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Old 13-03-2016, 09:27   #16
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
I was in my favorite anchorage in the islands, and the wind picked up to 40 knots and stayed there. Boats were dragging all over. Eventually, so did I. After a couple failed attempts to re-anchor, the hook was holding. But the wind was strong and it was getting dark, and the boat was tacking like crazy. I had a second, identical anchor, so I carefully powered up and set the second anchor to make a V shape at the bow. I felt the second hook grab solidly as the boat backed off in the wind. I balanced the two anchors using the rodes. Now the boat stayed put...no more tacking. And the forces due to windage was shared between the two anchors...neither one pulling too hard anymore.

As for anchor size...it turned out that my originally set anchor was fouled on an ancient tree, buried on the bottom. The tree stopped my anchor from setting deeper. When I dragged, I dragged the entire tree. I was able to pull up a large section of the tree with my anchor, to the amazement of my neighbours. A larger anchor would have made no difference. In fact, my anchor was about 2 sizes larger than most boats my size usually carry.

With the two anchors well set off the bow, I had a pleasant, although windy night. I cannot say the same for many of the other boats sharing the anchorage that night.
Duhh ... The best response I can muster at the moment is "Wow". Hope that your experience, which goes against the consensus, will come in handy some day. What would you do if the wind picked up to 120 knots? Don't mean that as an insult, just as a real question, because where I am, such is a real possibility in the coming season.
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Old 13-03-2016, 09:39   #17
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

I sailed solo to Main Duck Island in the middle of Lake Ontario. It was blowing hard when I arrived, and the little lee from the island in the unprotected bay was already full of boats. Having shallow draft, and moving slowly, I found a spot very close to the rocky beach. However, if the wind should die down, or shift, I could easily drift onto the rocks. So I let out all my rode, and drifted down wind. When the boat finally settled, I dropped a stern anchor. Finally, I balanced the boat between the two anchors. During the night, the wind did fall, then picked up from offshore in the morning. It was a rude awakening as the other boats were yelling over the wind, attempting to leave this now lee shore as quickly as possible. My stern anchor was holding my boat, and the bow anchor was slack. I was able to quickly bring up and stow the bow anchor. Then I moved the rode for the stern anchor to the bow. I was now anchored safely, by the bow, but on a lee shore with the wind and waves increasing by the minute. So after stopping to catch my breath, I powered off slowly, bringing the anchor up as I went. As soon as I was clear of the bay, I set a reefed main and half a jib. An hour later I was miles away, becalmed.
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Old 13-03-2016, 09:48   #18
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

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Duhh ... The best response I can muster at the moment is "Wow". Hope that your experience, which goes against the consensus, will come in handy some day. What would you do if the wind picked up to 120 knots? Don't mean that as an insult, just as a real question, because where I am, such is a real possibility in the coming season.
120 knot winds would be a catagory 4 Hurricane.
Not only would the boats at anchor be in serious peril, but cars and houses on shore would also be at risk of blowing away.
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Old 13-03-2016, 09:50   #19
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

Like many others, I am not a fan of setting two hooks.
I use an over-sized Rocna and all chain rode to keep the scope shorter than 7:1 if the anchorage is tight but usually I will do my best not to anchor close enough to other boats that it makes a difference if I can help it.
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Old 13-03-2016, 09:59   #20
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

I end up using a stern anchor quite often. 1) In tight anchorages where there is no room for swing. 2) In Nordic countries it is very common to drop the stern anchor and tie your bow to the shore. Both anchoring styles are related to the local environment with many small natural harbours and rocky shoreline. Bow goes towards the shore since doing it the other way around could easily mean hitting the rocks with your rudder.
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Old 13-03-2016, 10:22   #21
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

I always use a stern anchor, on not too long a scope.
If something gives or the wind changes in the night the different action of the boat will wake me up and I can attend to the changes.
Bill
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Old 13-03-2016, 10:46   #22
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

If you are able to tying stern to shore is probably your best bet rather than trying to bugger about setting a second anchor. It's a common technique in the Med and in the Adriatic where we sail. Have heard tales of people riding out pretty serious storms by having their stern tied off to 2 very substantial trees, especially if you can set your stern into the expected wind direction.

Personally we have a very oversize storm anchor as our main bow anchor - a case of go big or go home. This should hold us safe in anything up to 60kts + so I'm not overly concerned about storms. Our secondary anchor is really just a "oh ****!" emergency anchor rather than anything I'd consider using on a regular basis.

Just my 2p worth

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Old 13-03-2016, 10:48   #23
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

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Right now I'm somewhere where it is hard to find good literature on the subject, so I am posing a question on this forum.

I would like to know when most folks consider it necessary to set a stern anchor. Also, what is the downside to doing so, and when might a 2nd bow anchor be a better choice.


Also, if anyone knows a good e-book on anchoring, which I can pick up on the net for a reasonable price, please let me know.

Thanks to all,

G2L
G2L,

RE: When to set a stern anchor: the circumstances you described in your related post is a good scenario for a Bahamian moor [which I believe others have already mentioned.] Here is the link to my response in that thread.

The important distinction that I mentioned in my response linked above is to attach the stern kedge at the bow- not the stern... This works well for 180 wind and current shifts and I prefer it to a shore fast because I'm lazy...

I use a line attached to the main anchor rode using an icicle hitch with an eye and thimble on one end through which I lead the stern anchor warp over the bow roller to a cleat- maintaining adjustability and cast-off capability from on deck.

RE: 2 bow anchors: I have used 2 bow anchors in times past when conditions warranted, but agree with others that an adequate main bower is preferred to setting 2 less than adequate anchors.

Having said that, since we have 2 substantial anchors on our bow, we are sometimes asked why we feel the need to set 2 anchors. My reply is we don't; the other anchor is a ready to deploy back-up in case the primary ground tackle failed or had to be abandoned. Of course, both could be set off the bow as well, but in that event I would have to question my main bower choice...

There are many ways of accomplishing these arrangements, and all have their variations depending upon circumstances, vessel, crew, and equipment at hand. [i.e, There is no one 'right' way...]

RE: Anchoring books and references: I list several I have used and prefer over the years toward the bottom of our Anchoring and Storm Tackle page.

May you always enjoy safe anchorages and restful nights at anchor...

Cheers!

Bill
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Old 13-03-2016, 10:56   #24
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

Unless Med. tied up in a marina the short answer is do not set one unless you need to check your swing in a tight anchorage because it takes more time to get both hooks up in a big wind shift and your stern anchor will most likely be considerably smaller then your bow anchor and so you do not want the vessel loading up 100% on it.

If you have the room to swing on your bow anchor that is the best option, but there will be times when you need to check the swing and that is when you would set your stern anchor.

Smooth sailing,
Michael
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Old 13-03-2016, 11:17   #25
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

In the Bahamas most knowledgeable cruisers use 2 bow anchors regularly. Set in a vee as the anchorages are small and this way reduces the swing.

In many anchorages you would use 2 anchors one facing the incoming tidal current and the second facing the outgoing tide. In Nassau and near inlets it is an absolute necessity.
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Old 13-03-2016, 11:23   #26
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

If I'm anchoring in a location for storm protection, I am always on one anchor at the bow. I would have greater risk and difficultly attempting to regain or reset a fouled or dragging stern anchor or escaping from a lee shore with any hope of maneuvering under power. For me, it has been a difficult task to move a rode from the stern to the bow in storm conditions and this can consume the time that would allow me a safer escape.
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Old 13-03-2016, 11:47   #27
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

a far as books on anchoring go, I'd recommend Creative Anchoring by Fatty Goodlander. Great and informative book.
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Old 13-03-2016, 11:47   #28
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

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. What would you do if the wind picked up to 120 knots? .
You get ready to die.

That's what I did in a Catagory 5 Cyclone when it was heading straight towards us packing winds of 150 knots.

I worked out where the best places downwind where we could control our drag onto the shore. Not to save the boat but to try to live.

Not much fun.
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Old 13-03-2016, 11:54   #29
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

I guess I can see it if in an anchorage with others not swinging. A stern anchor is good to keep you off the beach with a lunch hook on the beach. Great for keeping you off the beach so guests or kids can enjoy the beach. Other than that?
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Old 13-03-2016, 12:01   #30
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

Setting a Stern anchor to stop the boat rolling?

I am surprised that more people do not use an anchor spring off the main anchor to pull the boat head to swell as it is much easier to handle than a stern anchor. This is how the sailing ships used to get out of anchorages.

I also have used 2 anchors off the bow more than once (but, key point, my boat is set up for it), particularly in a northers where the holding is patchy, and I know the wind direction will change but I always have a very narrow angle between the anchors, typically 35 degrees, most of the books I have read suggest much wider angles but I think this puts too much stress on 1 anchor at a time.

BUT as soon as you do not need the second anchor, retrieve it otherwise you can have a real mess
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