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Old 27-06-2010, 20:34   #1
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Leaving the Boat at Anchor

What's the longest, farthest away, you'll leave it unattended before moving to a marina temporarily, dropping a second anchor, etc? Or if it's not an issue of time, how do you determine.
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Old 27-06-2010, 21:01   #2
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It depends on the anchor that I have down, the quality of the bottom holding, the wind and sea state.

My seventy pound Buegel anchor with 200 feet of chain has never failed me if the bottom is good. My sixty pound CQR has failed me several times even in favorable bottoms with 200 feet of chain out.

I will comfortably leave my yacht anchored with the Buegel for long periods of time as long as I have backed down hard on it and we have been through a few tides and wind shifts. In the same location, I might not trust my CQR.

Every yacht has a different windage, uses different amount of chain, and anchors on different bottoms. You simply have to use good judgment rather than unwarranted optimism, and you will probably be fine anchored long term.

Here is what works for me. It may or may not work for you.

ALMOST NEVER FAIL CATAMARAN ANCHORING SYSTEM WITH A BUEGEL ANCHOR*** Exit Only performed the first half of her circumnavigation
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:08   #3
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I will comfortably leave my yacht anchored with the Buegel for long periods of time
can you quantify that? this is a question i've been wondering about too as we get ready for some extended cruising. if we decide to explore inland for a week or two and the forecast looks decent, is leaving the boat unattended at anchor a reasonable thing to do?

seems to me that holding is not the only concern and that theft/vandalism would be an issue you'd have to consider as well, depending on how long you're gone (and where you are, i suppose).

are there other tips or tricks that people use to secure a boat unattended on the hook?

other than ground tackle and holding ground, what are the list of other considerations that people run through when determining how long is too long to leave the boat?

great question.
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Old 01-07-2010, 14:32   #4
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Leaving the boat for a week or two on the hook because the forecast looks good is not something I'd even contemplate. Weather forecasts are at their best for today, tomorrow may be ok, on day three, just maybe. After three days a forecast is possibly a little better than a horoscope. As you've already identified, security can be a problem which is why people either employ someone to look after the boat or leave the vessel in a secure marina.

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Old 01-07-2010, 15:50   #5
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Fishwife has pretty much nailed down the realistic validity of weather forecasts. For in-water storage you could tie the boat to mangroves or up a creek to trees or land hard points (land anchors/abutments/mangroves/etc.) which are more reliable than unknown underwater bottoms.
- - However, for anything over a day or two you are begging to get the boat stripped by locals or other less than honorable boaters. It would be like leaving your land house with a large sign on it - "Gone on vacation for 2 weeks, help yourself." You would need to prep the boat by removing everything of value or removeable from the topsides and also hiding away everything inside the boat.
- - Boats have these flimsy hatch locks and ridiculous padlocked hasp on a companionway hatch or sliding door in a cat. A simple screwdriver, short length of re-bar, or small crowbar will instantly defeat these locks and afford access to the inside of the boat and its subsequent stripping of anything valuable.
- - A full time trusted boat-sitter/live-aboard is probably a good idea for a boat secured to mangroves, etc. A full time trusted crew who knows how to operate the boat if anchored. But better yet, a well guarded marina is best. Preferably one with active live-aboards surrounding you to watch the boat.
- - This year it is a major problem in the eastern Caribbean with dozens of boat being internally striped while they are stored in boatyards. Putting your deck stuff down below and locking the companion-way/sliding glass door with their totally flimsy locks is proven to not be adequate.
- - Some sort of internal "pin" locks on hatches and steel strap/bars on main access hatches/doors is the way to go for on-land or water storage.
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Old 01-07-2010, 21:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kb79 View Post
can you quantify that? this is a question i've been wondering about too as we get ready for some extended cruising. if we decide to explore inland for a week or two and the forecast looks decent, is leaving the boat unattended at anchor a reasonable thing to do?

seems to me that holding is not the only concern and that theft/vandalism would be an issue you'd have to consider as well, depending on how long you're gone (and where you are, i suppose).

are there other tips or tricks that people use to secure a boat unattended on the hook?

other than ground tackle and holding ground, what are the list of other considerations that people run through when determining how long is too long to leave the boat?

great question.
We routinely leave the boat for one to three nights at anchor while we are away touring as long as there is fellow cruiser who we trust that will watch Exit Only.

Our longest time away from the yacht was in New Zealand when I rolled my car while touring on the north island. I was in the hospital for two months, and when we returned to the boat two months later, everything was good on the boat except for bottom growth in the rich Hatea River of Whangarei, New Zealand. Our boat was on pile moorings for those two months.

I think it comes down to LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, HOLDING, HOLDING, HOLDING, AND FRIENDS, FRIENDS, FRIENDS.
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Old 01-07-2010, 21:38   #7
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the best way to leave a boat at anchor is living aboard it.

ot5herwise-----

"think it comes down to LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, HOLDING, HOLDING, HOLDING, AND FRIENDS, FRIENDS, FRIENDS. "
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Old 06-07-2010, 08:55   #8
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We would be very reluctant to leave the boat overnight at anchor with no-ne aboard - in fact we've only done it once in seven years, and then we had good friends a few meters away, a reasonable location, excellent holding and we'd been there a month.

We do routinely go ashore for several hours to explore, incluidng for evening events, but not for longer.

Of course you can make your own mooring, including with anchors, and may feel much more comfortable with that, although the theft issues remain. These security issues are however also applicable on a mooring, piles or in many unsecured marinas. That relates to where you are as much as anything and ones worries about theft may affect where you go.
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