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Old 28-08-2014, 07:37   #16
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Re: anchoring, unmanned boat dragging -- what would you do?

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Dinghy over, jump on board, start the engine, weigh anchor, reset it in a good place, check it and leave it.
+1

I have done this quite a few times.

One of the boats would have been completely wrecked and another two would have been badly damaged. Who can stand by and watch this happen?

One of the owners saw the whole thing happen, but knew they could not reach their boat in time to stop it hitting the rocks. They said they got down on knees to pray I would do something when they saw me going out in my tender.

There was no way to start the engine or raise the anchor on this boat, which complicated things. If leaving the boat at anchor consider if it might not be safer to leave the key in the ignition. Also consider leaving your mobile phone number prominently displayed.
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Old 28-08-2014, 07:37   #17
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Re: anchoring, unmanned boat dragging -- what would you do?

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So did the anchor hold? I would have not gotten any sleep that night for fear of collision with them. Could they not have stayed on board for the night? Seems they were a bit neglectful but I don't know the whole situation. The story is left that they weren't successful at anchoring and just gave up.
We joked with one another that they were anchoring directly upwind of us just to make sure that we called them in the event they dragged.

Yes, they gave up. They left on their boat -- out of the harbor. I'm not sure where they went.
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Old 28-08-2014, 07:38   #18
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Re: anchoring, unmanned boat dragging -- what would you do?

I think the easiest way to answer the original question is, what if it was your boat unattended, and what would you like other nearby boat owners to do?
Some might say keep off my boat or I'll sue! But personally I'd rather someone make their best effort to save and reanchor for me..
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Old 28-08-2014, 07:42   #19
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Re: anchoring, unmanned boat dragging -- what would you do?

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IMHO, absolutely not. I wouldn't board someone's boat unless it was in imminent danger.
I think that is kind of the point of the whole first post/question. The boat was going to be grounded with in several minutes if no action was taken.
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Old 28-08-2014, 07:45   #20
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Re: anchoring, unmanned boat dragging -- what would you do?

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We joked with one another that they were anchoring directly upwind of us just to make sure that we called them in the event they dragged.

Yes, they gave up. They left on their boat -- out of the harbor. I'm not sure where they went.
Ah, I was reading it that they couldn't anchor well and left in the small boat leaving the big boat to your stewardship for the evening.
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Old 28-08-2014, 08:24   #21
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Re: anchoring, unmanned boat dragging -- what would you do?

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+1

If leaving the boat at anchor consider if it might not be safer to leave the key in the ignition. Also consider leaving your mobile phone number prominently displayed.
Yes, I always leave the key in the ignition -- although I know not everyone does. That's a good idea to leave the mobile # too.
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Old 28-08-2014, 08:27   #22
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Re: Anchoring, Unmanned Boat Dragging -- What Would you Do?

Something similar happened to us once. Four of us had just crossed from Mallorca to Ibiza & had anchored in a nice cala to rest & have lunch. Wx was fine. A good sized German-flagged Sun Seeker (about 60') came in & dropped well ahead of us & up wind. We noted they had not put out much rode before stripping off all their clothes, jumping in the water & swimming to the beach. These were all older adults.

Soon thereafter we watched their boat dragging back toward us. We got out fenders and actually fended it off. One of our guys (a professional skipper among other things) stepped aboard & was able to pay out a bunch more rode & the anchor caught. It had been drifting off to sea toward Barcelona! It was rather humorous watching the four Germans swimming madly after the boat. As one woman went by she accused us of touching their anchor.

The four thanked our friend & gave him a pen (a pen???) for his troubles before our friend swam back to our boat.

Count me among those who would rather have someone board our boat in our absence to try to save it from damage, than to watch bad things happen.
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Old 28-08-2014, 08:32   #23
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Re: anchoring, unmanned boat dragging -- what would you do?

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We joked with one another that they were anchoring directly upwind of us just to make sure that we called them in the event they dragged.

Yes, they gave up. They left on their boat -- out of the harbor. I'm not sure where they went.
Not being there it is hard to say what I would have personally done but I would not have let their boat go.

- Rafting up, tying off to me. Even if I trusted my anchor why get "my" boat involved in this. What if I broke free? Now I have 2 boats in trouble.

- Boarding - Probably the only option if my dinghy was not capable of holding it on station (tow) while my 1st mate was on cell phone/radio calling USCG, marina or whomever. But as soon as I had their boat hooked I would be looking to communicate to some authority to hand the issue off to (USCG in US waters, I suppose)

- After boarding. Lots of variables here. What if wheel is removed? cabin locked - No ability to start the engine? No ability to lower more chain and try to set the anchor.

- Maybe I am back to plan A and tie off to my boat and then be prepared to start my engine if I break free while 1st mate goes to shore to find owner...

Lots of what ifs but I would feel obligated to intervene. And about getting sued for being a nice guy? I can live with that if the owner really wanted to sue me.

My Karma bank would be in good shape.
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Old 28-08-2014, 08:38   #24
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Re: Anchoring, Unmanned Boat Dragging -- What Would you Do?

It's common courtesy to not watch another's boat go onto the beach, or drag another boat with it.
I can think of 4 times a group of us had to attend to a dragging boat and re-anchor. maybe a couple more. Two of those times it was a WS32 with a large Bruce anchor in LaPaz Mexico. The current shifts 180 degrees thru the day. both times the chain rode had wrapped around the tip of the Bruce on one fluke when the reversal happened.. You wouldn't think it could wrap and hold on that little tip, but it does.
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Old 28-08-2014, 10:02   #25
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Re: Anchoring, Unmanned Boat Dragging -- What Would you Do?

I've gone aboard dragging boats at least half a dozen times. I have let out more of their rode, taken my danforth and rode over in the dinghy, moved the boat with dinghies, and tied them off to my boat, depending on the situation. I have never started their engine (except for one anchorage in Indonesia where the wife was alone on board the boat, but had no idea of what to do).

However, when I am anchored, the key is always in the engine and the anchor winch is always turned on. I'll run the risk of someone stealing the boat in order to make it easier for someone to help me if I'm dragging.
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Old 28-08-2014, 10:28   #26
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Re: Anchoring, Unmanned Boat Dragging -- What Would you Do?

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I've gone aboard dragging boats at least half a dozen times. I have let out more of their rode, taken my danforth and rode over in the dinghy, moved the boat with dinghies, and tied them off to my boat, depending on the situation. I have never started their engine (except for one anchorage in Indonesia where the wife was alone on board the boat, but had no idea of what to do).

However, when I am anchored, the key is always in the engine and the anchor winch is always turned on. I'll run the risk of someone stealing the boat in order to make it easier for someone to help me if I'm dragging.
Often all that is required is to let out more scope and this is easily and safely done. I'd consider starting an engine and re-anchoring, but it depends on the boat and on how many people I have on board helping me. I don't want to make things worse.

I think we might be seeing some cultural differences here. In some countries, people might be worried about being sued or shot if they try to help their fellow mariner.

In areas frequented by long term cruisers (south pacific, say), I think that it would be absolutely expected to jump on and do whatever is needed. However, all the people who managed to get there themselves also have the skills to actually help without making things worse.

For the OP, I would absolutely have gone aboard and let out more scope. Since the wind was low, I would have considered tying to my own boat as well. However, I wouldn't have tried to re-anchor solo in a boat I don't know in shallow water. I might have messed it up and had some explaining to do. In deeper water and with a friend to help, I would have re-anchored if the key was in the ignition and letting out scope wasn't enough.

A close friend of mine left his boat for a hike just a couple weeks ago and returned to find it moved. The wind had shifted and he had dragged. Others had hopped on and let out rode, saving his boat. He was very grateful, as any of us would be.
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Old 28-08-2014, 11:09   #27
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Re: Anchoring, Unmanned Boat Dragging -- What Would you Do?

A word of caution about taking some very laudable heroic measures. Last spring I was in North Lake Worth waiting to jump over the Bahamas. A 30' Canadian sloop dragged right by us, unmanned. We went in our RIB with our aluminum Guardian kedge anchor and rode and set a second anchor on the boat, which stopped them. Eventually Seatow arrived and gave me a bit of free advice. He said that adding an extra anchor is fine, but if we messed with their anchor, and the boat then continued down wind and crashed into yonder marina full of $$ power yachts, WE would be held responsible for the damage.

I'm no lawyer, but it did make me think. So if we play Tarzan and up their anchor, start their engine etc, and it still goes bad....we can be found at fault. There is no "good Samaritan" clause for saving dragging boats.
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Old 28-08-2014, 11:22   #28
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Re: Anchoring, Unmanned Boat Dragging -- What Would you Do?

Some friends recently told us about dragging in St Martin. They went ashore for provisions and returned to find their diesel running. They always leave the key in the ignition. Someone had reset their anchor but couldn't kill the diesel since the kill switch was in the locked cabin below.

He was very grateful. I would try to stop a dragging boat myself since I would hope that someone would stop us.



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Old 28-08-2014, 11:25   #29
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Re: Anchoring, Unmanned Boat Dragging -- What Would you Do?

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So if we play Tarzan and up their anchor, start their engine etc, and it still goes bad....we can be found at fault.
Yep, but if it was your boat what would you want?

Karma.
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Old 28-08-2014, 11:44   #30
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Re: Anchoring, Unmanned Boat Dragging -- What Would you Do?

I would not board someone else's boat without their permission. Period. Too many bad things could happen.

This happened to me once. I was anchored in an anchorage and a boat broke loose and was drifting through the anchorage. I called the Coast Guard who had a facility less than a mile away (within sight of the anchorage). They could not have cared less. The boat somehow made it through the anchorage without hitting anything and ended up in the marsh.

This lowered my opinion of the USCG quite a bit.
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