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Old 31-03-2011, 11:13   #1
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Which Anchor NOT to Use ? Where to Anchor ? - Block Island, RI

I know anchoring at Block Island has been discussed in other threads and there are varied opinions of which anchor is preferable when anchoring in Block Island, RI, BUT
  • Is there a consensus of opinion as to which anchor NOT to use at Block Island? (Please respond with personal experiences, rather than hearsay.)
Because of Block Island dragging anchor horror stories (and not all necessarily the fault of the anchor!), many recommend picking up a mooring if you can, though there are just not that many of them.

If you can't get a mooring, and being close to the dinghy docks is not a primary concern:
  • Is there a consensus of opinion as to WHERE it is preferable to anchor in Great Salt Pond/New Harbor with 3'6" to 4' draft?
Thanks for the input.

Marshall
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Old 31-03-2011, 11:32   #2
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

Avoid Rocna. Cost to benefit ratio is all wrong.
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Old 31-03-2011, 11:51   #3
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

With a less than 4 foot draft you can anchor in sand in the NE corner of the pond well beyond the moorings. A danforth or a plow will work well, but adequate chain is important. Due to the crowding, you will need to use less scope than usual and the additional chain helps. I draw 5+ and with all chain and a CQR with 4 to1 scope, I haven't budged in some interesting thunderstorms over the years.
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Old 31-03-2011, 11:56   #4
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

Hi Marshall, as the local TowBOATUS guy on Block Island, and the one who ends up dealing with most of the dragging boats, I can give you some perspective. I would say that Danforth anchors are probably the most prone to problems out there, and fixed plow anchors like Delta and Bruce are the least. The reason is that much of the bottom of Great Salt Pond is covered with a clumpy weed plant that has a tight root structure. The Danforths tend to hook nicely into the roots and hold for a day or two, but the constant swinging of the boat creates a slow saw action that eventually cuts the weed free. The flukes now have a huge clump of roots jambed in them, and there is no hope of the anchor re-setting. Here is a perfect example of what I'm talking about:


It can happen to a Bruce, but far less likely:


(both of these pictures are of actual anchors that dragged at Block Island.)

As to where to anchor, IMO the best place is along the line of "no anchor" buoys, which are at the north end of the anchorage and to the east of G11. There seems to be less weed there, better holding ground, and no chance to get dragged into if the winds shift to the north (as no one is allowed to anchor north of that line). It is also deeper, which tends to scare away those with weaker anchoring skills. Boats do drag out there too, just not as often.


With your shallow draft, you could also get way up tight on the east side (around the ""see note D" area, or just north of that), but you will have lots of company on a weekend there, and the majority of boats that drag come from that area, so even if your tackle holds, you will be fending off others when the wind shifts
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Old 31-03-2011, 12:06   #5
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

Have used a Fortress with 30' chain on my Catalina 30 anchored on ridge 10' of water

Used a CQR 45lbs with 100' chain on my Catalina 380 anchored on ridge 10' of water

Now using a Rocna 45lbs with 175' chain on my Mahe 36 anchor in SE corner in 6' of water in sandy gravely bottom.

Have never dragged using any of these anchors
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Old 31-03-2011, 12:18   #6
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

Last time I anchored there just West of bad it was good. 44 lb bruce 120' of 5/16 and some rope. bad was the guy that hooked the boats anchor in front of me. I remember it being pretty windy that day.
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Old 31-03-2011, 12:26   #7
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

Now, why do you suppose this anchor dragged?
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Old 31-03-2011, 12:42   #8
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

Umm......it was too shiney and slippery?
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Old 31-03-2011, 12:52   #9
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

Quote:
Originally Posted by doug86 View Post
Now, why do you suppose this anchor dragged?
I'm betting it was because the local tow boat guy was diving on it and taking parts off...
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Old 31-03-2011, 13:39   #10
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

Thanks to all who took the time to reply.

Your posts will certainly be a big help!

Marshall
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Old 31-03-2011, 14:38   #11
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

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I'm betting it was because the local tow boat guy was diving on it and taking parts off...
there are so many fools, no need for me to do anything nefarious.

The owner of this anchor was sure this was a scam, because he insisted that he had used it this way for 10 seasons and never had a problem. The harbormaster was summoned to render an opinion, and he told the guy not to come back to Block Island without some chain on his anchor.
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Old 31-03-2011, 15:00   #12
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

I anchored there years ago in 30 feet of water with a 35 lb CQR with a rope/chain rode (60 ft of 3/8 chain and the rest 3 strand nylon) on a 37 ft sailboat with 24000 plus displacement. It was crowded that weekend and wind was blowing around 10 knots that late morning, but I dug the anchor in good and then took the scope in to limit the swinging so that I had only a 3 to 1 scope out. Spend the day on the island and when we returned via water taxi with the wind gusting to 25 plus knots that late afternoon and no sooner than we sat foot on the boat she starts to drag. Just lucky that it didn't happen while we were away on the island. I reset it using a much improved scope and it held during the night even though it was close quarters with other boats. I've never gone with that short of scope again!
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Old 31-03-2011, 15:05   #13
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

Anchored at Block many times and all good advice above. I will add that my Bulwagga works great there. One phenomena is that frequently in the night you get a wind shift to the north off the mainland, even if one isn't predicted by the weather department and the prevailing wind is supposed to stay in the southwest. It can sometimes blow quite hard from the north, and then peter out towards dawn before the prevailing SW wind comes back in. That catches a lot of people off guard, and a good portion of them are not well anchored. So, even if it is blowing SW, watch who is behind you and how they are anchored. If you can find room to the west of the line across the cove to the east side of the harbor where the See Note D is, that beach is a great place to dinghy ashore. From there the walk into town is reasonably short and easy and there is plenty of room for dinghies.
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Old 31-03-2011, 18:16   #14
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

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...If you can find room to the west of the line across the cove to the east side of the harbor where the See Note D is, that beach is a great place to dinghy ashore. From there the walk into town is reasonably short and easy and there is plenty of room for dinghies.
Kettlewell,

I have actually anchored there with a friend, but never on my own boat. I know it is an easy walk across the road to the beach, as well.

Planning to go to Block this summer and that is the anchorage area I had in mind, but was worried about "draggers," hence my post.

I have 60' of 5/16" chain, but planning on upgrading my Bruce anchor first--good enough for Great South Bay, but definitely not for BI.

Thanks again to all.

Marshall
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Old 31-03-2011, 18:28   #15
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Re: Which Anchor NOT to Use? Where to Anchor? - Block Island, RI

Marshall: I anchored in Block numerous times in my previous 32-foot cat with only 50 feet of chain and a 35-lb. CQR anchor in the location we speak of. If you go over far enough you'll be on all chain rode because it gets shallow. Holding seems to be a bit better over there. I'm not a fan of the Bruce, but I don't think you'll have any trouble if you are sure to put out enough scope and back down on it well. Bottom is a sandy mud mostly, with grassy patches and plenty of shells in places. 99% of the people who drag in Block don't have out enough scope because most of the water is deep and it is crowded.
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