SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Going ashore while on the hook Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-03-2013 04:54 PM
Re: Going ashore while on the hook

I just completed the CYA Intermediate Cruising course and anchoring lessons were included nightly for many different depths and bottom types. In one spot it took us two hours to anchor (dragging on bare stone) until we gave up and went with lines to the rocks. So much anchoring practice...
08-31-2013 12:40 PM
Re: Going ashore while on the hook

This is my 11th year of living on the hook mostly but not all in the Caribbean. Here are some random thoughts.

Use an anchor one size up from the recommendation. I am a dinosaur and living in the dark ages so have always used CQRs. They tell me they have proof there are better anchors.

All chain is the ONLY way to go long term. Chain in the locker is as useful as runway behind you. Now 250 feet out when you are in 10 feet is overkill but in 40 feet? Have the bitter end tied to some rope that could be easily cut in an emergency. If you have to do this, buoy the end even if the buoy will sink. It will help the diver find it.

I would only ever use one anchor except in storm conditions and expecting a major wind shift. In 11 years I have deployed the second anchor twice for storms. There is an exception to this. If you are in somewhere like Nassau and there is a major reversing current use a Bahamian anchor technique where two anchors are set at 180 degrees. The current reverses but the boat does not move much.

If you have ANY doubt about where you are anchored try again and again. I regard an electric anchor windlass as a major safety device. It does not get tired.

When you are happy that the anchor has gripped, back down on it hard. IE take up slack then at least 3/4 throttle in reverse for 5 to 10 seconds. If you are towing the dink it makes a good drag warning. Initially under reverse it will come towards the stern but after 5 seconds it should be dropping back. It is at this point you find if you have shortened the line to avoid getting it round your prop, ask me how I know this. When someone anchors in front of you watch to see if they do this. If yes ,stop worrying about them dragging if they don't then you might consider setting your fenders out in anticipation. BTW I just can not believe it when I see someone not backing down on their anchor. I want to scream something at them.

Snorkeling your anchor is a good idea if the water is clear. So Bequia yes but Falmouth harbor no.

Get to know your harbors. eg Falmouth harbor Antigua has excellent holding but Admiralty Bay Bequia is notoriously variable.

Leave your keys in the ignition. Leave your anchor windlass in active mode or if the switch is in the cockpit make sure it is clearly marked. Have your second anchor on deck and attached to it's rode. Ideally on a second anchor roller. If you are away and the boat drags then make it as easy as possible for the good samaritan to sort it out and reanchor your boat.

If you are anchoring in a place where you suspect there could be things to snag your anchor then use a tripping line. DO NOT BUOY IT. Use thin cable ties to run it back along the chain. I have watched a boat become anchored by the stern when it got it's tripping line around prop on a day when the winds are gusty and coming from all directions. Yes it duly tripped its anchor and went walkabout into shallow water !

In squally weather I like to stay onboard for at least one squall. Check your position relative to neighboring boats.

Use a nylon snubber line to a chain hook. It will dramatically reduce chain noise in the forecabin. If you use a rolling hitch make sure you can cut it off, they will tighten and become impossible to undo.

If you are single handing an anchor remote is a good thing. You want to be able to operate the engine and the windlass from the cockpit in an emergency. It is on my TODO list.

Be very aware of the boats of different hull types when they anchor close to you on rope rode. Something like a lightweight catamaran anchored by the stern with it's dagger boards up behaves very differently from a heavyweight deep keel mono on all chain. **Does anyone know why the French anchor their lightweight multis by the stern?

Finally if you anchor after another boat and if for some reason you start getting close together it is your responsibility to move, even if it is a MOBO on 250 feet of rope in 10 feet of water. He was there first so suck it up and move.
08-28-2013 10:10 PM
Re: Going ashore while on the hook

One of the lesser joys of cruising ?

I know I hate being too far away when we are achored even though I've never dragged when away from the boat.

One thing I know, I'd not be leaving an anchored boat in anything other than a well sheltered anchorage. To do so if anchored in an open roadstead seems the height of folly to me.
08-28-2013 08:56 PM
Re: Going ashore while on the hook

Originally Posted by CaribDream View Post
Is it just time before one feels comfortable and stops incessantly worrying about this? How do you get over the anxiety of worrying about the boat while ashore?
Just don't be stupid about it.

Drop the pick pull it in and then go to shore and have a life.

If the wind is blowing 25 knots or more when you first arrive then inspect your brain and it will tell you to stay on the boat for that night. The next night in the same wind you are fine to go ashore.

Just because you (and lots of people) read all sorts of horror stories on the internet don't start to believe them! 99.999999999999% of 'watch out this will happen to YOU' will NOT happen to you.

Go have fun and don't worry
08-28-2013 08:42 PM
Re: Going ashore while on the hook

Anchoring out is scary, like most things we do the first time. Do it a few times in your local area, and like all new things you grow into it, and all the what if's will fade. Do your homework and have fun.
08-28-2013 03:04 PM
Re: Going ashore while on the hook

Originally Posted by LaurenceU View Post
I don't know about US sailing schools.... I have done formal training in UK under RYA (day skipper and coastal skipper) and nothing practical on anchoring techniques was included. My knowledge (or lack of) is down to experience and reading.
At the US Sailing school I went to, anchoring was taught in each level: Keelboat, Basic Cruising, and Bareboat, as each boat range had different equipment and expectations. The keelboats aren't rented overnight, so the anchoring mostly focussed on dropping the hook for lunch, while the bareboat classes required that we anchor overnight somewhere and set an anchor alarm.
08-28-2013 02:16 PM
xort It depends
What are the winds and the sea state?

If its less than ideal, we don't go ashore. Especially in the first day. If we've been anchored and faced hi winds, chop, current switches for a few days then it's not such a worry.

The bigger worry is the other guy. Hard to plan for all contingencies. Sometimes sh!t happens. You can minimize but not eliminate the risk.

And regarding the tying to shore. That's a false sense of security in my mind. What if the wind shifts to the beam? The anchor has much more pull in that way. You cannot swing to the wind and current. Only good in very settled, protected spots.
08-28-2013 02:00 PM
Re: Going ashore while on the hook

I like the idea of an app that will report when the boat swings, even when I'm not aboard. That shouldn't be that hard to write (if it doesn't exist already), but you'll need to leave a GPS aboard that has good visibility, good battery, and make sure you have good connectivity at both ends.

Hmmm...I wonder if there's a way to set this up to broadcast over VHF. Yeah, you'd have to bring another device with you, but it would work wherever you are (provided you're within your boat's VHF broadcast range).
08-28-2013 01:02 PM
Originally Posted by Faster:1080804
... (kinda like parking your cherry 57 Chev at the outer edge of the mall parking lot)
I am definitely "that" guy. My wife hates it lol. Of course, it seems that no mattter how far out and away from others I park, someone parks right on top of me. Probably the same goes on in anchorages...
08-28-2013 12:54 PM
Re: Going ashore while on the hook

You do the best you can, and hope for the best. You can mitigate the risk of others' fouling you by anchoring away from the nicer/more convenient spots (kinda like parking your cherry 57 Chev at the outer edge of the mall parking lot)

But it's not realistic to stay on the boat all the time.. the shore excursions are/should be a large part of the reason you're doing what your doing. So you do you best, and hope...
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome