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Old 01-05-2012, 06:37   #16
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Re: Dragging the chain

I've never dragged at anchor, but I've had several sleepless nights, especially when anchoring at a new place, or with new ground tackle, until I get used to it. Or on a stormy night.


I would say anchor in alot until you get used to it. I don't think it harms anything to when you panic and bolt awake every couple of hours, to throw something on and go on deck to check the rode tension, and take a hand bearing just to be sure.

One thing I found helps the process is to take a few good sights on any landmarks, or lights on shore, and/or nearby boats, both above and from a hatch near bed. Then when I bolt awake, I just quickly look at the lights through the hatch to verify they haven't moved.

Yes; nearby boats are a good indicator, if his anchor lights gone, either he dragged or you did. Either one it merits further checking. If both boats dragged the exact same time the exact same distance, then ????

Don't worry, confidence in your ground tackle come with experience, ....and a really, really, really big anchor,.....(a Rokna?)

And I sleep with a handheld GPS with anchor alarm set under my pillow.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:40   #17
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Re: Dragging the chain

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Originally Posted by dirkdig View Post
Great way to go is with the various apps for anchor alarms on ipads and iphones.
Anchor alert
Anchor watch
I drifter
Drag queen
Are a few of the available apps.
I set the ipad and iphone you can preset the area of alarm activation to suit your surroundings.
We anchored behind cape byron in 35 knots of se rough swell too,having the alarms helps with sleep.
I just found having the chartplotter on with the alarm uses a bit of battery power.
Around the inlets of the whitsundays we found its more swinging than dragging can be an issue when its busy.
It wont take long at all to get comfortable and sleep well with the apps on.
Thanks for useful apps, i will try a few of them.
However, once I leave my boat at anchor i always get worried if it drifts off while i am ashore/away. Is there any of these or other apps that have the option to either trigger a call, SMS or E-mail?
I sometimes leave my iPad in the boat and bring my iPhone with me ashore. Thus if the app would allow the iPad in the boat to call, SMS or e-mail my iPhone when the alarm goes off I could imediately know, and thus try to rush back as to help the situation.....
Does this sound logical??

PS I can confirm that your night sleep is greatly improved with these gadgets. I use 2 independent anchor watch systems (chartplotter+iPad/iPhone) and the only time we have dragged at night (due to a 150 deg sudden wind 'blast' of 35 knots in South Eastern Turkey) these two systems did not only wake me up but everyone onboard. Moreover, i prefer the systems with a dimmed screen in order not to loose your night vision after looking at the screen.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:43   #18
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Re: Dragging the chain

The more you anchor the better you will sleep,but yes in unfamiliar grounds with a rising wind and dangers astern one must sleep lightly and be completely prepared to make a quick exit to plan B. Thinking all this through before cocktails etc. will contribute to a more relaxing night. Listen to weather forecasts regarding wind speed and direction changes and of course know the course you must steer when things go south at o'dark thirty;your world will look very different if things get nasty and that is no time to sort things out while half asleep.
So ,yes,uneasy rests the captains mind on these nights, but so too when underway , even in benign conditions. In time, with practice, you will find that being snugged down at anchor may be the most relaxing format. You will learn much about how all that is happening below the surface by snorkeling over your anchor or any others from time to time.
My first rule of anchoring is the somewhat counter intuitive :making ready to get underway again.Sooner or later you will be thankful for this seaman-like approach.

Sweet Dreams.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:45   #19
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Re: Dragging the chain

My answer to this is VesperMarine. LOVE the unit. See my entry on this topic.

s/v Field Trip: Commodore 64
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:03   #20
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Re: Dragging the chain

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Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
I agree with full power, but a minute or two??!!! C'mon man, that's a pretty savage cut into serious drinkin' time lol.
What was I thinking, of course you are correct
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:05   #21
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Re: Dragging the chain

Nineteen posts and nobody's mentioned scope yet? An oversized anchor won't hold you if you're shy on scope, I learned the hard way. Now I make sure I have the room and put down 5 to 1 when I'm comfortable and 7 to 1 or more when the winds are up or I'm unsure about the ground I'm in. The only thing that keeps me awake is the genius that drops 3 to 1 on top of my hook then heads for the cantina. Oh well, at least he set his anchor alarm so I can listen to it beeping untill 4 am.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:29   #22
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Re: Dragging the chain

oversized anchor, LOTS of good chain----in a stormy place or a roadstead i use almost 10:1 scope. works--i dont drag. must have practice, also. ye dont get it right first time around, usually. just dont anchor next to rocks or anyone with a more expensive boat than yours.
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:32   #23
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Re: Dragging the chain

just dont anchor next to rocks or anyone with a more expensive boat than yours.[/QUOTE]

LOL Great advice Zee!
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:47   #24
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Re: Dragging the chain

As all of the others have said, it's confidence which comes from experience and education. I did a lot of reading on this forum and then went out and practiced in various conditions.

I have to admit that I bought an anchor twice the recommended size that I already had (70 lbs for a 35 ft boat) and about 40 ft of chan. Don't laugh. I sleep well.

Like other have mentioned, I also bough a hand help GPS with anchor alarm. That REALLY helps me sleep. My biggest concern now is the scope and swing. Too much scope in a crowded anchorage with inconsistant currents can reak havoc. I.e. boats not all swinging in the same direction and bashing into each other. But that's another story.

Read up on it in some of the threads in this forum and learn from others mistakes rather than make them yourself. (Experience without the cost).
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Old 01-05-2012, 08:54   #25
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Re: Dragging the chain

only 40 ft chain would chafe thru in the situations in which i anchor---i use ALL chain and have lost galvo on more than 150 ft of it. i will be searching for more chain or a galvo lace once i get to gulf coast....dont know when that will be, but is coming--LOOK OUT EVERYONE----LOL
when in doubt-wrap it around a rock or two, and have the chain sink thru a sunken boat--ye wont drag. i promise.(btdt)
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:09   #26
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Re: Dragging the chain

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only 40 ft chain would chafe thru in the situations in which i anchor---i use ALL chain and have lost galvo on more than 150 ft of it.
That is interesting. While it is my intention to eventually go all chain (when I add a windlass) I am curious about the chafing. From what I have read, I was under the impression that about a foot of chain per length of boat is sufficient to keep the scope low enough at anchor, and reduce chafing at that end.

If you are chafing for 150 ft of chain, could that perhaps be due to the weight and the fact the chain lays on the bottom? I would think a rope rode would tend to stay off the bottom in an angle from the end of the chain to the boat? I can't imagine it dragging on the bottom a lot? Just curious.

My reasoning for going all chain is more for the light wind/current days so the boat doesn't drift as much as well as the comfort of knowing it is less likely to get cut or worn through than rope.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:15   #27
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Re: Dragging the chain

those who listen to the vendors seem to have most problem dragging and chafing. i follow common sense and teachings of antique souls who were GOOD at doing this sailing and anchoring thing.
chain is important--more important than the anchor vendors claim. chain will keep your boat inplace. isnt the anchor, as the vendors and west marine would have ye believing.
has been proven in actual real life situations.
rope rode chafes. badly. is good for kedging off and is good for lunch hooking--but is BAD for your investment in a constant cruising situation. unless ye wish to lose that investment....watched it happen many times in my long life.
which would you rather have holding your boat in a high wind situation?? rope chafes faster than you will believe and it snaps under heavy load. chain does not do that as easily. i watched 1 inch "yacht braid" snap under 40 kt winds....when you truly cruise, you find more often than not, high winds in your anchorage. you also do find big seas in an anchorage. preserve your boat in a sensible manner.
is not the chain chafing, is the rope. i watched a 40 ft yawl chafe thru 4 times in one week the various rope holding it to anchor. dragged all over anchorage here in la cruz de huanacaxtle, nayarit , mexico. owner now uses chain. smart man, but learned the hard way.
smooth sailing... be safe.
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:44   #28
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Re: Dragging the chain

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Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
....i watched a 40 ft yawl chafe thru 4 times in one week the various rope holding it to anchor. dragged all over anchorage here in la cruz de huanacaxtle, nayarit , mexico. owner now uses chain. smart man, but learned the hard way.
......
Funny! I've seen many confusing charts and graphs, and read many explanations about rope vs chain, and tensions, etc. and left with my head spinning. That story, in just a few sentences, paints a pretty good and simple picture (which is worth a thousand words & graphs).
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:47   #29
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Re: Dragging the chain

charts and graphs are all well and good for armchair sailors. in the reality of an UNCONTROLLED situation one NEEDS all chain to make the deal work and to prevent risk of investment. the graphs and charts are made from CONTROLLED situations well away from REAL life at sea.
and, THAT is the problem with the words of vendors and chandleries dictating the needs of truely cruising souls. they aint here. they aint trying to retrieve their lost boat from either salvors or rocks.
smooth sailing and happy anchoring. be safe. tough love hurts
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:48   #30
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Re: Dragging the chain

It just takes awhile to get come confidence in your anchor and self. I started like you, then my problem became I seldom woke up to check at all... unless the rig started whistling!
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