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Old 01-12-2008, 13:10   #16
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It's hard to generalize about anything - anchoring included. I use an Maxwell 1100 with all chain and have up and down foot switches at the bow and a remote at the helm (next to the auto pilot controls).

Under most conditions I can use the catenary to get the boat moving to the anchor with enough way on to break it out. In fact, the only time it DIDN'T break out was when it was fouled on something down below... and no engine maneuvers helped and had to dive.

Just getting the snubber off (in a big blow esxpecially!) means you have to be at the bow. And with the rode bar tight you would HAVE to have the motor in forward to ease the tension. I don't know that I would like to be hanging on to chain under those conditions.

One has to deal with these situations on a case by case basis and sometimes you need to drop your anchor and set a float and come back and retrieve it when things calm down. It's unlikely that anyone will nick it in a blow.

However, a windlass makes singlehanded anchoring almost pleasurable and certainly less stressful. However, one needs to have the right anchor, rode, roller, snubber, windlass, control locations and so forth to make this work.
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Old 02-12-2008, 08:28   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
I have a manual windlass, SL 555, on a 42' boat with 200' of chain.

Unless it's dead calm or I'm in a very big anchorage with LOTS of room, I can't imagine how I'd get the anchor down singlehanded. Letting the clutch fly sends the anchor down pretty fast if I'm not there slipping the clutch. So it would seem I would have to have the boat moving slightly back when I start the chain out. Simple enough if it's calm but with any breeze or in a tight spot that all seems way to easy to run into issues.

Experiences?
Easy-peasy. I loosen the hook (ordinarily catted down while underway) and have it ready to drop before getting to the anchorage. When I get to the where the hook will go down, I drop something like double the water depth in rode, and either let the boat drift back or, on occasion, use a shot of reverse (means sprinting to the helm and back - easier to let the wind do the work) to stretch out the chain. Once it looks as though the pile of chain is paid out, I veer out more chain, let the boat take it up, veer out more chain, drift, until I'm close to the intended scope is out. At that point I back the boat and 9 times out of 10 I'm done.

This is with a 24,000 lb Baba 35, 3/8" BBB chain, a 35 lb CQR, and an S-L one speed manual windlass. YMMV.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:18   #18
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Two questions: Does anyone seriously backwind the jib or the main ( as in securing them to a cleat) to dig the anchor in deeper? And does anyone ever anchor on the fly- stay on sail but bring in the jib and mainsheet to midline(in a run, going slowly, a few knots), drop the anchor and increase the friction while playing it out, thus setting the anchor and turning your boat into the wind with one action. I have done this with a smaller yacht, but have never tried it with a larger one. I think it would be too dangerous. But it works like a dream on a 23 ft Compac.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:30   #19
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newt, We have done it on more than one occasion, dropping the anchor while still making forward speed that is. Or Mariner 40 displaces 15 tons so it is a bit larger than a Compac. The cautions are, you need to be moving slowly, very important, and your bow roller, windlass, etc. will need to take the load when the anchor digs in, very, very important. If you know your boat and gear well enough it can be done safely. Of course I am not an anchoring expert, just my personal view.
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Old 02-12-2008, 19:48   #20
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Anchor with main and jib set? No, but we do with with the main set and the jib rolled in before we're ready to anchor. I wouldn't trust my skills to do it in a tight anchorage but with a bit of room, no worries.
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Old 02-12-2008, 22:40   #21
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I've done it and often do with either the main or headsail but not both unless it almost a zero breeze situation. My boat can accelerate very quickly so I lose one sail before I start to park 'just in case'. I have done it going forward but try real hard not too, nearly plumb bow - chain - paintwork, an evil mix.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:00   #22
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The best part of my yacht...

... is my anchor set up. Very important!

I consider the ability to stay in one intended place, of cardinal importance.
I have a 1000 Watt Goiot windlass (fitted with a 1200 Watt electric motor), 125 meters of 10 mm chain and a 30 kg Delta clone. I also have three lots of switches. The main one at the end of a cable, forward and two in the cockpit.

(Apologies to my American and British friends about my metric units. Now you know how I feel when I read your ft and pounds)

Why three/two sets of switches? It has been known for a single switch to fail...

As you, experienced sailors, surely discern, everything is over the minimum requirements.

Putting the anchor down is really easy.

The first and very important considerations are the quality of the bottom and the depth. I like the least possible depth -scope- as long as I do not end up on the sand/pebbles/rocks of the shore or another boat.

Approaching my intended spot, I slow down to less than 1 kt. get my motor to neutral and when I'm where I want to be, I just flick the starboard cockpit switch - I'm right handed. (Naturally the anchor is already hanging down just poised over the bow roller.)

Unless there is a hurricane I don't worry about the wind. I let it turn my bow down wind thus laying the chain along the bottom.

Having paid out what I guess is about 3 times the depth, I just sit/stand/dance a jig, at the helm looking dead ahead. I expect my bows to turn down wind, at first, and then (as the chain tightens) to turn back up wind. Then perhaps I add more chain to taste. If the landscape is moving forward (yacht does not stop dead) I let go more chain. I have enough for a 25:1 scope at a depth of 5 metres, should be enough? I rarely use it all.

I do not reverse to set my anchor. If I have any doubts, I motor forward to almost where the anchor was dropped, stop my prop and wait to feel the characteristic jolt which tells me that the anchor has set.
I can now stop the noise of my motor.

Getting away, I switch on my motor and rev up to 1500 rpm without the prop turning. I then go forward and sit with my leg hanging into the chain well and the switch box in my hand. The leg is to flake the chain forward as it comes up or else the whole thing jams. This is the down side of having this much chain.

If there is wind there is also wave. I interrupt the motor when the bows go up and resume when the bows dip.

As I get near my anchor the bows may start to drift down wind. This is good news. It means there is no giant octopus or such holding on to anchor.
When the anchor is back on its perch, I return to the cockpit with some
haste if there is wind and a lee shore or another yacht in the area.

-------------------------------------------
If retrieval of the anchor is interrupted - many ways this can happen as a corollary of Sod's Law - I judge whether the anchor is still holding or not. If it is, I have a negotiation with Mr. Sod and if not, I just motor away dragging my anchor and keep Mr. Sod waiting until a better time.
-------------------------------------------
If the windlass stubbornly refuses ( Oh yes! It is possible!) I lift my anchor using two lines, alternately attached to the chain with a rolling hitch and led to suitable winches. On a smaller yacht it would be the genoa winches.

It is slow, it may hurt, but it is possible.
I put this in for those with manual or no windlasses.
I find it easier. Faster than the ratchetting or brute strength which I have not.
-------------------------------------------
Now let us imagine we have no motor to get us to our anchorage ( is this also possible? Ask me...) but we have sail(s). We sail up to where we want the anchor to be dropped, luff into the wind, let go the sheet(s) and drop it with enough scope to stop. Then we take the sails away/down.
The only precaution is that there are no other/better captains in the area who you have ommitted to advise about your predicament and insist on offering advice, mixed with abuse (this is aso very possible).
No problem if it happens... just unpleasant.
--------------------------------------------
I could go on with ths subject but enough ...

Fair winds and may you have a millimeter to spare below your keel

Aris
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:07   #23
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Sorry about the spelling above
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Old 03-12-2008, 18:01   #24
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I use a technique similar to Skip, but i have foot switches and don't flake the chain as it drops into the locker whose lid is closed so I can stand at the bow.

I let the wind in most cases push the boat down wind and set the hook. I rarely use the motor to set it, except when the winds are so light that they won't.
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