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Newbie question on anchorage and live aboards

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Northwind, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. Northwind

    Northwind Member

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    So, to expand and clarify my question,

    1) How would you go about planning a cruise along the coast such that you had some reasonable expectation that you could find good anchorage within a three hour time frame? In other words, can you find something at the end of the day? Best time of year? Best time of day to look for anchorage?

    2) are there any enforced local laws that would prevent you from anchoring for extended periods (2 weeks)?

    3) are their any challenges associated with living aboard at anchor that are less than obvious?

    4) are there any provisions or supplies that you consumed much more than anticipated?

    Yes, I need to formulate plans for crew and R&M and a lot of other things. I'll ask those under a different thread.
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    And the answer was that's a poor boat for that use, you'd be able to find anchorage, but often not where you wanted it, and you'd encounter major limitations, outside of the New England area, on where you could go due to the draft.
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Are you still talking the same boat when you ask these questions? Still want our answers to address a 110' vessel with an 8.5' draft?
  4. Northwind

    Northwind Member

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    Yes. Same boat.

    I understand that this boat is not the boat of choice for cruising the Caribbean. But, that is probably around 5% of the trip. Does not seem logical to either avoid the area or let a small leg of the journey drive all the other decisions. How do people that circumnavigate handle this?
  5. Creedence623

    Creedence623 New Member

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    I, like many I'm sure, reference www.activecaptain.com to aid in planning longer trips. Great user-contributed feedback and reviews on anchorages and marinas, in addition to the latest information on shoaling conditions, etc. That would be a pretty good place to start for the first question.

    As for anchoring restrictions, I know Florida is getting progressively more restrictive. A lot of municipalities have been struggling with derelict boats for years, so in some areas, the penduum is swinging toward the more restricted end of the spectrum: http://www.oceannavigator.com/March-April-2015/Florida-anchoring-restrictions/ .
  6. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    Virtually all motor yachts that travel up and down the eastern seaboard stay at marinas along the way.

    At 85' we can go almost anywhere, but we draw about 6' and I've seen one foot of water under us more than once. We pay attention to tides.

    There are going to be some limitations where your draft will keep you moving on to the next inlet, and you may spend a night at the fuel dock here and there because it's the only dock you fit on. But anchoring? I just don't see it done that way.

    We're tied up at a marina by dinner time almost every night and so it seems is just about everyone else. There is an entire east coast marine hospitality industry set up for just that. From the megadock in Charleston, SC which is easily accessible from the ocean, to Coinjock, NC on the ICW, and all of the many other stops from Maine to Florida.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  7. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    It's not the Caribbean in question. It's the hundreds of towns up and down the East Coast, much of the ICW. You're not talking about avoiding a small area.

    As to circumnavigating, not that many power boats do that. But, as an example, a 164' Westport has a foot less draft than you're talking about. Now, very few use a boat that size for Coastal Cruising, but if they did, they would often anchor outside and have a tender large enough to feel comfortable going inside in it. The largest draft I have on a boat is 6'6" and I don't spend much time in it on the ICW. You don't see a lot of Nordhavn's cruising the coast. Fleming's are a boat that cruises all the oceans but they only have a 5' draft. A 58' KK EB with twins is only 5'4". Our 85' is only 5'. I have an acquaintance who just sold his approximately 200' boat because it wouldn't allow him to cruise the areas he wanted to.

    For your new set of questions. I'd suggest you take a look at some of the anchorages and the depths and get a better feel. Active Captain is a good resource for doing that quickly. We use it heavily to plan marina stops. Will you ultimately find anchorages? Yes. Will they necessarily be where you want to go? No. I'll use Myrtle Beach as an example. To my knowledge, there are no anchorages in Myrtle Beach proper. There are some at the Little River Inlet area and some down below Osprey. I'm reading a review of Bird Island anchorage at Little River right now. They speak of how difficult it is to find an anchorage for a 49' boat with a 5' draft and the difficulty for them making it from Carolina Beach to Waccamaw in one day. The Bird Island anchorage will accommodate about 5 50' boats and Calabash Creek about 8. You can make it in the Little River Inlet as the Casino boat has an 8' draft. Once in however, you have a narrow area and no where inside until you pass Osprey to anchor. You will also encounter a lot of shoaling. So, will you find the ability to anchor? Depends on how fishing is and whether it's spring and everyone running north or fall and everyone running south. But you really need the entire anchorage. You don't just take up the space of one boat. More the space of 4 boats or so. So, if you were first, you'd probably end up with someone else uncomfortably close to you. If you weren't first you'd probably have to go back outside and anchor fully exposed to the wind and seas from all directions. If you were in a 300' megayacht with great stabilizers, that's probably not a concern. I don't know the nature of the boat you'll be in.

    You will encounter no real legal issues with two weeks.

    Challenges less obvious. Well, not sure what you consider obvious. Here's one. Legal residence. Easily accomplished. Boat state of registration, less simple. Each state has different rules and many will require you to register it in their state if you're there more than 60 or 90 days.

    One other challenge. You think that working on a boat is exercise. Well, it's not respiratory and it's limited in muscles. You need a gym aboard probably if you're not getting to land daily. You need to walk.

    Another as you anchor a lot. There are many, especially small boat owners and sailboaters who really do not like generators run at night at anchorages. Be sure yours are relatively quiet and not dumping water right on others. You will still get complaints. I'm not saying they're reasonable, but saying you will get them.

    Provisions. Easy enough to estimate based on number of people. The things we miss if we don't grocery shop are fresh produce and fruit and berries. We do not find frozen a suitable alternative. Now, we often eat lots of them immediately after shopping and then plan for none for a while.

    Still your biggest problem is finding suitable anchorages that actually allow you to see the towns. To me, if I can't get to the sites along the coast, then that's no longer cruising, it's transporting the boat.
  8. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    So, what do you do in your spare time? :D
  9. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    You can cruise the east coast but are limited by draft and size as to locations and anchoring. Why would you want to work so hard, hire people and enjoy life. A yacht is a totally different animal than a farm, you can't just hire competent people in any port on a moments notice, and a yacht needs constant maintanence, you cannot just say ohh I'll do this in 2 weeks and fix that after that, etc. etc. Your best recommendation would be to hire a very good Captain a very good mate and a very good stew/deck and enjoy the boat and then figure out what direction you want to go with crew and such. You might even need a 4th crew depending on the type of boat it is and systems.
  10. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    I have found that people from a farming background have an inane sense of inventiveness and will find solutions to problems that stymie others. I doubt a 110' yacht will be too much of a challenge when it comes to maintenance for you.
    As for the 8' draft, that's a serious issue that will determine your freedom and ultimately your enjoyment of cruising.
    Earlier this year my wife and I were seriously considering buying a steel yacht with a 7' 5" draft. I went through an exercise with a chart of the local waterways and calculated where we: a) could NOT venture at all and b) where we could go only on high tide, depending on the depth of the anchorage.
    The result was that we would have ended up moored one of two marinas much of the time.
    Suggest you do the same exercise with charts of your intended cruising grounds.
  11. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Like pretty much everything you ll have to keep an open mind. Your options for anchoring will depend on a number of hard to predict things like weather, shoaling conditions on the icw, tides even as with that draft you will need to transit some inlets or sections At mid to high tide.

    The example of myrtle beach is a good one... There are no anchorages there even for the 70 footer I run except in the lower part of the Waccamaw river (one of th most scenic stretch of ICW btw)

    As mentioned in earlier replies, I understand why you would choose to anchor most of the time... That's what I do. Between Norfolk and Miami I woudl usually spend 2 nights docks and the rest (10 or so) on the hook but that's with a 70 footer drawing just over 6'. I d say with the boat you are considering it s probably going to be more like 50/50 as some of the anchorages I ve used woudl be too small or too shallow


    About generators, I ve never experienced an issue with others complaining. Most boats run gensets because of bugs, or heat so except for the small sailboats it s a non issue.

    With that size boAt I d try to stop early to have options. And you have the "right of swing" over later arrivals :)

    I ll second doing some homework sizing active captain, it's an incredible resource although I do take the "space for 3 45.5' boats" comments with a grain of salt
  12. Northwind

    Northwind Member

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    Thank you. Very helpful advice and direction.
  13. saltysenior

    saltysenior Senior Member

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    I thank the Lord and almost all my owners for having the desire to have my arse tied to a dock at nite....One thing I can state from experience : Any one with responsibility does not sleep ''tight'' , unless some one that can be trusted is on watch..
  14. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    True dat. Thank goodness for laptops, blue tooth GPS, and an anchor watch app. I can sleep with one eye open.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    8.5'
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    We spend many many nights on the hook, these days mostly in the bahams and south Florida. An oversized anchor, lots of chain (8:1 even with all chain), picking a sheltered anchorage for the conditions and at least one anchor alarm by my bed.

    If there is any chance that the wind may pick up beyond 15/20 over night I usually sleep on the settee in the skylounge with the furuno anchor alarm in addition to my ipad.

    But it's all worth it... Enjoying the stars, the moonlight, the peace, a great view of the sunset, nobody walking by the boat... Priceless compared to be sitting on the aft deck with people on ewch side.
  17. Opcn

    Opcn Senior Member

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    People do circumnavigate in large vessels (110' is probably larger than what most do it it) but I think the key is that they do it differently. If you establish a proper watch keeping schedule you should have the range to make it from suitable anchorage to suitable anchorage, they just aren't all going to be close enough for you to stop and get comfortable each night. If you are going to be crossing oceans I suspect you had better get used to sleeping on a boat that is underway, and really I'm going to reiterate what has been said a few times before about needing crew you can trust.

    This vessel is not of the size that you can handle it on your own. You can be involved in the process, if that is what you are after, but really you need multiple full time staff. Farming does require ingenuity, but if something stops working on the farm, you don't die as a result, nor do you have to call in a rescue vessel, and if the weather is really bad you just go inside your house and wait it out. No doubt years of experience fixing engines and plumbing will help, but a vessel that size is a real undertaking.
  18. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Captain Wampler can do it all for you.