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Old 01-11-2011, 10:15   #1
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Anchoring Jerks

What do you do when you pick a nice place for yourself in the anchorage with adequate and considerate distance from two or three neighbors, and then someone squeezes in when you are not looking and anchors right up your nose?

For the last two anchorages, we have had just that very thing happen. Last night in Beaufort, we were anchored nicely between two neighbors with adequate room to swing since it is a reversing current. We chose one anchor like everyone else. Then when we weren't looking someone came in and anchored right in front of us over our anchor.

In the middle of the night thunderstorms came through, and they swang wide enough to hit us, but *lucky me* I was on a nervous anchor watch and let out more anchor rode so we set back 25 feet and they missed us. They had their boat name covered up with a fender, so I couldn't read the name to hail them on the radio. Then we were stuck because we couldn't pull up our anchor because they were over it, and we couldn't hail them on the radio, and not once in the night did they come out to check on things.

I spend the night up on a nervous anchor watch worried that his hulking huge monstrosity would drag down on us. I had a knife ready to cut (and lose) my primary anchor, and this jerk probably just slept deeply all night long completely oblivious to his inconsideration and impact on us.

In the morning, his boat had dragged a bit and in the current shift was about to hit us again. Not only us this time, but he was also within five feet of a gorgeous 70 year old wood ketch. Still no way to hail him, and still he didn't come out to check on his swing in this reversing current with tightly packed boats and a line of thunderstorms.

We put out four fenders on his side of our boat and carefully pulled up our anchor while timing our movements with the swing of his and our boat, and we got out of there without being hit, albeit angry as all heck at his arrogance and self-centeredness.

Pretty much the same thing happened at the last anchorage in Oriental NC a couple of days ago. Lots of room and some jerk anchors right up in front of us in between us and another boat where there was really only room for the two of us that were there already. No concern. No worries. He didn't even fret about it, but there we were paying out our scope because he was going to swing into us.

Why don't people mind their anchor scope and their swing radius? Is it that much to ask? Why don't people watch their position in tight anchorages to make sure they dont hit other people? Are they idiots and jerks from birth, or did they learn it as they went through life?

I've had some terrible angry feelings about them too. I would never do these things, but I admit to fantasizing about them a bit: throwing eggs onto their boat, or coffee grinds, cutting their anchor line, etc. It's just strong emotions causing these malicious thoughts, but as always, I just do the right thing and do what *I* can do about the situation. Still maybe we can start an "anchoring jerks" discussion where we at least get to vent about all these jerks that pay no attention to anyone else around them.

I'm sure that other of you out there have horror stories to tell about others dragging down or swinging into you, so I'd like to hear them, if for nothing else than to not feel alone and picked on.

Capt'n K

Cruising on in a 1968 Islander 37 sloop. Visit our blog. We were on an Albin Vega 27 last year, but upgraded to a more livable sized boat so our cats would have more room.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:20   #2
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

If he was that close why didn't you get the horn out and blast him. I know what you mean, though. I had to bang on the hull of a trawler as it dragged by me one night. The horn didn't wake him but banging on his boat with a winch handle did. Ended up he was a really nice guy, just didn't know what he was doing. I've been drug on so many times my friends say that there's a target on the side of my boat.

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Old 01-11-2011, 10:20   #3
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

It's one of the reasons I tend to seek out more isolated anchorages.

I've had a few times, I've just pulled up anchor and moved when someone anchored too close or was very noisy. I'd rather move (assuming there is a place to move to), than sit up all night at anchor watch or worrying constantly)
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:32   #4
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

Yeah, some people just dont get it. If you see him anchor over your rode, approach him right then. Tell him he's over your anchor rode and you need to leave at 5 am etc. Maybe he'll get the hint.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:36   #5
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

I don't want to stir the pot, and while not a veteran sailor I just have to know why wouldn't you just get their attention and ask nicely to reanchor in a more suitable spot. I just say this because I think most folks who do these kind things just don't know that they are being either rude and or unsafe. I certainly have been in the wrong and thanks to a patient friendly neighbor, have rectified the situation as well as learned a lesson that I may someday pass on to someone else. With that said I agree that there are lots of jerks that just won't listen and continue with the attitude that they can do whatever wherever. When that happens I either deal with it or just move on. Still don't understand why in a large empty anchorage boaters will drive right up and drop anchor right next to you, guess it's that gregarious nature in us.

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Old 01-11-2011, 10:38   #6
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

Sounds like 5 blasts of the air horn would be perfectly justified.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:42   #7
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

is why gods made the damnable noise maker-- for the anchor jerks ye cannot call by name--right into their companionway.
btw--use ear plugs so you dont hurt yer ears.....
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:44   #8
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

The first few times that sort of thing happened to us, I got uptight and angry about it. But nothing really bad happened, so the only outcome was that I was uptight and angry. I came to the conclusion that it's better not to worry about it and deal with whatever (if anything) happens. And nothing bad ever did happen.

Everyone has their own concept of comfortable "anchoring space", and you can't really do anything about it. Worrying about it just destroys your pleasure in being in a beautiful spot, on your boat with your loved one.

p.s. if you want to experience up-close-and-personal anchoring, head down to the French islands in the Caribbean! We got to know a really interesting french solo trans-Atlantic sailor that way.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:44   #9
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

Mark & Vasco sound like they have a plan that would work. Who knows if an anchored boat is monitoring their radio anyway? We tangled with a couple of codgers who anchored too close in New York harbor once. Sometimes you just have to fend off.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:48   #10
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

There are a million posts in a thousand threads on CF with anchoring gripes. I don't think anything new under the sun has been written about it.

It's human nature, especially for a nervous newbie, to want to anchor close to someone presumed to be more experienced. "I'll just do it like that guy did it", is what likely goes through their minds.

It is not worth getting excited about it. If I don't like the way someone has anchored near me, I make it a rule to pull up my own anchor, and go somewhere else. With a smile. If you let yourself get aggravated, you are just allowing someone to spoil your day -- spoil the whole reason why you're out on the water in the first place -- which is to enjoy life.

I don't mind anchoring and reanchoring -- it's part of the sport, after all. I just do it again -- presto, problem solved, good mood intact, life is still good, and treat myself to another sundowner.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:50   #11
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
Everyone has their own concept of comfortable "anchoring space", and you can't really do anything about it. Worrying about it just destroys your pleasure in being in a beautiful spot, on your boat with your loved one.
Hud said it a lot better than I was able to. +1
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:10   #12
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

In terms of anchoring stories, this might interest you.

We were once warned not to go to Havar in Croatia, because it got real packed, the holding was poor, and if we were to go then be sure to get there early.

We arrived after lunch, dropping anchor a fair distance out in the bay with a sea wall at our back, and had our tackle well set as the late sea breeze built whilst a steady steam of other cruisers and charter yachts arrived.

By 5 pm the bay was packed full.

We had boats anchored left right and centre, many only 10 metres from each other. Lots of the late arrivers failed to get an anchor set. It was actually quite entertaining until this happened.

One charter boat after trying several times, had hauled up his anchor and was chugging off out of the bay. Trouble was he'd also hauled up a second anchor and not noticed he now had two on his bow.

So as he motored towards us, we were probably the first to notice he was unwittingly towing the second yacht along behind him. It obviously had no one on board.

I said nothing as he was about to cross our bow and the wind was building.

But another boat alongside whistled / shouted / pointed making the towing skipper realise what he was doing. Regretfully instead of thinking first, he ran forward and simply hauled that second anchor off his bow, tossing it overboard, and continued on with me waving with my big finger at his back.

The empty unattended boat swung to a halt in the breeze, and then oh so gently began to slide back down onto us.........

We used fenders to hold it away, even had time to move our rib to act as a big fender, and it came to rest with its stern overlapped on our bow. A Dutch guy came over in his dinghy to help, and we both climbed aboard to move it.

There was no key in the cockpit engine controls but it was a Yanmar and ours fitted, so I pulled ours from our controls and told the Dutch guy to get it started. I'd haul up the anchor hand over hand.

As I did that, I felt it catch on something, but simply gave it a huge heave and eventually had all the achor and chain up on the deck. The Dutch guy steered and off we went to find a new clear spot to re-anchor the boat - which we did.

But what I did not realise was the thing I'd caught on when lifting his anchor was MY ANCHOR.

And just as we slid off away to look after this strangers boat, Sue began to realise we were on the move ourselves........and the concrete sea wall was maybe 5 boat lengths off our stern!

Sue's a good sailor, but not so good in situations like I'd created that she could start our engine without our key...............and she could not find the spare either!

Swagman slowly began to move towards that wall in the strong breeze, and Sue was down below emptying our chart table and lockers just as I got back in the Dutch guys dinghy.

I cannot repeat the names she called me as we pushed in our key, hauled up our own anchor and moved out to reset it again...........but those curses were lost under the shouting of our neighbours, ignored by the Italian cruiser who swooped in to drop right in the spots we'd created by moving forward! And he refused to move.

We did eventually find another spot and then anchor again OK, but next time round when people say 'don't go there because of xxxxxxx' we'll listen!

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Old 01-11-2011, 11:19   #13
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

What happens is simply that the boat falls back further than anticipated. and re-anchoring is too much of a PITA

No point kicking off like Captain Bligh throwing an Epi within 10 secs of boat drifting back as keeping an eye on the situation and seeing what happens when she settles (and what else is happening in the anchorage) is actually not a bad tactic - whether before re-anchoring or simply shortening the anchor chain / rode. or settling in for the night as is

The secret to happy anchoring is give and take. and a ginourmous Anchor that is not made of China's favourite cheese
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:20   #14
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

"p.s. if you want to experience up-close-and-personal anchoring, head down to the French islands in the Caribbean! "

Amen to that! We were off St. Anne in Martinique which has a truly huge area of great holding and reasonable depth. We anchored well away from anyone else and then just at dusk a guy comes in and anchors directly in front of us, hanging over where our anchor was buried. He then treated us to his music. I looked at it as an opportunity to learn some French. I now know what a "ligne de mouillage" is and how to ask someone to move from on top of it. The guy was nice enough but I think he was a city person more accustomed to living on top of his neighbor than I am. By the way, Kathy Parson's book on French for Cruisers paid for itself that day. Your average French/English dictionary doesnt have any nautical stuff at all
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:27   #15
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Re: Anchoring Jerks

Originally Posted by way-happy View Post
I had a knife ready to cut (and lose) my primary anchor...
Well don't do that. I guess let out all your rode and tie a fender to the end for retrieval later.

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