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Old 22-10-2012, 13:25   #1
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Dragging Anchor Alarm on Handheld GPS

Hi there,

My husband and I are in disagreement about how the dragging anchor alarm works on our handheld Garmin Oregon 400c GPS, and I wondered if someone could help me work out how to use the alarm setting accurately.

Here are my questions:
1) Do you set the alarm the moment you drop the anchor, or do you wait until the anchor is set and set the dragging anchor alarm?

2) The default setting for the dragging anchor alarm is 20 feet. My husband thinks that it should be altered to the amount of chain we have out, so it tells you if it moves more than the swing allows - for example, at the moment we have about 100 feet of line out. Should I change the setting to 100 feet?

3) Will the dragging anchor alarm still go off if I turn the GPS off (so it doesn't suck up all the batteries?)

Thanks for your help, everyone.

Tasha on Hideaway

turf to surf | one couple, two cats and a monohull on the move
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Old 22-10-2012, 14:35   #2
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

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Originally Posted by Hideaway34 View Post
Hi there,

My husband and I are in disagreement about how the dragging anchor alarm works on our handheld Garmin Oregon 400c GPS, and I wondered if someone could help me work out how to use the alarm setting accurately.

Here are my questions:
1) Do you set the alarm the moment you drop the anchor, or do you wait until the anchor is set and set the dragging anchor alarm?

You can do it either way. If you set the alarm after you have backed and set the anchor you can use a smaller alarm range, and detect dragging more quickly, BUT you will get more false alarms when you are not dragging but the wind shifts (and the whole boat and anchor rode moves to a different position relative to the anchor). If you set the alarm right where you drop the anchor, it will be in the middle of your complete swinging circle and will not false alarm in a wind shift, but you do need to set the alarm range bigger (to include the distance between the anchor and the boat when the anchor is set), so will not detect dragging as quickly.

2) The default setting for the dragging anchor alarm is 20 feet. My husband thinks that it should be altered to the amount of chain we have out, so it tells you if it moves more than the swing allows - for example, at the moment we have about 100 feet of line out. Should I change the setting to 100 feet?

See above - depends on where you set the alarm. However, even in the case where you set the alarm after the anchor is set, 20 feet is pretty small and might create false alarms. Often in a wind gust you will move more than 20' and not be dragging. I (usually set the alarm when I am set and not at the anchor) and I don't really ever set the alarm less than 50' and often 100'.

3) Will the dragging anchor alarm still go off if I turn the GPS off (so it doesn't suck up all the batteries?)

No, has to be on, and has to have a gps signal.

Thanks for your help, everyone.

Tasha on Hideaway

turf to surf | one couple, two cats and a monohull on the move
.......
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Old 22-10-2012, 14:35   #3
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

I never used the anchor alarm - personal choice.

I didn't want the safety of my boat dependent on something electronic. I prefered to anchor in such a manner that the boat wouldn't drag.

Sometimes the boat swings 180*, in other words if you have 200 feet of chain out the boats position could change with the tide and you're 400 feet from where you set the alarm.

And, yes, when you turn a device off everything stops working.
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Old 22-10-2012, 14:50   #4
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

We set the anchor alarm on GPSMAP 76CS (Just another garmin) after the anchor is set and firmly dug in. When doing this you're setting a radius of allowable movement.
I usually set it for 250' regardless of the amount of chain I've got out (with exceptions based on the size of the anchorage or the pack mentality of my fellow anchorees). This allows me to sleep through the night without all the annoying beeps when the unit thinks it's covered 75' at 60knots for a half a second, but it will alert me (most of the time, scope dependent) on a substantial wind shift that will cause me to keep an eye on the anchor for a while.

But you need to do whatever works for you. Just remember all the anchor alarm is doing is letting you know if you leave a circle of a radius of your choosing, and it needs to be on to work.
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Old 22-10-2012, 14:53   #5
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

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I never used the anchor spark. I prefered to anchor in such a manner that the boat wouldn't drag.
Dragging at anchor is like running aground- if you haven't done it, boat some more, sooner or later you will.

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Old 22-10-2012, 15:39   #6
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

I ended up getting the (over priced) DC cord for my Garmin hand held as it would use a set of batts before I woke in the AM. Pretty worthless that way eh?

Maybe I sleep too much.........
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Old 22-10-2012, 15:43   #7
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

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Dragging at anchor is like running aground- if you haven't done it, boat some more, sooner or later you will.

David
In the 22 years of sailing including 9 years cruising, I've been there and done that. Sorry to intrude with actual experience.
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Old 22-10-2012, 15:57   #8
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

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In the 22 years of sailing including 9 years cruising, I've been there and done that. Sorry to intrude with actual experience.
In 22 years of sailing you've never once had an anchor drag an inch? Come on man.
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Old 22-10-2012, 16:02   #9
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

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In 22 years of sailing you've never once had an anchor drag an inch? Come on man.
Well, I'm sure he is also using an old Fisherman's anchor! Way too much of a sailor for us!
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Old 22-10-2012, 16:05   #10
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

I've never dragged an anchor in Galveston Bay........but I have spent up to an hour pulling one back out of the schmegma that constitutes the bottom of the bay.

We really only drug once while out cruising.......thin sand on limestone.
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Old 22-10-2012, 16:58   #11
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

I have a Garmin GPS, same as yours and have spent hundreds of sleep filled nights in new places due to it, This is what I have done, set your anchor correctly and multiply the scope x 3 or where you set anchor x 2(this will give you a 50% grey area and keep the alarm from waking you if you barely swing out of bounds) Buy a 12v power supply ($30 or so and you want need batteries) and have it close to your bunk so you can reach it. If you set the tracking you can wake up and see everywhere you have swung and where you are right now. Sleep tight! BTW always have a plan just in case the alarm goes off and you are dragging...yikes!
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Old 22-10-2012, 17:03   #12
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

FYI. There is a free iPhone app (DragQueen) that is an Anchor alarm. I have not used it.

https://itunes.apple.com/app/dragque...489294173?mt=8
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Old 22-10-2012, 17:35   #13
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

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In 22 years of sailing you've never once had an anchor drag an inch? Come on man.
If you would have read the post you'd have noted I said "been there done that", what part of that did you fail to understand?
And the nine years singelhanded cruising was spent on the hook. So, yes I've drug and had people drag into me and helped others when their boat drug.

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Old 22-10-2012, 17:38   #14
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

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FYI. There is a free iPhone app (DragQueen) that is an Anchor alarm. I have not used it.

https://itunes.apple.com/app/dragque...489294173?mt=8
I used DragQueen several times this summer. My routine was to carry the phone in my pocket and set the alarm from the bow when the anchor grounded. I would then set the distance for the amount of scope I put out so that it could handle swinging. The system seemed to work well, but was a power hog so would drain my aging and well-used iPhone 3G battery if I didn't plug it in overnight. It was still close enough to wake me without waking the entire anchorage. I assume the system was oversampling the location compared to the usual GPS location service and that was the cause for the power drain.
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Old 22-10-2012, 17:53   #15
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Re: Dragging anchor alarm on handheld GPS

We've been using iPhone app "Anchor Alert" for about a year now. Yes, with GPS running it's a power hog and is kept plugged in all night, but must draw less than the big Chartplotters.

We drop the anchor and then back down up in stages up to 2000 rpm to set it and always making sure there is no movement anywhere (visual or electronic). When we're satisified it's set properly, the "Anchor Alert" is activated with a circle of double the rode put out. That way a tide reversal isn't going to needlessly cause the alarm to activate.

I still get up and check everything at tide shift, but the little iPhone provides peace of mind that everything is where it should be.

Bill
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