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Old 12-07-2011, 12:06   #1
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Stern-tie Anchor Technique

We just had our first stern-tie experience and it went really well. However, we had virtually zero wind and current. I'm trying figure out how we would have done it if we had any of each. We were within swing range of the boat next to us in a very tight but amazing anchorage (Royal Cove, Portland Is., PNW).

We dropped the anchor and backed down towards shore, set the anchor, then I ran to the back, hopped in the dinghy and headed for shore. It took at least 5 minutes to get to shore, tie the dinghy, get up to the ring, and tie us on. The boat had drifted a bit towards our neighbour, but not too bad. I then swung us back a bit and we were done.

I'm trying to figure out what we would have done with any wind or current either that night or the next day getting going (ok, for the next day, if we'd had a proper floating line of double the length to shore, we could have gotten going while maintaining some steerageway pretty easily but that doesn't help on the way in).

Is there some sort of trick for keeping the boat in place with no steeragway while somebody gets to shore? Or do you just swing and fend off?

Thanks for any advice,

Chris
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:46   #2
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Re: Stern-tie Anchor Technique

I have done it maybe 3-4 times. In one case I did have a pretty good crosswind. After I set the bow anchor I got into the dinghy and tried to straighten it up. Will all 3 hp going I couldn't manage it. Fortunately a neighboring boat came out to help and with both of us pushing, we got my boat back into position where we could tie the stern to the mangroves.

To leave the next morning I ran a loop to the mangroves and back so I could cast off from the boat.

I have read accounts of Med mooring, basically the same thing. It takes real skill and balls to start backing down as you pay out bow rode after dropping the bow anchor. Then as your stern approaches the dock, make fast the bow rode at just the right time and length so the bow anchor sets and the stern stops a few feet from the dock!

Mind you, I have read about it. Never saw it done.

David
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:52   #3
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Re: Stern-tie Anchor Technique

Sounds like you did well.
Here in the Med you are often tying up to rocks or trees. In adverse conditions the secret is to send someone ashore in the dingy (or swim) to attach and prepare the line around a suitable point. The line is then coiled then left in a milk crate (often in the water) in an easy spot to grab. Sometimes a fender or float on the end of the line makes it easier.
The boat reverses up to line after dropping the anchor. Because the line has been prepared its easy to grab from the boat with a boathook or fed from the dingy. The line can be quickly secured stabilizing the stern and preventing swing. The aim is to have a stern line that is secure and can be grabbed quickly. A light line is often used for the first point. You can secure larger diameter lines when thing are stable.
If tying to a dock the above steps are unnecessary because there are nice cleats to tie off the stern. If there are other boats have fenders out.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:53   #4
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Re: Stern-tie Anchor Technique

If getting a line to shore is a problem, say it's a mangrove or something less than a nice Med-moor situation, consider running the line ashore with the dinghy before anchoring.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:59   #5
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Re: Stern-tie Anchor Technique

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Sounds like you did well.
Here in the Med you are often tying up to rocks or trees. In adverse conditions the secret is to send someone ashore in the dingy (or swim) to attach and prepare the line around a suitable point. The line is then coiled .
Just a note of warning on the swimming ashore bit, whoever you volunteer to send ashore, make sure they have protection on their feet.
After meddy mooring in Greece to a couple of trees, which my GF had swum the ropes to, I swam ashore later, and saw sea bed was littered with sea urchins. She had gone bare feet, I'll never know how she managed to avoid stepping on one (or two or three)
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Old 12-07-2011, 13:02   #6
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Re: Stern-tie Anchor Technique

Like anything else, med mooring just takes practice. We chartered an Alba55 for 4 weeks in the Greek Islands about 20 years ago and picked it up pretty quickly. The biggest problem is when those anchoring after you have set up, drop their hook over yours. Trying to pull your anchor up before anyone else is cause for screaming and cursing as only the Greeks can do. I've seen 4 or 5 boats all lose their anchor hold because one guy wanted to leave and pull them all up in a ball of chain and anchors.
Also, if you are anchoring with a stern shoreside tie and anchor set up in the PNW, be sure and check the tides. I have witnessed several boats high and dry with too short a stern line. Cheers, Capt Phil
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Old 12-07-2011, 13:11   #7
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Re: Stern-tie Anchor Technique

I used to get in close to a beach or inside a crowded anchorage in the Caribbean using a stern anchor. My technique is to drop the stern anchor and run way forward. Then drop the Bow anchor and pull in the stern as we backed up equalizing the scope on each. This also works well in the narrow anchorages and creeks along the ICW. Remember to center the wheel and tighten the wheel break if in a high current area.
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Old 12-07-2011, 14:14   #8
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Re: Stern-tie Anchor Technique

Fantastic. Getting the stern line to shore first is a great idea. Lots of different challenges around how to do that best with two people in a tight spot (want the crew back aboard for the actual anchoring process), but certainly doable with something like a dinghy anchor and float or something like that. Thanks, all!
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Old 13-07-2011, 01:19   #9
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Re: Stern-tie Anchor Technique

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Originally Posted by nigel1 View Post
Just a note of warning on the swimming ashore bit, whoever you volunteer to send ashore, make sure they have protection on their feet.
Good point. Crocks are essential.
The rocks are sharp. They also can quickly cut through rope. A often put a short length of chain on, but for the first rope a quick easy light line is all thatís needed. Light floating line is often used. Its easy to swim with, cheap so you buy long lengths. The first rope needs to be longer as this is pulled up and the boat swings back into its final position and you can often end up quite close to shore. If using floating line take care to keep it away from the prop.
No footwear and too short a rope are the most common errors.
A final point is that if you are tying to trees its easy to ring bark them so show them some consideration
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