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Old 13-10-2012, 03:15   #46
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

I just checked my insurance, there is no coverage should the vessel by left at anchor and unattended for more than 24 hrs.
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Old 13-10-2012, 03:29   #47
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

Ha ha, first time I left my boat alone at anchor I had separation anxiety and got no sleep. If you love your boat, it is a permanent and incurable condition?

I would be more concerned if people said they left their boats at anchor without a worry?
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Old 13-10-2012, 04:56   #48
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

It may stay.

Some of us worry, some do not.

Space and neighbours permitting, I anchor to two hooks. Sort of like splitting the big worry into two smaller ones ;-).

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Old 13-10-2012, 05:30   #49
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

One time I anchored inside a little cove and stayed put while some severe thunderstorms before a cold front barreled through. The next day with the winds blowing 25 knots plus. I was still fine as a peninsula blocked the winds all morning. Later I went down below and was on line when I felt a bump. I looked out and found my boat had dragged across the channel and was now on the lee shore. I scrambled got the anchor up (which was fouled by some eel grass) and decided it was time to go and motored on out of there. What had happened is the strong winds had been pushing water into the cove and raised the boat above the surrounding land enough to increase the windage on the boat at high tide and so I dragged after having been secure for two days. It was a learning experience for sure.

In another rather bizarre incident a sailor I know was on shore getting some provisions when someone from a neighboring boat called him on his cell phone to let him know that a waterspout had formed over his boat. The boat got spun around a few times but, otherwise was ok. The cats on board were a little wide eyed though.

But, there are other reasons to be concerned about leaving the boat even if you are sure the boat is securly anchored as these two fellows illustrate:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: NEVER LEAVE THE BOAT
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Old 13-10-2012, 06:02   #50
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

one canbe at anchor a few days before anything really fun occurs--and will occur in weird conditions--like, the storm day before got ye just loose enough to drag in calm next day...

i was advised by some new guy anchoring near me in maztlan that "wind doesnt cause boats to drag--" however, if wind is hard enough, and it gets that way on pacific coast, with rocks and mebbe sand , mebbe mud, mebbe eel grass under keel--one must pay due diligence...boats DO drag in windy conditions sans seas.
especially with 4 times daily tidal changes of significance. they just drag faster with the seas involved. many anchorages here are unprotected or poor holding.
mbianca--those pooor kitties!!! that scary wind musta made a big impression on em....
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Old 13-10-2012, 10:14   #51
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

I leave my boat quite often at anchor, day, week, few weeks, etc. It takes time to get to a point where you can do this. Not everyone can do that. I've left my boat anchored for 16 months in Porto Rico. I had to go back to Rhode Island to deal with some legal issues. Had no choice but to leave it in a hurricane whole, two anchors down, all chain rhode, deck/cockpit stripped. Went back down to check on it a total of 3 times between 02/2008 and 06/2009. Two tropical systems went over PR in that time span. One of them reaching winds of over 70MPH in the anchorage. Besides mold and gelcoat fading, it looked pretty good when I got back. I was growing a reef below, and cutlass bearing was all but gone. Took me the entire day to get the tackle out. Good part of the 300' 3/16" galvanized chain was down and everything that was in the mud had rusted out. I don't think I will ever do that again, but you never know what life throws at you. To this day, I am still using those anchors and healthy part of the chain. I was probably more lucky then skilled. But I believe in saying that it takes more seamanship skills/knowledge to keep a boat from moving then the it takes to keep the boat moving.
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Old 13-10-2012, 13:32   #52
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
But, there are other reasons to be concerned about leaving the boat even if you are sure the boat is securly anchored as these two fellows illustrate:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: NEVER LEAVE THE BOAT
I think being at Pitcairn, a notoriously sketchy island chosen for not having a good anchorage and barely-prevailing winds, is a little much. Most folks are heading towards and sailing around relatively protected waters. If you want to sail the Aleutian Islands than yeah I guess you're not going to leave the boat much but who's going to sail around amazing spots in the South Pacific and always leave someone on the boat? What would even be the point of a trip for a typical husband/wife team if, by default, you never actually went anywhere as a couple and did anything.

From a seamanship and safety prospective staying on the boat is critical, I get that. But I would have no desire to do a trip where I could never routinely walk away from the boat for a while with my family unless at a marina.
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Old 13-10-2012, 14:13   #53
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

I always worried when I left the boat, even with an oversized anchor and lots of scope - but then I worried alot. One time in St Thomas, I was there for a few months and worried when I left the boat. When it was time to leave the harbor, I had to have someone come over and cut all the lines off my chain - I was anchored on someone's old mooring - it sure worked good! All that worrying for nothing, but no way to know.
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Old 13-10-2012, 16:15   #54
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

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I've never quite understood why so much time and effort is spent on anchoring technique. Most of the time you won't be there or will be asleep during a tide change or wind shift. Why not spend lots of time and energy once on making sure your set-up can look after itself rather than coaxing it into the seabed every time you drop the hook?

In a 5 month period in a tidal anchorage mine reset itself about 600 times without any outside help Makes leaving the boat a bit less stressy knowing it can look after itself.
Conachair, that is a great observation.

When I was in the Caribbean I thought anchoring was easy breezy. Once in the Mediterranean I learned quickly otherwise. We dragged twice fairly far (100') and quickly. Luckily we also use an excellent anchor alarm.

To the OP's question, I worry depending on the conditions and location of the boat. We rented cars and toured Corsica without batting an eye as the boat was in Calvi's bay and it was a nice sand bottom. In other areas, especially the French Coast, I spend days without leaving sight of the boat due to concerns about dragging. Stevensuf, I think you where sailing around the Balearic's. I couldn't get my Delta to set in Sant Antonio period. The eel grass was too thick and the sea bed was crumy under it. We ended up going out of the harbor and anchoring in 70' of water. It held there just fine.

Ultimately though, you have to do your best, trust your set-up, and feel confident because otherwise it will ruin your cruising imo. I'm getting a new Rocna in Lefkada next year that is two sizes larger then my current delta. Then I'll feel 98% confident.
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Old 13-10-2012, 16:23   #55
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

The biggest worry for me is that someone else will drag into my boat, not that my boat will drag. I often anchor defensively with that in mind. For example, in New England it is very common to have the wind go through 360 degrees several times per day, often with a dramatic wind shift in the middle of the night when a squall or thunderstorm comes through. I have seen it go from near 0 knots to 40 knots from the opposite direction in seconds during one of these things. It is rather odd to be calmly anchored and then all of a sudden have a near gale on the stern, sending your boat merrily sailing downwind until it reaches the end of the rode and snatches around into the new wind with a tremendous jerk that often dislodges many anchors. Therefore, I often use a second anchor set in the opposite direction, and I often anchor behind the fleet during the prevailing nice weather wind. When the sudden midnight shift comes in I am now safely anchored well upwind of all the dragging boats disappearing downwind in a tangle. You can use the same technique when a storm is forecast. Use the second anchor to keep you well away from where everyone is likely to swing and drag.
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Old 13-10-2012, 17:50   #56
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

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I think being at Pitcairn, a notoriously sketchy island chosen for not having a good anchorage and barely-prevailing winds, is a little much. Most folks are heading towards and sailing around relatively protected waters. If you want to sail the Aleutian Islands than yeah I guess you're not going to leave the boat much but who's going to sail around amazing spots in the South Pacific and always leave someone on the boat? What would even be the point of a trip for a typical husband/wife team if, by default, you never actually went anywhere as a couple and did anything.

From a seamanship and safety prospective staying on the boat is critical, I get that. But I would have no desire to do a trip where I could never routinely walk away from the boat for a while with my family unless at a marina.
Rebel:

I understand the desire to get on shore and check things out together or as a family. I think the real issue is to make sure to keep an eye on the weather and water when ashore. Just because you got off you need to make pretty sure you can get back on or even get back out to the boat. I think those guys were extremely lucky to get back on board without major injury. Especially that first guy who had fallen into the water a few times. Exhaustion can become an issue once that happens and a reboarding can turn into a rescue situation.
Conditions can change pretty fast sometime. Especially when out of sight of the boat. I was on a boat in Hawaii and we went ashore in the inflatable for a little hike. We got on shore with no problem and landed the dingy. When we had gotten back about 45 minutes later the waves had built up a bit. We were lucky we were able to punch through them but, it was close. We were lucky that we did not broach.
The point is it is not only your anchored boat you need to worry about but, your ability to re-board it too. Don't wait too long when you see conditions starting to change to get head back.
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Old 13-10-2012, 18:14   #57
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

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Full reverse is only equivalent to about 30k (average) of wind so your snubber won't snap, but its too much force to put on the anchor winch, so like others I always use a snubber when setting. With the new generation anchors that nearly always set first go its not a nuisance.
In the old days I sometimes used to use a short temporary line with a hook for removing the winch loads while setting. Deploying the proper snubber only if the anchor set and held full reverse.


Full reverse SOMETIMES is equivalent to 30k but only on some boats. I worry each time I pull back on my anchor, the chain resembles a steel rod. I have twin Crusader 454 engines that could possibly break something in a full powered reverse.

New generation anchors! Your comment was right on the mark! One has to actually use new design to fully appreciate how well they hold! Heck, my Bruce 44, Delta 55 and finally Delta 88 were just plain crap! Unreliable in non storm conditions. I am overjoyed with an 80# Supreme.

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Old 13-10-2012, 18:27   #58
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

We almost always follow msponer's technique (http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ml#post1057677) but don't back as hard or as long. From experience we have found that 1500 RPM astern puts about as much strain on the rode as 20 knots of wind. Unless the forecast calls for more wind than that, we call it good after backing at 1500 RPM.

I disagree with Dockhead's assertion that "a chart plotter set to read SOG and with track on will be more accurate than visual transits to shore landmarks." (http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ml#post1057814) Except in very unusual circumstances two trees, houses, light poles, or even masts on boats at anchor in line abeam will give instantaneous indication that the boat is moving when the anchor is NOT holding.

We very rarely use two anchors: One time in the lagoon at Barra de Navidad, Mexico, we wrapped two rodes together as the boat spun in the wind and tide over a couple of days. We put on a good show for the neighbors while twisting through 3 circles while bringing in the anchors. Another time in Roatan the second anchor rode hooked under a rock and required divers to unhook it.

Years ago during Bay Fest 2007 we anchored off La Paz, Mexico, where the "La Paz waltz" is legendary because of strong tidal currents and corumel winds. Our first attempt to anchor on the town side of the channel lasted overnight until the second tide shift took us to within a few feet of another boat. We moved across the channel where we re-anchored in coarse sand in a large unoccupied space. Four days later, on an ebb tide of 4 knots and wind gusts of 28 knots, we dragged anchor into another boat and barely regained control of our boat to keep from being blown onto the rocks along the shore.
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Old 13-10-2012, 18:29   #59
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

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The biggest worry for me is that someone else will drag into my boat, not that my boat will drag. I
HOW TRUE!!!!
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Old 13-10-2012, 19:20   #60
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Re: Leaving boat at anchor - worried?

All these folks who won't leave their boat alone at anchor don't live in the same world I do. When my wife and I were hopping around the Caribbean for 7 months neither we nor any of the other couples we met cruising down there left someone on the boat or worried about it too much. Get a good anchor, set it right the first time and dont anchor down wind of charter boats. Then go ashore and play!

Who takes their wife on a romantic sail to the Caribbean islands and spends the whole time alone on the boat on anchor watch? My wife sure as hell won't and I don't want to either.

PS - A vote here for the Rocna. Never dragged once, even in some fairly open anchorages in trade wind conditions
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