October 27, 2008

Anchors: Weight counts most

People often say it’s the shape of your anchor that counts, not the weight, but that’s not entirely true. Weight matters, too.

No matter what kind of anchor you use, heavier is better. It’s weight, sheer weight, that helps an anchor penetrate the bottom. And, remember, things weigh less under water. Some of the new alloy anchors are so light they almost float in air, never mind water. When you toss one overboard with a nonchalant flick of the wrist, it zigs and zags drunkenly through the water like a falling leaf. There’s no knowing where such a thing might land, or where you might end up anchored—if, in fact it ever manages to scritch itself into the sea bed.

No thank you. On a little 22-footer I once owned I carried a 25-pound CQR. People sniggered and said it looked out of proportion, but when I dropped my anchor it didn’t prance and glide like a ballet dancer. It fell like a ton of bricks. It sent waves halfway up the bow. It crashed into the sea bottom and buried itself in a massive crater.

When I was anchored, I was really anchored. Shape is OK, but weight is what really counts most.

* * *

Anchoring rights

Know your rights when you anchor. Basically, the first one to anchor has all the rights.
U.S. Admiralty Court decision number 124-5861 of 1956 says:
“A vessel shall be found at fault if it … anchors so close to another vessel as to foul her when swinging … and/or fails to shift anchorage when dragging dangerously close to another anchored vessel. Furthermore, the vessel that anchored first shall warn the one who anchored last that the berth chosen will foul the former’s berth.”


* * *

2 comments:

BeBe Rouse said...

There is no US Admiralty Court. Maritime cases in the US are handled by the US District Courts. The case number you refer to is not a US District Court case number.

Possibly this occurred elsewhere...UK?

This quote has gone viral and before long, everyone will believe it as true when it is not.

If I were you, I would remove the reference to US Admiralty and the case number. The facts you describe would be taken into consideration if there was a collision.

John Vigor said...

Yes, Article III, Section 2, of the U.S. Constitution provides that the federal courts will have exclusive jurisdiction in all cases of admiralty law.

Jurisdiction is vested in District Courts, subject to revision by the Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

John V.