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View Poll Results: Is a combination of rope and chain better than an all chain in heavy weather?
Yes 3 50.00%
No 3 50.00%
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Old 26-09-2003, 11:36   #16
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Hi all,

Lots of good anchoring information and stories here.One of the textbooks I have mentions a technique for anchoring in heavy weather that I’ve never tried before. Maybe you guys have? Basically the concept is to set another anchor on to the main anchors rode when using a rope/chain combination.The technique is to start the engine and motor up the line of the scope taking in as you go until about half the scope has been recovered or, at least until the end of the chain is aboard. The second anchor is then shackled to the chain at least 10 feet from the end and the whole lowered again. Once the original scope has been paid out the boat will hold slightly forward of its starting position. If space allows, more scope should now be paid out to increase the total length by the maximum water depth.
Should you be setting both anchors at the same time in anticipation of a blow the two anchors can be closer together. They must always be separated by at least 1.2 times the maximum water depth. If this isn’t done subsequent recovery can be extremely difficult. Have any of you guys used this set up, and if so, how effective was it?
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Old 26-09-2003, 19:49   #17
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Anchoring

Sounds like a lot of trouble. Maybe if you have a crew aboard with nothing to do.
If single handed you would be running back and forth and maybe trip. No thanks!
I like CSY Man's statement, a bigger anchor.

I had a situation last Tuesday (The boat is 14,000#). I anchored in Penn Cove here in the Puget Sound with a 35# Danforth in the mud. Just after dark the wind started whipping over the narrow land mass at about 30 MPH and I started dragging. I got up on deck and started the motor just in case. Pulled out my 14# Delta on a half inch line and gave it a toss. In 20 ft of water I let out 100 foot of line. The boat came to a screaming halt.
I believe I spent the whole night on that 14#er. When I weighted anchor(s) in the morning The Danforth was hardly dirty and the Delta sucked up about a pound of mud with it. Each anchor had 20' of chain and the scope on the Danf. was 140 ' and still wouldn't hold.
I'll be buying me a BIG Delta here real soon and save that ole Danf. for the rocks. I must have drug that Danf. a half a mile before the Delta was deployed. Came within inches of hitting another boat but had the motor running in case
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Old 26-09-2003, 21:40   #18
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delmarrey,

I wasn't advocating the procedure I described, but just asking if anyone had heard of it or tried it. I'm with you on the Delta anchor. I carry a Delta and Danforth on my boat also. Prior to getting the Delta, I had a CQR. It worked very well too. IMO though, the Delta does just as good a job for a lot less money. In a normal anchoring scenario, I use my Delta as my primary anchor(depending on bottom conditions) and it usually does the job. If it's really blowing, I'll set my second anchor. I usually single-hand my boat,and that's why I thought the two anchors on one rode in a blow is an interesting concept. I have a remote for my autopilot mounted at the bow so that I can steer the boat from there. I don't like to spend anymore time on the bow in a blow than is necessary, so I thought it might be easier to motor forward while pulling in on the main rode, then attach my second anchor with a short rode to the main anchor rode, drop it back over,and then fall back off. It might be easier than setting another anchor with it's own rode.I'm also with CSY Man on the heavier anchor concept. The weights of my anchors,and size of the rodes are both over-sized for my size of boat (26 feet) so I don' t think rope break out would be a issue.On both the boats I've had,I've over-sized all the ground tackle.It was one of those items where bigger just felt better (I guess that could be interpeted as a sexist statement? UU ) , but the concept has worked well for me. I've never had much problem with dragging anchor, except in some real nasty conditions. For those,I fall back to "plan B", more rum
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Old 26-09-2003, 22:02   #19
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delmarry...your own post points out it's not just a matter of size...your "big" anchor didn't hold..... to live up to it's excellent reputation, a danforth style anchor needs plenty of scope, and a STEADY pull from ONE direction in the bottom right conditions....Use the right anchor and rode combination for the conditions above the water and below it... but I do agree with you not to skimp on the size of your anchor ....setting is as important in the equation as anything else..... "I Pulled out my 14# Delta on a half inch line and gave it a toss" is also problamatic..if you "gave it a toss" you are lucky it wasn't fouled by its own cable... I mean no disrespect at all, as I am sure you are very learned in the skills of sailing...I am sure you choose your anchors with care and thought...I am sure you chose your anchorages with care and thought...using two anchors is more difficult...so is reefing down sometimes...Doing it in a seaman like manner isn't always doing it in the easiest manner with all respect...But most every vessel deserves more than one anchor, most at least 3, and many, such as mine, will put 4 or 5 to good use...Change anchors like you change shirts. What works today? My two cents anyway

stede ......The method you refer to is called "tandem anchoring" and works especially great if you are being blown onto a lee shore... You prep the kedge, (mine is at set length of 30 feet to the attachment to the main cable) attach it's cable to the crown of the main bowser, and, veer most of the chain and cleat...if it is really expected to get stinking, and you have chosen this method, try taking it a step further: I take it a step farther by attaching a mooring swivel to the end of the chain, fasten two nylon warps to the inboard eye of the swivel, and then taking the warps back to the main winches, mine are designed and installed to take heavy loads, and secure them there... Then a hot ( or cold)drink in the cockpit !
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Old 27-09-2003, 00:03   #20
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Seamanship

Brad, well giving a toss was a bad discription. I guess I just don't talk like a seaman being a gearjammer and all. The point I was trying to make is that the 14# Delta with 20' of chain has always been my security back up. I would use it all the time but it looks kinda funny with that little anchor hanging off the front of a 40' sloop. What I should of said is I should get a larger Delta to fit the boat. I have yet to ever have it drag. But without a windless I hesitate. Were as the Damn Danforth looses it almost everytime the wind picks up even with the 7+:1 scope and adding 50 ft. of chain. All chain is out of the question.
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Old 27-09-2003, 03:07   #21
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Anchoring

Great thread! We are beginning to develop a partial consensus regarding some of the important principles of effective anchoring. Am I summarizing the fundamentals fairly?

1. To Size & weight:
BIGGER is BETTER!

2. To quantity:
MORE is BETTER!

3. To Type:
DIVERSITY is BETTER!

4. To Technique:
Get a GOOD SET!
Deploy MORE SCOPE!

5. To Rode Types (Chain vs Line & vs Combinations):
SOME CHAIN is REQUIRED.
MORE CHAIN is BETTER - But ONLY IF you can HANDLE IT.
SOME ROPE is REQUIRED (either as rode, or as a snubber).

6. Towards a bottom line:
There is NO SINGLE AXIOMATIC RIGHT ANSWER. (ie: See fundamentals #2 & 3)

7. And my, so far unsupported, contention:
MAKE it EASY - KEEP it SIMPLE!

Footnotes to fundamentals:

1. I think that Anchor Size is more important than Anchor Weight. Some weight, in the right place, helps an anchor to set; but (once set) adds little to the ultimate holding power of the anchor. It is (more) the buried area, and it’s geometry, that limit the Anchor’s holding power. Notwithstanding, even a Small/Light Anchor can support surprisingly high loading - if it is WELL SET, with ADEQUATE SCOPE (See also Fundamental 4 and Delmarrey’s anecdote).

2 & 3. It’s not likely practical to carry a (tho’ desirable under KISS) SINGLE Anchor Assembly, Large, Strong, and Long enough to support any conceivable conditions. A multiplicity of Anchor Assemblies will give you the flexibility to respond to new, different, and changing conditions. It will also provide back-up in case of failure and/or loss.

4. It takes skill to properly utilize even the best equipment. The best recipe utilized on the best stove in the world will not make me a blue ribbon chef.

5. Chain is wonderful stuff - but it’s major advantages are also it’s major failings (weight & strength/inelasticity).

Rope also has a shared advantage-disadvantage in it's elasticity. If there is a long distance between a fairlead (or other chafe point) and the cleat, there is a greater amount of stretch and movement across the fairlead. This heats & chafes the line. Keep Cleats as close to Fairleads as possible!

Every time I think I'm about done - something else occurs to me, or someone else raises another excellent (or controversial) point.
OMO
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Old 27-09-2003, 06:29   #22
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Anchors anyone ?

Wow ! Everytime this subject comes up ( oops, quess the object of anchoring is to stay down ) I suck up every opinion I can. I have a vested interest in the shape and condition of whats attached to my fundiment carrier, and a fairly stable resting boat location is necessary for that. I offer a new subject of interest( at least I'm interested) of maybe designing the perfect anchor. A combination of all the anchors that have gone before ! My idea- a SINGLE fluke anchor with the fluke shaped like a Danforth, only with the fluke hung in the middle of a U- shaped shank. In order to penetrate rocks, make the flukes' pointy end shaped like a railroad spike, slowly curving outward to the width of both flukes combined of a sixty pound Danforth. Put most of the weight in the tip of the fluke. The fluke could be pivoted ala the Danforth. Hmmm. This sounds good. Think 'll make one up and give it a try in the back yard.
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Old 27-09-2003, 07:36   #23
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This here thread is gaining scope now...

Well, just a couple of comments on anchor size and such.

A friend bought a big heavy CSY 44 Pilot House recently and as usual it came with anchor gear that was not up to any kind of snuff, except for casual week-end cruising in good weather.

I advised him to inspect everything carefully then think about serious upgrading..

The two anchors on the bow was a 44# Delta and a 44# Bruce.
The Delta should give good service as a back-up anchor, but the Bruce only has about 1800 lbs of total holding power and belongs on a smaller boat...(Yes, I know the Bruce anchors are popular and sets easily with a short cope and all that, but since the holding power is limited, a much bigger size is indeed required. Another friend with the same kind of boat is using a 110# Bruce for primary....)

The rodes that came with this boat was some old rusted BBB chain and thin nylon with ruststains..Not good for anything but the marina dumpster.

We selected a Delta 88# for primary anchor, 250 of 3/8 HT G4 for rode and a Lofran Falcon for windlass..(Normal price about $4K, we got it for $2,600)
Had to rewire the windlass with much heavier wire and up/down swithces and such, glass in old holes in deck and make new ones, build in huge backing plate under deck, etc...Pretty big job.

Also took the anchor platform off, had bigger pins for the rollers manufactored and re-bolted the platform with monell bolts and caulked it with Sika 292.

He also needs to get 2 more rodes and a stern anchor as well as a big aluminum hurricane hook.

When the whole job is done next week, my friend is ready for his circumnavigation.

Total cost for the project will probably be around $7K.

Conclusion:
Bigger is better, but also much more expensive.

He should be sleeping pretty good at night.....

Somebody said earlier that one should be able to get the anchors up even if the windlass failed, except on really big yachts.
Perhaps so, but in a pinch cockpit winches could be used to retrive ground tackle I should think...?

Had the problem on my boat once: Old windlass was off the boat and the new one on order.
Anchored behind Virginia Key in Miami and when the time came for leaving, I was alone on the boat and the chain covered in soft mud. (I guess all mud is kind of soft, but this mud was like grease )

I tried to lift the 55# Delta of the bottom but the chain just slipped thru meh fingers, slick as snot.
Was barely able to retrive the anchor by using lots of fresh water and a roll of paper towels...What a mess.
The Delta by the way can be kind be hard to set in soft mud, sometimes it takes 2 or 3 tries and one must increase pull very slowly and very carefully, then it will dig in, and it will also hold at 2000 RPM in reverse.

Here is my favorite anchor story:

I was a new boat-owner and had no experience.
2AM in Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas aboard my 44' Bermuda yawl with my wife, sleeping off too much rum.
On the bottom was a 35# Danforth with some chain and some line.
The boat was our home and we could not afford insurance on it.

Woke up from a squall that shakes the boat and howls in the rig.
Dark, rainy and stormy night for sure.
I go back to the cockpit and notice we are dragging backwards at a fairly good clip.
Have no back-up anchor to throw over the side and the rocks are getting close behind us.

Turn the ignition on and attempt to start the engine.....No cigar, the solenoid goes click, click. Dead batteries..
Hmm, not good, now what...?

Dive into the bilge with my tool box and disconnect the car batteries, clean the terminals with sand paper and figure I may have one attempt at starting the engine, and sure enough, it turns over and fires up..

With the rocks now really close behind us, we motor forward and get the hook up, then find our way over to the main harbor and put the anchor down again at abour 5AM.

Later that morning I go to the store and buy the biggest anchors they have in the stock and 2 huge truck batteries. Got all that stuff installed and started sleeping good again.

(I bought a 45 # CQR and a 66 # Bruce then, and also a 12# High Tensile Danforth for a lunch hook and stern anchor.)

The moral of the story: Listen to the old salts when they tell ya that Lindbergh Bay has poor holding
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Old 27-09-2003, 13:11   #24
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true/false

Ocean going tow boats use a long cable or chain that sinks or slacks (not river tows, here in brown water country "tow" means "push"). This slack, or the distance that the line sinks below surface is called the catenary & it provides spring to the line that minimizes strain (shock loadings) on fittings.

This concept doesn't apply to anchor rode ? I'm thinking that this is just what the old salt had in mind when he said "mo' scope". If so (regardless of tensile strength) a heavy anchor rode is a good anchor rode ... true/false ?

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Old 27-09-2003, 13:21   #25
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Gord...I agree with almost everything you observed ! Of course what fun would it be if I agreed with EVERYTHING ...Couple observations and thoughts....

RE:

1)To Size & weight: When you really "need" the weight over the physical size, is when the anchor needs to re-set itself. Another point is brut strength: It would be impossible to have a "strong" large sized anchor, without enough weight to also make it heavy...I mean imagine an anchor, lets say a CQR, with a 42" span across the top crown, that wieghted only 25 pounds....It would be so thin as to surely break or bend! I believe that heavier is paramount to good, dependable holding, though some newer lighter anchors ( the Bullwalla) are reported to work pretty well at a somewhat lighter wieght...

5) To Rode Types: Chain actually DOES have a form of "Elasticity"...It is true that your anchor cable must have some give so that as the vessel pitches in a seaway the lift of the bow won't be transmitted directly to the anchor...Some sailors like BIG heavy chain and its canatery effect to provide the necessary "elasticity"...Others like thier "elasticity" to come from the stretchyness of rope like nylon...If you have all chain rode, also have a rope cable for rowing out an extra anchor!

7) I would support you contention: Though, say it a bit differently...Make it as simple as you safely can, remembering that what may SEEM the simplist solution, isn't the simplist if it fails to do the job, or just plain fails...If you can't make it simple, make it up ahead of time and keep it stowed in an easy to find and get to location...Keep your anchoring shackles, pin grease, wires , tools and anchoring needs in the same simple location, altogether, so you can move quickly when needed with out confusion and strife. Do the simple things ahead of time to simplify what you will need to do when you are being blown away from where you want to keep her...

Anchoring is wonderful business...Some of the best times in a boat are coming to anchor and getting underway from anchor, because both are filled with excitement and anticipation...the ending of a voyage or the beginning of a new one...Learn the business of anchoring well is probably the best principle of the fundamentals of keeping her where you want her!

I think you came up with a Great list of principles of fundamentals of anchoring Gord, thank you...
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Old 27-09-2003, 13:28   #26
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Troubledour

"This concept doesn't apply to anchor rode ?"

Yes it does...

"I'm thinking that this is just what the old salt had in mind when he said "mo' scope"."

Yes, he did...also veering more cable puts a more horizontal pull on the anchor...anchors love horizontal pull, and hate vertical pull


"If so (regardless of tensile strength) a heavy anchor rode is a good anchor rode ... true/false ?"

True...if you've got a windless, or a strong teenager on the crew!!

Seriously, generally speaking a heavy rode is a good road, but it does need to be strong and managable...weight down near the anchor is more beneficial than up near the boat...and remember, you don't want to much weight in your anchor locker as to affect your boat and her particular sailing characteristics......
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Old 28-09-2003, 06:21   #27
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Well, when too many folk start to (more or less) agree with me - I think it’s time to re-examine my position
Nonetheless, we (the collective, not the royal) are beginning to write the book on anchoring. Lots of good experience here, so keep it coming!

To: 29Cascadefixer:
Your proposed single fluke design sounds reminiscent of the “Barnacle” anchor - tho’ it’s a single shank. I’ve no experience with these, but I’m “intuitively” suspicious of the concept.
http://www.barnacleanchors.com/anchors/dimensions.html
http://www.barnacleanchors.com/anchors/dimensions.html

In any case, if you do build one; I’d be very interested to see your prototype, and any observations as to it’s effectiveness.

To: Bradley:

1) Size vs Weight:

I agree with your implied contention that heavier anchors generally re-set better than lighter ones. A definite advantage with heavier anchors.

Most good anchors are strong enough to withstand the holding power of their effective area. Knock-off “trash” anchors may not be strong enough.

One notable exception might be the Aluminum Fortress, which has reportedly suffered from some bent flukes & shanks. I attribute these failures to the anchor’s tremendous holding power (when properly set), and view them as an “engineered failure mode”, and therefor not a fatal handicap.

When comparing two anchors of the same weight (my limiting factor), the Fortress is hugely larger with consequently greater holding power than the same weight Plow type.
ie: A 32 Lb Fortress ‘FX-55' measures presents roughly twice the area (tho’ /w differing geometry) 46" W x 27"L (Fluke), and is rated for (up to) a 58' boat;
compared to a heavier 35 Lb. “CQR” is only 40" x 13" and similarly rated for a 45' boat.
Everything has an ultimate failure mode - and I suppose I’d choose an anchor that holds ‘till it breaks/bends.

All of the “lightweight” anchors require a gentle first set and a “soaking in” period (then really hard pull) to achieve a really good bight.
It is somewhat disconcerting to watch a Fortress float, like a leaf in the wind, towards the bottom - but, then, none of them hold ‘till their down.

5) Chain Catenary = Elasticity

I agree on both points: chain has some elasticity due to catenary & weight, and requires a back-up for dinghy deployment.

7) You’re right, I simplified the statement too much! Less is more, only when it’s enough.

Everything I propose is premised upon the practical compromises that my boat & crew impose upon the ideal(s0 . I’ve found weight to be MY over-riding limitation, but others may be faced with differing imperatives, which will suggest alternative strategies. I'd like to hear more of them.

OMHO
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Old 28-09-2003, 08:17   #28
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Hi Gord and all,

You know, I considered buying a barnacle anchor,if for nothing else,the name. I could see myself at the wheel barking the order,

" Arrrrhhh....drop de barnacle me laddy!Let er dig er claw thru de muck,rite down to de heart of Davie Jones lockr!,arrrhhh!!"

Seriously, I did look at this anchor and it did offer some interesting features. One big problem I had with it though was the fact that it wouldn't fit on my anchor roller.
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Old 28-09-2003, 20:46   #29
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first anchor

My first will be my lawn mower, can't wait to grace the bow of my new home with that suddenly & agreeably obsolete hardware. I won't even mind flushing the oil from the engine first & I certainly won't mind sticking it irretrievably. arrrrGHH

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Old 29-09-2003, 03:35   #30
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Stretch

Stretch (elasticity) can be a good thing, and not.

When a rope stretches under load, it’s heated up and it (obviously) lengthens; with (3) deleterious effects:

1) Heat is BAD for rope.

2) As an anchor rode stretches and contracts it moves. The more stretch, the more movement. The more rope length, the more movement. If this movement takes place over a fairlead (or not so “fair” lead), it saws on the rope (chafe).
It should be obvious, therefore, that we want to limit the distance over which a rope “saws” on the fairlead. This requires placement of the cleat (bollard or other belaying point) as close to the fairlead as is practical. Unfortunately, most boat-builders (& many owners) don’t pay enough attention to this detail, and we often see mooring cleats mounted well aft of their associated fairleads.

I suggest that cleats be placed within 12" of their fairleads, unless other compelling circumstances prevent.

CLOSER is BETTER (fairleads and cleats).

3) Possible “backlash” (if it breaks).

... other ???

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