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Old 16-09-2017, 08:31   #1
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Anchorage Options/costs?

When those that are sailing to far off destinations, or even staying where your at, how does that work as far as anchored, mooring or slip? Can you just drop anchor anywhere, within reason? What about mooring, slip options? Regulatory issues? Any reading materials out there to answer a beginners questions?
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Old 16-09-2017, 09:01   #2
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Re: Anchorage Options/costs?

The very general rule is you can anchor anywhere as long as you are not obstructing other traffic or land-based facilities. Obviously, it should also be a safe place to anchor (good protection, good holding, etc.).

Now, this is only the general rule. There are restrictions that can be imposed by local governments, or when the water bottom is actually owned privately. There can be other restrictions as well, but in general, you can anchor in places that are not impeding anyone else.

Moorings are a different matter. Each country (and province or state) regulates them differently. From what Iíve heard here on CF, the USA has stronger (and IMO, better) regs on the use of personal moorings compared to my home in Canada.

Slips are private or public. They are regulated by whomever owns/controls them.
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Old 16-09-2017, 09:26   #3
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Re: Anchorage Options/costs?

There are pros and cons to each option.

Anchoring requires evaluation of the location in terms of the bottom type, depth, protection from the wind, protection from waves, positioning relative to other boats, as well as the weather forecast. It also requires supervision. Leaving your boat unattended at anchor is not something to be done casually, without a very high degree of confidence that it will be there when you get back. You also have to be highly mindful of others who have anchored around you, that they are positioned in a way that they are not a threat to your boat and that they are secure. Advantages to anchoring are it's free, you have privacy (much of the time), you have a breeze over the boat, a great view, can go swimming, etc.

A mooring is halfway between anchoring and taking a slip, in many respects. You don't always know the quality of the mooring fittings, so some caution is required. Sometimes it's free, most of the time it's not. You're close to shore and services, groceries, etc.

A slip is obviously the most expensive. Downsides are lack of privacy, noise, potential for theft, and it can be hot and the boat not well ventilated. Upsides are convenience, not having to worry about the security of the boat for the most part, and generally better protection from weather.

In general I anchor where and when I can, and that's about 95% of how the boat spends it's nights. I'll pull into a marina after a long passage, to do some work on the boat or do a major resupply. There are also some places where the convenience of being at a dock given what you want to do ashore is just worth it.

A lot of US towns have city docks that are cheaper than commercial marinas, but with fewer amenities. I tend to pull into those when I can.

As Mike said there are varying regulations/laws/etc regarding anchorages and moorings from municipality to municipality, country to country. It's all over the map in fact.

If you're curious about anchoring, mooring, and slips in your area, take a look at the "live map" at ActiveCaptain.com. You need to create an account but it's free. The map has icons for user submitted content on anchorages, moorings and slips. A review of it will give you some sense of what available.
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Old 24-09-2017, 18:49   #4
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Re: Anchorage Options/costs?

I'm pretty much the same.. After a very long passage, I grab a slip, hopefully at a community or police docks to just rest for a few days.. Then re-stock and do minor updates.. I've known people that were hard core sea salts that always anchored and paddled in and their sailboat didn't even have a motor.. Yikes.. Tons of respect from me, but wow, that is really doing it old school..
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Old 25-09-2017, 00:50   #5
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Re: Anchorage Options/costs?

Nevis doesn't allow anchoring anywhere, but provides inexpensive moorings. Other islands have similar requirements around marine parks. These restrictions are designed to prevent anchors damaging fragile coral reefs and grass beds. It's normally marked on the chart and described in the cruising guides.
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Old 29-09-2017, 17:26   #6
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Re: Anchorage Options/costs?

Thanks for the replies. It looks like I need to do some research. Cruising guides? Will they give me directions or guidance on mooring, anchoring, or marinas? How current is the information?
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Old 29-09-2017, 18:08   #7
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Re: Anchorage Options/costs?

Try to narrow down geographically where you are going, then ask specific questions. Western Caribbean, anything goes except for Colombian islands, Eastern Caribbean, not so much. USA, varies greatly, not necessarily by law, but availability etc.
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Old 29-09-2017, 18:36   #8
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Re: Anchorage Options/costs?

Cruising guides are a help as is Active Captain. There are also specific "anchoring guides" listing anchorages and details.
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Old 01-10-2017, 18:13   #9
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Re: Anchorage Options/costs?

I have always been able to find an anchorage sailing outside the USA. When I sailed from Turkey to Trinidad, I anchored out every night except for one night in the Gibraltar area in which I was in a Marina. It is possible to anchor out, but the cost of freedom is inconvenience as you may be a long way from where you would like to be (Stores and Marine supplies for example).
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