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Old 13-09-2014, 11:07   #16
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re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

Obviously you do not back down on a windlass.

I don't understand why it takes time to deploy the bridle. I attach the bridle and run as required before dropping the anchor. When I get to the attachment point on the chain I drop on the hook and keep deploying chain. The act of connecting should take only a few seconds, even if a soft shackle is used. Certainly you can deploy chain faster than the boat will drift backwards even in strong conditions. Perhaps a more streamlined procedure is needed. The key is to pre-thread everything.

Depending on the bottom, if it is one that requires a more gentle set, I may hold the bridle in one hand and feel it in by hand, as the tension starts to come on. Only if the bottom is very soft... in which case you better not be backing down very fast at all, no more than 1 knot.
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Old 13-09-2014, 11:08   #17
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re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

My windlass has a cleat built into the top of it (Tigres). We take a wrap of chain around this and then back down. Once the anchor is set we deploy the bridle. We have a lot of stretch in the bridle 2 x 7m x13 mm
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Old 13-09-2014, 11:55   #18
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Re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

When anchoring in shallows (4-6 feet) you really need to back down after the bridle is attached, particularly if on all chain:

1. Because chain does not stretch and there isn't much catenary, the bridle needs to be long in proportion to the rode to absorb enough shock.
2. Since the required rode may only be 50 feet, the bridle may be nearly 1/2 of that.

Back down on just the chain and you will either have short scope and not set properly, or you will end up with too much scope and swing into something. Also, without the snubber in there, you may hit the anchor too hard for a good set in softer materials.

Just sayin', I don't see much point in the final power setting until everything is in place.
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Old 13-09-2014, 18:36   #19
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Re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

We have a Lavezzi 40, and for those who also have cats with the anchor exit well aft of the front cross beam, found the original bridle from the factory too short. This gave the boat an effect of sailing all around the chain. Since setting up a longer bridle, 8m each side, the anchor sets easier and the boat is much more stable in wind gusts. We also have a snap swivel to attach the bridle to the chain, making it quick and easy to connect and disconnect. We use the cleat inside the anchor locker to hold the chain if needed, again with a quick release snap, if things go wrong, or if the bridle breaks, which takes the load off the winch. We again connect this if the anchor is stuck or difficult to break out, again protecting the winch from taking the load. Careful and regular inspections of these snaps are needed, making sure all is free and functional. Regards, Paul. (Currently cruising QLDS coast, Keppels)
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Old 13-09-2014, 19:06   #20
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Re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

The Leopard 45 - and, I believe, all other Leopards - has a very good stopper, which I generally use to actually break the anchor out, which is also a time when the loads on the windlass can be excessive. I agree with Thinwater that it is a matter of seconds to slip on the bridle, which I always do before setting. On the rare occasions when the Spade doesn't set and hold, I usually hoist the anchor and try again, so simply taking the bridle off is also a matter of seconds.

As a matter of policy learned the hard way, I never, ever let line including a bridle, lay on the bottom. Since I use a chain hook (generally considerably stronger and more durable than a snap shackle, which is not designed for anchoring use) I also have to keep some weight on the hook, which means it's at least a little bit above the bottom.

If I need a longer bridle, I can attach it to the normal bridle attachment point, then loop the legs around the forward crossbeam cleats (which Leopards have) to shorten it while I deploy it. Once deployed, I can simply take the loops in the legs of the bridle off those cleats.

As a matter of policy, I never leave the anchor load on the windlass, and use the stopper, instead. I do let out quite a bit of chain behind the bridle, to act as a kellet. I also back down very hard, hard enough that I can see the bridle's chain hook and thus see what the chain is doing.

All of this works very well, single-handed. I must say I would question a method that took some of the gymnastics outlined in this thread, or multiple crewmembers!
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Old 17-09-2014, 21:27   #21
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Re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

Well, I do things a bit differently...
I don't have a windlass, and my main anchor lives in the starboard bow.
I prefer to come at my anchor spot downwind, with only my starboard mainsail slightly powered.
As I slow down to 3-4 knots, I push 20 degrees to starboard on auto, and then go up front and drop the anchor to starboard.
After the desired amount of rode is out, I tie off to my starboard bow anchor cleat, and the boat comes swinging around like pulling the park brake of a small car in an icy parking lot.
I KNOW my anchor is set.
I use a dock line and a prussic hitch to fashion a bridle and tie the dock line to my port bow anchor cleat.
Mix cocktails, play music, dance, celebrate the awesomeness of my here and now...
and get a good nights sleep.
At some point the very next day, I raise my anchor by hand, under sail, go sailing, rinse, repeat...
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Old 17-09-2014, 22:01   #22
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Re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

Back down on the bridle. When the engine is still in reverse, I also put my hand on the bridle to feel for vibrations which is a sign of dragging.
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Old 18-09-2014, 07:01   #23
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Re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

We have a large cleat next to the bow roller. A couple turns around the horns to hold it while backing down, then set the bridle.
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Old 18-09-2014, 07:34   #24
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Re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

In testing the Mantus Chain Hook and a prototype of the lock it now comes with, I commonly (intentionally) had the bridal apex lying on the bottom. In part, this was because the bridle they sent me was too long for my boat an anchor in shallow water, and in part I knew that was a tough test. Yup, chain hooks and even the Mantus hook without the lock (less often) came off (with the new lock it stays on). But I learned somethings else; since I was leaving the bridle touching the bottom quite a lot, it started getting wear, significantly so even under even very light loads. The bottoms were commonly shell, and though there was little wind at these times, I wager the apex was moving a lot, dragging from place to place. This happened to 2 bridles, both well protected from wear.

The moral of the story is that the bridle should not be allowed to touch bottom. If there were coral or rocks it could cut or snag, and it will always wear. Because cats do anchor shallow, I still prefer a locking hook or soft shackle. Need more shock absorption in very shallow areas? Cleat the bridle further back, to the midships cleats and provide chafe guards where it comes through the bow cleats; over kill maybe, but very smooth at absorbing chop and gusts. I came across this by accident, dealing with a bridle that was 15' too long, and I like it for shallow, exposed or gusty anchorages.

I do use the chain lock for securing the anchor underway and for breaking out when stubborn.
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Old 18-09-2014, 07:45   #25
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Re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

some folks have found that backing down under certain conditions in certain anchorages with silty and not much else as goo in which to anchor, that the backing down actually unsets the anchor.
here, in our 8 ft depth, one should allow the daily 20 kt winds to set the boat and anchor so ye dont blow away in the next 20 kt wind(tomorrow or in the evening after you go to bed).. and lay down enough chain to not run away..
THEN add snubber......
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Old 18-09-2014, 11:15   #26
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Re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by solarbri View Post
Mix cocktails, play music, dance, celebrate the awesomeness of my here and now...
and get a good nights sleep.
At some point the very next day, I raise my anchor by hand, under sail, go sailing, rinse, repeat.
Hey Brian, I like that technique but might be a little hairy on my boat. When are you going back to Mx? Probably glad you took your boat out of there this year, eh?
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Old 18-09-2014, 20:20   #27
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Re: Setting the Anchor on a Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
Hey Brian, I like that technique but might be a little hairy on my boat. When are you going back to Mx? Probably glad you took your boat out of there this year, eh?

Yeah. Any cat that anchors off the center of the crossbeam (most) might not want to try my technique.
; )
I'm hoping to have my poop ($$$) together by December or January, launching from San Carlos, and bee-lining it south.
I'm pretty sure my boat would have been fine at the storage yard I had been using, but I probably would have been STRESSED!!!
So, yeah, I'm glad I brought C2F home this sumner. Many small improvements, and also, two new square top mains ordered from Island Planet sails!
I can't wait!!!


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