View Full Version : Regional differences - anchoring
07-10-2013, 11:01 AM
I didn't want to hijack the anchoring thread, but in my quest to understand how people in different parts of the world houseboat, I'd like to ask a question about anchoring.
I have been boating at Lake Powell on the Utah Arizona border for just over 40 years and have never seen a houseboat anchored out in the water. Anchoring the bow of the boat to the shoreline is so common that houseboat builders make so-called reverse floor plans that put the salon and galley at the back of the boat, which becomes the primary gathering point on the boat. Although more boats have a traditional front-facing salon, even that is a hub of shore activity like campfire building, beach volleyball, and sandcastle building. When cruisers anchor, their stern is generally within 5 - 10 feet of the shore and their bow faces out. I have a hard time imagining what a Lake Powell trip would be like if I didn't anchor to a shore.
On the anchoring thread, the discussions seem to assume that lake anchoring is pretty common on other lakes in the world. Is it?
07-10-2013, 11:22 AM
Our lake is in the middle of Iowa and is a reservoir. So, much of the decent shoreline can be covered with water much of the time if the lake is not at normal pool level. The rest of the beach areas are actual people beaches where you can't dock a boat. Other than that the shorelines can be rocky or they have vegetation all the way to the edge. In our area that means poison ivy etc. We have one "party cove" where it seems most gather and almost everyone anchors. We don't have a huge lake so very rarely do people keep them out overnight. At least not the bigger boats. Many of the smaller 35 to 40 foot pontoon style houseoboats can.
07-10-2013, 11:35 AM
How deep is Lake Powell? Some artificial lakes are so deep you CAN'T anchor effectively. I'm in Florida (salt water) and because of the tide and shallows I can't usually get anywhere near the shoreline, so I anchor where I feel safe and use a dinghy. The lakes in Florida tend to be shallow, and with no tide, houseboats can anchor about anywhere and sometimes even raft up.
IMO part of it is do you want to be part of the "action" or do you want to get away from it?
07-10-2013, 01:56 PM
I do a bit of both. The majority of the houseboats will tie of to shore on a small island on the river. The shore is all sand and mud. I prefer to anchor out away from shore through the day. I just feel that I bought a boat to be on the water, not tie off somewhere other than my own dock.
07-10-2013, 03:48 PM
I am on Lake Holston in north east TN. It is a TVA mountain lake. I have never seen a houseboat anchored. We all nose into shore and tie off to trees. With the storms that blow through here, I cannot imagine the anchor that would keep my boat in place.
07-11-2013, 06:36 AM
I'm on Percy Priest Lake in Nashville, TN. It's a man-made lake with an unforgiving bottom that's waiting to gobble up your props. Most of the shoreline is strewn with giant boulders that were blasted from the bottom and placed there to prevent errosion. Due to this, I like to anchor out. Most areas I anchor are 20 - 30 ft deep.
The few times I've beached my boat, I observed having more bugs and didn't like people's wakes beating my bow against the shore. Also didn't like the sounds of all the pebbles my props were kicking against the hull while trying to unbeach.
07-11-2013, 07:48 PM
For all the reasons above- especially as mosquitoes like being near land, and inhospitable shoreline, mostly cypress-knees and snags, we have been anchoring in isolated sheltered coves, but a little way out. We set an anchor alarm on the iPad's GPS charting program, so if we start to drag anchor in the middle of the night, a squeal will wake us up. If we were worried about storms, we might set two anchors forward, at about a 60*-80* angle.
08-21-2013, 08:15 PM
We anchor stern to shore. Our boat drafts 30" of water with the vee drives. The substrate is all sand so I try to stick the stern in waist deep water after setting the bow anchor up river and backing in. Then, I set two stern anchors in a criss cross pattern to eliminate stern swing.
Here's a [bad] picture. Running gear in ~34" of water, and ankle deep off the stbd (up river) side of the swim platform.
08-22-2013, 04:23 PM
We boat on a reservoir in Iowa also and beach all the time. We plant the bow on shore and set anchors at 45deg from the stern to the beach. In storms we add 2 more anchors and set wider from the first two and we also drive an old axle directly in front of the bow and tie down.