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Old 01-07-2012, 07:34   #31
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

Anchor drag alarms are better set on reasonably basic gps units. The power consumption of these units is very low (0.2A or less). These units can be left on full time with little impact on overall power use. There are some (unusual) circumstances where boats can drag in quite light conditions. Even during the day there are times when no human watch is kept on position and the anchor alarm provides a perminant electronic alarm. Good insurance.

Like almost all equipment on the boat it is possible to manage without. But why would you want too? Most boats already have a sutable gps installed so I am genuinely puzzled why it is not used by some crusers.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:43   #32
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

i found anchor drag alarms work best AFTER the fact or too late to do much good---i found a true WATCH with eyeballs is a better tool--ye catch the dragging sooner.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:54   #33
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

pity the "cruiser" that tells me I have to move cuz too close.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:05   #34
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
i found anchor drag alarms work best AFTER the fact or too late to do much good---i found a true WATCH with eyeballs is a better tool--ye catch the dragging sooner.
I agree Zeehag. With a good set of transits you pick movement of only a couple of metres.
An anchor alarm is always watching out however. A frend of mine damaged and almost wrecked his boat when he dragged while changing the engine oil. If it set correctly the anchor alarm pick movement of a couple of boat lengths, without any false alarms, which is early enough in most cases.

The other advantage of an anchor alarm is you can tell imediatly, 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.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:09   #35
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

with the guy i sailed the gom with, i could FEEL the boat drag before it was visible--isnt difficult to get that sensitive to it...has weird feeling when not stuck.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:17   #36
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Seems to me that chart plotter and anchor drag alarms didn't come into play until about 10 years ago. How did we manage before then?
At the risk of answering what may have been intended as a rhetorical question: we managed before then by posting an anchor watch.

Go back far enough into the days of sail, and it would have been considered shoddy seamanship not to keep a proper watch while on the hook, even in benign conditions. This idea that everybody gets to go to sleep at once is a fairly modern preposition. Yes, you can thank anchor alarms for much of it, but you can also fault the gradual degradation of standards for keeping a proper watch.

(By the way, I've been keeping electronic anchor watches for at least three decades. Used to be pretty simple to set an anchor alarm to the depth sounder, back in the days before chart plotters.)
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:18   #37
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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with the guy i sailed the gom with, i could FEEL the boat drag before it was visible--isnt difficult to get that sensitive to it...has weird feeling when not stuck.
My experiance with a multihull is you turn sideways to the wind and make about 6kts. A change in motion easily felt. Have never dragged slowly or in light wind.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:19   #38
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

The other secondary advantage of a well set anchor alarm is that you always know where your anchor is.
In crowded anchorages the common problem is not other boats anchoring too close to your boat, but dropping their anchor close to yours. This causes more anchoring collisions than anything else.
At the moment my anchor is slightly behind me and 2 boat lengths on my port side. Another boat could easily and reasonably, drop their anchor in the same position as mine, as they reversed back their boat would be 4-6 boat lengths away from me. If the wind picked up so the chain straightened we will collide despite the apparent adequate separation.
Knowing the location of your anchor will avoid these problems.

Electronics are not essential, but they provide lots of useful information if you know how to use them.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:21   #39
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

is funny but i KNOW where my anchor is sans electronix......it doesnt move after i set it.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:24   #40
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

I agree electronics are useful. I just had a problem with saying minimum requirements for cruising would be radar, chartplotter and anchor alarm. Stating that could in my opinion ruin the chances for cruising for a lot of people who would take this to heart and not be able to afford it.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:26   #41
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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My experiance with a multihull is you turn sideways to the wind and make about 6kts. A change in motion easily felt. Have never dragged slowly or in light wind.
Yes you can often feel the change, particularly if the anchor lets go completely, but I have seen experienced crusers drag with no idea it's happening. Many are even skeptical when you tell them, especially with a slow drag where the anchor remains set.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:33   #42
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Seems to me that chart plotter and anchor drag alarms didn't come into play until about 10 years ago. How did we manage before then? Don't get me wrong you should use whatever you feel comfortable using but to call them minimum requirements for cruising? Give me a break. That is just another monetary obstacle to put in front of someone who wants to go cruising. Good ground tackle and anchoring skills in my book are minimum requirements.

Maybe there were more collisions ...
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:36   #43
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Maybe there were more collisions ...
Or maybe less as people were in the cockpit watching the surroundings rather than being inside watching their electronic screen?
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:36   #44
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Anchor drag alarms are better set on reasonably basic gps units. The power consumption of these units is very low (0.2A or less). These units can be left on full time with little impact on overall power use. There are some (unusual) circumstances where boats can drag in quite light conditions. Even during the day there are times when no human watch is kept on position and the anchor alarm provides a perminant electronic alarm. Good insurance.

Like almost all equipment on the boat it is possible to manage without. But why would you want too? Most boats already have a sutable gps installed so I am genuinely puzzled why it is not used by some crusers.

The drag alarm on my chartplotter is so quiet that it can't be heard in the cabin. I have a backup handheld that I use for that purpose. I can put it right next to my head when I sleep. But I also move away from the pack, and to the lee. Unfortunately wind shifts, so I like to have a backup plan.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:41   #45
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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i found anchor drag alarms work best AFTER the fact or too late to do much good---i found a true WATCH with eyeballs is a better tool--ye catch the dragging sooner.
But don't you singlehand a lot? You can't stay up all day and all night ...

Well, you probably could for a night or even two, but not as a way of life.
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