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Old 08-23-2010, 06:43 PM   #1
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Default Anchor Dragged...

I tried to type this up in detail, but it seemed way to long, so I'll try the short version.

I anchored at a popular anchorage in the area. I was in somewhere between 5-8 ft. of water. I have a Fortress FX-11 (Danforth) with 20 ft. of chain and had another 60ft. of anchor line out in addition to the chain. This seemed like more than enough scope. When I set the anchor, I always back down slowly while we're paying out line to avoid a ball of chain and line sitting on the anchor. I always 'power set' the anchor by knocking the engine into reverse and holding it until I can see the bow dip and hold for a bout 5 seconds. I sat. there from Noon on Tuesday to around 6:30 on Thursday. We spun A LOT over those 3 days. I checked the anchor on Thursday morning and all seemed fine. The anchor was not fouled and I could barely find it because it was buried so deeply. The only part of the anchor I could see was the square piece of metal in the center at the bottom of the flukes. I went into town for dinner on Thursday evening. When I came back the boat was gone.

It seems the chain fouled the anchor and while I was gone, the fouled anchor dragged me into the boat behind us. The boat behind us fendered their boat and caught us. They tied our boat to theirs and called a tow service who relocated our boat to an emergency mooring by the coast guard station.

Of course, the tow boat company is calling this a 'Salvage Operation' to the tune of $175.00/ft (28 ft x $175 = $4,900). I'm not exactly contesting the fee although I do think it's a bit on the high side for what was done, however it was an unmanned boat dragging through a mooring field. (That is not the purpose of this post).

I'm wondering what I did incorrectly, or would I could have done to prevent this from occurring in the future?

I know the easy answer's are:

1) Don't leave the boat while anchored.
2) Use a mooring instead.
3) Get a transient slip at a marina.

I'm curious what I did incorrectly in regards to anchoring, and what thoughts are on how to avoid this in the future. It would be nice to be able to sleep at night while I'm on the anchor intead of being plagued with anxiety about fouling and dragging again.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:18 PM   #2
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I am sure that there will be a lot of input on this question, or at least I hope so. That really sucks, especially since it seemed as though you were holding your anchorage very well for some time. Maybe another boat tried anchoring nearby and drug through your rode?? That is my worst fear.
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Old 08-24-2010, 09:36 AM   #3
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Unhappy Wow I'm always worried!!

I agree that it sucks Shrew. I was anchored off Duck Island across from Westbrook and was fine for about 5 hours, just spinning in the wind in about 8 feet of water. While sitting near the back of the boat I noticed we were getting closer to another boat behind me. Or he was getting closer to me! I checked the anchor and it was dragging free. I pulled forward and reset it but cannot figure out why it suddenly let go.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:07 PM   #4
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Arriving back from dinner only to find your boat is gone is definately a buzz kill.

I'm no achoring master but it certainly appears you had sufficient scope and the FX 11 should be enough hook for your 28' (it wasn't bent when you hauled it up was it?). Very odd, I think, that it came loose after being solidly set for 3 days. Sandy/muddy bottom?

Can only imagine one of two things; either the boat spun 90*, probably much more, and and simply pulled the anchor out - probably aided by another boats' wake or someone passed to close to the bow, didn't eyeball the angle of your rode, and hooked it.

I have never used two anchors but have read about the Bahamian Mooring method in several books. First link is from Fortress' site (see #4) and the second is from some sail boat site.
http://www.fortressanchors.com/safe_anchoring.html
http://www.tropicalboating.com/boat-...anchoring.html

Where the folks that caught your boat still there?

Dan
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:10 PM   #5
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Shrew, sorry to hear about your plight. Seeing that you're in CT and probably on the LI Sound, your boat might have swung when the tide direction changed and just took it wrong after three days, budging your anchor loose.

Secondly, on my 24' Maxum last year I had a Danforth 8lb fluke anchor and our first time out it dragged in the middle of a tight congregation of boats in Zachs Bay at the 4th of July fireworks show; not fun.

Although the Danforth 8lb says it will hold up to something like a 30 ft boat (along with 10 ft of chain), I took no chances and immediately replaced with a Super Hooker Danforth 16 lb. It never ever budged during all conditions.

I Googled the FX-11 and read that it only weighs 7 lbs. although rated for boats up to 30 ft. If that's correct, I'd say that you ought to AT LEAST double the weight of your anchor, to a 16 Lb'r or more.

When I got my current Carver in July, 34' 15,000 lb displacement, it came with a 16 lb plow anchor. I didn't event test it out. I immediately went and bought a 25 Lb Danforth fluke (rated for up to 40' boats in higher winds). It's held strongly many times so far in low and high winds.
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:58 PM   #6
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Wow that is really scary situation, so sorry it happened to you. I'm an inland lake guy and we just don't have the opportunity to leave our boat anchored other than to go down a line and see other people. I can sleep anchored but don't think I could leave her because even in our local waters I see some large anchors move on us for no apparent reason. Like they said above just the right wake or the right spin would cause it to lose it's grip.

Best of luck but hey check your insurance policy for an emergency towing provision. Many of our policies include some free towing or atleast an offset of what happened to you.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:02 PM   #7
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Hi Shrew,

I boat on the Ct. River a few weeks ago we were in Hamburg cove trying to anchor, my wife on the bow dropping the anchor me at the wheel. I tell to let it go and slowly start backing up to set like you did in a mooring cove, we were in about 5-6 feet of water I let out about 30 feet of rode. The hook kept dragging and would not set, so she pulls it up I try 2-3 more times, now everyone else is watching us and having a good time. Finally a nice woman on another boat tells me you can try that all day but it won't set here just use ant empty mooring. Turns out that part of the river is real silty and unless you have mushroom anchor nothing else will hold there maybe you had hooked a stump or something and when the boat swung it came free. Just guessing.

Mitch
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:19 PM   #8
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dang shrew...that's scary for sure...however...It depends on what kind of bottom your in...silty bottom would probably require a plow type anchor...I know they say that if you have a 25 ft boat...a 7-8lbs anchor should hold you...well..my thinking is yeah..in calm waters and no wind or tide.....
my thinking is you should probably have about a 15lbs plow type danforth type anchor....and 1 ft of chain for every ft of boat length ..then the scope should be between 5-7 times the depth...so...you probably needed 50 ft of scope out at least...
now if the winds and tides change very slowly...I can see the anchor chain twisting around...so...with a plow type of anchor...it should reset......

hope you got your boat back ..did your insurance pay for the salvage fees???

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Old 08-25-2010, 01:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgreenwell8962 View Post
Maybe another boat tried anchoring nearby and drug through your rode??


There were no other newly arrived boats around, with the exception of the one which moved into my newly vacated space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ss3964spd View Post
Sandy/muddy bottom?
It looked pretty sandy, though I’m told there is a high silt content there and dragging is fairly common. I’ve anchored there before with no issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ss3964spd View Post

Can only imagine one of two things; either the boat spun 90*, probably much more, and and simply pulled the anchor out - probably aided by another boats' wake or someone passed to close to the bow, didn't eyeball the angle of your rode, and hooked it.

I have never used two anchors but have read about the Bahamian Mooring method in several books. First link is from Fortress' site (see #4) and the second is from some sail boat site.
http://www.fortressanchors.com/safe_anchoring.html
http://www.tropicalboating.com/boat-...anchoring.html

Where the folks that caught your boat still there?

Dan
We spun about 36,000 degrees over 3 days. It was actually odd because typically you wag in one direction for 5-6 hours, then wag in the other direction for 5-6 hours based on tides, unless the winds prevail and hold you. There was very, very little wind all week and we seemed to be spinning on all points of the compass every few minutes. We actually commented on how odd it was that within an hour, we’d have seen all 360 degrees a couple of times. However, the anchor held for days.

I agree that the weight of the Fortress seems light, however the anchor itself is very large and the holding is rated as one of the best for its range when compared to a comparable steel anchor. In other words the independent tests I’ve read claim that a 7lb Fortress FX-11 is comparable to a 10-13 lb steel anchor and the fortress still held better. (according to the tests).

The issue wasn’t that it could hold. It was really that the chain fouled the anchor, so rather than the working load (force of pull) being applied to the shank, it was being applied to the rod at the bottom of the flukes. This essentially caused the anchor to get pulled up rather than to dig in more.
The Bahama Moor is a great idea and something I’ve looked at before. The challenge is:


1) The 2 anchor lines can get tangled.

2) If you’re the only guy doing it in the anchorage, then you’re going to screw everyone else up. It’s would be similar to tossing out a second anchor off the stern in the middle of a mooring field. The people around you expect we’re all going to be pointing in the same relative direction. When you spin and do a 180, then you’re technically in the spot of the guy who was previously in front of you, and the guy that was behind is in the spot you used to be in. If everyone swings and I don’t, there will be problems.

I got a call from my insurance company who tells me; “Since there was no actual property damage, we can’t honor the claim”. I have my towing through Boat US, who says that had they been called, they probably would have waved the salvage and called it a tow based on the circumstances, however they weren’t called and there is nothing they can do to help. They do have arbitration services, but that is for when they are involved. I didn’t really expect them to do much, but I was curious about what the industry standard is for this type of situation.

So it looks like I’m saddled with a $4,900 invoice. This will add nicely to the $15,000 for the new 496 I installed last year. I think this has finally broken my spirit and the wife and I are seriously talking about selling the boat, licking our wounds and walking away from boating altogether.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:10 PM   #10
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Shrew,

I have read several articles on when a tow becomes a salvage and have seen comments from people that offered CASH let's say $1000, and they took that as full payment. Just a thought.
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