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Old 01-07-2011, 12:25   #1
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4th July Anchoring Etiquette

I am in Wash DC, anchored in the Washington Channel in roughly 25 feet of soft mud/silt with poor holding awaiting the fireworks show in a few days. My concern after hearing that the anchorage will be so crowded, one could "almost walk across the channel stepping from boat to boat" is that people will be trying to anchor too close. If I maintain safe scope I will use most of the anchoring area at this end of the channel and am certain someone will think I've too much rode out or come into my circle. I've never anchored in that kind of situation before. Do the rules change when there's an event like this, or should I maintain what I believe to be a safe amount of scope and prepare for confrontation?
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:29   #2
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Re: 4 july anchoring etiquette

Wouldn't safety of boat and crew trump all other considerations?
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:32   #3
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Re: 4 july anchoring etiquette

It's the 4th. If you really want to view the fireworks you're going to have to deal with close neighbors. Probably you should relocate and view them from land if you're worried about safe anchoring practices, because there won't be any.

Confrontations and lectures about safe anchoring distance get you nowhere at best.
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:55   #4
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Re: 4th July Anchoring Etiquette

Use all chain rode, anchor your boat well and don't be surprised if lots of boats anchor way too close, but hopefully they will at least be friendly. If it gets too cozy I put out fenders down both sides in preparation for the inevitable. I sometimes invite folks to raft alongside if it appears they might drag into me--my anchoring gear can easily hold several boats. It's the 4th--share the fun.
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Old 01-07-2011, 14:00   #5
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Re: 4th July Anchoring Etiquette

Thanks, offering to raft up does sound like a better idea than staking my territory and breaking out the ball bat. I have plenty of fenders and my boats already dinged up. Wow! Trying to get along, what a concept! Lol
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Old 01-07-2011, 14:36   #6
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Re: 4th July Anchoring Etiquette

DON'T RAFT UP! That's a recipe for disaster if a sudden squall or thunderstorm blows up.

I'm at Capital Yacht Club on the Washington Channel. Have experienced 4th of July there pretty much since 1989.

The Fourth in the Washington Channel is indeed Demolition Derby Day. Everyone who owns a boat and who goes out just once a year does so on the Fourth. Many of them are inebriated. But, since you've already got a spot in the Channel, I'd suggest you stay put.

RE: scope and holding: yes, holding in the Channel isn't great because of the deep top cover of soft mud and silt. However, if you get your anchor down thru all that, there's good holding underneath.

Depending on the type of anchor, once it's well set you really don't require more than 60-100' of scope. That's a 200' turning circle, much less than the width of the Channel. And, you won't be swinging all 'round anyway.

My advice: be sure your anchor is well set and on adequate but not excessive scope. Have some fenders ready in the even someone gets too close. Stay aboard and be watchful. If someone anchors too close, be polite but firm in explaining to them why they're too close.

Squally winds tend to be from the NW, but could be from other directions. Be sure you're well set to the NW.

Then, relax and have a good time. Nothing like the 4th of July in the Washington Channel!

Bill
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Old 01-07-2011, 14:44   #7
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Re: 4th July Anchoring Etiquette

for big national holidays i prefer to be in an nation not celebrating the holiday or at sea where there is NO ONE else, as hey are ALL watching fireworks somewhere, anchored way too close and other boats speeding thru moored and anchored boats.
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Old 01-07-2011, 14:52   #8
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Re: 4th July Anchoring Etiquette

Thanks bill. We love the Capitol Yacht Club! We've used CYC facilities several times this year and plan to attend the BBQ on the 4th and the Saturday breakfast. Great bunch of people. Only fault I can find with CYC is that it's not in the Bahamas.
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Old 01-07-2011, 19:24   #9
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Re: 4th July Anchoring Etiquette

Doesn't the river current keep you basically pointed in a stable direction over there, as opposed to "swinging the circle?"
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Old 01-07-2011, 19:29   #10
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Re: 4th July Anchoring Etiquette

Quote:
Originally Posted by smithy View Post
Doesn't the river current keep you basically pointed in a stable direction over there, as opposed to "swinging the circle?"
Sometimes it does, but more often it's the wind or both the wind and the current which determine your heading at anchor.

And, when the current and the wind aren't going in the same direction, sometimes the deeper draft boats will swing more to the current while the smaller, shallow draft boats will swing more to the wind.

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Old 01-07-2011, 19:39   #11
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The best part of the 4th is watching boats anchor. Have a spare anchor at hand put the dink in the water and anchor it off the bow. Put all your fenders out.get the second dink out . You'll be fine. There are so many boats throwing tons of steel into the ground you won't go far you will meet some interesting boaters . The channel us pretty safe compared to Annapolis .where wind gusts can set the fleet adrift. Cheers.
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Old 01-07-2011, 19:45   #12
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Re: 4th July Anchoring Etiquette

If the boat is anchored and is rocking... Don't go knocking on the door.
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Old 01-07-2011, 19:47   #13
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Re: 4th July Anchoring Etiquette

Here in Key West, the fireworks are set off from White St pier... LOTS. Of open ocean around... Besides, I like to anchor far enough away as to keep the kinks out of my neck from looking straight up!
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Old 01-07-2011, 20:24   #14
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Can't help myself. Fir those new to anchoring and planning on going out for the 4th. Which is a large percent of anchoring boats on the 4th. This is an opportunity to release those pretty coiled lines. You may notice many are taking in celebratory mood enhancing beverages. This explains the number of boats that actually untie coiled lines.don't do this. The beverage part. Once the lines are uncoiled and your underway stay clear of the boats with dock lines that have retained the coil effect and are using the refreshment containers as cookie crumbs. Like hansel and gretel. Now fir the anchoring part. This is not a whale hunt. You dont lift the hook above your head and heave the mass like a harpoon at some unseen turf. The anchor should nit be used as a shotput. We do nit hold it to our chest spin twirl and thrust looking fir greatest distance.letting steel drag out smoking line like a bad movie dick remake. The perfect spot isn't something you are going to miss because your to slow. Guys let your girl have the wheel. They probably dont want to do thus anyway so their in no hurry. Go up forward and realize your girl is in complete control and you are a hood ornament. You probably knew this but never lived it out. Once your girl has found the perfect spot you say okay honey. She will nod. You slowly let the anchor down you will know when it has found good earth. You motion and while she goes in reverse pay out some line. I don't care how much just some and cleat it off.
You are probably now in the parking lot of landmark mall. I'd you have anchored well there should be a pile of asphalt covering your anchor. If not your anchor sucks and you need to run with your girl to the mall and buy a new one.
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Old 01-07-2011, 21:32   #15
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Re: 4th July Anchoring Etiquette

The local boat club has a huge barge they load the pro fireworks show on, then tow it out into the lake and anchor it. The police make an exclusion zone, then hundreds and hundreds of boats come out and anchor up. Put out your fenders, be prepared to have very close neighbors. If yours is anything like mine, you're gonna rub some boats...everyone will...so just go with it! Have some fun, share some drinks, laughs, and maybe make some new friends.

Best advise given to me: Once it's over, sit tight for an hour or so. It will be pandemonium as all those boats try to leave, in the dark, most of them drunk. Just wait and watch, and once clear head back to the marina. By that time you should be able to just cruise in and split....all the cops will already be busy with other dumbasses.....
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