Originally Posted by RhosynMor
Back creek is a designated anchorage, no dayshape needed, yes the boat was unattended
If you check the harbor chart, you'll see that Back Creek is not an official Special Anchorage Area (SAA). There are some of those SAA's out in the Severn River, but not in the Creek. (You can check it online by clicking on NOAA
and zooming in to that area -- you'll need to keep re-centering the chart on Annapolis as you zoom.)
For those of you not familiar with that Creek, note on the chart linked above how many piers are shown on the shoreline. There are hundreds of large boats that live on that creek.
The fact that the Annapolis Harbormaster *allows* anchoring there does not make it an SSA -- meaning that you do not need to display the proper anchor shapes and lights. The COLREGS Rule 30 (g) states "A vessel of less than 20 meters in length, when at anchor in a special anchorage area designated by the Secretary, shall not be required to exhibit the anchor lights and shapes required by this Rule
". SSA's are always shown on charts in purple ink. (I agree with PainKiller that I've never seen an anchor ball used by a yacht on the Chesapeake Bay, though.)
I'll make an educated guess -- without any facts. Given you had bow light damage, I'll assume that the other boat snagged your rode with his keel. When that happens, the anchored boat is quickly drawn to the moving vessel because it is being pulled by the bow.
Why would someone run into your anchor rode? Well, most of the navigable water in that area of Back Creek is, by careful measurement, about 250 feet wide from marina pier to marina pier. Perhaps not you, but many transient boats place their anchor in the Creek and then put out, say 65 feet of rode in addition to their 40' boat length. When the westerly wind pipes up and the rodes stretch out, much of the width of the Creek is taken up by the maze of anchored boats. All is takes is an unexpected boat coming out of a marina with "right-of-way" (on the right) to give a boat transiting the Creek real problem of not having any good options.
And let's not forget the COLREGS Rule 9 (g) "Any vessel shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid anchoring in a narrow channel.
" I'm not sure how the maritime courts would define a narrow channel, but one the width of Back Creek would rate high on my list ... Especially since I often see vessels anchored smack between a pair of red and green buoys marking a channel in front of Bert Jabin's. Those of us that draw >= 7 feet have to go through those buoys.
, I'm not, repeat not, saying that the incident was your fault. Hitting an anchored vessel is usually the fault of the vessel underway -- like a rear-ender in the car world. But for those of us that travel Back Creek frequently, there is another side of the issue.