I lived in Puerto Rico
for five years and each year I faced the same decision. Every time a hurricane
or tropical storm threated, I had to decide when I was going to anchor
my yacht before the storm hit.
When storm warnings came, everyone rushed out into the harbors, nooks, and crannies to anchor
their yachts. It was a fairly chaotic situation, and I had big misgiving about joining the waves of concerned captains. What bothered me the most was two things.
1. The best locations quickly filled up with yachts to the point that there were too many yachts in a confined area, and if the storm hit, the yachts themselves would participate in a giant demolition derby from yachts smashing into each other during the storm. That particular scenario was a very good argument for a steel
2. No matter where you anchored, and no matter how good your ground tackle, if someone with inadequate anchors and poor ground tackle anchored to windward of you, all of your preparation went down the drain. When they dragged anchor, they would obliterate your boat. A friend of mine did just fine in a Pacific hurricane
until another boat dragged into his and puched a hole in the hull
sinking the yacht.
Because of these two facts, I came up with my own saying about storm anchoring
. HE WHO ANCHORS LAST, ANCHORS BEST.
This method always worked for me. I waited until everyone else had their anchor down, and then I went out and laid my anchors and placed my yacht so that nobody else could drag into me. I never worried about other yachts dragging into me, and I never had other yachts crowding around me because I was the last person to put the anchor down.
What is your strategy and timing of anchoring for tropical storms and hurricanes?