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Old 13-12-2014, 17:31   #1
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Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

I spent over 50years anchoring in UK and European waters in all sizes of boats with all kinds of anchors, I'm confident of my anchoring tecnique. However, now is a new era, we are now based on the east coast USA and will cruise the ICW, Bahamas and keys, so skinny waters for the most part.

IN the past I've never bothered much with using trip lines or anchor bupys thinking them more touble than they are worth. Should I think differently now? We have a 45lb Delta anchor on 150ft of 3/8 HT chain, with extra nylon rode we can add if we ever find a deep spot.

WHAT do the regulars do in these waters? DO you use trip lines and if so buoyed or not? Do you have a trick or two to avoid getting snarled up on your own trip lines, maybe weights on the line or whatever? I'm currently thinking i will have a shortish 1/4 inch (5mm) line with a soft PVC pickup buoy I just bought from wally World and will hang a few fishing weights off it say 10 ft below to keep the line submerged. I will also add a few dire warnings on the bupy to ward off hopeful moorers that might pick it up.

All tips gratefully received....
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Old 13-12-2014, 17:59   #2
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

Don't bother with a tripline. If you've done all right so far without one, there's no reason to add more confusion to your scene now. I've never used one, and cruised the entire East coast more than once. Recommend a better anchor though, Manson or Rocna.
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Old 13-12-2014, 18:19   #3
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

Don't bother with trip lines and anchor buoys in the Bahamas or on the ICW either. In the Bahamas you'll be creating hazards for the dinks that run around at night and in the ICW you'll find the line snagged on your rudder in the morning. As for deep spots, forget it. We consider anchoring in 15 feet deep. I usually anchor in 10 feet or less. Your 150 feet of chain will be plenty. I have 200 feet because I end for end it every other year, also 200 feet is half a barrel and cheaper than buying it by the foot.
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Old 13-12-2014, 18:30   #4
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

Can I add to the question: How many here have
lost anchors due to fouling? Where are the most
likely places to lose an anchor? (yeah yeah yeah,
I know, on the bottom of the ocean)

I have never lost an anchor while cruising California
coast and Mexico, but now I'm cruising Puget Sound
and NW inland waterway.
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Old 13-12-2014, 18:40   #5
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jongleur View Post
Can I add to the question: How many here have
lost anchors due to fouling? Where are the most
likely places to lose an anchor? (yeah yeah yeah,
I know, on the bottom of the ocean)

I have never lost an anchor while cruising California
coast and Mexico, but now I'm cruising Puget Sound
and NW inland waterway.
Not yet! I used to buoy my anchor in spots in the ICW where the bottom might have tree trunks, usually in areas that had been flooded when the ICW was dug but gave that up because it was usually about 10 feet deep and I figured I could dive on it if it was snagged. First I figured I would keep an eye out for alligators, then dive. Luckily I have not had to do this yet.
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Old 13-12-2014, 19:32   #6
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

No alligators in PNW as far as I know.
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Old 13-12-2014, 20:05   #7
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jongleur View Post
Can I add to the question: How many here have
lost anchors due to fouling? Where are the most
likely places to lose an anchor? (yeah yeah yeah,
I know, on the bottom of the ocean)

I have never lost an anchor while cruising California
coast and Mexico, but now I'm cruising Puget Sound
and NW inland waterway.
Didn't lose, but fouled lots of times in Puget Sound, San Juan Islands, British Columbia areas. Mostly got tangled with abandoned/lost crab traps! And, Hey! Did you know that those "lost" crab traps are self-replenishing bait-wise? Crab crawls in, eats the bait, can't get out, dies, becomes new bait. Repeat. Repeat...........................

At first I'd sort of pile 'em on deck for a trash run, but then it got to the point that I'd just slash the netting, use the bolt-cutters as needed, then dump the whole mess back into the water - OUTSIDE of the anchorage.
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Old 13-12-2014, 20:15   #8
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

I don't usually rig a trip line, but I did a couple years ago in a location where it was strongly recommended. Sure enough, my anchor got stuck and I may well have lost it except for the trip line.

I have never actually tried it, but it is said that you can use some chain looped around the anchor rode and tied to a length of rope to retrieve a stuck anchor. You lower the chain all the way to the end of the shank and that allows you to pull forward, and with some luck, free the anchor.
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Old 13-12-2014, 20:24   #9
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

Some dive sites are really poor anchorages because of deep clefts, coral bommies or even kelp.

So if I am doing a fair weather dive in those places from the big boat, I will use a precautionary trip line to get the anchor off the bottom before taking up on the anchor chain.

Much prefer to use the tender for diving if time permits though
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Old 13-12-2014, 21:54   #10
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

Thanks all, looks like I'm overthinking again and I'm best sticking to my tried and trusted routines except on rare occasions if in a renowned foul bottom area.

i have snagged anchors a couple of times in the past, once on old ground tackle yet we were 50yds from the nearest mooring. The windlass raised the chain high enough to get an old rope under it and attach a line to the anchor to trip it free We do carry a short length of chain to make a drop loop that can be lowered down the taut rode hopefully far enough to get a different pull angle on the snagged anchor and release it.. We use the same chain length on a continuous loop of line to feed through and be an anti chafe connection to a mooring buoy when a simple line doubled back would see saw through in minutes.

I thought long and hard about newgen anchors and went from the inherited 33lb polished Stainless Lewmar Claw to a new Delta 45lb and swapped it's original 50ft of chain and 150ft of Nylon for a new single length of 3/8 HT, OTT I know but that is the size that fits our European windlass gypsy. I thought hard about Rocnas et al but would have needed to modify or swap out our bow roller to make them fit. In any event we had spent many wild nights in the past securely held by our then 35lb Delta on s a 41 foot sailboat and have confidence in the type, but then before that we had long experience too with CQRs ( genuine ones, not cast metal Chinese knock-offs). The Delta 45 pounder is one size up from that recommended for our 36 footer ( Beneteau Oceanis 36CC) and Will do well enough I'm sure. We still have the dock queen 33 lb polished stainless claw to use as a back up, as well as a Fortress FX16 for special occasions.

I'm a fairly competent snorkeler too if the need arises but after a bad stroke 2 years ago not as quick as I used to be in the water if a gator should turn up, but then the adrenalin might improve my freestyle speed somewhat!

Thanks again to all.
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Old 13-12-2014, 23:10   #11
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

svmariane said: OUTSIDE of the anchorage.

I'm glad you added that.
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Old 14-12-2014, 07:27   #12
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
Don't bother with trip lines and anchor buoys in the Bahamas or on the ICW either. In the Bahamas you'll be creating hazards for the dinks that run around at night and in the ICW you'll find the line snagged on your rudder in the morning.
I'm going to disagree. I can only speak to my cruising grounds (the AICW), but there are several areas where the cruising guides recommend a trip line and based on experience, I have to agree. Anytime you're cruising through and anchoring in a wooded area there's a good chance of sunken logs on the bottom and you have a good chance of snagging one with your anchor. I managed to pull one up on the St. Johns River in Florida.

As for fouling your line in the rudder, yes, that's something to be concerned about. After actually doing that once, I rigged my trip line to go through the hole in the round fender I use for a buoy rather than tying it and put a small weight on the end. This keeps the line taut above the anchor and away from the boat.

Here's the tree. I was able to work it up and down and finally push it off the anchor.
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Old 14-12-2014, 07:32   #13
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jongleur View Post
Can I add to the question: How many here have
lost anchors due to fouling? ............
Personally, I have not but a friend did. It was in the Charleston SC harbor on some junk on the bottom.

I mentioned wooded areas above, but waterways and anchorages in heavily populated areas may have junk on the bottom as well. Other lost anchors and chains, cables, sunken boats, etc.
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Old 14-12-2014, 07:45   #14
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
As for fouling your line in the rudder, yes, that's something to be concerned about. After actually doing that once, I rigged my trip line to go through the hole in the round fender I use for a buoy rather than tying it and put a small weight on the end. This keeps the line taut above the anchor and away from the boat.
That helps, but it does not solve the problem if the boat (or another anchored boat) drifts directly over the anchor.

It does not seem to be mentioned much, but it is a significant problem with a trip line. I always incorporate a weak link just below the surface. With a bit of slack in the rope this can be bypassed if the trip line needs to be used to pull the anchor out.

Lest you think it is a rare problem, the trip line broke on my anchor float only a couple of days ago. It takes about 15kgf to break the weak link I have, so there is a chance the buoy might have been pulled free before the anchor was dislodged, but do you really want to subject the crown of your anchor with a 1:1 scope to a lot more force? (I can dive down to our anchor so rather than a trip line this float was designed to show the anchor location in murky water so I can take some photos, but the principle is the same).
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Old 14-12-2014, 08:52   #15
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Re: Trip lines and marker buoys, sorry another anchoring thread.

I dislike anchor bouys. It restricts the space where others can anchor. There is no reason why people can not swing over you pick, or very close to it. You dont own the whole anchorage, just the smallest sliver of the very crowded anchorages.
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