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Old 02-07-2012, 12:11   #106
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Anchoring in the Dry Tortugas and setting an anchor alarm to send a signal to your phone is a great idea........except there's no cell coverage. It's hard to find a good place to anchor there because it's scoured out.
Absolutely number one is to have good ground tackle and know how to use it. Number two is dive your anchor. Number three would be set your anchor alarm if you have one.
We have drug five times in twenty years of cruising and at least a couple of thousand nights at anchor. Each time we drug we had the engines already running except once when we were in the process of starting them. I can't tell you how many times we have had the engine running in bad weather incase we were to drag. We have never dragged slowly, anchor pulled loose and we were going sideways at 6 kts. We have also never dragged anchor without knowing the conditions at the time could do just that. All that being said I don't think using an anchor alarm is bad just not a prerequisite for cruising. If your opinion differs so be it. It's worked for us and if everybody was the same this would be one boring place!
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:46   #107
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

raku--got an idea---when i turn back time and redo this adventure i spent in gom, why dont YOU do the diving... situation was in midnight with thunderstorms ---the original anchor set was daylight and perfect--drift net comes into little harbor and covers anchor----we made do until daylight then got out of dodge--we had been there a week already without any problem.
we left for other places the next morning.

i have seen other folks move fast from a seated restaurant position to their boat to repair anchoring situation--but they managed to remain on board their boat afterwards until completing their anchor watch --usually a one hour event--was complete and they were satisfied their boat didnt drag or wasn't gonna.
their meal was not saved. restaurant was closed.
their motivation didnt come from any kind of anchor alarm. sometimes things change--they change for worse WHEN you do not do a good anchor watch. throwing anchor out with chain does not mean it is anchored.

diving an anchor is not a guarantee of success--i have had anchors drag despite diving it--in carib, at christmas cove, dec 2008. also opb.
just because is dived, doesnt make it set.
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Old 02-07-2012, 13:21   #108
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

Wow, seems a very popular topic this that I started, over 100 posts already! Still, I guess anchoring is one of those 'black arts' that all cruisers have got many tails about.

Seems i've learn't my lesson though, yesterday (Sunday) I spent the entire time stuck in my boat, anchored in a bay that was open to a F6 northerly blowing all day. I let out all my chain and even with 1.5metre swells, she held firm.

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Originally Posted by david7 View Post
So what do you guys do when you go to shore? Is there an anchor alarm that works remotely? Do you just wait a few hours to make sure it's set and then go? Just curious because if I have to singlehand when I get my boat I would like to be able to leave it once in a while.
David, I am single handing at the moment and my experience is that if the weather is bad, you DON'T go ashore. I just spent the best part of two days aboard (much to my dogs disgust!) as I was not comfortable leaving the boat.

I certainly NEVER go ashore untill i've been anchored for an hour or two at least and then only leave the boat in fair conditions when i'm confident that she's safe.
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Old 02-07-2012, 14:16   #109
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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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.

Viewing bucket? More info please?
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Old 02-07-2012, 14:31   #110
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Viewing bucket? More info please?
Commonly called a bathoscope. They are bulky, but essential for any crusing boat.
I usually dive to look at my anchor, but I am a bit a whimp with cold water and anything less than 21c and I prefer not to swim. My wife will check the anchor at 19c which means most of the year we are fine, but the bathoscope is still essential for the few cold months when storms are more common, or suituations where it is not safe to swim.
There are occasions when it is impractical to check the anchor, like when arriving after dark, or in soft substrates when the anchor and chain burried completely.
In the latter case an anchor float can be the only means to locate the anchor with bathiscope or diving, but I do not use one unless it is needed and the anchorage is not crowded. Currently our anchor has completely disappeared under the soft sand. The only evidence of existence is an anchor float. Judging from the float the top is metre under the surface. It's a Rocna 55kg so it's not a small.
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Old 02-07-2012, 19:16   #111
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Thanks simonmd...that makes sense to me
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Old 02-07-2012, 19:28   #112
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

Diving on your anchor in the Chesapeake works great, unless you are in water deeper than four feet. Deeper than that and you generally couldn't find your ass if you were holding it in both hands. Big anchor, all chain, anchor alarm and, if need be, an anchor watch.
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Old 02-07-2012, 19:50   #113
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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.
Now, Now ladies not another disagreement. (I did not want to say moggie...fight)

Would not want to get on the wrong side of Boatcat.
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Old 02-07-2012, 20:05   #114
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Commonly called a bathoscope. They are bulky, but essential for any crusing boat.
I usually dive to look at my anchor, but I am a bit a whimp with cold water and anything less than 21c and I prefer not to swim. My wife will check the anchor at 19c which means most of the year we are fine, but the bathoscope is still essential for the few cold months when storms are more common, or suituations where it is not safe to swim.
There are occasions when it is impractical to check the anchor, like when arriving after dark, or in soft substrates when the anchor and chain burried completely.
In the latter case an anchor float can be the only means to locate the anchor with bathiscope or diving, but I do not use one unless it is needed and the anchorage is not crowded. Currently our anchor has completely disappeared under the soft sand. The only evidence of existence is an anchor float. Judging from the float the top is metre under the surface. It's a Rocna 55kg so it's not a small.

Except for some small lake sailing when I was young, I have only sailed with people from west central Florida -- and I've never heard of a bathoscope. Thanks so much for the information.
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Old 02-07-2012, 20:07   #115
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Originally Posted by Greg S View Post
Diving on your anchor in the Chesapeake works great, unless you are in water deeper than four feet. Deeper than that and you generally couldn't find your ass if you were holding it in both hands. Big anchor, all chain, anchor alarm and, if need be, an anchor watch.

Agreed not all water is clear, but in the Keys and the Tortugas you have the perfect combination of very clear water and very good idea to take a look. Plus who wouldn't want to swim in that water!
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Old 02-07-2012, 20:08   #116
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

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Now, Now ladies not another disagreement. (I did not want to say moggie...fight)

Would not want to get on the wrong side of Boatcat.

If they're important issues, they're worth discussing. The notion that on the Internet that everyone will agree all the time is completely unbelievable when you think about it.
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Old 02-07-2012, 21:47   #117
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

My Daddy always said " if the boat will carry a BIG anchor without being nose heavy the anchors to small" now I know he was being a joker, but it's true the bigger anchor you can handle up front will make solid anchoring easier!! along with chain and a solid back down, will make your anchoring safer, We always leave someone aboard for a watch if theres even a chance of a change in weather or the holding grounds not the best ! But we are old and would hate to have to swim to save our boat ! LOL we always buy a anchor at least 2 sizes larger then sugested, but Im a chicken.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:59   #118
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

A side note on the viewing bucket: I think the correct spelling is bathyscope, with a Y -- for anyone who intends to Google around. Also called "look bucket" or "looky bucket" . . .

You can make your own by cutting most of the bottom out of a 5 gallon pail (leave a 1" rim to attach to) and gluing & screwing some plexiglass or lexan into the bottom. Great fun for kids wading alongshore when not used for checking anchors.
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Old 03-07-2012, 15:05   #119
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Re: Anchoring and dragging

I have found a *folding* bathyscope for a few €€ in a sport shop (the bucket is folding, not the glass...). Haven't tested it yet: the water isn't so clear here.

Alain
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Old 10-07-2012, 14:33   #120
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Re: Anchoring and Dragging

I'm still a relative newbie when it comes to anchoring, and find it difficult guaging where to set my anchor in an anchorage and visualizing the swing. After reading the posts about others dropping their anchor on top of yours, I began to think about using an anchor buoy. It would mark the position of your anchor and (hopefully) discourage others from dropping theirs on top. Of course it would also provide an extra line for someone to snag. Thoughts?
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