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Old 22-08-2009, 22:45   #1
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What Anchoring Term Is This?

Up North along British Columbia anchoring takes special skills. It's mostly deep water even within a few meters of shore, with extreme tides. As well, the bottom is usually a course gravel/rock with a little mud covering.

You can find a beach along a shore line and you could throw a rock to shore but the bottom can still be 70 meters or more. The bottom drops off very quick as it extends from the shore. At low tide it is usually very evident.

A procedure I've learned that works very well is to drop anchor in as shallow of water (20 -30 meters) as possible at low tide an estimated clearance distance from shore so that the rudder doesn't hit bottom with the transom towards shore. If it's high tide one has to keep extra distance from shore.

Then attach a line to the aft end and then take a dinghy to shore and tie off the bitter-end on a solid object that's above the high tide level, go back to the boat and take up the slack. And then wait for a high tide.

As the tide rises the anchor digs into the underwater embankment. When the anchor line is taut, slack off enough for the tide height and wait for a full tide to make further adjustments.

This has worked very well for me on many occasions in this region. So, is there a name for this type of anchoring?
Please forgive the quality of the drawing.
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Old 22-08-2009, 23:01   #2
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Good drawing, I'm just wondering why you drew it with the main up? I was in Mountain Rescue for a spell...and we called this...BFR anchoring....the B was for big...and the R was for Rock. You can figure out the rest.
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Old 22-08-2009, 23:08   #3
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Actually the main is not up. That's the topping lift.

Oh, and I was tied to a log in this one. So would that be BFL anchoring?
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Old 22-08-2009, 23:12   #4
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Old 22-08-2009, 23:13   #5
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Are you at Anchor?

Coming from BC, this technique is one I continue to use all over the world on my own yacht as well as Superyachts.

Not only when you have “steep to” shorelines with large drop-offs, but also when swing room is limited due to lots of coral heads. You can find a sandy drop-off to place the anchor and then beach tie to hold position between the reefs.

Also works well to hold you right in the apex of a small atoll anchorage when the ground swell curves around both sides.

Definitely only recommended when there are no storms around.

As far as an Anchoring “Name”, I don’t think you are technically “at anchor”.

Just as in crowded marinas in Europe we call it“Med Moor”…we are actually tied to the shore with a steadying anchor to hold us off.

In remote areas I simply call it “Beach Tie” and it can give you lovely steep too and reef strewn spots like this which would otherwise be unattainable.
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Old 22-08-2009, 23:31   #6
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Yep! hear is another example between a shear cliff and a big rock. I had to lay the anchor 70 meters out in front of the boat and then pull the boat close to shore. The hole I was in was solid rock (10 meters down) with nothing for the anchor to bite.

There's an old rotten cabin amongst those trees.
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Old 24-08-2009, 11:57   #7
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I generally call it "stern-to" anchoring, or a just a stern tie.

The Med moor is usually to a dock.

In really tight spots like Princess Bay on Wallace Island, you can get scores of boats in the anchorage when they stern-tie. If they are swinging you are lucky to get half a dozen. Princess Bay is 20 feet deep with a cliff face with many rings to which you can tie.

BTW - I set the anchor at 1500 rpm before I stern tie rather than letting the tide do the setting.

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Old 24-08-2009, 12:06   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
BTW - I set the anchor at 1500 rpm before I stern tie rather than letting the tide do the setting.

Jack
I just don't want to backing into the rocks. Some shorelines are so steep, that getting more then 30M out they drop off 70 to 100M deep.
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Old 24-08-2009, 12:39   #9
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In very rapidly dropping depths, just be careful of relying on the anchors holding ability. Like normal anchoring Its ability to hold becomes severely limited when the scope becomes too low. An up slope does help, but if the wind comes from beam on the wind resistance of any vessel will be much higher.
Curiously here in the MED yachts seem to put out much more scope when stern tied, than when anchoring in similar depths. I saw a yacht 2 days ago with about 100m chain out when their anchor was only in a little over 3m of water !
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Old 24-08-2009, 14:31   #10
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In Scandinavia - similar - but we avoid hitting the ruder. So, make for your rock, drop the stern hook, go some more, jump on the rock (hehe - don't forget the bow line ;-))), attach the bow line, pull in the boat, jump onboard, adjust the lines.

Alas - probably way less tide than British Columbia.

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Old 26-08-2009, 23:45   #11
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If it were up for a vote, I'd go with the BFR moor. But Pelagic's post made me think that you could get "steep to" going as a term. i.e. "The shore was a cliff so I had to steep to". Sounds very official and nautical. Derivative of "Heave to". Sure it's not a term yet... but it'll catch on like wildfire.
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Old 26-08-2009, 23:52   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
we avoid hitting the ruder. So, make for your rock, drop the stern hook, go some more, jump on the rock (hehe - don't forget the bow line ;-))), attach the bow line, pull in the boat, jump onboard, adjust the lines.
That was my immediate reaction as well.
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Old 27-08-2009, 03:47   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
In Scandinavia - similar - but we avoid hitting the ruder. So, make for your rock, drop the stern hook, go some more, jump on the rock (hehe - don't forget the bow line ;-))), attach the bow line, pull in the boat, jump onboard, adjust the lines.

Alas - probably way less tide than British Columbia.

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Barnakiel, your solution is easy and works fine when you are jumping onto flat boulders as you don’t need to use your tender. However there are a few general disadvantages to your solution.

1/ First you are using a secondary (lighter) anchor and ground tackle with no dedicated lifting and holding gear to keep you off the beach.

2/ You are presenting your wider stern to any moderate weather over a fetch that might come up overnight, creating much more stress on your light anchor and stern cleats.

3/ Thirdly, if you did need to get away quickly at night from a lee shore, you risk backing over your stern gear when retrieving anchor by hand.

When I do this it is usually to enjoy a beautiful deserted beach that is normally a lee shore, (If you see a steep sandy beach with no permanent village… that means it gets a lot of weather ). So…If the weather pattern supports the decision I usually plan on staying for at least 3 to 4 days (sometimes weeks) as it is a lot of work to set up properly.



  • My approach is for an anchoring system that can take overnight thermal changes causing a lee shore and some building slop, for a few hours.
  • A failsafe system that if open weather builds up too much, I can easily drop the beach tie from the boat and retrieve later. (I carry 3 x 50m heavy yellow poly that I use for this purpose along with some small red fishing floats so as to maintain high visibility)

Once I have surveyed the area by tender taking some transits for my “let go” Anchor position (I know…GPS is easier, but I am old fashioned! ) I go back to the boat, that is holding off, tie tender tightly along side (fore and aft) and load beach line(s) into tender, depending on anticipated length needed.

My goal is to achieve ½ Maximum scope over a sandy drop off position and marry the boat to the beach line, at a 2nd Position where there are no dangers if I swing out of positions, while connecting or disconnecting.

Setting Anchor, I back into that 2nd position and once tested my girlfriend holds boat in that general direction with slow astern while I set up the beach line ashore (with chaffing gear) and float out towards Boat.

Once near the stern, astern propulsion is stopped and I come up the stern with remainder of beach line and after taking up slack put on primary sailing winch.

It is then a simple matter to line up with winch power, ease out more scope while pulling yourself into pristine snorkeling water (3rd Position) to whatever depth you are comfortable with.

Once in my spot, I put the beach line on my heavy stern bollard and take up on anchor to keep Beach line quite tight and visible to local fisherman (advantages of a steel boat), while at the same time setting my anchor tightly into an uphill incline.

Last thing I do is to tie additional red floats on line so as to warn off other small boats.

With this set-up, you are not concerned with squall lines or temporary flare-ups with weather and even if it did change on you, by pulling yourself from 3rd Position to the all-round 2nd Position, you can safely get away without drama.

Hope I am not sounding like Captain Obvious about it, but my advice to anyone not familiar with this technique is to establish a failsafe 2nd Position where you can disconnect day or night without fear of hitting or fouling anything.

The photo on my first post was taken at an exposed beach shown in this Google sketch to visualize how I do it.

As far as semantics about what we should call this… You are legally tied to land (or tree) above the high water mark so you are definitely not legally at anchor but stern (or bow) tied to shore.

If not a dock, I call it "beach tied".
If I was anchored and then stern tied to offshore piling, I would call it “fore and aft moored”

Steepness has nothing to do with your legal status of boats situation.
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Old 27-08-2009, 04:38   #14
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This anchoring technique is very common in the Patagonian channels. You do it almost every night because the coves that offer protection from the williwaw winds are too small and tight for normal swinging room.

You back into the coves, drop your anchor at the mouth, pay out chain until about 40' from shore, keep a little reverse on, have someone hop in the dinghy and quickly take a line ashore and tie to biggest tree or rock, get everything settled down and then usually run out a second stern line to shore. Works like a dream.

You usually want to use floating line (eg polypro or spectra) so it does not get into your prop. But if there is big ice around, you might switch to nylon that sinks so you can let the ice float over it.

We just call it 'stern to' anchoring.

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Old 27-08-2009, 05:06   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post

You usually want to use floating line (eg polypro or spectra) so it does not get into your prop. But if there is big ice around, you might switch to nylon that sinks so you can let the ice float over it.

We just call it 'stern to' anchoring.

www.bethandevans.com

Never experienced or thought about Ice conditions if stern to the beach…. But doesn’t floating ice have 9/10ths below the waterline?....Tough sailing!
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