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Old 18-09-2012, 17:00   #16
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

I haven't stood anchor watch or set an anchor alarm since we switched to the Rocna several years ago.

We sleep in the forward cabin, just abaft the chain locker. If there's anything going on with the chain, I'll hear it from there. We have semi-diurnal tides that reverse every six hours, which means I'll always go through at least one 180 degree shift per night. I always hear it, and usually decide that's a good time to take a pee.
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Old 18-09-2012, 17:26   #17
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
I haven't stood anchor watch or set an anchor alarm since we switched to the Rocna several years ago.

We sleep in the forward cabin, just abaft the chain locker. If there's anything going on with the chain, I'll hear it from there. We have semi-diurnal tides that reverse every six hours, which means I'll always go through at least one 180 degree shift per night. I always hear it, and usually decide that's a good time to take a pee.
+1!
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Old 18-09-2012, 17:30   #18
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

You tend to get in tune with the boat and it's sounds etc. If you go to sleepwith a breeze through the hatch and in the middle of the night, everything "feels" different, you learn to pop your head out and look around. If it's blowing hard, choppy, deep anchorage etc, you learn to give a look every now and then.
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Old 18-09-2012, 17:43   #19
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

Earlier this year we anchored in a North/South oriented channel between two islands in the Andaman Sea. Good holding in 10m, 1 to 2 kt tidal current. Dead calm night.

There were other boats anchored, we dropped the hook toward the North of the channel and left a decent distance between us and the nearest boat to the South even after stretching our chain with plenty of scope. All boats oriented bow to North into the current.

Dived and checked anchor well set and made sure we were nowhere near the nearest boat's anchor/chain; it was a boat doing charters. Set anchor alarm to very small radius, had dinner, relaxed in cockpit and waited for tide to reverse, which it duly did. Now all the boats oriented with bows to South.

Suddenly, in the dark, we hear voices nearby and see the boat that was to our South still pointing south but right next to our starboard side. We shouted "are you dragging?" Interestingly, their reply was "no, you are dragging".

Two points I find interesting from the human performance point of view:

1. The very first assumption we both made was that the other boat was dragging.

2. It is possible that neither boat was dragging.

What is really not possible is for one boat to drag the anchor up-current, which was the other skipper's assumption. If you are seeing someone in your stern get closer to you at anchor, it is most likely you that is dragging, or you have so much more scope than the other boat that you get closer when the current reverses.

That said, and to answer the OPs question, keeping some form of watch at night is of the utmost importance, even if it is just the anchor alarm. In our case that didn't help because we didn't move, but we could have. If we had been more alert we could have called the other boat earlier and alert them.
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Old 18-09-2012, 17:56   #20
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

There were many good suggestions in the replies. The most important consideration that I can suggest is to have not good but GREAT ground tackle as Bash alluded to. And of course, adequate scope.

For years I had great success with my Bruce anchors. They are no longer reliable here in southern Massachusetts where ell grass proliferates. Sure, others might still recommend a Bruce which does have good holding in some bottom conditions BUT NOT ELL GRASS.

You should consider oversizing your anchor as well. With my 40' Silverton, I have witnessed failures with the Bruce, a 55# Delta along with an 88# Delta. The only successful anchor so far is an 80# Manson Supreme. Bash wrote about his success with a Rocna. But I am not recommending an anchor! That is your choice.

A few weeks ago I was anchored in one of the local islands, Cuttyhunk which is part of the Elisabeth Island Chain. I had a scope of 6-7 (can't remember) and a front came through around 10PM with driving rain and wind that had to be in excess of 50k. I WAS CONCERNED! The only way I could tell if the boat was holding was to look at the GPS plot. It had formed a perfect circle. The Manson held!

I like to sleep at night! If you also have hopes of sleeping, get reliable ground tackle and learn how to use it. Good luck--

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Old 18-09-2012, 17:57   #21
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

Interesting story for sure. When I chartered in Tonga years ago, our last night at anchor was not too far from the base. We anchored on a shelf of sand that dropped off fast to be really deep. next morn we ate breakfast, and were cleaning up the boat when I looked out the portlite I realized we were "dragging"................... well actually, we were just slowly drifting accross the bay with the anchor dangling down about 100 feet! Nice it didnt happen at night. Electronic Anchor watch would have been nice, but it was 1990 and a charter boat...
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Old 18-09-2012, 18:19   #22
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

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If it's BAD weather, we watch ! on 4 hour shifts. If it's just blowing a bit theres the OLD way of useing a small grappnel anchor alongside, with a line thru a port to hooked to anything that will make noise to wake ya up !! just a thought
Hooked around your big toe, right, Bob?
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Old 18-09-2012, 18:31   #23
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

A zero amp anchor alarm is as follows. When you anchor drop a 5 lb. weight on a 1/4" line near it. Play out the anchor rode and 1/4" line at the same time. Secure the anchor rode normally and attach the 1/4" weight line to a cow bell. If your anchor drags the 5 lb. weight will pull the cow bell and allert you right away.
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Old 18-09-2012, 19:44   #24
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

When I feel the need to keep anchor watch, I usually sleep in the cockpit or main salon. This way I can just roll over periodically and look around and then go back to sleep. On many boats, visibility for a cabin is not so good. Out of habit, I wake up whenever the boat shifts of the weather changes, but if I am concerned about dragging then I also set an alarm on my hand held GPS (some models have an "anchor drag" alarm feature).
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Old 18-09-2012, 21:17   #25
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

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Hooked around your big toe, right, Bob?
Naa I don't like it on my toes! Im to tickleish!! LOL I just use a pot or a pan !! works for me ! and no battery drain !!
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Old 19-09-2012, 00:00   #26
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Re: Watch keeping at anchor

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Naa I don't like it on my toes! Im to tickleish!! LOL I just use a pot or a pan !! works for me ! and no battery drain !!
But Bob, doesn't Connie get mad when her favorite (noisy) pan goes flying out the companionway and overboard?

Jim
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