Block Island tips and tricks
I avoid the island in July and August, as it gets so crowded, but have a little pressure to bring some family there before the end of August. We typically go in shoulder seasons and can find a mooring. I'm familiar with the process of dropping anchor, calling the Harbor Master and trying to get an empty private mooring at 3pm.
My bigger concern is find good holding and good swing room if we need to stay on the hook for the night. We have a good dinghy, so typically opt to be further way from the action if the conditions are better.
Any specific tips or suggestions on where to drop the hook? We have 200ft of chain and a 75lb CQR. Not loving more than 30 or 35 ft of water over night if there is any meaningful wind.
Thanks for the input.
I anchored last month up in the Northeast Corner near the prohibited zone in about 20 feet of water. We found good holding!
Had a guy drag anchor next to me, no one was on the boat. Besides not setting his anchor properly I think he was on that 12' mound, then when he dragged off of it..his anchor was just hanging. Tow boat came an took him to a mooring.
Best you can do is make sure you get a good set, watch the other vessels around you and see how much scope they have out. We were all fine on Friday..by Saturday afternoon that corner starting filling in. Had a boat that was sitting almost directly over our anchor when we went to leave early sun morning, managed to retrieve it in a wind shift, without having to ask them to move.
I'll second the shallower area up near the prohibited zone. I've found it has good holding for our CQR with chain.
Didn't know about the 3pm call for a free mooring. Can you say more about that?
(I like to anchor near others who use chain, to help keep the scopes similar.)
If you call the Harbormaster Stephan Land on VHF 12 They will let you know if there are any private moorings available. They usually ask you to call after 3 p.m. So if you get there earlier, just anchor and wait until 3. Though, you could always try them earlier....No guarantees that they'll have one, so pick an anchorage that you're prepared to spend the night on.
They're not free, they're "supposed" to collect a fee, and to my knowledge they are only good for one night.
The other strategy if you want a green town ball, is to get up early and take the dinghy through the mooring field to see if anyone is leaving. Attach the dinghy and call the mothership..;-) on a handheld or walkie talkie.
Nice trick... dinghy and call mothership.
Thanks for the location suggestion, that's what I was looking for. The idea of boats dragging next to me or parked over my anchor is exactly why I don't go in Jul and Aug. I'm not totally excited about doing this, but there are some 30 yr old family memories of the Oar that all want to relive.
The Harbor Master is a very nice and helpful guy. He will also escort you to the private mooring to be sure you get on the right one, if available at 3pm. The fee is identical to the public moorings. Unfortunately, the town moorings are limited for LOA's over 40ish feet and so are the private ones, so we can't go with any expectation we will avoid the hook in August.
I strongly prefer to go after Labor Day. Excellent.
Just got back yesterday from 17 days on the boat including 4 days anchored at Block Island. Arrived on a Monday and left on a Friday. Anchorage was pretty civilized and no squalls and the firedrills that always follow. As you note, the problem there is the anchorage is either very shallow (over by Zodiac beach) or deep (25+ feet) with insufficient room to let out enough scope. Other problem is there is grass on the bottom that can prevent a good set. I always set two anchors about 90 to 120 degrees apart. This lets me let out plenty of scope and only swing as much as if I was on short scope along with the extra security of the second anchor.
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