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Old 08-10-2013, 10:07   #31
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
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!
I find watching SOG less useful, as we often swing with the prop walk, and our snubber is on, so detecting vibration in the chain is not an option.

Marking some transits and watching them carefully is a very accurate way of seeing it you are moving back.

You can practice this easily while stationary (on the boat or on shore) just by finding appropriate transits and moving a bit. The furthest transit will creep back relative to the closer one. A metre change in position can be detected, and two metres very easily. The trick is to find transits perpendicular to the boat, both in the distance and well separated.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:10   #32
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

It is funny how different people have different experiances with anchors. I used CQRs as my primary on all three of my cruising boats. 26 foot ,25lb CQR. Was dragging once in Mexico, until I used a snubber for the first time, that stopped the dragging. Drug once more at Soccoro Island when I layed it down on a solid rock shelf. I could feel it through the chain, so we moved to a different anchorage. Anchored every night for over 2 years with that boat and never drug again. Next boat, 37 foot, 45lb CQR ancored most nights for 18 months on that boat, and never drug. Next boat 44 foot, 45lb Danforth plow, drug that SOB all over the place. Hated it. Bought a 60lb CQR and never drug again. All three boats had over size CQRs according to the sales people, but they worked great. OVER SIZE is the key word. Just my 2 cents worth.____Grant.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:18   #33
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

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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.


Mark
Yep If it wasnt for my wife, I would have never seen much of anything.. I would have just worked on the boat all day every day! Thanks god she got me off the boat and out of my comfort zone!
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:21   #34
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

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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?
Actually, I never back down with the snubber on. I want to watch the chain for jerky motion and want to see it bar tight when I'm not moving. The snubber goes on after all is done. OTOH, I dont jerk on my anchor setting it... I just gradually ease up to maybe 1300+ rpm in reverse and watch. It seems rare to have anchor drag except after a wind shift. (or one case of 70mph+ wind burst! That time the anchor set didnt fail... the bottom came up with the anchor!... That's right.. we were anchored in clay for 1.5 weeks, when the anchor was retrieved in 70+ winds, you couldnt see anything but a big ball of grey clay) with about a foot of shank protruding out of the ball.)
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:22   #35
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

I have gotten pretty comfortable anchoring. I usually only sleep with one eye open if a wind shift is forecast. We have never dragged since getting our Manson Supreme.

Now I worry about the guy who anchored upwind of me and did the Gilligan toss with the anchor.

BTW, AIS will only show your position on the internet(Marintraffic.com and others) if there is a receiving station within range.

I use an anchor alarm on my smartphone. If my wife and I both go to shore we leave one behind as it will text the other phone if the anchor drags. Obviously need a cell tower nearby but texting is usually available even when voice or data is sketchy.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:39   #36
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
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?
Do not of course back down without the chain belayed somehow! You will kill your windlass! And as Cheechako said above, don't back down with the snubber on! It will dampen any vibration and you won't be able to feel what's going on.

In my opinion, any chain stopper, chain hook or strop should be fine for this stage -- under steady tension there's not much way for a hook to fall off. But not a snubber.

The controversy about chain hooks is in a different situation -- for a snubber which might be tensioned and untensioned if the boat bobs around in a certain way. Some people have reported chain hooks falling off. That is not, however, a big deal if the chain is probably belayed -- you've only lost your snubber. And it probably wouldn't fall off except in very calm weather. This is thread drift -- but for all these reasons, I don't see anything wrong with using chain hooks on a snubber, although I don't use one myself.
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Old 08-10-2013, 10:50   #37
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

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Our stainless steel Ultra Anchor is prettier than yours
I was just looking at photos of the Ultra when I came across your email and you are absolutely right, it's gorgeous. The ultra looks like jewelry while my now scuffed and grey Spade is pretty ugly, I'll admit. But like all cats are grey in the dark I guess all anchors look the same when buried in the mud!

Cheers.

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Old 08-10-2013, 10:51   #38
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

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Originally Posted by Nostrodamus View Post

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.

Now we are in our winter berth it is only now I realise just how much it did take out of me. I was totally drained but on the other hand we would never have been able to continue financially if we had gone in marinas and we would have missed some amazing places.
Boy, do I know how you feel. We're in our first year of cruising, and have anchored in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, 2 months in the Bahamas, and now Georgia.

We were planning to keep going to the Chesapeake during this hurricane season. But we found this reasonably safe and somewhat inexpensive marina in Brunswick, Georgia. I too was so tired, I just needed an extended break.

Thanks for the thread, and I really like your blog. Nice humor!

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Old 08-10-2013, 12:12   #39
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

I would like to proudly say that I sleep well at anchor because of my many years of experience, but more truthfully, I sleep well at anchor because I already did all the stupid things and made all the stupid choices many years ago.

I anchored with a little Danforth in the narrow mouth of an estuary that drained a huge volume of tidal flats that swirled in an eddy and wrapped my nylon rode around my fin keel and prop before breaking me loose and sending me out on the ebb at night.

I anchored where a tropical wave was forecast and when it arrived, plucking my well set Northill out still attached to the bottom. I was blown aground on the lee shore of Long Key Bight.

I woke one morning from a sound sleep and found myself at a thirty degree heel on an oyster shell bank totally clueless as to what caused me to drag.

Still "young and in manure", I once anchored at the edge of deeper water in a crowded Key West anchorage with a little dinghy anchor tied to my ankle. My thought was that the tug would wake me if the main anchor was dragging. I survived!

Remember the big Northill? It sets with one fluke down and one fluke up. The high fluke catches the rode wrap on the changing tide. Before giving my Northill away I raised it many times wrapped in a twist of chain.

All these evens happened in my twenties. I'm in my sixties now. I would like to claim great experience, but the truth may be that I just ran out of stupid! We anchor out often and sleep well. I set an alarm and keep a GPS track of my swing. I set with procedures listed above and visually track any parallax movement in selected transits. I also keep watch in big winds. We've anchored out successfully during a couple of hurricanes and a few tropical storms by selecting ideal locations. I do set with a double nylon snubber bridle without a plan to "feel" the chain, but I do use my chart plottter to verify my lack of movement while backing down in reverse. I use an adequate scope of all chain with a horizontal manual windlass and much prefer a single anchor without a crowd of other vessels.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:27   #40
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

If your anchor isn't giving you peace of mind, suggest you get a different and probably bigger anchor. The other choice is counseling for irrational fears.

Anchored 24/7 with a 45# CQR, 3/8" chain on our 20,000# displacement boat. Never a problem. The anchor went down and the boat stayed put including one session with a tropical depression that generated 50k winds. Didn't miss much sleep or have many fretful times.

The biggest secret to no worry anchoring is dropping the hook in well protected coves. If you are in a bight protected from the prevailing winds but at risk from winds from other directions, you rightfully should be nervous. Pick your anchorages carefully and you'll remove almost all the worry about anchoring. Personally, getting my boat in a slip with adverse winds and currents is way more trying than anchoring.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:53   #41
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

Lots of good comments.

Many rock climbers, when facing the transition from top roping (like climbing the mast, where the safety line is above and pre-installed) to lead climbing (where anchors are below and laced on the fly) are similarly apprehensive. The cure?

ALLWAYS anchor correctly--text book perfect--and learn that your methods are 100% depedndable. If they are not and when you cannot make a good anchor, make other plans (move, don't leave theboat, don't sleep).

At the end, if you still cannot relax, don't anchor out.
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Old 08-10-2013, 13:06   #42
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

Tim,

that's exactly the kind of program I was looking for. Can you give me the name?

Thanks

Oliver

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
I have gotten pretty comfortable anchoring. I usually only sleep with one eye open if a wind shift is forecast. We have never dragged since getting our Manson Supreme.

Now I worry about the guy who anchored upwind of me and did the Gilligan toss with the anchor.

BTW, AIS will only show your position on the internet(Marintraffic.com and others) if there is a receiving station within range.

I use an anchor alarm on my smartphone. If my wife and I both go to shore we leave one behind as it will text the other phone if the anchor drags. Obviously need a cell tower nearby but texting is usually available even when voice or data is sketchy.
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Old 08-10-2013, 13:06   #43
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

welcome to the club!
of skippers that never really sleep,who are allways gazing at the anchorage when ashore

blue marble wrecked in niue!

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Old 08-10-2013, 13:13   #44
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

I never worry about the boat breaking free. If the holding is good, I have a 62lb supreme on all chain with a good shackle and triple moused pin: it's not going to break in storm force winds. Generally if conditions are such that I need to worry about the boat staying put I wouldn't want to be in the dinghy or negotiating a beach landing.

I know there are people here who never get off their boats at anchorages; seems weird to me. If we're only spending the night I won't bother dropping the dinghy but that's me being lazy.

Regarding the "life at anchor thing", we tend to spend half our time wanting to get into a marina and relax, and the other half is spent getting away and staying away being happy doing that.
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Old 08-10-2013, 13:18   #45
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Re: Does constant anchoring wear you down?

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
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?
Yes...in my description I left out the part where I temporarily attach the Mantus hook on the single line before the "Y" split and cleat it off to pull back on. Not a good idea to side load the windlass.

I should also mention that you should not just drop the anchor when the boat is motionless and dump a hundred feet off chain, immediately. That's asking for trouble. Let the anchor touch bottom and slowly pay out chain as the boat drifts back. This way you won't end up with a hundred feet of chain tangled up on the anchor. It's a very common mistake.
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