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post #41 of 48 Old 06-30-2019
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

The Fourth on Block is hands down it’s most popular/crowded week. The point made above saying some come early and prepay their mooring fees and go home is absolutely true. They are first come, first serve.

This year’s fourth is curious. Being on a Thursday, I’d expect the following weekend to be the crazy one, so one could luck out in the anchorage, if you arrive early this week. Let the weekenders go home and maybe find a spot on Monday. This afternoon expects thunderstorms to roll through and I simply would not trust the ground tackle of those around me. Some don’t know how to anchor, but to be fair, the bottom gets very plowed up and may just not hold as well in storm gusts. Further, if you put out more than 5:1, while good for your holding strength, you may swing too far, when the winds shifts.


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post #42 of 48 Old 06-30-2019
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

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Further, if you put out more than 5:1, while good for your holding strength, you may swing too far, when the winds shifts.
This is a big part of the problem, from what I've seen. I've gotten there early enough to find a nice big opening in the anchorage. Let out what I believe to be proper scope. As the night progressed people come in and fill in the anchorage with more or less scope.

I woke up one morning to find a boat sitting directly above my anchor. We motored up to them, and waited for a little bit of a wind shift to retrieve my anchor. The guy was on deck having coffee, I could have stirred it for him we were that close. It was no big deal, as everyone was pleasant. But there is no rhyme or reason to some of it on weeks like the 4th of July.
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post #43 of 48 Old 06-30-2019
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

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This is a big part of the problem, from what I've seen. I've gotten there early enough to find a nice big opening in the anchorage. Let out what I believe to be proper scope. As the night progressed people come in and fill in the anchorage with more or less scope.

I woke up one morning to find a boat sitting directly above my anchor. We motored up to them, and waited for a little bit of a wind shift to retrieve my anchor. The guy was on deck having coffee, I could have stirred it for him we were that close. It was no big deal, as everyone was pleasant. But there is no rhyme or reason to some of it on weeks like the 4th of July.
At busy times on BI, short scope is a fact of life if you are a late arrival. If the wind doesn’t pick up you may be OK, but I’ve been there on the 4th of July when we and our neighbors were up at 1 AM on anchor watch. We were all close enough to chat and when the dragging started, things got interesting. There was a 42 ft Grand Banks trawlers that came down on a sailboat that hadn’t dragged—until he was providing the anchor for his smaller sailboat and the larger trawler. We started dragging on our short scope in an area that was known to be rather gooey and had to pick up, moved forward, and reset (thankfully) albeit on 5:1 scope or less.

A bit of advice: if you arrive in a very crowded anchorage and there appears to be an open spot, there is probably a reason: poor holding. We’ve noted such areas in Newport as well as BI.
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post #44 of 48 Old 07-01-2019
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

Fallard is spot on. There’s only two places I’ve been forced to ask the harbor master to intervene to get a too close boat to move. One is BI the other Bitter End in North Sound. We use a non confrontational technique I found the usually works when situation requires. It is to get out the smart phone and take a lot of pictures. Then start hanging fenders on the spot where you think they will hit you.
On the other side for very short money you can buy a range finding golf monocular. With a modicum of math calculate if you are a hazard to others.
Wife wants us to mark where the anchor sits. I’ve been unable to find a device that’s easy to use and durable and not too dear. Any thoughts?

s/v Hippocampus
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post #45 of 48 Old 07-01-2019
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

We bought a high quality laser range finder a number of years ago and it has brought some peace of mind in dicey situations. As Outbound noted, you can determine if you are dragging down on a downwind boat, but you can also determine if the upwind boat is dragging down on you.

We’ve used our laser range finder (in the same category as golf pin rangers) in local waters as well as on Caribbean charters to determine if we are dragging toward a lee shore. Great Harbour, BVI, before moorings arrived, was always a tricky anchorage, with its broken elk horn coral bottom (so we are told). Our higher end range finder has a 1500 yd range in good weather and we’ve used it at ranges up to 600 yds to establish early—and precise—information on whether we were holding with reference to a prominent shore feature. We’ve used it at very close range (< 100 yds) to establish that we weren’t dragging toward a lee shore at BI. We also use it to determine the spatial arrangement of our immediate neighbors in BI. It takes some mental work to do this as the boats swing at anchor, but after a few swing cycles, you can determine if everyone’s anchor (including ours) is staying put.

The real advantage of the laser range finders is their precise determination of distance: much more precise than GPS. The advantage of a unit with greater range is that it will work better at useful ranges in hazy—not fog—conditions when scattering reduces maximum range, sometimes quite dramatically.
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post #46 of 48 Old 07-01-2019
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

I've anchored at BI many times. Once spent the July 4th weekend there (crazy busy). My technique is to use two anchors set about 90 degrees apart. Allows setting longer scope, provides backup and I swing like I was on short scope like everyone else. Still doesn't stop others from dragging down on you however.
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post #47 of 48 Old 07-01-2019
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

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.....Wife wants us to mark where the anchor sits. I’ve been unable to find a device that’s easy to use and durable and not too dear. Any thoughts?
A buddy bought one of these. In fact, he bought it right before we left for Maine and insisted we bring it along, knowing we planned to anchor 90% of the time. I refused, for fear of losing or breaking it.

He then had a chance to use it and realized, despite its retractable pennant, it fouled around the rode upon retrieval and/or was a pita that get back aboard. Wasn’t there, can’t fully describe. Sounded crazy frustrating for the money. The buoy is marked somehow that he said really kept people away from it, however.

https://www.swi-tec.us/ankerundbojen...chor-buoy.html


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post #48 of 48 Old 07-02-2019
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Re: Cape May to Block Island advice needed

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no worries except the Staten Island Ferry which takes no prisoners.
LOL, It will not hit you if you are in the way but the horn is very loud. Don't ask how I know!!!

Also, you will be on video.

I've been told the reluctance of the ferry to run down small sailboats has something to do with paperwork.
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