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  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-22-2003 10:43 AM

May I suggest a copy of Skipper Bob''s guide to ICW anchorages....about 20 bucks and worth every penny. Rates each anchorage on holding, current, wake, wind, provisions and shopping. He has a website at

Hope this helps! GB
08-22-2003 08:03 AM

Anchorages can be a challenge on the Gulf Coast. We are there now too.

Do you have Claiborne Young''s cruising guide for that area? He gives very good anchorage information, and we always check it out ahead of time to pick an candidate anchorage or two before we set out. Our draft is about 5.5 feet, so depth is always an issue and a challenge.

Re: pulling up the anchor. After many years of cruising, I have come to the conclusion that an anchor windlass is a MUST from a safety angle. I''ve seen so many people with strained backs from hauling up anchors...and in an emergency, with the adrenaline pumping, it is very easy to do serious physical damage that could adversely impact the cruise.

Seems to me that a hand-operated windlass would work fine for you guys. The farther afield one goes, and the more and potentially deeper anchorages that may be encountere, the more an all-chain rode is needed, and, I believe, the windlass should be electric with a good manual backup in case the batteries go down.

Hope this helps!

Trish Lambert
08-22-2003 05:12 AM

We have a draft of 4.5''. I like the idea of chain but our rodes now have about 15'' of chain. Hauling up the plow anchor last weekend from only 10'' was hard I don''t know if I can handle an all chain rode especially in deep water. I was exhausted once hauling up a danford with 15'' of chain from about 40''. Thanks Tom
08-22-2003 03:23 AM

Many guides do tell you about anchorages.
Look for the ones that are more book like. What is your draft? That is a controling issue especially in areas with tides. Weekends can be a problem because popular areas are crowded so you may have to get there a bit early. But there is a lot of protected water if you know where to find it. I usually set off in the morning with a couple places in mind. Not advisable to start thinking about it at 5 pm.
Another piece of advice - chain. more is better. I have an all chain rode, but it''s the first 25 - 30 feet that really matter.
Todd V
08-19-2003 05:04 AM

While lake sailing we could usually find a nice cove to anchor out of the wind and waves. Now on the Gulf Coast it seems there are few places to anchor for the night. We anchored saturday night in Choctawhatchee bay in Florida on the north east side of the hwy 331 bridge to hide from the southwest wind. Well the wind clocked around all night at one time getting pretty rough with a north wind from a storm. Next morning it was a gentle breeze from the east.
We plan to cruise so an anchorage will be a never ending problem all around Florida and the East Coast to Chesapeak.
Any thoughts on how to pick an anchorage for the night in a strange bay??? The coast pilot was little help as it was mostly concerned with larger vessels. Cruising guides seem to only recommend marina''s and bars. With our budget marinas and bars will be luxury items.

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