Anchoring Technique...additional - SailNet Community

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Old 07-15-2008
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Anchoring Technique...additional

I have really enjoyed the other thread on anchoring technique. I want to ask about a specific problem we have had anchoring. I am aware of the proper techniques, as discussed in the other thread, and I use them.

Our boat is fairly light, and it sails at anchor quite a lot. It May benefit from a riding sail, which I am considering adding. It also has a bow roller that is both off-center and slightly angled to starboard away from centerline. The boat has swung at anchor in a very pronounced manner. One night we awoke after a bit less than 2 hours sleep to find we were 180 degrees of the direction we started and the direction of all the other boats in the anchorage...disconserting and unacceptable, to say the least. There was little or no current, and the wind was steady at about 15 knots. On that occasion we had the 33# bruce off the bow, 6:1 scope, 50' of chain and a 16 or 20# danforth off the stern, and it still pivoted like a friggin' ballerina! Another time we had a similar situation with the flopper stopper out(off the boom, halyard supporting the boom), a bit more breeze (maybe 18-20), and it twisted around even faster, and we bugged out.

So, I propose to use a bridle on the rode, two line, rolling hitches to the rode, led to the bow cleats. Any other ideas for me to try?

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Old 07-15-2008
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Consider losing the stern anchor. They're almost never needed, and only add to the problems. Yes, I know, there may be truly exceptional circumstances, but in general you don't need a stern anchor.

Second, try using a bridle. That sometimes helps a bit. My boat sails around at anchor, too, but it's never a big problem. The bridle greatly cuts the noise you'd otherwise get from the chain popping in the roller, so you sleep better, too.

Bill
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Old 07-15-2008
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Keith,

Have you tried posting this over on the Ericson forums?

I remember a discussion there a while back about the high bow windage on some Ericsons.

I rarely use my anchor roller and instead prefer to anchor to my bow cleats as it's just stronger. I also lock my rudder at dead center. Sometimes moving the dual bridle pendants around the first stanchions can alleviate and change the motion enough to prevent sailing at anchor but it's not advised in rough weather
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Old 07-15-2008
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You could also try anchoring from the stern. Read Don Jordan's page on why I say this.
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Old 07-15-2008
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bridle, riding sail and stern anchor in that order, try 'em one by one and then add them together until you get the result you want.

The order is based on ease of deployment and retrieval, not necessarily what will work best.
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Old 07-15-2008
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Concur with the stern anchoring. That will probably settle you right down although it is kinda wierd. Otherwise you need an effective riding sail and the boat needs to be trimmed by the bow.
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Old 07-15-2008
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Also, if you have a roller furler for the headsail, try to get a nice tight wrap (don't, as some people do, leave a little "storm jib" deployed).

It sounds like a riding sail would be a worthwhile experiment. We had one on our previous boat and it was highly effective. You could make a cheap prototype before committing to making one from dacron.
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BTW, I'd second what JRP said. If you have a roller furling headsail, you really need to get a tight wrap and get a couple of wraps of the sheets around the sail, rather than leaving a tiny bit of the jib deployed... since that will help prevent the sail from self-destructing in a storm.
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Old 07-15-2008
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Your boat is 180 degrees from the direction of all the other boats, but is it pulling on the anchor rode in the same or in the opposite direction? In other words, does the rode lead from your bow down under your backwards boat, or does it lead off away from your bow? It sounds to me like it could be a problem of the relative position of your windage versus your underwater profile (center of effort with all sails furled vs. center of lateral resistance). In other words, you boat would be happier riding to an anchor cleated off on the stern rather than the bow. The riding sail should help, as should doing whatever you can to reduce your windage forward of the keel (take jib down instead of rolling it up, or at least make sure it gets rolled up good and tight, etc...)

EDIT so I see others have posted some of the same ideas while I was composing my post. The trim thing is something to look into -- how is the weight distributed in your boat fore and aft, and would re-arranging stowage change your fore-and-aft trim angle sufficiently to change the center of lateral resistance enough to keep your boat lined up....
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A word of caution...

Although I've never experienced it, I've heard of a few cases of an anchor line getting twisted around a keel. What I've been told to do to get out of this situation is to tie a fender to the line, uncleat or cut the line distant to the fender attachment, and let her go. The fender will be dragged under the boat so it's best not to have any metal on the line. Once you're free and can see the fender is clear of the boat, it's safe to start the motor and go back to retrieve the fender, rode, and anchor. I've heard you'll be able to tell if the anchor line is around the keel by the boat heeling a considerable amount. I've never heard of this happening with an all chain rode. I'm also not sure what to do if the line became tangled around the rudder or a keel & rudder entanglement.
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