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Discussion Starter #1
A cautionary tale; ( a little long)
SO there I was ( as all good stories begin) working my part time job, when I get a call from the annapolis harbormaster - Someone has plowed into your boat- Gulp, I dash off, into the dinghy to find be boat about 100 meters from where I parked it on back creek. The transom is about 10 feet from the bow of the boat behind me. The 50 lb Delta is oviously not holding, there is a large paint scrape on the chain ( I had about 65 feet 3/8 BBB out) the bow light is broken, lifleline broken, and a large scrape down the port side. (I presume that the vessel that hit me pulled my chain) soo.. I put the 35lb plow in the dinghy on 100 feet of rode and row it out. THe plan being to at least stop the dragging while I sort everything out... Get back into Rhosyn Mor and start the engine so that I can back down on the plow and set it, go and pick up the delta, release the plow and re-anchor.... put the engine in gear... thump thump clunk clunk, oh S**t.. the plow is now dragging as well, and I am now 6 feet from the other boat and no engine, its now 7 at night. THinking that this was not a good time to lose the tranny I go down to the engine room and to my joy discover that the bolts on the drive saver ( which I have never checked ) have fallen out- an easy fix .. But I am still dragging! so into the sail locker I go and pull out the 40 lb danforth, row that out on 200 feet of rode, get my neighbor to pull back on it with his dink, and we finally set! also put out a 18 lb danforth at 90 degrees to counter the expected windshift.
The Gentleman who plowed into Rhosyn had reported it to the harbormaster, so I have to give him credit for that, an old person about 75 YO, I am not too worried about the scratch, he is going to replace the bow light, and I have spare lifelines aboard.
THe moral of this is to check ALL things regularly and carry lots of anchors and enough rode to deploy them.....
 

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Wow. Sorry to hear about that mess. Funny how problems always seem to crop up simultaneously.

Mistakes happen -- kudos to the guy for coming forward and owning up. Glad you got it sorted out.
 

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Telstar 28
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Just curious, was your boat on an anchor, unattended?? Is it a marked anchorage area or did you have a dayshape hoisted? How deep is the creek there?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Back creek is a designated anchorage, no dayshape needed, yes the boat was unattended, but I do liveaboard, work part time 2 blocks away.
creek there is 12 feet deep
 

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Telstar 28
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UGH... sorry to hear you got hit. What was the guy's excuse???

Back creek is a designated anchorage, no dayshape needed, yes the boat was unattended, but I do liveaboard, work part time 2 blocks away.
creek there is 12 feet deep
 

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Back creek is a designated anchorage, no dayshape needed, yes the boat was unattended
If you check the harbor chart, you'll see that Back Creek is not an official Special Anchorage Area (SAA). There are some of those SAA's out in the Severn River, but not in the Creek. (You can check it online by clicking on NOAA and zooming in to that area -- you'll need to keep re-centering the chart on Annapolis as you zoom.)

For those of you not familiar with that Creek, note on the chart linked above how many piers are shown on the shoreline. There are hundreds of large boats that live on that creek.

The fact that the Annapolis Harbormaster *allows* anchoring there does not make it an SSA -- meaning that you do not need to display the proper anchor shapes and lights. The COLREGS Rule 30 (g) states "A vessel of less than 20 meters in length, when at anchor in a special anchorage area designated by the Secretary, shall not be required to exhibit the anchor lights and shapes required by this Rule". SSA's are always shown on charts in purple ink. (I agree with PainKiller that I've never seen an anchor ball used by a yacht on the Chesapeake Bay, though.)

I'll make an educated guess -- without any facts. Given you had bow light damage, I'll assume that the other boat snagged your rode with his keel. When that happens, the anchored boat is quickly drawn to the moving vessel because it is being pulled by the bow.

Why would someone run into your anchor rode? Well, most of the navigable water in that area of Back Creek is, by careful measurement, about 250 feet wide from marina pier to marina pier. Perhaps not you, but many transient boats place their anchor in the Creek and then put out, say 65 feet of rode in addition to their 40' boat length. When the westerly wind pipes up and the rodes stretch out, much of the width of the Creek is taken up by the maze of anchored boats. All is takes is an unexpected boat coming out of a marina with "right-of-way" (on the right) to give a boat transiting the Creek real problem of not having any good options.

And let's not forget the COLREGS Rule 9 (g) "Any vessel shall, if the circumstances of the case admit, avoid anchoring in a narrow channel." I'm not sure how the maritime courts would define a narrow channel, but one the width of Back Creek would rate high on my list ... Especially since I often see vessels anchored smack between a pair of red and green buoys marking a channel in front of Bert Jabin's. Those of us that draw >= 7 feet have to go through those buoys.

RhosynMor, I'm not, repeat not, saying that the incident was your fault. Hitting an anchored vessel is usually the fault of the vessel underway -- like a rear-ender in the car world. But for those of us that travel Back Creek frequently, there is another side of the issue.
 

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The dangers of anchoring in Back Creek

I think the title of the post says it all. Due the to traffic I'd say Back Creek is a dangerous place the anchor. I wont go as far as to say it was RhosynMor's fault.

I've seem people with day shapes on the Chesapeake but it's not very common - mostly on larger boats that need to anchor in deeper water.
 

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SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
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We used to carry an anchor ball and hoist it at the appropriate time - but I never saw anyone else doing it - and I was asked more than once what it was for - by boaters. So I started asking other boaters if they knew what it meant - a few knew, not many. The darn thing was a hassle to store - we could deflate it but then had to inflate it each time we used it - finally decided it was too much hassle for the worth and got rid of it. Last I saw it some kids were playing dodgeball with it.
 

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We used to carry an anchor ball and hoist it at the appropriate time - but I never saw anyone else doing it - and I was asked more than once what it was for - by boaters. So I started asking other boaters if they knew what it meant - a few knew, not many. The darn thing was a hassle to store - we could deflate it but then had to inflate it each time we used it - finally decided it was too much hassle for the worth and got rid of it. Last I saw it some kids were playing dodgeball with it.
Plastimo solved that storage problem a while back. That "ball" you see hanging from our rigging is actually two flat pieces of plastic that marry together via a slot in each if them. When not in use the pieces come apart, lay flat, and take up virtually no space. Plastimo Anchor Ball.

P.S. I have no doubt that most boaters won't recognize the anchor ball day shape. But I'm reasonably confident that the courts will!;)
 

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SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
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P.S. I have no doubt that most boaters won't recognize the anchor ball day shape. But I'm reasonably confident that the courts will!
Good point!
 

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I've always wanted to get an anchoring ball but about the only ones that uses it are the many ships that's around anchorage here. I've never seen any power or sail boats use one here in Singapore. Don't want to be odd one out. But anchor lights Yes, I do see them being use here. :)
 

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Anchorsmith
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We used to carry an anchor ball and hoist it at the appropriate time - but I never saw anyone else doing it - and I was asked more than once what it was for - by boaters. So I started asking other boaters if they knew what it meant - a few knew, not many. The darn thing was a hassle to store - we could deflate it but then had to inflate it each time we used it - finally decided it was too much hassle for the worth and got rid of it. Last I saw it some kids were playing dodgeball with it.
As John pointed out, it really has more to do with legal liabilities and covering yourself than any practical benefits - although it can't hurt, and maybe somebody will appreciate being able to tell with a glance from a distance that you're anchored.

As to the law, it can become a complex topic, and I am not a lawyer, but precedent cases have recognized "local customs" as a factor behind whether or not a signal (shape or light) is required in any given area, which implies that the exact letter of the law or regulations may not necessarily be the end of the story.

Just don't be the clown in the anchorage at night who thinks a strobe light is acceptable as an anchor light!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I agree that back creek is very narrow. And the holding is poor- soft squishy mud. I am not holding the boat that hit me at fault- these things do happen from time to time, and there is no blame to be had. I introduced the thread more to say that it IS important both to check all one's equipment on a regular basis ( which if I had done more faithfully I would have noticed the loose bolts on the drive saver) and that a cruising vessel, even coastal cruising, should carry a number of anchor systems on board. This is the first time I have had to deploy every anchor I had, and was thankful that I had as many as I did- I might even add another anchor tothe list!
THere is also the question of the city of annapolis taking the best anchorages and putting in mooring balls for $25 a night, that lie mostly unused, but that is a different thread!
 

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Anchorsmith
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THe moral of this is to check ALL things regularly and carry lots of anchors and enough rode to deploy them.....
I suggest that the moral of the story, insofar as anchors are concerned, is to carry and use always an adequately sized anchor which is going to be effective in the conditions it will be used in. You have three different types of old generation picks which clearly all failed you, until the Danforth added enough resistance to do the job - but you still ended up with a deployed mess of rodes and anchors, which could have seen things go from bad to worse in the event of further complications such as worsening weather. Wouldn't it be better to have a single set-up that you could rely upon, and the spares stay down below for the real worst case scenarios?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Craig,
I think that if I had been able to back down on the Delta it would have held. it had been holding nicely before it was dragged out. but there was no wind to push the boat back. I agee that ideally one has an anchor that holds in all conditions- and the Delta has been good to me so far- but there are always going to be times when having other anchors aboard can be useful. Part of the reason for the failure was that rowing the anchors out meant I had to take the chain off and use all rope rode.
 
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