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Old 31-10-2011, 08:41   #1
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Two Anchors ?

I've seen a lot of boats, including larger ones and obvious voyagers, with two anchors at the bow. In anchorages, I've seen a couple of boats with two rodes off the bow. My experience in double-anchoring for a storm says that you have to take extreme care to get the anchors far enough apart so they don't foul. What am I missing here? Are two anchors on the bow so you can have a spare? Can you successfully anchor (read weigh anchor) with two hooks close together?

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Old 31-10-2011, 08:57   #2
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Re: 2 anchors?

Two anchors give more choice. We have a 45lb and a 60lb with two different rode configurations for different settings. IE 2 anchors with 2 different scopes and /or angles 30° - 60° depending or single anchor with variation of rode and scope.


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Old 31-10-2011, 09:00   #3
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Re: 2 anchors?

We carry 2 anchors on the bow and 80%+ of the time we anchor both go in the water. We use a Bahamian mooring method. Google it for an explanation. We set the chain / rope rode / anchor first and the all chain rode / anchor second to avoid wraping a rode on the prop. The benefit of this approach is a greatly reduced swing when the tide changes. The next reason for two anchors on the bow is that there is no one anchor that works really well in all conditions. If we can't get the first to set, we can try the second and if that doesn't work we pull the third out of the cockpit storage locker.
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Old 31-10-2011, 09:03   #4
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Re: 2 anchors?

Setting two anchors is easy once you learn how. I used to have to do it a lot in my CS36M that sailed badly at anchor when the wind piped up. First set your main anchor with the appropriate amount of rode out. Let another 20 or 30 feet out. Put the wheel hard over to the side of the next anchor. Motor ahead slowly, when the first anchor starts pulling you towards it (the gap is narrowing) stop engine, drop the second hook and fall back. When you have fallen back with about the same amount of rode as on the first anchor, take up the slack on the first anchor. You should now be anchored with the two anchors in a perfect "V".

With my 393 and all chain I have yet to use two hooks although I do have two on the bow.
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Old 31-10-2011, 09:16   #5
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Re: 2 anchors?

In my area of the marina where most boats are 40-to-50-feet long, there are usually two anchors at the ready on the bow. Some have identical anchors (usually CQRs) but most have two different types such as CQR/Bruce.
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Old 31-10-2011, 09:21   #6
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Re: 2 anchors?

i have a 45 pound cqr and a 60 pound bruce on my bow. which ne to drop?? depends on bottom. both ar chain rode. both are good in many cnditions. thre ARE conditions in which the bruce is better than the plow. then i will use the bruce. is always good to have the option of choice, and tht choice sometimes needs to be immediate, not in however long it would ake d=to dig out another anchor and the OMG where is the chain! and all the involved mayhem of stowing below a very important tool of cruising.
yesi have 2 other anchors also-- a danforth and a yachtsmans or fishermans or whatever name ye want to cll it--- but i use the bruce and cqr most, therefore, they are ready to deploy.
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Old 31-10-2011, 09:26   #7
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Re: 2 anchors?

I used to have to do it a lot in my CS36M that sailed badly at anchor when the wind piped up.
A variation: my boat sails as well, so I deploy the first anchor as normally, then drop a second straight down (about a 1.1:1 scope) which puts a brake on sailing during a wind event. Obviously not good for periods long enough to encompass tidal changes...

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Old 31-10-2011, 09:39   #8
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Re: Two Anchors ?

Ditto, we carry a Bruce and a Danforth on the bow. We mainly use the Bruce with an all chain rode. We'v used both in tight quarters. Depending on the conditions, we sometimes use the Bruce forward and the Danforth off the stern.
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Old 31-10-2011, 09:49   #9
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Re: Two Anchors ?

Yep. There can be two anchors on the bow and maybe even one more on the stern.

Neat to have more choice than too little. The only thing I do not like is the extra weight but I am sure this varies with how fine and light a boat is in the entry.

Our boat cannot carry two anchors fore but we did anchor most of the time with two anchors. The secondary was kept amidships when not in use.

We too used stern anchor oftentimes.

Some will say that a single and oversize bower is a better way to go and there are many good points in such a solution indeed - unless the area you anchor most often calls for two lighter anchors rather than a single, bigger one.

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Old 31-10-2011, 09:51   #10
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Re: Two Anchors ?

After 20 years and tens of thousands of miles of cruising and anchoring a large percentage of that time, we only anchor with two anchors when absolutely necessary. We carry two ancors at ready if we need them, but deploy only one 99% of the time. This includes in reversing currents or in wind switches. Only once in all of that time has our single anchor failed to hold and I doubt two would have made any difference. We only use two when in an anchorage where everyone else seems to feel the need to drop two anchors. Then you have little options unles you find a spot far enough away to swing on one and not bother anyone else. Two anchors are twice as much work and if they happen to both break out at the wrong time, which we have seen often, it can make retrieving them and getting reset almost impossible or at the very least, very difficult. We have deployed both and sometimes three in storm or hurricane conditions, been through 15 named storms, but those are extraordinary circumstances. We often see new cruisers setting two anchors, but the experienced long term cruisers will often only set one. We sleep quite well at night with our anchor and rode and the anchor properly set. Chuck
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:11   #11
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Re: Two Anchors ?

My boat has double bow rollers, but you'll usually only see one anchor ready to launch. This is misleading, however, because there's a second anchor, a Fortress, ready to go in the chain locker. In an emergency, all I need to do is lead it through the bow pulpit, drop it onto its roller, and launch.
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:15   #12
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Re: Two Anchors ?

I used dual bow anchors mostly for choice and availability of a second anchor in a panic dragging mode. Worst case scenario, just cut the first anchor free and drop the other one. I seldom used two anchors out, and most times when I did it was a tangled mess by morning. Usually when I tried, it was due to fast current/tide change issues. Otherwise, unless a storm is pending... why?
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:28   #13
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Re: Two Anchors ?

Why 2 anchors?

--It depends on the bottom. No, not for most of us. I good general purpose anchor (Delta/Manson Supreme/Rocna) is just that and should be well-sized. But could be for some folks.

--Storms. Just remember, if the wind shifts at all, the load will be on only one anchor. IF they drag, they will drag together and possibly foul. No point in doing this unless both anchors are roughly equal and well dug in.

--To eliminate the need for resetting. Yup. Some bottoms are not good for this, particularly if the mud is hard and sticky or patchy. Weeds are a problem.

--To limit swing or deal with current. More likely, at least for me.

How to deploy? Not from 2 bow rollers, that's for certain. If the boat swings 360 degrees, good luck unwinding them, with one end on the bottom and the other in the chain locker.

We do it like this:
Sail Delmarva: Laying a Second Anchor
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:36   #14
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Re: Two Anchors ?

Anchors are your boats parking brakes. I've learned to carry at least three for lots of reasons, theft not withstanding. I also have a 5# danforth that I toss over, when I stop for lunch wilst I'm on the boat. I have tested that little anchor at 9 to 1 or more scope and it held my 23 ton 50 footer ok in a breeze, but do not leave the boat with that little anchor down. the little anchor saves me lots of wasted energy.
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:39   #15
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Re: Two Anchors ?

Nicely written. A lot to be said for the Lightweight second anchor ready to go. I used to keep a huge Fortress on a special bracket on the lifeline stanchion. Saved my boat once in a FL tornado/storm cell. Seems like more manufacturers should look at using alum in their designs. It would take some engineering as Alum is more "bendy" than steel, but holding power could be increased and less weight on the bow. For instance, Lets say your boat normally takes a 35 LB CQR. You could put an Alum 55# CQR configuration on (21 lb!) with less weight and more holding area. The Fortress and or Danforth seem to dig in well and are not heavy.

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