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Old 12-02-2011, 14:22   #1
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Anchoring Near Beaches

We've been boating the great lakes for 20 years and are preparing to go to the BVI's where we will bareboat charter for the first time. In the BVI we will be either mooring or anchoring in front of beaches that are mostly protected. I've been looking at pics from BVI's that show all the boats swinging off moorings, but none stern to the beach. Here it's common practice to use two anchors, one placed out in the deeper water then back the boat toward the beach and set the second anchor close to the beach, then attach a float at the anchor so nobody stubs their toe. The boat we're getting is cat that draws 4ft. Parking like this makes it easy for the crew to get to and from the beach and play. Does anyone know why this is not common practice?
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Old 12-02-2011, 14:35   #2
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I don't know. I do it all the time in the Bahamas.
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Old 12-02-2011, 14:42   #3
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Back when I had a cat, I used to drive it onto the beach!
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Old 12-02-2011, 14:52   #4
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Two possible reasons for not using a Mediterranean mooring. Weather and swells may cause havoc with the shore rode. Or how long one may be staying in that location.
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Old 12-02-2011, 15:07   #5
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Just got back from second trip to BVI. Reasons you don't anchor at the beaches:
1. too many sailboats would block access to narrow beach areas.
2. swim areas do not allow boats in.
3. national park rules prohibit anchoring in certain areas
4. dropping two anchors is problematic when boats are moored around you or anchored with a single anchor.
5. All bareboats include a dingy for you to dingy and dock on or near the beach.
6. No anchoring in coral areas
7. Picking up moorings is usually preferred. It's quick and easy and usually worth the price.

There may be areas in the BVI where you can anchor off the beach. However, in the two years I've been going, I haven't really seen it done. Even at small beaches there are usually day moorings that you can pick up and often over-night anchoring is prohibited in those areas.

Have a great trip!
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Old 12-02-2011, 22:41   #6
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Hi Rick,
I anchor the same way all the time on Lake Michigan. Though the wind is usually on-shore and the stern anchor is more to keep the boat from drifting sideways. We can usually wade to the swim platform which is nice.

I also have a catamaran in the caribbean and have wondered and asked the same question you just did. I haven't seen anyone do it yet. Some of the beaches it really isn't practical. Like in the three islands I'm normally in, you couldn't do it on many of the beaches. To much coral or ground swell. I was anchored in Colombier in St. Bart's a few weeks ago and really had a problem getting backwinded. If I did it again, I would have set a stern anchor as I was only around 120' off shore. My lack of swing wouldn't have effected anyone.

You may have a problem with a charter boat having a second anchor other then the dingy's though. If you do it, let us know how it went.
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Old 13-02-2011, 00:09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Marcum View Post
Does anyone know why this is not common practice?
Three reasons why this is not a common practice:

1. Tides
2. Bugs
3. Thieves

Great idea during the day when you want to play on the beach.
Bad idea after the sun goes down when you want to sleep
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Old 13-02-2011, 06:07   #8
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Quote:
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Three reasons why this is not a common practice:

1. Tides
2. Bugs
3. Thieves

Great idea during the day when you want to play on the beach.
Bad idea after the sun goes down when you want to sleep
I agree, it's the kind of thing you do during the day, short term, in settled weather.

As someone explained to me once: Look at the sand on that beach. How did that strip of land become a beach? Through lots and lots of swells and waves constantly crashing onto it. Cruise long enough and you'll eventually learn that all of the well protected anchorages don't have sand around them. If you anchor off of a sand beach, watch the weather carefully, and remember why there's a beach there.
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Old 13-02-2011, 06:14   #9
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I have anchored off beaches before but always bow to. Stern to is convenient, especially if you have a swim platform but if the wind is onshore and your bow anchored drags even slightly you have your rudder on the bottom.

For that reason I would only consider a stern to the beach for very settled weather, daytime, and if I were right there with the boat.
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Old 28-02-2011, 11:18   #10
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Re: Anchoring Near Beaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishspearit View Post
I agree, it's the kind of thing you do during the day, short term, in settled weather.

As someone explained to me once: Look at the sand on that beach. How did that strip of land become a beach? Through lots and lots of swells and waves constantly crashing onto it. Cruise long enough and you'll eventually learn that all of the well protected anchorages don't have sand around them. If you anchor off of a sand beach, watch the weather carefully, and remember why there's a beach there.
WOW. That is a good statement. I never thought of it that way, but it is correct.
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Old 28-02-2011, 11:50   #11
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Re: Anchoring Near Beaches

I was there in June and there were plenty of anchorages. Almost all of them were in much closer to the shore than were moorings.

I only anchored three times though due to the number of vessels around the area. I trust MY anchoring techniques. It was the others I didn't trust

So most of the time we chose to moor out. Just for the record, I dived my anchors every time. I dived all the moorings as well to be sure they weren't worn out. One of them we moored on was bad enough I moved.

I also reported the damage to the chain (which was very near the bottom and I could see no explanation for it!) to the place that was collecting fees.

I was sailing a 40' monohull, not a cat.
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Old 28-02-2011, 15:00   #12
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Re: Anchoring Near Beaches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishspearit View Post
I agree, it's the kind of thing you do during the day, short term, in settled weather.

As someone explained to me once: Look at the sand on that beach. How did that strip of land become a beach? Through lots and lots of swells and waves constantly crashing onto it. Cruise long enough and you'll eventually learn that all of the well protected anchorages don't have sand around them. If you anchor off of a sand beach, watch the weather carefully, and remember why there's a beach there.
Well that is true for some beaches but I have also seen plenty of sand beaches in protected harbors not exposed to a long fetch and strong wave action. Also you can find sandy banks in rivers. More than one mechanism involved in depositing sand on a shore line.
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Old 28-02-2011, 15:50   #13
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Re: Anchoring Near Beaches

My reasons have always been in order

(a) I,m prevented by law
(b) too crowded, no easy way out in an emergency
(c) Drag and youre generally f%$ked
(d) Bugs,loons, etc

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Old 28-02-2011, 16:11   #14
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Re: Anchoring Near Beaches

The main reason that mooring is encourged in the BVI's is that it's a source of revenue. Closer to charter bases, all of the anchorages are consumed with moorings that the charter outfits use. Next to the Pub at Road Town is an example. Once at Virgen Gorda I anchored in thirty feet of water with a sandy bottom next to an almost empty mooring field and the boatboys had a fit.
This was one of the raasons that I only stopped in the BVI's becsuse it was betwween where I'd been to where I was going.

Please, never use two anchors unless those around you are using two anchors.
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Old 28-02-2011, 16:22   #15
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Re: Anchoring Near Beaches

Anything goes for a day anchorage, but for overnight, the boat needs to face the wind and / or current, in order to minimize the strain on your tackle... M.
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