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Old 15-07-2022, 10:52   #31
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Re: Anchoring solo after sundown

Anchoring after sundown is not a good idea, especially in anchorages that you have not entered before. This is something we avoid, unless it is an emergency, even heaving-to outside until after sunrise the next day. If you are cutting it close, modify your sail plan for the day and choose a destination anchorage a bit closer. Many problems with single-handing compound these challenges with nighttime anchoring. A tired captain after a long day with impaired judgement and seamanship is a danger to all in the anchorage, let alone to himself and his own vessel. A tired captain came into our crowded anchorage in Careiacou in 2020 well after sunset with no moon. He struck an anchored vessel amidship. Lost his bow pulpit and the damage that he caused resulted in insurance claims and liability litigation. It that worth the risk? If you want to take that risk you’d better have $500K in liability coverage for your boat.
Spotlights are for the bow deck crew. If the helmsman uses one, forget your nighttime vision for 6-8 seconds.
Radar like our HD Digital color unit is helpful but I don’t bet my boat on it anchoring.
We have AIS and this is very helpful with fellow boats that have it. Wouldn’t bet my boat on a nighttime anchorage with my AIS and the many boaters that don’t.
FLIR is a good possibility for nighttime and fog but that is a different topic.
A good spot lamp with bow deck crew is a big help with fellow boaters but little help when the approach and anchorage are fouled with obstructions just below the surface.
A radar reflector on your boat is a great idea so your fellow boaters can see you coming (if they are monitoring radar) and use their sound signals.
Good running lights on your boat with a steaming light (if powered) let’ other boaters keep a wary or helpful eye on you..
Counting on your fellow boaters help to maintain the safety of your vessel is not a place you want to be in regularly though that assistance is welcome. My opinion is single handed both multi-day coastal and ocean sailors count on this too often.
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Old 15-07-2022, 11:24   #32
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Re: Anchoring solo after sundown

Quote:
Originally Posted by DFletcher2 View Post
Anchoring after sundown is not a good idea, especially in anchorages that you have not entered before. This is something we avoid, unless it is an emergency, even heaving-to outside until after sunrise the next day. If you are cutting it close, modify your sail plan for the day and choose a destination anchorage a bit closer. Many problems with single-handing compound these challenges with nighttime anchoring. A tired captain after a long day with impaired judgement and seamanship is a danger to all in the anchorage, let alone to himself and his own vessel. A tired captain came into our crowded anchorage in Careiacou in 2020 well after sunset with no moon. He struck an anchored vessel amidship. Lost his bow pulpit and the damage that he caused resulted in insurance claims and liability litigation. It that worth the risk? If you want to take that risk you’d better have $500K in liability coverage for your boat.
Spotlights are for the bow deck crew. If the helmsman uses one, forget your nighttime vision for 6-8 seconds.
Radar like our HD Digital color unit is helpful but I don’t bet my boat on it anchoring.
We have AIS and this is very helpful with fellow boats that have it. Wouldn’t bet my boat on a nighttime anchorage with my AIS and the many boaters that don’t.
FLIR is a good possibility for nighttime and fog but that is a different topic.
A good spot lamp with bow deck crew is a big help with fellow boaters but little help when the approach and anchorage are fouled with obstructions just below the surface.
A radar reflector on your boat is a great idea so your fellow boaters can see you coming (if they are monitoring radar) and use their sound signals.
Good running lights on your boat with a steaming light (if powered) let’ other boaters keep a wary or helpful eye on you..
Counting on your fellow boaters help to maintain the safety of your vessel is not a place you want to be in regularly though that assistance is welcome. My opinion is single handed both multi-day coastal and ocean sailors count on this too often.
If he struck an anchored vessel amidships, he had more problems than being tired and trying to anchor at night.

As far as heaving too in an exposed spot, that is something that can make you a very tired skipper period.

Every anchorage is different though so each Skipper will have to make a decision based on what he thinks is best
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Old 15-07-2022, 11:42   #33
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Re: Anchoring solo after sundown

Nope, that was his story and he stuck to it.
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Old 16-07-2022, 04:44   #34
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Re: Anchoring solo after sundown

All great advice I would look at google maps the satelite of it if at al possible and making a good passage plan would be part of it.
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Old 16-07-2022, 06:18   #35
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Re: Anchoring solo after sundown

We have spent a few nights hove-to offshore waiting for the sun. We did that sailing from Panama in December to Fort Lauderdale. Hove-to the boat is underway making way (not much) so a watch must be maintained. That means at least two sailors working their watches. So, again, single handed sailors don’t meet this basic watch standing requirement of good seamanship, let alone Coast Guard regulations.
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Old 16-07-2022, 06:25   #36
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Re: Anchoring solo after sundown

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Originally Posted by Dr. D View Post
Thanks, all.

No radar on my boat and no powerful spotlight. I will get a spotlight, maybe radar in a few years.
I don’t see mention among the replies of my often-used tool for night work, my 7x50 Fujinon binoculars. You can see a lot with 7x50s. Handier than a spot for me to use in my cockpit setup. Also maintains one’s night vision. I always have them out at night; most other times as well. You can’t use the internal bearing compass at night but if helming from behind a lighted binnacle compass you can get a compass bearing if needed. Briefly stand-off the candidate area and inspect using the binocs, then proceed to your chart waypoint if one is set. As for quick lighted inspection going in, those Bell Howell Tac lights work handily. Can focus the beam. Will pick up most any reflective object. And I agree that a 1,000,000 candle spot should be up forward; not operated from the helm station. Obviously would require an accessible plug.
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Old 16-07-2022, 06:45   #37
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Re: Anchoring solo after sundown

Good point.
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