfortunately, if the person stern tied next to you didn't consider this and anchored at low tide, their anchor can drag when the tide come in.
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Old 04-02-2023, 03:21 PM   #9
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Although is has been a few years and many anchoring ago since were were at Desolation we typically did as others have mentioned anchoring there. But.. I rarely had more than 3/1 rode/scope out. I imagine it can blow in those coves although we never experienced any difficult winds there, but the protection is pretty good too. Depending on how busy it was typically dictates the need to stern tie (If the center of Prideaux was full of boats). We didnt do Melanie cove as we wanted to be in the sun for more of the day.
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