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Old 10-03-2023, 07:28   #1
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Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

I'm fascinated by this Drag Proof Method of Anchoring as described by Roger Hughes of Schooner Britannia.

I've corresponded with Roger and asked him some questions, the biggest question I had was about the rodes twisting/tangling when swinging in circles with the tides. He says using rope for the secondary is easy to untwist upon retrieval.

Seems that the second anchor will support the primary anchor by keeping the catenary low and taking some force from it, especially in wind shifts, like a big kellet but one that digs into the bottom. Potentially a better strategy than Tandem anchoring.

It also seems promising for anchoring closer to shore/shallows as the second anchor (if set) will keep the boat from swinging too far if the wind shifts to onshore direction (imagine the yellow area in the photo below is the shallows).

I'm considering trying it without a line to the boat on the second anchor to avoid tangled rodes using a big old danforth I don't mind losing.

I have a great storm anchor and ground tackle system and have never dragged in a gale (yet) so this is trying to solve a problem I don't really have, but I'm an unabashed Anchor Nerd and fascinated by this strategy.

What say you?
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Old 10-03-2023, 07:39   #2
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

Or you can ditch the CQR annchors and get a modern anchor that’s big enough for the boat. Your choice.

We don’t drag, so have no use for complexity like this.
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Old 10-03-2023, 07:56   #3
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

I'm sure this would work -- some of the time. But it looks fundamentally less stable than a straight pull from a well-dug-in and proper anchor using decent chain.

The second picture looks especially unstable to me. The force vectors required to maintain the boat are wrong, or rather, would be hard to balance. At best, you'd end up in the first picture's arrangement.

The problem with all these dual-anchor solutions is that, unless you can hit the perfect position, all you're doing is passing the work of holding from one anchor, then the other. So one anchor is still doing all the work. And you're adding a lot of unnecessary complexity to the situation.

I agree. Ditch the CQR. Get a well-sized modern anchor with good chain, and sleep well.
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Old 10-03-2023, 08:25   #4
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

Yup, a single NG anchor is the right solution >95% of the time. But I sometimes anchor in ooze in front of a 60kt thunderstorm.


He's close ... but not quite.

  • The recovery line can foul. Instead, the second rode should be easily removed (soft shackle or locking chain hook). A second line ~ 100' line is attached temporarily for setting and recovery (a carabiner is enough for this--very fast).
  • The secondary rode should make the secondary anchor farther way (more like 50' than his short little rode), and it should be a Fortress (much greater holding in super soft mud). In this way the Fortress carries the main load and the NG anchor handles the yawing load (more able to rotate and drag and/or reset).
Very reliable, very flexible, I have done this many dozens of times (mostly to drag test anchors winched towards the transom).


But a single anchor is better 95% of the time. This is what you do when it won't be because the bottom is soup. In my case, some of the best kayaking areas have soup bottoms.






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Old 10-03-2023, 08:28   #5
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

It is a shame Evans Starzinger took down his website. He had an excellent discussion on tandem anchoring.

I'm with the others here. This suggested solution is very complicated and is difficult to get right. If you try this in an anchorage with high running tides, you will end up with twisted lines, potentially tearing out one or both anchors.

Buy a modern anchor that is sized correctly and stop worrying
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Old 10-03-2023, 08:44   #6
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

Thank you Drew, I like your version of this strategy better! Much better than setting two anchors in a "V" which can tangle rodes as well.

Question- how do you "temporarily" attach and retrieve a line for setting and recovery of the second anchor? I can't picture that from your description so far.

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He's close ... but not quite. The recovery line can foul. Instead, the second rode should be easily removed (soft shackle or locking chain hook). A second line ~ 100' line is attached temporarily for setting and recovery (a carabiner is enough for this--very fast).

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Old 10-03-2023, 08:44   #7
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

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It is a shame Evans Starzinger took down his website. He had an excellent discussion on tandem anchoring.



I'm with the others here. This suggested solution is very complicated and is difficult to get right. If you try this in an anchorage with high running tides, you will end up with twisted lines, potentially tearing out one or both anchors.



Buy a modern anchor that is sized correctly and stop worrying
I might have a copy of that discussion offline. Will look later..
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Old 10-03-2023, 08:54   #8
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

There are lots of special reasons to deploy multiple anchors. I do it to reduce swing room, to tie in close to shore, to accommodate a wildly changing wind/current situation. And in the face of a true storm, especially one with rapidly changing wind conditions, or in poor holding, I can certainly see deploying multiple anchors.

But the vast majority of the time, one well set and well dug-in quality and right-sized anchor, with sufficient rode, is going to be the best option.
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Old 10-03-2023, 09:08   #9
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV__Grace View Post
Thank you Drew, I like your version of this strategy better! Much better than setting two anchors in a "V" which can tangle rodes as well.

Question- how do you "temporarily" attach and retrieve a line for setting and recovery of the second anchor? I can't picture that from your description so far.
David,

Drew's description and photos demonstrating the deployment asymmetrical tandem anchors are at the end of this Practical Sailor article.

Enjoy! Bill
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Old 10-03-2023, 09:30   #10
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

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There are lots of special reasons to deploy multiple anchors. I do it to reduce swing room, to tie in close to shore, to accommodate a wildly changing wind/current situation. And in the face of a true storm, especially one with rapidly changing wind conditions, or in poor holding, I can certainly see deploying multiple anchors.

But the vast majority of the time, one well set and well dug-in quality and right-sized anchor, with sufficient rode, is going to be the best option.


My experience as well.

There are a couple of places in my regular cruising ground where I always set two anchors. The first I tend to place the anchors in a wide V because the bottom has a sticky clay which tends to ball the anchor so it wont reset after a large wind shift. And, the second where there id a strong tidal stream and a wind against tide situation often arises.
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Old 10-03-2023, 10:34   #11
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

The second anchor is on a line that is short, and is being pulled at odd angles. To me, I see this potentially coming loose. In a big blow, if that anchor comes loose, it's just a very heavy kellet. I think it has been proven that the weight of a kellet is better added to the anchor than as a kellet.

And unless the line to the second anchor is VERY short (which makes it coming loose that much more probable) I don't see it helping the angle to the primary anchor at all. It is just more anchor on the ground, which would work better as a larger primary anchor instead.

Speaking from experience. Untangling rode when 2 anchors gets twisted, even if one is rope, IS a problem. I had to do that ONE time, and never again. Not that I will never set 2 anchors again, but never in a way where twisting is possible. Twisting also causes chafe. If you are in a big blow, and a rope makes even a single twist around the chain, you might loose the second anchor.
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Old 10-03-2023, 11:55   #12
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

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The second anchor is on a line that is short, and is being pulled at odd angles. To me, I see this potentially coming loose. In a big blow, if that anchor comes loose, it's just a very heavy kellet. I think it has been proven that the weight of a kellet is better added to the anchor than as a kellet....

Agreed.


Another two-anchor stratagey that can help, if your boat is yawing like a mad man, is the Hammer lock. A second anchor is lowered at very short scope (1.5:1 to 2:1). It might set, it might not, but it will keep the bow from swinging fast. I mention this here, because a kellet can be used this way. It is simple and trouble-free, though it will furrow up the bottom. One of the few good uses for twin bow rollers.


---


Attaching a second rode. Because I will take the secondary rode off when recovering anchors, I want a no-tool connection. A soft shackle or locking chain hook work. I've used both, and the locking chain hooks is easier.


Just put both biners on the same eye. 10,000# test, and it not holding the whole load (you have two anchors).




As for attaching the recovery rode, I just put a wire gate climbing carabiner through the eye on the rope rode to the secondary anchor. Easy and fast. There is NO need for all-chain on the second rode because there is no yawing/chafe. Mostly rope is much easier if you have to row it out.


I can do this in 10 minutes, no fuss, even in a breeze. It's just about knowing the sequence.
  • Shorten up to the connection and attach the recovery rode. Removing tension to get the connector off varies, but typically just motoring up a little does the job even in a breeze.
  • Recover which ever anchor takes the load first, keeping the recovery rode loose but on deck if the primary is to be recovered first.
  • Recover the other anchor.
This is a rare practice for me ... other than anchor testing, which is why I perfected it. The advantage is that the rodes won't tangle or foule the anchors, and each anchor gets to do what it does best (Fortress holds, NG rotates and tracks).
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Old 10-03-2023, 13:11   #13
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

I have a lot of experience rock/ice climbing (decades of big wall/rock/ice/expedition/etc.) and often compare my boat line or anchor security to how I might critique a climbing anchor as my life depends on it in a more immediate sense. I would consider the second figure to be particularly suspect as the angles produce additional stress. In climbing, we call this set-up a version of the "American Death Triangle".
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Old 10-03-2023, 14:09   #14
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

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I have a lot of experience rock/ice climbing (decades of big wall/rock/ice/expedition/etc.) and often compare my boat line or anchor security to how I might critique a climbing anchor as my life depends on it in a more immediate sense. I would consider the second figure to be particularly suspect as the angles produce additional stress. In climbing, we call this set-up a version of the "American Death Triangle".

In practice, unlike rock, what normally happens is that one of the anchors drags just a little until the angles are more reasonable. And, in practice, it is hard to actually set the anchor at that angle, once you consider the scope and then pull to the side. His method would not actually result in that angle. You have to place them separately and then pull them towards each other on purpose. It can't actually be done on a combined rode.
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Old 10-03-2023, 14:57   #15
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Re: Is this a "drag proof" anchoring strategy?

is it drag proof?

no, it looks like a real drag to set up. (A joke)

I like one big giant anchor, some chain, snubber/bridle. Set it and forget it anchoring.
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