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Old 26-06-2017, 21:01   #1
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Fishy anchoring situation

I think someone is screwing with my anchor. I am anchored near a park and there are a bunch of million dollar vacation homes around. I've had a few weird situations come about while I sit at anchor waiting for a slip across the pond, my gut is telling me something is off.

I have a Col 26 Mk II. Good size Danforth Fortress, 30 ft chain and a ton of rode. The area is known for it's good holding.

I had to move my boat but was still stuck on the waitlist at the Marina. Was suggested by the Harbour authority to anchor in this location, Plumpers' Cove, while I waited for a spot in Gibsons, due to good holding, good protection from a few islets, the nearby park and a reasonable amount of boating traffic so the boat wasn't left entirely alone for bumboats to come and try to steal something.

Arrived, dropped anchor, it set like a dream first time. Picked up anchor to move further from the park, it set like a dream second time. Stayed at anchor there for a few nights, went back home. Set the anchor with the motor in full reverse at about 6:1 scope. Boat held just fine for a week. Some decent swells (its in a protected straight so no waves from open ocean) anchor still held.

Let out too much scope, with record low tides I was near the rocks, got a call from a fellow mariner. I booted it up there (takes me about 4 h), anchor held just fine, as the tide rose the scope decreased. I was pretty far from those rocks don't know how on earth I got so close, I had a friendly mariner send me a picture.

The following week I went up to check on the boat. Moved it to transient at the marina I want to go to to pick up my fiancee. Moored at the park dock. Went for a sail. Dropped her off, dropped anchor, same area as before. Slept on the boat for a night and stayed there a day. Anchor held.

Two days later I get a call from the park operator. Tells me I am only 15 feet from the park mooring buoy. I had moved into deeper water so as to avoid the scope from letting me get too close to the rocks with the record low tides. I had slept on it, anchor was solidly set.

Park operator was telling me I had two days to get the boat out of the area or they would tow it to Victoria (??? This is a long, long way away) Contacted a friendly fellow mariner through the harbour authority, he was a friendly guy and checked on my boat - said I was actually 60-80 feet from the mooring buoys. The guy pulled in 20 feet of scope just to make sure I didn't approach that buoy again.

All this while this park operator refuses to take a picture for me of the situation, won't give me his phone number to call him back (because the "government doesn't supply him with a phone and he doesn't want to use his own phone"), refused to even jump on board and pull in some scope if I was too close to his buoy and was just wanting me to come straight there, knowing full well I live in Vancouver.

By this point I had already lost a half a weeks' worth of work, I told the guy, listen man, I can't just drop work all the time and the anchor was set so well I slept on the hook without an issue and spent two days on the boat.

I called the guy's supervisor and apprised him of this weird situation; which is (a) you can't just force me to pull anchor and move from public waters (not the park, I anchored outside the park), (b) You can't just tow my boat 8 hours away to Victoria when there's a government harbour right there, and (c) this guy won't even send me a picture or give me a phone number so I can fix the problem or determine what to do and finally (d) he refuses to pull in a bit of scope if I'm too close to his buoy which would take him all of 15 minutes.

Then I get another call from this park operator saying "I wasnt there so I didn't see what happened but apparently your boat was adrift and some citizen towed it in a rowboat and put it on our buoy that didn't pass a divers' inspection, you have to move it within 24 hours or we're towing it to Victoria". Of course he won't tow me off the sketchy buoy to a more solid one. The anchor is still firmly on the bottom, but now from a picture that was sent to me it is almost vertical; kind of odd for an anchor that supposedly dragged at least 600 feet.

What is making this all feel fishy to me is the following:

a) When I'm on the boat with a set anchor, everything is fine. No drag, good holding. I put out adequate scope and I have adequate chain and the holding is known to be good.

b) First week the anchor held just fine the whole week I was away. Second week it ended up near the rocks. Third week the anchor is dragging after the weird phone call about me being too close to the buoy. Mind you, the first week too - there was 25 kt winds and the anchor held just fine. The past few weeks it's been almost dead calm, can't even pop a sail.

c) This whole "we'll remove your boat and tow it to Victoria" thing makes no sense. Victoria is over 100km away; there are a whack of major government harbours between here and there, most notably Gibsons, Vancouver, and Richmond

I know Murphy strikes when you're on the hook, but this is seeming too convenient. Anchor is solid as a rock for two days and less than 24 hours later I'm dragging?

I think someone is pulling my anchor on a NIMBY rampage. My boat is no wreck, it's clean, can move under both power or sail, and I spent from last Wednesday to Sunday on it without a single anchoring problem. It's been moved around. I've been setting anchor with adequate scope and chain and seemingly mysteriously, almost once I leave it all these problems happen, but when I'm aboard it just looks after itself with good holding.

I'm almost at the point of hiding on my boat with a gun pretending there's nobody aboard to see is someone is screwing around. I find it quite odd as well that a "friendly citizen" managed to yard a 7 ton sailboat in a rowboat with the anchor dragging then tie it off using some other peice of line (I can't tell from the picture) off one of the secondary bow cleats without the anchor resetting on it's own over a 600 foot distance that this park operator didn't see.

I talked to a few locals, apparently there's about 4 guys in that cove with vacation homes that are super jerks. Also bear in mind I have been checking on the boat every weekend, so when I say "3rd week" that means it's the third time I have checked, reset the anchor, not that I've just left it for 3 weeks on it's own.

Any thoughts?
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Old 26-06-2017, 21:37   #2
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

I'd favour this:

I'm almost at the point of hiding on my boat with a gun pretending there's nobody aboard to see is someone is screwing around
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Old 26-06-2017, 21:40   #3
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

hide a motion activated security camera there?

Either that or hide on your boat (get a friend to row you across at night)

Also I'm pretty sure the park operator wouldn't call you - that's weird
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Old 26-06-2017, 21:47   #4
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

You may consider getting some type of vessel monitoring systems. I personally have a Boat Command system for my boat that lives on a mooring and I absolutely love it.

Here is a link to a recent Panbo Article about various boat monitoring systems. Panbo: The Marine Electronics Hub: Monitoring 2017: Siren, QuikTrak, DotMobile, Yacht Protector, GOST, Maretron, Boat Command & GoFree
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Old 26-06-2017, 21:50   #5
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

Mark the anchor line exactly where it is tied to the cleat, and put some other marker on the rode that would come off the rope if pulled up and out of the water as if someone else has reset the anchor to another spot, take a picture before you leave it, also put another marker on the foredeck to see if it's moved some by someone hauling your anchor up to reset it somewhere else. Leave a note on the foredeck saying a neighbor is watching to see who is moving your boat. Put 2 anchors out. I do prefer your idea but use a baseball bat instead, it will be more fun and good exercise.
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Old 26-06-2017, 22:25   #6
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

We have anchored in Plumper many times over the years (summer and winter) and have never had an issue with any of the locals - with all the b oat traffic it would be full time job if that was the plan. i'm not surprised the park operator isn't necessarily jumping to offer to help - every winter all manor of "squatters" quietly show up on the dock and mooring bouy until finally chased off in the spring - must get annoying
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Old 26-06-2017, 22:36   #7
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

btw, while it is fairly sheltered from most waves, a NW does whistle down the channel, especially between the little island and the shore - as well the tide also moves through there pretty good - so not necessarily someplace to take for granted and leave "alone" for long periods
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Old 26-06-2017, 23:13   #8
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayday12 View Post
btw, while it is fairly sheltered from most waves, a NW does whistle down the channel, especially between the little island and the shore - as well the tide also moves through there pretty good - so not necessarily someplace to take for granted and leave "alone" for long periods
A single Danforth style anchor is not appropriate for an unattended boat in a Anchorage that has a reversing tidal stream. They are notorious for catching on the rode and not resetting properly on a tide change.
In the days when Danforths were popular as primary anchors, so was using a Bahamian Moor, aka one anchor upstream and another downstream.
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Old 27-06-2017, 01:27   #9
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

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Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
A single Danforth style anchor is not appropriate for an unattended boat in a Anchorage that has a reversing tidal stream.
+1

I think you are just experiencing problems with the Fortress anchor resetting. If the direction of pull is reasonably constant then Danforth/Fortress anchors have exceptional holding ability in softer substrates, but in my view they are not suitable for overnight anchoring where there is a risk of the direction of pull changing.

There have been reports of these anchors holding very well in strong wind only to subsequently let go in reasonably light conditions when the direction of pull alters. Watching the behaviour of these anchors underwater I can see the behaviour that leads to this problem.

Rather than any sinister reason I suspect you are simply noticing a limitation of your anchoring set up.
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Old 27-06-2017, 02:08   #10
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

Hmm. I do understand that these swings are a limitation of a Danforth. It is for this reason that I wouldn't leave the boat at anchor unless I had it there for a good three tides.

I do find it a bit odd that I sat on the anchor a week, multiple overnights without a single problem but that magically within hours of my departure something kept going wrong. I wasnt messing around resetting my anchor when I was aboard, I'd be checking on it periodically and testing for drag. This has all happened during conditions of very low wind. It gets bumpy there from ferry wake and the occasional freighter wake from afar but other than the bumpiness of the water due to wake and tides.

The other reason I suspect maybe someone is messing with my ground tackle is that it seems upon my departure my tackle gets messed up faster and faster - but if I'm aboard it's a solid hold, whether for one night or four.

I find the boaters at Plumpers are mostly wonderful people and this park operator dude seems like a nice enough guy. The lack of even taking a picture of a boat to show me the problem , weird refusal to have his number given out even in a situation as serious as "towing it to Victoria" (secretive much? I wouldn't be calling him to have a fireside chat), and refusal to pull on an anchor line for 15 minutes is a bit weird though. By any estimate if I was too close to his park buoy he could get to the boat, pull on the rode and be back at the park dock in well under 20 minutes.

I don't think it's the park operator, even if he is a bit of a weird cookie. I would think it would be a local who was looking out the window of their vacation home, seeing me depart on the harbour ferry and playing with my ground tackle so I didn't impinge on their view. Not that it should make any difference, the cove is filled with pleasure boats every weekend, at anchor, moored to a buoy, or at the park dock.

Man do I ever wish that this province would allow more water leases for marinas. The wait lists here are insane. I'm not looking to sit at anchor for free forever, I prefer a marina with power and water. I was just looking to ride out the summer until at least even seasonal slips become available across the pond. During the summer all the seasonal is converted to transient, and $50 a day is really cost prohibitive for long term.

Luckily I found a nice guy boater thru the harbour authority who is going to tow my boat to a private buoy so I can deal with this over the weekend rather than taking more time off work.

I do have to say something about this whole situation isn't sitting right with me. My gut is telling me someone is messing around with my ground tackle.

Anyone from the area know of a piling I could tie up to and get to? If a mooring line tied to a piling (or preferrably, pilings) mysteriously came undone, then it would rule out any anchoring issues with the Danforth.
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Old 27-06-2017, 02:50   #11
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

Oh and to underscore one of my points about this weirdness that may have gotten lost in the shuffle.

Being threatened with having my boat towed 100Kms all the way to Victoria comes across to me is pretty weird when there's a government harbour less than 5 Km across the pond.

I don't even think that any professional towing company would want to tow a 7 ton sailboat that far just because it was parked in a bad spot. Collecting the exorborant fee from either the government or the boat owner would be onerous, plus it would put their tow vessel out of service for days at a time for a single tow.
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Old 27-06-2017, 05:11   #12
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

What I find fishy about this situation is the notion that someone is messing with your boat. You should give people more credit than to think the worst of them automatically.

Just because your anchor held for periods of time doesn't mean it will hold always and forever. If it did people wouldn't use permanent moorings, they would just use your anchor.

Really, if someone wanted to mess with your boat they would just cut it adrift and be done with it. They wouldn't just drag it around a bit which is the kind of thing anchors are known to do on their own.

Might try getting a better anchor and see how that works. My boat has spent the past three weeks anchored with a new gen anchor in a spot with fairly strong reversing current and hasn't budged.
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Old 27-06-2017, 05:20   #13
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

mr-canada,

Based on the fact that the anchor consistently held over an extended period of time on several occasions, during which there were certainly wind shifts, I think you are right to find it odd that there was only an issue when the boat was left unattended.

This fact negates the comment that the anchor was at fault.

As a side note, since no anchor will dependably reset 100% of the time during wind or tidal shifts, we recommend setting two anchors if at all possible.
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Old 27-06-2017, 05:31   #14
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

"(c) this guy won't even send me a picture or give me a phone number so I can fix the problem or determine what to do and finally (d) he refuses to pull in a bit of scope if I'm too close to his buoy which would take him all of 15 minutes"



Oh boo hoo. He doesn't owe you anything. Did you offer to PAY him to care for your boat? And why would he board your boat and change your anchoring setup, which then makes him responsible? Sounds like entitlement to me.
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Old 27-06-2017, 05:52   #15
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Re: Fishy anchoring situation

In your last post the yacht club folks were allegedly jacking you around so you quit the club and left your boat unattended at anchor. Now you think someone is "screwing with your anchor" and, I guess, setting you adrift. If this is the case I'm wondering what you did to upset the folks in this community or, on the other hand, it might be your anchoring. In reversing currents it's unwise to leave your boat unattended on a single Danforth anchor. The longer the boat is left unattended the more likelihood of dragging. The anchor might re-set nine times out of ten (if you're lucky) but those are pretty bad odds on an unattended boat.
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