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Old 26-03-2013, 11:54   #1
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Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

In the "Bigger Is Better?" thread, a strong line of argument was presented that

a) one anchor should be carried sufficient to cope with virtually any situation
b) the use of more than one anchor at a time is inviting trouble

It seemed that most posters agreed with a), although some had reservations that size alone was sufficient guarantee of being able to hold in certain bottom conditions.

A smaller but persuasive proportion argued in favour of b)

One of the latter contingent wrote this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
....we don't have a kedge anchor, it is an obsolete word imnsho....
I'm wondering if this was a purely semantic point for this poster, because he had already described using a couple of Fortress anchors in a way which seemed to me to fit the usual definition of 'kedge' anchoring, when he laid them as kedges to hold station in order to recover his main anchor after his bowsprit and roller were damaged.

So it occurred to me it might be worth seeking accounts from others who had NEEDED to resort to kedging, or seen someone else do so: under what circumstances, and with what degree of success, and would you do it differently today?
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Old 26-03-2013, 12:02   #2
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

i've anchored in many bays where there is a bit of swell coming in and set the main anchor out to sea with the kedge holding the boat into the swell and stern to prevailing wind
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Old 26-03-2013, 12:07   #3
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Not sure what you are asking. I've used an anchor walked or dinghy'd out to pull me off accidental groundings. Have mostly used a 20H Danforth or Fortress 16 to pull off boats around 13,000# displacement. Has worked without getting others involved though sometimes had to wait for the next high tide. Always ran aground on a mud bottom.
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Old 26-03-2013, 12:17   #4
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

As a paid up member of the BIB brigade I still think a kedge anchor is essential.

A Fortress is ideal.

There are situations where a second anchor is necessary.
Such as
Aligning the boat with the swell
Running aground
A stern anchor
Reducing swing
Loaning to those boats that have inadequate main anchors
Etc etc

My concern over the use of two anchors relates to those cruisers that use two anchors to make up for the inadequate holding of their main anchor, especially when this is used on a regular basis.
I think a single adequate anchor that will hold the boat in all, or least the vast majority of expected conditions, is a better solution.

The kedge serves a very different purpose to second main anchor and I suspect most members of the BIB camp would encourage having such an anchor available.
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Old 26-03-2013, 12:49   #5
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Quote:
kedge--n. Any anchor used for pulling a boat or ship free after grounding.
The Sailor's Illustrated Dictionary, Thompson Lenfesty

Don't see how you can cruise anywhere without a kedge anchor.
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Old 26-03-2013, 13:03   #6
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
The Sailor's Illustrated Dictionary, Thompson Lenfesty

Don't see how you can cruise anywhere without a kedge anchor.
Agreed!

We use an old 20 lb Hi-Tensile Danforth... the one with the forged 4130 Chrome-Moly shank. If I was to be buying one, the Fortress of similar size would be a likely candidate due to easier man-handling around boat or dinghy.

Cheers,

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Old 26-03-2013, 13:42   #7
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

I have used a second anchor, I.e. kedge, storm, stern anchor etc about three times on this cruise of 35,000 nms. So while I will keep my second anchor it will never be used at the bow to hold the boat in a "normal" anchoring sense unless in emergency.

Big and modern is best. And one will suffice.
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Old 26-03-2013, 13:47   #8
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

So MarkJ, you wouldn't set another anchor if a hurricane was coming and you had to anchor out?
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Old 26-03-2013, 14:09   #9
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Check out this short video clip by Lin & Larry Pardey demonstrating deploying and setting a stern kedge anchor.

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Old 26-03-2013, 14:10   #10
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
So MarkJ, you wouldn't set another anchor if a hurricane was coming and you had to anchor out?
I can't speak for Mark J, but when Jim was faced with that decision in Mexico, he chose to lie to his main anchor (a plow knockoff, at the time), and held two other anchors ready on deck to use if he did drag. It's always a hard decision to put out an additional anchor due to the difficulty of recovering the second anchor if there has been a windshift that causes the rodes to twist around each other. Jim also decided to go to a more exposed area with fewer boats in it, so as to have less exposure to other boats dragging down on him.

FWIW
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Old 26-03-2013, 14:27   #11
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Nice video of the Pardeys--thanks.

It's true that you are likely to end up with lines twisted with more than one anchor down in a revolving storm, but that is preferable to dragging. And, you never know when something is going to go wrong during the storm--having the second anchor, and maybe a third, already down and dug in and working is preferable than to try and set an anchor in the middle of a hurricane--might not even be possible. Someone once said something like, "An anchor and chain in the locker never stopped anyone from dragging."
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Old 26-03-2013, 14:36   #12
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Kettlewell,

The problem is that if you have all your anchors deployed in advance, what do you do when someone drags down on you?
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Old 26-03-2013, 14:54   #13
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Quote:
The problem is that if you have all your anchors deployed in advance, what do you do when someone drags down on you?
Depending on the strength of the storm and your exposure, you might not be able to move anyway during the height of the storm--better to have enough stuff down to hold both you and the other boat if you tangle, but still better to shove him off and you stay where you are, if you can. Still, it is always a good idea to have at least one back up anchor in case you lose all the others during the storm--you may need that kedge anchor to pull your boat back from wherever it ended up. I've had a bunch of people drag into me in weather below hurricane force, and I have sometimes pushed them off on their way, sometimes lashed them alongside, and sometimes trailed them astern like a dinghy. I once had a four boat raft up drag down on me and they all hung on my anchor until they could get some engines started, but it wasn't in a hurricane.

I think a cruising boat should carry a minimum of three anchors, and more would be nice. All should be capable of holding the boat by themselves in normal up to gale conditions. I currently have a heavy main anchor on all chain and two Fortress anchors on mostly rope rodes. I used to carry around a second full-sized main anchor on deck but I got tired breaking toes on it and I couldn't figure out where to stow it down below. That's one thing that has intrigued me about the Mantus anchor--you could carry around a back up main anchor in pieces until you need to assemble it.
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Old 26-03-2013, 15:03   #14
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

Would setting two anchors in line on one rode be an option? Obviously you'd probably attach the two rodes together to form one long rode. I've never done it but I was in a seminar where they talked about doing it.
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Old 26-03-2013, 15:07   #15
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Re: Is the 'kedge' obsolete?

A second anchor also increases your chance of a boat dragging into you.

Dragging boats generally travel directly downwind. A boat lying at a single anchor represents close to a point source. Two anchors set at 30 or 45 degrees represent a much bigger target for the the anchor dragging along the bottom to snare.

One a boats rode is captured the dragging boat will slide along the captured anchor rode, invariably hitting the boat. The added strain of another boat is likely to disloge the innocents boats ground tackle. The whole entangeled mess then spirals downwind.

Good fun
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