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Old 16-08-2014, 05:48   #1
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Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

Any anchor can be a drag.... We woke up on the beach, between the rocks and inside our boat... the scene was so surreal and weird.

Two days after our arrival in Sardegna, we anchored one afternoon anticipating a two night stay in what appears to be a very well sheltered inlet called Porto Pozzo near Santa Teresa. Dropped our 45kg Ultra anchor 200 meters south of the "A" where the anchorage is marked on the chart and let out 150ft of chain and set it by reversing at 1800-2000rpms and attached our "super snubber." Winds were forecast to gust up to 20-25 knots overnight and the anchor seemed to dig in well. During the evening, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, we may have heard a few gusts of wind, but felt nothing as far as wave action or movement. Actually, there was virtually no wave action inside the inlet other than 6-12 inch chop. This was the first day in over two months at anchor that I hadn't bothered to snorkel and see the anchor set, the water was too cloudy. We went to bed.

I woke up around 7:00am, the weather was calm, I walked into the saloon and looked out the window... WE'RE ON THE BEEEEACH!!! I've never seen Mrs. Kenomac move so fast awakened from a deep sleep. I went out to start the engine, she turned on all the instruments, bowthruster etc. I was sure we were grounded and it was going to be a huge project to get off the beach. The rocks along the shore were now next to us on both sides with the boat resting perpendicular to the shore; the beach was so close I could have jumped off the stern and onto it, or jumped across to the rocks on either side of the boat.... what a nightmare.

Now here's the really weird part.... I put the engine in forward gear and gave it some throttle, and low and behold, we were moving forward.... so, with Mrs. Kenomac at the helm and me on the windlass we motored straight ahead pulling up all the anchor chain that was perfectly laid out in a long line along the rocky bottom. The anchor came up with just a few strands of weed attached. Right about this time, I was very thankful that we'd chosen a boat with a full skeg hung rudder.

We anchored again 200 meters north from the first location, this time closer to the "A" in the word anchorage on the chart, and I got the Hookamax diving gear ready so that I could go down and survey the damage. Under the boat, I couldn't believe our good fortune or "Karma," not a scratch or smudge anywhere on the bottom paint, the keel... nada, the skeg or rudder... not a single scratch or a chip of bottom paint missing. Man... were we lucky, it was as if we'd been transported during the night straight up into the air and dropped safely into a mooring slip between all the rocks with the stern of the keel resting against some soft sand on the shore.

In hindsight, now we always set an anchor alarm... any anchor can and will drag given the right set of circumstances, despite what the manufacturers promise or the flawed testing that's been done on all of them. I can assure you, that none of the anchor folks test their anchors here in Sardinia. In this case, we probably dropped our anchor on a solid rock bottom covered by a shallow layer of sand, slime and weed. Now, we're even more aware of the leeward shore issue and I never miss an opportunity to view the anchor set first hand via mask & snorkel.


This story was proofread by Mrs. Kenomac for truthfulness and accuracy.

Ken


Here's a couple of pictures to help put things into perspective. The first one is of the shoreline with the rocks taken from where we anchored the second time, we ended up in between them. The second picture is of our Ipad chartplotter showing where we first anchored (bottom set of tracking lines). We drifted directly east (to the right) into the small crescent shaped area with the rocks. The second set of tracking lines at the top are from where we anchored the second time closer to the "A" in the word anchorage).

Our boat draws 2.3 meters, the chart scale is in meters. No pictures were taken during the actual event for obvious reasons and the Ipad was turned off at night, so no track lines showing where we drifted.

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Old 16-08-2014, 05:52   #2
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

Glad it worked out; you won't forget that anchorage for a long time
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Old 16-08-2014, 06:03   #3
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

A similar thing happens to us one time after setting at 2800-3000rpm. I never understood how the anchor had upbedded itself. I can only assume that it was originally hooked on something, and then unhooked when the tension came off.

What a blessing the drag went well! That's [usually] a very windy part of the world IMHE - you must have just slowly slid downwind overnight, it must have been a freaky experience looking out of the window first thing!

We ended up fitting a very small networked MFD on the bulkhead above our bunk - that way we could set an alarm and simply eyeball our position, depth and direction whenever we woke up during the night - this has saved endless trips to the window to abate concerns.
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Old 16-08-2014, 06:16   #4
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

Glad to hear that both you & the boat are okay. What a wild tale!
Just a "think": You might consider something a good bit larger in the way of a hook. Not that mass is a cure all, & you still might have dragged, but your anchor's a bit svelte for said vessel IMO.
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Old 16-08-2014, 06:22   #5
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
Glad to hear that both you & the boat are okay. What a wild tale!
Just a "think": You might consider something a good bit larger in the way of a hook. Not that mass is a cure all, & you still might have dragged, but your anchor's a bit svelte for said vessel IMO.
Thanks. The anchor is a very large 99 pounds, already one size bigger than recommended.
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Old 16-08-2014, 06:32   #6
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

What anchor? How deep was the anchorage? And why only 1800 rpm?
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Old 16-08-2014, 06:35   #7
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

You broke the rule and used the "A" word!
Here comes the advise. Your anchor is too small, it's the wrong kind, and you don't have enough chain!

Now that is settled, shall we talk about your gun?
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Old 16-08-2014, 06:41   #8
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

Yes, but what we really want to know was there a middle aged woman swimming around in a tiny bikini taking photos of your anchor?

We can discuss your anchor drag later when she posts the photos

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Old 16-08-2014, 06:46   #9
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

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What anchor? ----
A 45 kg Ultra? Just guessing.
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Old 16-08-2014, 06:51   #10
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pirate Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Thanks. The anchor is a very large 99 pounds, already one size bigger than recommended.
FYI, I have a 44kg Delta on my 42' sloop, one which by the scale actually weighs 98lbs. I'd have gone one size smaller (maybe), but got a deal on it.
I kinda' took Steve Dashew's rule on sizing one's anchor to heart. But even were I to go out half an hour from now & pick up a Rocna or similar, it'd weigh a minimum of 70lbs, if not 80+lbs. And it's not as if my boat's overly burdened with windage.
I've just been on the hook plenty of times when Aeolis is having a bit of a tantrum, & watched how much boats move about, as well as pitch, etc. when it blows.

Knock on wood, the windlass picks it up not me. Or in a pinch, the port & starboard chain hooks specifically rigged up to lead back to the primaries in the cockpit. So then it comes up 30' @ a time via Norwegian Steam.

And as to anchor selection charts, the companies KNOW that most people balk HARD at parting with coin over an anchor. Albeit, anchors are over priced. I mean take a look at the prices on anything now on which the patent's expired vs. what they cost when they first came out.
Lewmar's copy of the Bruce goes for $3/lb, & Delta's are like half of what they were 10 years ago. And that's the price on the name brand version.

I mean realistically, and in relativity, chain's cheap too. Not half an hour ago, I ran across yet another source where I can get 5/16" G43 for about $2.15 a foot, if I buy a (550') barrel. So given that, it kinda' only makes sense to do as much. Put half of it or a bit more on the primary, & the rest onto other anchors or into the bilge as backup. That or split a barrel with a friend.
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Old 16-08-2014, 06:57   #11
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

Scary story, great outcome. Congrats...
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Old 16-08-2014, 07:05   #12
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

See, now you've made it so I won't be able to sleep well in the boat anymore, shame on you.
Glad it came out well for you.
What woke you up? I'm betting the boat barely touched bottom and subconsciously you felt an incorrect motion.
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Old 16-08-2014, 07:11   #13
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

Depth of water was 6 meters, so scope was 7.3:1. I've been trying to upload the actual chart and pictures; will do so when I get a better internet connection here in the anchorage.
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Old 16-08-2014, 07:17   #14
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

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What woke you up? I'm betting the boat barely touched bottom and subconsciously you felt an incorrect motion.
My thought as well, but I normally wake up between 6:30 and 7:00 every day. The entire episode was just so strange, from down below looking out and then on deck... the boat was completely motionless, the sea with very small wind waves only 6 inches or so & light wind, maybe 8-10 knots. I agree that the change in motion is probably what woke me up... when the keel lightly bumped the sandy bottom.
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Old 16-08-2014, 07:17   #15
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Re: Anchors are a Drag... Waking Up On a Beach in Our Boat

Glad that all worked out well, in the end.
I'm afraid I've ended up with similar stories in our home cruising area of Georgian Bay. It's beautiful beyond words to nestle the boat among the pink granite, but beware! I have noticed the hard way, that if I'm anchoring in an area with little or no vegetation, I've likely got little or no soil on the bottom to hold the anchor.
Of real interest to me, is the choice of "anchor alarm" that folks speak of. We use inavx, as well as the on-board garmin chart plotter for navigation. Also have a handheld Garmin. They all are equipped with anchor alarms, and I find I'm usually so worried about energy conservation I've never bothered with the alarms. As my wife would say, " Silly man!".
Now that we have a larger boat without swing-keel, I think I'll change my habits.
Anyone have an anchor alarm preference?



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