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Old 02-07-2012, 08:47   #91
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
I've installed one of the GSM car alarms that are widely available on Ebay for peace of mind ashore (admittedly, I'm never completely at peace when the boat is at anchor and I'm not aboard). These are 12v and very low power draw (since it's meant for a parked car). It will text my cell phone (assuming cell phone service) if any of the following occurs:

The boat goes out of the "geofence" GPS area. I set this tight enough that even a major wind/current shift triggers it.

A motion alarm in the cabin is activated

The battery voltage goes low (engine start or other big drain)

High water alarm

These alarms take any GSM chip (in the US make sure your unit works on US GSM frequencies). I use T-mobile for the chip which is $0.10 per text and no monthly charge (unused purchased minutes expire eventually and you have to buy more).

Carl

That's really pretty cool, Carl, and as I am headed with some friends to the Keys, I believe I will get one.

Thank you very, very much.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:52   #92
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

raku--we used an anchor alarm in dry tortugas. it NEVER sounded despite the constantly dragging situation we found secondary to hooking into a loose drift net we couldnt see from above.
there is NOTHING like EYEBALLS and a PROPER anchor watch. (unless one doesnt know how to take a bearing)

what tells you, when you are on shore, when your boat is dragging into rocks.....i hve watched many go to shore sans any kind of anchor watch being done. i would HOPE most cruisers would know some of these basics before leaving.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:16   #93
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
raku--we used an anchor alarm in dry tortugas. it NEVER sounded despite the constantly dragging situation .
The only explanation is that is was not set correctly Zeehag.
Next time you let out more anchor chain give it a test again. If correctly set it will go off when you have let out an extra 10-20m
if you are in a situation where a small amount of drag will cause a problem it can be set to 10m or even a bit less with a satellite differential fix without any false alarms. Not as good as noting transits, but it's watching 24 hours a day in all weather.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:21   #94
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

Personally, If I come into an anchorage that is "full" I move on! Imagine that. Most cruisers never think of that. Many think that there is "always" room for ONE more.

Also, I use 7 to one scope, as my light weight rode of 1/4" chain & 1/2" rope calls for it. With a anchoring success ratio of 1,000/1, FOR my current anchoring practices, it makes sense. Common sense, and personal preference, have me anchoring as far from the fleet as possible. My shallow draft, (3' bd up), and a fast dinghy, allow me to get off by myself, even if being slapped around because I'm NOT in the best spot.

With a 35' bridle, our Searunner tri, BTW, points DEAD into the wind, (sans current), and STAYS that way, even in a gale! This requires that we anchor even further from boats that don't do this. Over time, when the wind shifts, we do to, but much faster than monohulls that saw around a lot, but then move with wind shifts much slower, as their really heavy chain slowly arcs around to lay in a different direction.

Polite anchoring means doing WHATEVER is necessary to NOT drag, going as far away as possible when coming into an anchorage, and heading back out, even at night, if the anchorage is too full already.

M.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:23   #95
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

was set correctly--it didnt let us know when the actual dragging began--yet we could FEEL it before any message was sent to the machine. i so not trust em as i can see and feel the activity before the freeking thing squawks. yes--even in my sleep. mebbe because i been sailing for so long. mebbe because i am used to sleeping with one eye open -- like in hospital at work..LOL....

an anchor watch alarm is NOT the answer to dragging when you are on shore, raku--is it gonna call your cell fone to warn ye that your boat is on rocks???
if things change so hard and bad that you drag at 0300 when yer sleeping, are you certain you actually hooked well before you went to sleep or did you merely toss all overboard and assume it was set???
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:24   #96
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Tell me -- have you actually used one? Only sarcastically has it been suggested that it's any good for when you're not on the boat.

What it's good for is at 2AM if something has changed and you're dragging. I would rather swallow my pride, admit that I did not anchor perfects (apparently many people here have always anchored perfectly from the time they were 8 years old, and have never, ever, once, unexpectedly dragged. I applaud them!)

Seriously -- have you ever used one? If you haven't, then perhaps you shouldn't be telling people what's wrong with them. Just a thought.
Geeez I don't know how I've made it this far in life without one
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:51   #97
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Seriously -- have you ever used one? If you haven't, then perhaps you shouldn't be telling people what's wrong with them. Just a thought.
This seems to be a re-occurring problem here. Gospel opinions without facts.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:52   #98
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
raku--we used an anchor alarm in dry tortugas. it NEVER sounded despite the constantly dragging situation we found secondary to hooking into a loose drift net we couldnt see from above.
there is NOTHING like EYEBALLS and a PROPER anchor watch. (unless one doesnt know how to take a bearing)

what tells you, when you are on shore, when your boat is dragging into rocks.....i hve watched many go to shore sans any kind of anchor watch being done. i would HOPE most cruisers would know some of these basics before leaving.
You should have dived and looked after you set that anchor in the Tortugas. I know people who have anchored on to old lost anchors -- often they then have to leave theirs behind as well, and there are whole knots of multiple anchors in the Keys. You probably knew that, but some going there might not. I would want to dive *before* anchoring there. One guy I know thought he was anchored to the bottom, but actually was caught on a bicycle.

Didn't you just see the post of the anchor alarm that actually sends an alert to your phone? Of course I would have to test it before counting on it ... but it sounds as if the technology has really improved. No one is "dissing" the logical steps you've provided, but some people are just stupid, and ya can't fix stupid. On the other hand, if an anchor alarm can alert me while I'm on shore ... it would be easy enough to test on the boat, and easy enough to send back if it doesn't do its job. Just tell it you've set the anchor, and then move away, and see when it calls your phone. But that isn't perfect either; in noisy places, in crowds, I don't hear my phone. It would have to be on vibrate, in a pocket where I would feel it go off. Nevertheless, I think it's technology worth looking at.

Some people will also always be newer to sailing and have less experience. I don't have all the years of experience you have, but given the amount of time I spend actually sailing, my five years is probably more like ten (or more) years' experience of many others. I'm no babe in the woods. I've never seen boats drag onto to rocks or on to shore except at anchor, unattended, in a storm. I've had my anchor drag -- not that severely, but it was evident after 20 minutes. I sail out with other boats regularly, and once we're all anchored, we all stay with our boats for an hour or two before gathering on one or two for a get-together.

I just don't see the problem with having a backup in addition to all of that. Once my anchor is set, I set a "mark" on my chart plotter. It's very easy for whoever is at the helm to do that as the hook is lowered, so you have a very good idea of where the anchor is. Then of course it shows the boat as "off" the mark, but that's what you expect. It's a good BACKUP.

You can also take a bearing from shore and periodically go back and check. I know I do even just dinking over to another boat.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:54   #99
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The only explanation is that is was not set correctly Zeehag.
Next time you let out more anchor chain give it a test again. If correctly set it will go off when you have let out an extra 10-20m
if you are in a situation where a small amount of drag will cause a problem it can be set to 10m or even a bit less with a satellite differential fix without any false alarms. Not as good as noting transits, but it's watching 24 hours a day in all weather.

Exactly. And in the Keys, a swim around with a mask wouldn't be a bad idea *before* dropping anchor. The Keys and the Tortugas are notorious for difficult anchoring even if you haven't happened on to a seabed junk yard.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:56   #100
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
Personally, If I come into an anchorage that is "full" I move on! Imagine that. Most cruisers never think of that. Many think that there is "always" room for ONE more.

Also, I use 7 to one scope, as my light weight rode of 1/4" chain & 1/2" rope calls for it. With a anchoring success ratio of 1,000/1, FOR my current anchoring practices, it makes sense. Common sense, and personal preference, have me anchoring as far from the fleet as possible. My shallow draft, (3' bd up), and a fast dinghy, allow me to get off by myself, even if being slapped around because I'm NOT in the best spot.

With a 35' bridle, our Searunner tri, BTW, points DEAD into the wind, (sans current), and STAYS that way, even in a gale! This requires that we anchor even further from boats that don't do this. Over time, when the wind shifts, we do to, but much faster than monohulls that saw around a lot, but then move with wind shifts much slower, as their really heavy chain slowly arcs around to lay in a different direction.

Polite anchoring means doing WHATEVER is necessary to NOT drag, going as far away as possible when coming into an anchorage, and heading back out, even at night, if the anchorage is too full already.

M.

I have taken multiple seminars on anchoring, both from the CGA and private individuals, and 8:1 was always recommended. The one time I dragged, I didn't have that much out. Put more out and stayed in place through a decent storm.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:59   #101
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
was set correctly--it didnt let us know when the actual dragging began--yet we could FEEL it before any message was sent to the machine. i so not trust em as i can see and feel the activity before the freeking thing squawks. yes--even in my sleep. mebbe because i been sailing for so long. mebbe because i am used to sleeping with one eye open -- like in hospital at work..LOL....

an anchor watch alarm is NOT the answer to dragging when you are on shore, raku--is it gonna call your cell fone to warn ye that your boat is on rocks???
if things change so hard and bad that you drag at 0300 when yer sleeping, are you certain you actually hooked well before you went to sleep or did you merely toss all overboard and assume it was set???

Apparently you HAVE missed the post about the anchor alarm that actually calls your phone if you drag. And, you haven't seen my other post about looking at where your boat is both from other boats and from shore. You want to believe that I rely excessively on technology, and there's nothing I will be able to do to change your mind about that, but I believe in using ALL tools available to me. Smart people put all the information together and do not rely solely on electronics, because electronics can fail.

Anyone who doesn't know that is stupid, and as I said before, ya can't fix stupid. However, it IS possible to use electronics well ... or stupidly.

You anchored into a drift net and didn't know it. That means you didn't dive after you anchored, in an area know for all kind of rubble on the bottom (man made and natural) that can interfere with anchoring. It's OK; everyone makes mistakes, but that was a mistake.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:04   #102
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

There's something else to be said about this scenario of dragging on to rocks. Wind direction counts. Wind awereness on someone else's boat or on land counts. One should not anchor where the boat will drag onto rocks if it drags. If the wind shifts, one should know whether it would *now* drag on to rocks if it dragged, leave their dinner or whatever, and go deal with it. One should certainly know if a wind shift results in a lee shore for their boat.

These are not hard concepts to grasp and easily explained to newer sailors, and one reason I disagree with those who are determined to teach themselves to sail. It is well worth it to hear what others have to say.

And yes, I have seen someone leave a restaurant and go deal with their boat because circumstances changed. He came back wet, but it's only water.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:13   #103
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

No matter where you are in the world, I estimate is that only half of the boats you will encounter in an anchorage, will anchor correctly. It is a shame, but many do not know how to correctly measure scope. Few understand the bottom. And, many do not know how to set an anchor. Add to this all of the people who will enter an anchorage late and drop in the wrong place, without proper scope, and never set the anchor.

Just a few weeks ago in Fethiye, Turkey I watched a red-ensign British-flagged boat drop about 30 meters of chain in 10 meters of water and simply piled all of that chain in one pile. This was not a charter boat.

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Old 02-07-2012, 10:25   #104
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Im with Markpierce on this one I will use lights as much as I need to to safely anchor without hitting anyone and makeing sure I anchor MY vessel safely, and with regard of others safety!! I will apolagize in the Morning for my late arrival ! just my 2 cents
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:56   #105
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

Yesterday we had 84 knots of wind here in a sudden thunderstorm! (We had a tree fall on and hole our rental house)!

Especially if you cruise in thunderstorm prone areas, you need to anchor for these! I always back down at FULL RPM, even if it takes a while to nestle the anchor through soft mud, to the firm mud. I dive the anchor when in < 30' and clear water, as well as warm enough. Otherwise a viewing bucket helps.

You should never trust thick grass, or rubble/coral, or hardpan. I have had my hook mostly buried in sand, only to find when I probed the bottom with a stick, that it was 6" of sand on hardpan! Keys, Bahamas...

By practicing all of this care, 7/1 scope, a large anchor, choosing good spots, moving when necessary, backing down hard, diving my anchor, and just a bit of luck... Out of thousands of anchorings over 40+ years, I have only drug 3 times, and only once with bad results.

We do use an anchor alarm, but its in the cockpit, so with us below, in a sudden storm, we can't hear it. Our neck of the woods and the Chesapeake, are notorious for SUDDEN unpredicted summer thunderstorms. Unlike Hurricanes, you don't have days to prepare for them. This is why I take anchoring seriously, always!

I wish other cruisers did too. Wood/epoxy composite Trimarans, like ours, are vulnerable to collision with much harder hull materials, and unlike monohulls that usually take being drug down on with minor damage... The offending boat doesn't skittle down the hulls side. Instead, it gets trapped between our hulls, sometimes until MAJOR damage has been done!

Yes, it has happened!

M.
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