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Old 17-08-2012, 08:48   #1
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Bow and Stern or Two Bow Anchors?

I am a relatively inexperienced sailor and will be spending the night on the hook tonight. The wind in the area I will be staying is supposed to change from the SW to the N during the night and will be between 6-10 knots. I have two anchors. Would it be best to anchor off the bow and stern, or use two bow anchors?
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Old 17-08-2012, 08:50   #2
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

Just stick with one anchor, hopefully not a danforth.
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Old 17-08-2012, 09:08   #3
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

Enjoy your night at anchor.

You should be fine with one anchor
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Old 17-08-2012, 09:08   #4
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

I like to anchor from stern.. with one anchor.
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Old 17-08-2012, 09:20   #5
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

Bow tied to the boat, stern tied to a large bell, bucket, or the crews big toe.
Should be OK then.
I often drop a hook off the back when I run aground. Wakes me up when it's necessary, and not before. Great way to avoid being run down by stupid powerboaters too.
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Old 17-08-2012, 09:35   #6
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

Interesting!! I don't know about your neck of the woods, but around here, this time of year, a 180 degee shift over night usually brings some cells of +25 knots.
Check the bottom, a biggest anchor you got, and a lot of scope.
Lots of members in your area, someone may chime in.
Have a good night.
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Old 17-08-2012, 09:48   #7
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

Under normal conditions one anchor should be enough but having two anchors is not a bad idea and allows you to be a bit more flexible in your anchoring techniques. I actually have three, but only use my main Forfjord anchor regularly. Having at least two anchors (they need not be the same kind), will allow you to use a Bahamian moor when anchoring in a area where the current is expected to reverse or a dual anchoring system if the problem is expected to be wind shifts. You might want to read through the following to get some tips and ideas:
Advanced Anchoring Techniques | YachtPals.com
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Old 17-08-2012, 10:00   #8
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

An anchor off the stern is almost never a good idea unless it is just for lunch and there isn't much wind. One or two off the bow. If you're in or near New London that will be a cold front coming through tonight and you should keep in mind the possibility of a thunderstorm or two prior or with the frontal passage. That could mean some stronger wind gusts. Keep in mind also the people around you. If you are on two anchors and they are on one, they might swing into you when the wind shifts if you are all too close. Generally your main anchor should be sufficient to handle all of this by itself, but if you feel you need the security of a second anchor I suggest setting the main first off the bow, then setting the secondary one at about a 45 degree angle off the bow to one side or the other. That is usually the easiest configuration for two anchors.
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Old 17-08-2012, 11:02   #9
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

Yes, always anchor with the same layout as those already at the anchorage. One or two off the bow if they are off their bows but if they have one off the bow and one off the stern you need to do the same if at all possible or boats will swing into each other. Depending on your bottom conditions and how easily your anchor sets one will probably be fine with 10:1 scope. 10 feet of anchor line for every one foot of water depth since you will be asleep ( you can get away with less if all chain ). 7:1 if you are anchoring during the day and are around to manage an issue. If your gps has the ability you can set an alarm to wake you up if the boat moves out of a radius you set. If you like to sleep soundly maybe a second anchor off the bow isn't a bad idea. If you are going to be there for longer than a night tandem anchoring is supposed to be a really good way to go and with chain.
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Old 17-08-2012, 11:58   #10
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

With your 26S you can get into some very shallow water so you will probably not be that exposed (I don't know anything about this anchorage). One anchor should be fine off the bow if it is big enough. If you don't feel it is big enough you can join two of them together with about 10 ft of chain so they are in series. If they are spread apart on two separate rodes off the bow they may get twisted together. Then if things get really bad and you have to lift the anchor after dark dealing with one rode makes it much easier to reset everything.
good luck, Bob
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Old 17-08-2012, 20:17   #11
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

In most places you have a Flood and an Ebb Tide, which means your boat will normally swing 180 degrees while at anchor during the full tide cycle.

So what is the big deal about 6-10 knots of wind, shifting 135 degrees while at anchor? Is there something special about this area he didn't mention?

We had two challenging wind events in the Sea of Cortez, one 55 knot Chubbasco that blew for 2.5 hours and one 40 knot Elephante, which blew at 40 knots for 13 hours. The 5 to 1 all chain rode and 25kg anchor held each time, although we stood an anchor watch during both of those events.

I mention these two events to reassure you that with proper scope, a single anchor will hold fine in most circumstances.

As far s multiple anchors, if I was going to ride out a large wind event (Tropical Storm or greater) I would deploy multiple anchors. You will find that using two or more anchors is a real pain in the butt, especially if you have never done it. Also becareful if you deploy two anchors in light shifting winds, the rodes may wrap.

You didn't mention if you have a chart plotter, but setting the anchor alarm might help you sleep.

Another trick I learned is to set your chart plotter on "TRACK MODE" while at anchor. It will show your swing, by placing track line on the screen and following your movements while at anchor. This will give you an idea of your swing radius and also if you are slipping.

Another electonic idea, especially when you are in the poo-poo is to turn on your radar and set a GUARD ZONE around the boat at a distance to let you know if you are slipping toward the lee shore. If the lee shore breaks the guard one the radar will sound an alarm.
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Old 18-08-2012, 02:03   #12
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

How did you get on overnight illinphoenix?
How did you anchor in the end?
Most important was it a good experience. I anchor over 300 days a years and still think it is a magic way to spend the night.
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Old 18-08-2012, 16:02   #13
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

Quote:
In most places you have a Flood and an Ebb Tide, which means your boat will normally swing 180 degrees while at anchor during the full tide cycle.

So what is the big deal about 6-10 knots of wind, shifting 135 degrees while at anchor? Is there something special about this area he didn't mention?
Taylor Creek is a very popular anchorage during ICW migration periods and you are faced with a very narrow anchoring area that basically dictates two anchors or you end up in the channel, which has heavy traffic and is patrolled regularly by the Coast Guard. Also it is shoal to 0 feet on the other side of the channel, so you have to really position your boat carefully in limited room, and then usually there are about twice as many boats in the anchorage as is desirable. It is not uncommon to have boats banging and bumping in the night as the tide changes, particularly if there is strong wind blowing opposite the very strong current. A lot of cruisers not used to Bahamian moors come in and insist that they can anchor on their one anchor because they never drag, blah, blah, blah. And, maybe they don't drag, but in the middle of the night they end up a long way from where they started out because the current has reversed. With most people on two anchors, it just doesn't work. It's a tricky spot to anchor. I don't know how many times I have rescued dragging boats there, helped people banging into each other, or watched others dragging away, and I only visit as a transient once in awhile.
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Old 19-08-2012, 13:15   #14
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

Thanks all for the advice! I went with one anchor, as seemed to be the consensus. I'm sure for most of you, the conditions would have been pretty tame, but it was only my second night ever on the hook, so I wanted to be especially careful and get some advice. noelex 77, I think you summed up my experience perfectly - it was a magical way to spend the night. I can't wait for the next time!
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Old 19-08-2012, 13:31   #15
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Re: Bow and stern or two bow anchors?

Glad you enjoyed it.
You will quickly gain experience and confidence. With the right gear and technique it is very safe. You will find plenty of advice on CF.
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