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Old 31-01-2013, 10:21   #31
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

Race week was just here in key west, and most of the racers have little reguard for whats going on around them. They somehow seem to think they are more important than the other boats on the water. Basicly all abunch of douche bags, not something I had noticed with other sorts of racing.
@daddle- I never said the sail right of way was a bad thing, just that sometimes its over used, because some sailors dont care for stinkpotters. I love all boats, but inconsiderate boaters come on both sides. Sailors just can hide it under a veil of "the rules" You're statement "don't play if you don't like the rules" or similar makes you sound like a poor sport.
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Old 31-01-2013, 10:24   #32
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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
No-one's mentioned what to do if you can't run the windlass, either, and the gear's too big to pull up against the windage of the boat.

This used to be a standard manoeuvre, often called "sailing the anchor out", and if anyone's interested, a Google search on that phrase might bring something up.

Essentially (if single handed) it means setting the mainsail and helm up so that the boat will sail closehauled, then go up to the foredeck and start hauling in. When the boat's about to retighten the chain because it's heading off to the side from where the anchor bears, snatch a turn around the bitts. This will yank the head around onto the other tack. As soon as the chain slackens, throw off the turn and haul again until the same happens on the other tack.

You'll tack up to the anchor, making successively smaller boards each time. This is quite easy, as long as you're used to handling chain (industrial grippy gloves help) and your bitts are big and ugly in relation to the chain and the load.

Ideally the anchor will be snatched effortlessly out as you sail gloriously past it.

The fun is what to do when this doesn't happen.

But it would be a shame to spoil that fun....
I don't get it. When the boat tacks over, it's hove to. Are you running back to the cockpit each time to tack?
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Old 31-01-2013, 10:26   #33
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Originally Posted by RabidRabbit View Post
Race week was just here in key west, and most of the racers have little reguard for whats going on around them. They somehow seem to think they are more important than the other boats on the water. Basicly all abunch of douche bags, not something I had noticed with other sorts of racing.
@daddle- I never said the sail right of way was a bad thing, just that sometimes its over used, because some sailors dont care for stinkpotters. I love all boats, but inconsiderate boaters come on both sides. Sailors just can hide it under a veil of "the rules" You're statement "don't play if you don't like the rules" or similar makes you sound like a poor sport.
They have right of way over motor boats, and common courtesy says other sailboats will steer clear if possible. I don't see the issue.
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Old 31-01-2013, 11:20   #34
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

No, there is no issue. But you said the magic words "commen courtesy" its a two way street (channel).
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Old 31-01-2013, 11:20   #35
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

We had to do it more than once when we had engine problems. And rather than go into specifics, which have been pretty well documented by others here, what I'll add is that what really helped us was the fact that we had practiced when the engine was working. Just had it running, in neutral, and sailed into an uncrowded anchorage and anchored . . . and also left under sail, also with the engine in neutral. We did this a number of times each year, just to stay familiar with the process. The first time we tried, frankly, it was good that we had the engine . . . we learned a lot as we had to abort and re-think the process (nice not to have other boats around to laugh, too!).

Also, remember that if your dinghy has a motor of a decent size (10 - 15 HP), you can use it to help set the anchor.
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Old 31-01-2013, 12:03   #36
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Boat Galley View Post
We had to do it more than once when we had engine problems. And rather than go into specifics, which have been pretty well documented by others here, what I'll add is that what really helped us was the fact that we had practiced when the engine was working. Just had it running, in neutral, and sailed into an uncrowded anchorage and anchored . . . and also left under sail, also with the engine in neutral. We did this a number of times each year, just to stay familiar with the process. The first time we tried, frankly, it was good that we had the engine . . . we learned a lot as we had to abort and re-think the process (nice not to have other boats around to laugh, too!).

Also, remember that if your dinghy has a motor of a decent size (10 - 15 HP), you can use it to help set the anchor.
That's a really great point about the dinghy. Even a small engine on the dinghy can be used to help the main boat get around in a tight anchorage when there isn't enough wind.

I'd even guess that a rowing dinghy would be useful for setting the anchor with no wind. If you drop the anchor down and then lay out the rode while you're towing the boat astern with oars, you can snub the anchor when you get a bit of momentum up and dig in the anchor a bit? I could tow our boat at a knot or two, and that's a lot of momentum when it comes up short. Question would be how much would actually be transferred to the anchor and how much just to lifting the chain off the bottom. At least the rode will be laid out and not in a heap.
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Old 31-01-2013, 12:49   #37
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

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I don't get it. When the boat tacks over, it's hove to. Are you running back to the cockpit each time to tack?
Thanks for paying such close attention.

Remember I said "set up the mainsail", no mention of setting the headsail.

The mainsail will self-tack.

The headsail is a fairly big subtopic for this method -- which is why I left it unaddressed, to be dealt with only if someone showed interest.

If you decide to raise the headsail, it would be purely to clear the foredeck and get it out of the way of the anchor coming aboard - you wouldn't sheet it in ) except when circumstances dictate as below.

I use a clew downhaul on all hanked headsails, back to the cockpit, so I can overhoist a #2 or smaller, for anchor work and to clear it over the pulpit when deep reaching or running. It's also a much easier way to get (and modulate) luff tension than cranking the halyard.

If it's a furler, try leaving it furled,

unless you're singlehanding (so the helm has to remain lashed amidships)

AND (which is not invariably the case) the boat will not lay off onto each tack without some drag in the foretriangle - in which case, experiment with unfurling partially or wholly and leave it limp, or use both sheets equally to 'middle' it.

I sometimes think of this latter strategy (which only works when there's negative overlap) as a "poor man's self-tacker"

Naturally a cutter with self tacking staysail will be in good shape for this technique (whether on a boom or a track)
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Old 31-01-2013, 13:03   #38
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Remember I said "set up the mainsail", no mention of setting the headsail.

The mainsail will self-tack.

If you decide to raise the headsail, it would be purely to clear the foredeck and get it out of the way of the anchor coming aboard - you wouldn't sheet it in.

If it's a furler, try leaving it furled,

unless you're singlehanding (so the helm has to remain lashed amidships)

AND (which is not invariably the case) the boat will not lay off onto each tack without some drag in the foretriangle - in which case, experiment with unfurling partially or wholly and leave it limp, or use both sheets equally to 'middle' it.

Ahh!!! I missed that, obviously. So the mainsail and the rudder need to be set up to be useful on either tack, which means, as you say, the rudder's amidships. So on a furler, you'd have to get enough headsail out to have a balanced sailplan with rudder amidships, and then sheet on centerline. Interesting thing to play with.

Also a useful technique with a helmsman available, of course, and easier to figure out.

By the way, perhaps your best quote of day is:
Quote:
This is quite easy, as long as ... your bitts are big and ugly ...
I'll reserve comments on whether my bits are big and ugly!
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Old 31-01-2013, 13:16   #39
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

Seems to me this thread has some classic content and deserves to become a reference.

It also occurs to me to pass on one more snippet of obscure but potentially useful info from my own meagre store:

<<I'd even guess that a rowing dinghy would be useful for setting the anchor with no wind.>> (cwyckham)

Indeed it can be, more than might immediately be apparent.

Here's another way you can use it to set the biggest anchor you carry in a situation of zero wind (getting a good set ahead of needing it can easily be an imperative, particularly in the tropics, or other parts where "the calm before the storm" is a regular sequence of events.

Take a light but capable anchor (a Fortress or Danforth is usually a good pick <groan>) well astern with the rowing dinghy, try to find a patch of good holding, set it as well as you can (ie lay the chain out carefully, not in a pile)

then row back to the boat, laying out the line as you go (easier this way round than having the line fed out from the boat, usually)

Now you can delicately use the biggest winch on board to gradually tension the stern anchor line and settle the storm anchor into the bottom. I generally wait five or ten minutes between tensioning sessions.

It's up to you what you then choose to do with the stern anchor. Circumstances alter cases considerably.
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Old 31-01-2013, 13:48   #40
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

This topic should be required reading for those venturing well off the beaten track.

I think the contention made further up this thread is exactly 180 degrees wrong in those parts of the world where mechanics and parts and machine shops are a week's sailing away (or more, if there's little wind)

I'm thinking of the contention that it can be dangerous fooling round under sail instead of firing up the motor.

I once read a book by a woman who had a nightmarish few weeks or months in an isolated region of the channels of Patagonia, because their very adequate sailing vessel had been "disabled" while en route offshore.

Having made it to what they hoped would be 'safety', they had nightmarish times trying to anchor safely, and often failing and nearly losing the boat, as they tried to inch their way back to civilisation. I think it was the end of their relationship.

How was it disabled? As far as I can remember, the only irreperable damage was the engine. Perhaps it was not even an engine problem but simply a complete electrical failure, because they could not make radio contact either.

And on NZ National Radio at present we're part way through a harrowing serialised account by Angela Myer, from her brutally honest book SEA FEVER

In yesterday's episode, her partner made the tragic decision to turn back from their trip home (to NZ) - they were sailing from Colombia to the Galapagos - because the engine was playing up and he wasn't confident of getting into a refuge on an isolated stretch of the Ecuadorian coast, relatively nearby, without it.

Unable to make headway in the direction they thought they now needed to go, and exhausted beyond the power of rational thought by having to pump continuously for the last five days to keep up with a hull leak they could not stem (electrics down, and arguably they were preoccupied with the engine problems while there might still have been time to isolate the hull leak), they've just pushed the button on the EPIRB .... (I didn't mention they had a toddler as their third crewmember)

But in that part of the world, who's going to come running?

- - - - -

It seems to me axiomatic that an engine needs to be treated as an added extra, IOW a convenience measure rather than an indispensable necessity, on a sailing vessel travelling in such places

..... unless the vessel has multiple engines, superbly well installed and able to be started without electrical power .... and/or is able to self-repair, using onboard resources only, any conceiveable breakdown, up to and including the metaphorical "poking a rod through the side of the crankcase".

And even in the latter case: how many of the other people on board can realistically carry out such repairs? (say the designated engineer falls overboard, or jumps ship)


Whereas, in a boat which routinely carries out tricky manoeuvres with the engine only in neutral (per the excellent suggestion above), it seems quite realistic to expect that no-one would be indispensable if the engine(s) went permanently down.

I think part of the stress of husband-wife sailing in difficult waters is sometimes down to the fact that, while the female partner could realistically be an equal partner in terms of everything to do with sailing, it's simply not realistic to expect her to also fill that role in the field of diesel engine repair.

You can really only learn that stuff thoroughly by having lots of experience, ideally since childhood, of diagnosing and fixing motors which broke down, and who wants to set up their boat to provide that?

Whereas every sailing boat provides an unlimited fund of things which go wrong under sail....

Consequently if the guy has a mindset that the engine is indispensable, it means he now has to bear the responsibility that he too is indispensable. So he fails to see himself as part of a team. And he withdraws ... and the rest is history.
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Old 31-01-2013, 14:01   #41
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

Andrew is right! there is a lot of good info in this thread. Another use for a rowing (or powered) dingy is leaving a deep anchorage if you dont like how close you are to something or someone. A few times I rowed my secondary anchor (13lb danforth) as far out as I could to give me a little more clearance from something, but the main reason was that in deep water it took too long to crank up 30 fathoms of chain with the windlass. I completely brought the main anchor in and then got on with sailing off of the little danforth that I could quickly haul by hand. If you think that a windlass is not needed on a Contessa 26, then try hauling 30 fathoms of 5/16 chain and a 25 lb plow from a deep anchorage on a windy day. The boat came with the anchor and chain, but the first thing I did when I got back from my first coastal cruise was to order a windlass. It served me very well for many anchorages.__Another 2 cents worth______Grant.
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Old 31-01-2013, 14:07   #42
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

Call a friend or use your own dinghy to help? Just get away from the other boats and call it good. No reason to get crazy with multiple anchors and the such.

There's a guy sailing around here with a HUGE (80' ? ) ketch that he and his wife are on. They even have a yardarm. But no engine! Crazy to me. They anchor further out than everyone else, obviously only move when there is wind, and seem like very nice people.

If you've never anchored under sail or manually (like entirely with your hands) hauled your ground tackle than it can seem a little intimidating. On some size boats it's obviously not humanly possible, but there's a solid argument to be made for not letting yourself get to a point where you need half a dozen systems just to raise an anchor, move 100 yards, and drop it again.
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Old 31-01-2013, 14:22   #43
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

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I don't get it. When the boat tacks over, it's hove to.
Actually, at the risk of overtaxing those who have limited interest in fine detail, there are times when I have set it up to do just that.

The method can sometimes still work quite well when alternate 'tacks' are actually hove-to

The provisos are:

1) The combination of boat size, windage, wind strength and your arm strength make it possible to at least hold the load when hove to, and ideally win a bit of chain each time. You can rig a chain hook or devil's claw from a purchase if you're a REAL enthusiast, or truly desperate.

2) You have land or a danger nearby on one side when lying head to wind (let's say starboard)

3) You're confident you can break the anchor out cleanly on demand (a smallish plough is good in this situation, in good holding. You could drop such an anchor while you get the big anchor up, if the situation justifies it)

In this case I'd sheet the headsail in for sailing on starboard tack, ie towards the nearby land

And I'd arrange things so that the 'snatch' which broke the anchor out was the one which put the boat about onto the hove-to tack.

If things go wrong, just drop the anchor quickly and have another go.

When hove to, you are quietly fore-reaching away from the danger, while you get the chain and anchor onboard and stowed, and then clear away the foredeck for putting out to sea.
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Old 31-01-2013, 18:56   #44
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

Since this thread is about anchoring after an engine failure, Do we all ALWAYS enter an anchorage with an anchor ready to let go in a matter of seconds if that is the moment the engine packs up. I think that is standard Navy practice and would do well on yachts. If you are motoring in the ditch are you ready to put your bow into the mud on the upwind side or will you flounder around until you are stuck in the mud on the down wind side and have to call for a tow. Just little things to think about.____Grant.
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Old 31-01-2013, 19:14   #45
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Have to say, we always rig anchor before entering an anchorage. Just an old habit, but nice to know if engine dies, no wind, steering failure, whatever, I can just drop the hook where I am, have a cocktail and fix the issue. Then retry to drop where I wanted. Sure takes the stress out. Assume the worst is going to happen, have a plan and you will rarely be stressed.

Crew and capt running in circles and yelling at the last minute can be entertaining to watch, but less fun to participate in the circus.
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