Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters
Unless one is in a very secure hurricane hole, I don't think its likely that anchoring out would be any better. I agree that you are far from guaranteed when tied to the dock. Our floating docks came within a foot or so of floating off their pilings, due to surge.
For that matter, think about the additional scope necessary with a 9 foot surge. If you are anchored in 10 ft of water, you will nearly double your need for scope. Add any significant fetch and you're odds aren't very good.
Tied to a hurricane moorings in a very secure hurricane hole is pretty good, assuming you have excellent chafing gear and don't break off. There just aren't many of these.
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In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair. Margaritas fix everything.