RDW - sorry for the late reply. To secure the hooks (both of them) offshore, for each one I use a 3' or so length of line, with a bowline through the shackle and then run aft to a cleat. I have two bow cleats
and a centerline cleat just aft of my deck-mounted (manual) windlass
, and I just pull the line taut and cleat off to one of them. I tie them off like this almost anytime we are underway, even short hops or trips between islands. Then, if I need to deploy an anchor quickly, its a simple matter of loosening the line from the cleat. If necessary, I can just send the line down with the hook (its too short to foul on anything in a material way), or if I have time I untie the bowline and remove the line.
Re: "if I need to deploy an anchor quickly", what I'm always thinking of is the time we arrived in Riding Rock Marina in San Salvador on December 9th, after 6 nights at sea on passage
NC, and a very vigourous last 24 hours. We sailed to within 1/4 mile of the marina where we had to go to clear in, turned on the engine
, slowly motored up to the channel entrance, made contact with the marina staff who could guide us in between the sandbar and the breakwater, then motored through the narrow cut into the basin, all with the wind
still blowing 25-30 kts. Once inside, and figuring out how to lay alongside the(upwind) concrete bulkhead that was to be our berth, the engine
suddenly died and we were quickly blowing down on the docks on the downwind side of the marina. What to do? "Hey Gary (my brother and crew with us on that passage), drop a hook NOW!" Once securely anchored in the basin, we got the engine running and eventually to our spot on the wall. Could we have done it with a stern anchor? Yes, but not that quickly, certainly not before crashing down on one of the sportfishers on the downwind docks, because my stern anchor and its rode
is even more securely and cumbersomely lashed into place.
Bottom line for me - always a bow hook in place, lashed in tight but quickly unlashable. More importantly - try hard, very hard, not to be beating to weather