Originally Posted by 0urh
What techniques, equipment
, tricks etc do you use to UNset (retrieve) a deeply set anchor
The topic has drifted into the area of fouled anchors requiring a tripline to get them up.
(Fouled under a bottom chain, dragged into a rock crevice, or some such...)
One thing no-one has mentioned is: how do you work
out what direction to pull the tripline from, and having worked this out, how do you actually achieve that?
(It's not going to be viable to pull it up from even a big dinghy
: you need something with lots of buoyancy and stability, and also a fair helping of "bollard pull" - ie what tugboats have - but of course nothing like that
Apologies for what's obvious in the following run-down, but I thought I'd lay everything out, in case somebody might otherwise not get a clear picture. There's a twist at the end...
Working out which way to pull might require getting wet, but if you're lucky, the sun's high and the water's clear, you can check from what direction the anchor
needs to come back out by heading out in a dinghy
, shading the water
surface (hold your jacket inverted over your head
like an old-time photographer) or if visibility is more marginal, put a diver's mask on and kneel in the stern of the dinghy. If you have or can borrow an old-fashioned 'look-bucket', you'll be more comfortable, but it's not essential. Failing these, or if the situation is complicated, go for a dive and check it out properly.
(If the problem is a bottom chain, it's a better idea to dive down with one end of a suitable long line, pass it through or under the bottom chain near as you can to the anchor. Take the end back up, and pull both parts
using the warping drum, to lift
the chain. You should easily be able to free the anchor with the tripping line, or possibly it will even fall clear.)
OK, here's the tricky bit: How to pull hard enough on the tripping line, once you know what direction to pull from?
The trick is this: Unload the entire rode
, right to the bitter end, into the dinghy.
Hopefully you don't have hundreds of kilos of chain, in which case even with a big dinghy, this will be a painful exercise at best. Compromise and lower say half the chain to the bottom, in a pile on the opposite side of the anchor from the direction you need to pull towards.
If the water's deep, and/or your chain is heavy gauge, there'll be a lot of down-load, and you'll have to improvise to use this method*
Otherwise, fasten the chain coming out of the water
to the middle of the transom (obviously you'd remove the outboard
, if one's fitted)
and pile the remainder of the chain into the dinghy.
Now's the surprising bit: cast off the dinghy. It's not going anywhere: it's got a massive bloody great anchor, especially for a dinghy ..... and it's jammed.
Now you can take the yacht away, completely unhindered, to the right spot to haul on the tripping line.
If you don't do this, apart from the manoeuvring difficulties, the catenary pull of the chain on the shank from the wrong direction will likely stuff things up and keep the anchor jammed.
Even if this wasn't a problem, you might not be able to get far enough away before the chain comes tight (because you'll generally have to pull at quite a flat angle) especially if the water's quite deep.
Lacking a suitably manly dinghy, lower all
the chain to the bottom, with a line up to an anchor buoy, and pray no idiot motors over it.
* one suggestion: so as not to pull the transom underwater with the weight of chain, you could rig a pair of bridles under the boat
, one from stbd to port rowlock, the other from bow to stern, and hang the chain from the intersection, before loading the rest into the boat