How much time at dock compared to an anchorage - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-01-2011
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How much time at dock compared to an anchorage

Yep - it's another question from the dirt-dweller! Who is this guy polluting your nice forums with this junk?

I was just curious, for the fulltime cruising liveaboards how much time do you guys spend in a marina, or mooring field compared to in an anchorage? I imagine it all depends on your cruising budget. I envision a life of many anchorages (at least in the warmer waters), but I don't know if that's reality or not.

You all have been so generous with responding to my other questions, so really it's your own fault I keep asking more!

Good sailing to you and yours!!
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Old 07-01-2011
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"It depends" is a kinda crappy answer, isn't it? Places with very strong current, or where we expect there to be a lot of folks anchoring who don't know what they're doing - and hence might drag into us - we look for moorings or marina slips. Especially if its a place where we'll want to explore on land for a while (St Augustine, FL or Charleston, SC are examples). We also look for marinas/moorings if the weather is going to be awful. But if conditions are mild and the anchoring/holding is good and the water is clear ... oh, we're at anchor enjoying the serenity.

Disclaimer: on our cruising budget, we could afford a marina about 1/3 of the time, on average. In practice, we prefer to be in marinas about 1/5 of the time or less if weather etc permit. Moorings to me are like being at anchor in terms of creature comforts, with the wonderful added advantage that you know you won't drag and no one will drag into you. Best of both worlds.
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Old 07-02-2011
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Tux,

wingNwing's right -- "it depends" is kind of a non-commital answer, but unfortunately is the right one.

There are a ton of variables that will influence the decision. Boat type and fitting, Wx, provisioning, water and fuel consumption, creature comforts, environment, the crew's willingness to suffer inconveniences, etc, etc.

Once you get out there, you'll figure out what works for you and your crew. That's part of the learning curve that can't be tackled ahead of time.
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Old 07-02-2011
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In two years cruising we have been at a dock for an extended period of time (17 days) once in Papeete, Tahiti because we had repairs to do and it was more convenient than anchoring there (we could have anchored but the budget allowed for a marina). In some places you must take a mooring (often to protect coral) St John's in the USVI comes to mind or it is convenient because of depths (Bora Bora in French Polynesia is one). Overall though we are anchor almost all the time (I am writing this at anchor in Pago Pago in American Samoa).

Get good (no make that great) ground tackle - spend some of the marina money on that and you will sleep better.
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Old 07-02-2011
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i am at a dock for hurrycame season--i will be going to anchor out somewhere when i am tired of this living situation--i hate docks, and prefer to anchor, but that , here , is unsafe and unprotected from big winds and sharp rocks, so i went into a hurrycame hole for the duration for repairs aand prep for sailing out in nov.
kat hates docks as he wears leash with his harness while we dock, and is free to roam when underway or at anchor.
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Old 07-02-2011
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I usually only take a slip if I need something from shore (supplies, laundry, propane, etc) and try to combine them with other concerns such as weather, area, land exploring. It's really a question of how much you want to spend, and how comfortable you are on the hook.
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Old 07-02-2011
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When cruising we almost always anchor. We watch for docking opportunities: some cities have limited free dockage, some restaurants have free dockage if you eat there (at least in the US). We use those opportunities for big shops, lugging jerry jugs, taking ice on board, and any heavy, short-term tasks that can be squeezed in.

When we use city-provided dockage we go out of our way to find a manager at any business we use to let them know we are shopping because of the city welcome. We also make sure the manager at restaurants with dockage know we are there--and buying--because of the dockage.

All in all we have more confidence in our ground tackle than in someone else's mooring and if the weather is bumpy I'd rather be at anchor than at a dock where there are hard things to bump into.

I may be an outlier in the statistical universe of sailors. Step 1 of my hurricane plan is to get off the dock!
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Old 07-02-2011
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as we spozedly havent had a direct hit in 33 yrs, i was advised this is safest place here.
i am on a dock but plan on anchoring as far off said dock as possible. is an end tie so i am good for that. the anchorage here has lost many many many bots to rocks.
i plan on avoiding that bit.
i was also advised there has been no damage to boats here during storms in 33 yrs. i was advised that at the anchorage i enjoyed and wish i were still in, there was 99.999 percent loss of boats into rocks during last big weather there.
i think i am good with this marina for a minuet. if it turns otherwise, i will leave.
am only here for the summer rates and storm safety. and repairs....
ps--am in mazatlan.....
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Old 07-02-2011
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We sailed into Baltimore yesterday to take a slip for the two hottest months of the summer. We'll enjoy the fulltime AC and the city's attractions, but before the eight weeks are over we'll be ready for the wilderness anchorages and more time living on the thin slice between the blue above and the blue below. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 07-02-2011
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to me living at a dock/marina is akin to living in a trailor park while it may be more convenient and safe[maybe] i don't see the point,in my curent area,tn river[tva lakes] its not legal to moor for more than a few days but come sept.-oct. my curent marina that has just come under new owner/management will be seeing my stern headed south
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