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Old 27-03-2013, 17:36   #1
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How to UNset an anchor?

What techniques, equipment, tricks etc do you use to UNset (retrieve) a deeply set anchor?
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Old 27-03-2013, 17:45   #2
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

Usually, we can pull up to right over the anchor and then just wait a minute and the anchor will slowly work its way up. We have a manual windlass and it can put some tension on the chain, winching the bow right down. If I then walk aft, sometimes jump up and down a few times on the stern (really), that will usually pop it free. Sometimes, if it is really deep we will have to motor forward briefly with the chain bar taught, and that will almost always break it free. My current motorsailor has so much power at low speeds that this has always popped the anchor free, though in some previous boats that was not enough on a very deeply set Fortress or Danforth. I have sometimes had to work for hours to get one of them out, basically winching the bow down as far as I can, then bouncing it with the motor and weight aft, repeat, repeat, repeat.
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Old 27-03-2013, 17:46   #3
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

Safest way involves Patience!.... Just tighten up as hard as anchor winch will allow… shift weight aft… then repeat process gaining a bit each time.
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Old 27-03-2013, 17:59   #4
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

Quote:
Safest way involves Patience!
You make your wife do it?
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Old 27-03-2013, 18:14   #5
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

lost an anchor at shelter cove on Californias north coast as it wouldnt break free. Tried forover 6hours and finally cut it lose.. lost a 45 lb CQR and 45 feet of chain..... When wé got into Fort Bragg, mentioned it to the guy at the fuel dock.
Hé said shelter cove is littered with old motor blocks from trucks used durring the logging days..the local fishermen would tye à cable to à couple of the motors and drop them in the watter for morring. At the ème of the season, they would cut the float lose and leave the motors on the bottom.. seems i hooked into one...
Now when wé drop anchor in any unknown area, wé always attach à tag line to the rear of the anchor and à fender to the lose end. If it wont come out forward, wé pull it out from the backside...
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Old 27-03-2013, 18:16   #6
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

Kettlewell pretty much has it covered in a goodly manner. You need to winch in the anchor chain until the bow is right over the anchor and there is a bit of tension on the line (cable hove short and apeak--straight up and down). If there is any chop in your anchorage, the motion of the boat should help break the anchor free of the bottom. If the anchorage is relatively calm, catch the incoming tide. With the cable hove short, the incoming or flood tide should help break the anchor free. Have your engine ready for applying power or sails ready to get under way; apply enough power to keep a steady tension on the cable or enough sail set to do the same and the anchor should break free with the help of the waves or flood tide. If you are weighing anchor during a flood tide, your bow should be pointed out to sea and you can allow the boat to move slowly forward while you continue raising the anchor. It is easier to have someone at the helm while you work the windless, but it is possible to do the job by yourself.
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Old 27-03-2013, 18:21   #7
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

Cinch up the anchor rode to a cleat, put the engine reverse and power up. That may work. Do not go forward unless you like doing gelcoat repairs.
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Old 27-03-2013, 18:45   #8
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
You make your wife do it?
LOL … Actually I use both Patience and Prudence…. (they also have no problem pushing my buttons):

Depending on OP’s setup:
If using a power winch, always tighten windlass brake to relieve stress while using Patience (or Prudence)
Also if you have a long lead (like mine) you can stand on anchor bight to create extra breakout force.

If all else fails and you are still connected to the bottom, while maintaining a tight up and down aspect, try a slow spin until you are pulling in opposite direction from original set, then release brake and clutch so that anchor has opportunity to pop out of whatever is hanging it up.

Hope that helps both you and Kettlewell’s vivid imagination…
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Old 27-03-2013, 18:53   #9
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

Coffee. That's why they invented it, that and tea. Before the wind comes up, one pulls in the rode to get the boat above the anchor. The coffee is involved by having a sip and a sit-down between pulls on the rode. Even if the tide is going down, once above the anchor you're in good shape. Then have another sip.

I have always gone forward if needing the engine, our bows are deep enough that I haven't scratched the gelcoat. Other friends of mine with the same boat swear that ONLY reverse works. I tried it once, it worked, too.

Have some more coffee. If "high test" by now you'll be wired enough to haul the damn mess of line and chain aboard. If "decaff" you'll be strong anyway 'cuz you didn't depend on the "getting wired" to get to up to strength.

Haul away.

John got it right. Patience.

Much also depends on how long you've been in the anchorage.

PS - We don't have a windlass ('ceptin' me back...)

PPS It's called WEIGHING anchor.
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Old 27-03-2013, 19:06   #10
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

Does no one else use a trip line? Super easy to pick the hook this way, and it marks the location of your anchor for others. If you have to slip your rode suddenly for some reason, you can do so with no prep and come back for your gear later. Many advantages, only takes a minute.
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Old 27-03-2013, 19:12   #11
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

Agree with all above.

Just an added note . . . If you do not have a windless (or a weak one) ..... The genoa winches are usually quite powerful and can do much of the work in building tension on the rode and breaking free the anchor. Just take a line from the rode (rolling hitch or chain hook) back to the genoa winch . . . A line on either side alternating if you want to pull a lot of rode.
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Old 27-03-2013, 19:17   #12
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

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Does no one else use a trip line? Super easy to pick the hook this way, and it marks the location of your anchor for others. If you have to slip your rode suddenly for some reason, you can do so with no prep and come back for your gear later. Many advantages, only takes a minute.
Trip lines and anchors simply prevent other boats from anchoring when there actually is swing room.

If you think you need a trip line you should not be be anchoring in that spot. Look for chart symbols like







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Old 27-03-2013, 19:18   #13
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

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Originally Posted by estarzinger View Post
Agree with all above.

Just an added note . . . If you do not have a windless (or a weak one) ..... The genoa winches are usually quite powerful and can do much of the work in building tension on the rode and breaking free the anchor. Just take a line from the rode (rolling hitch or chain hook) back to the genoa winch . . . A line on either side alternating if you want to pull a lot of rode.
Just watch the bow; if it starts to go down, stop. I know.
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Old 27-03-2013, 19:25   #14
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

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Trip lines and anchors simply prevent other boats from anchoring when there actually is swing room.

If you think you need a trip line you should not be be anchoring in that spot. Look for chart symbols like









Exactly, yet another benefit. It makes people think twice before coming and dropping the hook right next to you. And everyone who pulls into the anchorage knows at a glance how much scope you have out, no need to ask. Keeps the 3:1 scope morons at bay.
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Old 27-03-2013, 19:37   #15
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Re: How to UNset an anchor?

Just keep saying, "Gawd I sure hope it holds." Guaranteed, it will pop loose with no effort.
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