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Old 01-04-2008, 10:59   #1
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Anchoring Questions


Have an anchoring question. I have a Carver 42SS Cruiser weighing in at about 12T. I had a 35lb Delta plow as my primary anchor with 150 feet of 5/8 inch chain rode.

We’re out of Miami and travel to the Bahamas and the Keys on a regular basis. Prior to this, I didn’t really think very much about anchoring over night using just the Delta plow. It held in 15-20 knot winds and I didn’t drag so thought that all was good.

Thanks to this and other forums, I went out and got a 45lb Manson Supreme and will be getting a Fortress FX-35 soon. The Manson Supreme is now my primary anchor and the two backups (Delta and Fortress) will have at least 30 feet of chain.

I believe this set of ground tackle should be sufficient for most situations I’m likely to encounter. However, have a couple of questions that I would love to see what the ‘experts’ think.

First, is a single anchor at 5-1 scope for non-storm conditions (winds below 20 knots) adequate for over night on the sand bottoms normally encountered in the Bahamas? Or are two recommended? If so, what scope for the second and which one (in addition to the Supreme), the Delta or Fortress?

The other question concerns the ‘snubber’ or ‘bridle’. Previously, I simply attached a 5 foot section of 5/8 line to the chain rode fastened to the cleat next to the windlass and ran out more chain until the chain between the snubber and windlass was slack, enabling the snubber to bear the load. This eased the shock of an all chain rode against the boat and removed the strain from the windlass.

Due to some discussions on this board, I have begun to think that perhaps a bridle might be better. Specifically, attach a 50 foot line from the port forward amidships cleat, attach the line at its halfway point to the chain (using a shackle and thimble woven into the line), attach the other end to the starboard amidships cleat and run out additional rode until the chain is slack, allowing the bridle to take the strain. Is this recommended or massively overkill?

The bottom line is that we boat for recreation, so I want to relax while swinging at anchor, not fret all night long worrying about anchor drag or inadequate snubbers/bridles or the like.

Thank you all for your insight and advice. I deeply appreciate it!

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Old 01-04-2008, 11:40   #2
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I am also in South Florida and cruise in the same waters. In the majority of cases your single primary anchor should hold fine. The exception is a few spots in the Bahamas, such as Bimini, that have significant tidle flow that reverses direction from ebb to flow. Then setting two anchors 180 degrees from each other so your boat swings in the middle is recommend. Also, the anchorage near Honeymoon Harbor near Bimini has a thin layer of sand on top of very hard coral bottom. Two anchors are recommended and do not leave the shore in your lee if you can avoid it. I woke up one morning to find my boat on the beach. Fortunately, I was able to motor off and reset without any trouble.

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Old 01-04-2008, 11:51   #3
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First, is a single anchor at 5-1 scope for non-storm conditions (winds below 20 knots) adequate for over night on the sand bottoms normally encountered in the Bahamas?
If it blew really really hard I would use 7:1 scope. 5/8 chain is massive overkill and nothing wrong with it. Actually 1/2 inch would be more like regular overkill and 3/8 would be only OK

Attaching the bridle is a good idea but I would not go all the way back to midship cleats. If you had a pair of bow chocks more forward I think it work better. It's not easy to make the attachment work well that far back. It might twist as well.

The bridle will increase your scope a tad by decreasing the sharpness of the angle plus provide two places to carry the load. With that much hardware in the water (about 150 ft @ 3.8 lbs / ft plus 45 = 650 lbs!) Pray your windlass lasts and the batteries don't go dead or you will be planted. Securing it all from one cleat is starting to be a lot. Safe working load on a heavy windlass would be about 700 lbs.

I would say you should be anchored well. The bigger problem would be those less well anchored headed for you. Adding the other anchors with this setup would really not be that important. If you really needed the other anchors you best be some place else.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:32   #4
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You've got a great anchor in the Manson Supreme. I've got the same thing. I usually anchor in 10 ft or less and nearly always put out 100 ft of 3/8 chain. I have a 5/8 nylon snubber and vary the length according to the conditions. This set up has held in 40+ knots. With your power boat I would make a bridle as you will sail at anchor quite a lot, most of the power boats I see here in the Bahamas have adopted this set up. Do not use two anchors, everyone uses one now although twenty years ago two was more popular. Now most everyone has a good anchor and all chain. As you never know when it might kick up put out 100 ft, then you've established your space, if you don't you might not have room to let out more when needed.
Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:13   #5
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Thanks to all! Appreciate your inputs!
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