Warning - long rant ahead about what not to do when anchoring!!
I was anchored off Balls Head
for the Sydney NYE fireworks.
It was a nightmare!
We got in early before any other boats in the area and still had to re-anchor once when we seemed to snag something on the bottom and started to drag. We were on my 38ft Ferro
Settee. (not my name, but apt)
We then spent the afternoon watching little finishing boats try and anchor. They would huck a tiny anchor, 1m of chain and a bit of line over the side and crack out the beer
We estimated we were in 5m of water
. At the rate some of these boats drifted past us we reckon that some didn't even put out enough rode to get the anchor to touch bottom!
Still, eventually they figured it out. It wasn't till a bit later a shiny new 40+ft Flybridge Rivera tried to anchor in a tiny spot upwind of us.
First they dragged back onto a little runabout. They didn't even notice till the guy pounded on the side. They backed off him and away from us and we though we were in the clear.
Once behind him they powered forward, anchor still down. It finally caught on something and swung them towards us. Rather than back off, the driver tried to steer against the anchor.
Seconds later, they hit our (wood) bowsprit
square on and sheered it almost entirely off. By this stage they put it into reverse and backed up, still caught on the bowsprit
, snapping the chain bobstay. at this stage all that was holding the bowprit on was gravity and the headstay!
As we frantically secured out anchor chain with a halyard
and roped the bowsprit on we noticed we were getting pulled forward. They had caught our anchor chain and were pulling us along behind them as they tried to anchor in the same spot.
After a lot of yelling they finally noticed they had hooked and and tried to back off. All that happened was they slid along our anchor chain and forcefully rafted up with us, fender
The anchor was still hooked on our chain and rather than pull it up and unhook it, the driver just kept powering forwards and back to try and free us. We even noticed him firing the bow thruster the wrong way, pushing his boat into ours...
Of course our stanchions got all bent up, our rub-rail torn up and some cracks put into our hull
. To add insult to injury, once they finally freed the anchor chain, they backed up as they swung around, hitting out rear hung rudder
with their swim platform, damaging our roped off tiller.
The crazy thing was the entire time the accident
was going on, the driver and his friends did not once make eye contact or say a single thing to us. At the end they took off without giving us any details.
Luckily a mate took pictures and video of the entire thing, plus a maritime boat witnessed it. Still pending the maritime getting their details for me though.
We also watched them try and anchor 7 more times. 2 of those times inside the marked exclusion zone! By the time we had everything roped down and checked they had disappeared and we couldn't dinghy
Later in the night we had a little ali runabout drift too close to our bow and catch the end of our hanging bobstay under their swim ladder. That slowed them down a bit!
And finally, at the end of the night it took us a solid hour to get our anchor up. Apparently having a giant powerboat yanking down on our anchor set it extremely well! Once we finally got it up it had another entire anchor attached, plus chain