How I hate the anchor trip line

noelex

Well-known member
Joined
2 Jul 2005
Messages
4,447
Visit site
My preference is to simply discourage the practice rather than entertain options for the antisocial behaviour. Whether a milk bottle or a needlessly advanced pointless gadget, it's still neither useful or friendly to use a float. I could, of course, just ignore the float and my keel will disengage the antisocial anchor when we all swing, but I'm not quite there yet...
I agree with your sentiment, but there are rare times when a trip line is justified. For example, a deserted anchorage (so you are are unlikely to inconvenience others) where there is a significant risk of trapping the anchor, especially if diving is impractical.

Anchorages where fouling the anchor is a significant risk include those with old moorings, foul ground or scattered rocks. These areas are often noted on charts or cruising guides and the latter will often recommend a trip line.

It is possible to deploy a trip line without using a float and this is worth considering, especially if you expect to have other boats sharing the anchorage, but unfortunately these techniques have reduced effectiveness.
 

noelex

Well-known member
Joined
2 Jul 2005
Messages
4,447
Visit site
I could, of course, just ignore the float and my keel will disengage the antisocial anchor when we all swing, but I'm not quite there yet...
If an anchor float from another boat becomes tangled around your stern gear it will likely trip the anchor that is attached to the float. This means much of the anchor force of that boat is now being held by your stern gear. The tangle around your propellor may prevent you using the engine and the force generated by the anchored boat may even damage your stern gear.

This risk to other boats combined with the extra room needed when boats start using anchor floats should be a strong deterrent to using these devices, unfortunately some boats use them routinely, which I think is very inconsiderate.
 

lustyd

Well-known member
Joined
27 Jul 2010
Messages
11,158
Location
.
Visit site
I'm quite prepared to cut their lines if they put my boat in danger. It's not always the case that they anchor first and on more than one occasion last year we had boats drop in our swing circle (which is obviously fine!) and put out a float (absolutely not fine, hence my stance!). If necessary I'm also prepared to raise their anchor using their trip line!
 

noelex

Well-known member
Joined
2 Jul 2005
Messages
4,447
Visit site
BTW option "f" in post #3 is worth considering. This is a short anchor float that stays below the surface and out of the way of other boats. Unlike a conventional anchor float It can be used routinely. It may need to be rarely tied back if anchoring in exceptionally shallow water, but this is not common and in these cases the anchor will be easy to dive on due to the shallow depth.

If you can dive (or can employ a diver) it makes the anchor easier to find, especially with non rollbar anchors where there often nothing left to indicate where the anchor has buried. If you do need to use a trip line to pull the anchor out backwards you still need to be able to dive down, but it is easier to attach to trip line to the loop floating free rather than a hole in the anchor that may be buried. It also reduces the needed diving depth by a couple of meters, which is a help if free-diving.

Below is an example on my Mantus M1 anchor.
8D2A06F5-BC2D-4913-B73C-AA1784D0DDB6.jpeg
 
Last edited:

noelex

Well-known member
Joined
2 Jul 2005
Messages
4,447
Visit site
I'm quite prepared to cut their lines if they put my boat in danger.
Yes, I agree.

I have needed to do this once (although in this case I could simply untie the knot holding the float in place). The offending boat anchored after us ( nevertheless I should have moved) and the line from their anchor float was jammed between our rudder. So it does happen in practice.
 

Poignard

Well-known member
Joined
23 Jul 2005
Messages
51,425
Location
London and Brittany
Visit site
I suppose that if you anchor where the chart shows foul ground you would want to use a tripping line, and you would naturally assume others would do the same.

If that's unacceptable, find somewhere else.
 
Last edited:

Koeketiene

Well-known member
Joined
24 Sep 2003
Messages
17,752
Location
Finistère
www.sailblogs.com
The light helps boats coming into the anchorage at night, but the sophisticated float does not fix the most annoying problem, which is the boat tangling with the anchor float when it becomes trapped in the stern gear, rudder etc. As the float is attached to the crown of the anchor, even a light force on the float can trip the anchor.

Either the boat deploying the anchor float or another boat within the swing circle can be involved.

Keeping the anchor float directly above the anchor with the spring loaded mechanism in this float does not really help, as it is not the anchor buoy drifting out of position, but rather a boat drifting over the anchor that is usually to blame.

The other issue is it makes the anchor float look even more like a mooring. It would not be sensible to use a weak link on such an expensive float and without this installed there is no protection if someone mistakes the float for a mooring.
Thanks for the input.

Food for thought.
 

sailaboutvic

Well-known member
Joined
26 Jan 2004
Messages
9,983
Location
Northern Europe
Visit site
I’m talking about 15m of Scottish Loch water……frostbite before you reach the bottom…..
The odd time we used one , once the anchor set I would remover the buoy attacth a sink line and bring the line back on board that way no one can run over it and it can’t get tangled around the prop or rudder .
my pet hate is when people use them just to mark the anchor .
 

oldmanofthehills

Well-known member
Joined
13 Aug 2010
Messages
4,780
Location
Bristol / Cornwall
Visit site
The only time I used a trip line it snarled up the anchor and wrapped itself round the keel, so I had to cut the anchor chain which dragged the float to the bottom thus losing the lot. The only time an anchor stuck a helpful large lifeboat with powerful winch failed to dislodge it from whatever crevice it was lodged in so I think a trip line would have made no difference.

I nowadays alway a have spare full size anchor aboard plus croppers, hacksaws etc. We avoid foul areas and have no subsequent anchor stuck problems these last 18 years. Kelp is a different sory
 

Supertramp

Well-known member
Joined
18 Jul 2020
Messages
894
Location
Halifax
Visit site
As Poignard #47 says, if you are anchoring in known foul ground, or where there is obvious risk (moorings) then the wise action to me is rig a tripping line. It lives ready to go on the foredeck. Keeping the line short seems to work for me, even if the buoy disappears at high tide (in current).

Some good alternative ideas here for how to rig it.

I avoid crowded places so annoying the neighbours is not a problem, and I would not use a buoy if in such a place. Sheltered spots up the Welsh and Irish coasts often come with old or current moorings.

I have never had to use it yet, which always leads to the "is it necessary" thought. But then the same is true of my life jacket.
 

geem

Well-known member
Joined
27 Apr 2006
Messages
7,336
Location
Caribbean
Visit site
We were anchored many years ago with a trip line, before I knew better. A speed boat came into the anchorage and picked up my small tripping line float, thinking it was a mooring. That was the last time I used one!
 

noelex

Well-known member
Joined
2 Jul 2005
Messages
4,447
Visit site
We were anchored many years ago with a trip line, before I knew better. A speed boat came into the anchorage and picked up my small tripping line float, thinking it was a mooring. That was the last time I used one!
It is a common problem.
A weak link solves the issue. If they try to use the trip line as a mooring the weak link will break, leaving the anchor undisturbed.
 

rib

Well-known member
Joined
29 Jun 2004
Messages
1,307
Location
west country uk
Visit site
My tuppence worth.. On the one and only time I got anchor stuck in a area I could not pull / drive the anchor out at different directions.. I tied a metres worth of chain to two pieces warp. And rowed to the other opposite shore to tug it out.. Only for the chain to collapse on it self when reaching the anchor chain sitting on the sea bed. And not sliding along to the anchor.. So I had to make up a small bridging bar to keep the chain slightly open as I dragged it towards the fouled anchor ⚓
 

Poignard

Well-known member
Joined
23 Jul 2005
Messages
51,425
Location
London and Brittany
Visit site
My tuppence worth.. On the one and only time I got anchor stuck in a area I could not pull / drive the anchor out at different directions.. I tied a metres worth of chain to two pieces warp. And rowed to the other opposite shore to tug it out.. Only for the chain to collapse on it self when reaching the anchor chain sitting on the sea bed. And not sliding along to the anchor.. So I had to make up a small bridging bar to keep the chain slightly open as I dragged it towards the fouled anchor ⚓
For example, a large double-ended ring spanner.
 

noelex

Well-known member
Joined
2 Jul 2005
Messages
4,447
Visit site
And run off with my buoy😆
All my anchor trip line floats have been collected for free so I am not too perturbed.

A walk along a deserted beach will often reveal a suitable float that has broken away from some fishing or mooring gear. This is recycling at its best, rubbish is turned into something useful.

If you use an anchor float rarely (as should be the case) these finds will more than cover the losses from people picking up the float thinking it is a mooring, or the times when the float becomes trapped around the stern gear and breaks the weak link.
 
Top