Anchoring at Sea

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jcasale
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Anchoring at Sea

Post by jcasale » Mon May 11, 2009 9:27 am

Greetings,
I have a question regarding setting anchor and spending the night on the hook. Traditionally I either spend the night on my mooring or drop the hook and sleep on the river. Tidal changes are minimal and the rivers current is 2-4 knots max so I have never had a problem.
However, during the next moon phase the Admiral and I want to watch a moon rise on the ocean (I live at the beach but sail on the river). Is it possible to anchor 1/2 mile off the beach safely? I have all the USCG lighting and then some, 30 feet of chain, 200 foot of rope and a 35lb Delta fast set anchor. Any tips or ideas would be appreciated.

C130 King,
If you read this, I want to anchor in the same waters you and I sailed your M. Thanks,

John

Kelly Hanson East
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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by Kelly Hanson East » Mon May 11, 2009 9:41 am

I dont know Florida waters at all, but anytime you are anchoring in an "unexpected" place (i.e. not a marked anchorage) I would think it would prudent to maintain an anchor watch....someone who stays up and watches for trouble.

Incidentally, with a good set, your rig of 30 feet chain+200 feet rode would be good for approximately 25-30 feet of water depth at a 7:1 scope.

How deep is the water off-shore 1/2 mile??

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irayone
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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by irayone » Mon May 11, 2009 10:12 am

Wow a 35 lb delta for your mac??? I only carry a 14 delta 25 feet of chain and 300 ft of rode.. 6:1 in 50 feet....Do I need a bigger anchor???

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RussMT
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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by RussMT » Mon May 11, 2009 10:26 am

That is a BIG anchor.

As mentioned, 7:1 is what you want in rode scope.

I don't know the area, but I don't think you would encounter commercial traffic at 1/2 mile.

What I would be most concerned with is weather. A sudden storm could whip stuff up pretty bad. That's why we always anchored in a protected area overnight.

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jcasale
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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by jcasale » Mon May 11, 2009 10:55 am

Okay I miss spoke. I believe I have the 22lb delta model. My boat is on the hook right now and I am not allowed to go visit it (the Admiral has some pretty strict post op orders for me to follow). The other dimensions are correct.
The water depth varies from 30 - 45 feet.
KHE,
I was thinking about setting an anchor watch but wanted to get underway with just the two of us and watching an anchor is not what I had in mind.

RussMT,
Weather is a concern but I am only minutes away (under power) from protected waters, but recreational traffic could be a problem. thanks for the tip

Irayone
I have always been told it is not the size of my anchor that counts but how well I set it. Have I been lied to?

The area I want to do this is close to
30°19'23.42"N, 81°23'9.11"W

Thanks
John

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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by Kelly Hanson East » Mon May 11, 2009 11:05 am

he water depth varies from 30 - 45 feet.
So if you get a good set, you will need all your rode for the 30 foot depth, and you will be under-scope at 45 feet depth, about 5:1 scope.

The problem is, its hard to know how good your set is in a new anchorage. When I set in a well known place (like Cuttyhunk) I inspect my Bullwaga anchor at low tide and make sure the whole thing is buried in mud - all I can see is the shank. Ive held 3:1 scope in 35 kts with this.

Unless you like to dive,

My biggest worry is a yahoo in a power boat shooting by at 3am and turning you into FG chum. Thats why you need the anchor watch mostly.

Ive been out Lake Ontario and went out so far once the large freighters started passing to the South of us ...thats when we turned around and headed in fast.

They are 1000 feet plus, and they dont see you at night..even with lights.

CRUNCH!!!

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Night Sailor
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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by Night Sailor » Mon May 11, 2009 11:23 am

Your gps reference was very helpful to formulate my remarks: I put myself in your place and considered the following things based on my Florida experience long ago:
In my view, anchor and rode is adequate for up to 50" of water in a good set, good holding sand bottom you should find there, in winds up to 15 knots and seas up to 2' on top of normal Atlantic swell. I"d rather be in closer, say 40' depth for peace of mind and to reduce traffic density. Back down on that anchor as hard as you can to be absolutely sure it's set.
I"d leave on all extra lights on deck, not just anchor lights. Still, at 1/2 mile from shore, any lights on your boat might easily be confused with shoreline lights for vessels coming from the sea.
You should be far enough from the river entrance channel and barrier jetty to not interfere with any traffic heading for those ports.
Wth the typical seabreeze blowing at bedtime shore noises should be reduced somewhat but might still be audible.
I'd go for it, IF there were no NOAA forecasts at all of precipitation, fronts moving in, or other things that might change the weather picture for the period you intend to be at anchor and asleep.
Listen to NOAA broadcasts for weather and sea state just before retiring for the night. Totally ignore any commercial radio station newscasts, TV weather broadcasts. They are way too easily influenced by the chamber of commerce and their advertisers to be relied upon. And the people who say they are meteorologsts often are not really, just trained to look nice and sound nice to hold a target audience.
Have fun on the water, safely, and tell about your adventure.

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jcasale
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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by jcasale » Mon May 11, 2009 1:35 pm

Thanks for the advice. I'll keep you guys posted on our trip as it develops. Right now I am focused on a week long trip to St. Augustine, Fl that begins next Thurs.

John
Atlantic Beach, FL
2000 :macx: , Honda 30hp

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Wind Chime
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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by Wind Chime » Mon May 11, 2009 1:46 pm

GPS Alarm

Not sure what kind of electronics you have on board, but most GPS units have anchor drag alarm. Always a good idea to set that while on the hook, even if you have an anchor watch.

Set the alarm for:
1. the radius of the swing of your scope
2. factor tidal drop that will increase that radius. (tide goes down = radius increases)

Darry

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c130king
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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by c130king » Mon May 11, 2009 2:18 pm

John,

Bastonjock and I did this in his sailing area of the East Coast of the UK (The Wash). The water was probably 15-20' deep. His anchor was a "monster"...he will have to chime in with exact weight but it was quite large. He had 30' of chain and plenty of rode.

And the winds blew all night at 25-35 kts and the waves were 6-8 feet I think. We were pretty much in open water...but not in area where there would be any commercial traffic...and the weather was probably too rough for the fisherman. It was quite a night.

But that boat didn't budge.

I think you could do it. I doubt you would have much traffic in that area...fisherman would come out between the jettys and go straight out to the fishing grounds much further out. And if you are in a little closer than the end of the jettys I don't think pleasure boaters would be there either.

Assuming you have checked the weather and there is no blow scheduled I think you could do it. If your anchor drags you will wash up on Atlantic Beach and you could walk to your house... :D ...or with your bum appendage...limp... 8)

The more conservative alternative would be to tie up where we tied up that one night...on the ICW north of the St. John's or find a place to anchor near there. It is not that far from your planned anchorage and you could still sail to St. Augustine the next day. Wish I could have my boat out there too.

Cheers,
Jim

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DaveB
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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by DaveB » Mon May 11, 2009 4:04 pm

Just anchor far away from any Shipping and Navigation Lanes. Light your boat up like a XMass tree and have 4 hrs on 4 hrs off on duty. If you watch the Moon togeather it probably be 4 hrs on and 4 hrs in the sack.
30 ft. of 1/4 inch chain or 5/16 is not enough, you need at least 70 ft.(if you don't want to be disturbed ;>).
Here is the reason why: there is always swells you have to deal with and the longer chain, the more it absorbs the swell without disterbing your motion to much and will still keep the oversized Delta in place.
Just kidding your fine up to 25 Knots of wind but have that second anchor for a Bahimian Moor.
Dave


jcasale wrote:Greetings,
I have a question regarding setting anchor and spending the night on the hook. Traditionally I either spend the night on my mooring or drop the hook and sleep on the river. Tidal changes are minimal and the rivers current is 2-4 knots max so I have never had a problem.
However, during the next moon phase the Admiral and I want to watch a moon rise on the ocean (I live at the beach but sail on the river). Is it possible to anchor 1/2 mile off the beach safely? I have all the USCG lighting and then some, 30 feet of chain, 200 foot of rope and a 35lb Delta fast set anchor. Any tips or ideas would be appreciated.

C130 King,
If you read this, I want to anchor in the same waters you and I sailed your M. Thanks,

John

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Nautek
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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by Nautek » Mon May 11, 2009 5:51 pm

Anchoring at sea is no big drama it you have enough scope on your anchor and make sure it is dug in.
Make sure the boat is well lit and the anchor alarm is set on the GPS
Pop up and check things every few hours.
Remember the chances are you will be on a lee shore so if you drag you could end up on the beach so give yourself plenty of searoom.
Otherwise enjoy the experience.

Allan

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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by SkiDeep2001 » Mon May 11, 2009 8:49 pm

Those of us over 40-50 years old have to get up to pee a few times during the night anyway :wink: :P (or is it just me) :?: Anchor/weather check at pee time and all should be good :P :

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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by delevi » Tue May 12, 2009 2:00 am

I've spent many nights on the hook, both in the Mac and larger charter boats. Never a problem, but I also never anchored in open ocean, and never above 25 feet depth. If you're just anchoring to hang out for a while, I don't see any issues, but personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable sleeping on the hook in open ocean. You can test your set fairly easily by driving the boat in reverse until it stops. Then, slowly, gradually increase power to maybe half throttle. Careful not to swamp the boat. Also, release the throttle slowly back into neutral to avoid a whiplash effect.

Leon

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Re: Anchoring at Sea

Post by Navyvet » Tue May 12, 2009 6:42 am

http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/11488.shtml

This is a start you will be kinda close to an anchorage area is just south but this will help alittle with your depth issues and figureing out where you can and what you need for rode. Remember if in doubt plot it out

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