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Old 23-05-2023, 09:51   #1
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Anchoring sea in high wind

I've been struggling to set my spade anchor today in 17-20kts. So I Googled some advice, but it's not clear. They seem to say go upwind by 50-100 feet (15-30m) past your indented spot, drop 'some' anchor and drift back over you chosen anchor spot, then play out the chain.

Am I reading that right? What is 'some?

When I do stop, to start the reverse, the bow is blown 90 off to one-side ... I then struggle badly get near chosen spot.

The Admiral is kicking off big time so need to sort this....

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Old 23-05-2023, 09:54   #2
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

We normally anchor with me on the bow, admiral at the helm. So I walk forward and hand off control just before we get to our intended spot and then signal the admiral as necessary to get the boat positioned. Then start dropping and let the boat blow downwind (which does happen sideways) with control inputs as needed depending on how fast we're blowing vs rode deployment speed. Once the desired scope is deployed, then it's time to get the bow pointed to the wind and back down for a power set.
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Old 23-05-2023, 09:55   #3
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

In 17 to 20 kn? You don’t even need to do anything. Don’t worry about all that engine work.

Just make an estimate of where you want the boat to end up, then go up wind by the amount of rode you will be letting out.

in 17 to 20 kn of wind, everything will take care of itself.

Let nature do the work for you. You’re fighting nature. go with the natural forces that are being applied to the boat. They will set your anchor just fine. Better than the engine in fact because you’ll be facing in the correct direction when you pull on it with the wind force.

depending on your anchor set up if it is chain or what the situation is, you can also let a little bit of it out kind of fast at the end before you stop letting it out if you want a powerful set. The slight shock load of doing that will put more force on the anchor than any engine work would ever do.

just use the forces of nature that are already there for you. And that much wind, You are either anchoring nicely, or you are dragging across the bay instantly. There’s not going to be a questionable hold
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Old 23-05-2023, 10:16   #4
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

A couple of thoughts:

* You have a great anchor. It should set and stick every time. That's a good start!
* You don't get to pick where the boat will be. You only get to pick where the anchor is. Once the anchor is down, it is pointless to worry about how to get where you want to be. If you don't like where you are, lift the anchor and try again.
* Some people believe there is value in setting the anchor with about 1/2 the intended scope. I have never understood this. An anchor always sets better with more scope than less scope. Why you would try and set it with three to one, and then go to 621 makes no sense at all. Put out the full amount you intend to use before you set the anchor.
* If there is any wind, the bow will most certainly fall off, 90 is not uncommon. You can control this a little bit by letting the anchor chain out slowly, but the risk is that you will drag the anchor trying to do this.
* You may not be putting the anchor as far from your intended boat location as you think you are. I for one find it very difficult to gauge distances. It can help to put a waypoint some distance upwind from your desired location. As you cross over your desired location, note the distance to the waypoint. Then reduce that distance bye 100 or 150 ft. Then drop the anchor.

Hope these thoughts help a little.
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Old 23-05-2023, 10:58   #5
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

Do what Chotu says.
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Old 23-05-2023, 11:41   #6
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

You may be encountering a seabed that is not as friendly as you might normally encounter, but your spade, if big enough, should eventually set.

One thing that is important is to let the anchor down until hits the bottom. (This is the "some" you were asking about.) Then pay out the chain as you drift back. The idea is not to have a pile of chain land on top of your anchor. This also helps get the anchor oriented the right way. Chances are this isn't your problem since the wind will likely blow your bow off faster than the chain dropping, but be aware.

After that, I let out my full scope. If the bottom is cooperative I go ahead and back down on the anchor and use a sight to see if I am setting or not. Go easy astern to pull the catenary out of the chain before increasing the throttle too much. If the bottom seems problematic I swing on the anchor for a while (5-10 minutes), being sure to get a good sighting, or set my anchor alarm, or have my navigation app keep tracking. It might drag a bit but hopefully everything settles down.

If anchoring space is limited, or I'm trying to avoid a spot, I use tracking on my navigation app's tracking to get an idea of where I am and where I want to drop the anchor. You just need to remember that the bow of the boat is about LOA away from your app if you have it at the helm.
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Old 23-05-2023, 12:25   #7
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

The above advice being sound (and what I would do), if you are determined that remaining head to wind while anchoring in these conditions is what would make you most comfortable you may be able to accomplish it by simply staying in gear at tick-over (idle). Unless you have quite a powerful idle thrust, at 20kts you will probably be blown back slowly but will have steerage, much like stemming the tide, or current in a river. It will take practice and teamwork... but what else do you have to do?

If you have a nearby visual reference to use it should be easy to tell when you are drifting back while still under power. A navaid, nearby shore mark, or other boat is always a good reference. Anything far away not so helpful.
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Old 23-05-2023, 12:53   #8
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

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Originally Posted by hlev00 View Post

After that, I let out my full scope. If the bottom is cooperative I go ahead and back down on the anchor and use a sight to see if I am setting or not. Go easy astern to pull the catenary out of the chain before increasing the throttle too much. If the bottom seems problematic I swing on the anchor for a while (5-10 minutes), being sure to get a good sighting, or set my anchor alarm, or have my navigation app keep tracking. It might drag a bit but hopefully everything settles down.

Just to clarify, the bit about letting the boat swing on the anchor for a bit when the bottom isn't great. That is let it swing for 5-10 minutes BEFORE trying to set the anchor with the engine. Then when it seems good i use the engine to further set it. Whenever using the engine to set it, I start in reverse idle, then gradually build. If you have some at the bow, a foot on the rode will usually feel the anchor drag. I don't go above 1,500 RPMs when setting. (42' monohull)
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Old 23-05-2023, 13:13   #9
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

Just dump that thing and release the brake until 70 meters are out , then put the brakes on full, the bow will come into the wind while you’re putting the snubber on, then release the brake, wander back and give it some in astern while looking at the trees and stuff nearby to determine that it’s not dragging. Then put the brake on again, set the anchor alarms and put someone else on anchor watch all night.
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Old 23-05-2023, 13:26   #10
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

I think the point of starting the set with less line out is just to right the anchor to the correct orientation for a quick set and to make sure the chain doesn't pile on top of the anchor. I would let out scope of 1.25 to 1.5:1. The anchor won't hold much as all, so as soon as the rode straightens out, I start feeding out more. I would not attempt a set with such short scope, as it will just drag and not accomplish anything.

Once the correct scope is out i will wait a few minutes for the boat to straighten out before I back down, as the boat will turn as it drifts away from the anchor spot.

In 20 kts if there is decent holding and no risk of swinging into another boat all you need to do is drop the anchor, let out the required scope, and back down on it.
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Old 23-05-2023, 13:48   #11
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

One other point that we have experienced.
With wind, chain, a great anchor, a fast windlass, and a particular seafloor: You might get a very sudden stop, enuf to rattle the pots and pans and test your windlass mount.
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Old 23-05-2023, 14:32   #12
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

I drop the anchor in my selected spot and start paying out the rode....slowly, so that the rope doesn't pile up on the anchor.
The bow will naturally fall off, so every 20' or so, I stop paying out rode to let the boat straighten out again. This takes a few seconds.
Once pointing to wind again, I will let out some more.
Rinse and repeat.
Once I have my desired scope out, I will let the wind and waves put some strain on the anchor to let it dig in slowly.

Then I'll use the engine in reverse as a final set.

Pretty much as wholybee describes above.

Never had an issue with anchor dragging with this set up.
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Old 23-05-2023, 14:38   #13
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

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Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
Pretty much as wholybee describes above.
Hmmm, I described it above much better than wholybee.
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Old 23-05-2023, 15:28   #14
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by hlev00 View Post
Just to clarify, the bit about letting the boat swing on the anchor for a bit when the bottom isn't great. That is let it swing for 5-10 minutes BEFORE trying to set the anchor with the engine. Then when it seems good i use the engine to further set it. Whenever using the engine to set it, I start in reverse idle, then gradually build. If you have some at the bow, a foot on the rode will usually feel the anchor drag. I don't go above 1,500 RPMs when setting. (42' monohull)
Personally I'd say 1500 rpm is not enough - we go for 2200 or even 2400. Actually, we set our anchor every night as if we are expecting a storm to come through. takes about 5 minutes extra and you can then sleep soundly that night without worrying about dragging
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Old 23-05-2023, 15:51   #15
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Re: Anchoring sea in high wind

@ Papawads:

We picked up a pair of board shorts once, and things like that (towels do it, too) one keeps aboard and disposes of ashore, later. Move forward (if there's room) 2 or 3 boatlengths. Or only one if there isn't. The bottoms will vary in their holding capacity, anyhow, and there are places with poorer and better holding, or coral not very far under sand, and one will occasionally get draggy spots. The admiral should know about that. It means a nuisance, but the problem will be easily solved, usually.

You do not mention the size or type of the boat, nor the weight of your Spade, but assuming ii is correctly sized for the boat, it should work well most of the time. If you have a lot of windage, you will need more scope, and it's kind of amazing how much roller furlers add. [also cockpit enclosures.] You can figure that out by multiplying pi by the radius of the rolled up sail squared times the height. It is an approximation, because it's not a perfect cylinder, but pi times r squared times the height will get you there, close enough.

People can get messed up if their paying out of chain is sloppy. Jim has always been the anchorer, and myself on the helm, following his hand signals. I position the boat, then go to neutral when he signals. He first pays out about 2:1 scope (for us, this is the depth of the water plus "some" (about ten feet) times 2. Then, depending on the wind strength, the holding, and the room, we snub it; the 2:1 should stop the boat blowing down, and start the digging in process. Next, we back down, slowly, with him paying out more chain till he reaches the scope he wants. We have a Manson Supreme 22.7 k, or 60 lbs., and the boat displaces ~ 10 tonnes, and use 10 mm chain (~3/8").

After the boat has come to a stop, and after he has the snubber on, then he gives the sign (by putting up the anchor ball) and I back down on the anchor, giving constant pull on it up till 2000 rpm usually, but if we're expecting a blow, we'll run it up to 22-2300, of 2500 available. After that, we expect the anchor to keep digging in if the wind strength builds over roughly 20 knots. Remember the wind strength goes up geometrically, it is not an arithmetic progression.

This method has seen us stay put in varied bottoms, and failed in poor holding. When we dragged ( we had sustained 60's) there was nowhere better to go in the circumstances, and we put out our old #20 Danforth HT, as well as the Manson, and lay to the two of them with no further trouble.

Now, Boatman 61 doesn't fuss with a setting regime like ours, and rarely drags. He stops the boat, pays out enough scope and lets the wind set his anchor for him. He has anchored in sand over stone, with his method. NB: this is my impression of how he does it, only. I may have left something out.

Sand over stone or coral is often poor holding, and we mostly avoid such bottoms, but I would think one's results would be best in those conditions, with large fluke area such as a Fortress or an old Danforth, just bearing in mind, they do not handle wind shifts well, and can get shell jammed in so the flukes can't dig in...so not a sure thing.

Good luck with it.

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