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mmccoy 01-01-2005 02:26 AM

Stern anchor suggestions
Currently I have a 35 lb CQR (16'' of 3/8" chain + 250'' of 3/4" rode) and a 45 lb CQR (50'' of 3/8" chain + 250 3/4" rode) in rollers on a 20K displacement boat.

I also have a 35 lb Danforth I want to use as a stern anchor. Right now I''ve just got it hung on the stern pulpit (no chain/rode).

Initially I thought I''d stick with 20'' of the 3/8" chain (to fit my windless) plus about 150'' of 5/8" rode.

Then I realized I''ll probably be hauling it in by hand 99% of the time anyway and so overall weight of anchor+chain becomes a consideration.

If you were weak & lazy like me, what length & size of chain/rode for the Danforth would you use to maximize holding while minimizing overall weight?

WHOOSH 01-01-2005 05:53 AM

Stern anchor suggestions
W&L, your question is of interest to me since I''m puzzling this out for our 11 ton Pearson 424 WHOOSH right now, before heading down to the Med. I don''t have THE answer for us (or for you), but here are some thoughts I''ve been mulling:

1. First are the generic anchoring issues: E.g. your anchor choice would work fine for the silty bottoms in harbors found along Europe''s southern coastline but not so well on the rocky bottoms in e.g. some Greek, Croatian and Med islands (in which case you might want to switch to the 35# CQR). And you don''t mention your intended use(s): The whole anchor/rode system is challenged a lot less if used as a kedge to keep the boat''s head into a swell than if it''s the only thing the boat''s back end is hanging off of when a big beam wind blows into the harbor. And then, there''s the issue of windage - as some boat''s have much more than their displacement might suggest (solar panels, weather cloths, big bimini, dink on davits or, in our case, our dodger & ketch rig). Perhaps our intended uses differ a great deal but, for us, I''m hoping that a Fortress FT37 will be sufficient...even tho'' I''ve got a FT55 bagged up at the bottom of a locker as a storm anchor, and I''ll haul that out if the 37 isn''t up to the job. Your Danforth is the approximate equivalent of a FT55 and would seem to be more than sufficient, presuming a suitable bottom.
2. I''ve intentionally sought out a lot of anecdotal reports from Med boats on their anchor/rode combinations and I think a fair generalization is that, if the anchor is larger (not necessarily heavier but with a large fluke area), then the length of chain rode can be shorter and/or lighter. I''m going to start with 50'' of 5/16" HT chain because it''s the spare bag of chain we happen to have...and will join this to 5/8" 3-strand nylon, also because I''ve got a fresh length of that aboard. I''ll add that we have used this size chain & line thru-out the Caribbean and now N Europe and, for our boat, they seem appropriate...and I will appreciate the lesser weight but comparable strength of the HT chain when handling it.
3. The geometry of handling the stern anchor is, I think, the hardest part of the puzzle to solve. Especially with a lengthy run of chain, one simply can''t get away with cantilevering one''s body over the stern pulpit and attempting to be the windlass and roller. I keep hearing that it''s especially important to protect the transom, caprail, and coaming over which the whole affair is retrieved - especially when there''s a strong beam wind and/or the anchor is buried deeply. I plan on using a piece of nylon line, running thru our stern roller and led to a sheet winch with a rolling hitch around the chain, if I need lots of muscle to break out the anchor...but I think this is going to be a s-l-o-w process with abundant entertainment for the crews on the other boats.

Comments? I''d surely welcome them while still concocting our plans and before modifying the anchor handling gear back aft.


mmccoy 01-01-2005 08:07 AM

Stern anchor suggestions

Ah, yes. I guess it would be an important point to explain how/where I''ll be using it.

I''ll be in the Gulf/Caribbean/East Coast for the foreseeable future. The intended use for the 35lb Danforth is (in order of importance):

1. emergency - able to toss it overboard quickly to slow/stop headway in a harbor, around docks, etc.. God forbid I ever need it in this capacity though.

2. Alternative to CQR''s - As you noted the CQR may not be the anchor of choice in some bottoms. In that case I''d take everything forward, secure it to the sampson post

I think this is the main reason compelling me to stick with the 3/8" HT chain as that is the size that fits my windless. However, should I need to switch types I think I''d be better off simply swapping anchors at the existing tackle (e.g. unshackling CQR/shackling on Danforth).

3. Bahamian moor - hopefully self-explanatory.

4. A more portable kedging ''tool''.

In short, basically a manual backup.

You are spot on regarding the ''geometry'' of handling a stern anchor. It''s the precise reason I''m trying to avoid making (man)handling it such a physically demanding job that, emergencies aside, I''d tend not to use it at all even when I probably should. e.g. entertainment for others using the sheet winch if fine by me... I have to accomodate the weak & lazy in me ;)

And indeed, it is bringing it back onboard without banging the hull/etc. to pieces that I''m thinking about as well . You are at least better off than me by having a stern roller. All I have is a boomkin to stand on to keep all that nasty abrasive chain and pointy ended metal from attacking the topsides.

Something you didn''t mention (but I''m sure you thought about it) is not to forget there is a lot of ''neutrally bouyant'' nylon rope just itching to get wrapped around your prop shaft ;)

WHOOSH 01-01-2005 02:07 PM

Stern anchor suggestions

It sounds like you have more of a need for a kedge anchor and a 2nd bow anchor, neither of which would need to serve as a ''real'' stern anchor. E.g. I think you''d be happier doing your Bahamaian moor with two bow anchors, for multiple reasons.

For portability - when needing a real kedge anchor & rode - I think your not sticking to your namesake (W&L) by trying to use your 35# Danforth. It''s certainly not easy to handle, by weight, form factor or dimensions, even before the weight of the chain is added. I think this is why having a Fortress on a boat is quite helpful. It''s light weight (and in the right conditions, super holding power) make it an ideal kedge.

I''m thinking that one of the ''must do''s'' for WHOOSH is to add some kind of sacrificial surface against which the chain can grind and scrape, on the outer side of the stern roller, to protect the gelcoat and the caprail back aft. I''m carrying some PVC sheet back with me for that reason.


GordMay 01-02-2005 12:54 AM

Stern anchor suggestions
There’s nothing easier to handle than a lightweight aluminum Fortress anchor.
The “FX55" that Jack mentions is about the same weight as your 35# Danforth, but the FX37 has about the same holding power, at 2/3 the weight.
Each anchor in a Bahamian Moor should have equal holding poower - there’s no secondary anchor in this set-up.

Billpjr 01-02-2005 10:00 AM

Stern anchor suggestions
My $.02...
I''ll probably get some flak on my opinion but it is based on cruising (not hearsay) FL and Bahamas in sailboats and owning CQRs, Danforths, Fishermen, Northills, Alum Fortress and various others...but no Bruce types.

For Florida (soft/hard sand) the Bahamas (grass/sand) your 35lb CQR with 3/8" chain on a 20k lb boat is basically a lunch hook for fair weather. If the winds pipe you will eventually drag. Put 25'' of chain on a 35CQR and that is a marginal working size for 10K lb sailboat.

The 45lb CQR w/50'' chain is a working anchor for a 20k lb boat. It will be hanging on the chain in hard blows and may drag in severe t-storm squalls.

The 35lb Danforth will out perform both by a large margin in sand/grass with only 10'' of chain and 7x scope.

I don''t do CQRs or aluminum Fortress types. CQRs have to be massively heavy to equal Danforth lightweights. My experience with an aluminun Fortress wasn''t positive. It was equal in size to a 40lb standard Danforth but weighed same as 16lb Danforth S. It was light to handle but the lightweight flukes didn''t set easily. They wouldn''t press down grass and set like the heavier Danforth.

For a "stop at the dock" anchor I''d do the 35 Danforth with 15'' of chain and place it at the stern. Then run the line back to the bow so it gives at least a boat length of scope when you first drop boatlength may save you from hitting the dock. It will turn the bow for you this way too.

You didn''t ask but here''s what anchors I carried on a 24k lb sailboat for FL/Bahamas.
(2) working 22lb Danforths off the bow.
(1) storm 40lb & 60lb Danforth
(1) 50lb yachtsman (hard grass and coral)
(1) 45lb Northill (coral)
(2) 13lb Danforth kedges
(2) 8lb Danforth kedges
(1) 2.5 lb Danforth - dink

Had a 25lb CQR, 45lb CQR with all chain on this boat and the alum Fortress. Sold them all and replaced with Danforths. I tried hi tensiles but preferred standards. I also sold the all chain rodes and went with short chain and nylon. Always two anchors out when cruising so I didn''t worry about tripping.

To each his own with anchors...but I wouldn''t go cruising without plenty of them.

santeana 01-03-2005 02:19 AM

Stern anchor suggestions
No claim to expertise but in a couple of Med charters stern ''anchoring'' consisted of taking lines ashore. The hook never went in the water! One boat was equipped with a stern drum for storing, deploying and retrieving the 3 strand nylon warp which certainly aided us Weak and Lazy charterers. I saw several yachts using stern drums, some deploying nylon tape as the warp medium. No experiece of this (Scandinavian?) method but it seemed a very neat set-up.

On my boat - sailing presently SW Scotland and N.Ireland - I''m using a 25lb CQR as the kedge on chain/nylon but like others find it unfriendly, hard labour and a gel peril. I''m using hose and chaf-pro tubes as a preventative. Thinking about installing a drum; definitely need a stern roller and fairlead plate. Ron

PCP 01-03-2005 03:22 AM

Stern anchor suggestions
Santeana is right.

I have some experience in the Med (several years), mainly in the South Coast of Spain and the Balearic Islands. The anchorages are so crowded or are so small that in the ones that are suited for using a bow anchor, it is much more simpler to take a line ashore.
The ones that have a bow anchor setup are normally Scandinavian boats (they use it in their waters) and in a lot of Scandinavian boats this setup comes as an option. Perhaps you should take a look at some setups, it would give you some ideas that probably work well.

sailnaway 01-03-2005 08:12 AM

Stern anchor suggestions
I love my little Danforth it is a small one not sure but maybe 25lbs. This has 6''of plastic coated chain and 200''of half inch line 38 foot 11 ton boat. This little rig as light as it is has held in some blows that were really hard. I have no problen getting it out or in I use a set of hangers I got from the West Marine that are for hanging the anchor from the pulpit but I used them and hung the anchor off my stern ladder.I have a bad heart and this is a good rig for no stress other than I have to use my big winch to break the anchor out,which is good.

jkumin 01-03-2005 01:30 PM

Stern anchor suggestions
As mentioned, it is all about intended use and type of bottom. One caution about the Fortress. We have found they need extra care in setting. As an emergency hook (the first use listed), they may not be the best as they tend to "sail" along the bottom unless you are nearly stopped. That said, once set in the type bottom Danforth style anchors like (sand or mud), they hold very well. We were hanging on a Danforth 12H with maybe 6'' of chain and 1/2" rode once in a 36'' boat when a 40'' steel ketch dragged into us at 3 am. It was blowing maybe 25 knots so not that bad. They had a 45# CQR and hundreds of feet of chain. Hard mud bottom. We tied them on and our toy setup held us both the rest of the night. Suspect people sometimes rely on hardware like lots of chain in place of a little care in setting. The difficulty for a stern emergency setup is the time for a careful set may not be available.

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