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We were joking around yesterday on our Facebook page that a good costume for me would be a drag queen. I could wear a crown and drag a small anchor behind me. Holding a GPS with a worried expression on my face, it would have been a costume that only boaters would get. How appropriate then that while getting ready to go out last night I come up on deck to find that we seem very close to another Canadian boat anchored beside us. Very close! I immediately called Rebecca on deck, fired up the engines and went racing to the bow, ready to bring in our anchor. With a moment to study the situation, we concluded that we didn’t drag and perhaps we appeared so close just because of the way we were swinging from the current/wind. Our friends arrived a short time later and while having cocktails before hitting the town, we watched our boat carefully to ensure that our anchor was still set properly. All appeared well and so together with Bill and Ana from Knot Tide Down, we ventured into Beaufort to attend a Halloween party at the Backstreet Pub.

Why am I up at 6:30 AM after a night of partying? I guess it was the loud THUD that woke me, and then the sight of another boat on our bow! That boat that we thought we had dragged towards was actually the one dragging and now it was on top of our boat. I’m pretty sure the poor French Canadian skipper of that boat crapped himself when I blew our airhorn into his cockpit. I think I scared a couple of other boat’s crews up on deck too because he wasn’t the only one raising anchor to go and reset. What a great start to the day!


  1. Yikes!!! The thing we all fear. Did you have any damage? FYI, let us know if you anchor in Swansboro or Wrightsville Beach as we have some tips for you. Off to Southport today!

    p.s. — I LOVE Backstreet Pub.

  2. it’s a sign! do the costume!!!

  3. Welcome to the ICW and the new world of Rocna anchoring!

    These days we pay close attention to who is anchoring in front of us AND what anchor they are using. Why? Because we can be pretty sure that we won’t be dragging and if we see a CQR being dropped by the boat in front, we may decide to move.

    Of course, along the ICW that can be problematic because the anchorages may not be that big. Our solution is to always try and get to the “head of the line”, and with a shallow draft we can get to places that others can’t.

    I hope you didn’t have much in the way of damage.

    Fair Winds,

    • We had no damage at all fortunately.

      Where we were anchored there was such a strong current that everyone was swinging 180 degrees or more a couple times per day. That is why I initially thought that we had dragged because at the time, we were facing that way. It is now more likely that at the previous tide shift the guy who hit us had dragged back.

  4. Take a look at Quickline

    This will make bow anchoring, twin anchors off the bow, stern anchoring and dragging a parachute drogue a wonderfully simple task.

    Sure there are times when using all chain rode is appropriate. Most of the areas you will be in for a lot of the time you might be better off with Quickline.

    • That looks interesting. We are pretty well set up with (a lot of) line/chain now so I can’t see investing in it presently but I did bookmark it. Thanks John.

    • John,

      At the risk of being repetitive and perhaps a bit religious, I would point out that in most of the ICW, anchoring in mud, clay or sand, the Rocna is going to enable ZTC to anchor securely regardless of the 180 degree shifts. We anchored in St. Augustine in 2006 for nearly two months and were forced to a Bahamian mooring set-up prior to having our Rocna. The twice daily 180 degree shifts in current absolutely required it, especially coupled with 3+ knot currents.

      In 2007, we anchored in the same place using our newly acquired Rocna, we closely watched anchoring with only one anchor (the Rocna) for a week, and then spent two months without any significant worry. What a huge(!) difference!

      Fair Winds,

      • My experience has been that even when concerned about dragging, we have yet to do so. In contrast, 2 of our friends, 1 with a CQR and 1 with a (undersized) Delta both did drag at our last anchorage. The boat with the Delta has now replaced it with a big Manson Supreme.

    • No stretch (polyester webbing is more non-stretch than polyester line), no mass (chain uses weight to dampen surge), no thanks. I can coil very fast.

      In any anchoring system, eventually each anchor has to face matters alone, on its own merits.

  5. Do you use a bridle?
    One of your photos showed chain directly off your bow roller.
    We had a bridle made and use it ever time we drop the hook.
    It is more work but it spreads the load to the cleats and keeps you head to the wind. We tried a trip line on a float but when it is blowing it was a hassle (seems like whenever we anchor the wind picks up).
    We went bump in the night with a powerboat in Baja because we dropped too close and found that we swing differently (or quicker?) than single hull boats. No damamge but the noise wakes you in a hurry.

  6. M & R

    all caught up again with the blog…great gas/water can covers rebecca…….nice little side business? You guys are so lucky (i know you worked hard at it) to be out there cruising…..don’t take anyday out there for granted……i go back to the office tomorrow and you are free……yes i am jealous!

  7. Glad you came to no harm! Maybe you should take bearings on adjacent boats and blow that horn when they drag, before things go bump in the night!

    • Not really sure that would be possible. The boats shifted 180 degrees twice per day due to the current and when it wasn’t running strongly, the wind would take over pushing the boats in what often was an entirely different direction. I have read where people who have radar set sector alarms which sound if someone drags into their “zone.” Sounds like a cool feature.

      • So, what’s the word on the Rocna bringing up a ton of mud? I’ve been pondering replacing my undersized 22# Delta with a Rocna 15, but I sure don’t feel like washing the hook each day. What the honest skinny, after some practical expereince?

        My other concern is that my current windlass will not be up to breaking the Rocna out without some assistance from the engine. Though many have studied holding, no one has studied break-out, that I know of.

        • Our Rocna only occasionally brings up a bunch of mud. Most times it must fall off on the way up. When it does come up with some I just dip it back in the water once or twice and it typically all falls off. When it doesn’t, one or two buckets of water and all is well. I have much more issues with mud getting in the links of the chain than I do on the anchor.

          By the way, we are anchored in Swansboro right now which is a sketch anchorage at best. The strong-running current puts us on a “lee shore” with a bridge that is just begging to take our mast off. We swung 180 degrees twice since arriving and the Rocna 15 hasn’t moved from where we set it.

          • Good to hear what I consider real-world feedback. Thanks. The picture you posted while up on the Lakes, with 10 pounds of weeds, had me scared!

            It does seem to be the best answer, with flukes shaped to hold like the Fortress, but also capable of shifting, like the Delta. Seems obvious, looking at it, but it sure took a long time to arrive.

            • That photo you are referring to is from an anchorage back home that is notorious for weeds. Much of those weeds were on the chain and then slid down to the anchor when I retrieved it (I believe). On the bright side, the anchor bit through the weeds and we stayed put.

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