Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-03-2014 Thread Starter
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Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok?

So after getting some great help on finding charts and online reader programs etc. i started looking at charts in my area of the ICW (Florida). Now i'm a newbie so I have to ask. Where is it ok to drop the hook for the night? I ask because reading the boating guide lines etc. it tells you your not supposed to drop the anchor for the night on the ICW unless in an anchorage area. So I start looking at charts, find out how to find the anchorages (didn't work), they show that an anchorage will be marked by a small anchor on the chart. I look at the whole chart for my area and I see none. So whats the general rule to dropping the hook for the night safely and legally so at 1:00 A.M I don't get waken up by whatever authority would be out there to tell me I cant be there. That's all we will be doing right now as were just learning to sail and more or less just want to spend a few hours on the water to then camp for the night and go back home in the morning.
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-03-2014
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Re: Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok?

Go to activecaptain.com and register. It's about the most comprehensive source. Info is pretty fresh, since it's crowd-sourced.

The Dozier's Waterway Cruising Guides are also good references
Skipper Bob's guides are pretty good too
if you're in the Keys, Frank Papy's cruising book is a good resource
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-03-2014
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Re: Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok?

The spots marked on the charts with an anchor are officially designated anchoring areas. That does not mean that you cannot anchor anywhere else. In fact, so long as you are well clear of the marked channel, you can anchor pretty much anywhere that you want (with a few exceptions).

That, however, does NOT mean that it would be a smart thing to just drop your anchor any old place for the night. Some places make a good anchorage, and some do not. As mentioned, ActiveCaptain is a good resource. Here is another...
Cruiser's Net

And for southwest Florida, yet another...
Florida Sea Grant - Boating & Waterways - Anchorage Inventory

Good luck!
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-03-2014
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Re: Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok?

MHG offers some great guides. active captain is a great tool for pre-planning if you don't have internet access while sailing and you should keep a few hard copy guides on board. Generally, you don't anchor in any channel. If there is a cove or small area that gets you outside of the channel, you might be fine. Just watch your depth for the entire swing you may do around your anchor.

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post #5 of 17 Old 03-03-2014 Thread Starter
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Talking Re: Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok?

Thank you all so much. This post had led me to priceless information most of which never turned up in internet searches. I can't thank you all enough.
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-03-2014
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Re: Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok?

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Originally Posted by DRFerron View Post
active captain is a great tool for pre-planning if you don't have internet access while sailing
In addition to this, Active Captain does have something for smartphone/tablet users where you can download "tiles" for certain areas that you are at for off-line viewing. Takes some getting used to but downloaded info seems to be pretty current.

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post #7 of 17 Old 03-03-2014
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Re: Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok?

I used Active Captain on my i-useless-pad and found it excellent for the ICW.

Updated continually be people just before you the information is great. I dont think I ever came across wrong information or stupid comments.

To contribute back its easy to send your information into Active Captain.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-04-2014
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Re: Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok?

AC for the iPhone probably android too is done by 3d party software. I'm using for my iPhone, NAVIMATICS CHARTS & TIDES. When you are in wifi range, you download the latest info from AC and then you always have it even when out of range

--oh yeah, there can be bad info and stupid comments. It's like any other online review. You have to have a glance at the source and make some judgment calls. There is a way to click on the individual and see his other reviews. Sometimes people are just jerks and nothing is good anywhere, know what I mean? I find it useful to read all the comments and see if there's a trend.

--oh BTW I think the SeaGrant Anchorages may be old data. I had a glance at their posted info in regards Sarasota's Bayfront area, and the SG doesn't mention at all the fact that Sarasota Bayfront Park is now a restricted mooring field...

Last edited by Multihullgirl; 03-04-2014 at 08:36 AM.
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-04-2014
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Re: Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok?

I have repeatedly tried to download a map tile on Active Captain for the past two days, and it fails, giving me the message that there was a "Download error - network error." When it happened, I was logged in to Active Captain, and was connected to the internet. Any ideas what's happening and how I can get it done?
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-04-2014
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Re: Dropping the hook for the night..is here ok?

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Originally Posted by Multihullgirl View Post
Go to activecaptain.com and register. It's about the most comprehensive source. Info is pretty fresh, since it's crowd-sourced.

The Dozier's Waterway Cruising Guides are also good references
Skipper Bob's guides are pretty good too
if you're in the Keys, Frank Papy's cruising book is a good resource
Cruiser's net is another good source of local knowledge, although not organized as well as Active Captain.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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