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Old 02-09-2009, 04:56   #1
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Proper Method / Technique for Anchoring

The "Yo-Hoe" is about a week from going in the water and I am going to be anchoring it in a public anchorage site could some please offer some advice on how to keep my boat from drifting and becoming a hazard. I have two anchors. The place I an going to put the boat is pretty well protected from storms and I don't think there is a lot of current in the area.

Thanks
Ken
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:09   #2
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We now put a lot more chain out than the book recommends.

The book says 3:1 ratio chain to depth. i.e if the water is 10 feet deep you are ment to put 30 feet of chain.

We would let out initially 60 feet of chain and then go astern to dig the anchor in.

Then if the anchorage was crowded we might pull in 10 feet to have a ratio of 5:1

If we had space in the anchorage we would leave the 6:1 ratio out.

Also you need to make sure the ratio includes the HIGHEST tide you expect, and the distance from your bow roller to the water surface plus the length of the anchor itself.

We have a trick where out first mark on the anchor chain is at 10 meters... but its really 13 meters - 3 meters from the water to the boat!!!

At the moment we are anchored in 11.2 meters water, no tide and we have 50 meters of chain out in excellent holding deep mud. So about 5:1

(We have a link at 50 meters joining the next length of chain so we tend to use that as a mark where we could have put out more)


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Old 02-09-2009, 05:19   #3
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There is a fair amount to anchoring well. You start with a system that fits your boat. Anchor, shackle, chain rode, and snubber plus any chafe gear. There are a lot of choices. How you choose the gear you use is a factor of the type and size of boat you have. We don't know anything about your boat.

Quote:
The place I an going to put the boat is pretty well protected from storms and I don't think there is a lot of current in the area.
The details of the area do matter as far as exposure and bottom material. Pretty well protected is only relative and not being sure about current is not very encouraging. You need to look at potential anchorages based on what you need to deploy your own gear for your boat.

Room for a good scope (length of rode relative to depth measured from the bottom to the deck). You also need room to swing in 360 degrees. I would not deploy two anchors before you have mastered one. Allowing the boat to naturally align head to wind offers the least resistance to the wind. This reduces the load on the anchor and rode. It means a 40 knot wind won't rip out the anchor but will probably hold fast and leave the boat safe. Two anchors set broad side to the wind won't hold near as well or all that long. Double anchor systems are far more complex given you are just beginning.

You need to design an anchoring sytem first, then go out and pratice setting the anchor, retreiving it, and do it again. Unless you are using an old V8 engine block for an anchor there is more than just tossing the anchor overboard and going to bed.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:46   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmarcet View Post
The "Yo-Hoe" is about a week from going in the water and I am going to be anchoring it in a public anchorage site could some please offer some advice on how to keep my boat from drifting and becoming a hazard. I have two anchors. The place I an going to put the boat is pretty well protected from storms and I don't think there is a lot of current in the area. Ken
two separate anchors can be used to reduce the swinging circle, or also to provide an up-tide and down-tide anchor, but you must have a swivel in the system, otherwise you can lose the boat, by the chains getting tangled.

Assuming the boat is remaining at anchor for some length of time, personally, I think I would be purchasing a MUCH larger anchor of the raya/supreme etc style, which will have much better holding and dig in much quicker. I would also review the way the anchor is attached to the chain, and ensure that it cannot be freed due to a defective shackle.

It will probably be a good idea to introduce a swivel to that chain, but not directly attached to the anchor. If purchasing a swivel, make sure it is of highest quality (wichard/kong etc) .

It would also be good to check the whole anchor system weekly.

Make sure that the anchor weight is not just held by the windlass, it should be secured by some form of permanent stopper.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:51   #5
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other than what has been said, which is very good info, I will ease into the wind or current until the forward motion stops, then I release the anchor and as the boat begins to ease astern I continue to let out rode, until I reach the length desired. Then, being a cat, I connect the bridle and apply a BIT of engine reverse to set the anchor. The biggest mistake I see out there, IMHO, is people who apply full astern power and simply pull the anchor out rather than setting it! Gradual power increase works much better. The rest is like Paul said, conditions, boat, and space!!!
But if the rode bounces rather than going taught, then try again cause it is not set. Don't be embarrassed by having to try it a couple of times. Boats around you would rather you are sure it sets than to ASSUME that it's all right, and drag anchor in the middle of the night while it is storming
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Old 02-09-2009, 14:18   #6
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In a new anchorage, we like to get the anchor ready and then approach the anchorage but rather than just go for a spot and drop the hook we will go behind the last raw of boats and have a close look at how they are anchored, distributed, etc., and try to understand why.

Once we understand how others are anchored and why, we will slowly go for the spot we like (preferably - good bottom, flat water but windy), stop the boat head into the wind (or current, whichever seems to rule the place) then lower the anchor into the water and when it touches the bottom we will slowly reverse, or let the boat drift downwind / stream and lay the chain on the bottom.

Once well in excess of what is our target scope, we make the chain snug and see what happens, then in 99% of cases we help the anchor dig in by going in reverse gear or back winding the sails.

If the hook holds OK then we will shorten the scope to what we see right. And we do not go down below before making a visual check on how we lay vs. our neighbours. We also set depth alarms and GPS alarm on at the same time.

Our general rules are:
- avoid crowd,
- make sure the hook is set,
- use 2nd anchor if so dictated by weather or other factors.

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Old 02-09-2009, 17:43   #7
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we will go behind the last raw of boats and have a close look at how they are anchored, b.
A great idea to go for a look first. We call it a 'drive past'. What we are looking for in a crowded anchorage (I shouldnt be telling people this secret!!!!!!) is the gap between the furtherst out Cats and the closest inshore Monos. Thats where we enpick! We love being close to shore Close to the action
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Old 02-09-2009, 19:59   #8
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If you are planning to leave the boat for extended periods use 2 anchors spread 100 to 140 degrees apart for the usual wind or current direction. Use plenty of scope as your swing radius is not the length of the rodes but how they overlap each other. After you get them set (back down on them gradually and then hard) dive on them to make sure there are well set.
Every week untangle any twists in the 2 rodes if you do not want to attach them together and use a swivel. I prefer untangling to swivels, very easy to do when ther is little wind, use your dingy to shove the stern around (all chain) or if using line just loop it around.
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Old 03-09-2009, 00:25   #9
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I do not agree with the "two anchor" philosophy. If you need two anchors to stay put, you should buy a bigger primary anchor.

But if this is more like a mooring (and the original post sounds that way), two anchors make a good mooring like this: buy 50' extra chain for each anchor, one size up from your boat's chain but choose the cheaper type that don't fit a windlass. Also, buy a 3/4" thick galvanized steel ring and 4 of the biggest galvanized shackles that fit the extra chain and the two anchors, plus a 1/2" nylon line as long as maximum water depth plus a couple of feet and a float. Splice the line to the ring and float. Set first anchor, shackle it to ring and drop it all. Set second anchor and go pick up the float to get to the ring. Shackle 2nd anchor to the ring, plus your regular anchor chain (your normal anchor isn't used). Calculate 6:1 scope and substract 50' from that to know how much of your normal chain to let out.

Now you have two anchors without the twisting nightmare.

cheers,
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Old 03-09-2009, 13:35   #10
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I would not call it a 'philosophy' - which is the love of wisdom - in our case it is more in the line of 'anchoring politics' - what can we do to gain the most and to avoid trouble?

And we agree with the attitude that the main anchor should be good enough for anything ban the horrendous. On our own boat this has not yet been achieved, but it is our target.

The second anchor is not what we use everyday, nor always in the same manner.

Basically, we will use the 2nd hook as follows -

- in Polynesia - we drop one hook on the shallows (2-3m), the other beyond the drop-off; this way we stay clear from all big boats that have only one hook and will swing over huge arcs treating the whole anchorage (which is sometimes not all that vast) as if it were their own yard,

- in West Indies - we drop one hook towards the beach and then row off and drop a lighter hook into the swell (then we will ride them fore-and-aft); something not necessary on a cat, but makes life on a little double-ended shooter much more comfortable,

- in tidal rivers, or in places where the current changes regularly - we will drop one hook 'upstream', the other 'downstream'; then we use them the Bahamian way,

- if any time bad weather gets us over less than perfect bottom and if changing the anchorage or leaving for offshore is not an option; then we will try to place the second anchor in the V,

Overall, it is always a case-by-case study and yet after 6 years of hard studying we did manage to drag in a dramatic way when downdrafts started bashing our boat off a beach in Fuerteventura last year. One learns as they go and tries to avoid mistakes made before.

PS Our next anchor&chain department project is going for a Manson / Rocna type to be 50% heavier than the Bruce we have now and upgrading by 'downgrading' to higher strength / lower size, and longer, chain.

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Old 03-09-2009, 14:32   #11
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The hardest thing to learn (based on observing boats drop hook nearby)
is where to be when you drop. Many boats drop where they want to end up! The best advise I can give- never drop alongside another boat. Drop the hook directly behind a boat with the same scope and everybody swings together and is happy.

Barnakiel- the Rocna has more than double the holding power of an equal weight Bruce. I used to have a Bruce, now use a Spade. Same idea.
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Old 03-09-2009, 15:15   #12
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The basics: Motor slowly through the area watching for currents, windpatterns etc and how the differnt boats are reacting to it.. Get a good feeling for how the boats are spaced, depth of water etc. Figure the boats around you have 5:1 scope and plan your spacing accordingly. If there are a lot of boats and some are mysteriously not anchored in a particular area... check the chart for sunken wrecks etc. You will have to assume the boats are on one anchor unless it is an obvious bridle or mooring bouy. If a boat is on a mooring bouy, then remember that boat wont swing much at all in a wind shift. Pick the spot you want your boat to end up ("boat spot"). Pick a spot directly upwind of that "boat spot" and come to a stop at a distance about 5 or 6 times the depth. Slowly let out enough scope for the anchor to reach bottom and a little more. You boat should be drifting downwind slowly. Lay out rode as you drift until you have 5:1 scope out. More is better if you have swinging room. Once the boat settles on the anchor, back down on the anchor in reverse at idle, then increase slowly to a pretty good pull (1300 rpm?) Visuallyy line up something on the boat (like a stancion) with a land mark and make sure the boat is no longer moving. You should be dug in at this point. If you noticed your rode jumping and bouncing as you backed down, be aware that you may be in an area when the bottom is not great for anchoring.... your anchor was bouncing along, but finally grabbed something... it may not be dug in.... just grabbed a rock or something like that.
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Old 03-09-2009, 16:05   #13
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Wow seems like there are a lot of different techniques for what I thought would be fairly simple. Seems like it's kind of a practice type thing. The area I will be anchoring in is not very crowded at the current time. So I should have plenty of room to "practice'. Thanks for all the advice.
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Old 03-09-2009, 17:40   #14
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So I should have plenty of room to "practice'. Thanks for all the advice.
Yes, practice. And don't worry if you drag. Its not an insult or a slight on your abilities. Just pull it up and go around again.

Sometimes its taken us 5 go's to get it set. Particularly before we got out tecnique down pat.
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Old 03-09-2009, 18:55   #15
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Don't worry if you drag - others will do it for ya!

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