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Great Lakes BoatUS.indd 1 8/26/2013 12:53:01 PM
THE TWO-ZONE DEFENSE
Here’s a technique that can be used to greatly enhance GPS anchor-watch security and reliability (FIGURE 3). Start by setting an anchor alarm on one device by placing a security zone around
the entire diameter of your swing. Once the boat has fallen back and is
resting to prevailing wind and current, use a second device to enable a
set point with a minimal security zone surrounding the boat — a radius
of about twice the boat length. This zone will not result in false alarms
if wind and current do not change so the boat remains relatively stationary. If the boat drags, both alarms will sound, alerting you instantly.
If the wind direction changes, the second device will go off but not
the first, so you can start a real anchor watch. Once the boat stabilizes,
enable a new set point on the second device and head back below, confident in the redundancy of the two anchor watch units.
can be set on many radars to warn if something crosses into them, including another
boat in a crowded anchorage. Plotters that
combine GPS, radar, and depth into a single
alarm function greatly enhance security. High
power consumption and false alarms are disadvantages of these systems, but some have
the advantage of communication features
that allow monitoring from afar.
Motion-sensing anchor-monitoring sys-
tems cost several thousand dollars and use
a sensor attached to the anchor to
measure its movement to the inch. If
you decide to spend the money, choose a
system that transmits the sensor information
through sonar because equipment using
cables running from the boat to the anchor
tends to suffer tangles.
Anchor-monitoring systems can make the
difference between ending up on the rocks
and taking action in time to save the day. But
they’re all fallible. Using several in combina-
tion with common sense, plenty of scope,
and smart anchoring techniques can greatly
increase the safety of boat and crew while
keeping you sleeping soundly in your bunk.
Gaz and Liz Haring have cruised the ICW from
Mexico to Maine aboard their power cat Pegasus,
including a few jaunts out to the Bahamas.
Minimum Security Zone
Totalarea around set point1
If the wind shifts, the anchor alarm for
the smaller circle will sound, indicating
the need to set a new anchor watch for
the changed conditions.
If the anchor drags, both alarms will
sound, alerting you instantly.