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Old 04-12-2008, 11:45   #1
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Anchor marking buoy

In a previous thread I started on anchors the issue of an anchor marking buoy was raised.(To show the position of the anchor and to retrieve the anchor if it is caught on say a cable) I have a question and felt it would be better in a new thread.

Firstly a good idea, that can be used all the time, when a normal anchor buoy is not justified. It. Is used commonly in the Med, but I thought there would be a few people who had not heard of the ďanchor buoy below the surfaceĒ. It is simply is a short line Say 1.5 m attached to the normal retrieval point with a very small float on the end. (or a floating line could be used) This floats below the surface. It makes finding the anchor, when snorkeling to check it is set, easier. If the anchor is snagged a longer retrieval line can be attached to the short line and led to the surface. It reduces the depth you need to dive by 1.5m. a help if you are near the limit of your freedive depth. If you are in a very shallow anchorage it cannot be used (because of the risk to props) and needs to be removed (it is not needed anyway), but normally it is attached permanently to the anchor.

But on to the real question about normal anchor buoys that float on the surface.

I donít often use a proper anchor buoy (one that goes up to the surface), last time I used one (The pilot guide reported many old mooring chains on the bottom) I dragged in about 5 Knots of wind. It was not the anchors fault this time as the anchor buoy had become wrapped underwater around the stern of my boat. Luckily the GPS anchor alarm alerted me. The rope used for the buoy wasnít too long for the depth (about 12m in just under 10m water) and obviously wasnít a floating type. I think I was just unlucky as I have not heard of this happening to anyone else.
Since then I have considered fitting a weak link say 2m of 20Lb monofilament with a sinker on the end. This would be fitted under the buoy but with enough normal rope below it to still reach the surface if I needed to use the stronger retrieval line.(normally even in non tidal waters it is left a bit longer than the depth anyway)
It would also have the benefit that if it got caught in someoneís prop the weak link would hopefully snap before it created too much of a problem. Risk to other boats, particularly those coming in to an anchorage at night is one of the reasons I donít like using a buoy. The other reason is there would be no room, in the busy Med, if everyone used one, but in some anchorages I feel their use is justified.
I suspect I might loose the occasional buoy in rough conditions, but I have found several already when beachcombing so I am not going to morn the loss too much.
I have seen the buoys that are spring loaded and automatically adjust for depth, but I donít think it would have helped prevent my unusual problem.

Thoughts anyone? Is the weak link a good idea or stupid?
Has anyone else dragged their anchor backwards accidentally with an anchor buoy?
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:33   #2
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I've discovered that anchor buoys can attract undesirables.

A few years ago I employed a round fender, white, as an anchor buoy only to have a small (8 meters) power boat tie up to it while I was down below. I suppose he thought that it was a mooring buoy.

These days I only use an anchor buoy, and then with reluctance, when anchored in rocky substrate where I anticipate retrieval problems. My concern is that the use of anchor buoys will begin to multiply as more and more cruisers, like myself, invest in overpriced Rocna anchors. This would certainly have a deleterious effect on crowded anchorages.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:44   #3
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If you're not concerned about marking the anchor, and only want a means of retrieving the anchor if it becomes fouled on the bottom, here's a trick I read about somewhere. (I can't remember where, so apologies to the genius who thought it up).

Attach a piece of 3/8" (9-10 mm) braided line to your anchor's retrieval point. Make sure it's at least 10' (3 m) longer than the water depth at the point of anchoring. Let out the anchor rode until the line is ready to go over the anchor roller, and then tie it off on the rode. Continue paying out rode and set the anchor.

If your anchor becomes fouled, you can haul in the rode until you're able to untie the retrieval line, and use it to free the anchor.
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Old 04-12-2008, 13:11   #4
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I generally disapprove of anchor buoys, which only conflate already crowded anchorages.
If you set an anchor, in foul bottom, please ensure that your anchor marker float is not a hazard to navigation. Set your float/retrieval line at least 10-15' below the surface (or as deep as you can dive).
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Old 04-12-2008, 13:38   #5
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Hud's suggestion comports with a suggestion made by Don Street many years ago in Tortola. It's wisdom was emphasized several years later in an anchorage in Newport Beach, where we witnessed a 30+ foot sailboat dragged a 1/4 mile or more by a powerboat that had, without realizing it, over-run the sailor's anchor buoy in the early morning dark and gotten the line tangled on one of his rudders. The bottom of the anchorage was so foul the sailor was worried about snagging his anchor and so used a small foam float on the retrieving line. We once had to cut an anchor free at Catalina but marked it with a piece of light line attached to our MOB Pole and were later able to recover it albeit at a cost of $100 for a diver. Hud's/Street's trick is much better.

FWIW...

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Old 04-12-2008, 15:44   #6
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a self adjustable mooring buoy

First I fully agree with either BASHFUL and GORDMAY, ONLY use a anchor buoy, when you may anticipe retrieval problems, full bottoms, rock..

We also had once a dragging problem with about 1 to 2 knots of wind, when the Y line attaching the dinghy caught the mooring buoy and lift the anchor !

One interesting product, a self adjustable mooring buoy can be seen on : http://www.swisstech.com/shop/produc...chor-Buoy.html
(look for the English version)

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Old 04-12-2008, 15:45   #7
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What some folks do is tie about 5 or 10 feet of floating line on the hook without a buoy. This way you can always see the line if you need to retrieve the anchor.
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Old 04-12-2008, 15:47   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intentional Drifter
Two comments:

RE: anchor buoy lines in the Bahamas -- if those aren't OK, I didn't know that. I never had anybody say anything to me about it.
ID


Anchor buoys are discouraged in the Bahamas. This is due to the fact that there are lots of cruisers and lots of dinks running around (usually at full tilt). At night they become a hazard. The Georgetown net always announces this. There is really no need for an anchor buoy, it's mostly sand in very clear waters. In crowded anchorages it is not unusual to see a boat anchor ahead of you and back right down till they're over your anchor. This does not pose a problem except when a newbie has put a buoy on his anchor.

I would not buoy an anchor except in spots in the ICW where the anchorage is where a forest used to be and snags may be plentiful. On my first trip south I buoyed my anchor in St. Michaels. I used a lovely new small fender as the buoy. Woke up in the morning and cursed because someone had swiped my nice fender in the night. Picked up the hook and started motoring out of the anchorage and heard whomp, whomp, whomp. A dive on the prop showed that my trip line had wrapped around the prop during a swing and that the line had been cut by the prop leaving the fender wrapped on the prop. Live and learn.
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Old 04-12-2008, 16:13   #9
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Most anchor bouy users I've known were trying more to stake their territory in an anchorage than anything else. I think the logic is: "if they see my anchor is way up there they will go even further away from me before they drop". Of course in a tight anchorage or wind shifts they just cause problems. In a tight anchorage I just anchor where i usually would and if I end up on the bouy (until the wind shifts) so be it. I just dont feel you can tie up that much room "as your own". Let's face it, when it's tight, we drift over or near other anchors a lot.
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:47   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
If you're not concerned about marking the anchor, and only want a means of retrieving the anchor if it becomes fouled on the bottom, here's a trick I read about somewhere.
Thanks Hud. I think it could often be a worthwhile compromise. In some of the anchorages in Australia where I come from there are large boulders lying on the bottom. An all too common problem is for the anchor chain to become wrapped around one of the boulders as the boat swings. Often it can be freed by motoring around clockwise or if that doesnít work you try counter clockwise. Often the chain can be freed this way. Often , but not always.
An anchor buoy can help because there is often enough slack to get the anchor to the surface or close enough to dive. The anchor can be un-shackled and /or the anchor chain end rotated around the boulder.
The point of this is that leading a trip line back to the boat may not help in these situations because it would also tend to get stuck under the boulders.
I donít think large boulders would be a common form of not getting the anchor up in the Med, but I believe it is also seen in the south pacific where I hope to be in a few years. I should have my SCUBA gear sorted by then so maybe this is the answer, but I have not yet given up on the idea of an anchor buoy.
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Old 05-12-2008, 05:49   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Most anchor bouy users I've known were trying more to stake their territory in an anchorage than anything else.
I think there is more than an element of truth in that. I also endorse the comments, made correctly by others, that there are many situations where an anchor buoy is inconsiderate or even dangerous.
I still think however there are situations they can be used without causing problems to others.
Where I am anchored at the moment has room for 30 boats or so. I have never seen another boat anchored here out of season. There are 15 to 20 fishing marker boys set up in the bay, including 2 at the entrance which is only 150m wide.
I donít feel using an anchor buoy, in this location, would cause any significant risk or inconvenience to anyone else.
The bay was used for a fish farm a few years ago so I would expect some substantial mooring chains to have been left on the bottom. I have not used an anchor marking buoy here, partly because of my experience described at the start of the post, but also because I could dive to the anchor if it became caught. Not everybody could do this. (in parts of Australia it is not even possible because of the risk of crock or shark attack)
In summary I think it is wrong to dismiss anchor buoys as always a bad idea
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Old 06-12-2008, 15:00   #12
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We also go along with the no anchor buoy practice in the West of Scotland. Mixture of etiquette (not wanting to stop subsequent yachts ending up over our anchor as mentioned above) and fear of having some eejit pick up or run over our buoy and un-hooking us.

I have read of a good system however. Tie a line to the tripping point of anchor, up and through an eye attached the underside of the anchor marker and attach a heavy fishing weight that cannot pass through the eye to the end of the line. Allow for rise and fall and no more - your anchor buoy should always sit right over your anchor.
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Old 06-12-2008, 18:13   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saumur View Post
I have read of a good system however. Tie a line to the tripping point of anchor, up and through an eye attached the underside of the anchor marker and attach a heavy fishing weight that cannot pass through the eye to the end of the line. Allow for rise and fall and no more - your anchor buoy should always sit right over your anchor.
Brilliant! Thank you. I've been looking for a good system for a while.

Obviously, anchor buoys are not always desirable. However, I do find them useful when the desire to prevent someone from sharing my appetizers before dinner and my gelcoat at night, arises. (Long weekends in crowded anchorages leap to mind). Maybe I'm a little territorial, but I've spent too many late afternoons watching idiots try to stick themselves into the anchor radius of two well anchored boats.
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Old 07-11-2015, 23:25   #14
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Re: Anchor marking buoy

Hi !
First of all, using underwater-floating device -> whatever it is around anchored boat , - is strictly prohibited. There are some idiots ( especially these days) who will be goofing around on sea-doos or small speed boats very close to anchored boats ( I don't know for what reason ) and sailor will be to blame. White/blue strip or red colour buoy , big one - visible - it's the only solution. In the night , I was thinking to put LED light into it. Just an example : http://www.amazon.com/Connecticut-El.../dp/B003O2SJSQ
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Old 07-11-2015, 23:55   #15
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Re: Anchor marking buoy

1. http://www.schoolofsailing.net/Images/tripline.jpg

2. http://www.amazon.com/Connecticut-El.../dp/B003O2SJSQ
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