I single-hand a 42' sloop
quite often. The remote
windlass switch at the helm is a blessing. Used correctly, it will save your bacon time after time.
: Decide where you want to drop the hook. Long before you get there, go up on the bow and cock the anchor over the bow roller, manually or with the down switch letting out just enough chain to hold it at an angle which will allow it to drop when the windlass unwinds. Slowly approach the spot you want to drop it. Come to a complete stop and begin to move backwards. Drop the anchor using the remote
switch at the helm and let it run out until you have at least 3:1 scope
before taking any strain on it. Make sure it's well set. From the bow, finish up and secure the anchor chain with an appropriate nylon bridle
Raising anchor: The trick is to work
the boat up until it's directly over the anchor, taking in chain as you go. This is best done from the bow, using the foot switches if there's no wind
or very little wind
. Slowly take in the rode
using the windlass to pull the boat forward. Do this in steps...don't try to do it all at once. Don't put any real strain on the anchor rode
; allow the boat to come up towards the anchor and take in as much chain as you easily can.
If there's a lot of wind or a healthy chop, you'll likely need the motor
up over the anchor. If single
handing, this involves juggling a bit....using the engine
to power forward toward the anchor, taking in some chain as you go, putting the anchor in neutral and quickly going up to the bow to use the foot switch to take in as much chain as is easily recoverable. You may need to do this a few times, until the boat is directly over the anchor. Then, use the engine
gently in forward gear
to break the anchor free of the bottom. Once it's free, use the windlass to pull in the remaining rode and anchor.
The remote switch in the cockpit
makes all this much easier because you have control of both the boat/engine and the windlass.