Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-02-2014, 06:25   #1
Registered User
 
Capt.Alex's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Somewhere in the Bahamas
Boat: Hylas 46
Posts: 308
Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

I am in the process of developing a plan for securing my boat in the event of a hurricane. Being a long time boat owner in Florida I have had plenty of practice securing boats tied to a dock. My question is, what are your favorite techniques for securing a boat at anchor? How many anchors? How are they placed? All off the bow? Best material for chafe gear? Lets not discuss anchor type, that dead horse has been beaten mercilessly here.
It would be interesting to hear first hand what has worked and what has not, from those that have ridden out a hurricane on the hook(s).
__________________

__________________
Capt.Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 19:05   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,432
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

I can give you a little information. I have sat out 2 near misses in Antigua. One was on a 110 ton motor yacht that was tied up stern too the quay. The captain was on vacation (I was the mate) when a Hurricane was forecast. It picked up in the night, so I ran a generator all night(windlass was 240 volt) and when the stern lines started to slacken, I took up a little on the 2, 400 lb anchors. Engish harbor is mostly soft mud and anchors can drag slowly. Another Hurricane was predicted a week or so later, so I moved the boat to a better protected cove within English Harbor and didnt have any trouble. Lots of rain, but not much wind. Next season I was on my own 44 sailboat when a Hurricane was supposed to hit us, so I left English Harbor for a better anchorage on the northeast coast. It was way inside of a large bay and I set 3 anchors off of the bow and 4 or 5 lines to the mangroves. It turned out to be not much wind, but horrendous rain. One of the reasons I went to this anchorages was that almost all of the European sailors had told me that if you went to the Hurricane holes near English Harbor, that the local fish boats often arrive too late and slash your lines to get into the best spot. That may be a nasty rumor, but I didnt want to test the theory. It pays to find the anchorages that most boats dont go to. A friend I met in the South Pacific, later sat out a horrendous Hurricane in Culebra a few years later. He said he motored up a creek until the mangroves were scratching his paint, and then tied off. The boat didnt suffer any damage other than the paint, and hundreds of boats were destroyed. More anchors, heavier anchors, less other boats, and less fetch is your best bet. Just my 2 cents worth. _____Grant.
__________________

__________________
gjordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 19:26   #3
CF Adviser
 
Pelagic's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Boat: Van Helleman Schooner 65ft StarGazer
Posts: 6,872
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

Anchored in quite a few Hurricane/Typhoons and can tell you that it is very much location dependent as to suggested tactics.
Here are some generalities:

Most important factor is to monitor anticipated track and to know which direction the wind will swing so that you know the wind/fetch direction at maximum force.

Sometimes it is better to accept an early period of longer fetch if you can anchor in good holding of heavy delta mud and plenty of dragging room towards soft shallows, rather than tuck up in a narrow rock strewn hook that can become a lee shore later

I prefer the KISS principal of one set of heavy ground tackle and heavy duty bridal so that if I had to shift because of a last minute dangerous neighbors or a sudden change in track, I can do that.

Anchor Bridal and chafe protection is critical as well as safety lines for deck inspection during storm.
__________________
Pelagic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 19:37   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Annapolis, MD
Boat: Sail any boats from 28 to 60 ft
Posts: 530
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

Arrive to the hurricane hole really early, take out your shot gun fence off all the late comers. Tie your boat to each four corner to a 36 inches tree trunk. If there is no tree, start planting a few trees this year. Forty years from now, you will have a prefect hurricane hole for us to use.
__________________
rockDAWG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 19:43   #5
Registered User
 
tomfl's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Florida
Boat: Seawind 1000xl
Posts: 1,959
Images: 10
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

Don't know about Daytona but in the Keys and parts of the West Coast the general idea is to take the boat up in the mangroves or a river or creek and not only use anchors but also multiple lines attached to multiple mangrove roots or trees. Short lengths of fire hose work well as chafe gear. Try to find a place with no direct view of open water and attach lines to as many things as possible covering all directions. Depending on how the storm hits the wind direction may change and you need to set your lines to deal with this.
__________________
tomfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 19:44   #6
Registered User
 
Nicholson58's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Live aboard
Boat: Camper & Nicholson58 Ketch - ROXY Traverse City, Michigan No.668283
Posts: 3,466
Images: 83
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

GJordan - All tried & true recommended methods. We haven't had to deal with this yet but:

We carry primary 7/16 G4 chain rode 300 feet ROCNA 54 kilo; secondary 600 feet 5/8" 3-strand with chain terminus. Other anchors are 74# CQR; 54# BRUCE; 35 # Danforth; 180# fisherman (disassembled). We have 1" snubber with chain hooks, scrapped 2" fire hose for chafe. 600 feet of spooled 1/2" 3-strand; 200 feet 3/4" 3-strand.

We are 58 feet LOA; 15'-7" beam; 36 tons; 6'-8" draft. Camper-Nicholson ketch with modified full keel (encapsulated).

#1 policy - stay out of the hurricane zones.

I'm not sure what our best plan would be but certainly geography dependent. I have heard form many that the best if available is into the mangroves and anchor off all four corners. Stay away from other boats.

If you are at a mooring, dive on it and verify the shackles & chain are sound. If you have time, check out your neighbor's moorings too so you dont have to worry about them hitting you. We carry a 5-gallon bucket of throw-away galvanized shackles.
__________________
Nicholson58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 22:03   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 2,432
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

On my previous 37 foot boat I carried an 85lb Northhill as a storm anchor. Never had to use it, but it was nice to know it was there if needed. It would have been tough to row out in a dink if needed. _____Grant.
__________________
gjordan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 22:37   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Usually South Florida these days
Posts: 825
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

If you can get your boat to a hurricane hole 3 days before a storm hits, you will usually be able to find a prime spot & be able to spider web yourself in there good. Mangroves are one of the classic spots to choose. Two days before a storm hits, pickins are usually a bit thin, but not impossible to find. The day before a storm, you are probably in tough shape & will need to take what you can get.

Some guys over at Coconut Grove Sailing Club told me that their favorite method of setting up ground tackle for a hurricane was to set three anchors at 120 degrees apart from each other, then connect the 3 lines all to a single point, & then connect a line from there to the bow hardware. It's sort of a beefed up version of the Bahamian mooring style. For a bow-only tie up, out in an open area, this seemed to make sense to me.

As for chafing gear, I have read in multiple places that nylon & poly ropes often fail due to internal heat. Apparently, high stress causes heat inside the line & if the heat can't get out, the strands in the middle eventually melt. Because of this, it is recommended that chafing gear not resemble a tight fitting rubber hose, but rather have some sort of venting to let the heat out. I was shown a piece of 3-strand nylon line that had failed & sure enough, you could see little balls on the ends of the strands near the center. My strategy for dealing with that is to just go with super beef from the bow cleat out about 5 or 6 feet & then connect to your standard anchor line. Let the short chunk of super heavy line take the heat inside the chafing gear. It should have enough excess capacity to survive it. Other people punch holes in rubber hoses that they use for chafing gear or else use woven materials that breath a little.

If you want to get your boat hauled up on the hard for a storm, you had better be on the pre-paid list at the beginning of the season. Most facilities don't have excess capacity when a storm hits & late arrivals often get turned away.
__________________
pbiJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2014, 22:47   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Usually South Florida these days
Posts: 825
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

A crusty live-aboard up in Riviera Beach that I know, will dive the area around his mooring & tie off lines to sunken wrecks, old motor blocks & any other heavy junk that he can find on the bottom. He claims to ride out the storms on-board with a big stash of booze. He claims that it works for him. My strategy would be different.
__________________
pbiJim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-02-2014, 09:15   #10
Registered User
 
Capt.Alex's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Somewhere in the Bahamas
Boat: Hylas 46
Posts: 308
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

Good responses so far. Which Caribbean islands offer the best and most numerous "Hurricane Holes"? If you had enough time, which would be your go-to hole?
__________________
Capt.Alex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 10:53   #11
One of Those
 
Canibul's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Turks and Caicos Islands
Boat: Catalac 12M
Posts: 3,209
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

Crater Lake.
__________________
Expat life in the Devil's Triangle:
http://2gringos.blogspot.com/
Canibul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 11:51   #12
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

I'd rather be in Crater Lake too! ....or on the hard with tie downs. ....or way up the creek in a well protected marina.

Unfortunately, I have not always had any of these options. I've anchored out in a few close calls with tropical storm winds and a couple of hurricanes. I've never had any damage, but I don't know if this is just my luck or some outcome of skill. I run for a good hurricane hole anytime a hurricane has the potential to reach be in three days. A "good" spot for me meets the following criteria:

Fetch - less than 500yds in all directions
Inland - I go upstream as far as my vertical clearance and a potential destination allows.
Holding - I do best with sand, clay or firm mud.
Shallow - This usually follows with well upstream
Elevated Surroundings - Hills, forests, even big homes as a wind block
Forgiving Shore - If I drag I don't want rock or cement docks.
No Debris - Nothing loose ashore to fly about
No Neighbors - Best, but out of my control. This is why I don't speak of my favorite spots.

I don't often find all of these, but I've been able to get the first four. I put out one anchor on two hundred feet of chain with three strong bridles set in succession so if the first one fails, then the second is ready, then the third. Needless to say, I remove all windage from the deck. I can't function on the deck once the wind is up to eighty so, most everything has to be done in preparation.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 13:47   #13
Registered User
 
s/v Moondancer's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Fiji but heading for Alaska
Boat: Tayana 55
Posts: 1,223
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

In the last 10 years I have anchored my boats in Hurricanes: Wilma, Karina (in Florida where it was cat 2) and Sandy.

After Hurricanes Wilma and Katrina hit Coconut Grove Sailing Club and the Club lost/ ran aground almost 50 boats the Moorings Chairman, Billy Beavers and I, wrote and taught a day-long, yearly Hurricane Preparedness Course. Billy has anchored boats in every hurricane to hit Miami over the last 25-30 years, all without serious damage, and can be considered an expert.

Billy taught me and I used it in hurricane Sandy that the most important thing is to stop the boat 'sailing' on the anchors and shock loading the system. Billy runs 3 anchors at 120 deg all off the bow. He did not teach, the last time we did a course together, the 3 rodes coming to a single shackle as it is too hard to set the anchors.

However, I think the mangroves are safer...nose in, two stern anchors at 90 deg and multiple lines to the trees.

For the chafe protection it is important that the rain can get to the rode and cool the rope. We have seen rodes protected by plastic hose fail form the heat generated by the repeated flexing, just like a paper clip breaks if repeatedly flexed.

All of this is for naught if you do not strip everything off the boat including the reefed genoa.
__________________
Phil

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
s/v Moondancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 15:58   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,910
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
....He said he motored up a creek until the mangroves were scratching his paint, and then tied off. ...
.

That....and then get off the boat and catch a flight to somewhere else!

I've lived most of my life in the hurricane zone, seen what Cat 4-5s can do, and seen tropical stroms spin up into hurricanes at the last minute (resulting in people on boats dying). I'm amazed that people still foolishly try to ride them out aboard....nothing you can physically do in winds much above Cat 1 anyway. I'm not willing to die, or even risk dying, for a boat. Secure it the best you can and get the hell outta dodge!
__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2014, 16:01   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,910
Re: Hurricane Anchoring Tactics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Alex View Post
Good responses so far. Which Caribbean islands offer the best and most numerous "Hurricane Holes"? If you had enough time, which would be your go-to hole?
Rio Dulce, Guatemala.
__________________

__________________
belizesailor is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
anchor, anchoring, hurricane

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:55.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.