Originally Posted by northoceanbeach
I'm about into some small anchorages in the peak season. My schedule is often to sail until late afternoon. Sometimes until 9 oclock. What do you do if you get there and it's full? I'm not sure what answer you can give me because I'm only able to think of two things. Sail all night or anchor close and throw out some fenders and hope.
I would probably keep going all night. I hope this isn't a situation I run into, but I'd like some ideas in case it does.
There's often space in a crowded anchorage, especially if you have shallow draft or a smallish boat(both, even better). Take some time and motor, slowly, through.
Most people on the water are nice folks and understand what you're trying to do. Some people may help and offer some options you can't see from your helm. I'll do that especially if I can see a safe option next to mine for another boat.
Don't be afraid to drop the hook in a potential spot and check it out. Be ready to raise anchor(you should be able to any time) and re-set a few yards away or abandon the spot all together if you find you're too close for comfort. It happens all the time.
Ultimately, you're responsible for any damage to nearby previously anchored boats but don't become too afraid to try a spot. A few people are very territorial when it comes to anchoring near their boat. But again, you take the responsibility if you bump their boat, and you should be allowed to make the decision as to what is a safe distance.
If someone gets huffy about your crowding their space, ignore them as you lay out your anchor and rode(that's what I do), until you try the spot out.
Where to anchor is your decision in an anchorage, not theirs.