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Old 03-09-2009, 21:29   #16
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Wow seems like there are a lot of different techniques for what I thought would be fairly simple.
Everything is simple until you understand it well. Start simple and learn quickly. Often anchoring is viewed like parking the car in the lot. It is in many ways but the technique is wholly different. Docking and Anchoring are the really new things that can scare you serious. They both take practice when easy so you can do it when it's harder.

Once you start to feel proficient try in the the dark, the rain, and in the dark and in the rain. The add wind. Then add a whole lot of wind. Conditions that you do these tasks are not always optimal and mostly never the same. Operation of a windlass is actually quite dangerous. It's a powerful bit of gear that can take a finger off in an instant. A thumb trapped between the boat and a pylon is crushed. These are serious forces to be respected and managed. Practice!
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:38   #17
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As the many posts on this thread have indicated, there is no one "proper" method for anchoring. Because we cruise on a catamaran and have a Hydrobubble anchor, we use two slight modifications to the basic techniques described above:

1) Drop the anchor by freewheeling the anchor chain gypsy head from the windlass instead of paying it out - This allows the bubble on the anchor to keep it upright, thus striking the bottom point first.

2) When anchor scope reaches 2-3 times the depth of water, take the slack out of the chain by gripping it by hand - This facilitates determining whether the anchor actually has "bitten" or is dragging. If the chain isn't pulled out of my hands, I know it's not set.

Once I can no longer hold the chain, we set light tension on the windlass brake and run out 7:1 scope or 100 feet, whichever is more, while slowly backing. After reaching that scope, I attach the bridle to the chain and pay out another 25 feet. Then we slowly increase the stern thrust to 1500-2000 RPMs on each engine to check the anchor set while sighting ashore to be sure we're not dragging. Lastly, weather and water visibility permitting, I snorkel the anchor to be sure it is well set.
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:20   #18
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We anchor in channels and rivers a fair bit so are affected by 3 knot currents a lot, but you know which direction they will flow.

The first time we lined up behind the last boat and started to lay down our anchor. An experienced local was with us and he said, "Why don't you offset from the line of (4) boats ahead. That way if they drag they might miss you and if you drag tommorow you might miss them.

I took this as sound advice.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:16   #19
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Well thanks for all the advice. After looking at my anchor gear and taking it all to the local West Marine and talking to the guy there, he talked me into a complete anchor and rode package suitable for a boat up to 24 feet. This actually made sense because piecing it together would have actually cost more with the anchor that I have which was on the small end of what he said would be acceptable for a boat my size.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:08   #20
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Well, I had hoped the advice would steer you towards a chain rode and away from a Danforth style anchor. I don't think I like that "guy" you talked to ;-)

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Old 05-09-2009, 11:35   #21
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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Well, I had hoped the advice would steer you towards a chain rode and away from a Danforth style anchor. I don't think I like that "guy" you talked to ;-)

I have no problems with a danforth. I do with a "package" sold as ideal for a 24ft boat, that i would consider dubious as a lunch time kedge.

If you intend to anchor overnight, I would keep one person awake on watch, and make sure that the GPS alarm is set

Also remember to set the alarm centroid on the position of the anchor, with a swinging circle based on your rode, rather than the position you end up in, otherwise you will have a very rude awakening when the tide turns.
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Old 05-09-2009, 14:44   #22
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Ouf ... NEVER listen to chandlery guys - their aim is to sell well, your aim is to sleep well.

I also like to hand pick and join / mount all elements of my rig - except if the job is way out of my skills / tooling (like roll-swaging terminals or making a new sail).

I like Danforth and use it. But it can be a tricker in bottoms that have fine layer of holding material underlaid by rock or corral - then they will pretend to be in only to break out "unexpectedly" and dramatically later. They are also less than perfect when a lot of swinging is expected. But if I know the bottom to be ooze, clay or sand without the bed rock, then I found Danforth to be extremely good.

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Old 05-09-2009, 15:07   #23
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Where we have beeen, we have used danforth , bruce and manson plough. The bruce was great in short rode anchorages and finer material - mud/silt/ fine sand. In coral areas where the 'sand' is just broken coral and in weedy aresa, the oversised manson plough was no contest - far better.
This plough has a long shank. We oversise chain, anchor and winch and with this in mind, we can sleep well at night. The worst anchorage wsa blowing 65kn, the boat was shaking like a terrier and the chain was horizontal. Anchor never moved.

If you need to anchor, you need to trust it. Oversise everything.
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Old 05-09-2009, 15:43   #24
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One thing you should learn is how to tell if you are dragging. One way is to look out 90 degrees to the direction between the boat and the anchor (i.e. to the side) and find a range. A range is a straight line between one distant object, maybe a tree, and another that is even farther away. If you are dragging, you drop behind the line. When you're firmly anchored, backing down under power won't cause the range to move. By the way, swinging does change the range - after you swing you need to pick a different range to monitor your drag.
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Old 05-09-2009, 18:30   #25
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And also can be read from your GPS if no trees or other good objects abound.

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Old 05-09-2009, 19:22   #26
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If you can skip...

kcmarcet

I'd go along with previous comments about the package being too light for anchoring a cruising boat.

My experience with moving fluke anchors is that they work well on soft bottoms, but can just skip along the harder ones.

If I have read the table right Manson recommends a 15lb Supreme anchor for your size boat together with 9m (30') of 8mm (5/16') chain. Other Forum members may be able to suggest proper length, size and type of rode.

The 15lb Manson Supreme lists at West Marine at about $220, 30' of 5/16" Gal chain (30 lb) for about $120 and 150' of 3/8" nylon is going to come in at about $120. (Prices from the West Marine online site, my arithmetic is always suspect.) Half a boat buck...

You'll also need to find out how to set up your anchoring tackle properly.

I don't think you'd be skipping from the store carrying this size tackle, and hopefully it won't be skipping along the bottom for too long after you drop it. Don't forget to tie the bitter end securely to the boat (don't laugh...).
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Old 07-09-2009, 18:53   #27
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Hi all, Having just come back from Block Island RI, I was able to witness an interesting trend. Saturday night and Sunday were windy 15 to 25 kts.
But unless you have seen the madness that is the Block Island anchorage you wouldnt understand how bad that is. The wind shifted 180 degrees and then piped up. During the night many boats dragged due to the shift and inability of the anchors to remain set. The harbor master sets aside a "no anchor zone" which is where they send you when things get crazy.
We had anchored near the line and saw many boats move to re-anchor.
Many of them had CQR anchors, I saw 4 in a row put down near us. Why would anybody use an anchor that will set you free every time the wind shifts and blows a piddling 15 to 25? At 2 AM after retrieving a neighbors dinghy, I asked him because he had dragged, how much scope he had out and he said " I don't know but it's not dragging now" after picking up my jaw I asked what kind of anchor he had...... CQR!
Just to be fair a Danforth is no better.
Any anchor that will not remain in the bottom during a wind shift is NOT an anchor but an accident waiting to happen.

BTW our Spade did not move and 25 kts is hardly a test.
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Old 07-09-2009, 19:04   #28
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BTW our Spade did not move and 25 kts is hardly a test.
I sail in more than that. 25 knots is only admission into the game. The game starts at 45 knots. In a crowded anchorage you are already in trouble. The number of boats that hit you are greater than the risk of dragging.
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Old 07-09-2009, 20:38   #29
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Yup, that's right.
The point is that holding power is no measure of an anchor. Both CQR and Danforth have very good holding power but you cannot count on either anchor to stay put until you decide to pull it up.
The Bruce has very low holding power yet it is a very reliable anchor. Why? Because it stays in the bottom and if it drags, it still stays in the bottom. It will pivot in the bottom and hold yet has about 1/4 the holding power of most other anchors.

The new generation anchors combine the stability of a Bruce and surpass the holding power of the CQR or Danforth. I don't think there is a huge difference between Spade, Rocna, Manson supreem, Ultra or others that follow the same design concepts.

Why would anybody spend the night on an anchor that requires the wind to blow the same direction all night long?

When we arrived at the anchorage it was clear that swing room was not there. That was why we anchored at the margin and were safe from the mayhem.
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Old 07-09-2009, 22:19   #30
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So, how is the weather in that area up north? We plan to move in that direction and I have the feeling we're in for way less wind than we have here in the Caribbean. How are the squalls? Are there squalls? Here, a typical squall is 40 kts wind but we have had a couple each year with 55 kts. The Caribbean might be a good training ground after all ;-)

I agree with highlander about the anchors. It always puzzles me that the anchor tests produce the danforth's as winner because they only pull in one direction.
Bruce is a problem... we have one and it's perfect because it won our trust in difficult conditions, but they are not made anymore. All the knock-offs are shaped differently (to save costs) and don't work as good or are bent etc. But that "new generation" does have more holding power, and I would select one size lighter than our Bruce if we ever loose it.

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