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Old 24-01-2016, 04:56   #1
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Long keel anchoring

hi

first, my aplogies for yet another anchoring thread, but honestly, as I said to my son as we tried to anchor in a crowded anchorage last saturday night, we are embarrassing ourselves, we should just move on .....

how to anchor a long(ish) keel boat ??

we have an albin vega. its very tender (is that the right word ??) if we are not moving forward, any wind at at all and we will be stern to wind in a matter of seconds.

so i've read the anchoring tips, drop the anchor, motor slowly backwards, secure the rode, power back to set the anchor ...

in real time, i drop the anchor, as i'm doing that the boat has spun stern to wind.

i tick it into reverse and try to steer downwind. its a vega so there is no prospect of reverse motoring in any desired direction (that is not into the wind) at less than 2000 revs and even then, it takes a bit of a run up.

do i drop the anchor and go forward for a bit and then, when the anchor/rode can take a hold of the bow, allow the wind to turn us bow to wind and then try and motor backwards down wind ??

anybody out there (especially with a vega) that's got some tips for the hapless ??
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Old 24-01-2016, 05:30   #2
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Re: long keel anchoring

Yes, Full keel Bristol 32. Does the same. Just wait patiently until the bow is tugged around by the anchor rode. No other choice.
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Old 24-01-2016, 05:38   #3
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Re: long keel anchoring

We have a CT 56 which is a full keel boat and like you high windage. Part of the issue may be on how you are operating the windlass. If you try and run out the chain with the motor it may take too long for the anchor to reach bottom by which time your bow has swung round in the wind leaving the chain/rode under the boat. This may or may not be a problem as long as you do not let out too much chain as the anchor will bring the bow back around. The secret is too not let out more chain than enough to reach bottom + 5-10 feet more. Once the chain or rode starts to stretch out then let out more chain until you reach the desired scope. If your windlass has a clutch cone then it is far better to allow the anchor to free fall to the bottom + a bit extra, then when the rode begins to stretch out allow chain to run out to desired scope as the boat moves back. Once you have reached this point, allow the boat to stop moving then back on the anchor to ensure setting properly.

Another issue with these full keeled boats is current. This sometimes is a bigger issue than windage as most keel boats will sit in the current no matter how much wind there is. Most time when trying to anchor I will determine the set of the current and motor into it to drop the anchor. Then follow the procedure above.

Don't worry about what this all looks like to others as the only important things are that you do not hit adjacent boats which would mean that you are trying to anchor too close anyway and that your anchor is properly set. Whether you drift sideways in the wind is really irrelevant although with a little practice in running the chain out as you move backwards you will minimize this.

You will likely encounter similar problems in recovery the anchor is really muddy conditions where it takes a lot to clean the mud from the chain. Constantly stopping the recovery and losing corresponding steerageway will leave you being blown off constantly. This can also be stressful on bow rollers and windlass especially in larger swell or any kind os seas. A little practice will see you learning to handle most situations that you will run into.

Good Luck
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Old 24-01-2016, 05:54   #4
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pirate Re: long keel anchoring

The type of keel does not really affect anchoring.. technique does..
This is what I do.. if you decide to try it out do it somewhere quiet to start till you learn your boats quirks well enough to use them.. start with at least 1 crew member till you know her moves..
1st/ Go to all chain.. a rope rode has no weight resistance to offer the bow..
Usually in a near full anchorage I do at least one circuit to gauge the effects of wind/current on how the boats are lying, who's on rope and who's on chain.. angle of chain.. up n down or at an angle..
Once I pick my spot I cut through and approach head to wind at just enough speed for control.. as I get to about 10 metres from the 'drop' I go to neutral and centre the tiller/wheel, release the main sheet, walk forward where all is set up and drop the hook..
'Your boats 'wheigh on' is something you'll have to learn..'
Usually there's still slight forward movement as the hook bottoms and the chain then feeds out in an arc as the boat falls off.. I let out 15-20metres then lock of or jam the chain on a cleat as the weight of the boat pulls the chain straight and pivots the anchor.. starting the digging in.. as the bow starts coming head to wind I let out 5 metres more fast then lock again..
this usually completes the bedding in...
Should mention here I like to handball my chain on boats upto 36ft.. touch tells a lot.. also a foot on the chain ahead of the roller will send the telltale vibrations of a dragging anchor.. I also sail in a tide range of -3+ metres with currents.
So.. assuming the anchor seems set I move to the mast and drop the main keeping an eye on my 'Marks'.. tidy the main then connect my bridle and feed out to suit.. engine off.
If however there's weed I have dragged a couple of times.. in which case I nip back and sheet in the main then haul in the hook as fast as I can.. the act of hauling in the chain brings her head up and tacks back and forth as you haul in.. this is where picking your spot well comes in as she should.. once the hook lifts.. fall off to around 70* before the wind powers the main enough to get wheigh on.. and you want that gap between the boats either side.. once anchors near the roller jam on cleat and go aft.. put engine in gear and clear the anchorage then AP/TP while you go forward to either stow or set up for another try.
I never use the engine to 'Bed In'.. Gravity and nature work fine.
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Old 24-01-2016, 06:27   #5
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Re: long keel anchoring

...albin vega...if we are not moving forward, any wind at at all and we will be stern to wind in a matter of seconds...
Unless there's a strong current I don't/can't believe that?

...i drop the anchor, as i'm doing that the boat has spun stern to wind. i tick it into reverse and try to steer downwind...its a vega so there is no prospect of reverse motoring in any desired direction (that is not into the wind) at less than 2000 revs and even then, it takes a bit of a run up... I remember that scenario well enough

We sailed a Vega for many years/miles, during which we anchored her successfully several hundred, perhaps thousands of times; we'd an all chain rode and no windlass and our preferred technique:
  • Get the anchor released and sat on the bow roller with a suitable heap of chain on deck.
  • Choose your spot and approach it slowly heading into the wind; motor over your chosen spot and sufficient boat lengths beyond to allow for your chosen scope.
  • Try to finish the approach already in neutral gear, drop the anchor and quickly feed-out chain, equivalent only to around 1.5-2x depth of water.
  • Now WAIT - patience is a virtue. Your stern is NOT going any further to windward, what is happening is that your bow is falling back to leeward.
  • Once the anchor bites and the short chain length stretches out, the bow will stop blowing down to windward and the stern will instead be blown down wind; you will now find that you're facing the same way as all the other anchored/moored yachts and slightly ahead of your chosen anchoring spot.
  • Now snick the engine into reverse gear - just ticking-over- to ensure that the chain's stretched out (it'll come taut) then slowly deploy more chain (still no more than 2.5-3x depth) keeping the engine ticking over in reverse, so that chain remains taut.
  • Now increase the revs in reverse and gun it hard, whilst checking that you're not moving.
  • If all's well, shut down the motor and let out yet more chain, dropping back to finish in the position you originally chose and hopefully the intended scope too.
By only dropping a short chain scope to begin with, this stops you from wandering all over in the first instance; by digging in whilst still short of your final scope, you get a better idea of the anchor's holding. Our Vega had only a 10bhp engine (it was old too, so maybe 7 horses and 3 donkeys?) so if you dropped out 30m of chain in the first instance, you didn't have the power to ever even stretch it out.
The foregoing is most definitely NOT the 'only way to do it', but that technique and variants of it, worked for us from the UK to Turkey.

Relax and enjoy, you've chosen the best yacht in the world.
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Old 24-01-2016, 06:52   #6
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Re: long keel anchoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by keelkicker View Post
................... if we are not moving forward, any wind at at all and we will be stern to wind in a matter of seconds.
............................
Some find this hard to believe, but I think this is because they are assuming that your anchor is down. Certainly, if you spend any time without "way on", and not anchored, the wind will catch your bow and you would face away from the wind as a weather vane would. This is especially true with a long keel having a cut-away forefoot which I believe is your design.

Timing will be your easiest solution. While approaching your determined spot, have your anchor prepared to deploy and begin it's drop while you still have a bit of inertia keeping you into the wind. Once the anchor reaches the bottom continue to release more rode while your bow turns off the wind. You can stop increasing the rode momentarily to pull the bow back into the wind, but not so harshly as to not allow your anchor to set.

Simple hand signals from the bow that will call for neutral, reverse, forward, starboard and port will be a great help in allowing you to be at the bow and anchoring before the wind catches your bow.

This "feel" for the bottom that allows you to keep your bow into the wind while paying out the anchor will become very easy in time. In fact, it will become so easy that you might not understand why someone new to anchoring would say, "...if we're not moving forward, .... we will be stern to the wind in a matter of seconds."
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Old 08-02-2016, 21:56   #7
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Re: long keel anchoring

I don't know if your problem is unique to long keels, or cut-away fore-foots like your Albin Vega, but in my former Columbia 24 (closer in hull design to yours) and now in my Columbia 29 (a bit longer keel) when I drift up on the spot where I will place the anchor I have the anchor already down close to the bottom so that as soon as the bow begins to drift back I can lay the anchor down and pay out the rode. After that the boat will likely head off as you say, but eventually after I have paid out a couple hundred feet I cleat it and let it begin to set. At this point you may want to put it in reverse when the stern is pointed the right way (after the bow is pulled around.) In my case I am using Danforths so I do not let the anchor hit the bottom until I know the bow is drifting back so it will set correctly. Also in my case I often will wait until the stern is over the spot I want the stern anchor and I let it hit the bottom, but not letting the chain pile up on it. Then I'll pull on the rode on the bow let the stern line pay out. Once I am half way between the anchors I secure them and pull one against the other. Once I know they are both well set, I am done and I can either stay anchored bow and stern (common around here) or switch to Bahamian mooring if the conditions require it. But that is just me, in this particular neighborhood. Works for me, never dragged that set-up and I sleep well. Hope that helps.
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Old 09-02-2016, 04:28   #8
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Re: Long keel anchoring

Hi all

My thanks for the helpful tips. Much appreciated.

The boy and i have ventured back out and whilst we may not be quite at the "master" stage, we didn't hit anybody (and that's always a plus) and we didn't drag.

Surely, that has to count as a win....

cheers

kk
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Old 09-02-2016, 13:04   #9
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Re: Long keel anchoring

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Originally Posted by keelkicker View Post
Hi all

My thanks for the helpful tips. Much appreciated.

The boy and i have ventured back out and whilst we may not be quite at the "master" stage, we didn't hit anybody (and that's always a plus) and we didn't drag.

Surely, that has to count as a win....

cheers

kk
no collisions and no dragging? You are now anchoring master.
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