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Old 18-04-2012, 04:59   #1
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Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

Last night our Rocna dragged for the first time in our 3 years of ownership.
Conditions were not particularly bad the forcast, which was accurate, for the local airport, which is nearby, was for 44K with gusts to 55K
7m of water with almost 70m chain out gave us an 8:1 ratio.
I had a look at the anchor the day before and it was moderately well set in hard sand with a small cover of weed.

The area around where we dropped the anchor is quite rocky in patches so my best guess is there was a light covering of sand over rock, or a buried rock near the tip.

Redropped the anchor at 3 am ( why do boats always drag at 3am) *in 12m in the same wind conditions with the same scope and it held the first time and is still holding now.

I anchor well over 300 days a year and each year I have several days with worse conditions than last night. This is the first time I have dragged with the Rocna, but it does show even with a large anchor (Rocna 55 on a 14.7m yacht) you do need to be diligent, talk through will the crew what you will do if dragging. Quick action is often needed and communication is likely to be difficult.
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Old 18-04-2012, 05:36   #2
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

Yes, diligence is key. Still, 55 kn. gusts are high, and if you were moored for some time, perhaps there was more windage off the deck than usual.

May I ask how you learned you were dragging and how you reset? Did you start the engine, go head to wind and "hover" until you got all the rode in and then picked a new spot?

Would you refine your "anchor drag drill" practice in any way? Obviously, it worked in the end...good for you.

By the way, the 3 AM dragging is Neptune's Rule 17 (b), I believe!
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Old 18-04-2012, 05:58   #3
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

I'm no expert here.... but in my experience...I'd rather be in 55 knots of wind and a decent anhorage than in an exposed one with 3-4 footers and say 30 knots....especially in a boat that veers and pitches a lot.

How was the chop where you dagged?? was it better after you relocated?
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Old 18-04-2012, 06:00   #4
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
Yes, diligence is key. Still, 55 kn. gusts are high, and if you were moored for some time, perhaps there was more windage off the deck than usual.

May I ask how you learned you were dragging and how you reset? Did you start the engine, go head to wind and "hover" until you got all the rode in and then picked a new spot?

Would you refine your "anchor drag drill" practice in any way? Obviously, it worked in the end...good for you.

By the way, the 3 AM dragging is Neptune's Rule 17 (b), I believe!
I was actually asleep. I have a gps next to my bed and always set an anchor alarm, which went off. I usually stay awake all night if the wind is stronger or their is a risk of other boats dragging into us, but I thought, wrongly, last night it was safe to get some sleep.
My wife an I had lots of practice of dragging with our old anchor so we are a good team. Little things like having instrument covers off, a jacket ready to throw on, with a torch and the remote anchor winch controls in the pocket, the second Gps which is visasible from the cockpit was on so I did not wait for it to get a fix. These details can be important in saving time.
The first thing we always do if we think we are dragging is start the engine. The helmsmen needs to apply some forward when dropping the anchor otherwise you will going backwards too quickly. Releasing the clutch on the windless in very strong wind is generally a better way to drop as powering down, which I normally do is just too slow.
The forces on the rode will be much higher in these conditions and techniques that work well in lower winds, like , for example using a boot to break the chain will not work. The forces go up at the square of the wind speed.
Communication between the foredeck and the person hauling in the anchor is one of the things to consider.
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Old 18-04-2012, 06:05   #5
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

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I'm no expert here.... but in my experience...I'd rather be in 55 knots of wind and a decent anhorage than in an exposed one with 3-4 footers and say 30 knots....especially in a boat that veers and pitches a lot.

How was the chop where you dagged?? was it better after you relocated?
Yes I agree. There was little chop. We reanchored slight further from shore, but the conditions were very similar.
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Old 18-04-2012, 09:46   #6
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

Great data point and a good reminder for us. We have a 73 lb. Rocna on a 40' boat which tends to make me a bit complacent.
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Old 18-04-2012, 09:52   #7
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

Sand or mud over a hard bottom can be pretty misleading I've found. You may sit fine for days and when the wind pipes up you're moving like a freighttrain!
I was in No Name harbor (Biscayne) awaiting a Gulfstream crossing for a week once. We got hit by a sudden micro cell (70+ MPH). The Delta dragged and I managed to save the boat with a Fortress. Long story short.... the Delta didnt fail... the bottom did.... when I pulled the Delta up there was no anchor visible.... just a huge ball of clay that had been pulled from the bottom! I had to physically scrape off with a scraper..... the bottom failed not the anchor....
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Old 18-04-2012, 19:03   #8
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I was actually asleep. I have a gps next to my bed and always set an anchor alarm, which went off. I usually stay awake all night if the wind is stronger or their is a risk of other boats dragging into us, but I thought, wrongly, last night it was safe to get some sleep.
My wife an I had lots of practice of dragging with our old anchor so we are a good team. Little things like having instrument covers off, a jacket ready to throw on, with a torch and the remote anchor winch controls in the pocket, the second Gps which is visasible from the cockpit was on so I did not wait for it to get a fix. These details can be important in saving time.
The first thing we always do if we think we are dragging is start the engine. The helmsmen needs to apply some forward when dropping the anchor otherwise you will going backwards too quickly. Releasing the clutch on the windless in very strong wind is generally a better way to drop as powering down, which I normally do is just too slow.
The forces on the rode will be much higher in these conditions and techniques that work well in lower winds, like , for example using a boot to break the chain will not work. The forces go up at the square of the wind speed.
Communication between the foredeck and the person hauling in the anchor is one of the things to consider.
Thanks for your comments. They are significantly better than theory, even if only a "sample of one".
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Old 18-04-2012, 19:05   #9
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Sand or mud over a hard bottom can be pretty misleading I've found. You may sit fine for days and when the wind pipes up you're moving like a freighttrain!
I was in No Name harbor (Biscayne) awaiting a Gulfstream crossing for a week once. We got hit by a sudden micro cell (70+ MPH). The Delta dragged and I managed to save the boat with a Fortress. Long story short.... the Delta didnt fail... the bottom did.... when I pulled the Delta up there was no anchor visible.... just a huge ball of clay that had been pulled from the bottom! I had to physically scrape off with a scraper..... the bottom failed not the anchor....
Also good to know. I've anchored a fair bit now, but frankly that's the very first time I've heard...and accepted...that "the bottom failed, not the anchor".
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Old 19-04-2012, 09:33   #10
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

yeah.... it was a first for me too! Then again... 70 + MPH on a moments notice may have just pulled the anchor if the bottom didnt give way. I assume the anchor had slowly set in a weeks time into the clay under the sand layer. If you have ever mucked around with clay... it sucks!... literally....
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Old 26-04-2012, 02:42   #11
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

As I've yet to anchor over-night it is good to read how such an experienced operator handles 3am dragging. Thanks Noelex 77, a good educational post.
I guess even an oversized anchor of the best design cannot hold if soil conditions prevent it from digging deep enough to grip the solid ground.
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Old 26-04-2012, 05:04   #12
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

Thanks, don't let it put you off anchoring.
I have not dragged the anchor the previous 1,000 nights at anchor, so the odds of dragging are low, if you do the right thing.
Apparantly the at the local marina a mooring block dragged the same night. We have been anchored many times when boats nearby have been damaged in a marina, so there is really no foolproof option in strong wind.
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Old 26-04-2012, 06:25   #13
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Post Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
My wife an I had lots of practice of dragging with our old anchor so we are a good team.
Yeah, I know what you mean! The CQR is, in that respect, the ideal "training anchor"!


Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
Little things like having instrument covers off, a jacket ready to throw on, with a torch and the remote anchor winch controls in the pocket, the second Gps which is visasible from the cockpit was on so I did not wait for it to get a fix. These details can be important in saving time.

The first thing we always do if we think we are dragging is start the engine. The helmsmen needs to apply some forward when dropping the anchor otherwise you will going backwards too quickly. Releasing the clutch on the windless in very strong wind is generally a better way to drop as powering down, which I normally do is just too slow.. . .
Anchoring overnight, I always leave the instruments not only uncovered, but ON, key in the ignition, ready to go, clothes and a head torch next to my bunk. Windlass control out and draped over the forestay, ready to use. Even in calm conditions, just so that it's a routine.

In bad conditions, I keep my clothes on and don't sleep, watching the IPad chart plotter (with anchor alarm set) next to my bunk. In REALLY bad conditions, I sit in the cockpit with the engine running. Happened to me like that last year, in my father's boat. He had a cocktail and went to bed -- you can afford not to care all that much when you're 80-odd years old, I guess. I was scared shirtless, myself -- I guess I'm not ready to die at sea just yet

I have never once dragged either of the Spades nor the one Rocna I had, however, so it has been many years since I have actually had to use any of these procedures. All these procedures were built on the memories of my CQR's and Bruces. But as the OP said, of course, no anchor made will hold 100% in all bottom conditions.
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Old 26-04-2012, 06:26   #14
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

I'm alway both concerned and amused when someone states such-and-such anchor never drags. I've used Fortess, Danforth, Delta, and Manson Supreme, and they ALL can DRAG.

Near my home slip is a bay with nice firm sand. Anything would hold in any wind... unless you move a few hundred yards south, where the sand is underlain with very hard slick clay. Might as well call it rock, as it cannot be penitrated with a screw driver. Depending on the thickness of the sand layer, ranging from inches to feet, you may think you have a "set", when you actually have nothing. I've also hooked tires (feels like a set but is not) and clumps of shells. Folks often anchor there, not suspecting how little they may really have.

Sure, some anchors are generally better than others, but the sailor must ALWAYS be circumspect. Anchors are always groping in the dark, often without real opertunity for inspection. Even diving on an anchor won't tell you if there is rock undernieth.
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Old 26-04-2012, 06:39   #15
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Re: Dragged the Rocna for the first time last night.

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I'm alway both concerned and amused when someone states such-and-such anchor never drags. I've used Fortess, Danforth, Delta, and Manson Supreme, and they ALL can DRAG.

Near my home slip is a bay with nice firm sand. Anything would hold in any wind... unless you move a few hundred yards south, where the sand is underlain with very hard slick clay. Might as well call it rock, as it cannot be penitrated with a screw driver. Depending on the thickness of the sand layer, ranging from inches to feet, you may think you have a "set", when you actually have nothing. I've also hooked tires (feels like a set but is not) and clumps of shells. Folks often anchor there, not suspecting how little they may really have.

Sure, some anchors are generally better than others, but the sailor must ALWAYS be circumspect. Anchors are always groping in the dark, often without real opertunity for inspection. Even diving on an anchor won't tell you if there is rock undernieth.
+1

All that is certainly true.

Especially about apparent sets which turn out not to be really set.

Last few years I started to back down at full RPM for a few minutes to try to flush out any such situation.

At the same time, you burn the carbon out of the engine after low speed running.

My father and others think I'm crazy, but if the anchor is set, it will definitely hold up to full throttle in reverse. If it doesn't, it's not set -- that's all there is to it.

I had to reset my 55kg Rocna more than a few times when this technique revealed that it wasn't actually set.

I think what kind of anchor you have it really important, but of course you need a certain amount of technique, too.
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