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Old 03-06-2013, 19:16   #1
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How Not to Anchor

I just returned from a 10 day bareboat charter in the BVI on a Mahe 36. It was an absolutely perfect trip. Beautiful weather, fantastic sailing, not too crowded. The one bay that was full was Manchioneel Bay on Cooper island. We picked up one of the last moorings near Cistern Point and went out for a snorkel. There was a Lagoon 420 about 100 yards to the south of me, anchored outside the mooring field. As I was snorkeling by, I could see his anchor and couldn't believe my eyes. The anchor was laying on it's side, not set, and there was absolutely no scope. it was directly below the bow of the boat in 20' of water. The boat couldn't have been more than 100 yards from the rocks at Cistern point. I knocked on the hull to warn them that their anchor was not set, but there was no one on the boat! Later in the evening while drinking some painkillers, we saw them return to the boat, but I never observed them setting the anchor. I decided not to make an issue about it, halfway expecting to see the boat on the rocks the next morning because the wind was swirling in all different directions. I hung my fenders just in case he drug towards me. Luckily for them, the wind was extremely light that night and the boat was still there the next morning. The kicker was that this was not a charter boat, but appeared to be privately owned and well kept. How can someone with a boat like this not know how to anchor?
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Old 03-06-2013, 19:41   #2
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Re: How not to anchor

It looks like you probably couldn't get a set in that bottom anyway so why bother?
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Old 03-06-2013, 20:06   #3
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Re: How not to anchor

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It looks like you probably couldn't get a set in that bottom anyway so why bother?
Looks like sand, what's the problem? I've got a 62lb manson that will dig right in.
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Old 03-06-2013, 20:14   #4
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Re: How not to anchor

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Looks like sand, what's the problem? I've got a 62lb manson that will dig right in.
You need some mud to really hook up. 62lbs? how did you rate on the anchor poll?
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Old 03-06-2013, 20:17   #5
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Re: How not to anchor

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You need some mud to really hook up. 62lbs? how did you rate on the anchor poll?
I think I skipped that anchor poll. I usually dig in with sand, no problem. Most of the places I anchor in are sand and we get some decently pumping winds. I've sat out 40 knots in the stuff; no problem.

Heck I think I only find mud every now and then.

Edit, I'm 1.6 or BIB. I've never felt like it's too big. I'd probably go bigger except I wouldn't be able to hand haul and now it just barely clears my bobstay. To be honest though I think that guy in the picture just needed more scope and to back it down.
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Old 03-06-2013, 20:31   #6
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Re: How not to anchor

We have sand only, here on The Gold Coast.

Coops.
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Old 03-06-2013, 20:49   #7
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Re: How not to anchor

I love it when someone starts minding my business instead of their own...went out on an outing with some folks awhile back from the club... We had one guy in the group that would always arrive early so he could direct all that followed , where and how to anchor from his dink.
Should have seen his face when it came time for me to drop the hook.. as I opened the anchor locker and pulled out three cinder blocks tied together and about 20 feet of line and proceeded to toss them over the front for an anchor... We all had good laugh over that one. He somewhat mines his own business now.......
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Old 03-06-2013, 21:16   #8
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Re: How not to anchor

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I love it when someone starts minding my business instead of their own...went out on an outing with some folks awhile back from the club... We had one guy in the group that would always arrive early so he could direct all that followed , where and how to anchor from his dink.
Should have seen his face when it came time for me to drop the hook.. as I opened the anchor locker and pulled out three cinder blocks tied together and about 20 feet of line and proceeded to toss them over the front for an anchor... We all had good laugh over that one. He somewhat mines his own business now.......
You carry cinder blocks around? I would rather have cold beer. Of course it would take a lot of beer to equal 3 ciinder blocks and in the end it would get warm and you would have chill it again and you may not have enough solar panels and on and on. Why not a fisherman's anchor? they seem funny looking enough looking without needing to use cement blocks.
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Old 03-06-2013, 23:52   #9
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Re: How not to anchor

Nice photo.

Very poorly set anchors are quite common. Perhaps 20% of anchors I see are as bad as the photo. In about half the cases no attempt has been set the anchor, in the other half the anchor has refused to set from bad technique, or a poor anchor.

With soft sand, as shown, the anchor, especially a Delta, is very likely to reliably self set once any force is put on it if it has adequate scope. With a boat that has inadequate scope (as in this case) , or a difficult to set bottom, I try to estimate what windspeed they are likely to start dragging. Even with an unset anchor, and marginal scope dragging in less than 15k is unlikely.

Fenders as a preventative measure are of little use. The dragging boat will turn beam on and hit you with its rear corner traveling backwards.
However, having a couple of fenders(and a boat hook) ready to go, so thay can be quickly deployed can be helpful. If you see the boat dragging in time, or after the initial collision especially if the anchor chains become entangled.

The best thing you can do is move out of range, but a wind alarm can be useful, with a bit of bit of practice you can predict reasonably accurately what windspeed poses a danger.
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Old 24-06-2013, 10:52   #10
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Re: How not to anchor

+1 on wind speed alarm.

"One squall away from a rodeo" describes most heavily occupied anchorages.
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Old 24-06-2013, 11:24   #11
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Re: How not to anchor

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It looks like you probably couldn't get a set in that bottom anyway so why bother?
Unless there is a bed of coral under a thin layer of the sand as shown that looks like a fine spot to anchor. If you can't "get a set" in such you better not go too far into the Pacific or possibly reconsider your tackle and technoque.

Cheers,

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Old 24-06-2013, 11:37   #12
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Re: How not to anchor

That is surprising.... even more surprising is that the anchor looks to be a Delta... and in those same conditions....throughout the caribe... I never saw mine stay on it's side like that.
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Old 24-06-2013, 11:46   #13
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Re: How not to anchor

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That is surprising.... even more surprising is that the anchor looks to be a Delta... and in those same conditions....throughout the caribe... I never saw mine stay on it's side like that.
You can see by the marks in the sand the anchor has only been dragged 1/2 -3/4 of an anchor length.
Usually a Delta will start to engage by this distance, but not always depending on how it landed and importantly what scope it was when it was dragged back.

I don't see anything to blame the anchor at this stage.
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Old 24-06-2013, 12:25   #14
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Re: How not to anchor

Oboy! Another anchor thread!
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Old 24-06-2013, 13:01   #15
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Re: How not to anchor

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Unless there is a bed of coral under a thin layer of the sand as shown that looks like a fine spot to anchor. If you can't "get a set" in such you better not go too far into the Pacific or possibly reconsider your tackle and technoque.

Cheers,

Jim

There are places like that in Biscayne Bay. When we first moved my friend's boat to an anchorage near Gov't Channel, someone came over in a dinghy. We were kind of glad he wasn't "minding his own business." "Gonna anchor her?" he said. "Sure," said the Skipper. "Looks like a good spot." Then he described coral rock with a thin layer of sand.

We had wondered why such an apparently good spot ws empty. There was plenty of area around that spot that was sand without a coral underbed, but "local knowledge" once again was invaluable.
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