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  #31  
Old 12-15-2013
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Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters

At least 3 sailboats have gone ashore at Kits so far this winter. Wide open but the dreamers keep coming. The rest of us pay for the cleanup`.

Last edited by Capt Len; 12-15-2013 at 07:44 PM.
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  #32  
Old 12-16-2013
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Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters

A little off topic, sorry.

What's the rule of thumb for anchor rode length? I have a 26' that I'm redoing, with a 5'10" draft. I know the former owners did some offshore stuff and a passage or two. They have about 300' of line and 50' of chain.
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  #33  
Old 12-17-2013
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Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters

The rule of thumb for anchor rode length should be covered in all basic boating classes, books, and presentations as a fundamental safety and seamanship issue.

In its simplest form, the rode should be about 5 to 10 times longer than than depth of the water in which you are anchored. Less rode is for shorter periods of anchoring in calmer water while you are on or close to the boat; more rode for less ideal conditions. (Different guides will argue about the exact ratio.)

Different types of anchors tend to do better in some conditions and worse in others; matching the anchor to the local bottom type and other situations can make a big difference. Which anchor is best? Ah, be sure to put on your flame-proof suit before asking this question in a gathering of sailors.

The depth used for figuring rode length this should also add the height of your boat's freeboard/how high your bow cleats or winch are above water line.

Sometimes you have to use less rode because of a tight anchorage.

Sometimes you can get away with somewhat less rode if you have an oversized anchor, heavy all-chain rode/extra weight attached, ideal bottom conditions, did a great job of setting the anchor, and have the latest super-premium high-tech anchor, and don't have stupid other boaters dragging their anchor over your anchor rode.

Or, if circumstances are nasty, you might need more and will want heavier, better, longer, more ground tackle and rode.

Having a "bullet-proof" connection of rode to boat is a big issue; your anchoring system is only as strong as its weakest link. Undersized cleats or bitts that aren't backed up properly (backing plates), sharp cleats or fairleads that can saw the rode, lack of snubbers, failure to "mouse" a shackle closed, lack of chafing gear, a wimpy swivel, etc., can spell death to your anchoring.

Reversing currents or action of wind against tide can be a problem for some anchors. Some boats travel around a lot/"hunt" at anchor; a riding sail can often help calm this. Boats that have lots of windage will be more likely to drag than those where excess stuff has been stripped away, particularly if a big blow is forecast.

A double anchor system can help in some conditions, such as dealing with tidal currents or in a tight anchorage.

Anchoring successfully is really several steps; picking an anchorage that has good protection, depth, bottom types, room, absence of hazards, etc.; then matching anchor and rode to the anchorage, communicating between helm and the person on the bow, lowering and setting the anchor properly, checking to see that the anchor is really set, setting up chafing gear and snubbers as needed, monitoring for dragging, keeping an eye on weather changes that may affect your anchorage, maintaining the chafing gear, making sure the rode isn't fouled around the bottom of your boat, etc.

All this is mostly about conventional anchoring; long-term moorings are another topic.
Anchoring for storms is sort of an ultimate challenge and is a severe test of anchoring skill and equipment.

"Your anchor drag may vary." There are quite a few ways to screw up anchoring.

Last edited by rgscpat; 12-17-2013 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 12-17-2013
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Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters

Scope rules are 7 times the sum of the depth at High Tide plus the height of your bow over the water. The height of your bow can make a serious difference in scope, especially in shallower water. Some say all chain can be reduced to 5X, however, I only do for short stays in relatively calm weather.

Consider 10x for storm conditions.
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Old 12-17-2013
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Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters

I once met a guy living on a delilect boat (Catalina 27') moored on the Atlantic side of Key Largo. The boat had no sails, enigine or head, I asked him about the head and he said he uses the bathroom at the gas station when he goes for his coffee in the morning. He had been living there for 15 years when I met him. I aslo asked him what about when a hurricane comes along and he said the boat is chained to 3 engine blocks and hasn't dragged yet, so it can be done. Should also add that guy would probably be living under a bridge if he didn't have the boat.
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Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters

I sail on a lake (dammed up river) in Central Ohio. If you are talking about leaving your boat in the water in IL I would strongly discourage you. You mentioned central IL so I'm assuming we are about the same latitude, and therefore have similar climate. Our lake freezes over, to some degree, every year. The City who controls the lake (Columbus) makes everyone remove all boats, docks and any other man-made objects from the water from November to April. Why? Because of ice. In the spring, when the ice melts and the rain comes harder, the ice starts to move. Anything in its way gets pushed down river. A few years ago, my sailing club left an old dock beside our ramp, with the idea that our Laser fleet could use it to launch to do some frostbite sailing. The lake froze before we had a chance to pull it out. Next spring it was GONE! There was no trace of it whatsoever. The Ice which held it in place so we couldn't get it out had taken it away, never to be seen again. We had the dock chained directly to our sea wall, so it wasn't like the anchor dragged. My own personal guess is that the ice caused the dock to break as it strained against the chains.
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Old 12-17-2013
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Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters

The best I got is bow and stern anchors with at least 5 to 1 scope with vessel headed into prevailing winds. Use anchors at least 1.5 times larger than you think will hold it. Also say a couple hail mary's when you leave it checking on it weekly is needed. To insure it doesn't have problems
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Old 12-17-2013
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Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters

Quote:
Originally Posted by steel View Post
...

If it is properly secured that would never happen. What could happen is it would sink. If the mast was down and it sank in deep water, it would just join the many other pieces of junk on the sea floor. Nobody would ever know that anything happened. People spend more time being upset about about some harmless non oil polluting wreck than they did about Deepwater Horizon.
Never say never.

You'll more than likely not be anchoring "on the sea floor" so if your boat sinks in a river or bay where you are probably going to be if you are living aboard, yes it would go to the bottom and yes you would become a hazard to navigation because the bottom won't be nearly as far down as the middle of the Gulf and more than likely you'll be fined for polluting the waterway with your fuel and waste that will leak out.
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  #39  
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Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters

Steele's plans for a boat are a contentious topic for most of us but please remember to refrain from name calling and personal attacks. If he forgot that he asked the same question three years ago, the same may happen again and it may all come to nothing.
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Re: Anchoring for long term or in unprotected waters

This is an interesting subject regardless of the OP's intent.

i've often wondered if a boat could survive a blow anchored out. For example:
Hurricane/Storm Sandy; if you knew that your boat was doomed for certain destruction, left in a marina. Would you take a chance and anchor it out? proper depth, lots of scope and lots of anchors in series or separate?

I responded to Sandy (the day after) and walked 70 percent of staten island's shoreline to survey damage and check on people. It was a sad experience walking thru marinas. I felt at the time the boats were better off at sea. (or anchored out) I tracked commercial ships that rode out the storm under power just outside the city. That was amazing.
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