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Old 24-07-2014, 00:20   #16
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
maybe you should think of having an anchor alarm, there are free to cheap ones available for smart phones
Yep, if you've got a few alarms ie smartphone, gps anchor drag and depth alarms set you are likely to sleep better knowing youve got a backup plan.
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Old 24-07-2014, 06:18   #17
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

I often wake up to noises and motion, usually from unexpected movement due to a passing boat. Sometimes I find it better to walk the deck to satisfy myself all is well.

The last time this happened I found an intruder on the deck, bending over the attachment to my dinghy - no doubt he had plans for the outboard. He quickly dived overboard and swam away. This was on a swing mooring at the marina.

I now have a simple alarm so can feel fairly confident boat motion is in fact just a passing boat, without needing to get up.
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Old 24-07-2014, 06:58   #18
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

My best noise when anchored was a constant bumping against the hull, amidships. When I got up to investigate, the mate was already up smiling and motioned me to be quiet and come look over the side. It was a drunk in his dinghy with the bow against our hull rowing to beat hell! We both yell boo! at the same time! We darn near scared him to death.
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Old 24-07-2014, 07:31   #19
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

I had a nasty fright when tied up alongside a "haunted" fishing boat. Young lad had died coming home from the pub when he fell in getting aboard.

My brother had been sleeping aboard the fishing boat and told me some stories about noises in the night. I thought he was pulling my leg.

The first night, in the isolated homestead on my own. I was woken at 2:15 by scratching at the waterline, and my little 26 footer rocking like "something" was trying desperately to climb aboard. Freaked the crap outta me. A few minutes later it stopped.

The next day I tried to rationalise it. But that night at the exact same time the same thing happened. I left the next day... Nothing was going to keep me there for another night.
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Old 24-07-2014, 07:42   #20
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

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Hey, those noises don't stop with a new anchor! The other day we were in our slip going off to sleep when Bamm! Don't know what it was, but something human size ran into the side of our boat! The sea is alive down there.
Sea lions hunt at night and I have often had them slam into the boat hard enough to rattle the rig when the sardines are in. This may explain the "knot" that the males develop as they mature.

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Old 24-07-2014, 08:19   #21
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

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The next day I tried to rationalise it. But that night at the exact same time the same thing happened. I left the next day... Nothing was going to keep me there for another night.
I bet your brother got a big chuckle out of that one...
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Old 24-07-2014, 09:14   #22
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

Use a snubber.

Anchor where there is less rock on the bottom.

Once you learn the noises they may stop waking you up. This is my case too.

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Old 24-07-2014, 10:03   #23
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

We frequently had chain noise. It was almost completely subdued by using a snubber. We just got our new boat and in the first two weeks I made up a new snubber to use and kept the old one as a spare.

But boats are inherently noisy and the environment is noisy - waves slapping the sides/bow, rigging creaks, critters like porpoises/whales/clicking shrimp, wind, drunks next door, roosters on shore, etc. etc. As many have said, you do start to tune out many of the routine noises - but - if a noise wakes you up, it is good to get up and check it out. We always did that. You are awake anyway and you will sleep better when you get back down below. Double ditto when you are sailing or motoring. Strange noise ---> check it out!

We saved our boat one dark and scary night in Fiji. We had a stern anchor out (did I mention I absolutely hate stern anchoring?) towards the sandy beach, with our main anchor put out in 70' of rocky coral. The anchorage was crowded and there was a steady swell coming in from the north so everyone put out stern anchors to point that way to cut down the rolling, except a few in the middle who were swinging and rolling. There was a light breeze off to the side at 10pm when I went down below to sleep. The Admiral had taken a sleeping pill to get a solid sleep after some sleepless night. It was pitch black outside - no stars, no moon.

At 11pm, I heard a strange noise that woke me up. It was barely audible but it was strange and I had never heard it before. So I get up to the cockpit and the noise is much louder. It was a gentle and regular swishing sound. The other thing that I found out was that the wind had shifted and was blowing like stink. The sound I heard was the swells running up the beach and rushing down the gravely sand. I should not have been able to hear that 30' out from shore especially over the wind. That got my attention.

Turns out our main had drug (dragged?) since the wind was on our beam and our stern remained dug in to the sand off the beach. We had swung parallel to the shore and almost on top of our buddy boat next door. They were about 50' away when we turned in but were now about 10'. I didn't figure this out until I grabbed my flashlight and shown it around. They didn't have an anchor light on to save power!!!

I immediately started the engine and screamed at the Admiral to get up on deck. Shear terror at this point as we tried to figure out what to do to keep from (a) hitting our friends' boat and (b) blowing on to the rocks only a bit farther. I put it in gear and motored out some short away from the beach. The stern anchor would not come up so I put a fender on the line and tossed it over. We motored out above our anchor and brought it up. Now we are in a crowded small anchorage with a bad deep bottom and boats without anchor lights in pitch black and a brisk wind. We tried resetting several time but each time we ended up just feet from our friends so finally we motored out to the middle where a couple of Dutch boats had their anchor lights on and dropped our anchor right off their stern as they swung in the increasing wind.

We stayed up all night watching our position and hating anyone who didn't have anchor lights on. Never again will we anchor anywhere near any boat without a visible anchor light. And - I will always get up and check any strange noise. I do love to go to sleep hear whales blowing ad singing out near the boat though.
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Old 24-07-2014, 10:24   #24
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

Yeah, it takes a while to tune out the non problem noises. Fix that anchor roller so there is no space on either side of it... that clunking is a PITA! Eventually even a mild windshift would wake me up,... which I view as a good thing. I like V berths as I can pop my head out and see what's going on quickly and get back to sleep!
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Old 25-07-2014, 01:21   #25
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

Great story, exMaggieDrum.

Maybe we should start a "my worst anchoring experience" thread.

The OP's only just beginning to learn normal anchor noises.

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Old 25-07-2014, 07:49   #26
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

"Maybe we should start a "my worst anchoring experience" thread."

Great idea, ma'am. Remember it was your idea though....
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Old 01-08-2014, 16:52   #27
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Re: Things that go bump in the night.

Haha, not sure I'd want to read that thread!

One thing I've started doing is hanging out in the v-berth during the day. With a snorkel.

When I hear a sound I fly out of the forward hatch and dive in to see what's happening.

One noise I was constantly worried about, as I thought we were dragging, turned out to just be the chain moving on the bottom.



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