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Old 01-05-2012, 04:22   #1
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Dragging the Chain

Alright, people, its time to come clean.

My biggest fear when I finally purchase a cat is dragging the anchor while I'm asleep.
I remember bareboating in the Whitsundays and was awake more than asleep in fear of the worst, running aground, shipwrecked and god knows what else, all in 3 mtrs of water!
Mind you it was a mono, so forgive me for that.

However, are there any souls out there who had the same experience and if so, how long did it take to get your confidence up?

I long to "drop the hook" anywhere I please, but I'm still afraid of dragging?
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:24   #2
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Re: Dragging the chain

Dunno what to say - get a decent anchor and learn to use it.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:25   #3
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Re: Dragging the chain

Not the answer I was looking for, but well done anyway!
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:34   #4
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I was afraid but spent about $300 on a little gps and antenna and set the anchor alarm. Sleep like a baby and never have had a problem. And I must admit I did test it my setting it up without being at anchor. I could then see the actual distance when the alarm went off. Very reassuring I can tell you.
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Ps...love the Whitsunday's.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:37   #5
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Re: Dragging the chain

Thanks Mick C, that's the sort of information that is actually worth reading!
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:48   #6
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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.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:50   #7
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Re: Dragging the chain

Thanks DirkDig, that's also very useful. was there a time before all these options that you had sleepless nights?
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:52   #8
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Re: Dragging the chain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gasman View Post
Alright, people, its time to come clean.

My biggest fear when I finally purchase a cat is dragging the anchor while I'm asleep.
I remember bareboating in the Whitsundays and was awake more than asleep in fear of the worst, running aground, shipwrecked and god knows what else, all in 3 mtrs of water!
Mind you it was a mono, so forgive me for that.

However, are there any souls out there who had the same experience and if so, how long did it take to get your confidence up?

I long to "drop the hook" anywhere I please, but I'm still afraid of dragging?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Factor View Post
Dunno what to say - get a decent anchor and learn to use it.
Actually Factor is right on the money. As you state, you have a fear (mainly irrational) and no confidence, that is all that is keeping you awake.

With knowledge, irrational fear vanishes. Of course rational fear can still remain and this serves you well!

So get an decent anchor and rode, learn how to use it, anchor up in daylight in an area you know well on some windy days and get used to knowing that it will hold OK.

If this doesn't do the trick, just remember that in a cat, you can walk ashore if you drag and end up aground. Probably won't even get your shorts wet!

Edit: personal experience, I had a couple (3 or 4) of sleepless nights until I realized everything was OK. I still wake up automatically if conditions change (get worse) during the night and that is a good thing! Never had an electronic aids, just let your senses get used to the ocean and its ways.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:57   #9
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Took a while of sleeping with one eye/ ear open.
Chartplotters have a drag alarm.
Sink the anchor after you get the bridle on and most times you will be right.
There have been lots of times where we have had to anchor in tight spots up creeks and next to reef or walls and a change in tide or wind has been more of an issue,thats where the apps are great with the diameter drift alert.
You will be surprised how quick you get ok with it.
One thing on learned on this forum is you will learn to listen to your boat,every sound will become either normal or thats not right?
You will feel the change when it happens.
Plenty of moorings in the whitsundays to hop on too.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:11   #10
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Re: Dragging the chain

I usually set the depth alarm on the sounder as well along with the gps anchor alarm. Allows for plenty of practice jumps out of bed with flying leaps into the cockpit whenever a fish swims under the transducer! That aside, my approach is to dig the anchor in by drifting back until it grabs then reversing under moderate power for a few seconds to ensure it is well and truly stuck. Then I just figure that if the boat stayed in place all afternoon while we were looking, then it will continue to stay in place during the night when we aren't looking.

Having said that, you need to be confident of your anchoring set up. I personally felt a whole lot better after going to all chain as it all but negated the risk of chafe, something that did play on my mind when anchoring in bays bounded by rocky reef along with the odd bommie.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:15   #11
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Re: Dragging the chain

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.......... then reversing under moderate power for a few seconds to ensure it is well and truly stuck. Then I just figure that if the boat stayed in place all afternoon while we were looking, then it will continue to stay in place during the night when we aren't looking........
And if you are unsure, use full power (astern) for a minute or two. No anchor should should ever drag at full power.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:18   #12
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Re: Dragging the chain

I would get a really good anchor, chain, and winch. Don't waste too much money on electric alarms, that money is better spent on ground tackle that won't drag. Eventually you'll be confident and sleep through most weather. Those anchor drag apps just wake you to a allready bad scene. Might be nice to have one later, but I wouldnt base my anchoring system on it. You'll only use it when the wind really picks up.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:24   #13
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Re: Dragging the chain

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And if you are unsure, use full power (astern) for a minute or two. No anchor should should ever drag at full power.
I agree with full power, but a minute or two??!!! C'mon man, that's a pretty savage cut into serious drinkin' time lol.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:29   #14
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Re: Dragging the chain

Do a lot of day sail anchoring. Spend and hour, now and then, just fooling with scope and setting practices. Practice with a smaller anchor, if you have one. Anchor in places you would not (open). Learn to feel the bottom through the rode (an anchor is never better than what it's burried in). Practice setting a second anchor.

In this way you will get a feel for it while you're awake! As others have said, knowledge is the key.

And by the way, there are times when you shouldn't trust the anchor; the inocent can sleep because they don't know.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:29   #15
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All chain,bigger anchor than maybe specified.
You should not go too far.
Took a lot of effort to get ours out after a night of 35 knots and 2 meter swell/ waves pounding us.
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