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Old 03-07-2010, 18:55   #1
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What if Someone Anchors Too Close to Me ?

Problem: I was awakened from my nap today by Tow Boat US pulling a sailboat that dropped anchor about 100' off my bow, I'm in 12ft of water with 75' of rode out. The vessel that was towed has no dinghy, no engine but good sails. The owner lives aboard but does not know how to sail (thus the tow), he dropped a stern anchor and a bow anchor then left his vessel (the owner got a lift from Tow Boat).

I've moved my anchorage to get far away for this disaster but it has me wondering, if I discover someone has put their vessel too close to me, and in a manner that may cause a collision what can I do? (aside from moving away) What if I am not on my vessel and come back to discover that someone has anchored too close and a collision has occurred?

Moving my vessel is easier than risking damage when the wind shifts
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Old 03-07-2010, 19:31   #2
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If they are in the process of anchoring too close, you stand on the bow, deploy the bitch wings and shoot out beams of stink-eye.

The French are genetically immune to these tactics, but they work on most others. Except charterer's - eight or nine of them will stand together on the bow watching you like they were at a zoo.

If that doesn't work and you are not comfortable, then move - it is really the only thing that will let you sleep well that night.

If you come back and find your boat damaged due to someone else's anchoring negligence, then I guess your options are determined by the laws of the country you are in and how much of your time, money and effort you wish to expend pursuing compensation.

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Old 03-07-2010, 19:50   #3
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Two additional approaches - I often say hi, and ask if they are comfortable anchored there. This often seems to stimulate them to think about it, and frequently they move. A friend gets his camera out, and simulates taking a photo, if they ask, he says he is just documenting for insurance company if there is any problem. Both have some success in the ICW... Peace and Fair Winds, Bill
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Old 03-07-2010, 20:30   #4
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REALLY LOUD rap, opera or classical music often works too.
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Old 03-07-2010, 20:45   #5
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I usually yell something subtle like……

“You are anchoring too close to me… it is dangerous!”

Legally, if you are anchored first and someone else encroaches within your swing room, then you should let them know and they should move.


If they do not believe you, another trick is to wait until conditions are right then motor astern towards them and when 5 feet off, remind them that you were anchored first and they will be liable for any damages… that usually works especially if the wife is on board...


Seriously... if you just allow those poor seamen to get away with it... they will never learn
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Old 03-07-2010, 20:55   #6
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Legally, if you are anchored first and someone else encroaches within your swing room, then you should let them know and they should move.
Where can I look this law up?
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Old 03-07-2010, 21:26   #7
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Where can I look this law up?
Rule 2
Responsibility
(a) Nothing in these rules shall exonerate any vessel, or the owner, master or crew thereof, from the consequences of any neglect to comply with these rules or of the neglect of any precautions which may be required by the ordinary practice of seamen, or by the special circumstances of the case.
(b) In construing and complying with these rules due regard shall be had to all dangers of navigation and collision and to any special circumstances, including the limitations of the vessels involved, which may make a departure from these rules necessary to avoid immediate danger.

This rule would be cited in an accepted legal interpretation….. that if a collision and damages occurred when an underway vessel chose to anchor too close to an anchored vessel despite the warnings of the look-out onboard the anchored vessel the majority of the liability would be apportioned to the newly anchored vessel.

Provided the first vessel maintained a proper look out and tried with her engines and scope to avoid the collision the cause of the collision would be as a result of the 2nd vessels poor seamanship and judgement. (Example in a sudden and fierce squall, where both anchored vessels hunted on their scope and collided).
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:06   #8
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Pelagic has the correct answer. If they refuse to move, then you should move. If its a charter boat, it may be worthwhile contacting the charter company at some stage and voicing your displeasure.
Many years ago, I was on salvage station at Singapore in the Western Working Anchorage,and overheard two Indian ships argueing about who was going to shift position in the anchorage, the first arrival was accusing the the second of anchoring two close. While the arguement continued, the tide turned, and they collided. The winner of the arguement was me who got the job of seperating the hapless pair and towing one of them to a new anchoring location.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:20   #9
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I've heard that, depending upon your physical condition, getting naked can help.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:51   #10
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Or you can row over, explain that you are expecting a drug delivery that night and that things might get nasty due to conflict between two suppliers. Or some such...

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Old 04-07-2010, 02:57   #11
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Tell them that as you need to charge your batteries, the generator will be running all night, You just wanted them to know because the muffler is broken

P.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:10   #12
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At the risk of picking nits, I just want to point out that the regulation does not prohibit anchoring too close.
What it does do is offer a method of assigning blame in case of damages.
This is the basic function of the COLREGS.
It is akin to the situation of throwing a large wake. You may be in an area where large wakes are not prohibited, but you are still responsible for any damages caused by your wake.
Simply put, you are required to operate your vessel in a safe and seamanlike manner; however, there is often no legal penalty for not doing so as long as you don't cause any damage.
Like I said, picking nits.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:24   #13
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we had it happen in norfolk the other day - a boat came in and yelled over how much rode he had out and told him we had 130' out in 20' of water - he said 120 and then proceeded put out a second anchor - several boats were in the anchorage and all on one hook - when i asked what he was doing he said a second anchor and we had a bit of discussion on swing as the current thru hospital swings the boat every 6 hours - he said it would be crowded and he did not want to swing -
i got a pen and paper and took down his registration number, boat name and home port and then asked him for the name of his insurance company as after we have a problem i am sure my insurance will want to talk with his - he eventually moved

generally when we see something we do not like we stand in the cockpit and watch and tell them we have x amount of rode out and the boat swings a bit - usually works
oh by the way we very very rarely use less than a 7 to 1 unless we go into a tight anchorage and always check with nearby boats on their scope and if they have a problem with us anchor near them - in some places, annapolis, it is a given that you will anchor closer than you like --and i do like the idea of a camera - thanks for that

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Old 04-07-2010, 09:24   #14
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If you cruise, sooner or later someone will anchor on top of you. Most of the time it's due to ignorance, some of the time it's due to arrogance, thinking they can jam their boat in a prime spot and it will stay there like it's in a Walmart parking spot. Many times it's a mixture of both. I used to start the conversation by asking if they'd ever anchored there before. If they hadn't I would try to tell them how things worked in that specific anchorage. Most people took to this approach in a kindly manner, some didn't. It's happened so often to me (some say there's a target on the side of my boat) that I've now given up. I don't even use the "stare" technique where you sit in a prominent position in your boat and glare at the offending boat. I think it's a function of the dumbing down of boaters and the general deterioration of the practice of seamanship, so just live with it and be prepared to take action in your own interest. It is irritating though as it does spoil your enjoyment of the anchorage as you have to be on your toes, ready for the inevitable when the tide turns or the wind shifts.

It is a big bone of contention in crowded anchorages. I've observed a few heated disputes including one where the offended boat said he didn't use fenders but he did have a fireaxe.

When I anchor in a crowded anchorage I always ask the boat next to me if he/she is comfortable with me being there. If they say no I move. They usually say yes.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:53   #15
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Quote:
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Simply put, you are required to operate your vessel in a safe and seamanlike manner; however, there is often no legal penalty for not doing so as long as you don't cause any damage.
Interesting point Mike…. I am not a lawyer, so I have never thought thru the distinction between “legality” and “liability”

I assumed they went hand in hand insofar as if an action by a defendant was judged in court to be willfully damaging, and the defendant was punished, that court ruling and precedent became part of the Law.

But in reality as you say if there are no damages, there is no crime.

Thanks for the clarification
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