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-   -   Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f118/raising-anchor-using-windlass-in-surge-waves-145383.html)

TacomaSailor 30-04-2015 11:15

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
The situation many of you describe is far different than the situation I am thinking about.

In my case the boat is violently pitching up and down and the wind is gusting from 15 to 30 knots. It is almost impossible to stand on the bow. The boat is shearing side to side 45 degrees.

It is almost impossible to control the slack in the chain.

There is no possibility of staying in place due to the violence of the waves.

Isla Ventana in Bahia de Los Angles on the central east coast of the Baja Peninsula. The wind went from dead calm to 55 knots onshore in 20-minutes. The air temp went from 88 degrees to 105 degrees during the same time. The waves had a 4 mile fetch and within 10-minutes the chop was 3' high at 3 seconds. The steady wind was 15 knots and the gusts were over 50 knots with the wind moving 40 degrees side to side depending on which canyon it came down.

Are those the conditions we are talking about?

mikereed100 30-04-2015 11:46

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Tough situation. Having a cat with the chain running over the forward crossbeam I think I would try to play with the tension on the gypsy clutch so that I could pull the chain with the windlass when slack, but that the chain could run out if under too much strain coming out of the trough.

adlib2 30-04-2015 12:03

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TacomaSailor (Post 1813218)
Indeed, the situation you describe is scary and difficult. We encountered big surging waves suddenly coming into an anchorage at least four times while cruising. An anchorage where that happened to us was the location, a year later, of a 40' boat being rolled by the waves, because the poor single hander could not get his anchor up in time.

Our strategy was to motor a bit past the point where there is no load on the anchor chain or line. The person on the bow then uses the windlass to retrieve as much chain as possible while there is no load on the chain. Our Maxwell VWC 1200 pulls chain at about 1-foot per second when there is no load on the chain.

We can usually pull about 15' of chain before it loads up again as the wind/waves push the boat backwards. The BIG problem is how to prevent the big snatch or shock load on the chain/windlass when all the slack is taken up. And, we've found no good answer to that question.

A good helmsman can keep the boat slowly moving forward so there is little load on the chain but that is tough to do in the wind and waves than occur during these experiences. Earpiece radios allow better coordination between the person on the bow who is running the windlass and can see the chain and the helmsman who is trying to keep the bow into the wind and the engine speed to a level that unloads the chain but does not overrun the anchor.

I wish I could say "do not get into these situations" BUT every time it happened to us - the wind and waves were a complete surprise with no warning.

CURRENT WISDOM IS THAT INSTEAD OF MOTORING FORWARD YOU MOTOR IN REVERSE TO BREAK OUT THE ANCHOR. GOOGLE FOR A FULL DISCUSSION.
I USE A 1 INCH CORD SNUB LINE HOOKED TO THE CHAIN WHICH I DISENGAGE WHEN ANCHOR BREAKS FREE. I USUALLY SAIL SINGLE HANDED.

RichandHelen 30-04-2015 12:05

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TacomaSailor (Post 1814127)
The situation many of you describe is far different than the situation I am thinking about.

In my case the boat is violently pitching up and down and the wind is gusting from 15 to 30 knots. It is almost impossible to stand on the bow. The boat is shearing side to side 45 degrees.

It is almost impossible to control the slack in the chain.

There is no possibility of staying in place due to the violence of the waves.

Isla Ventana in Bahia de Los Angles on the central east coast of the Baja Peninsula. The wind went from dead calm to 55 knots onshore in 20-minutes. The air temp went from 88 degrees to 105 degrees during the same time. The waves had a 4 mile fetch and within 10-minutes the chop was 3' high at 3 seconds. The steady wind was 15 knots and the gusts were over 50 knots with the wind moving 40 degrees side to side depending on which canyon it came down.

Are those the conditions we are talking about?

You really want to haul anchor in those conditions? Start the engine. Try to take some strain off the rode while basically standing still. Ride it out unless you are dragging. Hopefully you had your (long) snubber already in place...

TacomaSailor 30-04-2015 12:08

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adlib2 (Post 1814164)
CURRENT WISDOM IS THAT INSTEAD OF MOTORING FORWARD YOU MOTOR IN REVERSE TO BREAK OUT THE ANCHOR. GOOGLE FOR A FULL DISCUSSION.

Then what?

You are 100 yards off a lee shore in 35' of water with 200' of loose chain thrashing about and the anchor not holding any longer. The bow is shearing side to side and you cannot see where the chain leads because of the spray, and the bow bouncing around.

I don't understand what you gain by breaking the anchor loose?

And, there is no way I can break loose my 66# Spade by backing on it when it has been sitting and digging in for a week. I SET the anchor by backing down at 3200 RPM for 30 seconds so how do I break it out by doing the same thing?

After a week the shank of the anchor is under the sand and the only way I can break it out is to drive past it with 1.5:1 scope and tip it over with the weight of the boat.

TacomaSailor 30-04-2015 12:23

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adlib2 (Post 1814164)
CURRENT WISDOM IS THAT INSTEAD OF MOTORING FORWARD YOU MOTOR IN REVERSE TO BREAK OUT THE ANCHOR.

Sorry to be harsh but that sounds like an idea put forth by someone who has never cruised in remote and windy locales. The idea of motoring backward to free an anchor offends my sense of safety and experience of over 1500 nights at anchor.

Our Caliber 40 (12 tons) with a Yanmar 4JH2E spinning an 18" Maxprop can put about 45 horsepower into the water at max RPM in reverse. My engineering calculations put that thrust at about the equivalent of 35 - 40 knots wind on OUR boat with our sails and other windage.

We spend many, many nights anchored in 45 - 50 knot winds and would have been in serious trouble if we could pull the anchor by reversing on it with the engine.

I set the prop by using 3200 RPM in reverse for 30 seconds so why would that same power be able to pull the anchor out?

Maybe someone can tell me where I am wrong about the idea.

deblen 30-04-2015 12:24

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
I thot you always motored up past your anchor,turned, & winched as the boat was controlled by helmsman back towards anchor.
Don't think electric winches are designed to tow tons of boat into head seas & wind-it's only to lift the rode & anchor straight up.

/Len

captmikem 30-04-2015 14:08

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Most small boats have cone clutches instead of band brakes, which is good, you simply tighten the clutch tight enough to haul but not too tight so that it will slip a bit when a heavy load comes on the chain. This radically reduces the load on all the gear. Play with your winch a little to find out how much is enough; you can always tighten it a little more, (also, keep your cones greased well). I have a Maxwell 2500 and it does this well.

If you are in deep water, once the anchor breaks free you may need to tighten it a bit more to lift everything, but when it is surging, ALWAYS good to have a wee bit of slip on the clutch.

You will find this is easy once you play with it a bit. Takes a bit longer but is much easier on the gear, and the nerves.

Michael

Pelagic 30-04-2015 16:54

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by adlib2 (Post 1814164)
CURRENT WISDOM IS THAT INSTEAD OF MOTORING FORWARD YOU MOTOR IN REVERSE TO BREAK OUT THE ANCHOR. GOOGLE FOR A FULL DISCUSSION.
I USE A 1 INCH CORD SNUB LINE HOOKED TO THE CHAIN WHICH I DISENGAGE WHEN ANCHOR BREAKS FREE. I USUALLY SAIL SINGLE HANDED.

Never heard of that before....as the physics are all working against you and in a Lee shore you are usually dragging into shallower water.

In the lively conditions described.... safety is paramount!.... so if you have to leave then KISS means slow and easy trusting that the ground tackle will break free when the bow roller pinches in the up and down position AND ONLY THEN very slowly reversing into deeper water as the stern naturally wants to find the wind.... helps to clean off the chain and keep the anchor away from the hull in rough conditions of retrieval.

Goosebumps 01-05-2015 06:56

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Must be quite an engine that can break anchor loose reversing! All situations are different and require different approach best is to actually go out there, leave the marina safety more, and gain experience before you really go live on the hook.


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Matt Johnson 01-05-2015 07:31

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
We've found tacking to the anchor much easier than motoring straight towards it. In fact, with a little main sail up and traveler centered, the boat will self tack and you can just pull chain on each tack. This does require a robust chain stopper and windlass install.

Matt

Roy M 01-05-2015 07:49

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
This discussion sounds like it could use another option. If things are so hairy that the safety of the crew and vessel are at stake, why not just motor forward to take the load off the chain, AND JUST CHUCK THE CHAIN OVER THE SIDE AND COME BACK FOR IT LATER? It's not like a cruising boat has only one rode and anchor (right???). And if your bitter end is buoyed (or polypropylene tailed), coming back later when things are calmer is a heckuva lot smarter than losing toes or fiberglass. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.

Tayana42 01-05-2015 08:06

Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TacomaSailor (Post 1814127)
The situation many of you describe is far different than the situation I am thinking about.



In my case the boat is violently pitching up and down and the wind is gusting from 15 to 30 knots. It is almost impossible to stand on the bow. The boat is shearing side to side 45 degrees.



It is almost impossible to control the slack in the chain.



There is no possibility of staying in place due to the violence of the waves.



Isla Ventana in Bahia de Los Angles on the central east coast of the Baja Peninsula. The wind went from dead calm to 55 knots onshore in 20-minutes. The air temp went from 88 degrees to 105 degrees during the same time. The waves had a 4 mile fetch and within 10-minutes the chop was 3' high at 3 seconds. The steady wind was 15 knots and the gusts were over 50 knots with the wind moving 40 degrees side to side depending on which canyon it came down.



Are those the conditions we are talking about?


This comment is intended for the OP since TacomaSailor is well experienced and already knows this.

In my experience the boat is always safer in deep water. So the first concern is how to safely get away from the beach, the shallows and the breaking swell. In that situation I would buoy the rode, drop it in the drink and get out of dodge. I know dropping the chain isn't as easy as it sounds. I've only had to do it once. But every boat anchoring system should be set up with that eventuality in mind as a matter of ultimate safety. If you are away safely you can come back for your anchor and chain after the seas go down.


S/V B'Shert

Goosebumps 01-05-2015 08:44

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tayana42 (Post 1814791)
This comment is intended for the OP since TacomaSailor is well experienced and already knows this.

In my experience the boat is always safer in deep water. So the first concern is how to safely get away from the beach, the shallows and the breaking swell. In that situation I would buoy the rode, drop it in the drink and get out of dodge. I know dropping the chain isn't as easy as it sounds. I've only had to do it once. But every boat anchoring system should be set up with that eventuality in mind as a matter of ultimate safety. If you are away safely you can come back for your anchor and chain after the seas go down.


S/V B'Shert


Wise words, however there are many different anchoring scenarios possible that need quick decisions and I agree one of the better impulsive approaches would be to ditch anchor and chain with buoy. My input for that do you realize that lots of chain goes down, that you might have to hang around long time waiting for weather to clear, waves to diminish. I recover all ground tackle most of the time. I live 7 years on the hook and have only ditched twice my groundtackle! I somehow manage to not ditch.


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zboss 01-05-2015 09:17

Re: Raising Anchor Using Windlass in Surge/Waves
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tayana42 (Post 1814791)
This comment is intended for the OP since TacomaSailor is well experienced and already knows this.

In my experience the boat is always safer in deep water. So the first concern is how to safely get away from the beach, the shallows and the breaking swell. In that situation I would buoy the rode, drop it in the drink and get out of dodge. I know dropping the chain isn't as easy as it sounds. I've only had to do it once. But every boat anchoring system should be set up with that eventuality in mind as a matter of ultimate safety. If you are away safely you can come back for your anchor and chain after the seas go down.


S/V B'Shert

Yea, thats $2500 including the anchor. Better get my knot right!:popcorn:


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