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Old 01-03-2012, 10:17   #1
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Buoying Your Anchor Chain ?

As I am reading through some sailing notes, I came across the following phrase:


Quote:

You can find good sand (ex cept very close to the beach) and reasonable depth in front of the old hotel and the villas just to the right as you look to ward the beach. There are a few deep, isolated coral heads, so you may want to buoy your chain.
I'm not sure what "buoying your chain" is supposed to mean?

1. Attaching a float to some part of the chain to provide another retrieval point (similar to anchor buoy)?
2. Using buoys to lift the chain off the ocean floor so that it doesn't snag on the coral head?
3. ???

Any thoughts?

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Old 01-03-2012, 11:14   #2
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

I think it refers to tying a line to the anchor and buoying the other end. The purpose of this technique is to make an otherwise boring anchorage more exciting, one example would be the boat that left before sunrise and got the buoy in his propeller. It yanked your anchor out of the sand, and wound it up on his propshaft, choking his motor off as your anchor hit his hull. You of course slept through this part, you only woke when you heard your rudder against the reef, and by the time you got to the companion way naked and sleepy eyed, you realized there was another disabled yacht chained to your boat and coming your way. Fortunately, the other skipper had the presence of mind to anchor to stop him also coming astern any further. Now the choices are many, do you A) haul in on your anchor chain to close up astern of him, but off the reef? B) Dive his boat and cut your anchor buoy line? So now you see Buoying your anchor is a fun way to spend a morning.

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Old 01-03-2012, 11:32   #3
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

I suspect it means a trip line on a float. Just my thought.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:36   #4
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sy_gilana View Post
I think it refers to tying a line to the anchor and buoying the other end. The purpose of this technique is to make an otherwise boring anchorage more exciting, one example would be the boat that left before sunrise and got the buoy in his propeller. It yanked your anchor out of the sand, and wound it up on his propshaft, choking his motor off as your anchor hit his hull. You of course slept through this part, you only woke when you heard your rudder against the reef, and by the time you got to the companion way naked and sleepy eyed, you realized there was another disabled yacht chained to your boat and coming your way. Fortunately, the other skipper had the presence of mind to anchor to stop him also coming astern any further. Now the choices are many, do you A) haul in on your anchor chain to close up astern of him, but off the reef? B) Dive his boat and cut your anchor buoy line? So now you see Buoying your anchor is a fun way to spend a morning.


Good seamanship first! You chide the other captain for not putting a proper buoy on his freshly deployed anchor. You buoy his anchor line, then go about resolving the situation.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:48   #5
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

Could also mean that you put a float partway down the chain so that it holds the chain up, off the bottom, when winds are light and you are more likely to swing around a coral head (perhaps with tides or currents in the anchorage). When the wind is strong, the pull of the float is not great enough to keep the chain from pulling tight near the anchor.

Having a float attached to the anchor is helpful for getting the anchor up if it gets caught on something, but does not help with the problem of the chain wrapping around a coral head - which is not that uncommon in many places. Without a float like this you have to steer the boat around the coral head to untangle. If it is really clear, tropical water this is not too hard because you can see the wrap. Much tougher if the water is too deep or too murky to see.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:49   #6
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

Quote:
An anchor retrieval buoy is a simple device that mostly consists of a floating object with a length of rope tied to the bottom of the buoy and has a ring tied on the other end. The anchor rope passes through ring before it is thrown into the water. Once the anchor has a bite on the bottom of the ocean, the buoy generally floats over the spot where the anchor is secured. To retrieve the anchor, a boater drives upstream, or up current, and slowly passes the buoy. The rope will then be pulled through the buoy's ring causing the anchor to rise. As the anchor rises, the buoy will sink below the surface from the weight of the rising anchor. The steep angle of the rope between the anchor and the buoy provides a more direct rise for the anchor, helping to eliminate the possibility of it becoming lodged again on the bottom. Once the anchor reaches the ring, the anchor buoy will once again float to the surface, generally making it easier for the boater to pull in the anchor after coming to a stop.
What Is an Anchor Buoy?
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:57   #7
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

Just to clarify: I know of an anchor buoy as we've used one successfully many-a-time, especially in anchorages with unclear water or charter boats galore (to show them where our anchor lies so that they don't try to anchor on top of it ). Thankfully did not run into situation similar to s/y Gilana...

I was confused about the use of word "chain" to refer to this buoy. What AiniA said in the first paragraph makes sense.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:17   #8
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

In that context it sounds to me like the goal is to keep the chain off the bottom somewhat. IF it is sand and there are monolith coral heads... it'll wrap around them every time! (dont ask how I know!) It could also keep from destrying that coral. I'm not sure how big a bouy would be needed to keep the weight of the chain up though.....
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Old 01-03-2012, 13:05   #9
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
In that context it sounds to me like the goal is to keep the chain off the bottom somewhat. IF it is sand and there are monolith coral heads... it'll wrap around them every time! (dont ask how I know!) It could also keep from destrying that coral. I'm not sure how big a bouy would be needed to keep the weight of the chain up though.....
I guess it would depend on the depth and the height of the coral head. Seems to be a fairly complicated solution.

Though unwrapping the chain from coral (especially if there are a few heads in a single group ) is no fun either. We found that one person had to be in the water watching over the chain and helping it along while the other was at the helm... Discussions were very passionate.
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Old 01-03-2012, 13:19   #10
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

light blue touch paper
but the weight of the chain alows the anchor to set? lifting it off bottom would change direction of pull and hence efficency of hold even on Rocna/manson(delete as required). on sand you need low angle for effective set?



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Old 01-03-2012, 13:23   #11
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I would have taken it as a reference to combined chain/ nylon rode, where you fasten a float to the nylon rode at a distance from the splice equal to a couple of feet less than the depth of water. This keeps ( or reduces the possibility) the nylon from contacting the coral in the event of the wind dropping or the current reversing.
There is still a CQR and 50 ft of BBB at High Peak island from the one time I forget to buoy my rode.
Jon
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Old 01-03-2012, 13:26   #12
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

Ive used anchor buoy mostly in foul bottems, to be sure of being able to retrive the anchor with much less trouble. I place the line as far forward on the anchor as possible, most anchors have a spot on them. I also us one anytime I use a rock hook style anchor, as they are prone to HOOKING up hard to object on the bottom LOL and a retrival line is a must ! so they have a useage ! hate to give others a target to drop on tho LOL Bob and Connie
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Old 01-03-2012, 14:34   #13
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

Note that the OP is to putting a buoy on the chain, not on the anchor. You have to choose a buoy that is the correct buoyancy that can hold the chain up when there is no particular pull on the rode and yet sink easily when there is a pull so that the anchor has a good idea. Almost everyone who anchors in such a spot will have all chain so there is no need to protect rope.
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Old 01-03-2012, 15:32   #14
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Re: Buoying your anchor chain?

FWIW,

IN the case of buoying the chain, the pendant from the buoy will always be straight up and down, and this pretty well eliminates the oft-quoted worry about it getting fouled in someone's prop.

However, the idea of supporting very much of the length of a chain rode seems kinda unlikely to me. Consider that when the wind drops down the boat will just move forward, thus dropping the chain back down over much of its length... right onto that coral head you were trying to avoid, most likely!

On the other hand, buoying the anchor can certainly help in retrieval if it is fouled. We don't often do this, but in some spots it is appropriate. Using a short length of chain or a weight to keep the first couple of metres of buoy line hanging straight down will again help avoid the dread propeller entanglement.

Cheers,

Jim
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