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Thread: Anchoring etiquette

  1. #1

    Default Anchoring etiquette

    This is what I saw this weekend. I'd like to get someone else's opinion on it.
    Friday evening arrive in a cove to anchor overnight. In what I'd consider the optimal anchoring area, there is one spot where someone has anchored and attached a dinghy. In another spot someone has anchored and attached a buoy. No boats, just a dinghy and just a buoy. Friday evening and Saturday evening, the owners of the dinghy and the buoy motor up and anchor at those two spots. And every morning they leave for the day, leaving the dinghy and buoy to return to in the evening.
    What do you think about this practice?

  2. #2

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    First come - first serve.

  3. #3
    Member Cliffhanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akroxy View Post
    First come - first serve.
    Amen!!!!!!

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    I do the same thing if I'm going back the same anchorage for multiple nights. I can come back late, motor in quietly and clip on to my pre-set anchor. It gives me some comfort to know I have a place to sleep for the night, and that my anchor is already set. If I roll up on a buoy in an anchorage, I know someone is coming back. So I either set anchor well clear of the buoy, or I find another spot. Doesn't bother me at all. What is a little frustrating is when I don't get to my preferred anchorage in time and I have to look for a new spot when it's late, I'm tired, and the anchorage I planned on using is already full. But that's my fault.

    On another anchor etiquette point, I would suggest that just because a guy can set up in the middle of an anchorage, doesn't mean he should. In other words, if there's enough room to safely anchor two boats, and you're the first one there, don't take your half out of the middle. Leave enough room for a second boat.
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    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
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    I think it's wrong, but as things get more crowded out there, I'm sure behavior like this is only going to get worse. Unfortunately, there are probably a number of folks who'll say, "Hey! Great idea -- why didn't I think of that?".

  6. #6

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    Looks like lots of opinions. My opinion is that it is wrong. Same thing to me as reserving a parking spot in a parking lot by putting an orange cone there when you're gone so that the spot is always there for you when you return. And what's to keep someone from keeping a spot all summer long? I can tell you that if I come into a cove late in the evening, or in bad weather, and there are lots of spots marked and the anchorage is crowded with boats (real boats, not dinghys or buoys), that you will find me close to someone's marked spot.

  7. #7
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    This is what I saw this weekend. I'd like to get someone else's opinion on it.
    Friday evening arrive in a cove to anchor overnight. In what I'd consider the optimal anchoring area, there is one spot where someone has anchored and attached a dinghy. In another spot someone has anchored and attached a buoy. No boats, just a dinghy and just a buoy. Friday evening and Saturday evening, the owners of the dinghy and the buoy motor up and anchor at those two spots. And every morning they leave for the day, leaving the dinghy and buoy to return to in the evening.
    What do you think about this practice?
    IMO I think of it the same as a Camp Spot. Do you pull your tent every morning or do you come back to the same spot to spend the night? Now, there is nothing saying if there is room, that you can't pitch next to them. But how close is too close? If someone is gonna take over a beach thats one thing. Same on the Hook IMO. I personally don't see anything wrong with it. Now if they don't come back that night or a day or so, maybe they left it there for others to use. Kinda like an unmarked mooring bouy. Kinda like a canoe left on a remote lake IMO! Now just because there is no one there to claim it doesn't mean its yours to pull and take home either. Kinda like a shrimp pot left over night or a couple days. IMO, you got beat to the spot you wanted. If there was room, you should have just anchored up and spent the night. If the guy shows up really late and your on his hook, you should move and set your own anchor or ask politely if you can tie up to his stern if there is no room to anchor since its late. If it were me, and the anchor would hold, nice night, I could care less if you ran a 100 foot line off my stern if you were quiet while we slept.

  8. #8
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    I believe it depends on the situation. For example; if it is a busy anchorage then I would concur with Skydiver's assessment, that its probably wrong. Good analogy of the parking lot. We all should respect each other enough to not try and reserve parking/anchoring in a busy area. That said, if the anchorage is not busy, then I find myself dropping the pick and leaving it set for the weekend. Sometimes we will set up a tent up over the ridge line just out of site from the water. If I did not leave the buoy in the water then we would find ourselves on top of each other. This approach seems to work for me. By the way, I think this is a valuable discussion to have. Perhaps we can all gain some perspective on this issue so when it does happen to us no one over reacts.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avid outdoorsmen View Post
    I believe it depends on the situation. For example; if it is a busy anchorage then I would concur with Skydiver's assessment, that its probably wrong. Good analogy of the parking lot. We all should respect each other enough to not try and reserve parking/anchoring in a busy area. That said, if the anchorage is not busy, then I find myself dropping the pick and leaving it set for the weekend. Sometimes we will set up a tent up over the ridge line just out of site from the water. If I did not leave the buoy in the water then we would find ourselves on top of each other. This approach seems to work for me. By the way, I think this is a valuable discussion to have. Perhaps we can all gain some perspective on this issue so when it does happen to us no one over reacts.
    I like your angle on it. Definitely a case by case thing in my mind. If someone was "reserving" their spot because they would be back in a couple days or the next weekend, then not a good thing. If they were just heading out to drop a line in the water for halibut or pulling shrimp pots for a few hours, no big deal. Also, dependent on how busy the area is. If you are the only person around a majority of the time or there is lots of room for others, no problem, but if it was a tight area that is pretty busy, you lose your spot when you leave.

    I know for one thing, I would not be tying up to someone else's buoy in a bay unless I knew that person and knew for sure that it was their anchor line. I've seen some really sketchy things done while setting anchors and am sure not going to go to bed tied to one I was not 100% confident in.

  10. #10
    Member AK_Kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    Also, dependent on how busy the area is. If you are the only person around a majority of the time or there is lots of room for others, no problem, but if it was a tight area that is pretty busy, you lose your spot when you leave.
    Therein lies the rub. If it isn't a very busy area, then there's really very little reason to leave a buoy in the area you're attempting to claim. The exception is if, as mentioned above, a guy has set his ground tackle and would rather take the risk of leaving it behind attached to a buoy than simply pull it and reset later.

    To me, this seems the type of practice that could get out of hand quickly, especially since some folks will end up abusing it. Good ettiquite would seem to be that one not get territorial about their favorite anchorage when they are not actually present there.

  11. #11

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    I agree that one should not use someone else's buoy to anchor up to. That would be overstepping your boundaries.

    For what it's worth, since we're discussing how busy an anchorage is, the place where I saw this this weekend was Surprise Cove. I was able to anchor elsewhere in the cove, so no big deal. But it brought to mind the question of whether or not this practice was acceptable. If the majority of people agreed that it was, then I could more easily accept it. But it looks like the jury is still out. I've posed the same question on another boating forum that's frequented by lots of Pac NW boaters to see what they do.

  12. #12
    Member patrickL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    I agree that one should not use someone else's buoy to anchor up to. That would be overstepping your boundaries.

    For what it's worth, since we're discussing how busy an anchorage is, the place where I saw this this weekend was Surprise Cove. I was able to anchor elsewhere in the cove, so no big deal. But it brought to mind the question of whether or not this practice was acceptable. If the majority of people agreed that it was, then I could more easily accept it. But it looks like the jury is still out. I've posed the same question on another boating forum that's frequented by lots of Pac NW boaters to see what they do.
    I was in Surprise Cove as well. Which boat was yours and where was the buoy at? We came in late on Friday and a bit earlier on Saturday. Seemed like plenty of room around this weekend without the need for saving a space.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickL View Post
    I was in Surprise Cove as well. Which boat was yours and where was the buoy at? We came in late on Friday and a bit earlier on Saturday. Seemed like plenty of room around this weekend without the need for saving a space.
    As you enter and go back to the left, there are two entrances that go back to some secluded locations. I was anchored between those two entrances. The buoy and the dingy were straight back from the cove entrance, to the right. In the bight were I think there is a cabin or something back in there.

  14. #14
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    If it were me, and the anchor would hold, nice night, I could care less if you ran a 100 foot line off my stern if you were quiet while we slept.
    I wouldn't recommend tying off to the stern. Rafting up side to side would be my choice. We raft three to four boats, side by each, but I usually know the people.

    I don't have any idea on the proper anchoring etiquette, but I would not leave an anchor on buoy personally, but to each their own. Surprise has a lot of room to anchor. We spent part of last 4th of July weekend swing around on the hook waiting for better weather. There were about fifteen boats and room for several more. Happy hour can be fun with the right
    crowd.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  15. #15

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    Skydiver: Arguments can be made pro or con whether “reserving” a mooring spot like this is cool. My opinion is that a boater doing this is a lazy a-hole and that there are too many folks like this in PWS. This is the same type that sets crab pots with floating line in Passage Canal and everyone has to dodge their mess. In both of these situations a 12 gauge shotgun blast to the buoy usually solves the problem. So I’ve been told.

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    Member ken210's Avatar
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    That would be me who was out there who left the bouy on the far right side. We had a camp site set up 20 yards into the woods off of the beach. I had a hard time setting the hook and when I did I decided to leave the bouy and hook there while we were out for the day. I was in no way trying to reserve a spot. I had the hook set well and didn't want to play the oh crap I'm dragging anchor and have to reset the anchor multiple times. I did it for a piece of mind knowing I'm not going to drag anchor while I was at shore. I can spend time defending myself but I did what I felt was right knowing my boat wasn't going to drag anchor and not having a good time because I'm too worried about the boat floating off. Sorry to offend people in the way I did business.

    Ken

  17. #17

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    Thanks for the explanation Ken.

  18. #18

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    I believe only a boat can save a spot. I would have no hesitation setting anchor in any spot that was not occupied by a boat. I also would not interfere with the other party retreiving thier anchor. An achorage cannot be reserved. Check it out with the Coasties.
    We never really grow up, we only learn
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  19. #19
    Member Soundfisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
    Thanks for the explanation Ken.
    It's funny how just a little conversation/explanation can solve so many problems! I probably should try it more often.

  20. #20
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    I wouldn't recommend tying off to the stern. Rafting up side to side would be my choice. We raft three to four boats, side by each, but I usually know the people.
    Why do you not recommend tying off on the stern? I've seen people do this fishing and I have done it with a friend to prevent them from drifting off on a good hole. I personally hate to raft. Thats way too close and I don't like boats rubbing up against mine, even with bumpers. I don't even like it in a Harbor and I don't even like it when F&G or the Coast Guard want to board for inspection and expect to raft. If they want to get close, have someone board and then pull off, I don't mind one bit, but to raft, I don't like it one Ioda and have not allowed them to do it in the past. If someone pulled into a small cove with not really room to set a second hook and it was late or weather was comming up outside, I honestly have no problem with tying them off a 100' or so off my stern. I wouldn't do this in any kind of wind, but just to prevent from drifting, no problem, stranger or not as long as they are polite and respectful.

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