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post #64 of Old 09-02-2013
Maine Sail
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Obviously, the focus on the anchor in this thread is misplaced. A Danforth 12H is a common, standard anchor for the Chesapeake. Three strand nylon is a superior anchor line, if you are using rope, because of its stretch, which absorbs energy. You do not need any more than 6-10' of chain. Why make life difficult? Sailing is supposed to be easy, fun and relaxing, not some quasi-military exercise with night vision goggles, an all chain rode and an electric windlass.

What matters is the choice of anchorage and the technique.
The bigger picture is that finesse beats brute strength in virtually all aspects of sailing, yet brute force and equipment are the favorite topic of the forum threads. A novice who reads this thread would believe that he or she needs a $400 next generation anchor and 200' of chain in order to avoid dragging. Nonsense. The focus on conquering/overcoming nature helps sell unnecessary equipment.

The next generation anchor manufactures would love everyone to believe its the anchor type that matters.
A technique that leaves you with no idea how the anchor is set, or if it is adequately set, for what may lie ahead, is not a technique. IMHO it is like crossing your fingers and going to Vegas. Lucky better describes an anchoring process that does not involve adequately setting your anchor or testing how it's set by backing down hard and simulating higher wind conditions/load on your anchor.

I have seen far to many boats wind up on the rocks because they used the rock on a rope technique and relied on luck & drift to set their anchor. In a very high percentage of the dragging incidents we've witnessed, and we see lots of them here in Maine, properly setting the anchor was not part of the process. The "Gilligan toss" may work well for Hollywood but often not well enough in the real world..

You can get lucky for a while but eventually the luck runs out... That's not the wicked witch under the house it is his Danforth.........

This guy never set his anchor and dragged into us. He got "lucky" for about 14 hours until the wind picked up a bit then he dragged into us... Yes he is still in his PJ's because he went to bed using the "Gilligan toss" technique and felt comfortable with it. This time his luck ran out, and at 6:00 am, lucky us...... Arghhh......

Most any good reference to setting an anchor includes how to "power set" the anchor. Fortress anchors lays this out in STEP #3 as the POWER SET..

Fortress Anchors:

Originally Posted by Fortress Anchors
#3 "Power Set" Your Anchor

Know that your anchor is properly set! Back down very, very slowly.
Then as the anchor begins to set, very slowly increase the load with your

You can simulate the force of the wind by using your engine’s thrust to set your
anchor to a predetermined load. Match your boat’s total maximum horsepower
and hull type in the table above to determine how hard your boat can “Power Set”
your anchor.
West Marine also has a good reference:

Originally Posted by West Marine Advisor
Anchoring Techniques

To ensure that an anchor "sets" well, apply tension to the rode so the anchor penetrates the bottom. Do this by making fast the line and applying power in reverse. If your boat moves, reset the anchor and try again.

Many boaters make only a half-hearted attempt to set the anchor by putting the boat in reverse for just a few seconds. To be sure the anchor is set you must put a reasonable strain on the rode for a reasonable length of time. Your boat should surge forward when you back off the power, indicating that you have put some strain on the rode to test the anchor set. We know of no way to ensure that your anchor will hold other than by pulling on it hard.

-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 09-03-2013 at 11:15 AM.
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