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Old 16-07-2018, 07:56   #1
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Anchor retrieval problem

Greetings!
I recently returned from a single handed 10 week sailing trip. I traveled part of the BC coast anchoring in numerous bays and coves. My anchoring gear consists of a Lofrans Royal manual windlass, 5/16 ht chain and a 25LB cqr anchor with a swivel. Sounds good to this point, but for the majority of the time I had to retrieve my anchor by hand because the chain came in twisted so it did not sit as it should on the gypsy. On the odd occasion it would seem to come in correctly but would end up in knots in the chain locker. I have had this setup for 6 years now from new. It used to operate correctly but now it has become a major problem and is driving me nuts. It is also hard on my old body to haul in all that weight without the assistance of the windlass.
Any ideas as to what might be causing my problem? After 10 weeks of thought on this matter I am no closer to figuring out what is going on.
Thank you,
Peers Pendlebury
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Old 16-07-2018, 13:39   #2
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

You present an interesting dilemma. If you put out all chain via a windlass; if the chain never leaves the gypsy; if you have not stayed anchored for days on end; if you have a swivel, I do not see how the chain will NOT fit smoothly in the gypsy sprocket as the anchor unwinds in the water (no swivel) as it is bright back onto the boat. Unless...

If you have a “mess” of twisted chain in your chain locker, it will continue to be a mess unless you straighten it out.

Suggestion: go to a dock, drop your anchor and tie it to a line and direct it the dock rather than the water. Bring all the chain and nylon on the dock and flake it. Straighten it out. May be easier to remove the anchor from the shackle to make it easier to maneuver.
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Old 16-07-2018, 14:34   #3
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

Thanks for your reply Steve. I don't understand what caused this problem in the first place but I will follow your suggestion and see what happens after that.
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Old 16-07-2018, 16:55   #4
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

Peers,
This removal and then straightening should solve the issue. Let’s face it, chain will follow the same path in the gypsy so if it is twisted in the anchor locker, it will come out the same way and return the same way. Get it untwisted completely and then bring it back via the windlass, untwisted, it should be good to go.

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Old 16-07-2018, 17:02   #5
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

Steve's advise strikes me as sound. Folks that use a windlass in-and-out every time tend to untwist the chain each time, but I wonder if the twists have just been accumulating over time, until they reached a tipping point.


Have you been anchoring in a place prone to tide swings, perhaps swinging in the same rotation each time?


Is the CQR hinge leaning to the same side each time? That can make the anchor spin while retrieving, though not likely if you are going slow. Is it possibly bent?



Going forward you may want to watch the rotation of the chain as it comes up. A nice deep grove in the roller can sometimes help.


Someone may suggest dropping the chain in deep water (Steve is smart and did NOT suggest that). Don't do that, since the weight is great and you may not get it back!!
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Old 16-07-2018, 21:36   #6
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

Your comments regarding the CQR leaning to one side are interesting.. For the past 10 weeks I have been anchoring in different locations as I traveled up and down the coast. In many of the locations there was a lot of tidal movement and more often than not the CQR was leaning to one side when I retrieved it, so maybe, as you suggest, that may have caused the twisting. Interesting. I wonder how I can prevent the CQR from doing this? Also, notably, my bow roller has only a very shallow dip in it as opposed to a groove, maybe I should be looking at a new roller with more of a groove in it.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 16-07-2018, 22:09   #7
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

I like your question. I sail in the Salish Sea as well. Our large tide swings do make lots of current that will rotate the boat numerous times in a tide cycle. Naturally that winds up the chain. Normally it will unwind as it is raised. If the current is strong enough it could impede the unwinding...any winding left will not unwind as the chain is allowed to freefall on the next deployment. Frequently I need to motor slow straight ahead to get flukes of the CQR to orient correctly to bring it over the roller. It would be difficult to lay it out on the dock and get it unwound, particularly if its several hundred feet of chain.
Solution! Do take it out in deep water and let it hang and unwind..it will get the mud off as well.

By the way, you can electrify your windlas using a Milwaukee Whole Hog and a small 15:1 worm drive gear box and an adapter for the drill and another for the windlas...easyworks great ..been doing it all week..my back loves me for it
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Old 16-07-2018, 22:33   #8
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

Thank you for your thoughts, all good stuff!
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Old 17-07-2018, 00:53   #9
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

Quote:
Also, notably, my bow roller has only a very shallow dip in it as opposed to a groove, maybe I should be looking at a new roller with more of a groove in it.
Yes indeed! A grooved roller will keep the chain from twisting between roller and gypsy. If you manually remove any twisting in that area, the twists generated by the boat circling the anchor will stay between anchor and roller. Once the anchor breaks free, the twists tend to self correct as the anchor approaches the roller with the anchor spinning around on the way up.

It really works!

Jim

PS go for the largest diameter roller that you can fit. Makes a big difference in the extra loads applied to the windlass.
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Old 17-07-2018, 01:45   #10
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

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Originally Posted by IdoraKeeper View Post
Solution! Do take it out in deep water and let it hang and unwind..it will get the mud off as well.
DON'T drop all your chain and anchor....100 meters of chain plus anchor is not light for a straight up windlass pull.
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Old 17-07-2018, 03:38   #11
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

“DON'T drop all your chain and anchor....100 meters of chain plus anchor is not light for a straight up windlass pull.”

Totally agree. When you have something “not right” about a chain rode and the windlass has not been correctly handling it, the last thing I would recommend is to drop it straight down in deep water to correct it. Might it work? Yep. Might it not work? Yep. Would you be able to see the problem? Nope. Might the windlass fail? Yep.

I did not say the process of pulling the anchor and rode to a dock was easy but, I do it every year or so. Lots of inspection, at least rode marking maintenance, can also be done.

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Old 17-07-2018, 06:15   #12
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Re: Anchor retrieval problem

Thanks Jim, makes sense what you are saying. I am going to source out a different bow roller for sure. Maybe if I straighten out my chain as Steve suggests, and install a bow roller with a deep groove that will solve my problem. Hope so, I have to do something!
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