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Old 08-04-2011, 20:37   #16
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded sailing; Your method?

Anchoring isn't the big thing. Just drop it when you are where want the anchor. Weighing the anchor is another story, however. If you are on a lee shore with a strong wind, an oops could be fatal. I use the autopilot with the just enough engine rpm to maintain steerage. Set the A/P heading to run down the chain to the anchor and then go forward and retrieve the chain as the boats forward motion takes the tension off. As the boat overruns the anchor, it breaks it free.

I haven't installed the windlass switch in the cockpit yet but it's number 1 on my list. If the autopilot should quit in the above situation, would want the ability to activate the windlass from the cockpit. I've been in a situation where I was anchored with the stern spitting distance to a bulkhead and the wind blowing 30k and no autopilot. Used the windlass to pull the boat to the anchor. As soon as I felt the anchor break free and begin to drag, ran back to the cockpit, steered over the anchor and into deeper water. Once I was clear of the Bulkhead and other boats, finished raising the anchor. One unintended consequence of the above was powering with the anchor dangling washed the mud off the anchor and chain.
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Old 08-04-2011, 20:52   #17
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded sailing; Your method?

Anchoring while singlehanded? Easy on this 50 footer:

1. Furl the headsail.
2. Sail to the place you want to anchor. Slow as you approach by being nearly head to wind.
3. Let the mainsheet run completely free. Make sure it really does. Note the depth.
4. Walk forward. Drop the anchor to a bit more than the depth.
5. Wait until the boat begins to turn away or back. Drop much more.
6. If people are watching do all this very calmly, with a cool look.
7. Back the main by pushing the boom to the windward side. Repeat.
8. If it is breezy, lower the main right away.

Pop open a beer. Watch the anchor for a while. Stow the sails.
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Old 09-04-2011, 00:00   #18
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded sailing; Your method?

I have no windless and a 45 mason Getting back aboard is the trick as it brings half the bottom with it I can pull it up once; twice I might can do three times no can do But I figure i need the excerise any way not first thing in the morning but that when it happens
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:04   #19
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

There is a trick I learned from a sailing/cruising magazine decades ago. Should you have problems raising an anchor or your windlass fail - you rig a long line with a chain hook/claw on one end and run the line back to a primary winch. You use the power of the primary winch to haul up the anchor in segments equal to the distance between the bow roller and your primary winch. It is not fast and requires securing the anchor rode each time you have to release the hook/line and re-attach it back at the bow. But boy is it a life/muscle saver for stuck/heavy anchors. Also keeps you from burning out a windlass due to a stuck anchor.
- - An additional variation on the procedure for an anchor that is buried under deep mud. It is to rig the line and chain hook/claw to a spare forward halyard and use the winch to haul up the halyard. This puts a purely vertical pull on the anchor which along with "bobbing" the bow can slowly work a mud buried anchor to a vertical position and up out of the mud.
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Old 09-04-2011, 08:22   #20
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
There is a trick I learned from a sailing/cruising magazine decades ago. Should you have problems raising an anchor or your windlass fail - you rig a long line with a chain hook/claw on one end and run the line back to a primary winch. You use the power of the primary winch to haul up the anchor in segments equal to the distance between the bow roller and your primary winch. It is not fast and requires securing the anchor rode each time you have to release the hook/line and re-attach it back at the bow. But boy is it a life/muscle saver for stuck/heavy anchors. Also keeps you from burning out a windlass due to a stuck anchor.
- - An additional variation on the procedure for an anchor that is buried under deep mud. It is to rig the line and chain hook/claw to a spare forward halyard and use the winch to haul up the halyard. This puts a purely vertical pull on the anchor which along with "bobbing" the bow can slowly work a mud buried anchor to a vertical position and up out of the mud.
I like your first idea -- and will keep that in mind. If you're using rope rode you could employ a rolling hitch in lieu of the chain hook.

The second idea would give me pause, however, especially in combination with bobbing the bow. The forces could be more than the design limits of the mast/rigging/sheaves, especially if you have a highly tuned racing rig that's held in column by jumpers and stays.
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Old 09-04-2011, 16:28   #21
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

If you read Brian Toss's Riggers Apprentice you will find that the design and actual loads on rigging especially stays and shrouds are extremely high. Although using a halyard to try to "overpower" the "suction" of mud on a well buried anchor might press those limits - the chain claw/grabber and lead line will most likely fail first.
- - But a load on the halyard - tightening it up - and then waiting while the intermittent forces of a bobbing boat "inch" the buried anchor to a vertical position and free of the mud takes considerable time. Last time I did it in Luperon it took almost 3 hours because I was hesitant to apply too much "brute force" via the halyard and winch. Instead the constant pressure and "nudging" of the bobbing bow worked the anchor free. The alternative was to cut loose a thousand dollar anchor and depart. So I figure $300/hour is not bad wages for patience and persistence.
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Old 09-04-2011, 16:33   #22
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

As above it is best to be heading into the wind and/or tide. As I drop mine manually best tip I have is to have an uncluttered deck for the sprint to and fro the bow!
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Old 09-04-2011, 16:58   #23
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

Double Yeah! Be sure to wear shoes/deck shoes. More than once I have raced barefoot to the foredeck only to nail a chainplate, cleat, other rather hard obstacle and done some very entertaining dances to the applause of nearby watching boats. Now I wear shoes.
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Old 09-04-2011, 17:07   #24
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

Much good advice has been given above. I do often sail to anchor and depart under sail with many of the techniques already mentioned. I furl my headsail and head up with my mizzen flat and the main slack; drop my anchor from my manual windlass to about 2:1 and step back to my main mast and drop the main, leaving the mizzen. Back to the windlass, I ease out more of my chain as I drift aft to 7:1 or more. I'm on the US East coast or Bahamas, so I'm normally anchoring in 10 to 15 feet! If I'm in a crowded anchorage or in a place with suspect holding or current and wind complications I'm not doing this. In these conditions I've put everything away with the autopilot on and I'm motoring. If I'm sailing away from anchor, also in mild conditions, I put up my main sheeted slack and leave the mizzen down. I also pull out about 15 or 20% of my headsail, but leave it sheeted slack. I retrieve my anchor with the last lift breaking away when the swing is cycling to the heading tack that I prefer. To insure this choice of tack I step back to the clew of my partially unfurled jib and pull it to my selected windward side to move my bow as I choose. Then I go back and set my main sheet and course and depending on my balance I finish adding the mizzen next and then the rest of the jib. Once again, I only choose the best conditions to play with sailing to and from anchor. With any concerns, I'm under power.
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Old 09-04-2011, 17:15   #25
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
- - An additional variation on the procedure for an anchor that is buried under deep mud. It is to rig the line and chain hook/claw to a spare forward halyard and use the winch to haul up the halyard. This puts a purely vertical pull on the anchor which along with "bobbing" the bow can slowly work a mud buried anchor to a vertical position and up out of the mud.
While I also have used the "chain hook and long line to the cockpit winch" method (works quite well, if a bit cumbersome), using a halyard instead of the windlass seems worrisome and a bit useless as well.

The masthead sheaves and axles and the halyards themselves are surely not as strong as one's anchor rode or chain and the associated bow roller. The angle of pull on the anchor is no more vertical than that of the rode after going over the roller, so all in all one is risking essential equipment without gaining a thing.

I couldn't contemplate doing such a thing myself. YMMV.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying MOrning Cove, NSW, Oz
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Old 09-04-2011, 17:24   #26
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

pickinjg up anchor , solo, i overdrive the anchor, making rode straight down from bow. i then wait for the natural motion of the water to allow the anchor to unset and pull up ---
i fall when i wear shoes on deck. would rather break another toe than fall.. done both many times. less pain with broken toe than broken back--i also know this from experience....

the folks i have seen using marker buoys on their anchors have alll drug before they were ready to exit the anchorage, as the boat during its swing , will catch/befoul the marker--usually with prop, and drag anchor out of mud/sand. is NOT a good way to awaken at 0300, national anchor drag hour. is entertainment, as those around the dragging boat need to watch out for their own boats and fend off. kinda ruins a good night's sleep, however. yes--i have watched this happen with EVERY boat that i have seen using a marker buoy on their anchor.
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Old 09-04-2011, 20:51   #27
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
While I also have used the "chain hook and long line to the cockpit winch" method (works quite well, if a bit cumbersome), using a halyard instead of the windlass seems worrisome and a bit useless as well.

The masthead sheaves and axles and the halyards themselves are surely not as strong as one's anchor rode or chain and the associated bow roller. The angle of pull on the anchor is no more vertical than that of the rode after going over the roller, so all in all one is risking essential equipment without gaining a thing.

I couldn't contemplate doing such a thing myself. YMMV.

Cheers, Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying MOrning Cove, NSW, Oz
First rule of cruising is - know your boat. Some things that one cruiser & his boat can do others cannot. In my case the mast and masthead sheaves have been replaced with high strength ball bearing sheaves and I use high modulus halyards and oversized Dyform rigging. So it works well for me especially since my windlass has burnt out before which is rather expensive. My anchors are on a meter long bow platform out ahead of the bow.
- - The theory is that making a more than 90 degree turn in the anchor rode from anchor to bow roller to windlass requires more force than a near straight upward pull. Especially on the bow roller platform. Ripping that off the boat is also rather expensive. Beside which I use boat motion to inch the anchor from the mud.
- - Only you know if your rigging, etc., is strong enough to do the job. Having tried all the other textbook anchor retrieval methods and none of them worked. I was able to get the anchor out by using the halyard. It worked where the others did not.
- - On other occasions, especially in St Thomas Charlotte Amalie I have lifter whole side sections of sunken FRG boats from the bottom that my anchor was snagged on. There I had to use a reciprocating saw to cut the sunken hull in half to free the anchor. Different strokes for different folks.

- - I applaud CaptForces ability to sail his large boat to and off anchor, now that is a real sailor for you.
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Old 09-04-2011, 21:31   #28
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

i have never used a halyard to free an anchor--even the most stuck anchor i have had has come up with my windlass-free method. i amnot a strong over built male--i am a normal sized weak female..LOl.. my anchors have never given me a difficulty when raised as i do it. i have been able to raise all my anchors this away--now i have windlass, i presume i will also overdrive my anchor until i am straight down with rode and then allow the forces of nature to do the eal work, raising the anchor with my manual windlass as it loosens then go .....
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Old 09-04-2011, 23:18   #29
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The only significant difference between singlehanded and doublehanded methods is that in singlehanded anchoring there's a bit less screaming going on.
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Old 10-04-2011, 00:11   #30
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Re: Anchoring while Singlehanded Sailing

Engineless. I use oversized gear, and in the past that has always been fisherman style anchors. This time around it will probably be plow or claw. Sail thru the anchorage and select your spot. Tack back out and have your anchor swinging below the cathead. [What do you mean, you don't have a cat head?] Rode is laid out on deck. Douse the jib, and head for your spot down wind. When appropriately placed, drop the anchor, belay when a bit more than enough is out there. The rode stops the boat, which then pivots on the hawse hole. Let her ride a bit to be sure she is not dragging. Pull up a bit to get the appropriate rode out. Drop fore staysl, fore and main at your leisure, watching your reference points to double check on the no drag situation. It requires well oversized rode, but you know you are well secured. To leave, set your main and fore, ready staysl and jib. Haul up until you are about 2 to 1, then set fore staysl, haul the hook up until it is clear of the water, and sail out of the anchorage. When crowded, this gets exciting sometimes, so I try to avoid crowded anchorages. Nuthin to it. Usually .... I also use a snubber line from bobstay fitting tied to the rode with a rolling hitch, which takes all chafe off the hawse area, and automatically increases your scope. This whole system is no doubt out of date, but appears to have worked for a few centuries. Works for me.
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