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Old 29-06-2016, 14:44   #1
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Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

About 2 months ago the thought of spending the night at anchor did not apeal to me to say the least. I had never anchored overnight before and I was wondering how I would manage to sleep. Or even if I should sleep.

It takes a good dollop of faith in your anchor and the way you have set it to have a good night sleep.

Since arriving in the Med about 40 days ago, 35 nights have been at anchor. I have to say it is sooo amazing to be able to choose your anchoring spot and spend the night (for free). Oh the space and tranquillity. It has opened up a whole new aspect of sailing.

Now we only visit marinas when we run out of fresh water.

I still wake up sometimes and look out of my cabin window and panic if i see we have swung 180 degrees. I panic even more if I cannot make out which direction we are facing. I am thinking of sleeping with a compass

How about you guys? Are there some nervous sleepers out there? Or are you all completely relaxed?
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Old 29-06-2016, 14:49   #2
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

Setup one of the anchor alarms. They are available on chartplotters, AIS displays(Vesper) and smartphones. I prefer the Vesper unit.
Enjoy your new anchoring skills.
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Old 29-06-2016, 14:59   #3
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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Originally Posted by AFKASAP View Post

How about you guys? Are there some nervous sleepers out there? Or are you all completely relaxed?
Living on the hook is the very best! Completely relaxed? Never! You do need good ground tackle, and need to be confident (from your experience), but when the wind kicks up you'll be up. I doubt anyone trusts their tackle enough not to be concerned when the weather gets nasty. We rarely drag, but I have definitely missed quite a number of hours of sleep in the past 4 years.

Ralph
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Old 29-06-2016, 15:17   #4
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

You can get what's called a Telltale Compass. It's one where the needle, markings, & glass, are on the "bottom". So that the skipper can have it mounted overtop of his bunk & be able to tell what direction or heading the boat's on at a glance, when sleeping.
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Old 29-06-2016, 15:35   #5
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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Originally Posted by RTB View Post
Living on the hook is the very best! Completely relaxed? Never! You do need good ground tackle, and need to be confident (from your experience), but when the wind kicks up you'll be up. I doubt anyone trusts their tackle enough not to be concerned when the weather gets nasty. We rarely drag, but I have definitely missed quite a number of hours of sleep in the past 4 years.

Ralph
I sleep like a baby even though two summers ago, we woke up on the beach inside our boat.

Now I set an anchor alarm.
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Old 29-06-2016, 15:49   #6
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

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I sleep like a baby even though two summers ago, we woke up on the beach inside our boat.

Now I set an anchor alarm.
Is this going to turn into another anchor thread?
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Old 29-06-2016, 15:50   #7
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

I am completely relaxed.
If i storm is blowing in, i might be less relaxed, but normally i am totally comfortable.
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Old 29-06-2016, 15:55   #8
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

Been anchoring for 25 yrs and pretty much have no issues.... Storms are rare and I would be paying attention... mostly for other boats dragging on to my chain.... and it's happened.
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Old 29-06-2016, 15:55   #9
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

Hi,
Drag Queen app from Active Captain, keep your phone or tablet plugged in or it may drain your battery and turn off before morning. But I still wake up too!! I will always trade a couple of minutes of sleep every night for the freedom of being on my own hook ... as long as I wake up in the same place that I go to sleep in.
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Old 29-06-2016, 15:59   #10
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

I always look outside in the middle of the night when I get up to pee to see if I'm in the same spot. As you get older the pee anchor check occurs more and more!
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Old 29-06-2016, 16:09   #11
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

IF I get up to use the head, I will also stick my head out the main hatch to look around. WE typically anchor in tight anchorages. This is more to see what direction we've swung based on wind and tide shifts. It's hard to tell what people are running for scope. Sometimes a 180 degree shift puts someone with much longer scope into your radius, or you into someone who is running very, very short scope. Or the idiot that decides to anchor at night, within your swing radius, then toss out a stern anchor. (which happens more than you'd think).
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Old 29-06-2016, 16:42   #12
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

Makes me anxious. But, you avoid anchoring on a near lee shore, you set your anchor well before you are going to bed, you record your lat-lon, you set any of the anchor alarms you have - chart plotter, radar, AIS, etc. and you check for movement before you sleep. Actually, not anchoring on a lee shore killed thousands of European sailors in in the West Indies in the 17th and 18th centuries - it meant that the yellow fever mosquitoes were blown to them......
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Old 29-06-2016, 17:07   #13
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

LOL... I had a very similar conversation with a friend of mine. Like you, I'm still not completely comfortable and sleep with my tablet. It allows me to view all my data (wind speed, heading, GPS pos) from my Vesper (well it did till 2 weeks ago and the lightening gods robbed me of it). Anyway.. My friend just laughed and said.. "Drop your hook, let out the appropriate scope and sleep like a rock". That night he proceeded to demonstrate as he slept through a 30 knot squall and had no idea it even happened..
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Old 29-06-2016, 17:23   #14
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

I agree with the guy who posted the "pee anchor alarm system." I'm one of those - a three-a-night check every night regardless. We are full time liveaboards and spend 90% anchored. We sail the Caribbean Basin so rarely are we without wind, sometimes swell (rolly). Often biggest concern is other boats and their ability to properly anchor.

In over 100 consecetive nights at anchor we have never dragged after being confident the anchor is set. On two occasions the anchor failed to set properly, once it was fouled by a towel at the bottom of Simpson Bay Lagoon in St. Maarten. The second was in Roseau, and the anchor failing to bite in seagrass. After three attempts it properly set and never dragged the next three days.

Tips to successful anchoring:

1. Read books by experts, such as Fatty Goodlander, Ralph A(something of Annapolis) great tips on methods and ground tackle.

2. Know your abilities and don't be over confident.

3. 7 to 1 scope has never failed me. I rarely deploy less even if the weather is benign because oftentimes it changes at 2 am in the morning. If the wind gets above 30 kts frequently as it does in the Eastern Caribbean 10 to 1 is better insurance.

4. Oversize ground tackle (experts will tell you this also) play attention to rodes, swivels, shackles and windlass. Three anchors on board of various sizes and functions is good insurance. Understand how to deploy them and practice when its not an emergency especially if needed to deploy two anchors for tidal conditions or swing issues.

5. Know what to check, Know what questions you need to be able to answer, Know how to confirm holding status. A big part of successful anchoring is knowing what to check. This means what type of bottom are you anchoring on? Types of boats in your area that could potentially drag down on you, attempt to gain an understanding of how they are anchored and their ability. Is it a charter boat for example. Did they deploy a lunch hook when evening squalls are forecast? Often telltale signs will give you insight into another captain's anchoring ability. Obtain bearings that can be read in total darkness. Have an exit strategy.

Certainly the five tips above are not everything you need to know but if you follow each of these the chances of dragging is greatly reduced.

Let the following drive your decision making and you will more likely than not be fine "At the end of the day, if the boat drags it is the Captain's fault - period."

If you are dragging once or more a year, then you are dragging too much!
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Old 29-06-2016, 17:29   #15
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Re: Getting comfortable with anchoring is really liberating

p.s. to prior post. Depending on electronic devices to solely alert you to a dragging anchor is a fool's errand. Too often I've seen nearly new electronics fail, battery power drained to the point of not powering, etc....

If your or your family's life is at stake there may be no second chances. Don't leave it to someone else or a device to solely protect the family and expensive assets. As a redundant device or back-up great.
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