Originally Posted by bene505
Is this the best method of anchoring
? I usually lower chain and let the windlass take the strain. Now you have me thinking that I'd be better off putting the load on a cleat, using a bridle.
Is is really bad practice to leave the strain on the windlass?
Yes it is. The windlass is not designed to be the strong point. Check out it's manual, it should explain how to use it. Also think about a chain stopper, it saved our boat once already.
I'm so glad this thread is here because I can now tell you about our 99% rule
. It goes like this: In 99% of all cases, you use one anchor
. This includes all conditions except severe storm or worse. If your primary anchor
doesn't hold you, you need to upgrade it to a better design or more weight, instead of deploying a 2nd anchor. You also want it to hold in squalls with 50-55 knot
gusts. So what's the 1%? Anchoring in tidal water
that turns the boat with the tide like rivers etc. (use Bahamian mooring
technique) or severe storms.
We have tested different techniques for anchoring and consistently found that lowering by letting go the clutch
on the windlass is the best way. The anchor gets down on the seabed the quickest so you get it where you want it; when the anchor reaches the seabed, it punches a crater which helps digging in, your chain runs out as fast as the boat moves backward so you don't drag it at this phase. Once we are at 3:1 scope
, we tighten the clutch
a little so that the chain still runs out but we take up slack, at 5:1 we increase clutch so that anchor starts digging in but some chain still runs out and at 6:1 we bring the clutch slowly to full on. This should give a hard pull after which the boat moves forward again. Next is the chain-stopper and engine
in reverse-pulling a bit with foot on the chain to feel what's happening down there and looking at other boats and the shore to see is we're holding. After that, we take chain in to bring the scope
to what we want and set the snubber like Dave writes.
For your boat I would sell both Danforths and buy a 40-60 pound primary that is designed to turn in the seabed when the wind
changes direction (original Bruce if you can find one, Delta
, Spade or similar designs. For a Bruce I would keep that 60 pound in mind and more modern designs that 40 pound range. Do be too obsessed about weight of the anchor because the chain weighs much more. For a cat I like the designs where the anchor-roller is behind the trampoline, which brings it all more to the center of the boat and the bridle can be left on.
For second anchor (if two anchors is all you want) I would choose an aluminium Fortress
(no rust, light, only used in 1% of anchorages/situations).