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-   -   Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive? (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f118/do-you-need-a-spare-anchor-if-you-scuba-dive-239931.html)

Jammer 14-09-2020 19:32

Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
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.

rslifkin 14-09-2020 19:35

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
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.

Nicholson58 14-09-2020 19:46

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Good points made. We have an oversized Rocna primary, kinda small Bruce as a spare. Both on the bow rollers. I carry two more spares in the lazerette.

Jammer 14-09-2020 19:58

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
I guess I was under the (mistaken?) notion that most lost anchors have been abandoned deliberately when they will not come free of the bottom, rather than departing of their own initiative for points unknown. Assuming reasonable attention to maintenance of anchor and rode, of course.

markpierce 14-09-2020 20:00

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Have always carried a spare anchor and rode. Fortunately, never had the need to deploy.

Nicholson58 14-09-2020 20:20

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
We find anchors occasionally in favorite hurricane holes and some other harbors that were set by owners who show up to use them for storms. Often networked with lots of heavy chain and line. Leave them alone unless you know they are truly abandoned.

Factor 14-09-2020 20:24

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
As a matter of law in my part of the world a spare anchor must be carried on boats over 7 metres

Stewie12 15-09-2020 09:19

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
I would not go to sea without a spare anchor.

Bargain Bill 15-09-2020 09:23

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
I have used my spare as a kedge to keep from swinging onto the rocks or shore. Also I have used a 2nd anchor only 1 other time in 10 years of cruising to be sure the main didn't drag and send me crashing onto the rocky shore. It gives great peace of mind in tough situations.

Ken Z 15-09-2020 09:56

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Two is better than one, three better than two, what about muddy water? What do you do with your anchorless boat when you are searching for the lost one?

Shrew 15-09-2020 10:00

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
I carry a second anchor as a...

1) Stern Anchor
2) Emergency second anchor
--> In case I somehow lose the primary
--> Need to Bahama Moor
--> Need a second anchor due to weather
3) Kedge

Let's say someone fouls their running gear with your anchor line (It happens more than you'd think in really tight anchorages). It's nice to be able to deploy the spare anchor to take the pressure off of the primary bower. This will allow you to dive on it and unfoul the primary.

Let's say you're in a tight anchorage and a group of googans come in and build a party raft and start throwing out stern anchors in your swing radius (It happens more than you'd think in really tight anchorages). Good luck getting them to move. In many cases the harbor master will claim it's easier to move you than to move them. So, sometimes you have to throw out a stern anchor.

guyrj33 15-09-2020 10:02

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Yes you need a spare anchor.
A scuba tank isn't heavy enough to hold a boat in place.

Panope 15-09-2020 10:09

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
My father lost an anchor during a 60 kt. blow due to rode chafe. He returned to retrieve the anchor as soon as the wind abated (he is a diver), but the locals had already salvaged it for themselves.

Back then, this cruising area (Baja) had few marine stores so the replacement anchor was brought down from San Diego by another cruiser. While he waited for delivery, a marginal danforth copy was all he had.

Steve

Tayana42 15-09-2020 10:20

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Jammer, I think this is a very valid question. I guess it depends on where you plan on cruising and what conditions you can expect to encounter. I do carry a spare anchor and a third along with a smaller kedge anchor. I have used a stern anchor in tight anchorages where swinging needed to be limited and where others boats were anchored bow and stern.

I have never fouled an anchor so badly that I couldnít recover it and had to abandon it in favor of a spare anchor. But I can easily imagine situations where that would be necessary even if by diving the original anchor could later be recovered. For example, an anchor fouled and there was need to escape from a suddenly lee shore in pitching swells. Or an anchor stuck on a tree, cable or rock in strong winds or current requiring a second anchor to take the pressure off the first anchor allowing a diver to free the stuck anchor.

I snorkel but donít scuba so for me this is less of an option than for you but I still think carrying a spare is prudent seamanship.

Ken Pole 15-09-2020 10:43

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
As a diver, I wouldn't want to be dealing with a fouled anchor or a broken rode during any kind of weather. Always carry a spare for emergencies.

noelex 77 15-09-2020 11:02

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.

garychurch 15-09-2020 11:46

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'.

Shrew 15-09-2020 12:22

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.

motion30 15-09-2020 12:29

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rslifkin (Post 3233017)
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

Manateeman 15-09-2020 12:30

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.
Large Fortress FX 85 on deck aft just in case...you know the rest.
Two anchors in dinghy, one a big one regular. Two dinghys, Trinka 10 on deck. Trinka 12 on davits.
One medium Fortress FX37 ready to sell to someone who needs it.
Six big mean anchors and a couple of mini me.
I like to sleep nights.
Happy trails to you kimosabi.:thumb:
Captain Mark and his happy manatees :thumb:

sailorboy1 15-09-2020 12:44

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jammer (Post 3233015)
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

frogdoc58 15-09-2020 14:53

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.

JPA Cate 15-09-2020 14:58

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by noelex 77 (Post 3233464)
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! :thumb::thumb:

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.

Ann

Simi 60 15-09-2020 15:03

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.

Nicholson58 15-09-2020 15:07

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by frogdoc58 (Post 3233613)
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.

CarlF 15-09-2020 15:31

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.

thinwater 15-09-2020 15:32

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.

You don't need to take tools if nothing ever goes wrong for you.

Jammer 15-09-2020 17:38

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.

rslifkin 15-09-2020 18:37

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.

CapnBazza 15-09-2020 18:51

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jammer (Post 3233015)
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.

Simi 60 15-09-2020 19:49

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by CapnBazza (Post 3233771)
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.

Unless you had crap shackles and or wasted away rusty chain surely you'd be missing the bow of your boat as well.

David B 15-09-2020 22:13

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jammer (Post 3233015)
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.


Nice anchorage remote from help. Storm comes in after midnight (as they do).
Anchorage becomes untenable. Raise anchor to move off lee shore, anchor becomes wedged under rock, and you have to buoy it and leave.

Unless you are planning to motor or sail 'out there' for the next several days waiting to return to collect your anchor (and what do you do with the boat while you are down trying to get the anchor up?), then the answer is yes, you need at least one decent spare.

A Fortress is a good option as they stow collapsed in a Fortress bag, out of the way until/if needed.

Ratty1978 21-09-2020 06:58

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
I'm typically a racer, not a cruiser, so rarely carry a spare on the race boat for buoy racing. On the backup boat, while cruising, discovered that if you're aground and the engine doesn't start, kedging with a single anchor is difficult. The wind kept blowing her back to the shallows when resetting the single anchor.

Bargain Bill 21-09-2020 07:38

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
A spare anchor is cheap insurance! Don't keave home without it.

aqfishing 21-09-2020 07:55

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by guyrj33 (Post 3233404)
Yes you need a spare anchor.
A scuba tank isn't heavy enough to hold a boat in place.

That has to be the best response!!!!

aqfishing 21-09-2020 08:02

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Simi 60 (Post 3233806)
Unless you had crap shackles and or wasted away rusty chain surely you'd be missing the bow of your boat as well.

Even new or well maintained gear fails! Always carry a spare. Its usually the law or highly recommended...and for good reason.

MJH 21-09-2020 08:07

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jammer (Post 3233015)
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 dont know where you sail or your diving depth limit but here in the Northwest it is not unheard-of to anchor in 100+ depths of very cold water and strong currents. I have never lost an anchor but do carry a second anchor.

~ ~ _/) ~ ~ MJH

Hasbeen 21-09-2020 08:09

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
I broke an anchor chain anchoring beside the home island at an atoll north of the Solomon islands, in the dark one night.


I got out the spare, anchored on it, & next day used my scuba gear to fetch my main anchor, & the 120 Ft of chain from the bottom 70Ft down. If I hadn't had a spare I would have been sailing around in dangerous waters for about 8 hours waiting for daylight.

Gerrycooper56 21-09-2020 08:17

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
If youíre cruising and have used the one scuba tank you carry, with refill miles away, possibly on another island then a spare anchor is looking like a good option.

David Mathis 21-09-2020 12:00

Re: Do you need a spare anchor if you SCUBA dive?
 
Does a diver need a spare anchor, naw, save the cash. You can tie a line around your waist, dive down, and hold onto a rock. That should hold the boat until you run out of air. Take a two tank set up and you can hold on twice as long. With a hookah you could hold on for hours.

Seriously, a decent size Danforth is cheap insurance against drifting out of the Chesapeake and needing to speak French to get directions to the closest marina a couple months after losing your only ground tackle. Cruising without a spare anchor? Maybe on a small pond with a rowboat. Otherwise, get a spare. You own a boat but don't want to spend the money for a spare anchor? To expand your question, why waste the money on life jackets? Just be careful and don't fall overboard.


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