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Old 09-02-2013
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

The Finesse Method of Anchoring (no engine, no heavy gear, no next generation anchor, no windlass and no extended length of chain):

For all you new sailors, to dispel the ridiculous notion that you need to buy all this heavy equipment and used complicated procedures to anchor effectively, here is my normal procedure - how I sailed in and out of my anchorage, and used light weight gear, to anchor my 7,800 lb Pearson 28, under sail only, this past Saturday night at Sandy Point in Great Wicomico River (I don't remember ever having "anchoring woes" or dragging anchor in the many years I have been sailing):

1. Drop jib as I approach anchorage;
2. Remove 12 lb. Danforth 12H anchor (YES just 12 lbs.) and 6 feet of chain from cockpit locker and secure to foredeck;
3. Remove 200' ft. of 3/8" (YES only 3/8") three-strand nylon anchor line and secure to foredeck;
4. Tack into anchorage under mainsail only (NO ENGINE);
5. Drop mainsail just downwind of intended anchoring place;
6. Drift into position slowly with no sail and no engine;
7. Gently lower anchor by hand until it just touches bottom;
8. Slowly allow anchor and chain to drop and pay out 100' ft. of anchor line as boat drifts away from anchoring point;
9. Cleat anchor line; and
10. Note with satisfaction how easily and effectively boat is anchored.

Next morning:

1. Ready boat to sail;
2. Put on gloves;
3. Raise mainsail with wheel locked;
4. Pull in anchor line over bow pulpit hand over hand until line is vertical;
5. As anchor breaks free and chain appears, move line back and forth to clean chain and anchor;
6. Raise anchor and place on foredeck;
7. Unlock wheel, trim sail and set auto pilot;
8. Remove anchor from line and replace in cockpit locker;
9. Coil anchor line and replace in cockpit locker;
10. Raise jib and trim; and,
11. Sail away.

That's right folks - no next generation anchor, no engine, no length of chain, no windlass, no backing up the boat - all easily down by hand with no particular strain. The anchor, chain and line are light enough to be easily lifted out of a cockpit locker - no heavy weight in the bow and no need for a windlass.

Although I now have a 12 lb. Danforth, a 20 lb. Danforth, a 25 lb. CQR, and a 7 lb. Mantus, I have never had to the need to use anything more than the 12 lb. Danforth.

The most important elements:

1. Pick a good anchorage - the single most important of all;
2. Plan it out;
3. Take your time; and,
4. Allow the boat to set naturally to anchor.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 09-02-2013 at 07:48 AM.
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