I cruised with a 22kg Bruce and 200' of 5/16 chain on my Endeavour
37 (37', 18000lb, 5' draft), single
handing most of the time. It can be easily and safely done but does require some pre-planning, patience, and a bit of luck. I didn't have a working windlass
so this is what I did.
- I looked at the chart and figured out the approximate depth
of the harbor.
- As I entered the harbor, I looked where the boats were anchoring
and watching the depth sounder
did a bit of scouting.
- When I was sure about the depth
, I fell back behind the boats and pulled out enough chain to allow me a 3:1 scope
if the winds were light and 5:1 if the winds were stiff.
- I carefully flaked out the chain on the deck
(usually starboard side as that was the side with the Bruce). I prepped the anchor
to drop but kept the line secure to the bow cleat.
- Now I returned to my selected spot and slowly motored into the wind
. When I got about a boat
length away (the distance will depend on your vessel and conditions), I made sure the vessel wouldn't bear off and headed to the bow.
- At the point where I thought the boat
was about at 0kt forward speed, I slowly dropped the anchor
and let out the chain in a controlled manner. As the boat started to move astern, I kept feeding out the chain. I secured the chain at the scope
I wanted to a cleat and quickly returned to the helm
- I'd put the engine
in forward for a few seconds to slow the speed of the boat and let it fall off in a controlled manner. The idea was for the boat to gently pull the chain tight, not snap it tight.
- Most times the bow would come around into the wind
and I'd wait few minutes to make sure the anchor had bitten. I'd go forward to check the chain and make sure things were secure. I'd look at the chain and carefully place my foot on the chain. I found that if the anchor was dragging, I could feel the vibrations in the chain.
- If things looked good, I'd go back and put the engine
in idle reverse, then go check the chain again. I was looking for a nice tight chain with no sag or sagging.
- If things looked good, I'd increase the revs in reverse for a few seconds to make sure the anchor was set.
- If thing still looked good, I'd secure everything, grab the snorkel gear
and dive the anchor. If things looked OK, then I was probably set. If not, then I corrected the problem and redove the anchor.
- When I was sure I wasn't going anywhere, I returned to the boat, put the snubber on, logged the GPS
and bearings, and relaxed.