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Old 23-09-2018, 15:14   #16
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Re: What a drag!


Another thanks for posting your nightmare dragging experience and well done for saving the day. With hindsight, there are always ways to do better but you did enough without hindsight to sail another day!
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Old 23-09-2018, 17:17   #17
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Re: What a drag!

Kelkara,
That is a drag, been there as well and almost lost the boat (different anchor and no windlass) in the middle of nowhere. Strong onshore breeze and spent all night grinding her out of the surf using the primaries. Still kick myself for not having the sea room.
Curious as to exactly where you were? I'd also like to ask how the rest of your summer went, did you have any other issues?
I believe the size is correct for her but we are more than happy to swap it out with the #4 or take it back for full refund if you've lost confidence.
The PNW is challenging. Huge flat rock shelves with small pockets of softer substrates. Throw down whatever brand or size you like Noelex but in these cases a fisherman might be the better suggestion. We really don't have all the factors yet.

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Old 30-09-2018, 11:38   #18
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Re: What a drag!

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Originally Posted by groundtackle View Post
Curious as to exactly where you were? I'd also like to ask how the rest of your summer went, did you have any other issues?
I believe the size is correct for her but we are more than happy to swap it out with the #4 or take it back for full refund if you've lost confidence.
The PNW is challenging. Huge flat rock shelves with small pockets of softer substrates. Throw down whatever brand or size you like Noelex but in these cases a fisherman might be the better suggestion. We really don't have all the factors yet.

Chris
Sorry for late response ... I've been out of cell coverage .


The location was a place called Mud Bay, about 12 miles south of Comox ... The name is a complete misnomer, whatever the bottom was, it certainly wasn't mud.


I'm not ready to blame the anchor just yet, it usually does take a set very well ... I don't know why it was marginal on the first drop, and failed on the second drop, but the third drop it still set like a champion.


However, it has made me think about my second anchor ... if the Excel was having a hard time setting, then my Danforth backup was unlikely to have done any better.


Other anchoring problems I've had this Summer? well, two days later it totally fouled on a sunken log as I was retrieving it ... if hauling up an anchor and chain without a windlass is hard, then hauling anchor chain and 30ft of timber is a real PITA ... naturally that one happened at 3:00am as I was trying to make the morning slack at Seymore Narrows ... much cursing later and the anchor was free, and I still made it through the narrows close enough to slack-water.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:41   #19
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Re: What a drag!

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I guess another obvious question is what engine and what prop do you have? It might be worth changing the prop if it isn't well matched to engine and boat (and lots of boats suffer such mismatches).

Jim
That is also a good question ... Engine is 16HP Beta, and prop is a 3 blade Campbell Sailor, but I have no idea how to tell how well matched they are. She always has seemd a little slow under power, but the engine will reach the manufacturers max RPM when fully open.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:46   #20
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Re: What a drag!

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Dragging can be very scary. When single handed I can imagine things become much more difficult. Thanks for the report. Your graphic description made me feel I was there! Your post should come with a warning as unsuitable reading material when bad weather is forcast .

You did well to escape any damage, especially when the anchor did not set on the second drop.

Any anchor can drag, but it might be time for a rethink of the equipment. Dragging when singlehanded and without an anchor winch is never going to be easy and I would be thinking about the best equipment to avoid the situation in future.

Your anchor I presume was a Sarca Excel number 3 which is 12.5 kg. This is the size recommended by the manufacturer for your boat, but rather than relying on the anchor tables fit the largest anchor you and your boat can comfortably manage, although I appreciate without an anchor winch this may be the largest size that fits this criterion. In your position, especially after the experience you have described, I would want the very best anchor design. The Mantus, Rocna and steel Spade all fall into this catogory in my view.

The Excel could become the second anchor. When managing without an anchor winch, especially singlehanded, if dragging occurs often the best policy is to drop the main anchor with a buoy for recovery later. I know you considered this. This means having a second, suitable, reasonable general purpose anchor ready to go, although the primary consideration is always to avoid the need for this in the first place.

The Danforth is not a great design as a back up anchor. It is more of a specialist anchor suited to soft substrates (where it is excellent). Also the Danforth is not a great with a changing direction of pull. Finally, it tends to float across the bottom if dropped at any speed. This is not the correct way to deploy an anchor, but in the scenario you describe a perfect drop is unlikely. The Excel would be a better than the Danforth as the second anchor.

This leaves you free to choose a new primary anchor.
Thanks for your comments Noelex, you are very right that I do need to think about my second anchor and how it is set-up.


I did consider the larger size Excel when I got it, but it just wasn't going to fit on the bow without serious modification, and the extra weight is a real concern in deep anchorages.



I would love the luxury that you have of being able to dive on the anchor occasionally to see how it actually behaves in various anchorages, but unfortunately it's usually too deep, dark, cold and murky here.
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Old 30-09-2018, 11:52   #21
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Re: What a drag!

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Hi, Kelkara, thanks for answering my question.

One time, we had to leave an anchorage, when the wind shifted and was coming into it strong enough to peg the anemometer (at 60). We were unable to make headway under engine alone, and so, what we did was to hoist the storm jib, and motor sailed, tacking out of the lee shore in that way. It worked quite well, and after we got out and had sea room, we hove to, under storm jib alone, and had a more or less decent night's rest. Sometimes, even when it's night, you might have to abandon the anchorage and go on to a better shelter.

Ann
Thanks for the tale Ann, hearing what has worked for others is one of the reasons I share my stories here. Until I had the anchor dropped the second time, I really didn't have time to raise the sails ... I was needed at the helm ... well, I could maybe have unrolled a scrap of genoa without leaving the helm, but not the main or storm-jib.



Would the storm jib, or partial genoa, alone help significantly with making way upwind, or would I have been better to have tried the triple-reefed main like gmakhs suggested? My big concern was that once I was winning, even a little bit, I didn't want to risk doing anything that might have blown me back towards shore ... there wasn't much room for making any more mistakes.
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Old 30-09-2018, 13:39   #22
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Re: What a drag!

You did well, and lived through a harrowing event to tell the tale. In your shoes, I'd be thinking about trying to fit a windlass, even a manual one. I'm thinking the mechanical advantage would have helped you. There are lots of sunken logs in your neck of the woods. Over the years, our various anchors have snagged a number of horrid, heavy things off the bottom, and having a windlass really helps with the weight of chain rode.

Another issue is setting the anchor in the first place. I'm wondering about your whole set up because it is a smaller boat, and may only have a boat-length or so of chain, especially since you retrieve by hand. For us, with all chain, Jim lets out the chain to about 2:1, waits for it to snub; then lets out the desired amount (varies mostly from 3:1 to 5:1), puts on the snubber, and then I add 2200 rpm (of 2500 available) in reverse, and pull long and hard on it. If we then drag, we move. But, it's EASY for us to move, with an electric windlass to help get the chain up; it's a lot more work if you're doing it by hand. My concern for you is that my method may not work for you because if you're using mostly rope rode, backing down on it may stretch the rope a lot, but how do you know the anchor is set well? Maybe observing that the stretching stops, and the line is straight and bar taut?

Bottoms throughout an anchoring area may vary considerably, and thank goodness for that, too, because you have a decent chance of finding good holding "next time"! It was great that your anchor set in (like in Panope's videos for it) when it found something good.

Ann
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Old 30-09-2018, 14:00   #23
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Re: What a drag!

I'd like to think I know a good bit about anchoring, but sometimes things are tough. Getting in late never helps. Variable bottoms are just bad news.

a. I always consider the weather for at least as long as I will be there. Open bays are a nightmare unless you KNOW the holding is good. Even then they can be nightmares.

b. Generally I believe in one anchor, but if I can't move and I'm starting to wonder about holding, I take a second out to long scope and set it before things get bad. Take it WAY out, because the rode will tend to pull it in as it drops and because it will take some distance to set. Make certain it too is well-set. Obviously, you place it to favor the anticipated wind, not the current wind.

Once you drag into shallows, options get limited fast, as you learned. A singlehander's mantra is to do everything possible to avoid situations where you must do two things at once. I'd have either found some way to squeeze into the small harbor (shore ties?) or set two anchors early, just in case.
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Old 30-09-2018, 14:13   #24
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Re: What a drag!

Don't mean to be rude but still wondering what the original scope was.
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Old 30-09-2018, 14:22   #25
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Re: What a drag!

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Don't mean to be rude but still wondering what the original scope was.
originally I had out 50m of chain, which was 5:1 at high tide and 7:1 at low tide ... the anchor released towards the end of the falling tide, so should have been bigger than 6:1.
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Old 30-09-2018, 14:29   #26
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Re: What a drag!

Ah, well 6:1 with all chain is still pretty good IMO.
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Old 30-09-2018, 14:42   #27
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Re: What a drag!

Great job staying whole. How much wind?

SARCA Excel Anchor - Anchor Right Australia

I noted that the #3 is rated for 10M max. #4 is rated also for 10M. My experience has been to size up if you can fit it. This would be their #5 at double the weight. The heavier anchor is more likely to penetrate a marginal bottom especially on the fly. The larger fluke will tend to stay put. Boat mass and your use and expectations also play into this. I would rather have one sure-thing piece of ground tackle than to ever have to consider my secondary. How good will your secondary be if the big boy let loose?

Roxy carries (121#) 54 kg Rocna and 7/16 all chain rode. We have not used the secondary, 54# Bruce, in six years. The last time was as a kedge to keep us from swinging into a beach. The primary held us to 45 knots in the shell-mud goop of the river in Newport during hurricane Hermine. At 48 knots we moved 1 meter with each swing. (+/- 45 deg) The solution was to steer the boat using the wind driven surface current. This reduced the swing to about 15 degrees and stopped the drag. Our lesson learned.

I’m also curious about your prop. In my race days we had one of those folding two-blade things that sufficed to get us to the start. Not much good if you really needed thrust or reverse. Seems like you would want a bit more thrust. Does it have the best pitch & diameter? fixed pitch? Adjustable?
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Old 30-09-2018, 15:12   #28
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Re: What a drag!

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Great job staying whole. How much wind?
unfortunately I don't have a wind instrument ... so I can't give a quantitative answer to that ... I'd like to know the answer too.
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Old 30-09-2018, 16:10   #29
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Re: What a drag!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelkara View Post
Thanks for the tale Ann, hearing what has worked for others is one of the reasons I share my stories here. Until I had the anchor dropped the second time, I really didn't have time to raise the sails ... I was needed at the helm ... well, I could maybe have unrolled a scrap of genoa without leaving the helm, but not the main or storm-jib.



Would the storm jib, or partial genoa, alone help significantly with making way upwind, or would I have been better to have tried the triple-reefed main like gmakhs suggested? My big concern was that once I was winning, even a little bit, I didn't want to risk doing anything that might have blown me back towards shore ... there wasn't much room for making any more mistakes.
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unfortunately I don't have a wind instrument ... so I can't give a quantitative answer to that ... I'd like to know the answer too.
Sounds like it was a fair bit of wind, if you could barely make headway with a 16hp engine and a 3 bladed prop on a 27 foot boat it may well have been up into the high 30's or 40's.

I have found the 3rd reefed main works best for motorsailing off a lee shore. So it's not a bad idea to put three reefs in while the sail is stowed if the anchorage is dodgy and the wind starts to build. Prehaps a riding sail would help.

Another very useful idea is a simple chain pawl on the bow roller. Makes it much easier and safer to weigh the anchor without a windlass. A quick release snubber would also be a smart invention.

Anyway sounds like you did well in a tight spot.
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