Originally Posted by Pelagic
Whenever I am not 100% satisfied with weather
or holding (after putting considerable strain on the anchor) I spend the night on the bridge.
With twin VRM and EBL fixes on fixed targets to gauge any drift, one eye on the wind gauge, one ear listening to the ground tackle and the Radar
to confirm any actual dragging I accept that restless night as part of my responsibility.
I guess I am a bit old fashioned and donít trust myself, to react well to electronic alarms or take prudent action early enoughÖ. if I were to go into a deep sleep and things let go.
To me, that is the same as staying up with a sick child.
But setting up an alarm as back-up is a good practice
Well, I just spent a night just like that, in a howling storm off a lee shore, except that lacking a bridge, it was a very uncomfortable night in the cockpit
But I think you are missing the point -- people don't want these systems for the bad weather and imminent danger
scenario. There are cases where the holding is good and the weather doesn't seem too bad, but where a squall could blow up or you worry your anchor might trip in a tidal swing, or just drag as anchors sometimes do for no apparent reason. In this case you don't really want to stay up all night, yet you are not comfortable just passing out in your bunk.
And actually even in perfect weather in perfect holding and a perfect anchorage, what skipper
is ever completely carefree at anchor at night? I never sleep well at anchor, myself, when I am responsible; I am always getting up and sticking my head
out of a hatch
to check the position of the boat and the weather.
That's what you need a good anchor alarm for, not the "sick child" situation of actually bad weather.
And the point of many of these posts is that an alarm, although a great thing (whether or not you have the ability to set the guard circle centered on the anchor itself, or not), and maybe your first line of defense, it's even much better to be able to see your position in relation to objects around (that allows you to just look at your device, maybe even with one eye, rather than waking up completely to stick a head
out of a hatch).
So I am following this conversation with a lot of interest and hoping to have some better solution this season. For me, the ideas which are most attractive so far are: (a) networked chartplotter
in the master cabin
[good but expensive]; (b) handheld gps/plotter like the Garmin 60csx [cheap but charts
? also gps reception
?]; (c) PDA or tablet PC connected by WiFI
to the boat's network. I am thinking about all this, and considering all the great advice from here.