Nearing another boat at anchor ... - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2009
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Nearing another boat at anchor ...

I'm curious - what is considered "reasonable personal space" between boats when one is anchored and another one comes near it. I have been in the same situation twice where a boat is anchored and the crew of the anchored boat is trying to yell something to me across the water, so since I am still moving I casually get closer to their boat so we can have a human conversation - and in two cases the crew completely wigged out, I mean like RED ALERT DANGER mode, you would have thought I was skippering the African Queen complete with torpedoes moving at ramming speed. The reality was that in both cases I was moving at a very low rate of speed and even if I had gotten close enough to the other boat to bump it we could have fended each other's boats off with our feet the rate of speed was so slow. Anyway, the reaction in both cases seemed to be near terror, whereas me I ended up with more of a confused smirk on my face because I didn't see what the big deal was - obviously I must just be misreading the danger and it really is much more dangerous to get close to someone else's boat even in dead calm than I realize ? In both cases the other boat owners were much more experienced than I am, so I can only assume I just don't get it and that I was breaking some kind of unwritten rule of not only etiquette but safety.

I've had a number of people get near my boat to throw me a line or have a quick conversation, etc, and I was never the least bit worried about it. As long as they are not going to motor over my anchor rode or something I don't understand what the big deal is ??

So how close is too close ?
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Old 07-04-2009
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i have seen a few that do this if they think you might drop anchor where your swing maybe to close. i have seen more who do this if they think you might drop anchor in the same zip code.

screw em, assume they have 3-5 to 1 scope, and you will have 7 to 1 , just make sure you are far enough away

if you do have to get close come up from behind, and either cross the stern, looking for a stern anchor or come along side from astern. that gives you the best ablity to turn away even if they swing suddenly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyt View Post
i have seen a few that do this if they think you might drop anchor where your swing maybe to close. i have seen more who do this if they think you might drop anchor in the same zip code.

screw em, assume they have 3-5 to 1 scope, and you will have 7 to 1 , just make sure you are far enough away

if you do have to get close come up from behind, and either cross the stern, looking for a stern anchor or come along side from astern. that gives you the best ablity to turn away even if they swing suddenly
Scottyt, thank you for the response.

In both of the cases above I was not getting ready to anchor, I was simply responding to boats that were trying to talk to me by getting close enough to have a conversation without having to yell to each other. My intention in both cases was very obviously (to them, I would assume) not to anchor, but just to chat, I wasn't doing any anchoring type moves, just standing in the cockpit with a "What do you want with me .." look on my face as I tried to answer them.

Edit - maybe they really weren't more experienced than me, I only assumed that because they had such big boats, but I guess novices can have big boats too.
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Last edited by wind_magic; 07-04-2009 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 07-04-2009
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Perhaps they thought you were going to snag their anchor line as you traversed the anchorage?
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Old 07-04-2009
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sounds to me like they were over reacting. I've seen a bit of that before. Just continue smirking!!
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Old 07-04-2009
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Many have been disappointed with others anchoring so close that changes in wind and current can cause problems. Often it's reassuring to others at anchor to ask about their rode length and share a strategy to be their neighbor. Normally anchoring off the quarter of an earlier anchored boat and deploying a similar length rode is the best. There are a lot of worriers out there. I find it best to smile and nod. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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