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Anchoring techniques
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Link to this postPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 8:09 pm    Post subject:  Anchoring techniques

The great majority of my anchoring experience has been with mud or mud/sand bottoms, With Penobscot Bay being the exception.
That said, I've found the holding power SO great, that in a blow, it was difficult to retrieve the anchor.
I believe the BVI is going to be very different, and would appreciate any sage advice.
Please also mention ground swells, as I may not have experienced them yet.
Thanks Much......................Pat
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Link to this postPosted: Wed May 18, 2005 6:41 am    

The bottom conditions vary widely in the BVI. There are some mud/sand bottoms, but the mud is not as dense as what you are probably accustomed to.

There are many, many places that are the opposite -- coarse sand with very little holding power. There are popular places where I am very accustomed to seeing "tracks" from our anchor during day stops.

You will have some variety of a plow or bruce anchor as your primary anchor, with a danforth as the secondary. The plow or bruce will generally hold better than the danforth in most BVI anchorages. Your boat should have all-chain rode as well, which definitely helps keep the anchor set.

The only times that I have ever encountered difficulty weighing anchor in the BVI were when the anchor was fouled in rocks. I have never had a problem breaking free otherwise. If the anchor is well set, the technique is to position the boat almost directly over the anchor, hauling in chain, then use the boat's momentum to break the anchor free.

Fortunately, most places that have poor holding do have mooring balls -- which make it a moot point. The good night's sleep makes the mooring fee is worth it at those places.
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