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Old 18-11-2009, 14:31   #1
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Anchoring Technique with Old-Fashioned Anchors

I am in the process of closing on a boat with the following ground tackle: 35, 42, and 75 lb Yachtsman's anchors and a 15 lb. Northill as a stern anchor. This is 32' 16000# S/V with a lot of rake. The anchor rodes have about 8' of chain on them, floats, and then reasonable rope rode for the remainder (at least 200'). Now, I know most of you are probably shocked at the lack of any newer anchors and the lack of longer chain. I don't want this to be a discussion about that because there are plenty of discussions about how great new gen anchors are and how great lots of chain is. I plan on adding both. That said, this tackle has been all over the Northeast (especially Maine) and Maritimes and down to the Bahamas twice, and used heavily by a sailor much saltier than I. So, I'd still like to use it when appropriate and safe. What I would like to hear is opinions from folks who have actually used Yachtsman/Luke/Herreshoff anchors and what performance to expect from them, when to use them, how to best set them/recover them, and most importantly, when NOT to use them.

Thanks, Colin
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Old 18-11-2009, 15:17   #2
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Colin - In my experience they work well from a holding standpoint. It is possible to foul them with your own anchor rode and pull them out if there is a 180 degree wind or tide shift, but that is rare. The biggest drawback frequently is that they are awkward to deal with from a stowing standpoint.

With the size vessel you mentioned, I personally would use that 75 pounder for a driveway decoration, or sell it to someone with a bigger boat.
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Old 18-11-2009, 15:19   #3
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Yachtsman anchors are great for shale/rocks (Maine) and if the flukes are large they're OK for hard sand (Bahamas?). Pretty useless for mud. Use lots of scope of in sand- and a trip line if the bottom is rocks/foul. They can get a bite in a bottom too hard for a CQR- so they have their uses.
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Old 21-11-2009, 06:25   #4
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Well, the 75 lb is a storm anchor, and I wonder about it's use even as that. It seems like a lot of folks carry a large fisherman-type anchor as a storm anchor, but I haven't seen any data on its performance. Has anyone weathered (or not weathered) a storm with one of these?

Actually, the two small Yachtsman's stow very nicely on the side of the bowsprit and the Northill on the boomkin. The storm anchor is on the deck which makes its weight sort of high on the boat, but it's more likely to get used there, too.

The sale went through, so here's the boat if you're curious:

Page Traditional Boats :: MIMI ROSE

You can't totally make out the anchors in the pics, but there's one on either side of the bowsprit.
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Old 21-11-2009, 07:01   #5
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She's gorgeous. Joel White designs one heck of a boat. Enjoy her!
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Old 21-11-2009, 08:30   #6
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Mimi Rose

That's a great pedigree on that boat... a true modern classic. I remember the write ups back when she was launched. She should serve you very well, but she deserves to be well cared for.
Anchors are so subjective that I'm not sure I want to comment, except to say that it sounds like you'll figure out what will work best for you and the boat.
Good luck with her.

Best, Bob S/V Restless
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Old 21-11-2009, 09:05   #7
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Pretty.

I think I would be setting one of the medium size traditional anchors off the bow in the dirrection of prediced strong wind (thunderstorms, eg.) and set the Northill at a ~ 120 degree angle to prevent fouling the fluke on the main anchor. I would not set it as a stern anchor, but rather off the bow. Would I do this routinly? No, only if I expected to be spun by tide or other.

I had a Northill that size on my last boat. It is at its best in firm sad or mud where it is very solid. When the cross bar buries, it holds very well for its size, right up there with "modern anchors." It main flaw is the fluke sticking up. Also, if you do not have a windlass, that is your lunch hook, for sure.
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Old 21-11-2009, 09:24   #8
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No experience with that type anchor, but I had to pop in to say That is One Beautiful Boat!!!!!!
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Old 21-11-2009, 09:57   #9
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L.F. Herreshoff has a lot to say about anchor types in The Compleat Cruiser, and basically recommends exactly what you have. Interestingly, he recommended anchoring on much shorter scopes than what is currently considered normal practice. At one point he does point out that the Yachtsman type does not hold well in "the soup that is Block Island's New Harbor", i.e. very soft mud. This is probably a simple matter of fluke area. Lot's of people have trouble anchoring there.

If the anchors are the Herreshoff design with the diamond shaped flukes, as built by Herreshoff or Luke, they are much less likely to foul the anchor rode in a wind shift than the older triangular fluke anchors.

The anchors are a little heavier than would be recommended for a boat your size with a more modern anchor design, I'm guessing that for this anchor type they are appropriately sized and that the previous owner put a lot of thought into sizing and selection. I think they look really, really "yachty" and fit well on your boat, and would be inclined to keep them. Congratulations. Life is too short to own an ugly boat.
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Old 22-11-2009, 06:53   #10
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Thanks, all! Bill (who built her) will be sailing her with me for a day this coming spring and giving me a run down of all her systems including how he used the ground tackle. That should give me a great start. I'll probably also put a good mud anchor in the bilge so I can be secure in almost any anchorage.

Sahara, thanks for the tip on the Compleat Cruiser. It just moved up my reading list. It's interesting all the different approaches to anchoring.

Bob, taking on a boat like her is quite a responsibly, indeed. Fortunately, I'm right in Blue Hill, ME; so, I've got lots of knowledgable folks around to pass on their wisdom, Wooden Boat School/Magazine down the road, and great boat yards in the area for work I decide to let someone else tackle.

All, I'll be cruising down the coast at least as far as Georgia next fall and beyond. If you see me out there, pop over for closer look. I don't think the pics even do her full justice. I am constantly amazed by the level of thought and detail that went into her and all the experience behind it.

Cheers, Colin
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Old 24-11-2009, 08:45   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marujo.sortudo View Post
The sale went through, so here's the boat if you're curious:

Page Traditional Boats :: MIMI ROSE
Very nice! Welcome to the club.
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Old 24-11-2009, 10:51   #12
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It's a matter of surface area. Traditional anchors have little surface area for their weight. They are great for hard bottoms/rock/etc. where you need an anchor with weight to dig in or catch on an obstruction like a rock. For all around use, they are heavy, lack holding power especially in soft bottoms and are subject to fouling. In short, not quite lawn decorations but the new gen. anchors are way better in almost all conditions, easier to handle and stow, and not subject to fouling.

If it was me, I'd keep the heaviest for a last ditch anchor and sell the rest. Buy a Manson type of appropriate weight with at least 30' of chain.

Beautiful boat if it just didn't have that stupid wheel.
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Old 26-11-2009, 08:17   #13
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Bob, taking on a boat like her is quite a responsibly, indeed. Fortunately, I'm right in Blue Hill, ME; so, I've got lots of knowledgable folks around to pass on their wisdom, Wooden Boat School/Magazine down the road, and great boat yards in the area for work I decide to let someone else tackle.
Plus you have one of the world's great cruising grounds at your doorstep.

Gorgeous boat.
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Old 27-11-2009, 13:58   #14
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Plus you have one of the world's great cruising grounds at your doorstep.
Now you know why I moved back after so many years away.

I did get a chance to read the Compleat Cruiser. Very interesting reading. Herreshoff's opinions fly in the face of current conventional wisdom about anchors. I presume the patent anchors he's refering to are Danforths, etc. Anyone know? Makes me wonder just how much of this anchor nonsense is fashion?
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Old 02-12-2009, 23:16   #15
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My friend, yhou were obviously a very, very good boy in your last life. Only with such karma accrued could you wind up with that spectacular boat!!! I have used kedge/yachtsman anchors a lot. I had two as main working anchors for my gaff schooner. When the bottom was soup, my anchor would not stay. I dragged once in Keehi Lagoon, Oahu, where it was, I suspect, difficult to find the dilineation between bay and bottom. Other than that I never had a problem with them, despite others telling me I would have such problems. It is a good idea to have a trip line on any large anchor. I used a cathead on my schooner which I absolutely loved. You do not have provisions for such on Mimi Rose, but the last guy sailed happily with those kedges. I did use more chain than that, but using the floats is an old Maine tradition. Do me a favor, please. Caress that lovely stern just once for me.
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