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Old 14-06-2011, 22:49   #61
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Re: Idiot needs anchoring advice (please)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisnCate View Post
...
Drop stern hook with 4 to 1 rode flaked on the aft deck ready to pay out (watch for tangles with deck hardware - careful)
Pull in on the windlass till you have 6 to 1 on the front hook, 4 to 1 on the aft hook - remove chain rode from windlass and hook to snubber
Wrap the nylon rode that's on the aft hook around a sheet winch, and crank it in till it's bar taut and you are sure the front hook is set (as well as the aft)
*Leave the aft rode taut and watch it for 20 minutes - if it slacks up you aren't set

That ought to do it, your set and in control of your swing - if it doesn't - just try again.

Leave both hooks down (remember, you made sure you were far enough that no one would swing into you), you're not going anywhere and you now have a few options if others begin to act the fool in the anchorage. You can always pull the aft hook up at any point once you are sure you're set if need be.

Best of luck!

Edit: Forgot to mention - before you drop the hooks pick which way you want to face, to the wind, to a current, to the waves, to powerboat wakes, etc..
I think stern anchoring is a great tool to have in the tool kit when anchoring (for example, when you want to hold your nose into a swell), but it has some drawbacks that need to be understood.

- You won't swing (which is sort of the point), so you better be tucked off in the corner somewhere where you won't screw up the rest of the anchorage which will be swinging in unison. All the boats in an area have to use a similar anchoring technique to be able to fit a decent density of boats in. One rogue will really screw things up.

- Your boat won't self adjust to changing conditions, so it helps if you have some sort of idea of what will be coming at you during the night.

- Most importantly, any side forces on your boat will be multiplied by the geometry of the situation. I've dragged an anchor with a stern tie because of this effect. The explanation has to do with force vector's so it's pretty hard to explain in words. If anyone's interested, I can draw it out and upload a picture. The basic summary is that if a boat can swing, the force on the rode is always just equal to the force on the boat. If it can't swing, and if the rodes are even a little bit tight, you'll get a surprising force multiplication. With a large angle between the rodes (approaching 180 degrees) side force on the boat will be multiplied many times so that a 500 pound force on the beam (and you already have a larger force because you have so much more windage beam-on) may put 2000 pounds of tension on each anchor rode (formula is T=F/cos(theta) where theta is the small angle between your rode and the line between the two anchors)! The result will be that one of your anchors will drag until the angle between the rodes is large enough that the force on the rode is reduced and the boat comes into a new equilibrium. In our case we were aground before the new equilibrium was found (or at least bouncing the keel off a rock on each wave). The key is to leave plenty of slack if you're expecting any side loading.
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Old 14-06-2011, 22:52   #62
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Re: Idiot needs anchoring advice (please)

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Originally Posted by svcambria View Post
You can tie the helm off to one side if you have current, tie the anchor snubber off to one side, drop a second anchor at 1:1 scope to stop swing, stern anchor if others have them, etc etc etc which become familiar the more you practice anchoring...

Michael
I love the idea of lashing the helm in a current. I haven't seen that one before. I'm also looking forward to trying the snubber on one side trick next time I anchor. I love that idea for reducing sailing around the anchor.
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Old 14-06-2011, 23:02   #63
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Re: Idiot needs anchoring advice (please)

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
I think stern anchoring is a great tool to have in the tool kit when anchoring (for example, when you want to hold your nose into a swell), but it has some drawbacks that need to be understood.

- You won't swing (which is sort of the point), so you better be tucked off in the corner somewhere where you won't screw up the rest of the anchorage which will be swinging in unison. All the boats in an area have to use a similar anchoring technique to be able to fit a decent density of boats in. One rogue will really screw things up.

- Your boat won't self adjust to changing conditions, so it helps if you have some sort of idea of what will be coming at you during the night.

- Most importantly, any side forces on your boat will be multiplied by the geometry of the situation. I've dragged an anchor with a stern tie because of this effect. The explanation has to do with force vector's so it's pretty hard to explain in words. If anyone's interested, I can draw it out and upload a picture. The basic summary is that if a boat can swing, the force on the rode is always just equal to the force on the boat. If it can't swing, and if the rodes are even a little bit tight, you'll get a surprising force multiplication. With a large angle between the rodes (approaching 180 degrees) side force on the boat will be multiplied many times so that a 500 pound force on the beam (and you already have a larger force because you have so much more windage beam-on) may put 2000 pounds of tension on each anchor rode (formula is T=F/cos(theta) where theta is the small angle between your rode and the line between the two anchors)! The result will be that one of your anchors will drag until the angle between the rodes is large enough that the force on the rode is reduced and the boat comes into a new equilibrium. In our case we were aground before the new equilibrium was found (or at least bouncing the keel off a rock on each wave). The key is to leave plenty of slack if you're expecting any side loading.
I tried to convey in my post, a sense of awareness to the op regarding others in the anchorage and forethought to how and why you want to set yourself for the night. Also mentioned that you can pull the stern hook at anytime if needed, if conditions warrant.

I think for a beginner, the aft hook adds a measure of control and option that will help with the entire experience. It does need to be done right though, and definitely out of range of others and with consideration of current conditions as well as anticipated conditions.
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Old 14-06-2011, 23:45   #64
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Re: Idiot needs anchoring advice (please)

These are great things to learn but practice this during your day stops and get a ball @ night. Sleep is really important so that you don't make big mistakes during the day and put you crew at risk. I did 10 days in the bvi's a couple years ago and there are moorings balls everywhere. Also keep in mind most charter boats aren't really set up to really anchor safely. I used to work in the business as a skipper so spent plenty of time on these boats.
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Old 15-06-2011, 05:19   #65
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Re: Idiot Needs Anchoring Advice ( Please )

Anchorage Etiquette

But ain't really rules that cover everything. Sometimes you just have to accept that it is less an anchorage and more a parking lot - especially in popular areas during the daytime.
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Old 15-06-2011, 06:23   #66
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Re: Idiot Needs Anchoring Advice ( Please )

OK, so seriously this is a week charter in the BVI. Almost every overnight spot has mooring balls. Every overnight spot has a bar close by ... Willie T's, Pirates, Foxy's (I did say almost - Foxy's has no mooring balls but the next bay does) Last Resort, Bitter End, Saba Rock etc etc etc. Why would you want to worry about swing room and dragging the anchor all night when full of Pain Killers or Dark and Stormies - it is a vacation after all. If you are not in one of those places then water gets very deep very quickly so your anchor is kinda useless. The mid day anchoring for snorkeling and stuff just takes common sense and normal anchor rules. When down there we don't stop sailing during the day and always take the long hauls between bars - oops - bays, grab a mooring ball and relax.
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Old 15-06-2011, 06:37   #67
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Re: Idiot needs anchoring advice (please)

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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
I'm thinking I should have pulled anchor and went substantially further out but it was 11:00pm
I agree. If I was last to anchor I would have moved out.
The time of night doesn't matter. (Putting out fenders just means you know you can hit, so therefore you should move).

The difficulty of reanchoring at night is in the mind. OK its a little more difficult. Just do it calmly and slowly and really work on your judging of distances which is difficult at night.

Its good practice for an emergency when you might have to do it if you drag in 30 knots.

What we are kinda aiming to do is be able to run the boat 24 hours per day. Dark being exactly the same as light.



Have fun.
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Old 15-06-2011, 06:49   #68
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Re: Idiot Needs Anchoring Advice ( Please )

By the way, there's another trick.

If you are being backwinded and the other boat isn't then there can't be much wind at all. Perhaps you can start your engine and drag your chain away from the other boat. Levae the pick where it is, but move the chain.


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Old 15-06-2011, 08:27   #69
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Re: Idiot needs anchoring advice (please)

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
But, if you do this you will NEVER become a competent anchorer, and hence never a competent sailor/cruiser



Hey, back off, mate! This guy is asking reasonable questions ahead of time, trying to avoid being the goat in a utube sensational flick. Seems to me that he should be encouraged, not made fun of.

Cheers
It was meant as a joke.
Sorry if it wasn't taken that way.

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Old 15-06-2011, 09:00   #70
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Re: Idiot Needs Anchoring Advice ( Please )

Specifically to the BVI's there are mooring fields at just about all the "popular" sites. They were installed and sponsored by the charter companies that were getting tired of all the boat damage resulting from "newbie" and some "oldie" charterers who did not know how to anchor.
- - In those places it is wisest and safest to your "security deposit" to take a mooring.
- - But there are other places - like Salt Island - which are not so popular with the masses of charterers and moorings are very rare. So if you want to visit these places you need to anchor.
- - Early in this thread, Bash (post #13) pretty much summed up the important points.
- - The most prevalent errors made which a newbie is to not stop the boat before dropping the anchor. In anchorages consisting of sand and grass you generally want to drop the anchor in the sand patch. This is where the person on the bow is very important to indicate when the bow is over the sand patch. If there is a good wind then going a little upwind of the patch, stopping the boat, and letting the wind drift you back works quite well.
- - Secondly, a slow drift back or rearward motion is important to lay out the anchor rode. I see way too many folks ripping the boat into max reverse (especially power boaters) and then dropping the anchor. As stated by others the result is the anchor hop, skip and jumping along the bottom. I saw one case where the guy's anchor grabbed something and the bow of the bow dipped almost into the water before the anchor rode snapped.
- - One other, amongst the good suggestions offered, it to be aware that the other guy's anchor is not under his bow but 3 or more boat lengths ahead of him (except for power boats which attempt to anchor with 1:1 or 1:2 scope). In judging your "interference" during swings due to wind or current you need to clear his anchor and rode, not just his boat.
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Old 15-06-2011, 10:40   #71
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Re: Idiot Needs Anchoring Advice ( Please )

Ha - we anchor out at a fair bit but have never picked up a mooring and are scared of them....

Our sailing course skipped anchoring, our first use of the anchor was actually inside our marina when the engine cut out - slightly stressful but good holding! After this we started stopping for lunch on the hook (plus a few practice runs) and after a few weekends doing that got up the guts to stay out overnight. Eventually we left the boat on the hook and went to town - I was amazed it was still there when we got back

After dragging while backing down in a couple of exposed locations with fairly hard bottoms we now drop the hook using Boracay's 3:1 and cup of tea strategy. This is working so far.... but there's no shame to picking up and trying again, people have to do it all the time and you get a MUCH better night's sleep if you are more secure in positioning and holding. The theory is that it gives the anchor time to do its thing and bury that wedge in the bottom, when you do back down it then has a chance to dig in. We do make sure it gets a little nudge first, just enough to straighten the chain out and point the hook in the right direction. Normally the wind will do this naturally.

Hand signals are a must. Even with inexperienced crew I've run through basic signals and we have always had calm experiences while I watch other boats have shouting matches all the time!

Enjoy your trip and enjoy the freedom that anchoring gives you!
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Old 15-06-2011, 10:42   #72
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Re: Idiot needs anchoring advice (please)

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I agree. If I was last to anchor I would have moved out.
The time of night doesn't matter. (Putting out fenders just means you know you can hit, so therefore you should move).

The difficulty of reanchoring at night is in the mind. OK its a little more difficult. Just do it calmly and slowly and really work on your judging of distances which is difficult at night.

Its good practice for an emergency when you might have to do it if you drag in 30 knots.

What we are kinda aiming to do is be able to run the boat 24 hours per day. Dark being exactly the same as light.



Have fun.
I definatly screwed up and agree, I should have moved. Threre really shouldn't have been any dificulty in navagating back through all the boats to re-anchor further out. I'm still not sure why Palarran backwinds so much differently then others around me. This was the second time that it's happened but the first where it was a problem. Afterwards and since then, I've noticed that larger catamarans are typically anchored much further offshore then others. Live and learn as mistakes happen. They only become really stupid when they happen twice.
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Old 15-06-2011, 11:44   #73
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Re: Idiot needs anchoring advice (please)

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Is there a rule of thumb one can use for how much chain is part of the rode before it changes to rope? As example 2 boat lengths chain, rest rope? Or is it a "by guess and by gar" ???
As much as you can is the short answer. I'm sure there is an official recomendation somewhere, but it is a minimum. I like as much weight in chain as in the anchor, or about 18' whichever is more. If you anchor in coral or rocky areas you'll want as much chain as is likely to touch bottom.

The downside is if you don't have a windlass, it is a long hard pull to lift a 50lb anchor with 50 lbs of chain in deep water. It is a great relief when I first see chain come over the bow roller.
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Old 15-06-2011, 13:58   #74
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Re: Idiot Needs Anchoring Advice ( Please )

There are a number of threads about anchoring in the "Anchoring & Mooring - Cruisers & Sailing Forums".

Here is a slightly edited version of my post there:
"The process for anchoring that we have refined over the past 6 years cruising from Vancouver, BC, to the Caribbean goes something like this:
1) Wife drives the boat into the anchorage and we agree where to anchor well away from anyone already there. Proceeding at bare steerage way into the wind we approach the selected spot.
2) When at desired location, she backs down to kill our way.
3) At the onset of sternway, I drop the anchor by releasing the clutch.
4) When the scope reaches 2-3 times the depth of water, I grab the anchor chain by hand to take the slack out of the chain and "set" the hook. Wife puts engines in neutral.
5) When the chain gets pulled out of my hands, I know it has caught.
6) Then I pay out 5-7 times the depth of water, engage the bridle, and let everything settle out. Unless constrained by surrounding boats, I frequently put out 100 feet even in less than 20 feet of water.
7) While sighting reference marks on land, we back down, slowly increasing RPM to 1500 (half throttle) to make sure the anchor will hold in 30 knots of wind. Only then do we relax.
If the chain does not pull out of my hands in step 5), we reel it in and start the process over.

Our 43 foot catamaran is fitted with a 50 pound Hydrobubble primary anchor with 300 feet of 5/16" HT chain on the windlass, a 50# Fortress with 100' chain and 300' nylon rode for a secondary anchor, and a 20# Danforth for a stern hook. We have used up to 300 feet of chain in some conditions and nearly always have at least 100 feet out. This may seem excessive but we have dragged enough times to know that you seldom can put out too much anchor chain. Of course we have an electric windlass so I don't have to break my back pulling up 'a litttle extra for security'."

As mentioned in some other posts in this thread, you don't want to be the only one in your anchorage with a stern anchor out. Also be careful if you have a combination line/chain rode and your neighbors have all chain. In Hot Springs Cove, Vancouver, BC, we banged into another boat with a combination rode when his much larger swing circle intersected our very small one. Fortunately we had only a few gel coat scratches but we had to move at 11:00 p.m. since he was there before we arrived.
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Old 15-06-2011, 14:29   #75
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Re: Idiot Needs Anchoring Advice ( Please )

When in mooring field country there usually is a reason and holding is what you can't read on the chart. Taking a pass through for a chat as Mark suggests is just a simple idea that works. Be prepared to take a mooring. That takes practice too.

Come to the Chesapeake to practice anchoring. It's mostly easy and you can do it almost every place. You just need to get the feel of how she sets. Once you feel the anchor setting you'll know it every time.

I would agree a lot with folks that say don't be too aggressive or quick to set the hook. You sort of feel it out slow and when you think you have it gently set it. I also tend to know when it should be set and am prepared to abort and haul it all back. You need to be able to think like that. You'll screw up a few first attempts so leave room to do it all over including the approach. Staying calm and just doing it over helps you learn how it works when you get it right the first shot. It's what you really wanted.

An almost set anchor pops out if pulled too hard. Once I know it is set I may give it a little extra. Hand signals are the key so you can talk to the helmsman. Yelling won;'t work because you need to look forward not backward. It also requires someone that knows how to "look". It isn't that easy to know when the chain is out and setting vs dragging. Reading the water is harder in cloudy water. Where we are 6 ft might as well be 600 as far as seeing the bottom. Use what ability to see that you have.

For a rookie anchoring don't be last to the anchorage. Lots of other folks that know will be there first and take the best spots. Sneaking in close won't make friends and you need to watch out for a rookie more rookie than you (they are made everyday).

A pro will anchor any time and be fine even if they get stuck out too far. Set an anchor watch for a bit to make really sure you are set. You want that zone of comfort when you go to bed. Have a drill on resetting the anchor. I try to do the reset just after the set. In the dark swinging around the anchor is no time to be unsure. Take bearings on points on and and write them down. If it is dark and blowing you want to be sure.
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