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Old 13-01-2016, 13:36   #46
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Great! Sounds like you got your M.A.
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Old 13-01-2016, 13:42   #47
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Good oh, Yower! It's not rocket science, just simple physical world stuff, you did great.

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Old 13-01-2016, 14:07   #48
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Well done yower. Btw we had to anchor three times the other day in English harbour till we got it right
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Old 13-01-2016, 14:23   #49
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

YOWER, thanks for the update and congratulations on your advanced degree in anchoring. Keep in mind that for most of us there is no terminal degree. Just a lifetime of learning more about our boats and the world they float through. Glad you and your family had a good experience.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 13-01-2016, 18:51   #50
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Thanks all for the warm words.

As for lessons learned, I found it useful to prepare for every leg in a systematic manner - whether from Deep Bay to Falmouth or Carlisle to Jolly Harbor - I made sure to review the charts - noted obvious obstructions, and surveyed same on my iPad Navionics App (which I found very helpful). Weather check and review if possible of notes provided on anchorage destination.

Near arrival, I'd ask 'out of an abundance of caution' for the teens aboard to grab a seat up front and act as spotters (this was especially helpful going into Green Island). When arriving in an anchorage I would intentionally try and sloooow things down. In other words, avoid the rush to grab the first hole seen and to properly survey the area. Then to visualize where I would lower the anchor and where I expected to end up - and from there - what would the surrounding area/boats look like. That really helped.

After that it was executing a planned routine where we agreed on pre-determined hand signals and who is doing what where.... We talked it out loud and it helped build and reinforce our step by step approach. I know this sounds like overkill but best clarify before the anchor is swinging between hulls.

Once we started to lower the anchor it was helpful for me at the helm to pick a visual reference point ahead and to maintain a consistent position accordingly. Being in a cat, I cannot see the chain, nor its direction - but once I knew its line, all was easier.

After the anchor was set and the reverse test completed, we would shut down but I asked all on the boat to continue to monitor for drag or noticeable change in positions. Again, out of an 'abundance of caution' but heck, reasonable caution isn't expensive!

Retrieval was pretty much the me but considerably quicker and easier. I also always anticipated where I would go or what to do if say the windlass died, or I needed to motor to avert another boat etc... That helped too...

Anyway, these were some of my lessons learned and happy to share with all.

Thx - from a frosty Canada - I envy those of you enjoying a quiet anchorage tonight!

Best
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Old 13-01-2016, 19:15   #51
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Hard to believe that someone would charter without anchoring experience.... How'd they do dat?

I would anchor, of possible to leeward of the boats.. assuming the water is not too deep and it puts you in an exposed position.

Make sure you know the depth where you drop the hook... let the wind push the boat back and don't just pay out lots of line... maybe 3x depth and see of the boat stops and the line goes taut... let out the proper scope... 5:1 and then let the line go taut again... study your position.. take some quickie bearings... then back down to dig the anchor it. Make sure you haven't pulled it instead of setting it. Set an anchor alarm and sit there for an hr and make sure you are not dragging. Check for chafe... make sure the rode is tied/cleated properly.

After 100 times you'll get a feel for it.
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Old 13-01-2016, 19:51   #52
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

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Originally Posted by Sandero View Post
Hard to believe that someone would charter without anchoring experience.... How'd they do dat?

I would anchor, of possible to leeward of the boats.. assuming the water is not too deep and it puts you in an exposed position.

Make sure you know the depth where you drop the hook... let the wind push the boat back and don't just pay out lots of line... maybe 3x depth and see of the boat stops and the line goes taut... let out the proper scope... 5:1 and then let the line go taut again... study your position.. take some quickie bearings... then back down to dig the anchor it. Make sure you haven't pulled it instead of setting it. Set an anchor alarm and sit there for an hr and make sure you are not dragging. Check for chafe... make sure the rode is tied/cleated properly.

After 100 times you'll get a feel for it.
Thanks Sandero

To be clear - I had anchoring experience but limited in terms of actual number of evenings spent on the hook (prior to this trip about a dozen or so). As such I wanted to benefit from the collective experience of all here. Charter company notwithstanding I would not have ventured out without having both good theory and some experience under my belt. We all gotta start somewhere.

thx
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Old 13-01-2016, 20:06   #53
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Well done Yower. We are currently on a mooring at green island . Did you see the broken mooring on the beach here? Ouch! A good reason to not trust moorings too much (we have our anchor down for insurance) fortunately the yacht that was on the mooring also had their anchor down. The mooring ended up on the reef in the middle of the bay after they set it free..
Your slow and steady approach is perfect. Lots of discussion between skipper and crew means everyone learns and when 'stuff happens' it's usually been well thought through beforehand so there's a good backup plan already in place.
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Old 14-01-2016, 08:47   #54
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

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Well done Yower. We are currently on a mooring at green island . Did you see the broken mooring on the beach here? Ouch! A good reason to not trust moorings too much (we have our anchor down for insurance) fortunately the yacht that was on the mooring also had their anchor down. The mooring ended up on the reef in the middle of the bay after they set it free..
Your slow and steady approach is perfect. Lots of discussion between skipper and crew means everyone learns and when 'stuff happens' it's usually been well thought through beforehand so there's a good backup plan already in place.
I did not notice the broken mooring - however our charter company recommended these to us so we figured they were solid. Good advice regarding the back up of also having an anchor down in such spots.

Also saw your post on seeking crewmates to Panama. Would love to join you but work beckons.... That said I did tell my daughter on the snowy and slow drive in this morning that while we are slogging through the white stuff to get to the office, 'Monte' was at Green Island. We both concur - you win. Safe travels to Panama.

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Old 14-01-2016, 09:16   #55
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Thanks for starting this thread, Yower. It's been an enlightening read these past few months. On your catamaran bridle question, I learned a trick from chartering these twin-hulled beasts. The purpose of that secondary line is only to keep the bridle hook in contact with the chain between your hand and full-tension. A light bit of cotton line (or a light zip-tie for those less environmentally conscious) will do the trick and is easier than keeping tension on your secondary bridle line.
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Old 14-01-2016, 09:29   #56
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

One thing I will add. When you arrive at an anchorage and there seems to be a perfect spot, right in the middle of the boats...BEWARE! There is often a reason: a rock, wreck, hard pan bottom, debris etc!
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Old 14-01-2016, 16:30   #57
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Monte a couple of questions for you. The moorings at Deshaies have a weight and height? Limit on them. The weights are very low maybe around 2 to 3 tons of I remember correctly. Do you know what the limits are on these moorings? I must admit I have used them with a 49 foot 25 ton boat, and the ones at the Saintes.

At green Island you said that you drop the anchor even when you are on a ball. Do you drop the anchor then fall back onto the ball? If so how do you avoid getting your chain wrapped around the line from the ball? I am sometimes nervous about the quality of some of the balls I have picked up, and would certainly like some insurance.

Thanks
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Old 14-01-2016, 19:31   #58
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Re "insurance anchors" when on a mooring:

While this may sound like a good, conservative thing to do, there is a drawback that would keep me from doing it: many moorings consist of an anchor, usually a large blocck of cement, a length of very heavy chain, and a pendant line to the float. If your insurance anchor fouls on the chain, it can be very difficult to get it free... very! You can also simply get the toe of your anchor under the edge of the block. This is easier to recover from, but still a PITA.

If you don't have first hand info about the quality of the mooring, our practice is to not use it. We trust our ground tackle, but choose not to deploy it in a mooring field.

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Old 14-01-2016, 19:52   #59
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

What Cheekako wrote about avoiding the void is so very right!!! I can think of a number of times one has been tempted by a "hole", that have worked out poorly. One of them is the wreck in Balls Head Bay in Sydney Hbr. Almost everywhere that has had industry next to the water you'll find the most amazing junk, cables parts of machinery, and sometimes items like old stoves.

We've always carried scuba gear to free ourselves. One time, it took two divers and two whole tanks; another, only one and one.

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