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Old 09-09-2018, 03:51   #1
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Anchoring Protocol revised

See the revised post No 2.
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:07   #2
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Anchoring Protocol revised

Sorry, the wrong draft was just sent. This is corrected.

Anchoring protocol question:
Recently returned from chartering a sailboat outside of the US with three other couples. We experienced an overnight anchoring incident that I would love the list’s opinion of.

Relatively tight anchorage with primarily 35’ to 70’ sail boats (monohull and cats). We arrived approximately 1500 hours joining a number of already anchored vessels and others arrived after we set our anchor. At approximately 2300 hours the rain, wind and waves began to pick up significantly. Went up to the deck with three other members of our group when we heard some significant “yelling” (non-English). We watched as a larger monohull’s stern was hitting the bow sprit of an other smaller sailboat. The occupants of the smaller sail boat were attempting to fend off the larger boat. The captain and mate of the larger vessel were active on their vessel in trying to move their vessel away. All the vessels around us appeared to be oriented in the same position as the wind and waves thrashed us around except for the monohull whose stern hit the other boat. That vessel appeared to move about in a much different pattern (actually no pattern) than all the other vessels. Visibility was such that we could not clearly see their anchor rode. We were not sure if they were still anchored and dragging all over the place or were motoring and just powering all over the place. We later found out they had a generator was operating so we were not sure if that was main engine exhaust or generator exhaust. The vessel nearly hit two other vessels in our area but seemed to avoid us. All captains were on deck in our immediate area and many, like us, had our main engine on and were putting additional fenders out. This monohull continued this erratic movement as compared to other vessels in our area until approximately 0100.

Things had calmed slightly around midnight. Then picked up again. I was on the bow when the monohull’s stern got close to us. They were flying a flag of a EU country. The vessel’s stern got to about 2 meters from our bow. I saw no one in the cockpit and yelled. A male and female emerged in the cockpit. I said, “you are dragging into us.” The female said they were not dragging and we need to move. I said according to our GPS, we had not dragged out of the area of our set point. The male spoke up and said, “we were here first and have been here for three days. We have the right to be here and since you came after, you need to move out our way.” Indeed they were at anchorage before we arrived. Some of the boats in this immediate area were there prior to our arrival and some arrived after. By this time, the organizer of our charter came forward and said, “you need to start your engine and get under power. You are dragging.” To that the male said, “I am not dragging.” I said, you already hit that boat. He said, “the scopes were too long and that was what caused the hit. You came after us and you are ‘fu__ed’. We can help you but since we were here first, you need to move out of our way, you ‘fu__ing’ Brexit!” He saw the flag of the UK on our vessel. He must have thought we were from Great Britain. The owner of the vessel from the Moorings was obviously from the UK.

At that point, it was not worth our while to debate this. We kept our boat under power and watched throughout the storm for this (and other vessels) who might be hit. Fortunately no damage to our vessel. In the morning, we again saw our tracking pattern on them GPS and we had not dragged. I know we had to stay out of the way of other vessels anchored prior to our arrival. However, I thought that if a boat is dragging, it no longer matters if they were there first or last. They need to move or re-set the anchor and they are now the most recent vessel in the anchorage. The captain of that vessel was very careful to say he was not dragging. He was careful to not say he had too much rode out on the first collision. He said, he was motoring around the immediate area to stay away from the other vessels that could or were probably dragging which was why his boat appeared to be in different orientations. We could not prove he was dragging.

The anchorage was so full that the only option for a vessel that wanted to get away was to haul in the anchor and head out a relatively narrow entrance channel to sea (Mediterranean). Quite risky.
Did he indeed maintain his priority since he had been there first even though he boat for hours reacted differently than all the other monohull’s in the area?

Steve.
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:22   #3
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Re: Anchorage Protocol

Well, seems like the guy surely not had a very kind attitude.

Not sure if he has a legal priority because he was there first.
Others might know.
Usually its the responsibility of those joining an anchorage to keep a save distance to others already there. Sometimes thats difficult though because one does not see the anchors and the angle of the rode to the water surface can be deceptive in low winds. Anchor markers help in that situation.

I doubt that this is different in the US, EU or UK and think one should leave that sentiment out of the discussion.
Still I agree that its not right from the other skipper to call you names or the like.

Still, one comment regarding to much or to little rode. I think there is no to much or to little per se. Every vessel is equipped different. Some have chain only, some rope only, some have a mix.
Every boat reacts different to wind and current. Some boats have a different attitude in movement than others. They might have more windage or else.
Might also be the case because the captain knew about a squall coming in and therefore had more rode out.
I think it is very difficult to judge that someone else has to much or to little rode out.
Usually one decides on the amount of rode pending on environmental factors (wind, waves...) as much as in the known attitude of ones own boat.
If in doubt, check with your new neighbors.

If you turn out to feel uncomfortable with a boat previously there and they are sure not to drag, I'd probably move away by paying out more rode myself and standing anchor watch.
Alternatively re-anchor.

Btw. while multihulls can usually anchor in the more shallow spots, we tend to have more rode out because very often its not all chain.
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:29   #4
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Re: Anchorage Protocol

Ugly situation Steve. And a bit hard to know definitely from afar, and without more information. Bottom line is that it is everyone’s responsibility to avoid collisions, and that includes when at anchor. Becoming belligerent or acting like a jerk should never be acceptable.

How high were the winds and seas? Was there current?

If he was dragging, then no question, the large monohull’s problem. But in this case, you don’t know for sure he was dragging.

You say his boat "reacted differently” than all the rest. Why? Was it b/c of a different anchor layout (perhaps two being used?) Or did he have way more rode out than everyone else?

If he laid out significantly more rode than everyone else, but it was still within reason (~7:1), then it might be legit that he can claim first setting privileges. But if he’s got out way too much, like 10+:1 or something (outside of storm conditions), then forget it. His problem.

If he was lying on rope rode while everyone was on chain (or perhaps vice versa), then he’s probably got a case that he was there first. But this doesn’t sound like the situation you’re describing b/c in high winds the rode type matters little; everyone should react the same — eventually.

If you’re saying he was anchored differently, like perhaps with two anchors or something, which prevented him from moving with the crowd, then I’d say it was his problem. Even if he was the very first one in, if everyone else is anchored to one hook, I’d say it was his responsibility to change.

Boats will behave somewhat differently, especially in light airs. And big, heavier boats will respond more slowly. But I’ve not seen a situation where all boats don’t eventually end up responding to the same forces when the wind pipes up. Some boats with fuller keels will ride more to current than wind, depending on how the forces lay out. But in heavy winds it would be odd for this to remain — unless the currents were also heavy (you don’t say if this is the case).
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:59   #5
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Re: Anchorage Protocol

The "rules" of anchoring are rules of courtesy, not hard and fast "laws"; and common courtesy, (and common sense), is only common to those in the know.

In the end, as with many things, the most belligerent, and often least knowledgeable, will get their way.

There's seldom a satisfactory way to deal with these people, especially when moving is not an option.

This sort of thing happens, but not that often. Try to forget it, and enjoy the rest of your holiday.

Cheers.
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:06   #6
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Re: Anchoring Protocol revised

First: The dragging boat or boat with too much rode needed to fix or improve his situation so as not to be a hazard to all other boats... doesn’t matter who was there first. Second: You should’ve moved your boat when it was realized the other fellow was an knucklehead who didn’care, so as not to damage your boat.

It doesn’t matter who was there first, who is bigger, who is dragging, or who is right, at the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to take proper evasive action to prevent damage to your boat or the charter boat.
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:13   #7
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Re: Anchorage Protocol

Reading admiralty case law on this will reveal three things:
  • The first boat has certain rights.
  • Once he begins to drag these are vacated.
  • You still have a duty to keep clear if practical.
So, my understanding is that once he started to drag he lost first there privileges, but you still needed to move if it would help prevent further damage. An argument could be made that in the settled period you could have moved. Perhaps you could have added scope. OR perhaps staying put was the only practical answer. I don't have enough information.


But it is not as simple as who was there first and who was dragging. It includes what could have been done by all parties.
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:35   #8
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Re: Anchorage Protocol

First: The dragging boat or boat with too much rode needed to fix or improve his situation so as not to be a hazard to all other boats... doesn’t matter who was there first. Second: You should’ve moved your boat when it was realized the other fellow was an knucklehead who didn’care, so as not to damage your boat.

It doesn’t matter who was there first, who is bigger, who is dragging, or who is right, at the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to take proper evasive action to prevent damage to your boat or the charter boat.

Why didn’t you just let out more scope to accomodate him instead of arguing? If it was as windy as described, we wouldv’e deployed 10:1.
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Old 09-09-2018, 06:56   #9
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Re: Anchoring Protocol revised

I'd be concerned that my anchor was under or beyond the vessel that has dragged down on you. How would you be expected to raise your anchor? They would have to move at least a little out of the way.
How much rode they put out is their peroggative. I've been I anchorages where we had 20+ ft depth and we had put 100ft of chain been yelled at by some a$$hat for too much rode in a tight anchorage, only to watch him drag 40 minutes later with his correct amount of rode out lol
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:35   #10
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Re: Anchoring Protocol revised

I agree with the final conclusion- you anchored after him so it was your responsibility to move. Whether he was dragging or not is subject to some debate. He may have just been pulling back on a pile of chain as the wind picked up. To you it looked like dragging but it was just chain being pulled taught.



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Old 09-09-2018, 07:46   #11
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Re: Anchoring Protocol revised

Why didn't you simply let out more scope to accommodate the other boat?
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Old 09-09-2018, 07:49   #12
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Re: Anchoring Protocol revised

There is no protocol. It is catch as you can situation.


IF YOU ARE IN ANCHORING TROUBLE then you want to resolve the challenge. Be it asking others to take action or taking it yourself.


Waiting and relying on a non-existent 'protocol' is a first class ticket to ending up in grief.


That you care about your ship do not assume others do. Some boats are insured and the owners simply do as they please - as if parking a car.


Beware of packed anchorages and ignorant neighbours.


Cheers,
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:19   #13
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Re: Anchoring Protocol revised

Hmmm, I see there are two identical threads:

Ugly situation Steve. And a bit hard to know definitely from afar, and without more information. Bottom line is that it is everyone’s responsibility to avoid collisions, and that includes when at anchor. Becoming belligerent or acting like a jerk should never be acceptable.

How high were the winds and seas? Was there current?

If he was dragging, then no question, the large monohull’s problem. But in this case, you don’t know for sure he was dragging.

You say his boat "reacted differently” than all the rest. Why? Was it b/c of a different anchor layout (perhaps two being used?) Or did he have way more rode out than everyone else?

If he laid out significantly more rode than everyone else, but it was still within reason (~7:1), then it might be legit that he can claim first setting privileges. But if he’s got out way too much, like 10+:1 or something (outside of storm conditions), then forget it. His problem.

If he was lying on rope rode while everyone was on chain (or perhaps vice versa), then he’s probably got a case that he was there first. But this doesn’t sound like the situation you’re describing b/c in high winds the rode type matters little; everyone should react the same — eventually.

If you’re saying he was anchored differently, like perhaps with two anchors or something, which prevented him from moving with the crowd, then I’d say it was his problem. Even if he was the very first one in, if everyone else is anchored to one hook, I’d say it was his responsibility to change.

Boats will behave somewhat differently, especially in light airs. And big, heavier boats will respond more slowly. But I’ve not seen a situation where all boats don’t eventually end up responding to the same forces when the wind pipes up. Some boats with fuller keels will ride more to current than wind, depending on how the forces lay out. But in heavy winds it would be odd for this to remain — unless the currents were also heavy (you don’t say if this is the case).
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:42   #14
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Anchoring Protocol revised

So basically you’re saying you don’t know if he dragged or not. In that situation and in the face of belligerence I would have taken action, either increasing scope or moving.

People do weird things in anchorages when conditions deteriorate which can make figuring out what precisely is going on difficult or impossible, especially in the dark.

Etiquette and protocol arguments at the time of the incident rarely prove fruitful. It’s almost always better, if possible, to take action to protect oneself instead of standing ground on principle.
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Old 09-09-2018, 08:57   #15
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Re: Anchoring Protocol revised

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
It doesn’t matter who was there first, who is bigger, who is dragging, or who is right, at the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to take proper evasive action to prevent damage to your boat or the charter boat.

Ken pretty much summed it up with one sentence!
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