Anchor dragging

1. We are Dragging

If we're lying at a different angle to all the other boats, we're probably dragging, or, if the speedometer/GPS indicates movement (and we're not lying in any current) then we are dragging. In a squall, it's likely to be immediately obvious if we're dragging - but then there's the creeping drag, which happens more slowly, especially after we've wandered all round the anchor in some calms. In the latter case, there's more time to respond. We either reset the anchor under power, or let out some more rode (if there's room) and reset. If this doesn't do the trick, then re-anchor. In the former case it can be a life or death situation (for the boat) so quick action is needed as listed below.

NOTE: We should always keep the dinghy on davits or tied to side of the boat at night or keep the painter short. This means that if we have to move quickly, we don't have to worry about getting it's painter wrapped round the propeller when we turn on the engine.

  1. Turn on the engine to take strain off the rode and hold position while you decide what to do.
  2. Get all crew up on deck.
  3. One goes forward to work the windlass, the other stays at helm.
  4. If plenty of room in the anchorage, let out more rode and try to reset the anchor.
  5. Consider dropping the second anchor under the bow, and slowly letting out its rode while we drift back until it grabs.
  6. If these don't work, or there's no time, or it's a tight squeeze, manoeuvre slowly under power (being careful not to wrap the rode round the propeller) and haul up the anchor.
  7. Then find a new spot and re-anchor, if available.
  8. If the anchorage seems dangerous, reposition dinghy tight astern and head out to alternative anchorage using previously selected waypoints as needed.

2. Another Boat is Dragging

During the day.

  1. Immediately call the attention of the other boat crew.
  2. Prepare fenders to avoid damage to our boat.
  3. If there is nobody on board the dragging boat (they are drinking at the beach bar) consider either going on board the boat and reset the anchor,
  4. Or tie the boat to Enchantress as long as this would be safe
  5. Or consider moving Enchantress and call the authorities.

During the night, if you are sound asleep, you might become aware of it only when you hear the other boat hit ours.

  1. Wake up the crew and get on deck immediately.
  2. Start the engine and keep it idling.
  3. Try to wake up the crew of the other boat (yell, flash your lights, etc.).
  4. Prepare fenders and do as in the day procedure.

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This page was last modified on: January 31, 2013

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