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Old 08-10-2013, 07:02   #16
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

We're at the dock for one or two days only during our six months winter cruising. That's when we clear in at Nassau and replenish vital cruising refreshments.

Being tied to a dock is not a pleasant experience (especially in Nassau). You don't lie to the wind, the lines are constantly jerking and it's noisy. The speed limit in Nassau Harbour is seldom adhered to and being waked is not unusual. It's just uncomfortable when compared to lying at anchor.

Of course there's the odd night at anchor when you don't sleep at all but the vast majority of good nights more than make up for that. The holding in most anchorages in the Bahamas is very good and, with proper ground tackle, still being there when we return from a day ashore is not an issue.

Good day at anchor


Not so good day at anchor.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:56   #17
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

First time I dropped anchor this summer I was so nervous I almost started crying. Came into what was supposed to be a secluded, deserted anchorage, found it full of mooring buoys. 1 boat. I ended up too close to that boat (came in under sail and was having motor problems). I was afraid I'd drag down on the other boat if the wind shifted (she was abeam of me). I ended up kedging my other anchor out in the dark. Wind never turned and I think I would have been fine anyway.

It got a lot better through the summer.

I ended up buying the "storm" sized Mantus for my boat - 35 pounds for a 28' 6000 pound boat. I never felt like I wanted a smaller anchor. I had 30' of chain and then rope for most of the summer. I could drop a 35 pound lewmar Claw on 70' of chain if I needed to. My kedge was a 25ish pound northhill that saved the day a number of times. Perfect for the dinghy. It was on really light line -3/8"? that would stretch like a bungy cord but held steady.

Totally worth it to me to have anchors that are on the side of ridiculously large for the boat. Never regretted it. Pulling in 70' of chain with 2' waves and north wind in Vineyard haven with flu symptoms was totally unpleasant but that's more the chain than the anchors. Once the anchor pulls it's pretty easy to get up.

Will definitely be adding a manual windlass this winter. Priority project.

Still dropping anchor is really stressful. Maybe someone can make a remote control submarine so you can dive down on your anchor from deck and see the bottom. It's all mysterious as to what's happening down there.

For me the answer to being inexperienced and nervous was chain and large anchors. I was nervous but I'm not really aware that my boat ever dragged an inch this summer.

I also used an app for the iphone called "anchor" which works pretty well. I corresponded with the guy who wrote it over the summer, he made a lot of improvements on it and was very receptive to suggestions.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:59   #18
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Talking Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

I like Z's comments on bottom conditions. Sometimes we must/need to anchor in places with marginal holding. Sleep is inevitably affected. Frequently even in marginal holding areas there will be spots that work better. If I can time my arrival in the anchorage to when the tide is favorable for leaving I can often pick up one of the good spots as others raise anchor and go. However the fun of being there is lessened when I refuse to leave the boat. If I have dragged there before, its " once bitten twice shy ".
Some boats ride at anchor better than others. Idora never stops sailing, poor anchor is yanked about mercilessly. When I got her there was 230 ft of chain and ( oh horrors ) a CQR in the lazarette... The reason became clear, however there is still no stern roller so I hauled it all home and stashed it in the shed. This year I compromised and spent part of the time at docks, my batteries thanked me, I never ran low on water and I gained weight from restaurant food. My wife was happy that I would leave the boat. I prefer to anchor in remote places over docks but will compromise to have a successful cruise.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:21   #19
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

I am fairly new to this, so take what a say with a grain of salt, but as I was learning to anchor for extended periods, it all came down to my mindset, "do I own my boat or does it own me?". I regularly leave the boat for a few days unattended. Would be fine doing it for a lot longer, and plan to in the near future. There are boats anchored near my slip that have been there untouched for over a year (and I am sure much longer).

It helps that we have a cheap boat, the loss of which would be no financial burden, but in reality I feel the same way about my larger possessions, and will feel the same way about the next boat. I own it, it does not own me. If fear and worry over an object kept me from doing what I wanted, I would sell that sell that object or change my perspective.

Sorry if I am being preachy, but this is a subject that touches me deeply. Fair winds and peaceful anchorages.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:38   #20
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

After having a couple bad experiences with our first boat and its' anchor (a CQR), when I got my current boat the second thing I did was get an oversize 60# Manson Supreme to replace the Delta 45# that was on the boat. The MS was at least 1 size larger than any chart said I needed yet I still toyed with getting the 80#.

After 3 years the MS has never drug or failed to set, yet I still worry at night! And when we go ashore and walk anywhere close enough to look into the bay I will take the time to make sure the boat is still where I left it.

But I guess my worry of dragging anchor isn't as much as my desire to not waste battery power because I turn off my instruments at night and if I get up in the middle of the night rely on visual checks.

So to answer the question, I don't think you ever really get fully comfortable anchoring unless you pretty much started that way because of your brain wiring. But I believe there are steps that help; large anchor, good anchor practices, new phone apps and anchor alarms etc.

But I don't really sleep good at home, so there probably isn't a lot of hope for me either way.


PS - we always trash the CQR, yet there there are lots of very expensive boats that still come standard with one new. Just think of it, you buy a new $1 Million 45' boat and it has a 45# CQR on it!
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:41   #21
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

i do not consider my boat an expendible, as it is my home, and pretty much all i own, save a mortgage payment of an ericson 35 mII in another location, which is not an option for my cruising life.
despite the fact i paid little for it, the replacement value is a lot higher than the price i paid, duh.
there is no way i would ever risk my boat, as without my boat i have no home, nor does bubba daboatkat. it is easy to maintain a good anchor watch even sans electronic shoulodawarnedye equipment which may or may not actually alert you in a timely fashion just before you run onto rocks--it is not boat owning you that makes a decent lookout--it is your home foundering on rocks that will keep you are of what is going on around you. if it is secure, ypou will sleep, if it is in doubt, you will be aware, even while dozing.
funny how bubba always knew when anchor dragging initially occurs and lets me know....good boy. now he doesnt have to feel here what he felt frequently in gom while we sailed there and dragged anchor so often...
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:44   #22
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

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Originally Posted by Nostrodamus View Post
A-ha me hearties, pin back yer lug-holes and quiet them parrots. We have tales to tell.

For me sleep didn't come quiet as easy knowing that anchors do come out and if it did we may find ourselves on a beach or battered on rocks. With so many boats anchored together, often only a few meters apart, there was the constant worry of swinging into one of them during the night. I found myself waking with wind shifts and sea changes but I thought that would change as I gained more faith in our ground tackle and our ability to dig it in well.


To be honest the fears never did completely subside and over the year this lack of proper sleep and constantly making sure we were somewhere safe in the weather conditions really wore me down mentally and physically.
Let me offer some good advice. I spent last winter wondering if I should go to the expense of purchasing a new anchor, when our Oyster came with a perfectly acceptable 75 pound CQR. I was like you, with the CQR... never got a good nights sleep. This past summer, we anchored 90% of the time in the Med and enjoyed every minute, but I did upgrade to an over-sized Ultra Anchor 45kg. We never budged all summer, after about the first week, I never once woke up wondering if we were dragging... it actually became the least of our worries.

My wife began the season asking me if we really needed a new anchor, and ended the season saying it was the "best investment."
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:44   #23
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

yeah Nos, i am the same. Luckily our better halves relax the situation though. Same as sailing in shitty weather. Jen say's 'WOW look at the lightning, it's really cool to see it up close in the middle of the sea!' I'm not quite sharing the exact same sentiments, but it does take the edge off the stress a bit. I am like, hmm why can't I enjoy the lightning all around us like that..
Same at anchor, I handle the stress side of it, Jen handles the relax side.
One thing I find helps is a good anchor watch app on the iphone. Its next to the bunk in the charger and I can open one eye and see excactly where we are swinging and if we drag it will wake me with a LOUD siren. That and making sure we anchor as well as possible, back down on the anchor at 2500 rpm for a minute and also being assertive if someone anchors too close all helps for a better nights sleep
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:49   #24
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

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Originally Posted by Dhillen View Post
We swing on a 110# Spade now and keep the 75# CQR as ballast.

Cheers.

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Old 08-10-2013, 09:14   #25
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

I commend all the soon to be cruisers to get out of their gun threads/living off the land/ living on 2 cents per week/ etc and read this thread. It is the reality of cruising.

Your wife was right to force you off the boat or you'd do no tourism stuff. Sometimes its obviousl;y necessary to stay aboard, but the rest of the time v important to get off and get touring.


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Old 08-10-2013, 09:28   #26
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

So far, so good with my 45# Rocna. I anchored all the way down the coast of Ca. with no dragging. Even in reportedly bad bottoms. I will not anchor my boat in sketchy places (open roadsteads). I've been anchoring on and off for 25 years. In the beginning, sure, I was nervous. In 1993, I was anchored in Halfmoon Bay, Ca. when 50kt.+ winds came through for 2 days. I never dragged and never slept. A 50ft. tug dragged past me. That was a little nerve racking. The CQR had dug in the mud so well, it took me 2 hours to dislodge it. After that, the nervousness soon dissipated.
Eventually, you are able to read bottoms when you pull back on the chain while setting the anchor. My procedure is to drop the Rocna with 3:1 and let the natural pull of the boat set it...maybe for 15 minutes, then lay out a scope of 5:1 and back the boat down under power. Then I use my Mantus chain hook on a 5/8" nylon bridle, usually making the scope 6:1. Works for me.
I have no qualms about going ashore after I have a good set but the boat is always on my mind and I find myself observing the weather while onshore. I want to get off the boat and enjoy myself.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:45   #27
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
First time I dropped anchor this summer I was so nervous I almost started crying. Came into what was supposed to be a secluded, deserted anchorage, found it full of mooring buoys. 1 boat. I ended up too close to that boat (came in under sail and was having motor problems). I was afraid I'd drag down on the other boat if the wind shifted (she was abeam of me). I ended up kedging my other anchor out in the dark. Wind never turned and I think I would have been fine anyway.

It got a lot better through the summer.

I ended up buying the "storm" sized Mantus for my boat - 35 pounds for a 28' 6000 pound boat. I never felt like I wanted a smaller anchor. I had 30' of chain and then rope for most of the summer. I could drop a 35 pound lewmar Claw on 70' of chain if I needed to. My kedge was a 25ish pound northhill that saved the day a number of times. Perfect for the dinghy. It was on really light line -3/8"? that would stretch like a bungy cord but held steady.

Totally worth it to me to have anchors that are on the side of ridiculously large for the boat. Never regretted it. Pulling in 70' of chain with 2' waves and north wind in Vineyard haven with flu symptoms was totally unpleasant but that's more the chain than the anchors. Once the anchor pulls it's pretty easy to get up.

Will definitely be adding a manual windlass this winter. Priority project.

Still dropping anchor is really stressful. Maybe someone can make a remote control submarine so you can dive down on your anchor from deck and see the bottom. It's all mysterious as to what's happening down there.

For me the answer to being inexperienced and nervous was chain and large anchors. I was nervous but I'm not really aware that my boat ever dragged an inch this summer.

I also used an app for the iphone called "anchor" which works pretty well. I corresponded with the guy who wrote it over the summer, he made a lot of improvements on it and was very receptive to suggestions.
Boy, you have a really major case of anchor-o-phobia!

You should -- like the rest of us! -- try to relax more. Sounds like you're doing fine

You don't need to see what's happening at the seabed -- you can feel it very well (which is not to say that it's not terrific to dive your anchor and actually examine the set, if you have the possibility). Especially in a small boat, you can't miss the jerk when the anchor sets, and you will be able to feel very well whether it's holding when you back down on it. Has anyone explained to you the trick of putting your foot on the chain while someone is backing down? If the anchor is dragging, the chain will vibrate.

Another great trick is to watch your chart plotter or a GPS for SOG. SOG will go suddenly to 0 when you are hooked in. On a chart plotter, you can see (set the track function to "on") that you're not moving, or just moving in an arc around the point where your anchor is. It will create a really clear picture. If not, your anchor is not set!

Don't be afraid to back down hard and long! If the anchor won't take full power in reverse, it's not set! If in doubt, keep backing -- it's actually good for your engine to blow it out a little (let it cool off in neutral before shutting it down, however).

Don't be afraid to pull up the anchor and do it all over again, if there is anything which doesn't feel right. Another reason to get that windlass installed.

Sounds like you're doing just fine -- try to relax.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:49   #28
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Our stainless steel Ultra Anchor is prettier than yours
Then it's much prettier than my Spade

I've anchored out so much in the last two years that most of the galvanizing is off the Spade and it looks really ugly. A bit of a quandry since the Spade has got lead ballast -- I don't even know how it can be regalvanized .

On the other hand, a really ugly anchor is probably a certain mark of honor among the cognoscenti
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:50   #29
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

Nicely written! It brings out the mental state of many of us while cruising. I found the lower value boat, the less worry. Of course this was hindsight! There's alot of fun to be had in a 28-32 footer!
For doing a Pacific trip to OZ, I've threatened to buy a $35k boat, spend no more than $15k on it, sail it through the pacific to OZ and simply give it away there. I know it sounds absurd, but I've lost $50k on boats in the past ... so why not!
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:59   #30
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

I don''t know about backing down without the bridle on. Doesn't all the load go on the windlass then? Or do you have a chain lock to take the load? If so you would need to put your foot on the forward side of the chain hook.
celest - re the mantus chain hook..is it pretty foolproof? the chain can't come out by itself?
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