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post #1 of 19 Old 10-13-2013 Thread Starter
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sideways on anchor?

Hi All

First up, complete noob to the forum here.
Hope this is the right place to glean some advice on anchoring practices.

Yesterday on the SE coast of Qld Aus, my brother and i took out his 26ft Sonata ( fixed keel) for a sail around the local islands.
Wind was gusty and strong, 20,s mostly gusting up to 30's.
Wind was NE and tide was high at about 2.4m, about an hour before the turn of the tide.

Most other sailors at the boat harbour were either already in or coming in due to the weather conditions as we headed out.

Going out into the bay through the channel markers under motor, the bay was very choppy and the little outboard we have on the back spent more time out of the water than in it.

The outboard spending most of its time out of the water, was struggling to turn us up into the wind to set sail.

The decision was made once we were clear of the channel, to anchor up until the choppy water subsided a bit as we were making very little progress.

The confusing part was, with the anchor set, the boat was continually turning side on to the swell and wind instead of nose forward.
We tried a couple of times to point the nose into the waves unsuccessfully.
The boat would swing around side on (either side) as soon as we were straight to the anchor rope?

Does anyone have any ideas on why the boat would sit side on to the anchor like that?

Ive been sailing for quite a few years but have never had this happen before?
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: sideways on anchor?

Is what the Sonata is doing sort of like some boats that "hunt" at anchor, flipping back and forth and tacking around while anchored? Maybe there's some extra windage forward, such as a loosely furled jib? Maybe something such as a small "riding sail" aft would do some good. Also, were you in an area that might have had a noticeable current at an angle to the wind? Does the boat balance and handle well under sail?
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post #3 of 19 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: sideways on anchor?

This is common on fin keel boats with moderate to excessive freeboard. The boat is sailing up the anchor rode.

Minor changes to the anchor configuration can make a big difference. Try adjusting the scope (keeping it in the safe limits of course), using a bridle between the two bow cleats, or using an anchor riding sail to keep the bow pointed into the wind.

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post #4 of 19 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: sideways on anchor?

would anyone have a picture of an anchor riding sail at work, it would help this newbie with what people are talking about, lol..
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-13-2013
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Re: sideways on anchor?

If the tide is opposite the wind then often a boat will not lie 'to the breeze'. It's also true, though, that many fin keelers like to 'sail on their anchor', some to an alarming degree. A riding sail is one way to deal with that, as is (sometimes) anchoring by the stern.

A riding sail is a very flat sail hanked onto the backstay and sheeted amidships somewhere, it acts as a weathercock to discourage drifting off to the side. Even if it doesn't stop this action, it greatly 'softens' the yawing.

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Re: sideways on anchor?

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Originally Posted by azguy View Post
would anyone have a picture of an anchor riding sail at work, it would help this newbie with what people are talking about, lol..


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post #7 of 19 Old 10-14-2013
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Re: sideways on anchor?

Hey thanks, much appreciated !!
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-14-2013
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Re: sideways on anchor?

Are you sure the boat wasn't pointing into the wind, but the swell was coming from Port / Starboard? The swell doesn't always run with the wind due to tides, currents etc.

I have been anchored at night when I awoke because the boat felt like it was in a washing machine. The swell was running about 3 feet and I was taking them broadside because a stiff breeze was 90 degrees out from the wind direction. The boat was pointing into the wind but unfortunately the swell was beating me to death from the side. The wind wasn't that high, but the swell was. On a 22 footer this was very unpleasant. I needed to point into the swell, the wind direction wasn't a concern.

Being exhausted, I went forward and grabbed the anchor line and pulled some bight back to the starboard midship cleat and tied off such that now my anchor line was running out from the boat at a right angle. Now the bow was pointing into the swell nice and gentle with the wind coming directly to starboard. The wind held me nice and square to the rode so that the boat could face the swell.

I would never leave a boat unattended that way, or do this if the wind was strong enough to use that much freeboard to pull the anchor loose. In this case it was just what the doctor ordered and allowed me a few hours peaceful rest.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-14-2013
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Re: sideways on anchor?

Are you sure the anchor was not dragging?
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-14-2013
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Re: sideways on anchor?

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Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post


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I have one of these. With our high freeboard, we can really swing at anchor.

However, I've taken it out of the bag several times to set it up and have just folded it back away. I've never used it. Of course, its always been at the end of the day, at anchor, awaiting a sundowner. My patience may not be at its best.

Once set up with quick connects or adjustable connections, I'm sure it would be easier the next time.


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