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Old 09-02-2016, 09:32   #1
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Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

A question ive had for some time, that i can never find a straight forward non
biased answer for.

how practical is it to anchor your vessel off the land with open ocean on one side and land on the other.

the answers i always see to this question are:
* you cant anchor by the beach, if the wave size increases you'll be to close to the shore
*you cant anchor in the ocean, if there is a storm your anchor will drag
*you cant anchor in the ocean, its too deep you wont have a long enough tackle for enough scope.
*you cant anchor in the ocean, because its not comfortable to sleep



technically speaking
if you had a 40ft boat and an anchor that was rated for a 90ft+ boat
had 800 ft of oversized chain, with strong enough windlass and cleats, anchoring in 114 ft of water to avoid any breaking waves, left your anchor light on and deck lights on and were not in shipping lanes. then took your dink to shore and camped on the beach.
how is this not practical? is there anything im missing that would prevent you from being able to do this (other than laws, health, hurricanes etc.)
also considering that there are no inlets/bays etc. around.
is this not what tall ships used to do when discovering new lands?
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:49   #2
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

Put the wine glasses away and go for it.

If you really have 800 ft of chain you would be fine. Ships stand in open roadsteads all the time.

Be well outside the breakers with lots of scope. Stay onboard a few hours to check.

It would not be comfortable on board, and I don't see how you could easily beach the dinghy.

I think sailors who are surfers do this often
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:57   #3
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pirate Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

the answers i always see to this question are:
* you cant anchor by the beach, if the wave size increases you'll be to close to the shore
Rubbish except in storm situ's
*you cant anchor in the ocean, if there is a storm your anchor will drag
If there's a storm chances you'll drag in a bay as well if not sheltered enough
*you cant anchor in the ocean, its too deep you wont have a long enough tackle for enough scope.
Most want to cross ASAP.. not stop halfway for a picnic
*you cant anchor in the ocean, because its not comfortable to sleep


Don't take up sailing..
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:09   #4
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

Thee are places where the prevailing winds are off shore and people regularly anchor in the protection of the coast. One example is Santa Barbara, California. There is even a mooring field in the open road stead there. However, and it is a big however, if the wind comes from a different direction this becomes a hostile lee shore. Many boats have come to grief there. It is best to keep a sharp eye on conditions and be prepared to get out in a hurry.


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Old 09-02-2016, 10:25   #5
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

Tayana42 is right on. This happens all the time on the Pacific coast, where neat little anchorages and bays are few and far between. When I first started sailing there, I was amazed that they anchored right out in the ocean. They would call a tiny indent in the coast line a "bay". But then again that ocean is more settled than the Atlantic. When it does get nasty, man, it is rough, but its usually well forecasted. There are a bunch of derelict liveaboards outside Marina del Rey who are in the ocean all the time. When a bad swell is predicted they come inside and the locals hold their noses and let them stay, so long as they get right back out as soon as possible.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:36   #6
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

Welcome to the forum!

We anchor on open coast (unprotected coast line) over 15% of the time and we typically anchor well over 250 nights a year. Most nights at a new location. We never leave the boat anchored overnight with no-one aboard on an open coast line, late nights yes, but not over night in an unprotected coast line.

We place our considerations as follows:
- safety
- comfort
- access to wireless (not always in this order)

With the technology available to predict wave and wind conditions on most shores, we are able to stay in the safety zone very reliably. The comfort zone sometimes eludes us when a late night swell arrives early, but it takes a bit for the swell to convert a loss of comfort into a loss of safety and this loss of comfort only occurs as a surprise to us a few times a year.

There are also iOS apps for anchor dragging, one that will actually text another phone if drag occurs, assuming you are in an area with cell coverage.

There are very good threads here on anchors, scope, bottom conditions, etc. I would take a look at those for more detailed info and opinion on what works best.

Towards a good nights sleep!
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:41   #7
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

You'll be fine, no worries, what could go wrong?


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Old 09-02-2016, 14:35   #8
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

Yes you can but you have to be vigilant. Seas can come up quite rapidly making a return to the boat a challenge. With the proper anchoring gear you can withstand even severe storms if the boat is out beyond the area where waves break. Chafe and the threat of a dragging anchor can get very interesting however. Boats anchor off Kona year around despite the quite common occurrence of 20' waves in the winter. Of course we loose a boat or two every so often when their rope mooring/anchor lines chafe through.
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Old 09-02-2016, 15:10   #9
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

You can anchor anywhere you have enough chain to reach the bottom...may or may not be a good idea depending upon circumstances.

What exactly is it you are trying to accomplish?
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Old 09-02-2016, 15:17   #10
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

What comes to mind is why would you want to ? If it was calm and settled enough to do this why would you want to sleep on the beach ? I doubt if the explorers did this , they may have paddled thru the surf but would have left crew aboard !
My experience from cruising many years away from the U.S. , I can not think of a time that I would even considered this , maybe to run ashore for ice or sumptin , but never for any length of time or where I could not see and return to the boat .
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Old 09-02-2016, 15:21   #11
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

Continue !
No experienced cruisers would ever leave their boat with awnings up or hatches open .
In a real cruising situation that boat is your life , your home , in our case our income !
My answer to your question would be that no prudent cruiser would do dat !
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Old 09-02-2016, 16:00   #12
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

Quote:
Originally Posted by natural_one View Post
A question ive had for some time, that i can never find a straight forward non
biased answer for.

how practical is it to anchor your vessel off the land with open ocean on one side and land on the other.

the answers i always see to this question are:
* you cant anchor by the beach, if the wave size increases you'll be to close to the shore
*you cant anchor in the ocean, if there is a storm your anchor will drag
*you cant anchor in the ocean, its too deep you wont have a long enough tackle for enough scope.
*you cant anchor in the ocean, because its not comfortable to sleep



technically speaking
if you had a 40ft boat and an anchor that was rated for a 90ft+ boat
had 800 ft of oversized chain, with strong enough windlass and cleats, anchoring in 114 ft of water to avoid any breaking waves, left your anchor light on and deck lights on and were not in shipping lanes. then took your dink to shore and camped on the beach.
how is this not practical? is there anything im missing that would prevent you from being able to do this (other than laws, health, hurricanes etc.)
also considering that there are no inlets/bays etc. around.
is this not what tall ships used to do when discovering new lands?
There was a thread here three or so weeks ago about a young guy that anchored his boat offshore in the Bahamas [?] while he took care of some business, had a leisurely lunch, returned to the beach, and noticed that his boat had somehow departed without him. Said boat was later spotted by another vessel drifting on its' way to points unknown.

Now apparently he was not biased regarding off-shore anchoring, but he was also, from that point on, boatless...trying to get donations to buy a plane ticket home.

Obviously it can be done, but certainly not for the faint hearted, or possibly prudent, sailor. I, personally, do not have a great deal of offshore sailing under my belt, but the LAST place I would anchor my home is off a beach. At least virtually every beach I have seen up close. It is amazing how quickly things can change on the open ocean...it doesn't take much to make launching a dingy from a beach to become virtually impossible.

Just my opinion...not to be taken as anything else.
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Old 09-02-2016, 16:14   #13
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pirate Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

If you cant be A Lert..
Be a Troll..
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Old 09-02-2016, 16:15   #14
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

Of course, it really depends on where you are. I am here on the part of the Calif. coast (Point Conception south and out to Channel Islands) where people do it often because it is usually fairly calm and it is fairly shallow even a mile or more off shore. People often do it for fishing, diving, surfing or for a picnic. With plenty of scope, good holding ground and a decent anchor it can be done in many places, but as roverhi says, you need to be vigilant. If you are out away from your boat, swimming or in the dinghy, wind and waves, like those that may come up in the afternoon locally, may keep you from getting back to it. (Happened to me once when I had gone swimming to the beach. But I made it back.) I have done it quite a few times, but I have to use my rocker-stoppers if I am planning to stay the night! And I clear out if swell or wind really picks up.
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Old 09-02-2016, 16:20   #15
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Re: Question about anchoring in unprotected waters

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
If you cant be A Lert..
Be a Troll..
Skulking about the tropics anchoring off shore is business as usual to you old boy...probably do it it your sleep.

I would rather be a floating A Lert than a boatless Troll...or something like that! :]
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