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Old 16-01-2011, 15:21   #1
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Anchorage Etiquette


A question came up recently after reading through the threads posted, is there anchorage etiquette beyond obvious safety issues? First boat, second boat etc.? I'm also wondering about rafting up?

Need to learn all I can from experienced sailors out there.
Appreciate the edumacation.
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Old 16-01-2011, 15:23   #2
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Well, I wouldn't raft up to anyone without being invited first...

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Old 16-01-2011, 15:51   #3
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Last one to drop his anchor must move if asked.
Sure as you don't, at 3 a.m. you may end up close and unfriendly with the guy who has ten times as much chain out as you. That sort of person who puts out 30 :1 rode is usually the grumpiest guy in the anchorage even before you bumped into his boat.

If the anchorage is empty, don't anchor on top of the only other boat there. "On top of" can mean different things to different people.

In Sydney OTO means throwing out some fenders and rafting up to a stranger. In northern Oz, to some people OTO means "if I can see your boat, YOU'RE TOO BLOODY CLOSE."

Also don't forget sounds travels over water extremely well so don't turn your favourite Metallica CD way up or loudly criticise another boater's home, anchoring techniques or wife in that order.
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Old 16-01-2011, 15:58   #4
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As long as you do not anchor upwind and upcurrent from us, you can do whatever you like. And, please, when in an anchorage like a vast airfield, take up a spot at the opposite end as some of us are neither French nor Arab.

Thank you ;-)

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Old 16-01-2011, 16:27   #5
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A good question. As anchorages become more and more crowded, it becomes more important that we learn how to get along with each other on the hook.

A few guidelines:

1. The first boat sets the pattern. If Boat #1 anchors bow and stern, Boat #2 should follow suit (unless it's so far away from the first boat that it won't make a difference what it does.)

2. Don't use an anchor marker just to show others where your anchor was set. It's one thing to buoy a trip line if you're worried about a rocky bottom, but if all you're doing is "marking turf" with your marker, you deserve to get someone else's marker wrapped around your prop.

3. Ask, when you come in, how much rode the boat you're planning to anchor beside has out. If he's at 7:1, you should be at 7:1.

4. Don't set ridiculous amounts of rode. Setting 150' of chain in 10' of water indicates that you're either clueless or just plain weird.

5. Consider it a point of good manners to use a proper anchor light. If I get up in the middle of the night to do an anchor check, it helps to be able to see your boat without having to go topside and actually search.

6. Count to ten before you spout off that someone's too close. People from different anchoring cultures have different comfort zones. Always consider the possibility that the bloke who just anchored five boat-lengths away might have an ice maker and a killer recipe for frozen margaritas. Or crew who sunbathe topless.

7. If you have a generator and have to choose whether to anchor to one side of me or the other, please choose to anchor on the side where I'm least likely to hear and/or smell your generator.

8. If you are a fan of hip hop or country music, please use headphones.

9. If you have a Y-valve, switch it to use the holding tank until you're back out in blue water.

10. Have adequate ground tackle aboard and know how to use it. Dragging into someone else's boat should be considered the height of bad anchoring etiquette.
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Old 16-01-2011, 16:50   #6
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3. Ask, when you come in, how much rode the boat you're planning to anchor beside has out. If he's at 7:1, you should be at 7:1.

.

I prefer to ask them how much rode they have out instead. I also like to ask what type of anchor they are using.
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Old 16-01-2011, 17:26   #7
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Don't forget "chain or line" Each boat will act different with...

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Old 16-01-2011, 17:43   #8
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Quote:
is there anchorage etiquette beyond obvious safety issues?
If you need etiquette to resolve the anchorage - there are too many boats! It's the clue that you should be some place else. When you get too many boats then stuff happens. Anchorages will expand beyond what is reasonable.

Skippers that are poor at anchoring:

1. Arrive late.
2. Never set the hook properly if there is going to be heavy weather.
3. Are loud late at night.
4. Are sure to choose a spot too close to you OR will be as far as possible away from you and then drag and hit only you.
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Old 16-01-2011, 17:56   #9
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svstrider - YES!
barnaliel - YEA!
D-O-J - YES!
Bash - YES!!
Don Lucas - YES!
dkal - YES!

My God, there really are people who know how to anchor! A rarity indeed in a lot of anchorages we've been in. Oh yes, and don't forget the very important "stay away from me stare" as they are searching out a spot for their anchor. Actually I find it much more productive to call the boat just entering the anchorage and welcome them, then let them know if I am hanging straight back from the hook or off to one side because the current has moved you since the hood was set. It eases the tension and makes it more likely they will talk to you before dropping their anchor right on top of yours. I've found that MOST boaters apreciate the call.

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Old 16-01-2011, 18:18   #10
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Pblais' point about poor anchorers arriving late is well taken. I've certainly done it.

My biggest all-time breach of anchoring etiquette happened one night when I sailed in through the Golden Gate around 0200h. My slip was down in Redwood City in those days, and I was too exhausted to make it that far, so we sailed over to Belvedere Cove and dropped the hook. I figured that it would be more quiet there than in Richardson Bay if we wanted to sleep late.

I was awakened the following morning by the sound of a shotgun going off. Discovered myself to be anchored directly between the starting pin and committee boat, and there were at least a hundred race boats running back and forth on the start line.

Wonderblond: "What should we do?"
Bash: "Make coffee."

We watched as twelve different classes started at five-minute intervals, with our boat anchored dead in the middle of the start line. It took a full hour to start all the boats.

The race committee came by after the last start, and apologized for setting the line through our anchorage. They'd assumed that we were there for the race, and it never occurred to them that we were cruisers.

That was back before I had a wind generator.

Another good reason for a wind generator: let the racers know you're not one of them.
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Old 16-01-2011, 18:33   #11
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Been anchoring now for over 30 years. What I learned the first year and validated that learning over all the other years is

there ain't no anchoring etiquette, no how, no way!!!

Sure it sounds good. Last one in, first to move etc.... yeah right on.

Scope???? Another yeah right on!!! A.. holes come into an enclosed harbor with a 2' tide drop over 150 feet of 3/8" three strand holding a 12# Danforth in 10 feet of water. They slip and bang into every thing and everyone. Really tangles up everybody's rodes.

The best suggestion I have is to avoid being next to anybody if at all possible. And that does not always work. I have had boats bang into my bow in a storm claiming "hey---your anchor slipped and you better move!" No, their anchor slipped and the wind propelled their boat backwards into mine.

I saw a couple of girls one year at Nantucket anchored before 3rd point. They had to have 200 feet of rode out. When they drifted near another anchored boat they called the Coast Guard who actually towed the other boat away! Weird!

One should carry adequate anchoring rode, chain or line and a good anchor for the bottoms encountered. Beyond that, common courtesy and an offer to help if need be is the easiest way.

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Old 16-01-2011, 18:40   #12
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Besides the valid thoughts above, and giving as much room to other boats as the anchorage allows, (EVEN moving on at night IF the anchorage is already FULL), avoid making ANY ongoing unpleasant noise, that can carry as far as the nearest boat. (say... 150')? Sound carries SO far on the water, and boats are so "sound transparent", especially with all hatches open or when hanging out in the cockpit. This means... NO loud music, jetskis, angry screaming at spouses, barking dogs, or Air-X wind generators! NOT when you are sharing an anchorage with others.

Cruising requires a totally different mindset from the land life. None of us are on "OUR property" any more, or "has a right to"... We are all sharing the space together, and with enough consideration to one another, we can all enjoy the experience.

And of coarse... ALWAYS set the hook for a gale! I've had 60+ knots of wind, in an evening thunderstorm, over 25 times!

Cruising, more than any other lifestyle, is what we make it...
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Old 16-01-2011, 18:49   #13
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Maybe it would help if you had the meanest, strongest looking boat in the anchorage. Bump into me? What, me worry? Too bad about your gelcoat.
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Old 16-01-2011, 18:55   #14
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Funniest one I came across was Olhau in Portugal... theres limited anchorage right by the old marina for 5-6 sailboats with co-operation...
5 of us were anchored happily when this old French guy came along in a 32ft steel boat... dropped his hook and proceeded to drag his way across scattering 3 boats in the process... he moved real slow which did not help any either..
Anyway this carried on midst much cursing till only two of us were left.. me n him... me in a 2001 Bendi vs his 32ft steel of undeterminal vintage.. his accuracy was unbelievable... within 20mins of setting his anchor he was bearing down on my bow.. beam on... anyway.. managed to avert disaster and told him to motor round and I'd come in the dinghy and sort out the hook...
He had 3 x 5lb Danforths in line and 20ft of chain after that... then just rope... no way was he going to hold.. so I told him to head for the quay where the other boats had escaped to.
And once again they scattered as he headed in....LMAO
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Old 16-01-2011, 19:20   #15
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2. Don't use an anchor marker just to show others where your anchor was set. It's one thing to buoy a trip line if you're worried about a rocky bottom, but if all you're doing is "marking turf" with your marker, you deserve to get someone else's marker wrapped around your prop.
Are you sure about this one? I'll mark mine as a "courtesy" to others and like similar when arriving so I can estimate rode. It also helps to take a belt and braces/suspenders approach just because
a) I have it in the anchor locker
b) I may have deficiencies in sailing, but they are in the words of Donald Rumsfeld "unknown unknowns" rather than "known unknowns" (or is that round the other way???) i.e. I don't want to be the breakfast entertainment (although of course there is nothing better than a cup of coffee on a quiet morning and that "What do you think they're doing now?" conversation on your own boat as you watch soimeone else try and depart (or sometimes beer at sunset watching an arrival).

I don't like mooring "near" someone for genset/privacy reasons, and will avoid it, but by the same token I'm not going to go way too far away from a boat that bears a local hailing port when the exact conditions are unknown and I sumise (almost always) that there may be some local knowledge benefit. Also if I'm going into a cove and there is another fin keeled monohull sailboat boat with some freeboard I'm going to use that as a reference for my anchor watch and also I know I'm going to swing on tide and wind in a similar fashion. If I take a large empty expanse I'm risking the later arrival of an RV of the sea alongside (worst case) or just a lower freeboard boat with a full keel etc and another variable to consider that night.

Birds of a feather etc.
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