Leaving a boat at anchor

Babylon

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Do you get the willies leaving your boat at anchor and out of sight while you're ashore?

We were well anchored the other weekend in mud just north of Brownsea Island in Poole harbour and went ashore for a long walk around the island, but I couldn't really relax once the boat was out of sight.

Would you be comfortable away from the ship, as experienced cruisers do for days or longer?
 

Kelpie

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I used to worry about this a lot, when I first got the boat. Last summer I was cruising in company to the Shiants and I laid a big fisherman's storm anchor out as a backup. My mate thought I was daft, given that it was so calm that the tenders were bumping into the yachts. Still, it is a deep anchorage- I didn't really have enough scope out- and very exposed, and not great holding.

However I've relaxed a bit since then. At the weekend, we anchored in an uninhabited sea loch and left the boat all day whilst hill-walking, taking us several hours from the boat and well out of sight of it. I was totally fine about this because all the right ingredients were there: good holding, good shelter, ample scope, and we had arrived the previous day and slept on the anchor so had grown to trust it.
 

Searush

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It depends on the location, holding ground, current weather & forecast. Some places (or times) I won't leave the boat, just ferry the crew ashore, other places & times I'd leave it happily, especially if I had been aboard for a tide or two without problems.
 

jeanne

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This is strange.

I have news for you.
We are not the first generation to own a boat.
For several centuries this has been going on; before Marinas, before municipal harbours, before Rocnas and Bruces, before the idea that to anchor was a risky manoevre.
What is the difference between anchoring, and going for a (gasp, how daring) walk, and going to sleep for eight hours! And seamen have been doing that since boats were first invented.
 

Rum_Pirate

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Mirabella on the rocks, 16 Sept 2004

Any one remember them not having an anchor watch or alarm??????


Mirabella V, Joe Vittoria's 246ft Ron Holland-designed yacht launched earlier this year is in trouble on the French Riviera.

The much-heralded super sloop, built by Vosper Thornycroft at Southampton, UK, put out an emergency call at 1200 local today requesting assistance from other vessels in the St Jean Cap Ferrat area. She had apparently run onto rocks near the entrance to Beaulieu sur Mer harbour, having dragged her anchor. Winds are reportedly Force 6-7 and Mirabella is on a lee shore.

The 206ft explorer yacht Big Roi and Roman Abramovich's 282ft motor yacht Ecstasea stood by Mirabella from approx 1300 and have been trying to get lines on her. Big Roi has succeeded twice but on each case the tow has parted, despite Mirabella also running her machinery to assist. At the time of this report both assisting vessels were preparing new tow ropes and Mirabella was in the process of passing Spectra lines across.

Reports suggest that the boat was not in charter at the time of the accident. Female crew aboard have just been evacuated, there are reports of oil and debris indicating hull damage and there are no some fears regarding the likelihood of losing the giant 293ft mast.



Hmmm. Part and Part with a little thrown in. Hope no loss of life, but how can a boat that large be so damaged by winds <33 knots? It doesn't make sense to me. I know she carries more windage, but professionally crewed and properly designed? Even tiny Rarus should sit happily at anchor in F6-7...


An update:

At 1715 this afternoon Mirabella V was still firmly aground on a leeshore in the South of France with an eye witness reporting that another tow line has just parted and that alarming cracking noises were emanating from either the 283ft carbon rig or 150-ton lifting keel or possibly both. Ex Yachting World reporter Tim Thomas who is standing on the shoreline adjacent to where Mirabella continues to pound up and down in winds of around 15 knots told the magazine's head office in London: "There are lots of loud cracks coming from either the rig or the keel. The mast also looks as though it is twisting quite a bit." He reported that a second tow line had parted when Roman Abramovich's motor yacht Ecstasea had managed to haul Mirabella round by the stern, aided by the yacht's twin engines. "Now a crew man seems to be in the water and is trying to attach a line to a rock. The stern of Mirabella is now about 20 metres from the rocks," said Tim. He reported that the wind had eased to about 15 knots but Mirabella was still bouncing up and down on the bottom. Jacqui Beadon the yacht's charter manager said: "There is a tug on its way and we hope to get her off later this evening. I have only been able to have a short conversation with the captain Johnno Johnston, but there is no water in the yacht." Johnston only recently took command of the US$15 million yacht but is highly experienced. The composite-hulled Mirabella reportedly dragged anchor in the incident which is currently threatening her. Her 150-ton lift keel has already had problems in trials but it is unclear at the moment whether the hydraulics which lift it are working properly. Draught with the keel down is 32ft 10in and 12ft 8in with it up.


I don't know why I'm fascinated by this but I am. I really can't believe that there wasn't someone on watch well...watching, or a GPS with an anchor drag alarm. It all seems very avoidable...


http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?43131-Mirabella-on-the-rocks
 

double_ender

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I have news for you.
We are not the first generation to own a boat.
For several centuries this has been going on; before Marinas, before municipal harbours, before Rocnas and Bruces, before the idea that to anchor was a risky manoevre.
What is the difference between anchoring, and going for a (gasp, how daring) walk, and going to sleep for eight hours! And seamen have been doing that since boats were first invented.
I think the thread related to the "owner/skipper/master// the one where the buck stopped". As a seaman/crew/etc its easy to relax when off watch/ashore etc when its always someone else who sees to any action required.
I think most of Hornblowers accounts relate to him having the weight of responsibility on his shoulders. Probably most Forumites as owners think of themselves as in Hornblower's shoes!
 

AngusMcDoon

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I have a widget that connects my boat's instruments (via Seatalk) to a mobile phone on board. Software on the phone monitors position, wind, heading and depth and sends me a text if anything goes out of set parameters. I can also request a report at any time by text, including a photo if required, which is sent back to me as a picture message.

It helps, but I still worry.
 

TQA

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As the old salt said that young lad with the new boat just asked what "What is the smallest anchor I can use?"

A year later the same slightly older and wiser asks "What is the largest anchor I can use?"

Big anchor, all chain, lots of scope and backing down hard to ensure it is set will give you more confidence.
 

Babylon

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... What is the difference between anchoring, and going for a (gasp, how daring) walk, and going to sleep for eight hours! And seamen have been doing that since boats were first invented.

And seamen have been losing their boats since boats were first invented.
 

jordanbasset

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Our test of whether we leave the boat at anchor is that if we can launch and get the dinghy to shore we will feel okay to leave it. If conditions are such that getting the dinghy to shore is dangerous and or we will get very wet then we don't. Much of this is about the confidence you have in your anchor, after periods of anchoring in all sorts of conditions we have developed that confidence. Invariably the places we anchor in we have never anchored before.
 

Ex-SolentBoy

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I have a widget that connects my boat's instruments (via Seatalk) to a mobile phone on board. Software on the phone monitors position, wind, heading and depth and sends me a text if anything goes out of set parameters. I can also request a report at any time by text, including a photo if required, which is sent back to me as a picture message.

It helps, but I still worry.

Sounds interesting. What widget is this ?
 
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