How to Anchor a Boat with MaxSea TimeZero

Experienced sailors often say that mooring is the most difficult part of sailing. This week, MaxSea partner Leon Schulz talks to us about how to anchor a boat, using MaxSea TimeZero.

Leon outlines the steps to take for a perfect mooring. His boat is equipped with a fully-integrated system: MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, a Furuno BBDS1 sounder, and a Furuno NavNet TZtouch.

How to Anchor a Boat
Leon Schulz’ boat the Regina Laska
  • Understand the sea-floor. Navigate around the anchorage area many times. This is done to record bathymetric information so you know what kind of sea-floor you’re dealing with. To record this data, I use my MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, integrated with a Furuno BBDS1 Sounder.

Anchoring a boat with Furuno BBDS1

The BBDS1 sounder collects and sends bottom classification data to MaxSea TimeZero software. I can also share this new data-rich bathy chart with the integrated Furuno NavNet TZtouch system. Sand or clay is best for anchoring.

  • Check tidal range by displaying tidal data in MaxSea TimeZero. This is a really important step to know how much your boat will be raised or lowered by the tide, or vice versa.

How to anchor a boat with tidal data

You don’t want the boat’s keel to hit the ground during the night, just because the water has disappeared from under the boat. You must also avoid having the boat’s anchor break loose because the boat is suddenly 3 or more meters higher water than when it arrived!

  •  Calculate your desired minimum depth based on my boat’s draught + safety distance under the keel + allowance for tidal changes. Try to find a spot where the boat can swing freely in all directions according to changes in the wind or the tidal current.
  • Take a last look at the Furuno BBDS1 sounder to check the depth and soil conditions and to see if the boat is in the tidal flow or in an area of strong wind and bring the boat to a complete standstill.
  • Lower your anchor slowly until it reaches the ground. You can check the markings on the chain or just listen to how the anchor runs more smoothly when it has reached the bottom.
  • Give the signal to the helmsman to reverse the boat slowly while letting out the chain. At a ratio of 1:4 to 1:5 (from the highest tides expected), stop the windlass.
  • Wait until the anchor sets and the boat turns into the wind. Then it’s time to stretch the chain by reversing the gear carefully. Do so cautiously, so that there is no residue in the chain.
  • Once the engine is stopped, set the snubber. This is the piece of rope that is hung with a claw hook into the chain and relieved with the help of a jerk. This also makes the disturbing noise disappear from the chain rubbing against the bow roller.
  • In windy conditions, put a mooring sail aft, so the bow always points into the wind.

The advantage of MaxSea TimeZero is that you can so easily switch charts. So I often use raster maps at anchor, because there is a lot more information that are interesting for the anchors located. For example, the underwater cable at Iona (see image below).

Anchoring a boat with raster charts
Anchoring the boat off Iona, Scotland

Even small anchors are located on the raster maps. In comparison, the vector charts give less information about the anchorage.

Now it’s done, you can sleep soundly, even if the wind should freshen up in the night or the wind direction changes.


Leon Schulz is a MaxSea partner and is a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean instructor. His yacht, the Regina Laska is also available for charter. Learn more about his services on the Regina Sailing website.


 

10 point safety checklist

Boat Racing for Dummies!

Henri Antoine is an International Race Officer at the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). This week, he tells us about a recent boat racing training session that was organised for newcomers to sailing racing: Racing for Dummies!

The first ‘Racing for Dummies’ training session was held in Dunkerque, Northen France on Saturday, April 5, 2014, on the premises of the North Sea Yacht Club.

Boat racing for Dummies
A poster advertising “Racing for Dummies” training session

This event was designed to encourage boaters to take part in boat races. Boaters often want to race but are apprehensive about beginning. It is a fear of not understanding how it is done, or looking ridiculous in comparison to more seasoned competitors.

Thierry Maurick, Chairman of YCMN, (the North Sea Yacht Club) immediately found the idea interesting and fun. It was a way to bring a new audience to boat racing without any pressure in a relaxed setting. Hence the idea of the event title “For Dummies”.

The goal: to demystify and “play down” boat racing, which many people believe to be more complicated than it is.

Participants in this Dunkirk training session really enjoyed it and the event was very successful. To make it as accessible as possible, many concrete examples, diagrams and pictures were used.

MaxSea TimeZero Navigator weather forecast  service explained during the boat racing training session
GRIB weather files overlaid on the chart in MaxSea TimeZero

MaxSea TimeZero was used to demonstrate how coastal routes can be easily viewed. In coastal routes in areas where marine navigation is tricky, this helped participants to quickly understand how to approach this type of race. They learned how to read and understand nautical charts in a practical way.

The participants really liked how easy it was to integrate wind information (using GRIB files in TimeZero) and tidal current data. These types of information are of course, very important for boat racing.

There was positive feedback from participants, and another session in mid-May is planned.

This was a great initiative – thanks Henri!

For more information about ISAF, please click here.

To find out more about the North Sea Yachting Club in Dunkerque, France, see their website.

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Download your free guide

New Worldwide Tidal Data Now Available in TimeZero!

We are happy to announce that new worldwide Tidal Data for TimeZero users is now available on our website totally free of charge.

When you download tidal data in your MaxSea TimeZero, you can view tides stations directly on your chart for the present moment as well as into the future. This is very helpful for planning the best route and departure time.

To install the new tidal data, simply go to our website and click on the link marked in red below:

Please read the PDF file here for full details of this new tidal data.

Feel free to contact us if you need any further information.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Boat Rentals

UK, Ireland and Holland Navionics Chart Updates

The following two Navionics vector chart zones have been updated and are available as of March 24th, 2014 in our Chart Catalog:

Navionics vector chart updates

 

Enhancements

These chart zones integrate the new routing system in the southern part of the North Sea. This new organisation was put into place on the first of August, 2013 in accordance with the IMO Sub-committee on Safety of Navigation proposal NAV/58/3/2.

Significant improvements have been introduced to contour lines in general.

Here are some examples of these improvements:

Old vc. New UK Contour Lines

Old vs. New Channel Islands Contour Lines

Further details about the Mega Wide Navionics chart for UK, Ireland and Holland (MWVNEW28XGMAP6.1) can be found here.

More information on the Wide Navionics chart for the UK and Ireland (WVNEW28MAP6.1) can be viewed here.

You can find further examples of the changes made to these updates charts in our Facebook or Google+ albums.

 

Take me to the MaxSea Webstore

 

Remember!

Until April 15th, 2014, enjoy a 10% off reduction on all charts in the MaxSea webstore by entering the promo code* MX10 upon checkout, before payment.

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5 Tips for Choosing the Best Nautical Chart

US NOAA Raster and Vector Chart Updates

These US charts have been updated and are available as of March 3rd, 2014 in our Chart Catalogue:

MX NOAA Chart update


The following NOAA chart versions are now available:

NOAA Raster chart coverage (left) and NOAA Vector chart coverage (right)
NOAA Raster chart coverage (left) and NOAA Vector chart coverage (right)

Updated Information

  • Updated NOAA Vector Charts (S57): This Edition adds 71 new Vector Charts to the library as well as many other chart updates.
  • Updated NOAA Raster Charts: This new edition includes the latest chart updates that can be found on the NOAA paper charts.

Read full information about these chart updates in this PDF file.

Example of improvement to the NOAA vector charts: now buoys are numbered (right)
Example of improvement to the NOAA vector charts: now buoys are numbered (right)

NOAA charts are totally free of charge so you can download them right now, to make sure that you’re using the most up-to-date chart data available for US waters.

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5 Tips for Choosing the Best Nautical Chart

The Life Cycle of a Hydrographic Marine Chart

Hydrographic charts are an essential source of data for MaxSea marine charts in order to guarantee the quality of this basic onboard tool for safe sailing while at sea.

Did you ever wonder how MapMedia marine charts are produced? Although the charts are edited by MapMedia, this company uses hydrographic charts collected and then updated by hydrographic offices all around the world. Here, we explain the steps of this process.

To draw up a chart, first we must compile data, edit it and then keep it continuously updated.

The data collection

The hydrographic office first acquires bathymetric, topographic and sedimentological surveys as well as satellite imagery and any additional data needed.

Production of the chart

Once all this data has been compiled and verified, a paper chart is drawn up, following very precise specifications in order to comply with sailing requirements in each specific area.  All the necessary information for sailing and safety are provided on the paper chart. The chart must be both precise and easy to read so that you can sail safely.

This first date of publication is always included on the hydrographic chart. We have included images from the French Hydrographic Office to to explain each point in this post.

Image

The MaxSea TimeZero App is available now!

Chart Updates

Every week, minor or major corrections are reported on the hydrographic chart and then released via the « Groupe d’Avis aux Navigateurs GAN » or “Notice to Mariners – NTM”.

Hydrographic chart NTM

Hydrographic chart NTM

Hydrographic chart NTM

Hydrographic chart NTM

Hydrographic chart NTM

In the case of minor corrections that are not essential for sailor safety, the marine chart is printed again. The date of this new print is mentioned on the chart. A chart can also be printed again if out of stock. The date of the reprint is mentioned on the chart.

When major modifications occur, the hydrographic chart is reprinted. A new publication number and date are added to the chart:

A hydrographic chart publication number and date

A hydrographic chart in Raster format from the SHOM

New chart  SHOM N° 7428

A hydrographic chart from the SHOM

MapMedia compares marine charts and different catalogues and selects the best chart for a specific location in order to provide the most reliable information for safe sailing.

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Don’t forget to download this useful guide on how to choose the right marine chart for you:

5 Tips for Choosing the Best Nautical Chart

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: April 2 to 5 and 10 to 13

Hi,

With two short weeks due to Easter Holidays, we decided to publish pictures from April 2 to 13 altogether. Many fishing-related images but also colorful and impressive pics of mediterranean ports and boats.

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Remember that you can view these wonderful images every day on our wall at MaxSea International Facebook Page.

Do you want to know who’s the author? 

Have a great weekend!

Past weeks:

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: February 20th to 24th

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: February 27th to March 2nd

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 5th to 9th

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 12th to 16th

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 19th to 23rd

MaxSea’s picture of the day by Jacques Vapillon: March 26th to 30th