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Old 19-11-2007, 15:18   #1
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Question re GPS & Anchor Alarms ...

... I just purchased a new Jeanneau 36i with a Raymarine C80, Radar, AIS, etc. However, I want to buy a hand-held GPS to use at night as an anchor alarm so as not to drain my house batteries by leaving the chart plotter on all night. Do I need to go this route, and if so, any suggestions on which model?


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Old 19-11-2007, 15:45   #2
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I would like to hear the experiences of those that use anchor alarms. I anchor six months a year and never use one. I have dragged once or twice but always am awake and in the cockpit before dragging. It's usually when it's really honking and in poor holding. I doubt if I would hear the beep beep in those circumstances. I know some keep the gps on all night with the alarm on. In really bad blows I usually stay in the cockpit, especially in crowded anchorages where scope is often restricted. As for the C80, I think the draw is minimal and keeping it on all night should not draw down a properly sized battery bank. In bad weather I will try to establish a range with a tree or some other landmark on the shore and something further inshore such as a clump of rocks or if there's houses, a corner of a house. You can usually make this out even on the darkest nights. You'll know you're dragging when this range opens up. I've done this often in Nassau harbour where the holding is not the best. It's best to be in the cockpit because you have to worry more about others dragging down on you than dragging yourself.

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Old 19-11-2007, 16:14   #3
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Ambiance, we use a hand held Garmin and have used it on many occasions. It has alerted us a few times and sometimes it is just piece of mind. The down side is the alarm must be set at the spot you drop the anchor and not after it is set. Then set your limits. If you don't do it that way the alarm will go off every time you swing a bit. If you set it at the drop point then it won't alarm in your swing circle. We also use our radar to monitor our position and let us know when someone is dragging down on us if we are in a crowded anchorage.
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Old 19-11-2007, 16:25   #4
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We use it always

We use the anchor alarm on the Chartplotter always. It draws less than an amp with the screen turned off. Our bunk is aft right under the cockpit and with a port open we hear the beeper quite well. With our previous anchor it went off a couple of times, but we upgraded to a bigger and better anchor and since then it hasn't gone off. But I figure there's no downside to having it on, so it is always on at anchor. We have a handheld GPS backup and on the odd really noisy windy night we have also set it on alarm in the bunk right over our heads.

We also don't set the alarm until we've let out enough scope and power set the anchor and know it's well hooked. The alarm saved our bacon this year in a really tight anchorage when the wind swung 180 degrees. It moved to the only direction it could get us from and piped way up, neither of which was in the forecast.
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Old 19-11-2007, 18:49   #5
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we use the garmin 176 hand held as an anchor alarm. I just used the cable they provided and grabbed 12v off the reading light in the berth.
Denny and Diane
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Old 19-11-2007, 20:02   #6
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Been there done that:

Used anchor alarms in the past, but not anymore:

We sleep in the v-berth and just forward of the mast.
A gale or a squall will wake us up before the alarm due to the howling in the rig and the wave action.

IF ya have a bad anchor and IF ya anchor over bad holding grounds, then by all means, set the alarm, or even better, set an anchor watch in the cockpit. (Usually yerself spending the night in the elements, it could however save the boat)

The secondary alarm is the depth-sounder:
It may not squak as often as a sensitive GPS when the boat moves, only when the depth goes from 10 to 6 feet.

Or skip all of them alarms, just get a good and over-sized anchor, then set it with full power astern, then go to sleep...
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Old 19-11-2007, 20:19   #7
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Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Been there done that:

Used anchor alarms in the past, but not anymore
Or skip all of them alarms, just get a good and over-sized anchor, then set it with full power astern, then go to sleep...
I agree with CSY Man. A bullet proof anchor made my gps anchor alarm obsolete. When I went to a 70 pound Buegel anchor, I finally slept like a baby. It didn't matter if there was a wind shift, because the Buegel anchor always reset without a problem.

I found that my radar was more useful than my gps. I knew that my anchor wasn't going to move, but their were plenty of yachts with undersized ground tackle that drifted my way in bad weather. The radar made it possible to keep track of those yachts suffering from unwarranted optimism with their puny anchors.

I also found that radar was useful when I anchored near reefs and coral heads. Before I went to sleep at night, I marked my position on the radar relative to fixed structures in the bay. so if I did drag, I could motor back to where I was previously anchored knowing that I wouldn't hit a reef or coral head in the dark.

A radar and a seventy pound anchor did wonders for my sleep at night.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 19-11-2007, 21:45   #8
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Anchor alarm

Have recently sailed from San Diego to Samoa via Marquesas andd various Pacific islands, and always set an anchor alarm using the plotter.
the plotter is an E80 which has an output to connect to a much louder external alarm - very desirable. Unfortunately the C80 does not have this output.

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