Dayshape

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Making a Soft Shackle - Threading the anchor ball The Dyneema line has been threaded through the black ball day shape denoting that the ship is at anchor.This series of photos illustrates the steps in making a simple soft shackle at the end of a line, in this case it is a thin Dyneema line and it will be used to hoist up the anchor ball day shape using a spare halyard and attaching the lower end to the forestay hard point.
(2014-02-08 16:14:05 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.3, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Making a Soft Shackle - Threading the anchor ball
Zanshin anchored with dayshape Zanshin showing a dayshape (the black ball hoisted high denoting that I am anchored") in Marigot, St. Martin.
(2014-02-18 12:35:57 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/1250s] ISO 100)
Zanshin anchored with dayshape
Making a Soft Shackle - In use The completed soft shackle in action. The long tail will, once the soft shackle has had time to settle, be cut off close to the Crown Knot and melted together. This series of photos illustrates the steps in making a simple soft shackle at the end of a line, in this case it is a thin Dyneema line and it will be used to hoist up the anchor ball day shape using a spare halyard and attaching the lower end to the forestay hard point.
(2014-02-08 16:15:00 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/10.0, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Making a Soft Shackle - In use
Dayshape hoisted on Zanshin The black ball as the day shape hoisted on Zanshin during the day.
(2014-02-16 15:25:33 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/7.1, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Dayshape hoisted on Zanshin
This is a much under used item in the Caribbean; many boaters don't even know what it means - in fact I've been asked why my radar reflector is so low and looks so strange.
The international COLREGS state that an anchored boat must display a round ball when anchored during the day and an all-around white light at night when anchored. Most boats know about the anchor light and use it (although many boats don't use one, probably to save on electric energy) but the only boats I see with a black ball as a day shape tend to be the mega yachts, cruise ships (yes, they too have to show days ha pes) and those boats skippered by a professional crew. Very few private boats display a day shape when anchored, which is probably the only reason I do so.
The reason that big boats or those run by commercial skippers show a day shape is for insurance purposes. If they are hit in the anchorage by another vessel during the day and are not displaying their day shape then, under maritime rules, they can be deemed to also be partially at fault, since they were not anchored (no day shape) and therefore underway and could therefore have been expected to manoeuvre to avoid the collision. While this scenario sounds a bit contrived, just imagine the field day that maritime lawyers will have should such a collision occur during the day and result in extensive damage or even injuries!
But the German in me wants to be correct and adhere to the maritime rules and the other parts of me enjoy being a bit contrarian or different - whatever my motivation, it only takes seconds to set up the day shape and seconds to take it down again, so there is no harm and potentially much gain in doing so. The anchor ball itself is a simple affair with two circles that slot together. I made up a Dyneema line with a soft shackle on one end and a simple clasp on the other and hoist the assembly up high using my spinnaker line.

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