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-   -   To the marina or to anchor? (

GordMay 15-04-2006 12:42

As a displaced Manitoban, who holds the patriot Louis Riel in great esteem, I wonder if your user name (Lois Riel) is intentionally misspelled?

ssullivan 16-04-2006 05:23


Yes, the idea is to send myself a text message when there is a gross drag. Not a small drag that results in a reset, but a dangerous drag where the boat is heading out without me.

I'll drop you a line when I get to work on this, in a few months. (Still finishing up this re-fit.. we are finally at spring work! Topsides, deck, bottom paint, etc...)

The tough part about writing the PC version will be getting the APIs to status indicators in various programs like Maptech or whatever you all use. On OSX, I use a program that freely allows me to use AppleScript to extend its abilities. It's quite simple from a development perspective.

PS: I started my live as a C++ developer before opening a software development and management consulting firm in Manhattan. Then I said "screw it!" and here I am living a better life. :)

I'll drop you a line when I get started. Maybe we can work together. I'll write the OSX version and you can write the PC version?


Originally Posted by Pblais

Let me know what you are up to. I write software for a living. If you need help I'm yours. There has to be another fool that would pay for stuff like this. It would a hoot. The only thing I ask is I have to be CC: ed on the the mail when you drag (maybe you won't). That way I could post it here before you got back :) . Even with selective availability off you still have a 75 Ft range of error. That boat is really going to have to be long gone before you get the message or you will be really ticked off.

Also one phone call from the Pentagon and the GPS error turns into 150 yards. I was in the GPS biz back when they first turned SA on. Anchor drag on a GPS isn't worth much. When it works it's too late.

Some neighbors were bringing a trawler back to VA from FL and in NC they dragged at night. They went 2 miles before they woke up in the middle of the night on the Ditch. They were lucky! They never hit anything!

Luck still counts! Pray for more.

ssullivan 16-04-2006 05:30


Originally Posted by Talbot

Others have been experimenting with use of messages from onboard. However nobody has bothered with the anchor circle routine, primarily for the reasons already given.

However co and speed through the water and position can give early information on the boat being stolen. bilge pump activation is seen as an important message. as are smoke/gas/fire alarms and intruder alerts. IMHO you also need to add battery alert, and the elegant way to forward the alert is by mobile text message or by email (dependent on life style)

Possible mis-communication here. I have been posting very quickly, since we are in our last couple weeks of readying this boat after re-fit and I'm only online for like 10 mins a day. I am not writing this software with the intent to cater to anyone else's needs but my own. I want to know if my boat is dragging away. That's it. I can whip this up in a week or so and use it. If I was planning on marketing something like this, the first place I wouldn't post it is on the internet. :)

So... I'll leave someone else to make big $$$ off it. I'm done with that kind of life anyway. I'm now enjoying life... no more stressful corporate crap for me.

Sandero 16-04-2006 06:33

Is this anchor drag messaging a serious thing? What can you do about your boat dragging if you are not in a position to do something about it? What am I missing?

sv Shiva
Contest 36s

ssullivan 17-04-2006 14:33

Um... you can cut short your vacation and come back to find your boat before it ends up on some rocks??

How is that not useful? Am I missing something too?

Pblais 17-04-2006 14:45

I think he means you can't really hope to get there in time to be able to do anything significant. At best you might however be able to call someone else that was already near there, has a boat, and could look for it.

Sandero 17-04-2006 15:02

4 real?
When you cruise to a "new harbor" chances of knowing someone who will be there to do something are pretty small. Add to that, the dragging probably is the result of some nasty weather and they (your contact) may be dealing with his own boat. Add to that they would need to know either how to get your boat going and re anchor or secure it to a dock.. or have a boat they could use to tow it to safety. This all seems like rather unlikely.

I can see some sort of alarm to warn you that your boat has been stolen and could be tracked... but anchor dragging... I don't buy it..

Brent Swain 18-04-2006 13:27

Accidentally misspelled. May change it if possible.
An anchored sailboat is light years more aestheitcally pleasing than condos , which are absolute eyesores.
As there are so many civilised areas to cruise in why bother with a hole,like Florida.An Alaskan hiking home from Florida said it sure felt good to get out of Florida with their hostile attitude problem. He said the further north he got the friendlier the people were.Cruise where the crowds aint.
With a steel twin keeler in our landlocked anchorages, dragging is a minor inconvenience.
A friend has his boat moored in San Carlos where they have a computer camera mounted . He can tune into that camera from home and watch his boat swinging on the mooring any time day or night. Knowing a local within sight of your boat can let you set up this type of rig.

ssullivan 18-04-2006 14:25


Originally Posted by hammerfelt
I love being on the hook, but I have also done the marina thing, and have enjoyed both. However this has been on the Chesapeake, where the marinas on the Eastern shore are a real thing to visit.

Sean's idea is excellent -- maybe I would also leave my own boat on the hook then. What ways do you have of connecting your computer to navigation software? I have an old titanium I could use, but my garmin 76 only hooks up to an old PC with the serioal cable... I am interested in finding out what other mac users are doing by way of software, charts, and connectivity.

The text message idea is excellent!!! Perhaps it could also broadcast whenever SA is off... Then you know not to worry if it says you're draggind 150 ft.


Hi Eugene,

Sorry... missed your post. I'm not on so much this time of year. Anyway, I use MacENC, which I couldn't say enough about. It's sooooo cheap and does everything the expensive PC-based software does. I have a USB GPS that plugs right into my Mac. This gives real-time chartplotting ability. All in, it's only about $200 for the GPS AND software. Since the ENCs are free, it's quite a deal. I opted for a BSB CD-ROM they have that allows you to see the old traditional charts just to make you feel better when transitioning.

Do a quick Google for "MacENC" and you'll find it right away. GREAT PROGRAM! Plus, I can use AppleScript to allow it to text message me. Only will work when I have a WiFi signal, but that's most of the time. :)

ssullivan 18-04-2006 14:32


Originally Posted by defjef
I can see some sort of alarm to warn you that your boat has been stolen and could be tracked... but anchor dragging... I don't buy it..

Have you ever left your boat at anchor to go on a vacation? Were you able to relax while you were in the mountains or skiing or whatever knowing the boat was at anchor the whole time unattended?

Me... I worry about these things. So, this is a way for me to put my mind at ease, knowing that if something did happen, I'd be able to cut my trip short and head back to find out what's going on. Anchor drag AND theft would both trigger a message, since it's a radius alarm...

Anyway, it doesn't matter who "buys it" since it's not for sale. It's a personal tool I want to use for my own peace of mind.

Sandero 18-04-2006 16:33


Yes I have left my boat in English Harbor and was away in the states for several weeks. The anchorage there is very protected and I arranged for a Steve Miller of MPS and some others to keep and eye on Shiva. I instructed a friend who lives aboard near where I was anchored how to get the boat "going" etc... and to use his judgement if he felt it had to be re-anchored or "secured" otherwise. I had no problems.

Would I leave Shiva anchored for 2 weeks in Newport Harbor? Not without similar arrangements including notifying the Harbor Master and getting his "permission" to do it. I would probably set my biggest anchor and make sure it was well set...

Having said that, there are not many other locations I would leave Shiva unattended for 2 weeks... To me the key is that there must be a reasonably protected harbor... and someone to look after the boat whilst I am away.

If I do leave the boat I usually put her on a strong mooring w/ proper chafe gear, which I pay for and know that someone is "looking after" the moored boats.

sv Shiva
Contest 36s

Brent Swain 19-04-2006 13:11

Name can't be changed, not in any way I can see.

GordMay 19-04-2006 15:59

"Do you believe in magic ..." ~ Lovin' Spoonful
Let me know if you want "Lois" back

BC Mike 19-04-2006 18:08

Lois Riel
I had to spell it that way when I replied to a post the other day, even checked the post I was responding to for the correct / incorrect spelling.
I wanted to change my user name from BC Mike C to just BC Mike but could not figure out how to do it. And I do not want to lose my stars. Can you fix mine too please ?

rtbates 08-08-2006 11:36

program to monitor the anchor? GPS anchor alarm???
Capt K: wrote,"If you could actually come up with some kind of computer program. Designed to moniter the anchor. Along with some kind of gadget that goes with the program. I'll buy it!!:D

If all you're interested in is whether or not it's doing it's job just use a GPS's anchor alarm set to a fairly small value.

What else would you want to know? If it's fouled? Use an underwater camera system run down the rode.

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