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Old 26-02-2011, 17:10   #31
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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Originally Posted by jyoung View Post
prparing to make my first trip, i am stoked!! norfolk va to galveston.. going on a budget and do not want to stop at a bunch of marinas. the question, is it safe or a general practice to anchor out offshore at night in say 10-20 ft ?? if not, then how do you solo guys do it?
With apologies for getting back on topic:

Real offshore anchoring; i.e. out of sight of land, is always a BAD idea, especially at depths below 100-200 ft (and who does even have the gear to anchor at these depths??) . Because of the combination of long fetch and shallow depth, it only takes a single, violent local thunderstorm or squall to create survival conditions where the only thing to do is to cut the anchor rode and get the hell out of there.

The age-old seamanlike ways to "stop" the vessel out of sight of land, e.g. to take a break from the elements, make repairs or wait for daylight to approach the coast, is to heave to. If you have never experienced the state of being hove-to, start practicing right away. 90% of the time, it is utter peace and bless, even with the elements roaring around you!! Unfortunately, you are still likely to keep moving at a 1-2 knot pace, which may be too fast if you don't have enough searoom. In that case, you can deploy a parachute drogue as a "sea anchor" (this is how fishermen "anchor" themselves on the Grand Banks), slowing your speed through the water down to 0.1 -0.2 knots.

Even if assuming you're not really talking "offshore", but rather coastal (or wide open roadsteds such as the Chesapeake or the Ditch), the fetch is still considerable and thunderstorms plus tidal currents can quickly place you in a situation where you are very sorry to be tied to the bottom and still may need to ditch everything to make your getaway. At a minimum you will need a very careful, around-the-clock anchorwatch. Even if you are outside the official shipping channels, there will always enough idiots racing around in all types of overpowered dinghies, skiffs and other powerboats to make sound sleeping quite difficult, let alone if the fog comes up...

Have fun!

Flying Dutchman
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Old 26-02-2011, 17:11   #32
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
but seriously, a $10 ball? It's less than half the price of a bottle of bad rum.
Either you have exquisite taste in rum, or it's grossly overpriced in your locale. But thumbs-up on the black ball.

John
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Old 26-02-2011, 17:16   #33
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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Must be a West Coast thing here in the USA, because like I said I've been on the water a lot for 30 years and you just don't see anchor balls on pleasure boats here on the East Coast.
Nope. I can't tell you the last time I saw a boat under 100 tons use a day shape. Any day shape.

It seems that both coasts are voting with their feet on this rule. Perhaps we've all figured out that the guy who would hit you in broad daylight while you're anchored is almost certainly not going to be looking for a black ball.
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Old 26-02-2011, 17:36   #34
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

''In that case, you can deploy a parachute drogue as a "sea anchor" (this is how fishermen "anchor" themselves on the Grand Banks)''
I fish the banks we don't set anything..... We will drift for a while when we turn in for a while. As long as there isn't too much wind you don't drift that far in 4 5 hours...
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Old 26-02-2011, 18:41   #35
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

First, I wonder if the OP is thinking of "offshore anchoring" like we're thinking of it, meaning really offshore out in the ocean. I will say that there are rarely opportunities to anchor truly "offshore." One such place is on the Bahama Banks where you can anchor in 10-20 feet of water out of sight of land, which can be interesting on a calm night. And, yes very occasionally I have slept and let the boat drift with no one at the helm for brief periods in flat calms offshore, but of course showing lights, leaving the radio on, and checking all around periodically. I think it is perfectly safe to do so. I have done all my longer offshore runs with someone on board and we always have watches so that there is someone to keep a lookout. I think that is the best way to go--maybe you can find some crew to go along with you.
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Old 26-02-2011, 22:23   #36
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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Originally Posted by Mark1977 View Post
''In that case, you can deploy a parachute drogue as a "sea anchor" (this is how fishermen "anchor" themselves on the Grand Banks)''
I fish the banks we don't set anything..... We will drift for a while when we turn in for a while. As long as there isn't too much wind you don't drift that far in 4 5 hours...
Sorry; (mis)quoted that from memory. So checked up via the web (don't have my Drag Device Data Base manual with me here).

Parachute anchors were indeed primarily a West Coast invention and reputedly first used by fisherman Gerrard Fiorentino in 1947, using cheap surplussed military parachutes. Considering that the West Coast sees predominantly Northwestern (i.e. onshore winds) it makes a lot of sense that a device allowing minimal overnight drift became popular there. Lots of informative YouTube videos; e.g.

In the context of the OPs question, however, you should be uniquely qualified to explain why Grand Banks fishermen do not simply anchor offshore instead........

Fair winds,

Flying Dutchman
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Old 26-02-2011, 22:25   #37
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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Originally Posted by Feral Cement View Post
Either you have exquisite taste in rum, or it's grossly overpriced in your locale. But thumbs-up on the black ball.

John
Bad rum gives me a nasty heartburn so I suppose my tastes might be slightly higher than the average joe.
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Old 27-02-2011, 21:18   #38
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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Bad rum gives me a nasty heartburn so I suppose my tastes might be slightly higher than the average joe.
I'm with you on the cheap rum. Better to get the good stuff. As my wife and Mother In Law say, life is too short to drink bad coffee, eat bad chocolate, or (in my case) drink bad rum!
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Old 27-02-2011, 22:13   #39
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

One couple I know recently got in the middle of a sudden violent storm a ways off Ensenada they were in it for two days and tried to set anchor offshore in 150 ft. of water... they subsequently lost their mast, rode and main bower finally having to call for assistance. By their own report they had sea room to heave-to but the seas were comming from everywhere and they were still getting thrown around pretty badly.
I'm not sure that I'd ever make the choice to try to anchor in those conditions...
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Old 28-02-2011, 05:21   #40
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by henkmeuzelaar View Post
With apologies for getting back on topic:

Real offshore anchoring; i.e. out of sight of land, is always a BAD idea, especially at depths below 100-200 ft (and who does even have the gear to anchor at these depths??) . Because of the combination of long fetch and shallow depth, it only takes a single, violent local thunderstorm or squall to create survival conditions where the only thing to do is to cut the anchor rode and get the hell out of there.

The age-old seamanlike ways to "stop" the vessel out of sight of land, e.g. to take a break from the elements, make repairs or wait for daylight to approach the coast, is to heave to. If you have never experienced the state of being hove-to, start practicing right away. 90% of the time, it is utter peace and bless, even with the elements roaring around you!! Unfortunately, you are still likely to keep moving at a 1-2 knot pace, which may be too fast if you don't have enough searoom. In that case, you can deploy a parachute drogue as a "sea anchor" (this is how fishermen "anchor" themselves on the Grand Banks), slowing your speed through the water down to 0.1 -0.2 knots.

Even if assuming you're not really talking "offshore", but rather coastal (or wide open roadsteds such as the Chesapeake or the Ditch), the fetch is still considerable and thunderstorms plus tidal currents can quickly place you in a situation where you are very sorry to be tied to the bottom and still may need to ditch everything to make your getaway. At a minimum you will need a very careful, around-the-clock anchorwatch. Even if you are outside the official shipping channels, there will always enough idiots racing around in all types of overpowered dinghies, skiffs and other powerboats to make sound sleeping quite difficult, let alone if the fog comes up...

Have fun!

Flying Dutchman
+1

What he said. I don't understand why in the world anyone would want to be tied to the bottom when offshore. By definition if you are offshore, you've got searoom, and with searoom, you will much prefer to be hove-to (if not underway) -- much safer, much more comfortable, much more natural posture for a boat at sea.
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Old 28-02-2011, 05:27   #41
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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Originally Posted by jyoung View Post
prparing to make my first trip, i am stoked!! norfolk va to galveston.. going on a budget and do not want to stop at a bunch of marinas. the question, is it safe or a general practice to anchor out offshore at night in say 10-20 ft ?? if not, then how do you solo guys do it?

I'm not sure you're getting what you need.
If you don't want to use marinas, try asking for
good places to anchor along the way or how to locate
good places to anchor along the way.
Will you be doing the ICW, going around Florida or cutting through?
Good-luck
& have fun-
Kenny
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Old 14-03-2011, 16:16   #42
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

thanks for all the info, no i guess i probably don't know the correct meaning of offshore, but i will be following the east coast south and trying to stay out of the northern current. that keeps me somewhat close to shore. some of the charts i was looking at along the coast appear to be fairly shallow for quite a ways out there, i.e cape hatteras. also was just concerned about getting into the shipping lanes while on the rumb line from key west to galveston and not being able to get any shut eye. i do think the idea of sleeping in day sounds like a good plan. but another question is, what is the recomended radar reflector?
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Old 14-03-2011, 16:20   #43
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

but another question is, what is the recomended radar reflector?[/QUOTE]


please start another thread as this is of interest to many.
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Old 14-03-2011, 16:22   #44
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

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what is the recomended radar reflector?
My choice: a steel boat with a brightly-colored top.
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Old 15-03-2011, 11:00   #45
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Re: Offshore Anchoring

If you are going coastal scoot in to a bay or the ICW, cruising guides have a list of anchorages. I can give you a list in Texas waters. If you are going cross the gulf, I wouldn't try and stop anywhere. Actually from Key west to Galveston is a looong way. Wouldn't it be better to go up the Florida coast to Tampa and then cut across to Destin? Then you have the choice to go ICW or offshore the rest of the way. And going along the coast you can pull into an anchorage and sleep every night, (And the option of picking up crew). What time of year are you planning to do this? Hurricane season starts in 3-4 months! You won't want to be in the middle of the Gulf in 4 months I can guarantee you.
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