Ground tackle and boats aground/sunk in La Cruz

Beginning of May 2016 - Tied up in Marina Mazatlan, Mexico

 This boat was lost in the La Cruz anchorage.

 This boat is the third we know about that have died on the reef in La Cruz. All because of ground tackle. La Cruz anchorage is an “un-protected” anchorage and can have weather affecting it a lot of the time.

 The first boat that we know of went up on the reef because the owner said he did not know how to anchor properly, that’s what he told us at his boat sale on the beach. We purchased a couple of jib sheet blocks from him, kind of a donation but it ended up working out good for us.

The second boat which we did not see as we were South of Banderas Bay was said to go onto the reef because it had spun around at anchor and the rode tangled with the anchor and pulled it out and was too close to the reef for the anchor to re-set. So we heard.

This last boat had done some work on the anchor rode. They did not mouse (use stainless steel wire to secure the pin to the shackle so it would not unscrew) the shackle pin which held the rode to the anchor and it came out. Boat destroyed like the others.

So it is check the ground tackle! We anchored out for five months straight. If we were not at anchor, we were doing a passage to another anchorage. Our ground tackle was in the ocean for near on five months straight. Of course we hauled it up about every five-six days and checked it and cleaned it. Most of the time we left the anchor and about of 30 feet of the 3\8 chin in the water as it did not get growth on it. But each time we haul the anchor we check the tackle on it and the anchor. That’s what we do. Our 45 lb CQR anchor and 3\8 chain rode have almost always set the first time and we have almost never dragged anchor. 

 We let down our CQR and when it gets to the bottom, which I can tell by pulling on the chain. If the chain is slack we know it is on the bottom. We know how deep it is by our depth sounder and our chain is marked so we have a good idea when to check for the CQR to be on the bottom. Then we set a way point. I do this with an old hand held GPS at the bow and Debbie does this on the Garmin 740 chart plotter since she is at the helm. Then we pay out about 60 feet of chain as Debbie is now in reverse. Debbie puts the boat in neutral and we let the boat settle on the chain giving the chain and CQR a slight tug. Then we do the same at 90 feet. Then we get to where we have the amount of rode we want out minus 20 feet. We hook up the Mantus Anchor Bridle  and then let out more chain 20+ feet. Then we power set the anchor at usually 2000 RPM's. The RPM's are dependent on whether it is 7.1 or 5.1 or 3.1  etc.

 I have read that the bridle length should be three times the height of the bow of the boat off the water in a blow. Our bow is six feet off the water. Well most of the time the blows are in the afternoon and sometimes we are on shore so we just have it out all the time. The bridle gives the chain a nice low angle to pull from our bow cleats, not up over our bow roller. There is enough line out to give the line a chance to stretch. Anyway this has worked great for us and last year we never dragged and we anchored for 6 months. The year before the same, never dragged so we are doing something right! 

  With GPS settings we can set anchor alarms and have spots we know are good, up and down the coast from previously anchoring there.

The boat as we woke up.

The power boat was used to try to pull the boat off the reef.

The Port Captain's boat is off to the left. 

Lots of cruiser dinghy's were helping with the tow lines and rubber necking.

A couple times the tow rope broke but eventually it came off the rocks at high tide.

Then it sank, or partially sank. It was sitting on the rocks 
and would go to the bottom if it was pulled off more. 
It was decided to let it break up on the reef 
rather than become a navigation hazard.

 This and the next few shots are very sad - view at your own risk.

A few guys on board tried pumping it out 
as it was being towed but it was a loosing effort.

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