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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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Old 05-07-2011
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Anchoring.

What is the deepest water practically speakaing that sailboats can anchor?

I suppose it would be only as deep as you can dive down and check the anchor? How often do you have to do that.
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Old 05-07-2011
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Well, that is like asking how long is a rope, the answer is end to end. There are two limiting factors. The first is how much rhode you have on hand to make a reasonable scope and two, are you willing to pull it back on deck.
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Old 05-07-2011
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The deepest I have ever anchored is 22m.(although perhaps 30m would be possible, there has never been the need to anchor this deep)

Its much more common to anchor in 3-12m.

Its not necessary to dive and check the anchor, but it is nice to do.

I have been at anchor (or sailing between anchorages) continuously for the last 16 months. The water temperature has been cold so the last time I checked the anchor diving was 4 months ago, although it has been clear enough to see the set from the surface in several locations.
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Old 05-07-2011
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In 3 yrs anchoring 300 days per yea,r in the Caribbean, the deepest water we anchored in was 55 ft. Mostly it is 15-30 ft.

Practically I can anchor in 60ft but if I had to I could add enough rode to anchor in 100ft but getting all that chain back on board would not be fun.

Phil
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Old 05-07-2011
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After answering the question of how much rode you have.. the next qualifier is windlass or not? We still use the Armstrong retrieval method and so try not to anchor deeper than 50 feet or so with chain/rope rode. That can be a challenge in BC as we are not known for shoal waters, but most good anchorages do provide areas of 20-40 feet.

Of course with all chain rode lifting by hand is much more severely limited. Then you want that typical 15-20 feet so that that's all the chain you actually need to lift at any one time. We too anchor in 5-6 meters max in the Caribbean with all chain and no windlass on our friends' boat and hoisting that back aboard can be a challenge when the wind pipes up.
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Old 05-07-2011
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There are some rare instances when one has to anchor deep but I can never see any reason to anchor deeper than the tidal range plus a metre.

All deep anchoring does is wears out your batteries or arms whichever is the last system of retrieval. Unless of course you have a 10lb anchor, three metres of chain and the rest of the rode is rope. Then the weight of getting it all back on board is easy.

For example I have a friend who has an anchor as described with 200metres of rope an 4 metres of light chain on his 18ft fishing boat and he regularly anchors in 50 metres.

Conversely, my anchor weighs 40lbs and I use 30 metres of chain before the rope goes out. Life's too short to expend it on hauling that back on board
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Old 05-07-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
There are some rare instances when one has to anchor deep but I can never see any reason to anchor deeper than the tidal range plus a metre.

All deep anchoring does is wears out your batteries or arms whichever is the last system of retrieval. Unless of course you have a 10lb anchor, three metres of chain and the rest of the rode is rope. Then the weight of getting it all back on board is easy.
Everyone would like to anchor as shallow as possible, but in many parts of the world there is deep water close to shore.
I am anchored at the moment in 10m of water, but I am only 70m from shore.
My draft is 2m, but there is no way I could safely drop my anchor in 3m.
.
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Old 05-07-2011
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60 feet is as deep as I usually anchor but there are a couple of spots where I have anchored in 180 feet. 200 feet of chain and 200 of rope 400 feet or about 2.2 to 1.

The electric windlass is a my friend!
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Anchoring is primarily limited by the scope, or ration, of the length of the rode (anchor line) to the dept of the water. 3:12 if it's a calm day and you're stopped for lunch or to watch bikini herds in their native environment. Sleeping in a protected cove, 5:1. A little wind blowing 7:1. And add for the height of the bow. SO . . . calm night, drop anchor in 25 feet, let out 150' of rode. It there was 60 feet below me, I'd need 325 feet out.

And what is this about DIVING on the anchor??? I don't THINK so!
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Old 05-08-2011
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We have 300 feet of line and 30 feet of chain. We've anchored in just over 40 feet, and I wouldn't want to go much deeper. Even with a manual windlass, I still get a great upper body workout at that depth.

Theoretically, with that much rode and chain, we could anchor in 100 feet at 3:1 scope. However, as Faster and others have suggested, you then have to get it back on board.

As for diving? We live on Canada's west coast. Diving is a great way to get hypothermia!
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