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Old 05-13-2011
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Looking for opinions on this "Anchoring Etiquette"

This was posted on another forum mostly visited by power boaters (of a specific region). I'd love to hear opinons of this practice from members of this group. Thoughts about if this is common practice, .... legality....... etc.

His post:

"This is what I saw this weekend. I'd like to get someone else's opinion on it. Friday evening I arrive in a cove to anchor overnight. In what I'd consider the optimal anchoring area, there is one spot where someone has anchored and attached a dinghy. In another spot someone has anchored and attached a buoy. No boats, just a dinghy and just a buoy. Friday evening and Saturday evening, the owners of the dinghy and the buoy motor up and anchor at those two spots. And every morning they leave for the day, leaving the dinghy and buoy to return to in the evening.
What do you think about this practice? "

Theres has been quite a variety of responses. As I said, I'd like to hear what "sailors" think about this practice.
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Old 05-13-2011
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Well, On one hand it seems like a great way to reserve a spot,,,, But, at the same time it's as said by the OP "Prime anchoring" there for really should be shared. So I'd say those people are being jerks about it.

I look at it the same as I do here in the mountains when people want to reserve a prime camp site. Instead of getting up early and treking out like the rest of us, they go out 3 days ahead and put up a "Saver tent"..


If I saw that going on and I really wanted to anchor there, I'd wait till they were gone and just do it... what are they gonna say? "We were saving that spot"? they might not say anything if I were up on deck cleaning my .45
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Proper or not?

It all depends on if they are anchored or moored in a certain spot.

If they have simply dropped an anchor, then it's not proper for them to do that.

For definition: Use of a single anchor is termed "anchoring." Use of two or more anchors indicated by a buoy is not anchoring, but mooring.

If they have set out a mooring they are well within proper etiquette to hold that spot. In fact, NOT indicating they are moored by setting a private buoy endangers others anchored around them.

Setting up a mooring requires considerable effort past simply dropping and setting the hook. Buoys would not be proper to use for a simple anchorage and should ONLY be used to indicate a mooring setup.

There's another consideration to honoring a mooring buoy. Their boat is going to have a smaller swing radius. Be sure you allow for that when you anchor near them. Their swing radius will be based on the length of the painter, not the length of the rode. If they have a three anchor set, it may be a very tight swing of only a few feet.

Any time I have plans on staying in a location for a week or more, I set up a mooring rather than just anchoring. It lets me sleep better at night. I may even attach a portable dock to the mooring for easier access to the dinghy and to have a place to set up chairs and tables.

Short answer is YES, it is proper to honor a mooring buoy. You might even want to try that for yourself! A mooring offers better holding and shorter swing. If your anchoring close to shore or shoals, you definitely want to keep that swing radius down.

In a tight anchorage, those using a mooring setup are being considerate of others by keeping their space used to a minimum so more yachts can anchor there. If everyone moored, you could easily put twice the yachts into the same anchorage or harbor. They are being considerate. That consideration should be respected and returned.

I hope this helped! Fair Winds!
George Boase
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Old 05-13-2011
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Thanks Gboase,, I had no ida,, Now I do!!
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Old 05-13-2011
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Few people do, don't feel bad about not knowing. That's why I'm currently writing a book called "Anchoring with Style, Plain and Simple." I'm a writer and I found a great need for more information about anchoring. I learned a lot in the process of doing the research for the book myself. There are almost as many rules to anchoring as there are to sailing. Most of them are never discussed. I'm glad I could help!
Fair Winds!
George
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Old 05-13-2011
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I'm trying to imagine some of the more popular summer spots near me having a "saved anchor or mooring". Some spots can be a race to get there early enough to find a good spot, if any. I strongly suspect you would return to find your ball/dinghy washed up on shore, particularly if you tried to snug up against a paying mooring field. I've seen those guys try to chase away anchorages, even when they are aboard.

On the other hand, there are a few spots where private permanent moorings are common, ie Potters Cove.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gboase View Post

In a tight anchorage, those using a mooring setup are being considerate of others by keeping their space used to a minimum so more yachts can anchor there. If everyone moored, you could easily put twice the yachts into the same anchorage or harbor. They are being considerate. That consideration should be respected and returned.
When anchoring you need to look at what other boats are doing. Using multiple anchors, only works when others are also anchored in a similar way.
Restricting your swing with multiple anchors will cause you to need far more room and is inconsiderate in an area where other boats are not anchored in a similar way.
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Old 05-13-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gboase View Post
It all depends on if they are anchored or moored in a certain spot.

If they have simply dropped an anchor, then it's not proper for them to do that.

For definition: Use of a single anchor is termed "anchoring." Use of two or more anchors indicated by a buoy is not anchoring, but mooring.

If they have set out a mooring they are well within proper etiquette to hold that spot. In fact, NOT indicating they are moored by setting a private buoy endangers others anchored around them.

Setting up a mooring requires considerable effort past simply dropping and setting the hook. Buoys would not be proper to use for a simple anchorage and should ONLY be used to indicate a mooring setup.

There's another consideration to honoring a mooring buoy. Their boat is going to have a smaller swing radius. Be sure you allow for that when you anchor near them. Their swing radius will be based on the length of the painter, not the length of the rode. If they have a three anchor set, it may be a very tight swing of only a few feet.

Any time I have plans on staying in a location for a week or more, I set up a mooring rather than just anchoring. It lets me sleep better at night. I may even attach a portable dock to the mooring for easier access to the dinghy and to have a place to set up chairs and tables.

Short answer is YES, it is proper to honor a mooring buoy. You might even want to try that for yourself! A mooring offers better holding and shorter swing. If your anchoring close to shore or shoals, you definitely want to keep that swing radius down.

In a tight anchorage, those using a mooring setup are being considerate of others by keeping their space used to a minimum so more yachts can anchor there. If everyone moored, you could easily put twice the yachts into the same anchorage or harbor. They are being considerate. That consideration should be respected and returned.

I hope this helped! Fair Winds!
George Boase
This is a wind up innit?

To answer the OPs question In my mind if someone anchors then unties his anchor from the mother boat and ties the dinghy to it the dinghy becomes the anchored boat and it then reserves the usual swinging circle space.

On the other hand if it leaves a mooring buoy on the end of the rode it becomes an unoffical mooring and it does not reserve the swinging circle and another boat can anchor inside it.

There is a similar situation where I am anchored just now in Elizabeth Harbour Bequia where there are a fair number of unoofical moorings laid by local entrepreneurs . The harbour authorities have made it clear that it is first come first served and it is the boat on the mooring that 'owns' the circle not the mooring. So if you are at anchor close to a mooring and a boat comes and occupies the mooring if there is a conflict the moored boat has to move even if they have paid for the mooring.

As an aside if you take a mooring in Bequia for your own safety DIVE ON IT AND INSPECT IT.

Last edited by TQA; 05-13-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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I see rude people. They're everywhere and they don't even know they're rude.

No doubt there are rude people everywhere. I'm all too familiar with Potters Cove. I never understood the attraction of anchoring there. Last time I got eaten by the black biting flies before the anchor was even set. The Apponaug Yacht Club has several owned buoys there.

There is almost unlimited space outside the cove proper. If you want a beach you can dinghy to, head to the other side of Prudence Island and anchor off Jenny Pond. More space there than will ever be used.

The question was about the etiquette when anchoring/mooring. According to PROPER etiquette, anchorages are not "held spots" while a mooring as indicated by a proper marking such as a buoy is.

I'll give another example of buoy use that is commonly respected. Lobster pots and other fishing gear is marked with ownership by a buoy. Others fishing the same area know they can not lay down gear in the same area.

When you get down to it, arguing over a "prime" anchoring spot is really very childish and downright silly. Thank God most of us are above that. Places to anchor are everywhere. Even in a place like Newport Harbor or Potters Cove you always have options. There's really no need to cause conflict over such a thing.

From a technical perspective, ALL buoys are private. The fact that you pay for one from a provider means you're paying for the equipment they laid down and maintain. You are NOT renting the space where they placed it. This is not to be confused with docks extending from a fixed point on land where someone actually owns the mineral rights to the property.

To answer the question of portable docks, there are several inflatable platforms and docks available. Check with West Marine for one such platform. My wife has a hard time getting into a dinghy from the boat. We're not youngsters anymore. By placing a platform alongside the boat we can place the steps we use at dock on the platform, and then enter the dinghy from the platform. It's also a LOT safer to do it that way. I hate using a swim ladder to get into the dinghy.

I'm a firm believer in "Monkey see, Monkey do." If you come into a harbor and see everyone mooring, then you should too. If you come to an area where no one is, then you should be considerate when mooring and keep your swing outside their swing radius. Under any circumstance, a mooring should be marked with a buoy to let others know you have a short swing.

Keep the water under you, and the sails above. Everything works out for the best when you do.
George
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Old 05-13-2011
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I only used Potters as an example of a place that has many private moorings within the inner cove. The outer cove is hardly a cove at all, its basically open to the Bay. BTDT with the bugs, but they seem to be worst at sunset, haven't been bothered during the day in a breeze. I never go inside with anything other than the dink for ride.

I did have a buddy anchor next to one of the outer mooring fields at Cuttyhunk. Kids kept coming by all weekend telling him he had to move, then telling him there was a rock he was going to swing into, etc, etc. I'm sure someone was sending them out. One story after another. There is a rock on the northern field (where I was actually on a public mooring ball), but he was next to the southern field. If he had left his anchor or tried to set a mooring, I'm certain those kids would have been told to cut it loose.
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