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Old 13-03-2016, 20:02   #46
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

I have used a bow and a stern anchor in rivers where I set these well out into the stream then run breast lines ashore to hold the boat close to a steep-to bank.


I often run two anchors off the bow; in windy conditions when I am anchored in a tidal stream and/or the tidal stream is very strong, In anchorages with limited swinging room, in anchorages with clay bottoms where a knob of clay will stick on an unset anchor preventing it from re-setting, in anchorages with thick seagrass.


To retrieve the second one I might just go out in my dingy, unset the anchor and drag it back close to the bow to haul it in, or pay out the loaded rode whilst I retrieve the unloaded anchor, and on one occasion when at risk of dragging onto a lee shore I retrieved enough chain to allow the anchor to slowly drag, let it drag until the second had taken up the load retrieved the anchor then retrieved the rope rode anchor into the cockpit as I slowly motored forward.


I only have two anchors now but at one time I had five and would just keep putting them out until the boat stayed where I wanted it. In general deploying all anchors from the bow so that the boat can swing to wind and tide appears to result in least anchor loading no matter how many you have out.
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Old 13-03-2016, 20:08   #47
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
Concerning double anchoring -- the problem is when the rodes get tangled, which they WILL, if you are swinging in tidal waters.
+1

Even the pros get it wrong. This ship spent over an hour just off our stern, with crew trying to untangle the two anchors. They were not successful and in the end motored slowly off with both anchors dangling.

We held snugly with our single Rocna. It was blowing about 40 knots. It is difficult to untangle that mess. With a small crew and dragging boat, it is even less fun.

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Old 13-03-2016, 21:36   #48
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

There seems to be a lot of advice here that is not taking into account all the different conditions. For example, people usually don't take an anchor to shore when the shore is marsh, mangrove or somebody's private back yard..... or in mosquito territory. There are different expectations and consequences of using two anchors when the anchorage depth is 50 feet or 12 feet. There are different considerations when the depth is 30' ten yards from shore or 3 feet 100 yards from shore. .... and then there's the weather, current set and drift, tidal range, and the anchoring behavior of your neighbors. In addition, there's the different behavior of various boats by their design in current and wind.

I can say what I do in situations with my boat, but all these variables make it very difficult to accept that there are any universal answers. This tends to make me skeptical of those that claim the "right way"!
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Old 13-03-2016, 21:42   #49
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

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Originally Posted by Gone2long View Post
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
If you want to learn about extreme anchoring, read Totorore Voyage by Gerry Clark. He explored Patagonia and other high latitude spots and anchored in the wildest places using two anchors on one chain! Unfortunately it only has to fail once when your safety margins are so narrow. Then it's game over.
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Old 13-03-2016, 22:29   #50
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

I have used stern anchors on rare occasions to when I was forced to lie with the bow to a concrete bulkhead, and there was no other option except leaving. For example in Egypt, I was forced to tie up with my bow to a sea wall in a manner that was a worry, and the stern anchor was an insurance policy against disaster.

In the few instances that I have used a stern anchor, it was always an FX-37 Fortress, and it held well.

When bad storms are bearing down on a anchorage, I have an anchoring rule that goes like this: He who anchors last, anchors best. If a tropical storm is coming or a hurricane is heading my way, I am one of the last people to set my anchor. After everyone has taken their positions, I select mine so that nobody else can drag into me. Then I set two 70 pound anchors about forty five degrees apart in the direction of the greatest wind and swell/storm surge.

So far it has worked.
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Old 14-03-2016, 03:42   #51
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

A typical day at the Baltic Sea, nine boats with stern anchor.
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Old 14-03-2016, 04:54   #52
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

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Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
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.
Exactly, and where I am such things happen with frightening regularity.

Hence, my question.

Thanks for your post,

G2L
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Old 14-03-2016, 04:56   #53
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Tell Us the rest of the story ...

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
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.
... So then what happened?

Seriously, you need to share that experience.

G2L
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Old 14-03-2016, 05:14   #54
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Thanks - In a Tyhpoon, That might be our only option.

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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

Keiron
Interesting. Again, lots of boats tie up to shore, and I think that this is probably the only way to ride out a hurricane/typhoon, if one is not on a solid mooring or dock in a very protected bay.

In Okinawa, folks drive up a local river and tie to trees on each side. I have witnessed lots of yachts weather winds that were very close to the world record, clocked a few years back in the Philippines.

By the way, love Croatia. So sad what happened in the war, and good to see that it is recovering some of its ancient charm and beauty.

Thanks for your post,

G2L
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Old 14-03-2016, 05:38   #55
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Bow to the Shore near Rocks

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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.
Hmmm ... Very interesting idea. I had never heard of that before, and I could see such a solution coming in handy, in various spots around here, under certain conditions.

Thanks for sharing,

G2L
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Old 14-03-2016, 05:48   #56
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

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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
Thanks Bill. I read your post, and the solution sounded a bit tricky for me, as a novice skipper, with, at the moment, a green crew as well. But I am keeping it in my back pocket.

Did some time up near Wrangell many years ago looking for a fishing job and cutting brush for a construction project nearby. Truly God's country.

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Old 14-03-2016, 05:51   #57
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Re: When to Set a Stern Anchor?

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
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.
Thanks. Understood.

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Old 14-03-2016, 06:05   #58
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On Keeping an Open Mind

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I have limited the swinging by laying a second anchor off the bow on maybe five occasions. It is amazing how much more secure it makes us feel and enables fine tuning of the boat's position. Twice we have motored forward to drop the anchor, twice we have taken it out by dinghy when strong winds forecast and once another boat laid it for us.
It is more difficult to recover but the extra peace of mind made it worthwhile.
Which leads me to another point. Never say never. When boating the most important thing is to keep your options open. Don't reduce your war chest because a whole lot of people on CF haven't had the need to try something.
Yeah, I always try to keep an open mind, because you can always learn from someone's rather uncanny experience. For instance, never would I have thought of tying, nose up to a tree on the beach, as one poster suggested. But, in this neck of the woods, I could definitely see that trick coming in handy some day.

thanks for your note,

G2L
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Old 14-03-2016, 06:09   #59
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Cool Fender Tip

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Originally Posted by ohdrinkboy View Post
I use a stern anchor a lot. I'm on a lake. If if it a flat night and I'm tucked in a cove, I use a stern anchor to keep me from floating about. It also keeps my bow in to the prevailing wake.

Easy to set/retrieve. I set the bow with twice the scope i want. Toss out the stern anchor and then retrieve the bow anchor back to the scope I want. Reverse for retrieval. If I have to ditch the stern anchor in an emergency, I would tie a fender to the bitter end so I could retrieve later.
Thanks for the fender tip. Dump it and forget it, eh? At least for the time being : )

G2L
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Old 14-03-2016, 06:15   #60
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Re: On Keeping an Open Mind

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Originally Posted by Gone2long View Post
Yeah, I always try to keep an open mind, because you can always learn from someone's rather uncanny experience. For instance, never would I have thought of tying, nose up to a tree on the beach, as one poster suggested. But, in this neck of the woods, I could definitely see that trick coming in handy some day.

thanks for your note,

G2L
Sure, but I don't think anyone said "never".

What was said about double anchoring is that it has significant disadvantages, which is true. That doesn't mean, that there are no cases where taking on board those disadvantages might be worthwhile, and no one said that.

Someone else said that putting out two inadequate anchors is a very poor substitute for one proper one. That is also very, very true, but of course, of little comfort to you if for whatever reason two inadequate anchors is all you have on board at the moment, so there is a place even for this.

In my opinion, everyone should try it a few times. You will very quickly learn the difficulties, and you will not make a regular habit of it.


And one of the most important things in anchoring is having a really good, well-sized bower anchor, the best and largest which you can afford/fit/handle. Peter Smith wrote about this in very well thought out terms in the original Rocna site. Size of the bower anchor is disproportionately important to holding power and reliability. So rather than acquiring several crappy anchors, it's really better to concentrate on one really good one, as large as you can fit and handle. This is an objective truth about anchoring.
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