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Old 06-13-2002
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Anchoring in Nantucket

I''m planning on cruising to Nantucket.
Could anyone tell me about anchoring in the harbor. On the chart the designated achorage appears to be in the middle of the mooring field. Is this true? What''s the bottom like.

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Old 06-14-2002
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evarcoe is on a distinguished road
Anchoring in Nantucket


This is long, but hereís my experience. My wife and I have sailed to Nantucket every year for the past 15 years or so, so Iíll tell you my thoughts. We have always anchored, often for a week at a time. Iím tired of it but my wife loves the place. I refuse to pay $55 a night for a mooring, hence the anchoring experience.

Nantucket is not particularly friendly to those who anchor. The anchorage is at the far northern end of the harbor, and is outside the very large mooring field. It is not the ďgeneral anchorageĒ described on the charts. It seems that every year they shove us further away. One year they were expecting the NY Yacht Club while we were there, and they dumped a bunch of new moorings on top of us while we were ashore. We were subsequently forced to pick up and move even further out.

Having said all that, there is plenty of room to anchor. It is just a long, and often wet, dinghy ride to the town dock. The holding is sand and has been good for us, but there is some grass, so make sure your anchor is set well.

A couple of things to be aware of Ė The head of the harbor holds a lot of water, and as it flushes in and out with the tide, there is a very strong current effect in the anchorage. And it goes in different directions as it fills and empties. If thereís little wind, boats in the anchorage will be all over the place, sometimes with adjacent boats facing in opposite directions. Our boat (a Sabre 30) loved to sail on its keel, and we often found ourselves with the anchor rode wrapped around the keel and the boat broadside to the current. In those situations the rode was as tight as a violin string, with a tremendous load on the anchor. I learned to drop a sentinel down the rode with a 15 lb. weight in an attempt to keep the rode as vertical as possible next to the boat. More chain would help, but I only had 25ft. of 5/16.

Should you choose to take the launch into town, be aware that itís $4.00 per head each way to and from the anchorage. One rainy day we decided to take the launch in for dinner, and it was a $16.00 bill for the ride.

I do not hesitate to anchor in Nantucket, and neither should you. Have a great time.
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Old 06-17-2002
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drunkensailor is on a distinguished road
Anchoring in Nantucket

Thank you for your response. I will keep in mind the tidal flows and put down more chain. I have a Sabre 38 and know too well about the "keel sailing"

Thanks again.
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Old 10-03-2002
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Anchoring in Nantucket

A bit late for this, but just found this net. We first sailed into Nantucket in 93, and found ourselves stuck on an expensive mooring, since we could not get our plow anchor to set anywhere. Same problem at Cuttyhunk The next year I bought an 85 lb Luke. It was a real pain to get over the side, but we stuck the first time, right through the grass. No problems ever again anchoring in that part of the world :-)
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Old 10-07-2002
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capnjim02 is on a distinguished road
Anchoring in Nantucket

I Can empathize with your boat wanting to sail on the anchor. I have an O''Day 30 with center board, hense long keel. It used to want to sail all over the place in current until I realized that with the helm locked amidships it still sails a bit but does''nt wrap the anchor rode around the leel any longer. what I have to mainly watch out for is that I''m sitting into the current but other boats near me are sitting into the wind, especially power boats, which usually don''t have enough scope out to hold and are frequently dragging. Might be the trinket anchors that a lot of them seem to use!!!!!
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Old 10-30-2002
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Anchoring in Nantucket

I try to drop on the Southeast side of the mooring field toward the Monomy side. The harbormaster has left me alone there, pretty much. The bottom shallows up in there pretty quick and there is only an average of 3 feet of tide so if you''re going to risk getting stuck, high water ain''t the time to do it! Of course, if you''re going there from MV or Wood''s Hole, you''re going to take the incoming tide out (the flood flows east) and high water is when you''ll arrive. I can usually find a 10 foot deep hole there or abouts.
Hey evarcoe, didn''t they designate the area to the WEST side of the west jetty as the anchorage now? And remember, those ferries won''t back down until there past Brant Point!
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