Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes
I admire a skipper that will pull the anchor back up and do it over, if it didn't set the first time. They just don't always set right and how would I know if this is your 1st in 100 or your 40th in 100. I would rather you got it right! Also, not everyone would be expected to have the perfect anchor for all conditions. The next gens seem as close as one can get. If you don't have one, more tries are likely. So be it.
For some practical input, unless you are all chain, 7 to 1 scope is recommended. But this has more to do with holding than setting. I drop 2 to 1 and drift back to take up slack. You are wise to be careful not to foul the anchor with chain. Then I drop another 2ish to 1 and drift back against that. With 4 to 1 down, I then idle reverse against it and see if SOG drops to zero. In some cases, it will stick around 1kt as the boat is actually swinging side to side in the wind. I find the speed wheel will go to zero, even if I'm still slightly draging, however. If SOG goes to zero or I can visually assess from a stationary object that I'm not dragging, I may not be fully set, but I must be set. I then drop the rest of what it takes for the condition. For me, with all chain, 5 to 1 is a day anchor, 7 to 1 overnight and even more if conditions are rough. Once its all out, I power back against it to set it deeper and test the holding strength.
With the final power test, one has to be realistic too. While I might know I'm set in soft mud, there is no doubt that my 100hp turbo diesel can drag my CQR through it. As long as it doesn't pull out and a dart back at 4 knots, I may have to accept that the bottom/anchor just can't do better. This is where I have to assess how strong the winds will be for the duration. Light winds, no worries. Heavy winds and I'll not be able to stay the night.
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