Anchor haul using masthead halyard - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-23-2006
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Anchor haul using masthead halyard

Can the mainsail halyard and winch be used to pull the anchor? I have a 34# CQR with about 50' of 5/16 SS chain followed by a bunch of rode. Really hard to pull up by hand.

I thought about using the main halyard winch to pull the rode portion until the chain got to the winch, then shackle the main halyard to the chain portion for the last 50 feet. This would put 50 feet of chain in the air and the anchor at the roller. Then cleat off the anchor at the bow and let the chain down slowly.

I'm fairly new to sailing and am concerned about putting an unusual force on the masthead like this. I'm thinking it would be OK. Boat is a Pearson 10M (33') with a 48' mast.

Thanks for replies.
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Old 11-23-2006
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I am not sure you want all that chain ready to knock someones head off. Buy a windless.
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Old 11-23-2006
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sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice sailaway21 is just really nice
Why not take a snatch block and rig the halyard through it, leading along the deck? You'd have to do it a couple of times, but you wouldn't have all that detritus ( read s***) raining down on you from above.
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Old 11-23-2006
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I appreciate your response.

Another option is to use a chain hook and about 25 feet of line to repeatedly hook the chain and winch in the anchor using the mast mounted mainsail halyard winch. I agree, having 50' of SS chain in the air produces anxiety.

Adding a deck mounted anchor windlass right now is monetarily not possible.
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Old 11-23-2006
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Good point sailaway21, I think I am going to go with the small increment and rehook onto the chain method. Just about 20 feet at a time. I'll have to secure the chain each time at the bow cleat.

Anything is better than trying to haul that much weight up my hand.


I do a lot of single handed sailing.


Last edited by JouvertSpirit; 11-23-2006 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 11-24-2006
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Depending on what your typical anchorage is; you might consider changing the anchor setup. If you are anchoring in areas with mud or sand bottom you don't need as much chain to prevent chafe on the bottom. If the depth is less than 30' or so (and favorable anchoring conditions) you could use a shorter length of chain and longer scope of rhode. That will help reduce the weight you need to hoist up from the bottom. You might try a 20' length of chain; this works for me on a 40' boat in protected anchorage with mud bottom.

Some things that can help to get the anchor aboard are the following:

Drive up a little bit to get the boat moving toward the anchor. Once the line slackens hit neutral and go to the bow and keep pulling in the line slowly. If you pull hard you are just going to work against the momentum of the boat. If you pull slowly and get the boat moving forward you can just keep pulling line up with little force (if the wind/current is not against you). Once you get directly over the anchor cleat it and drive forward to dislodge the anchor from the bottom. Once the anchor is free you hoist the rest aboard (the hard part).

Something else you might try is tying a line parallel to the chain length; from the anchor out to the rhode. When you get to the chain you could then use the line running parallel to the chain to winch the rest onboard. I have never tried this; it is just an idea that might be worth trying.

HTH...
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Old 11-24-2006
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KeelHaulin, that is a good suggestion about running a rode parallel to the chain to make it easy to use on deck winches to pull up the anchor. I just worry a little bit about the fouling possibility on anchor setting. I doubt I will shorten the chain because I plan on cruising the Keys and Bahamas areas in the next year. I want the chain to prevent chaffing.

My original question was really centered around the stress put on the masthead toward the bow while winching the anchor using the mast mainsail winch and the mainsail halyard.
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Old 11-24-2006
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If you can get one anywhere (probably second hand) a manual windlass/gypsy is to be recommended. I paid $500 for a Muir some years ago and other than some grease occasionally, it is as good as the day it was made. Mostly, I drag the anchor up by hand, but agree it can be hard work, especially if there is a lot of wind. The removeable stainless steel handle lives in a locker immediately forward of the windlass and once inserted in the slot, is easy to use. And - it requires no electrical power - one less thing to go wrong
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Old 11-24-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanl
If you can get one anywhere (probably second hand) a manual windlass/gypsy is to be recommended.
Yep, I agree. You can find these at swap meets, craigslist or e-bay for cheap but the only drawback is getting repair parts should the unit need servicing. My boat has a manual Simpson-Lawrence Hyspeed; not the most beautiful thing to be up on the bow but it sure helps to hoist the chain onboard.

Most new windlass units are electric with no manual option. Lofrans makes some nice electric/manual units but they are $$$$
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Old 11-24-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JouvertSpirit
Another option is to use a chain hook and about 25 feet of line to repeatedly hook the chain and winch in the anchor
I have sucessfully done this quite often for my stern anchor using this kind of chain hook (for 10 mm chain):
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