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Old 08-20-2010
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Using More than one anchor

In Charleston South Carolina just about everyone here uses one anchor at a time for fear that more than one might allow them to get tangled if the boat rotated 360 degrees. I nearly always pick a place to anchor so that I have room to rotate all of the way around and not hit anything. Theory has it that a good plow in this area will always re-set. What about other places like South Florida and the Bahamas? Anyone use more than one anchor regularly. How about a bow anchor and a stern anchor. Any recomendations to practice?

Last edited by akin_alan; 08-20-2010 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 08-20-2010
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As far as the Bahamas, you usually only see one anchor. The right anchor and rode will hold you just fine. However, there is that thing called the "Bahamian Moor", which is two anchors off the bow to reduce swing. The name implies you should use it in the Bahamas, but in any populated anchorage all you'll do is screw up (and possibly collide with) the other boats there.

I've had a CQR hold through pretty rough storms in the Bahamas. The good thing is most anchorages are fairly shallow and thus it is not hard to have a 10:1 scope out.
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DoctorK Glad to hear that. I now have 15' of chain with a centinial and plan to make that 30' so that I don't worry about wearing through my rope.
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Old 08-20-2010
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[QUOTE=DoctorK;634804] However, there is that thing called the "Bahamian Moor", which is two anchors off the bow to reduce swing. QUOTE]

My understanding of the Bahamian moor is that the two anchors are set at 180 degrees inline with reversing curremts.

I certainly anchor this way in Nassau and one or two other places where the current reverses with the tide and the boat lies to the current and not the wind.

I believe that one of the standard courses in the USA used to teach two anchors set in a V and may still do so.

Personally I do not like this idea coz if you ever get a calm night as sure as eggs are eggs you will wake up to twisted rodes and the ensuing recovery hassle.

BTW Nearly all cruisers use all chain rodes and here is why - it only took a couple of hours to chafe through.
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Old 08-21-2010
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We most often use one anchor, but are compelled to use two in a crowd where others are using two.

Just a little diversion regarding anchoring in the Bahamas. The most frequent problem there is attempting to anchor in a scoured area where there is just a thin one or two inches of sand over a hard pan of coral marl (limestone). Look for the ubiquitous marine worm holes on the bottom that are easily seen in the clear water. If there is enough sand for the marine worms, then your anchor will hold. Without these marine worm holes there is likely too little sand depth to stay put. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-21-2010
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In tight anchorages or anchorages where the current can rip, I use two anchors set about 180deg apart. If the wind's going to blow I'll re-anchor with two anchors about 60deg either side of the wind. I use a Bruce and CQR as my standard anchoring kit; all chain rode on the Bruce and about 80' of chain then 3/4" nylon for the CQR.

You can get by with one anchor in many places as long as your anchor and rode are well suited for the conditions. In places where the ground is either thin or hard, more scope is better than less. In those cases, I dive the anchors to make sure they're really set.

And, yes, I've come up in the morning to find the anchor lines twisted around each other. That means a bit more work getting them up but as I do I wonder what would have happened if I didn't have them both down.
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Old 08-21-2010
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I'd point out that using two anchors was often necessary in days gone by, since the anchors that were available were far less advanced than what is available today. A 35 lb. fisherman has only a tiny fraction of the holding power of a Rocna 15, which weighs 33 lbs. Also, the design of the newer "next gen" anchors is such that they are very unlikely to come unset and they re-set quicker when they do in most cases of reversing current or wind.
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Old 08-22-2010
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While one anchor works in almost all situations, there are two where I find two anchors set in a "V" of 90 degress or so helpful - where the current and wind are opposite, and in a tight anchorage where boats are close. In the first, the boat can ride up on the anchor and even have the anchor line wrap around the keel. Using two anchors stops that. In the second everyone is on short scope to avoid swinging into their neighbors. Putting two anchors out will allow you to put a bit more scope out and still not swing excessively and you have the insurance of the second anchor.
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Old 08-22-2010
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I always use at least two. Min one forward, one back. Usually two forward, one back. Where I anchor there is usually no room to swing.
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Old 08-22-2010
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I frequently use 2 anchors off the bow. When the two rodes (actually 1 chain and 1 line) "wrap" I use the dinghy like a tug boat and "spin the boat" to get the wraps out.

To do this, push the aft part of the side of your boat with your dinghy. The bow of the dinghy should be against your boat at an angle so you are pushing your boat backwards, tensioning on rode/line and making the other one slack. This keeps the anchor line that will pass under your boat (during the spin) slack, so it doesn't get caught on your keel.

You can also use a line off a stern cleat and pull the boat around, using a line to the dinghy's bow eye, although the dinghy's prop doesn't seem to have the same effect in reverse. And your dinghy's prop wash is hitting your boat's rudder, also slowing the process. This method give you lots of visibility since you can see where you are pulling your boat. (It's more difficult to see when you are pushing the boat. I use other sailboat masts as a reference, since I can't see over the boat's 5' of freeboard when sitting in the dinghy.) When pulling like this, position your dinghy 45 degrees aft of your cleat, so you are pulling your sailboat back to keep the tension off the line passing under your keel.

Either way you choose, do it on a calm, no-wind morning.

Once you get past 180 degrees, any wind will help your boat complete the 360 spin. However, continue pushing/pulling with the dinghy, to keep the tension off the anchor line going under the boat. The wind will not do this for you.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Brad

P.S. I tightly wrap a towel around the line and securely tie it in place at both ends. This has kept the chafe (from the chain) to a minimum. When doing the double anchor technique for any length of time, I move the towel-spot on the line periodically.
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