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post #22 of Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

We are on the Chesapeake, have a CQR with all chain rode (120 feet?) , use only hand signals, and generally 5:1, going to 7:1 if stronger winds expected. Agree with the statements that anchoring is an art. We were taught our technique by an experienced Chesapeake Bay sailor/instructor. She advised picking your spot carefully (based on all the usual stuff), approach area bow to wind. Let anchor down with some rode. Let it settle. Let out some more. Be patient. Let out some more. (this is where the "art" comes in). Then, if there's wind, you will see the bow swing to one side and then swing back and "get a bounce". When the rode is straightened out, Give 1000 rpm in reverse for about 5 seconds (count slow). Let anchor and rode settle again. Give 1000 rpm in reverse again. (hubby feels the chain rode while this happens. You can tell if the anchor is skipping over bottom) Also, you will see the chain rise up in the water, at a less acute angle, when you reverse, because anchor is holding. We were taught, "now go fix yourself a cocktail, and then give one more 1000 rpm reverse". Once done, check position of boat against some markers on shore...two trees, a house and a dock, whatever. Can check this later, before bedtime, to see if you've dragged. We have never dragged, and we've been in plenty of howling wind. We notice that a lot of people seem in a rush or very casual about anchoring. No hand signals, lots of yelling. No waiting for anchor to settle. They just throw boat in reverse with a big rev and consider it set. NO! Half the time they are yanking the anchor out of the set that it might have made. I'm probably not explaining this as well as I could, but the weight of the boat/any wind should be what sets the anchor initially, not the engine. The checks with engine reverse are just that... checking to make sure you are set.
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