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Old 28-02-2019, 14:24   #1
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When neighboring boat disagrees

Here is my question as to how you handle this; pulling into a fairly crowded harbor to anchor and I find the best hole available for me. While dropping hook and backing etc the closest boat folks begin yelling that I need to move elsewhere. I assess that we are a safe distance apart and pretty much the whole harbor is similar spacing. This is not really a privacy option there are a lot of boats, safety seems to be the only real valid concern here. Everyone is going to be near their next boat. I looked and honestly decided this is as big a hole as I will find and there is no risk of meeting when tide/wind shifts that I see. I do respect that the first to anchor deserves proper space and if this were a private open area I would always stay far from other boats.
I decided to be polite and respond that I think we are safe and I understand his desire for more room but that’s really not an option in this crowded harbor.
How do you handle these situations? This trip is now 4 months of anchoring and despite some crowded places I have never really felt that I upset someone else before. I just can’t see moving because this one wants more space than everyone else has.
Am I wrong? Would you move if you felt you took the best space available and it was safe? I’m sure that a dinghy ride to explain my position would not be a good idea. Fairly sure we need to agree to disagree.
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Old 28-02-2019, 14:44   #2
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

If your perception is indeed reality, (and none of us can know for sure) then I’d thank him for his thoughts, offer yours, and be done with it. I’d try to do it cordially, and I might even invite him over for a beer, but it sounds like you are fine and he should chill.

If he truly thinks you are too close, while you do not, then he could move.

Personally, I’d seek out other anchorages to begin with. What you describe holds no appeal to me.
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Old 28-02-2019, 14:45   #3
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

Just because it is the most space available does not mean it is adequate space. I wasn't there. However, to me it sounds like you encroached on the first guy's anchoring space.

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Old 28-02-2019, 14:50   #4
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

I had an experience like that once. There was just not the normal amount of room you would like when anchoring. It was still safe but just not half the bay that some people like. The skipper of the nearest yacht was yelling fit to have a heart attack. In the end he got every fender he owned and put them along his topsides both sides then retired below. We were only 25 feet to his 40+ feet and really presented no danger to him as the forecast was good and the bay was sheltered. Not to mention I always have oversized ground tackle.
That skipper should really have let us lash along side, give us some hot showers and feed us some of his prime steaks that I am sure he would have had on board.

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Old 28-02-2019, 14:53   #5
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

Sounds like a judgment call, and you made the call.

In a crowded anchorage, it's about safety, not privacy.
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Old 28-02-2019, 15:03   #6
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

We try to not take this as a right or wrong situation where it is important to maintain your rights - as much as my inner macho hero wants to. Often the other boater is insecure about their own anchoring skills or equipment and takes it out on anyone within range. Generally I try a quick pleasant conversation letting them know I'll move if the wind picks up or conditions warrant. If that works I try and stop by in the dinghy and introduce myself. If the initial conversation is rebuffed we pick up and move. Its not worth holding your spot to sit in a hostile anchorage. We take the same approach to boats yelling at us 2am in the morning that we are dragging upwind into them.
Crowded anchorages often have a lot of boats with limited anchorage skills out for their two week holiday.
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Old 28-02-2019, 15:03   #7
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Sounds like a judgment call, and you made the call.

In a crowded anchorage, it's about safety, not privacy.
Some people just seem to want as much room as possible, regardless. I particularly love those individuals that use 10 to 1 or more scope in a sheltered anchorage to ensure they have all the room they want !!
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Old 28-02-2019, 15:14   #8
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

Admittedly it is a bit dated, but the Pardeys discuss the legal basis in "The Competent Cruiser" and assert that the first boat to anchor is within their right to ask you to move if your anchoring threatens their boat or their ability to navigate out of the anchorage.

Frankly I find it frustrating when I choose an anchorage well away from other boats (often taking advantage of our small size and relatively shallow draft to do so) and others anchor close by. I like to know that I have the room to maneuver out under sail should the sh!t hit the fan, and the privacy to run around naked without feeling like the neighbor can see straight down our companionway or portlights.

Also, there may be another reason for their shouting. For example, just the other night a boat anchored next to us here in Caye Caulker, Belize. I shouted and flashed a light to get their attention, then had a very nice conversation over the VHF. They had anchored right in the unmarked channel used by tugs and barges every night. They moved, barges passed by all night without incident, and we shared information and had several nice discussions over the next few days.
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Old 28-02-2019, 15:27   #9
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

Judgement calls and disagreement are meaningless

I think the easiest way to defuse the situation is to acknowledge responsibility.
Like this

"Hi skipper, I will watch us very closely and if too close, I promise to move . It will be my responsibility !"..

I get this a lot on Super yachts when being forced to go into busy designated yacht anchorages usually for entry procedures.

It is usually give and take and on a few occasions we have bribed small yachts with steaks or fine wines for them to safely move to a smaller hole, so we can all fit..
As someone said, those anchorages are about safety, not privacy.
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Old 28-02-2019, 15:38   #10
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

I have been on both sides of the conversation (at different times...).

One time, a boat behind me asked me to move because he was afraid I was going to drag. I moved and the wind changed to our beam.

Another time, in a crowded NZ anchorage, another boat anchored right on top of my anchor. I told him so and he was not happy. To convince him, I told him that I was going to leave early in the morning and I would have to wake him up so that I can pull up my anchor. He moved. Most weekenders I saw in New Zealand anchored too close and did not set their anchor. They would just drop anchor, let out a little rode, and then leave for the shore... Very frustrating for a cruiser to watch.

By the way, I love New Zealand and the people. It is one of my favorite countries.

Back to the topic, there is always more than one way to look at a situation.

My goal is to protect myself, crew and the boat. At the same time, I do not argue with someone's request. It is not worth it. Cruising is supposed to be fun.
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Old 28-02-2019, 15:50   #11
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

No damage no liability.
Any damage to either boat and you will be completely liable probably regardless of any secondary contributing factors. He was first and he warned you that you were too close.
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Old 28-02-2019, 16:57   #12
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

The fact that CF is an international forum sometimes presents problems with answering questions like this.

As one poster mentioned there are liability issue, but not in all places. In the US you might find yourself on the wrong end of legal proceedings; but much less so in other jurisdictions.

As a former surfer I am well aware of the "Surfer's Rule" theory. Oft misunderstood the Surfer's Rule is a rule that the surfer closest to the critical section has priority and other surfers are required to give way. To complicate matters there is also a locals rule theory; which means locals have priority in every case. While it may not seem fair if you PO locals you will often regret it later.

As others have mentioned it is common for the first anchored boat to have priority; but also as others have mentioned some "first anchored boats' abuse their priority. I have no idea about the specific details of your situation. But I would have moved. Maybe I am overly cautious but suppose you lost a thru hull and the guy on the other boat said you did not move so I will not help you, or even worse as has happened in some places a loal cut your anchor line at 2AM.

The point is that if you don't get along with those around you it is easy to understand how they would not help you in a time of need.
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Old 28-02-2019, 18:15   #13
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

It happens to everyone from time to time: you drop the hook in two fathoms and some old weirdo really far away leans out and yells: "I have 300 feet of chain out, and I've been here six months!" As if: excessive chain was good seamanship, and as if: time spent festering at anchor gave him rights over a larger hole of water.
My response is usually a patronizing: "It's fine; you'll see," (which it always is), and then going about my business. Usually when they see me dive my anchor and then check out theirs as well it shuts them up.
You can't let them bullyrag you with their opinions on your anchoring. As long as you don't swing or drag into them, you anchored well. If they can't handle it, I figure they can move.
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Old 28-02-2019, 18:42   #14
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

This is what happened to us.

1. We're anchored and a new boat comes to the crowded anchorage and anchors to close to us and close to the marked channel. I tell them there is a windstorm predicted in two days.

2. I politely ask them to move. They are adamant that there is enough room for them, and they promise to keep an eye out. They insist that they know what they're doing and I should just relax.

3. Two days later the windstorm arrives, on schedule. They are sailing hard on their anchor in the wind and hit us about 8pm, in the dark with nobody on their deck. I spend two months in the boatyard for repairs, and they end up not covering any of the costs.

Lesson learned: If I think you're anchored too close, and you're such an a%%h%%le that you refuse to move, then I will have to. It beats spending two months in the boatyard and one hell of a big pile of dollars.

Lesson 2: If you think because they hit you they will pay, you will learn the hard way.

Lesson 3: If you see a Cabo Rico with green trim, somewhere on the Florida east coast, don't be anchored anywhere near them in a storm.... they are not good sailors or decent people.
Boatless for now.
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:18   #15
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Re: When neighboring boat disagrees

No habla ingles...............

Can work here in Florida, maybe other places too.

We once anchored in a spot, then some fella rowed over and told us we should move........ Because the boat, THAT WAS ANCHORED THERE, was coming back..........

I politely said, he can anchor anywhere he wants..........
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