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Old 15-09-2020, 11:02   #16
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

It is a good question.

If an anchor becomes snagged, with scuba gear it can normally be freed.

There are exceptions, for example I am currently anchored in over 30m of water and with reasonably rusty scuba skills, cold water, infrequently used equipment and no dive buddy (assuming only one set of equipment) I would be a little reluctant to try and free an anchor that may be jammed under a rock or entangled with an old mooring. There are other exceptions that can apply such as crocodile infested waters, or areas with strong currents.

However, situations such as this are rare. A more common problem is another boat dragging into your boat and tangling with your gear. In rough conditions, often the best solution is to ditch the anchor to reduce the collision damage. It can be buoyed for later collection, but in this situation a spare anchor is often needed at least temporarily.

So even with scuba equipment a good quality spare anchor suitable as a main anchor replacement is an asset. However, with scuba gear available I think it is a reasonable compromise to keep an old, less capable anchor, or an anchor design that is more suitable as a kedge anchor (such as Fortress) rather than a second high quality primary anchor.

It should be noted that anchor designs that be dismantled (such as the Mantus) or at least anchors that have removable shanks (such as the steel Spade) mean that a spare high quality primary anchor can be easily carried and stored with the weight reasonably low down and central.
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Old 15-09-2020, 11:46   #17
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

Spare anchor or two is great peace of mind. Had one instance in the Caribbean where the anchor fouled on itself and had to set a second anchor while I had to let slack out in the primary anchor chain to unfoul the primary anchor when chain and shackle locked in an odd position.

As an aside I have tried a number of anchoring techniques including trip lines with marker buoys and anchor swivels. In situations where the boat changes positions due to wind and currents, basically drifts around, my anchor has gotten fouled to the degree that these aids are simply not worth the trouble and I have never had a problem without using them. Just sayin'.
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Old 15-09-2020, 12:22   #18
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

Something else to consider.

If you have a fouled anchor and want to dive on it to free it, how exactly is that going to work? You're 30 feet underwater and now your vessel is underway. I would prefer to set a second anchor first, then unfoul my primary anchor. Similar to my example of if someone fouls their running gear in your primary.
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Old 15-09-2020, 12:29   #19
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

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Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
In my mind, unless you're in a position to do an immediate "return to dock" if necessary in a lost anchor situation, then yes, it's necessary. A spare buys you options. If nothing else, it can be used for a Bahamian moor or a stern anchor if you end up in a spot with very limited swing room.

Think about this: you foul or lose an anchor and want to go down to recover it. It might be handy to have another to hold the boat in place while you work on the first one.
I would think it is an absolute necessity if you are single-handed
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Old 15-09-2020, 12:30   #20
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

Noelex got this right. Iím a PADI Pro with 50+ years diving. I cannot for the life of me, think about going overboard without someone on deck who knew how to instantly deploy a second anchor. How scuba diving eliminates a second anchor is difficult for me to understand. Sorry but I donít get it. Letís say you dive check every time you anchor? Or because you have scuba...you will never lose an anchor? I just donít get the connection.
Story time. Huge Rocna feels perfectly set. We dive down to look at something astern of the boat. The anchor looks nicely buried. We knew the current would pick up so we had a very long floating line and float set aft. The current picks up and everything starts moving. The anchor is stuck nose into a huge old rebar crab pot and while it was under the sand it held us. Luckily our screams and quick work on deck, set a second bow anchor. Maybe we could have pulled ourselves back to the boat...maybe.
We have two anchors on the bow, each 120 pounds...seperate chains ready to go. Reversible windlass. Stern anchor, FX 55, ready to go. Two fortress hurricane anchors below. The biggest they make. FX120? Line, chain etc. for them.
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Old 15-09-2020, 12:44   #21
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
If you are skilled and equipped to dive your anchor in the waters you intend to frequent, is a spare still necessary?


I scuba dive and always find myself in possession of a surfeit of anchors.
I don't dive my anchor, and have a spare that has never been wet after 10 years
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Old 15-09-2020, 14:53   #22
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

What's everyone's opinion on piggy backing anchors? I have worked on semi-sub oil exploratory rigs and they would piggy back up to 3 anchors on each anchor rode.
By piggy backing, I mean shackling the first anchor paid out to your main anchor and then paying that one out.
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Old 15-09-2020, 14:58   #23
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
It is a good question.

If an anchor becomes snagged, with scuba gear it can normally be freed.

There are exceptions, for example I am currently anchored in over 30m of water and with reasonably rusty scuba skills, cold water, infrequently used equipment and no dive buddy (assuming only one set of equipment) I would be a little reluctant to try and free an anchor that may be jammed under a rock or entangled with an old mooring. There are other exceptions that can apply such as crocodile infested waters, or areas with strong currents.

However, situations such as this are rare. A more common problem is another boat dragging into your boat and tangling with your gear. In rough conditions, often the best solution is to ditch the anchor to reduce the collision damage. It can be buoyed for later collection, but in this situation a spare anchor is often needed at least temporarily.

So even with scuba equipment a good quality spare anchor suitable as a main anchor replacement is an asset. However, with scuba gear available I think it is a reasonable compromise to keep an old, less capable anchor, or an anchor design that is more suitable as a kedge anchor (such as Fortress) rather than a second high quality primary anchor.

It should be noted that anchor designs that be dismantled (such as the Mantus) or at least anchors that have removable shanks (such as the steel Spade) mean that a spare high quality primary anchor can be easily carried and stored with the weight reasonably low down and central.

^^^^What he said!

One other thing you may not have considered is water with poor visibility, strong current, and underwater tree snags. That is how we came to abandon our anchor a few years ago.

The further afield you travel and the more times at anchor you experience, it is amazing how many things can go wrong.

We have scubaed out anchors from places they got stuck, where the vis was good, but up the Gordon river, when we anchored in the snag it was really too dangerous for us. It did teach us where to not anchor on rivers that flood.

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Old 15-09-2020, 15:03   #24
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

We had our chain wrap around some bombies in about 50ft of turbid currenty water a month or so ago.

Had been fishing and getting sharked regularly so was very loathed to dive (hookah) for our 150lb supreme - it wasn't going to happen.

We do have a few spare 100lb farm implements aboard but thankfully, with some persistence we untangled ourselves.
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Old 15-09-2020, 15:07   #25
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by frogdoc58 View Post
What's everyone's opinion on piggy backing anchors? I have worked on semi-sub oil exploratory rigs and they would piggy back up to 3 anchors on each anchor rode.
By piggy backing, I mean shackling the first anchor paid out to your main anchor and then paying that one out.
Works well if Wind and current do not change.

It is a booger to retrieve

If if fouls you have no anchor

I feel it is better to have one easily handled anchor large enough to do the job well.
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Old 15-09-2020, 15:31   #26
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

It's a good question. I've carried at least three anchors (currently 4) for 40 years and never lost one. Nor even had to dive on one. Enough tugging and circling always broke them free. Like the OP, they sorta accumulate. I think I've had a failure of just about every other piece of equipment on the boat - except the anchor and the mast.

Better than diving is to set a trip buoy. I do this in rocky harbors in Maine but in 20 trips Down East have never actually needed to use it.

Before "new age" anchors, you often had to set more than one anchor for a wind change or current change - but the new ones reset so reliably that this isn't a worry. And now that everyone anchors with just one anchor, you're a jerk if you use two in a crowded anchorage and swing differently than everyone else.

Assuming you have a windlass, I think the best strategy today is to have an oversized primary anchor and an undersized easily handled Fortress that can be rowed out in a dinghy as a kedge and be "good enough" for a week or so in the unlikely event that the primary is lost.

If there is a chance you would anchor through a hurricane (true of very few boats today), then a second big Fortress disassembled in the bilge that I would dive during storm prep to make sure it was deeply dug into a sand bottom.

That said, I don't plan to get rid of any of my 4 anchors. It would be tempting the Fates.
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Old 15-09-2020, 15:32   #27
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

a. I have used a second anchor many times. Kedging (aground or engine failure--you want a lighter anchor), more holding (typically very soft mud), swing reduction (Bahamian moor and variations) . Any one of these would be a good enough reason.

b. I have snagged on a chain (once) and tree limbs (several times). If there is any significant wind, you need a 2nd anchor to take the tension off the primary, or the diver will have zero chance.

c. If the anchor comes free and does not reset, you will have to catch the boat! That could be stimulating for the singlhander.

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Old 15-09-2020, 17:38   #28
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

Thank you all for the many insightful replies.


For clarification, I carry a kedge and don't really think of it as a spare, because it isn't sized to be a spare, and doesn't have any chain in the rode.


Diving wise most of my dives are solo freshwater dives, many of them in cold, deep lakes (e.g. Lake Superior). I have done blackwater dives (zero viz) in current. I have a somewhat different mindset and gear than most other divers as a result. The dives I have made in the Florida Keys and the Caribbean have been really relaxing and carefree compared to my typical lake dives on the way home from my day job let alone the more serious dives I occasionally undertake.


I appreciate the range of responses and will take them fully on board.
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Old 15-09-2020, 18:37   #29
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

For the kedge, you could keep a length of chain handy so it could be used with or without the chain. I have a sightly small for the boat fortress as a secondary / stern anchor / kedge. I figure if I ever have to kedge with it, the chain comes off and the line gets shackled right to the anchor. It's not sized as a true spare primary, but it's enough to hold the boat in at least halfway reasonable conditions.
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Old 15-09-2020, 18:51   #30
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Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
If you are skilled and equipped to dive your anchor in the waters you intend to frequent, is a spare still necessary?


I scuba dive and always find myself in possession of a surfeit of anchors.
It was a dark and stormy night when you wake up to the sound of a roaring surf. Out there, somewhere in the lagoon, lies the anchor which is no longer attached to your chain.
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