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Old 12-07-2012, 04:11   #136
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

Funny indeed. I love watching husband and wife teams in a tight spot trying to moor up. The dialogue usualy goes like this,

Wife = ok love, just tell me what to do.

Husband = be ready to fend off against the quay wall hun

W = ok...

H = we're getting close, are you ready?

W = for what?

H= to fend off!

W = to what?

H = a fender, grab a fender and get it on the side quick!

W= WHAT?

H = get a bloody fender, we're about to hit the wall!

W = dont you talk to me like that!

H = jesus.....

CRUNCH
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Old 24-02-2014, 12:17   #137
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Very true if you use an anchor buoy (and try not too in a crowded anchorage) always use a weaklink ( I use a thin cable tie) 6 feet below the surface. This also stops someone mooring to your anchor float.
If you arrange it correctly ithe rope will be long enough that you can still reach below the weaklink and therefore have a strong rope that can be used to pull the anchor out backwards.
Just came across this old thread accidentally, better late than never !

Good point, N77.

I recall doing this once in a crowded anchorage (a situation I try to avoid)

and in addition I hitched a small but strong float (one of those aluminium water or fuel containers used by climbers, with a ring integral with the stopper) to the end of the line, below the weak link, in order to be able to grapple for the tripping line if an errant boat did carry away the main float.
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Old 25-02-2014, 12:32   #138
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

Saw one of the best anchoring methods by a charter boat. Come roaring into anchorage at 6 knots, rapidly drop anchor while still motoring forward, anchor chain rubbing down side of boat until it digs in. Boat spins 180, anchor chain tight, engine off. They had done it a few times as some of the gel coat had disappeared.
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Old 25-02-2014, 13:14   #139
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerrycooper56 View Post
Saw one of the best anchoring methods by a charter boat. Come roaring into anchorage at 6 knots, rapidly drop anchor while still motoring forward, anchor chain rubbing down side of boat until it digs in. Boat spins 180, anchor chain tight, engine off. They had done it a few times as some of the gel coat had disappeared.
Done that quite a bit sailing-in the anchor. Works quite well, but you have to develop your technique to not scar the side of your boat!
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Old 25-02-2014, 14:16   #140
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I agree Zeehag. With a good set of transits you pick movement of only a couple of metres.
<SNIP>
The other advantage of an anchor alarm is you can tell immediately, if the wind changes direction, if the distance to the anchor is greater than the scope. In these circumstances an anchor alarm provides an earlier alarm than transits.
There are also many occasions when the wind and rain are so bad that shore is completely obscured making gps and radar the only options.
While I was away, Noelex77 made a telling point (well, several, to be fair) in this typically succinct yet meaty post. (Thanks, mate!)

What I used to do, pre GPS, on arrival at an anchorage was firstly to note a suitable transit (at least one) when lying to the anchor from the current breeze. This was fairly standard practice around here, not just a personal habit.

However, if I had any concerns about holding AND the weather was showing signs of a change, I would then use the motor to lie to the anchor, head to the EXPECTED wind direction, and note one or more new transits.

At the time, that didn't seem like a grave imposition on my time (when cruising, I've found the supply of time is usually quite elastic), so it wouldn't cause me great grief if I had to revert to it, EXCEPT for N77's following point about transits being buggerall use when visibility shuts down.

It is also not always possible to infer, in an unfamiliar anchorage, what the relationship will be between a particular future wind direction aloft, and the wind on the hook

This difficulty is compounded by my perception that weather patterns seem increasingly disrupted since about the end of millennium, so that I feel less confident in my predictions than I once did, in spite of more detailed forecasts. Ten or more years ago, their reliability (I reckon) peaked round these parts.

Surrounded as we are by ocean which is almost devoid of shipping for thousands of miles in almost every direction, I wonder if it is coincidental that their reliability seems to have declined since the QuikSCAT satellite service came to an end. It was a fantastic asset to isolated island nations, and I am undyingly grateful to the US taxpayers for those glorious years.

I still consider that the earliest warning of a drag, assuming the anchor was ever set properly in the first place, is the behaviour of the boat.

The way it turns its head away from the wind, surreptitiously but implacably, reminds me of a horse in the early phases of deciding it will refuse a jump, or --although here the similarity is less striking-- the subtle but mounting, unmistakable restlessness of the main boom (a bit like a small child needing to pee) when it is wondering about flicking across in a gybe.

It's unlike 'sailing at anchor', although it can be mistaken for it early in the swing. The difference is that, unless the gust dies, the (ship's) head does not start angling back towards the wind. Also, the boat does not acquire any headway, and this makes the 'feel' perceptibly different.

And this will tell you you're dragging earlier even than transits, and certainly earlier than technology, with the added advantage that you can generally feel it from anywhere in the boat. (Because if there's enough breeze to drag a suitable, properly set anchor, there will be perceptible wave action, which telegraphs the boat's angle relative to the wind direction, through the 'body language' of the boat, with considerable sensitivity)

I've more than once been sitting around a saloon table with no view of the surroundings when several people have leapt to their feet at the same moment, saying "We're dragging!". Moments before, everyone was totally focussed on conviviality.

And often experienced sailors will wake up spontaneously, particularly solo sailors, unless overtired (which goes with the job description, more's the pity).

Or at least they used to ... possibly this faculty has been blunted by technology, of late.
My personal ideal would be to retain both. I'm a big fan of redundancy, but it's always a challenge to minimise resultant degradation of capability.
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Old 25-02-2014, 18:23   #141
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

I almost always take hand bearing reading off the two entry point ahen anchoring. Also might note the compass reading of entry. Been blown out of more than one anchorage in the dark, even though it was dead calm earlier. Radar is great in that situation too!
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Old 25-02-2014, 19:31   #142
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
I almost always take hand bearing reading off the two entry point ahen anchoring. Also might note the compass reading of entry. Been blown out of more than one anchorage in the dark, even though it was dead calm earlier. Radar is great in that situation too!
Same, we write in the log book the range of safe headings to steer out of the anchorage. So if we ever wake up to dragging on a dark and stormy night, we know what to steer to get away safely.
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Old 25-02-2014, 21:09   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post

While I was away, Noelex77 made a telling point (well, several, to be fair) in this typically succinct yet meaty post. (Thanks, mate!)

What I used to do, pre GPS, on arrival at an anchorage was firstly to note a suitable transit (at least one) when lying to the anchor from the current breeze. This was fairly standard practice around here, not just a personal habit.

However, if I had any concerns about holding AND the weather was showing signs of a change, I would then use the motor to lie to the anchor, head to the EXPECTED wind direction, and note one or more new transits.

At the time, that didn't seem like a grave imposition on my time (when cruising, I've found the supply of time is usually quite elastic), so it wouldn't cause me great grief if I had to revert to it, EXCEPT for N77's following point about transits being buggerall use when visibility shuts down.

It is also not always possible to infer, in an unfamiliar anchorage, what the relationship will be between a particular future wind direction aloft, and the wind on the hook

This difficulty is compounded by my perception that weather patterns seem increasingly disrupted since about the end of millennium, so that I feel less confident in my predictions than I once did, in spite of more detailed forecasts. Ten or more years ago, their reliability (I reckon) peaked round these parts.

Surrounded as we are by ocean which is almost devoid of shipping for thousands of miles in almost every direction, I wonder if it is coincidental that their reliability seems to have declined since the QuikSCAT satellite service came to an end. It was a fantastic asset to isolated island nations, and I am undyingly grateful to the US taxpayers for those glorious years.

I still consider that the earliest warning of a drag, assuming the anchor was ever set properly in the first place, is the behaviour of the boat.

The way it turns its head away from the wind, surreptitiously but implacably, reminds me of a horse in the early phases of deciding it will refuse a jump, or --although here the similarity is less striking-- the subtle but mounting, unmistakable restlessness of the main boom (a bit like a small child needing to pee) when it is wondering about flicking across in a gybe.

It's unlike 'sailing at anchor', although it can be mistaken for it early in the swing. The difference is that, unless the gust dies, the (ship's) head does not start angling back towards the wind. Also, the boat does not acquire any headway, and this makes the 'feel' perceptibly different.

And this will tell you you're dragging earlier even than transits, and certainly earlier than technology, with the added advantage that you can generally feel it from anywhere in the boat. (Because if there's enough breeze to drag a suitable, properly set anchor, there will be perceptible wave action, which telegraphs the boat's angle relative to the wind direction, through the 'body language' of the boat, with considerable sensitivity)

I've more than once been sitting around a saloon table with no view of the surroundings when several people have leapt to their feet at the same moment, saying "We're dragging!". Moments before, everyone was totally focussed on conviviality.

And often experienced sailors will wake up spontaneously, particularly solo sailors, unless overtired (which goes with the job description, more's the pity).

Or at least they used to ... possibly this faculty has been blunted by technology, of late.
My personal ideal would be to retain both. I'm a big fan of redundancy, but it's always a challenge to minimise resultant degradation of capability.
All good practices. During my first decade of cruising with a CQR, I developed exactly the same techniques. Finding transits is the only way to see immediate where you are and whether you are moving without electronics or HBC, so I think it's essential to situational awareness at anchor.

Spend enough time anchored to a CQR and most people will learn to perceive the sickening early signs of dragging - head falling off, chain rumbling, different motion. Practice, as they say, makes perfect

We are spoiled nowadays, as after our CQRs have been melted down for rebar, most of us start to forget what it is like to drag an anchor. I guess I've spent 500 nights anchored to Spades or Rocnas in all kinds of bottoms and all kinds of weather, and never dragged once in all those years. Nevertheless, I sleep with one eye open and senses attuned to motion and sounds, and peek at my transits every couple of hours through a port - in my opinion, it's a good habit.
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Old 26-02-2014, 09:15   #144
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

Early on in a somewhat checkered career as a delivery and larger boat skipper, I had anchored a client's boat in Montague Harbor in the Canadian Gulf Islands. Like Zee, I took a couple of transit sites, entered them in the log and involved myself in some other activities aboard. I checked our position a couple of times, entered our position in the log and turned in. About 2:00am, there was a crash and I went on deck to find that another powerboat had dragged down on us in the night... no damage to our vessel but an ugly scrape and toerail damage to the other boat.
The whole incident ended up in court in Victoria, BC about a year later mainly because the boat that hit us was owned by a fat assed attorney who felt he had a chance to collect a few $. While the judge found in our favor, I'll never forget the comment of the judge when he read his findings. He told me that because I held a license, he held me to a higher standard than the other party who just a legal dickhead (my words). Had I not written the position and transit data in the ships log and recorded that I checked our position after anchoring, he would have held me and my client at least partially responsible but the ships log info was instrumental in holding me and my client harmless for liability in the incident.
Lessons learned was to document your position and, if you are licensed, you better be prepared to be held to a higher standard of seamanship. Good thread! Phil
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Old 26-02-2014, 09:33   #145
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

Quote:
Originally Posted by msponer View Post
Same, we write in the log book the range of safe headings to steer out of the anchorage. So if we ever wake up to dragging on a dark and stormy night, we know what to steer to get away safely.
Surprising how easy this is vs. the number of skippers practicing it....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Early on in a somewhat checkered career as a delivery and larger boat skipper, I had anchored a client's boat in Montague Harbor in the Canadian Gulf Islands. Like Zee, I took a couple of transit sites, entered them in the log and involved myself in some other activities aboard. I checked our position a couple of times, entered our position in the log and turned in. About 2:00am, there was a crash and I went on deck to find that another powerboat had dragged down on us in the night... no damage to our vessel but an ugly scrape and toerail damage to the other boat.
The whole incident ended up in court in Victoria, BC about a year later mainly because the boat that hit us was owned by a fat assed attorney who felt he had a chance to collect a few $. While the judge found in our favor, I'll never forget the comment of the judge when he read his findings. He told me that because I held a license, he held me to a higher standard than the other party who just a legal dickhead (my words). Had I not written the position and transit data in the ships log and recorded that I checked our position after anchoring, he would have held me and my client at least partially responsible but the ships log info was instrumental in holding me and my client harmless for liability in the incident.
Lessons learned was to document your position and, if you are licensed, you better be prepared to be held to a higher standard of seamanship. Good thread! Phil
Great story and lesson Phil !
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Old 27-02-2014, 03:50   #146
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

Responding to a post about the risk of someone motoring over your anchor buoy and catching it in their rudder/keel or winching it up with their prop, N77 wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Very true if you use an anchor buoy (and try not too in a crowded anchorage) always use a weaklink ( I use a thin cable tie) 6 feet below the surface. This also stops someone mooring to your anchor float.
If you arrange it correctly ithe rope will be long enough that you can still reach below the weaklink and therefore have a strong rope that can be used to pull the anchor out backwards.
Another option, rather than a weak link, is a whole string of them, in the form of a plastic chain (available from hardware stores) for the surface 6 or 10 feet. This way some sealawyer won't try to recover the price of damage to their prop ... (Sure it's their fault, but justice can be blind to subtleties - just ask Captain Phil !)

and it might just be YOUR prop, on a dark night when a sudden change blows through the anchorage ...

a plastic chain will just smash, and not entangle your prop as the line above N77's weak link might do.

Again, a strong float below the weak chain is desirable for recovery; the plastic chain can take up the rise and fall of the tide, and the line from the sunken float to the anchor crown can remain in tension from the buoyancy of the float.

Best way I know to grapple a sunken float (if the anchor needs tripping) is with two lines bridling outwards from a single grapple. One end can stay on the boat (but may have to be played in and out) and the other in a rowboat which heads out to about twice as far from the bow as the float, well to one side of it, then turns 90 deg and rows in an arc ...

but it's easier with two dinghies: both start at the bow, and one rows towards half past ten oclock and the other towards half past one oclock.

ON EDIT: one thing people sometimes forget about floats intended for submersion: if there's any chance of them going to any significant depth, inflatable soft floats (like fenders) will collapse and sink. That's one reason I like aluminium water bottles.
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Old 27-02-2014, 03:59   #147
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

I should perhaps point out, in response to Dockhead's gentle ribbing, that my encyclopedic experience of dragging has been acquired almost entirely on other peoples' boats.

I can only ever recall dragging twice on my own boat, and once was when the anchor inserted itself into the side of an IMMENSE horse mussel.
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Old 27-02-2014, 04:26   #148
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
I should perhaps point out, in response to Dockhead's gentle ribbing, that my encyclopedic experience of dragging has been acquired almost entirely on other peoples' boats.

I can only ever recall dragging twice on my own boat, and once was when the anchor inserted itself into the side of an IMMENSE horse mussel.
You are a far better anchorer than I am, then, or than I was. I have dragged anchor on my own boat (or on charter boats) dozens of times, scores of times. Basically any time the wind kicked up overnight, I was sure to drag, my first years cruising.

The fault was not only the miserable CQR's. It also took some years before I really learned how to properly set an anchor -- that fact should also be laid on the table. Part of the problem was that I learned from my father, who believed very strongly in "leaving well enough alone" -- so if there was a perceptible jerk from the anchor, as far as he was concerned, it was set, and he didn't want to risk unsetting it by backing down on it too hard. It took me years to understand how wrong this was. Now, like Poiu, I mercilessly bash my anchor, just daring it to pop out. Full power for at least a couple of minutes (blows out the carbon in the engine, as a bonus) and often in different directions. After building up slowly, slowly working the anchor into the seabed with gradually increasing revs.

To this day, my father cringes when I do that ("Are you crazy? Why are you doing that? You might pull the anchor out, and then we'll have to start all over again!"), but I know now that it is the only right way. If the anchor can't withstand everything your engine can throw at it, you have no business lying to it. Better it pops out while you're testing it, than at night.

And I do all the setting and testing at reduced scope -- about 3:1. After all that is done and the anchor hasn't budged, then I let out the rest of the scope and put on a snubber. Only then is the command issued to splice the mainbrace, and not a minute before.
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Old 27-02-2014, 04:37   #149
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

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He told me that because I held a license, he held me to a higher standard than the other party who just a legal dickhead (my words).
And that Phil, is about the one reason why I always hoist an anchor ball at anchor, and display the inverted cone when motor sailing.
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Old 27-02-2014, 08:31   #150
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

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After all that is done and the anchor hasn't budged, then I let out the rest of the scope and put on a snubber. Only then is the command issued to splice the mainbrace, and not a minute before.
Nice!!!
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