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Old 30-06-2016, 12:46   #46
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I wonder if the people who say they always sleep with an anchor alarm on are really comfortable with their anchoring?

I loaded an anchor alarm app to my phone one day and set it for 100 feet, there I walked all the way down the block without it alarming. Wouldn't help me sleep any!
I tested ten of the anchor alarm apps two years ago for a thread. I like the INavX one the best. I haven't tried the Vesper alarm yet.
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Old 30-06-2016, 12:52   #47
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

Like recent posters have said, I think the key to a peaceful sleep at anchor is to be confident of your anchoring system and skills. Sure, if there's something weird going on (storms, tight anchorage, poor anchoring by nearby neighbours, etc.), then I sleep poorly and keep a watchful eye on things. But most of the time I am quite confident of my anchoring system and skills, so I sleep well.

I've tried a few digital drag alarms, but have never really found them very useful. Proper set, take a few transits. Be alert to any odd change in swing, views or motion. Relax.

And I love your marital rules zboss. I'm with you . Good communication while anchoring, mostly via hand signals. And make sure you're both happy. If not, haul up and try again.
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Old 30-06-2016, 13:14   #48
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I wonder if the people who say they always sleep with an anchor alarm on are really comfortable with their anchoring?

I loaded an anchor alarm app to my phone one day and set it for 100 feet, there I walked all the way down the block without it alarming. Wouldn't help me sleep any!

Anchoring is never 100% reliable. Those that think it is have just not anchored enough .

Far more important than electronic gadgets is to use the best equipment with the best technique, but the anchor alarm is an added layer of security.

The "pee check of anchor position" has been mentioned several times in this thread. Think of the anchor alarm like the crew member with a prostate problem that's gets up regularly to check the position. Actually, it is about about once per second, so they have a serous problem .

The anchor alarm if correctly set should go off if you drift out of the swing circle even slightly. If you walked down the block without the alarm activating then there was a problem probably with the setting of the alarm, which should be centred over the anchor position.
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Old 30-06-2016, 13:22   #49
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

After some time I just quit being nervous about it. "Whatever will be will be". Sometimes an anchorage close to home can be as bad as any. You think it's home turf and forget to check the chart. Try to pull your anchor and it's stuck. Then you check the chart and you are anchored right over a big wreck! (don't ask how I know)
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Old 30-06-2016, 14:47   #50
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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Funny. I had this happen to us just a few nights ago. Came into a smallish anchorage with this 26' Magregor (no mast, no water ballast loaded) sitting right in the middle. 8 feet of water. We draw 6' so couldn't get in deeper, but no problem, we find an edge and lay out 40', which is 5:1 and probably overkill anyway. That's when my 'friend' calls over (growls over) saying "I HAVE 80 FEET OUT!!!" That's 10:1, basically taking up the whole anchorage. Thanks buddy.
Mike,

The more you anchor, the more often you'll run into these anchorage mayhem jackasses (they are not happy people). Normally, we remedy the problem by selecting and taking spots on the perimeter of the anchorage and well out of the cluster ph$&k. Sometimes I get fooled, like yesterday when I picked an anchorage with only three other boats. Didn't know two of them had three hundred feet of rode deployed in a anchorage only 15-18ft deep. They are friends of one another.... how quaint.

I ended up anchoring solo eight times today, four of those times wondering why the knucklehead with the bitchwings in the green pirate ship kept getting closer. Got tangled up in the mooring field twice and overheated my windlass, which then required taking up the anchor manually until it cooled off. I know, your's is a manual windlass, but I have 1/2 chain and a 45kg anchor! Yes, it can be done.

Now, I'm on the perimeter watching the entertainment as it will unfold daily. These anchorage jackasses also seem to live somewhat permanently in these spots in crappy old boats. Today I was the entertainment, tomorrow?

Someone else's turn.
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Old 30-06-2016, 15:31   #51
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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Anchoring is never 100% reliable. Those that think it is have just not anchored enough . . . .
Indeed. And that's why I never sleep quite as soundly at anchor.

But it's still an indescribably great joy to be at anchor, especially in a deserted cove or lagoon somewhere, with no other boats around, and the rain is coming down, and you're snug and warm in your boat with a G&T.
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Old 30-06-2016, 17:45   #52
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

Yes. Time teaches. It takes time and it takes a number o times. Which leads me to two observations.

1) Surprisingly (?), some never learn. We did meet heaps of people over time and more than once they were as bad at anchoring as when we met them before. Poor feeling for where to drop it, odd choice of gear and doubtful attitude to the whole thing. I do not know why. Sort of like some of us "can't" sing. Or like some of us cannot see colours. I feel at times this kind of sailing disability may lead to an ultimate failure. Drag queens, of sorts. At times you can sense the doom coming just from looking someone trying to anchor, and trying.

2) Of the maybe two times when we dragged in a dramatic way (OK, one of them was dramatic, the other I had to make up for the purpose of this post) the anchor DID seem to hold VERY well. And ten a gust of 64+ knots, the boat sails to one side of the field and at the end of the swing loooooo and we are 'flying', beam on, across the anchoring field. There was a harbour wall some 2 cables behind us and we ended up ... well, 'close' to it.

I knew we should not have been there. I knew the bottom was iffish and I knew such gusts were a feature there. The lesson is to never anchor in lose sand over rock shelves. It is not that you think you have an excellent holding then lose it 'unexpectedly'. It is the speed at which things develop afterwards and the fact that if you wake up to a situation like the above, you may have your arse in the rocks before you say ooops. Zero time to react. Maybe not even enough time to heat the glow plugs ;-)

As for the alarms, they seem to work very, very well for us. Our biggest shame was when we woke up one morning and I discovered the gps was not plugged in but rather on internal batteries that run empty at night. There was no beep hey I am thirsty no nothing. The unit just goes blank without any prior warning (Garmin). How odd.

I love anchoring and I love being anchored. I love gadgets, big anchors, long chain rodes and reading about how others play the anchoring and dragging game.

b.
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Old 30-06-2016, 19:53   #53
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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This is off the subject but I wanted to make a post and can't find where to do it. I own a MacGregor 25 and have been a lake sailor in So Cal. Now that I am retired my plans are to head to the Gulf of Mexico and sail the Keys and Bahamas. my only ocean experience was in my Prindle 16 cat sailing in regattas. Any advice?
You will probably get more relevant responses, and not drift this thread,if you start a separate thread.
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Old 30-06-2016, 22:12   #54
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

One nice thing about our area, almost everyone anchors bow and stern... eliminates a lot of consternation, but causes some for those folks who cruise in from out of town and moan when they see we are all on two hooks. Nice thing about a smaller boat too is you can go way in upwind (make sure it's low tide or know the anchorage!) and avoid the crowd that might drag into you. A good ol' friend of mine with a Downeaster used to have a big ol' samurai sword that he'd pull out and wave from the bowsprit, using colorful language, if someone came in who thought about anchoring improperly upwind of him!
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Old 01-07-2016, 20:34   #55
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

I spent years anchoring aboard monohulls ranging from 26' - 38'. Usually when a late night squall made an appearance I woke up due to the movement of the boat shifting direction and heeling to the increased wind.
Upon moving to a 45' catamaran - well!

I discovered that the cat's movement was barely detectable to the sleeping crew. I know, not surprising in hindsight. Anyway, what woke us up was the wind generator. Fortunately, we did not have an extremely noisy one. It did, however, pipe up a good bit when the wind increased in a squall. This was enough to rouse the crew to check out the situation. We left that wind generator on the vast majority of the time for just that reason.

I have to admit that it wasn't all that popular when we had guests in the cabin below the location of the generator though lol.
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Old 01-07-2016, 20:56   #56
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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what woke us up was the wind generator.
If the wind kicked up, I would have thought waves slapping the bridge deck would wake you? Cats have their own little warnings.

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Old 02-07-2016, 08:38   #57
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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If you feel like discussing it, don't worry about "hijacking". The moderators will separate the conversation into a separate thread, if it starts to overwhelm the original topic. If you don't feel like it, that's also ok. Thanks for the link in any case.
Thanks Dockhead
I wouldn’t normally respond anyway to someone who regularly uses vulgar language and calls other boaters knuckleheads, inconsiderate idiots, Jackasses, bitchwings, etc. You can rarely win an argument against such vitriolic people, because they always need the last word.
I thought it was the moderator’s job to censure such posts.
Suffice to say, the editor of Good Old Boat thought my anchoring method to have enough merit to publish it. So I thought it would be helpful to the OP to know about another method I have used for many years on many different boats, without the slightest problem with any other boats. The two owners we saved at the end of the article were damn glad of it as well!
As a matter of interest, in the draft I actually wrote that it should be employed with common sense, according to circumstances, for example, the second anchor might be shackled quite near the first, thus making very little difference to the swinging circle, but still keeping the main bower flat. However, we removed the codicil, because it sounded patronizing to readers of that magazine, who tend to be experienced sailors.
Anyone who assumes everyone has the same scope, (or should have), is asking for trouble, because different size boats have different ground tackle, which warrants different scopes.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:29   #58
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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Thanks Dockhead
I wouldn’t normally respond anyway to someone who regularly uses vulgar language and calls other boaters knuckleheads, inconsiderate idiots, Jackasses, bitchwings, etc. You can rarely win an argument against such vitriolic people, because they always need the last word.
Obviously an invitation for me to post!

Yours is a nice variation of tandem anchoring.

Something I could use if I had totally screwed up and was looking at a hurricane wafting over my boat.

But for normal conditions its not necessary on my boat, and I agree with Dockhead, its better for all to be using a similar method as yours takes up more space than everyone elses.

The most inconsiderate jackass (note I didn't say "inconsiderate idiot") was a lame-brain in Pacific waters who had 3 red floating balls attached to his chain to keep the chain off the bottom (to save coral damage). Of course his boat drifted all over the bay like kangaroos grazing a paddock.
He thought that if the wind piped up the red balls would be pulled underwater and the chain work like normal. Naturally I said 'balls' to this!

But when, that night on the beach having sundowners, all the rest of the cruisers ganged up on him he decided to change his ways
So yes, we got the last word.


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Old 02-07-2016, 09:54   #59
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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Anyone who assumes everyone has the same scope, (or should have), is asking for trouble, because different size boats have different ground tackle, which warrants different scopes.
For recreational boats, scope selection is reasonably independent of boat size. Large and small boats will use different sized anchors, but a similar scope if other factors are equal.

The swinging circle for larger boats will be greater because due to their length the stern will swing in a bigger arc. In addition, the freeboard will generally be greater so the amount of rode deployed will be slightly longer for the same scope.

These factors are easily allowed for. You can see the length and freeboard.

Boats anchoring in deeper water will often use slightly less scope than boats anchored in shallow water, but this applies both to big and small boats.

Large commercial merchant ships anchor differently, as the relative size and holding power of their anchors is much less. They rely more on the holding power of the chain, but they will be anchored in much deeper water so are not a concern.

It is important boats swing in as similar manner as possible in busy anchorages. This can never be perfectly achieved, for example larger boats are a bit slower to respond to a sudden wind change, cats and power boats are less influenced by current than keel boats but using a similar scope and anchoring technique (using one anchor and chain rode if this is what other boats around you are doing) is very helpful, sometimes essential.

Now if only we could get rid of those pesky cats and power boats
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:57   #60
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
Thanks Dockhead
I wouldn’t normally respond anyway to someone who regularly uses vulgar language and calls other boaters knuckleheads, inconsiderate idiots, Jackasses, bitchwings, etc. You can rarely win an argument against such vitriolic people, because they always need the last word.
I thought it was the moderator’s job to censure such posts.
Suffice to say, the editor of Good Old Boat thought my anchoring method to have enough merit to publish it. So I thought it would be helpful to the OP to know about another method I have used for many years on many different boats, without the slightest problem with any other boats. The two owners we saved at the end of the article were damn glad of it as well!
As a matter of interest, in the draft I actually wrote that it should be employed with common sense, according to circumstances, for example, the second anchor might be shackled quite near the first, thus making very little difference to the swinging circle, but still keeping the main bower flat. However, we removed the codicil, because it sounded patronizing to readers of that magazine, who tend to be experienced sailors.
Anyone who assumes everyone has the same scope, (or should have), is asking for trouble, because different size boats have different ground tackle, which warrants different scopes.
There has been a lot of vigorous discussion about the merits or demerits of tandem anchoring, so I thought your post might stimulate more conversation on that. Here is some good work done on tandem anchoring: Two to Tandem: Maximizing Holding Power by Tandem Anchoring


One thing you have said which I think is important, and right -- is that people shouldn't expect that everyone will be anchoring the same way. I think that when anchoring close together, people should strive to anchor with similar scope and in a similar way (shore ties if that's what everyone is doing), simply so that boats swing the same way and don't swing into each other. But this should not be turned into some fanatical dogma -- it's not possible, and different boats swing slightly differently in any case.
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