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  #21  
Old 08-29-2013
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Re: The Perils of Rafting On

I raft up occasionally, plan to do it this weekend. Learned from one adventure that it can go wrong quickly. We were a three boat raft with one boat anchored. We were mostly all in the water swimming with the anchor boat owners dingying around visiting with other friends in other rafts. A sudden wind shift due to a passing T-storm out on the bay caused us to start dragging. There were very many other boats and rafts in the area. I quickly got into my boat (a power boat at the time) and began pulling in lines we were using to keep us from drifting away while floating around and swimming. The anchor boat's owners showed up while we were trying to get squared away. He started his engine and promptly wrapped a stray line around his prop. Meanwhile we were drifting down toward the next line of rafted boats. I attemped to start my engine to try and take some tension off the anchor and slow us down so the anchor would set. I promptly wrapped my prop. So, into the water I and the anchor boat owner go to clear our props. As we were doing this, the 3rd boat in the raft began to untie and get clear of the raft but before getting clear, the anchor boat's bowsprit poked a hole in the plexi window in the side of their boat. About the time we got the props cleared and began breaking the raft up, we came down on the next line of boats. We fended off, got past them without any more damage being done and split up. we then re-anchored and enjoyed the rest of the day. I learned a lot from this incident and now own the sailboat that got a hole poked into it. I'm much more careful and aware of conditions when rafted up now and will quickly break off if I see something that looks funny or conditions begin to change.

Kevin
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  #22  
Old 08-29-2013
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Re: The Perils of Rafting On

Dragging rule #1.

If dragging - let out more rode, increase your scope.
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  #23  
Old 08-29-2013
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Re: The Perils of Rafting On

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Dragging rule #1.

If dragging - let out more rode, increase your scope.
Yep, generally that works. In our case we were heading for the next raft of boats and didn't have time/room to let out more rode. There were lots of other boats having the same problem as us. In fact we were feeling kinda smug watching others having trouble for several hours until we broke loose. LOL Anchoring is definately a spectator sport.

Kevin
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: The Perils of Rafting On

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Dragging rule #1.

If dragging - let out more rode, increase your scope.
NOT dragging rule #1. Always have more than enough scope out BEFORE you need it.

I maintain that not putting out enough scope is the #1 reason most people drag. Sure, there are tight spots where short scope is necessary, but in most cases there is room. What's the real reason NOT to put out 7:1 or 10:1 (with rope) if you can??? Usually there isn't a good reason not to put out a lot of scope. People put out less out of habit I think...

If I put out less than 5:1 with my 3/8 chain, I have to have a mental conversation with myself justifying why I feel it is safe to make an exception.

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  #25  
Old 08-30-2013
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Re: The Perils of Rafting On

There are many, many anchorages in BC (and, I suspect, WA state) where the textbook scope or more is simply not do-able, either due to congestion, excess depth vs swing room, or nearby obstructions (reefs, rocks, docks, etc).

I'm sure that it's true that most dragging situations are due to inadequate scope, technique, or diligence. However around here we have to 'make do' with what's practical.

The good news is that, esp in summer, up here conditions generally mellow overnight, often to calm, and we have no shortage of good, sheltered options. These same conditions make rafting up a far less stressful situation.
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: The Perils of Rafting On

We had plenty of scope out, at least for one boat at 7:1 in shallow water. I believe we just had too much windage/weight on the Danforth type anchor and when the wind shift twisted the flukes loose it just skipped along and would not set. Thats why we tryed to use power to slow down the raft and give the anchor time to dig in again. It probably had a mud ball on it and did not want to reset before we got to the next line of boats. This weekend we'll most likely put out two anchors and keep a closer eye to the wind shifts.

Kevin
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: The Perils of Rafting On

I do not like Danforths at the best times. But in shifting winds and currents they are especially worrisome. As you point out they need to shift and re-set. I have also seen the chain get caught between the stock and the flukes.

I use two anchors in soft bottoms when there is little chance of wind shift; fouled rodes are no fun.

I do not want to start and anchor war, I have used just about every style on the market. You might consider using a modern anchor, a plow or a Bruce. I have had success with most of them.
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Last edited by jackdale; 08-30-2013 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: The Perils of Rafting On

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
NOT dragging rule #1. Always have more than enough scope out BEFORE you need it.

I maintain that not putting out enough scope is the #1 reason most people drag. Sure, there are tight spots where short scope is necessary, but in most cases there is room. What's the real reason NOT to put out 7:1 or 10:1 (with rope) if you can??? Usually there isn't a good reason not to put out a lot of scope. People put out less out of habit I think...

If I put out less than 5:1 with my 3/8 chain, I have to have a mental conversation with myself justifying why I feel it is safe to make an exception.

MedSailor
No doubt many instances of dragging are due to insufficient scope, but I think the argument can also me made that many cruisers often use more scope than necessary, with no added benefit whatsoever... A lot of recent analysis and real-world experience is leaning towards the conclusion that the generally accepted safe minimum of 7:1 is largely a myth...

Peter Smith of Rocna, with help from the work of Alain Fraysee, has demonstrated there is never any point in going with more than 7 or 8:1... Unless it makes one 'feel better', of course :-)

Beth Leonard & Evans Starzinger consider 3:1 or 4:1 to be their "normal" amount of scope, but will go to 5:1 if expecting a blow...

I believe they have the right approach, using an oversized hook that holds well to short scope to begin with, instead of depending on additional scope alone for holding power... Like Steve Dashew, they believe a cruising boat's main anchor should be sized on the assumption that they might have to be used with 3:1 scope, and I think that recommendation is spot on. In crowded anchorages, I think more drama is due to undersized anchors to begin with, than to 'insufficient scope'...
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  #29  
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Re: The Perils of Rafting On

I agree with the oversize anchor approach too. I have an oversized Danforth and it's the biggest that will fit in my anchor locker. I would like to get one of the new style anchors such as a Mantus but I'll need to build a good anchor roller to put it on as I do not want to have to disassemble/reassemble every time I anchor. Danforths hold very well in the right bottom but sometimes don't reset well. I've never had my boat break loose when anchored on my own, though haven't anchored out in anything over 25 knot winds yet.

Kevin
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Old 08-30-2013
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Re: The Perils of Rafting On

There are certainly times when you can't let out enough scope because of limited room. That is where having an oversized anchor and heavy chain makes a big difference. The increased catenary effect of heavy chain really works in your favor.
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