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Old 04-12-2015, 10:31   #1
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Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Good Friday CF!

I am heading south for Christmas and chartering an Orana 44. We expect most evenings to be on the hook rather than mooring ball.

I'd appreciate leveraging your collective anchoring experience rather than exclusively learning by trial and error.

So....if I was at your side as you came into a busy anchorage, what would you tell me you were looking at/for? How do you prefer to position yourself to lower the anchor and how are you satisfied that all nearby boats have sufficient swing space? etc...

Come to think of it, it would be great if CF would allow for audio responses! Thanks to all those prepared to share their wisdom.


YOWer
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:34   #2
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

I often drop too early in a busy anchorage.

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Old 04-12-2015, 10:38   #3
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Anchors and Anchoring – Articles on Boat Anchors

Slightly bias but good info on anchoring.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:38   #4
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

This could get interesting. There is NO fast tracking, just like getting a real PhD, you need to spend the TIME to learn the process.

The short story:

like docking, practice, practice, practice

And do it dozens if not hundreds of times in clear spaces before you get into crowded ones.

Only YOU will know how your boat behaves once on the hook.

BTW, there have been books written about it.

Here's another short course:

How to Anchor Securely | West Marine

Good luck.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:46   #5
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

It's a charter boat; cruisers will get binoculars out - and fenders if they have to

Here's an golden oldie on what NOT to do:

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Old 04-12-2015, 11:10   #6
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

I would NEVER EVER take one to a crowded anchorage to learn / teach anchoring.

1) avoid crowded spots,
2) anchor with due allowance for the other boats,
3) make sure your hook is well in, before you head off towards the bar,
4) never anchor on top of another boat,

etc.

b.
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Old 04-12-2015, 11:25   #7
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I would NEVER EVER take one to a crowded anchorage to learn / teach anchoring.

1) avoid crowded spots,
2) anchor with due allowance for the other boats,
3) make sure your hook is well in, before you head off towards the bar,
4) never anchor on top of another boat,

etc.

b.
Right.

5) never anchor in front of or upwind of another anchored boat.
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Old 04-12-2015, 13:11   #8
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Right.

5) never anchor in front of or upwind of another anchored boat.
Umm... in the stipulated crowded anchorage, this ain't usually possible.

Perhaps better to say to not anchor closely upwind of another boat... and "close" is defined differently in different areas.

For the OP, good on you for being concerned, but sadly, there is simply no substitute for experience. Learning the mechanics (calculating scope, digging the hook in, choosing the right anchor for the bottom, etc) can be expedited by reading, but getting the spatial relationships between where you drop and where you will end up just takes practice... lots of practice.

This is one reason that we tend to avoid anchorages where there are lots of charter boats!

Jim
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Old 04-12-2015, 14:03   #9
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I would NEVER EVER take one to a crowded anchorage to learn / teach anchoring.

1) avoid crowded spots,
2) anchor with due allowance for the other boats,
3) make sure your hook is well in, before you head off towards the bar,
4) never anchor on top of another boat,
This I think covers the main points. Of course to understand and comply will take a bit deeper study and some practice.

Based on observing a lot of inexperienced cruisers anchoring I think 3) is one of the points that is often overlooked.

Also point 4) a common newbie mistake is to find an open area in an anchorage and drop the anchor in the middle of the spot. If you do this, then once you let out rode and fall back on the wind or current you will end up too close to the boat behind you. The proper thing is to drop the anchor upwind or up current from where you want to end up.
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Old 04-12-2015, 14:17   #10
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

One thing I'd add is check, or yell and ask, if they are on one hook or two, usually as in "Bahamian mooring." If I am not clear on where the good holding ground is I will ask people too. People really appreciate it if you talk to them BEFORE you drop the hook. If they are all on one hook then you have to figure out how they are all going to swing at 3 am when the breeze or currents shift. Where I am almost everyone anchors on two hooks bow and stern for good reason, and occasionally folks visiting from other areas will pull in and grumble loudly how "everyone is on two hooks!" Occasionally they may even defiantly and proudly drop their one hook and will inspire a bit of wrath from others! Swords have been drawn and foul language has been heard ringing out over an anchorage or two!
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Old 04-12-2015, 14:20   #11
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

6) Dive on your anchor. If it is tight, and particularly if you are new at this, it is the only way to be certain. Takes only a few minutes, just plan on it.
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Old 04-12-2015, 14:39   #12
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Wow - thanks all - I welcome other sage counsel.

I do know that time and experience are the true core ingredients to this skill. And while I did title this fastracking to PhD - I know this is very much like getting to Carnegie Hall.

Thanks for the Captain Crash video link - always good inspiration for what not to do - and to never underestimate the lack of skills that can be found aboard a charter boat.

Will dutifully report back on return how things went - post holiday.

Thanks again for the rapid responses and I welcome any futher ones as well!

YOWer
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Old 04-12-2015, 14:48   #13
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

I notice that you've received many cautions, but little specific advice. I'll outline my typical procedure with the expectation that some would choose differently.

Most often I will motor near the downwind or down current side of the anchorage looking at the water depths off the sterns of the boats already anchored. If someone is on board an anchored boat I will ask them about the length of their rode with hopes that I would agree to have the similar length out. If I find a suitable place equidistant from the sterns of two anchored boats, I will drop my anchor at a point between and slightly aft of these two boats and slowly drift aft while laying out my chain until my vessel and the other two form the points of an equilateral triangle. At this time I shift into low rpm reverse and slowly increase the rpms to about 1500. While at this stage I scan to port and starboard looking for the relative movement of more distant objects compared to closer objects. Any movement by this perspective (parallax) will indicate that my anchor is dragging. I can also use the indication of movement on my GPS.

These are my procedures for anchoring in a crowded sheltered anchorage with good holding in calm weather. My proximity to other vessels, rode length, and rpms to check holding would all increase in other conditions.

Anchoring within an interior space among a crowd, upwind, or with two anchors add more complex choices, but this is a start. ....good luck!
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Old 04-12-2015, 14:51   #14
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
I notice that you've received many cautions, but little specific advice. I'll outline my typical procedure with the expectation that some would choose differently.

Most often I will motor near the downwind or down current side of the anchorage looking at the water depths off the sterns of the boats already anchored. If someone is on board an anchored boat I will ask them about the length of their rode with hopes that I would agree to have the similar length out. If I find a suitable place equidistant from the sterns of two anchored boats, I will drop my anchor at a point between and slightly aft of these two boats and slowly drift aft while laying out my chain until my vessel and the other two form the points of an equilateral triangle. At this time I shift into low rpm reverse and slowly increase the rpms to about 1500. While at this stage I scan to port and starboard looking for the relative movement of more distant objects compared to closer objects. Any movement by this perspective (parallax) will indicate that my anchor is dragging. I can also use the indication of movement on my GPS.

These are my procedures for anchoring in a crowded sheltered anchorage with good holding in calm weather. My proximity to other vessels, rode length, and rpms to check holding would all increase in other conditions.

Anchoring within an interior space among a crowd, upwind, or with two anchors add more complex choices, but this is a start. ....good luck!
Precisely the kind of response I was hoping for. Thx

YOWer
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:35   #15
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Re: Fastracking to a PhD in Anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by YOWER View Post
Good Friday CF!

I am heading south for Christmas and chartering an Orana 44. We expect most evenings to be on the hook rather than mooring ball.

I'd appreciate leveraging your collective anchoring experience rather than exclusively learning by trial and error.

So....if I was at your side as you came into a busy anchorage, what would you tell me you were looking at/for? How do you prefer to position yourself to lower the anchor and how are you satisfied that all nearby boats have sufficient swing space? etc...

Come to think of it, it would be great if CF would allow for audio responses! Thanks to all those prepared to share their wisdom.


YOWer
YOWer,

For your undergraduate studies read Happy Hooking.

To begin your graduate work read The Complete Anchoring Handbook.

Be safe- and patient with yourself and crew...

Cheers!

Bill
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