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Old 06-10-2011, 08:45   #1
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How Does a Solo Handler Drop the Hook on a Large Sailboat ?

I am fairly new to sailing ~ about two years. I am able to drop the hook on my 28.5 ft. fairly easily; however it does involve running to the bow and hoping that the wind doesn't blow the boat to much before I can get the anchor set.

How do folks on larger boats - 40 -50 foot set their anchor when they are the only one on the boat?? Also, how do they pull up the anchor when its time to go?? Seems like it would be very difficult to me for one person to do it all....
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:52   #2
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Re: How does a solo handler drop the hook on a large sailboat

same way you would on a smaller boat.
though would probably have the engine in neutral and an electric windlass.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:52   #3
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Re: How does a solo handler drop the hook on a large sailboat

I have an electric windless and controls at the helm...its easy like that.
I'm not thinking you'll find many 50fters with out a power windless of some description since the combination of anchor and road (min 3/8in chain) is HEAVY!
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:02   #4
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Re: How does a solo handler drop the hook on a large sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by James S View Post
I have an electric windless and controls at the helm...its easy like that.
same here
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:20   #5
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Re: How does a solo handler drop the hook on a large sailboat

with the anchor released and hung from the bow roller I run my chain/rode down the side deck back to the cockpit. where I cleat it off. Motor or sail to spot release rode and let the anchor drop. This is hard on the side deck so I don't use it too often, only IF anchor room is restricted or the consequences of a botched attempt are extreme..Usually I simply get the anchor, chain, rode ready to go BEFORE entering, then simply WALK forward, drop anchor, cleat off and waolk back... The bigger the boat the easier it is as they tend to stay put more than a small boat. Their issue is weight of gear.. Ask those with windlasses what their option is when the windlass packs up... I once helped an old man on a 86 foot ketch retrieve his anchor manually, by running a line from the cockpit winches forward and clipping it to the chain, winch in till line/chain reaches the winch, take ANOTHER line forward and repeat about 9000 times..took hours, but we got it up,,,I believe it was a 150 Bruce and once it cleared the bottom, 80-90 feet below the real work began...
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:51   #6
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Re: How Does a Solo Handler Drop the Hook on a Large Sailboat ?

Anchoring I get the anchor/rode ready to go before I get there, possibly with the anchor hanging off the roller, but usually not. Head the boat into the wind so that it stops at the moment/location where i want to drop and drop the anchor as the boat eases back from the wind.
Pulling anchor I would usually idle forward to get a little momentum, go into neutral, then go to the bow and wind up the chain. Idling forward also helps to break the anchor free.... In some ways it seems easier in a larger boat... less immediate effect by wind and usually an electric windlass!
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:53   #7
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Re: How Does a Solo Handler Drop the Hook on a Large Sailboat ?

Like others have written, a larger boat will usually be a bit easier (to anchor and dock), since they don't blow around as much.

A much larger boat, will almost always have a powered windlass, operated from the cockpit.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:03   #8
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Re: How Does a Solo Handler Drop the Hook on a Large Sailboat ?

my 41 ft boat with its lots of windage has a manual windlass by MY choice. i want it to work when i need it. so far, so good, but donot believe larger boats do not blow around as much as smaller ones do-- ever see a large boat drag thru an anchorage??? lol aint funny--is BUSY. but the decks are wide enough to manage to get to bow for the anchor in less time than on a smaller one. btdt.
all boats have their limitations and drawbacks as well as their positivities and benefits.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:13   #9
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Re: How does a solo handler drop the hook on a large sailboat

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Originally Posted by James S View Post
I have an electric windless and controls at the helm...its easy like that.
I'm not thinking you'll find many 50fters with out a power windless of some description since the combination of anchor and road (min 3/8in chain) is HEAVY!
All I do is go foward and unlock the windless before I pick a good spot to drop the anchor and push the toggle by the wheel down or up and It's done. When bringing up the anchor I usually go foward and use the foot control buttons and try to keep weeds out of the windless and make sure the chain does not pile up wrong. We always keep the motor running when bringing the anchor up it pulls a lot of power.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:19   #10
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Re: How Does a Solo Handler Drop the Hook on a Large Sailboat ?

I usually drop the anchor from the cockpit and then after setting, walk the rode up to the bow and cleat. Rarely have I ever had the luxury of crew to help, do it all myself.
When pulling, I do it from the bow. START YOUR MOTOR FIRST and put in nuetral. Usually the boat won't drift untill the anchor is free, so I just pull up the rode, which usually moves the bow directly over the anchor. Once free, I pull everything in and pile on deck. Then after getting underway and clear of obstacles, I will go tidy up the store the anchor.
Under HEAVY wind I will sometimes pull anchor up from cockpit and tidy up later.
Never had one of these things they call a "windlass".
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:33   #11
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Re: How Does a Solo Handler Drop the Hook on a Large Sailboat ?

I almost always sail on and off the hook. My current boat is very easy because it has a mizzen. Basically, I roll up the jib before coming into anchor, let the mainsheet go and sheet in the mizzen hard then go forward and drop the hook as the boat loses speed. Sailing off the hook, I have the mizzen and main up with the mizzen sheeted in hard. Once I get the anchor up, I head aft and back the mizzen to fall off then sheet the main in and sail away.

The only time that it gets really tough is when there is a lot of breeze and you need to motor up on the anchor when hauling it up. With the ketch, it isn't too bad as you just sheet the mizzen in hard and motor up. Some sloops will act similarly if you haul in the main hard.

To me, the biggest difference has been the new generation of anchors that reliably sets on the first try. With the old anchors, it was always nerve racking to be up on the bow tending to the rode while you drag down onto something.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:54   #12
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Re: How Does a Solo Handler Drop the Hook on a Large Sailboat ?

I want to say thank you to everyone who responded. This is some really good advice.
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Old 06-10-2011, 13:18   #13
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Re: How Does a Solo Handler Drop the Hook on a Large Sailboat ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
my 41 ft boat with its lots of windage has a manual windlass by MY choice. i want it to work when i need it. so far, so good, but donot believe larger boats do not blow around as much as smaller ones do-- ever see a large boat drag thru an anchorage??? lol aint funny--is BUSY. but the decks are wide enough to manage to get to bow for the anchor in less time than on a smaller one. btdt.
all boats have their limitations and drawbacks as well as their positivities and benefits.
Zee, larger boats do not blow around as much as smaller boats when trying to set an anchor, grab a mooring, or dock in a slip. It's just physics. However, when they DO get to blowing around, there is much more momentum involved, and they are much more dangerous. I think that's what you're getting at. I'm guessing that your 41' is about 30K lbs and has a full keel, yes? I think that when you pull up to a mooring, you can usually afford to walk, not run, up to the bow, right?
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Old 06-10-2011, 14:36   #14
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Re: How Does a Solo Handler Drop the Hook on a Large Sailboat ?

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Originally Posted by lake norman 285 View Post
How do folks on larger boats - 40 -50 foot set their anchor when they are the only one on the boat??.
Was never a problem with a manual windlass on 33' heavy long keel. Put the boat where you want it, walk briskly to bow an let it go, then as it touches bottom keep letting a little out so there's enough tension to stop the bow falling off too much then when there's enough out let a load of chain go at once and make fast the chain. The bow then falls off and snatchs round as the anchor digs in. As long as you have a good anchor that is

That was before I splashed out on an electric windlass and a remote.

Now life is much more relaxed

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Old 06-10-2011, 15:25   #15
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Re: How Does a Solo Handler Drop the Hook on a Large Sailboat ?

When it's yucky out and I am worried about drifting while I drop anchor I use my spare and drop it from the stern. that way I am at least slowed down while I get forward to the bow.
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