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Old 02-02-2013, 11:39   #76
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

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There is a 60'+ 1903 piolot cutter here in town and the owner sails it in and out of the marina. A sailboat with an engine used to be called an auxiliary....to many people out there consider their auxilary to be there primary. Engines are part of a list of modern day inventions (like chart plotters, water makers and other gizmos) that people are convinced they cannot do with out even though they have been done with out for centuries. That said I consider an engine on a sailboat an important piece of safety equipment.
I'm with you on all of that but marina designs have changed a lot. I'd like to see that 60+ cutter sail into some of the slips I've barely gotten a twin engine boat into. With the increased maneuverability and quest for profit margin marinas are being built tighter and tighter.

It's probably the thing I hate the most about marinas: just getting in and out is a pain in the ass.

I went to pull into a slip (my slip) the other day and there was a panga (20' fishing boat) tied up that wasn't visible until after I made the turn.

If you've got space, if you know the area, if there's not a lot of traffic than I can understand expecting to sail into a slip. But in a new place, a tight place, or a busy place, it's a different story.

And as much slack as I want to cut a guy coming into a slip (because you know he's completely tunnel visioned at that point) he is not the stand on vessel in any given situation although he may act like such. I've seen boats turn into slips cutting off vessels of every stripe. They think colregs (and basic civility) ends the minute the stress of docking shows up.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:41   #77
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

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(...) Engines are part of a list of modern day inventions (like chart plotters, water makers and other gizmos) that people are convinced they cannot do with out even though they have been done with out for centuries.(...)
I too see an engine an optional extra. I love to have it, I advice others to have it, but if there is none then that's that.

I think for anybody who thinks they can, want, might sail engine-less one day my advice is: get a boat that sails well.

b.
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Old 02-02-2013, 11:52   #78
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

I do not by any means think my 66# anchor resets every 6 hours, I can stay anchored for 6 weeks in 4 knot currents and heavy winds without moving an inch. I change direction every 6 hours like clockwork, even in some pretty good blows. It may have pivoted around once or twice, but its set well. I think its a commen misconception by many that if the tide turns the anchor resets. This is why so many still do a 2 anchor thing. Maybe 2 is better if their small, but I still really doubt it. It seems the part timers fear 1 anchor, but the full time cruisers I know dont ever mess with 2 hooks. On 3:1 probably could pop out and reset, on 8:1 not so much.
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Old 02-02-2013, 13:33   #79
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

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.... but the full time cruisers I know dont ever mess with 2 hooks. On 3:1 probably could pop out and reset, on 8:1 not so much.
That may be true in your vicinity. I'm trying hard to imagine a space so large that there's room for everybody to anchor on 8:1 scope.

In Atuona, in the Marquesas Is. in the Pacific, the harbor is quite small, and there is a swell that comes into its mouth. We arrived there from Mexico to find every one anchored bow and stern (2 anchors) with their bows into the swell. In a small area, once someone has anchored bow and stern, everybody else does, too, because with only one hook you may swing into them.

There are places in Mexico (and possibly other places as well) with very rolly anchorages, where using your stern hook to help hold the bows into the incoming roll means the difference between getting a good night's sleep and not sleeping at all.

Ann Cate, s/v Insatiable II, on the hard in Hobart
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Old 02-02-2013, 14:11   #80
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

A thought just struck me....engineless might mean also losing battery-recharge.

For those relying on electric power for raising anchor, do you have a backup plan for retrieving the anchor & rode without the windlass?

I suppose one could buoy and slip, but that leaves you without your main anchor and rode, and no guarantee of ever seeing it again. This might happen a long way from home and being practically anchorless could be a big step along the failure cascade toward losing the ship...
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Old 02-02-2013, 14:22   #81
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Originally Posted by micah719 View Post
A thought just struck me....engineless might mean also losing battery-recharge.

For those relying on electric power for raising anchor, do you have a backup plan for retrieving the anchor & rode without the windlass?

I suppose one could buoy and slip, but that leaves you without your main anchor and rode, and no guarantee of ever seeing it again. This might happen a long way from home and being practically anchorless could be a big step along the failure cascade toward losing the ship...
You can always tie a line to the chain with a rolling hitch and use a winch.

Are there electric windlasses with no manual option, though?
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Old 02-02-2013, 14:32   #82
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

Thanks, Cwyckham, that's exactly what I was about to say!

After trying our manual backup on the electric windlass once (just to see), we discovered that each throw literally pulled ONE chain link. The line with a rolling hitch worked like a charm, even in winds of about 15 knots.

Again, it's worth practicing. And frankly, we found that it took two of us to do -- one winching the anchor up once it broke free and the other unfurling the genoa and steering (you have to time pulling the anchor off the bottom with which way the boat is "flopped" in relation to the wind; plan how you're sailing out before the anchor breaks free). An uncrowded anchorage helps, too!
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Old 02-02-2013, 19:32   #83
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

I can drive anything on wheels that has an engine and doesn't run on rails.

My pickup has an automatic and power steering and brakes.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:41   #84
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

When your engine is dead and your batteries are dead (or you dont want to run them dead) and you have heavy ground tackle out, then run a second , lighter anchor on nylon rode out and hang to that while you use the manual backup of your electric winch (not all have a manual backup) or the rolling hitch/chain claw method. Get the slow heavy work done and secured, then sail out the lighter nylon rode anchor. The extra time spent dealing with a second anchor is better than the blood pressure raising delay between getting a big heavy anchor off of the bottom and getting it secured and the boat sailing under control. As far as anchoring bow and stern, there are many places where it is needed to even think about getting a good nights sleep. Anne Cates mention of Atuana in the Marquesas was a classic. Also anchoring off of the beach in Cabo San Lucas without a stern anchor would lead to mutiny of any sensible crew. Many anchorages are like that , so you might as well learn how to do it right. Keep Moma comfortable and your whole cruise will go better._____Grant.
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Old 02-02-2013, 21:49   #85
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

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Originally Posted by cwyckham View Post
You can always tie a line to the chain with a rolling hitch and use a winch.

Are there electric windlasses with no manual option, though?
I have raised an anchor using a jib halyard as well as using a primary winch. Both worked.

I have also picked up 200 feet of chain using the armstrong method. (Not Lance). No wind and an engine. I had to rebuild the wiring for the anchor windlass remote later.
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Old 03-02-2013, 13:48   #86
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

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Originally Posted by RabidRabbit View Post
I do not by any means think my 66# anchor resets every 6 hours, I can stay anchored for 6 weeks in 4 knot currents and heavy winds without moving an inch. I change direction every 6 hours like clockwork, even in some pretty good blows. It may have pivoted around once or twice, but its set well. I think its a commen misconception by many that if the tide turns the anchor resets. This is why so many still do a 2 anchor thing. Maybe 2 is better if their small, but I still really doubt it. It seems the part timers fear 1 anchor, but the full time cruisers I know dont ever mess with 2 hooks. On 3:1 probably could pop out and reset, on 8:1 not so much.
I anchored for a month last summer using a 45# Forfjord (my storm anchor because I lost my regular anchor in a snag) in sand, didn't reset it once, was not s close to shore as I could have been and was actually in 40' of water w/100' of rode + 20' of chain.... did not feel comfortable about the scope so kept a close eye on the GPS.....over the month there was a nice sharp circle.
Seeing someone anchor under sail is more impresive than it should be, it is something everyone should know how to do and why fire up the engine if you don't need to.
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Old 04-02-2013, 00:04   #87
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

Anchoring using a jib halyard attached to the junction of chain and rope used to be standard operating procedure on ocean racing maxis, in the days when they used to anchor.

I've got a photo somewhere of 100' of 1/2" chain making sidewinder snake-like patterns across the sky while we manhandled a 110lb CQR over the bow of a RTW boat, which (like any serious racing yacht even then) had no bow roller

Knowing what I know now, I'd use the same basic method but put the anchor over the side, back at the chainplates.

You have to be careful, of course; you need a very reliable, spike-triggered snapshackle on the halyard and a very reliable person manning the spike.
It can ruin your day, ending up anchored by the masthead....

As for what we used in lieu of a bowroller: a massive snatchblock on the warp, bridled using webbing from the (substantial) lower legs of the pulpit, which was designed with this in mind.
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:13   #88
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

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Old 04-02-2013, 02:00   #89
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

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A thought just struck me....engineless might mean also losing battery-recharge.

For those relying on electric power for raising anchor, do you have a backup plan for retrieving the anchor & rode without the windlass?

I suppose one could buoy and slip, but that leaves you without your main anchor and rode, and no guarantee of ever seeing it again. This might happen a long way from home and being practically anchorless could be a big step along the failure cascade toward losing the ship...
A couple of thoughts on this:

1) I would only slip when there was a pressing reason involving a time constraint:
  • big boat or several rafted boats to windward, dragging
  • imminent grounding on an ebb
  • arrested by French naval vessel for anchoring in unmarked, uncharted channel
  • tsunami alert
  • >> insert personal neurotic fantasies here <<
2) As far as being left "practically anchorless" : If I was "a long way from home", slipping one anchor would leave me with a minimum of three decent anchors, unless I had been away from civilisation long enough to have already lost a couple.

Having said that, I have known people who would return from the subAntarctic when they had got down to their last couple of anchors.

(In certain locations, notably the Bounties, it's roadstead anchoring only, and the chances of wedging an anchor between immovable rocks is high)

3) Rolling hitch or similar to take a pendant to a primary winch: I think this is the weigh to go ;-) when you get to the chain on a mixed rode, or for an all-chain rode. In the latter case, it's probably worth setting up two pendants.

This is how large wooden sailing warships got their anchors: generally the cable (warp) was too large in diameter to go directly round the capstern.

The pendants which were used for this purpose were called "voyols". They did not have to be strong enough to take the loads of the vessel surging against the anchor indefinitely without breaking, so they could be of smaller diameter.

The alternating voyols were fastened to the cable with multiple "nippers" (flat-braided from cordage)

"Nippers" was also the name given, by association, to the ship's boys who ran back and forwards with these items, which obviously had to be reattached at frequent intervals.

Boys are still referred to as "nipper" in some anglo cultures with a strong seafaring tradition.

The reason the cable was so large was that the materials they had (even manila fibre) were not very strong, in relation to the size (and more particularly windage) of the vessels.

This made it a fairly unwieldy exercise rowing anchors out, which was a fairly frequent necessity given they had no engines.

Especially unwieldy given how large the anchors had to be, to hold reliably.

Sometimes all the ship's longboats would have to be used, along with the launch and maybe even the pinnace, to carry the anchor and (judiciously spaced) intermediate bundles of warp, coiled-down and stopped.

It must have taken big, strong and experienced hands just to do the coiling and stopping, in cases where the circumference, when not under load, might be approaching that of a man's thigh.

If they had spent all night laying out several anchors in this way (perhaps because of a wind-shift, making it impossible to sail off the anchor they'd dropped), I'm pretty sure the language would not have been pretty if they couldn't get them to set.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:25   #90
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Re: Anchoring When You Have Engine Failure

Most anchors have a fitting for a trip line, so why not use it (I have lost two anchors because I didn't, am waiting on diver to dive on one now).
Anchoring under sail should not be a skill that you keep in your "bag of tricks" in case the engine fails, there is no reason why not to do it as often as possible.
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