September 14, 2015 • Stewart Technology AssociatesStewart Technology Associates

September 14, 2015

Published by Stewart Technology Associates

Safety issues and environmental impact head the list of concerns regarding moored vessels. Proper analysis can help an oil company avoid a host of problems as well as suggest the best ways to improve safety and function of anchor technology. Oil spills, property damage, capsizing, and loss of life can be prevented with an accurate study and the right recommendations. Mooring age, vessel size, weather, and sea conditions all have an impact on mooring stability. A company may need to modify existing mooring structures, or at the very least have contingency plans in place in the event a mishap occurs.

Experience and current technology is needed to address these issues before they become problematic. Prevention is and will always be the best way to deal with potential problems. Stewart Technology Associates has the know-how to find out what those problems are and help a company implement the necessary fix.

A good series of anchors is as integral to a ship as its engine. Your collection should include stockless, kedge, and BBI-Delta type anchors. In addition, you should have hundreds of feet of all-chain rode ready to be deployed with your anchors of choice. But how do you choose which anchor and what length of rode when the time comes to anchoring?

While some sailors are adept at selecting the right ground tackle according to the necessary and complex calculations that combine seabed type, ship length, weather outlook, etc.; using a proper anchor analysis is the only way to ensure your ship is anchored safely. The following are two of the most common (and most hazardous) problems that can be avoided with a proper anchor analysis:

  • Dragging.  Deploying too light or the wrong type of an anchor for the seabed soil conditions, weather, and current (or failing to put out enough rode) can and often will cause your ship to drag. As any captain knows, dragging is a dangerous event that can cause your ship to collide with other boats, reefs, and other marine and land hazards.
  • Fouled anchor.  Deploying too heavy an anchor with too much rode in certain seabed soil conditions can cause your anchor to be burdensome, and in the rare instance impossible, to recover. A fouled anchor can also occur if you opt for a two-anchor hold but fail to take into account frequent wind and current changes in a given anchorage. 
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