Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gloucester, MA
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Re: Anchoring Question
You will get many opinions on this but really, the key to long term anchoring is to pick up a mooring which is designed to handle the varying direction of loading.
Even a very deeply buried cqr will pull out if you get a 180 degree wind shift with enough breeze. The new generation of anchors (Spade, Manson, Rocna, Mantus, etc) are designed so that in most situations they will stay fully embedded and simply rotate as opposed to pulling out and then resetting. However, this is not perfect and it really comes down to how risk averse you are as to whether you do it or not. Keep in mind, if your boat drags, you are likely to hook or hit another causing problems for others besides yourself.
The main working differences between moorings and anchors is that moorings are set in any wind direction and they work on much shorter scope. With the exception of mushroom mooring anchors lying on their side, moorings are symmetrical about the vertical axis meaning that the direction of pull doesn't matter. The shorter scope is allowed by the significantly heavier gear. This weight is the reason why we don't carry around anchoring gear that resembles a mooring. The one type of mooring setup that is easily transportable is the 3(or more) point mooring system where anchors are set out at 120 angles to each other so that each anchor only sees a relatively constant angle of pull. These systems are a pain to set up but if you plan to leave the boat somewhere for a while and need to carry your own gear, it is probably the best system. Keep in mind that each anchor needs to be large enough to carry the entire load and that the geometry of this system matters so read up on it if you plan to use it.
The bahamian moor style (2 anchors 180 apart) is only good when a perfect 180 degree direction of pull change is required such as in a tidal river. If there is a side load, the load on the anchors is much higher than it would be on a single anchor and the direction of pull changes some. Also, the 2 rodes will foul each other with time which is very bad. The 3 point system above should have a single line/chain attached to the boat.