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Old 06-26-2010, 09:40 PM   #1
redbopeep's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,236

Well, we're having our fun now doing "river anchoring". We're in the western Delta (east of San Francisco Bay) and amazed by all the nice little waterways that have sufficient depth (at low tide) for our boat. The only really "interesting thing" is dealing with river currents while at anchor. In the larger river areas, we've set our single point anchor and allowed the boat to swing with the current--every 6 hours back and forth never in alignment with the 20 to 30 knots of wind, btw. In the smaller areas, the recommended technique is to anchor the stern of the boat in the river and take a line from the bow to shore (tree, rock, etc) but we've found better luck staying aligned with the currents rather than perpendicular to them (with the shore technique of anchoring). Two anchors, front and stern to keep us lined up seems to work. Another cruiser stated they'd put out three--two like us and a third line to shore. Currents we've seen are between 2 and 5 knots in this area, depending on tide.

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Old 06-27-2010, 05:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619

Ever tried mooring the ship, i.e. one anchor set from each bow and the stern free?

If you set one anchor upstream and one downstream the ship will turn head to tide/current/wind whichever is the strongest but the turning circle will be much smaller.

This technique does require that you help the ship to swing in the right direction so that you cables do not become foul when swinging. Alternatively, you can unshackle the cable without weight on it and clear the fouled cable before shackling on again.

The disadvantages with this are that you can end up fouling your cables but that is easily fixed and that you only have one anchor holding the ship at a time.

The advantages are that it is more comfortable than lying beam on, that your turning circle is very small and that, should you drag, you will only drag to the extent of your second anchor cable before that anchor also starts sharing the load.

Aye // Stephen

Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2



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Old 06-27-2010, 11:46 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098

Here on the East Coast US we call two bow anchors set 180* from the other a Bahamian moor. It's a common method of anchoring in the Bahamas because of the switching currents through the passes on the bank. We often had trouble with it because of our fin keel, which would catch the slack rode if we turned too slowly (or was it too quickly?).

The worst problem with a Bahamian moor was when we were in Nassau Harbor and a waterspout came through. By the time everything calmed down, our two anchor rodes were so hopelessly tangled that we buoyed them and reanchored elsewhere with our third anchor. Peter then spent several hours diving on our primaries to untangle them so we could get them up. However, waterspouts are relatively rare. Friends of ours were in Nassau Harbor for several months and they dragged anchor one night (never happens during the day, does it?) because, as it turns out, after many cycles of swinging 180*, the swing didn't reverse itself - clockwise one way, counterclockwise the next time - and two or three clockwise swings circled the chain around the anchor and it tightened, closed the loop, and up came the anchor.
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