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Old 29-04-2013, 13:26   #46
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

Good luck with swimming out anchors! (glug!!) - but what you can do is bouy your anchors when leaving (just make sure that the bouy can support the weight of chain! and you can get the bouy back onboard! - will find it easier if the end of the Anchor chain has rope on it.......oh, and make sure you don't drop the end into the oggin with no bouy attached!
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Old 29-04-2013, 13:38   #47
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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Originally Posted by stephengrem View Post
Well I'm going through with it as soon as possible. This information really helps and there are a surprising number of you guys living at anchor. Thank you.

I'm so glad there isn't much large commercial boating out of sc. Now if we can just get rid of a few paddle boarders...

Do you guys think swimming out multiple anchors would be necessary? I know it couldn't hurt to do it. But that would be a pain every time I want to go out.

Stephen, my old "back yard" for sailing is an excellent anchorage and many boats stay out there. It doesn't take a tropical storm or hurricane, though. All it takes is one healthy thunderstorm and we have boats dragging and aground all over the place. Counting on one anchor is asking for an unexpected ride. It happened to me once -- I was on the boat and dragged ... are you ready?







FIVE HUNDRED FEET. Yes.

I was very lucky. I didn't end up aground, and that's good, because it was a chain of squalls. I also didn't hit any other boats while I was broken free and dragging.

You can make your own mooring -- four BIG blocks of cement with eyes in them, connected with four pieces of chain coming to a stout swivel. A fellow here makes them, and none of the boats moored to his system have ever dragged -- not even in tropical storms. You have to dive them periodically and check to make sure the chain, etc., is still good. You should have MULTIPLE pendants, not just one. But it's worth it. This is your home you're protecting. When I was helping someone with a boat moored out at Dinner Key, they had us put FOUR pendants on the boat, each with chafing gear. That boat rode through not only the bashing they got from TS Debby, but from TS Isaac, which was bodacious.

Go to my website to see what happened to a boat secured only by anchors in TS Debby here in the Tampa Bay area. The story is titled "Where to Keep Your Boat," and if that video doesn't encourage you to put in a mooring I don't know what will.
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Old 29-04-2013, 13:50   #48
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Wow 500ft! did you cross the swim line?

The homemade mooring is a great idea but is it necessary for just one summer? And is it legal in California?
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Old 29-04-2013, 14:20   #49
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

We've lived at anchor as long as 11 months. It wears on you after a while. We were cruising and moving around for 8 months of it, but it is hard to continually lug laundry ashore and lug provisions to the boat via dinghy and beach landings.

We did half of our boat preparation for cruising while at anchor (3 months in San Diego bay)... Not easy to install a watermaker while rolling around using hand tools... also we moved around in the anchorages in San Diego while doing all this boat prep, and it was tough having to continually coordinate the logistics of moving our truck from one part of San Diego to another so we could get off the boat and have a vehicle to drive around...

But it can be done!!
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Old 30-04-2013, 04:05   #50
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

Only one way to find out if its for you.Do it you just might love it! if not you would have learnt a lot about anchoring your boat. Live and learn.
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Old 30-04-2013, 12:51   #51
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Good luck with swimming out anchors! (glug!!) - but what you can do is bouy your anchors when leaving (just make sure that the bouy can support the weight of chain! and you can get the bouy back onboard! - will find it easier if the end of the Anchor chain has rope on it.......oh, and make sure you don't drop the end into the oggin with no bouy attached!

I buoyed an anchor once, because I couldn't get it up. Was back out two hours later with a friend to pull in the rode so I could drive up on it -- and the anchor was already gone.

In what I am sure was a *complete* coincidence, there was a row of crab traps right where I'd left my anchor.

I know someone else who had a similar problem. He left the anchor at 3PM one day and was back at 8AM the following day, and the anchor was already gone.
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Old 30-04-2013, 13:00   #52
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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Wow 500ft! did you cross the swim line?

The homemade mooring is a great idea but is it necessary for just one summer? And is it legal in California?

Well, what I *think* happened -- I woke up that morning to find the boat turning. It actually rotated a full 720 degrees on the anchor, and I think the chain fouled the anchor shank. And it was a big blow. I could feel the anchor reset several times, but it didn't hold. That's why I think the chain had wrapped around the shank.

At the time I had no rudder. In fact, I had had help "tugboating the boat" out with a dinghy, trying to get it to a deep enough place to put the new rudder in, but the wind was building, and we just couldn't steer it well enough. So it was suggested that since I live aboard, I just anchor and wait until the next morning. I never would have chosen to anchor out with weather coming through the next morning, and I learned a lesson -- don't anchor out impulsively. I have towboat insurance, and I should have gotten the real help I needed to move the boat safely back into the marina.

We suspect a waterspout was forming over my boat. No one has been able to think of anything else that would make it spin like that, although we'll never know. But I'm very familiar with that spot, and I got a 360 degree view of it -- twice. CREEPY.

I don't THINK it's illegal to put cement blocks down. I know that in many places in Florida it's illegal to put a deep screw down (the type that they use to secure power poles).
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Old 30-04-2013, 14:03   #53
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Well, what I *think* happened -- I woke up that morning to find the boat turning. It actually rotated a full 720 degrees on the anchor, and I think the chain fouled the anchor shank. And it was a big blow. I could feel the anchor reset several times, but it didn't hold. That's why I think the chain had wrapped around the shank.

At the time I had no rudder. In fact, I had had help "tugboating the boat" out with a dinghy, trying to get it to a deep enough place to put the new rudder in, but the wind was building, and we just couldn't steer it well enough. So it was suggested that since I live aboard, I just anchor and wait until the next morning. I never would have chosen to anchor out with weather coming through the next morning, and I learned a lesson -- don't anchor out impulsively. I have towboat insurance, and I should have gotten the real help I needed to move the boat safely back into the marina.

We suspect a waterspout was forming over my boat. No one has been able to think of anything else that would make it spin like that, although we'll never know. But I'm very familiar with that spot, and I got a 360 degree view of it -- twice. CREEPY.

I don't THINK it's illegal to put cement blocks down. I know that in many places in Florida it's illegal to put a deep screw down (the type that they use to secure power poles).
That's very creepy. 720 overnight or over a few minutes?
What is a waterspout?
What stopped you from dragging?
And with all these anchor dragging stories ive read from this thread and others I think I'll get the cinder blocks and learn to dive.
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Old 30-04-2013, 14:25   #54
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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Originally Posted by stephengrem View Post
That's very creepy. 720 overnight or over a few minutes?
What is a waterspout?
What stopped you from dragging?
And with all these anchor dragging stories ive read from this thread and others I think I'll get the cinder blocks and learn to dive.


In just a few seconds it spun that much ... maybe half a minute.

I'm not talking about cinder blocks. Cinderblocks will not hold you. You build a wood frame to pour the cement, and you make four 100 lb. blocks of cement with eyes in them so you can attach the chain. Whether it's legal in CA I don't know, but I suspect that in Pinellas County they're grateful for the boats that have done this. Zeehag has told some hair-raising stories about storms along the California coast. I have no first hand knowledge of that area and I don't know how prevalent storms are there. We have several fierce ones every summer here, not counting things like tropical storms and the squalls they create.

The anchor periodically caught, and the squall only lasted ... I dunno, 15 minutes, maybe, or I would have been aground in the next one, not good. The anchor would reset itself but couldn't hold up against the kind of wind and gusts that storm was generating. I'm sure the high freeboard didn't help, and I suspect it contributed to the spinning, plus the shape of my boat, which is very fat at the stern, so it really tapers down to the bow.
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Old 30-04-2013, 14:27   #55
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephengrem View Post
That's very creepy. 720 overnight or over a few minutes?
What is a waterspout?
What stopped you from dragging?
And with all these anchor dragging stories ive read from this thread and others I think I'll get the cinder blocks and learn to dive.


Oh PS a waterspout is a small (usually pretty weak) tornado that forms over the water. Technically it's a "water funnel cloud" until it touches the surface. A tornado is technically a funnel cloud until it touches ground. Water spouts are pretty common here, probably not so much in CA!
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Old 30-04-2013, 15:50   #56
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

FWIW,

In the areas that I am familiar with, moorings are a lot more substantial than 4 100 lb blocks. For typical 30-50 foot yachts, something like 1 to 3 tonnes of concrete would be used, or at least in Tasmania, railroad car wheels chained together are often preferred. From the anchor there is usually a length of very heavy chain and then either a lighter chain or a rope pendant to the surface float.

You must remember that concrete looses about 1/3 of its weight when immersed in sea water, so that the 400 lbs becomes less than 300. That's not much to hold your 10 to 30 thousand pound boat!

I am much happier with a good single anchor which I can raise and inspect myself than a very heavy mooring that requires special equipment to lift for inspection... which leads too often to deferred inspection and potential failure.

YMMV
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Old 30-04-2013, 16:02   #57
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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................... I am much happier with a good single anchor which I can raise and inspect myself than a very heavy mooring that requires special equipment to lift for inspection... which leads too often to deferred inspection and potential failure............ Jim

I'm in agreement with Jim for this. Conditions such as the bottom features and fetch affect the choice, but I also would rather be relying in my own ground tackle. Of course, the obvious advantage is mobility!
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Old 30-04-2013, 16:09   #58
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
FWIW,

In the areas that I am familiar with, moorings are a lot more substantial than 4 100 lb blocks. For typical 30-50 foot yachts, something like 1 to 3 tonnes of concrete would be used, or at least in Tasmania, railroad car wheels chained together are often preferred. From the anchor there is usually a length of very heavy chain and then either a lighter chain or a rope pendant to the surface float.

You must remember that concrete looses about 1/3 of its weight when immersed in sea water, so that the 400 lbs becomes less than 300. That's not much to hold your 10 to 30 thousand pound boat!

I am much happier with a good single anchor which I can raise and inspect myself than a very heavy mooring that requires special equipment to lift for inspection... which leads too often to deferred inspection and potential failure.

YMMV
Jim

The guy who designed the moorings I'm talking about is a retired naval architect. They sink down into the bottom (perhaps the nature of the bottom makes a difference), and every boat out there with this mooring has come through multiple tropical storms as well as what I would call "major" thunderstorms without moving.

Gotta take any advice you get on the Internet with a grain of salt, but I've seen those boats hold through some pretty rough weather.
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Old 30-04-2013, 16:11   #59
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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I'm in agreement with Jim for this. Conditions such as the bottom features and fetch affect the choice, but I also would rather be relying in my own ground tackle. Of course, the obvious advantage is mobility!

The person I know best who uses what I have described inspects his mooring regularly using scuba gear, but the average depth out there is probably 9 ft, so it's not a huge job to check it. But you're right. Moorings can wear out. One time he went down and found a couple of links down to about 1/16" thickness. Needless to say he replaced the chain.
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Old 02-05-2013, 14:15   #60
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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I buoyed an anchor once, because I couldn't get it up. Was back out two hours later with a friend to pull in the rode so I could drive up on it -- and the anchor was already gone.

In what I am sure was a *complete* coincidence, there was a row of crab traps right where I'd left my anchor.

I know someone else who had a similar problem. He left the anchor at 3PM one day and was back at 8AM the following day, and the anchor was already gone.
I lost one that way, too. Better these days to mark it with GPS than to buoy it off and think it will be there when you come back.
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