The Politics of Anchoring; Where to Anchor - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 07-28-2010 Thread Starter
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The Politics of Anchoring; Where to Anchor

In thinking about living aboard a sailboat, or even taking a long trip,
I often think about anchoring in out of the way places.

I live on the Maine coast.... There are several small harbors near me,
but there's always a waiting list to get a mooring in the harbors.
They are also expensive, up to $1000 for a season. I've thought about
anchoring or mooring my boat nearby, outside of one of these harbors.
Of course it has to be someplace where you have access to the water.

I've heard two different schools of thought. One is that you can anchor
anywhere you wish, outside of an established harbor. In a harbor, you
should use an already installed mooring if available. There are plenty of
places outside of designated harbors where it is safe to anchor, or moor.

The other line of thinking is that you have to clear any anchoring/mooring
anywhere with the town or nearby harbor, or whatever.

I believe legally, you can anchor anywhere. Some people say you can
do that for a couple of days, then you should move on.

What makes a good mooring? I have a small 17 ft daysailer. I'm
thinking of making a mooring weight of casting some concrete into a
auto wheel rim. You want it to be heavy enough to hold your boat, but
perhaps the weight could be in several pieces to make it easy to put into
the water, and take out and move.

Jim Baranski

Jim Baranski, Franklin ME
17' Siren; looking for a bigger old boat!
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post #2 of 25 Old 07-28-2010
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Anchoring is one thing, creating a permanent mooring is another. It sounds like you're creating a mooring, in which case you had better check with the local muncipalities.

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post #3 of 25 Old 07-28-2010
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Expectations differ in different areas of the country, but legally you may anchor anwhere outside of channels, established mooring fields, and restricted areas designated by military use and port authorities or protected enviroments such as coral reefs and some sea grass beds. We frequently anchor from Maine to the Bahamas on the East Coast. Mooring fields are far less common in the south where they is more mud and sand holding in shallow water. If you plan to establish a permanant mooring, then you will need to check local regulation. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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post #4 of 25 Old 07-29-2010 Thread Starter
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Semi-Permanent Mooring .vs Anchoring?

Well, what I'm thinking of is anchoring / mooring my boat out there for a
week or a month. Does it really make a difference if it's an anchor, or a heavier mooring at the end of the chain? In theory, the heavier mooring
would be more secure.

How heavy of a mooring should I have for a 17' daysailer?

Thanks, Jim.

Jim Baranski, Franklin ME
17' Siren; looking for a bigger old boat!
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post #5 of 25 Old 07-29-2010
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A private mooring would remain as your property and be at an established location even when your boat is not there. An anchor departs with the boat. The appropriate mooring or anchor for your boat would depend on the substrate and the fetch, but a 20lb mushroom would likely be more than adequate for a 17' boat. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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post #6 of 25 Old 07-29-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaimesBeam View Post
Does it really make a difference if it's an anchor, or a heavier mooring at the end of the chain?
IANAL, but I believe the answer is yes it does make a difference. An anchor is part of the ship's gear and assumed to be raised and taken with you when you go. A mooring is "installed" and something the ship/boat ties up to. A mooring is presumed to be de facto (more) permanent.

In most states you need a permit to install a mooring. Some places that is harder than others.

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post #7 of 25 Old 07-29-2010
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If you're using an anchor you can say it's an anchor.

So, use an over-sized anchor which you can retrieve.

An auto rim filled with concrete - not sure about that. Most auto rims weigh between 15 and 20 kg (30 - 45 lb), and the concrete won't do much (underwater you need a lot of it to weigh much). It'd probably be okay for the most part but I wouldn't trust it long term. I also don't agree that a 20 lb mushroom would be adequate, probably wants to be a lot bigger than that.

On the other hand a 15 kg / 35 lb anchor of a sensible type with adequate scope and you'll be both secure and able to say it's not a mooring (and able to retrieve by hand, with a bit of effort).

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post #8 of 25 Old 07-30-2010
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the politics of anchoring

One thing caught my attention here. You mentioned a car rim filled with concrete, as a possible mooring block. Don't do it. I seriously doubt it will hold in a blow. I tried this one year with two 5 gallon buckets of concrete with two pieces of rebar crisscrossed and sticking out of/through each one. No holding at all. Almost lost the boat. I went back to anchoring and have never had a problem. Concrete is actually not that heavy.

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post #9 of 25 Old 07-30-2010
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concrete can be useful as a sort of kellet - I anchor my swim raft off my house like that - it has two actual anchors which attach to a washbasin full of concrete. The chain from the raft goes down to the concrete washbasin. What this does is ensure that the pull on the anchors is always horizontal. Works pretty well if you make sure that there is an anchor out in the direction of any potential big wind.
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post #10 of 25 Old 07-30-2010
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Quote:
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.......... I also don't agree that a 20 lb mushroom would be adequate, probably wants to be a lot bigger than that.........
You're probably right, but the OP hasn't said more tha the Maine coast and outside the harbor. We don't know the depth of the proposed location or the nature of the bottom or the protection from surrounding land or the density of lobster traps or the number and density of other anchored or moored boats. With the best case scenario the 20lb mushroom would be ideal, but with a host of negatives, the location could be risky with a huge anchor or mooring. There's just no answer without more info, Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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