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Old 16-11-2014, 23:42   #1
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Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Forgive my grammer and choppy text. Phone posting and little battery reserve.

Engine disabled. Lift pump problem. Sailed to anchor, no engine to backdown with. Left the main up for a while but winds were about 7 so probably didn't set well. Thin soupy mud.

Cold front approaching, wind shifting to the north around dawn. Then I'll be perpendicular to windward shore with perdido bay behind me. Maybe 25 knots plus gusts all day.

Currently winds WSW, so I'm at a shallow angle to a lee shore. Looks like I dragged about 60 feet on a sustained gust a bit ago. Maybe that set my anchor better? I'm at 10:1 on the rode.

My boat sails at anchor like crazy. So I dropped my danforth as a hammerlock at only 2:1. Helps the sailing.

Winds are to turn to the west first and start building. Then I'll be parallel to the shore. I'm ready for the north wind frankly.

What would you have done differently?

What would you do if you were slowly dragging, maybe 500 feet to ground, no engine. Sloop rig. Furling headsail. Assume reasonable competence boat handling. (Over 300 day sails in the last 3 years with about 50 engine hours).

Sorta wish I'd just anchored out in the middle and took it on the chin all day tomorrow.

Your thoughts?

Maybe west marine could run me out new Rocna or big ass honkin' Bruce chop chop? ....
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Old 17-11-2014, 02:25   #2
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re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Without a working engine the first requirement is to anchor in a location where you can sail out of trouble if the anchor drags.

You need to assume the worst case (wind stronger and from a worse direction than predicted). If you are not in suitable location I would move while conditions are favourable. It can mean anchoring in a less good area, further from shore etc, but any anchor can drag so it is important you can get away.

The CQR is not great in soft mud. I would not trust any anchor that has dragged 60 feet. Your Danforth is likely to be better. The Danforth does not always reset well, but I think it is your best option in this substrate. This is a case where I would use both anchors on a long scope. It is very hard to even out the force on two anchors, but you are at least hedging your bets with two different anchor designs.

Have both anchors buoyed and ready to cut free if necessary.

This means you will lose the benefit of the Danforth just off your bow reducing your swinging. You will find a weight will work almost as well.

Try and reduce windage as much as possible. This will decrease the force on your anchor and improve your sailing performance to windward if needed.

Have the crew ready and briefed. Their jobs will be different than motoring out of the anchorage so it pays to decide beforehand what everyone's role will be.

Finally lift pump problems can be overcome with a secondary electric pump put in series with the lift pump. Even an outboard fuel bulb should work providing you have crew to pump the bulb.The other option is to jury rig a day tank above the engine so the fuel is gravity fed.

Good luck and order that new anchor.
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Old 17-11-2014, 02:29   #3
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re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Yes, TAKE THE HEADS'L OFF HER. That will reduce the dancing and the windage.

If you are solo, make sure you leave the sheet attached to the winch, and carefully drop the sail in stages, as you tack around the anchor. When it is finally down, tie that sucker as small as you can get it, with sail ties. You shall have reduced your windage and your dancing considerably.

Also, let out some more chain, so that your Danforth gets to 3 or 4 to 1, and it will be better able to assist the CQR in the soupy mud. The CQR lacks fluke area, and is not the best anchor for soupy mud, but it's what you have, so work with those, and try to maximize them.

If you have a staysail on a furler, strike it as well, and stow below, that, too will help with the windage and dancing.

Now, hope it doesn't get over 60. Use chafe gear, even towels help. Good luck with it, mate.

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Old 17-11-2014, 04:25   #4
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Set your danforth to the north with as much scope as possible. If it's soupy mud I would worry more about being able to retrieve the danforth than dragging! Also if you fear you may drag then don't remove your sails. They are your only means of propulsion and may save your ass.
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Old 17-11-2014, 04:50   #5
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Wow, it is turning nasty. We're at the Wharf in Orange Beach, glad we're tied to a dock.

Some great insights listed above, I hope it all works out ok for you, it's not going to be a nice ride.

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Old 17-11-2014, 05:02   #6
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Thanks so much for the replies.

I'm singlehanded.

Can't remove the headsail, because the sheeve at the masthead desintgrated from uv and the halyard is jammed.

I have the new lift pump installed. But having trouble bleeding the system. That's what I intended to post about today. But it can wait until later.

Someone nicked my mushroom off the dock last month that was my hammerlock anchor.

Just finished bouying the main anchor.

Let the danforth out to 4:1.

I have good ranging indication on shore and appear to be holding. Looking again...still holding.

The front is here now, wind starting to shift I think. So room to drag is increasing. I do wish I had just anchored out in the middle of the bay.

Actually I think the strong gust earlier did set the anchor better.

Wind shifting. Temps dropping.

Forgot to lock the fridge door. Just dumped its contents......

.......felt and looked like about 50 there for a few minutes. Hobbie horsing to beat the band.

Calming some, rain slacking, looks like I stayed stuck. I'll have to check the plotter to be sure.

Ah, nice start to my winter coastal back to Florida. I promise I didn't leave on a Friday. It was 0005hrs Saturday morning the day after Halloween. My lease was up that day.

Whew. I need a smoke break. And clean up the galley floor.
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Old 17-11-2014, 05:07   #7
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

The danforth did end up to the north of the main by chance.

Best ciggarette I had in awhile.

Didn't drag.

Everything looks better in the light of a new day.

Cheers. Time for a nap.
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Old 17-11-2014, 05:17   #8
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

At least it's getting lighter out now Four Winds, things just seem easier when you can see....

Good luck out there today, it's not exactly a beautiful, balmy day. Sounds like things are "under control" as best can be expected.

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Old 17-11-2014, 05:41   #9
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Thanks gunk.

Seems like I'll be fine now.

Gonna be a cold windy day.

I have a Facet electric pump loaner to help bleed the engine. But I'm going to shut down and save the batteries for tomorrow to work it out.

Think I'll just sleep and work on my bonzia tree today. And maybe read the rudder failers thread. It's probably still going.
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Old 17-11-2014, 05:54   #10
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

sounds like the junk we were caught in when we were in pensy and north fla.. we hid in wolf bay and ingrahams bayou. holding was decent and we only used a cqr with minimal chain. hold fast until the tows run again.
if you have a small electric assist pump , found in any auto zone or napa, you will be able to bypass lift pump. make sure you dont have extra diesel in your oil ... check oil frequently, as with fail lift pump this can happen.
btdt with the weather there--not envious of your situation.
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Old 17-11-2014, 06:46   #11
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Like Zee says, keep an eye on your oil for fuel...

Good luck on the Banzai tree<grin>you have steadier hands than I do

Not sure how long this is s'posed to last, some say a day, some say a tad longer, some a tad shorter.....

Sure glad that anchor is holding now...hey, maybe you can start another anchor thread

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Old 17-11-2014, 07:39   #12
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Hey Four Winds:

Marine weather is showing this:

Small craft advisory in effect until 6 p.m. this evening. Gale warning in effect from 6 p.m. through late tonight.

North winds 24 to 29 knots with frequent gusts to gale force, seas 4 to 6 feet. Gale force winds of 34 to 47 knots are imminent or occurring. Seas building 5 to 7 feet.

Hang on tight my friend, it's not getting any better out there for awhile.

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Old 17-11-2014, 08:34   #13
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Thanks zee. Love Ingrams Bayou. That's where I was when the pump failed. Checked the oil first thing.

Only way to connect the electric is through the mech lift pump with the fittings available rigtht now. Not sure about that so decided to wait and think about it.
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Old 17-11-2014, 09:38   #14
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

Gunk,

Saw that and heard it on the vhf. Glad I'm not off shore right now.

So far it's been blowing 15 or 20 for a few minutes and then 25 or 30 for a few. Seems odd. Expect it will start to hold at 25 to 30 in the afternoon. I'm getting some protection from the shore but wish I was a little closer.

I'm fine, I think. Maybe I should be working on the engine.

My anxiety level is fairly low.
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Old 17-11-2014, 09:47   #15
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Re: Soupy Mud and CQRs.. Happening Now

20/20 hindsight here. I would have set the two anchors in tandem twenty or so feet apart along the chain rode. The only hitch to this plan, is that it can be very difficult to get them up later without a windlass if they dig in deep. We've never had much luck using a stern anchor to keep the boat positioned into the waves or prevent sailing, it usually just drags back and forth and creates problems.
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