Stern tie anchoring in storn winds - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-24-2013 Thread Starter
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Stern tie anchoring in storn winds

I am about to head to British Columbia/Vancouver Island in my Hood 38 and was wondering the best way to stern tie when wind is expected to be high in an anchorage, in a storm situation. For example, if the wind is anticipated from the north, would it be best to stern tie to a tree or ring on the north side of a cove, with the anchor set from the bow to the south, or to be on the south side of the cove, with the anchor set off the bow, opposite the wind direction, to the north, and the stern tie to the south? In this area one needs to anchor close to shore oftentimes, as the depth increases very quickly.

I was thinking that if the anchor dragged, in the second situation, one would be very close to a lee shore, with little time to respond, since stern ties tend to put you very close to shore.

I am thinking that in the second situation, it would be best to put out a second anchor at 45 degrees apart, in the direction from which is wind is coming,to insure against dragging, and stern tie just to hold against swinging.

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Stern tie anchoring in storn winds

If the weather was going to be that bad, wouldn't that pretty much clear out the anchorage?
Wouldn't you then be able to anchor w/o the stern tie w/ lots of swinging room?
But given the choices you have offered, I personally would never anchor w/ my stern to the rocks and adding a second anchor to the north anchorage scenario would depend on conditions and holding.
All that said, if it was my boat and conditions were going to be severe, I'd find a bay that I could anchor in that had good shelter (and holding) and I could swing on my anchor, with no shore tie.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Stern tie anchoring in storn winds

Your anchor shouldn't drag when using a stern tie. You can use tons of scope because you don't have to worry about swing radius. You also don't have to worry about anchor resets because the anchor rode never pivots.

I'm coming home from the same trip now and my preference has been to anchor facing into the wind, then stern tie. This means that my boat is in the best possible position while I setup the anchor.

I've come to love stern ties. I wish that it were commonplace in WA as well, it makes for a very secure anchoring and lets you fit more boats into a space. In general I've found Canadians to be nicer people to anchor closely to as well, they don't have the tendency that I find in WA (especially places like Roche Harbor) to run generators and fly around in their dinghies at high speeds in tight anchorages.

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post #4 of 7 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Stern tie anchoring in storn winds

If I'm understanding your situation correctly, I'd tie the bow to shore on the north side of the cove and set a stern anchor out to the south. That way the wind will be buffered a bit by the upwind shore and will aid in keeping you off. Plus, you won't have to worry about dragging anchor if the wind stays out of the north.

We used this technique frequently in Lake Huron's North Channel. You can read the specifics of our experience here: The Fine Art of Gunkholing

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post #5 of 7 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Stern tie anchoring in storn winds

I will not stern-tie in strong winds or potential beam winds. I will go to an anchorage in which I can swing. Storms will have wind shifts. As well, while I may have set my anchor, I have seen far too many folks not set theirs when stern tied.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Stern tie anchoring in storn winds

By adding a stern anchor or tie you are greatly increasing the forces on your anchor. No matter how much scope you put out, any strong beam wind can cause problems.
Tied stern to in Papeete, Tahiti (15' deep, 150' of 1/2" chain, 65# genuine CQR) on a 32 ton boat with not much freeboard, we were hit by a very strong squall. Holding there is quite good, but every boat dragged, and rigs got tangled. As most were aboard (10ish at nite) there was only minor damage to some, but it was pretty intense. Some of the larger yachts even had 2 anchors out, but it wasn't enough.
I would be very cautious about assuming that because you have lots of scope out and a stern anchor or tie, you are secure. I for one will not use a stern anchor or tie unless it is the ONLY possibility available; I'd rather go to another anchorage.
Anyway, why would I even consider mooring in a place that "lets you fit more boats into a space"? I don't want to stay in anchorages that are like tenements. That ain't why I go voyaging.

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post #7 of 7 Old 07-24-2013
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Re: Stern tie anchoring in storn winds

The stern tie anchorages in BC aren't always to fit more boats into the same space. They are often to allow you to anchor in your own space and not have to worry about rocks. The shore lines here are very steep to.

Here are examples of where we stern tied half a mile from anyone else, but needed to stern tie to get into the space:



The first is Roffey Cove near Prideaux Haven. Going there instead of Laura Cove got us away from the two US boats running generators. Laura Cove was a short row away. The stern tie is to limit swing to keep you off of the rocks.

The second is Teakerne Arm where your only options for anchoring are stern tie or tying up to log booms and hoping that you aren't awoken in the middle of the night by a tug coming to collect the log boom. In Teakerne Arm we used a stern tie and side tie to locate the boat.

As for wind shifts, anchoring where you are protected on 3 sides by cliff walls (such as our Teakerne Arm position) does appear to limit what directions the wind can come from.

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Last edited by Alex W; 07-24-2013 at 07:39 PM.
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