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post #1 of 11 Old 06-15-2009 Thread Starter
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Anchoring bow & stern solo

I'm looking for advice on the best ways to anchor bow & stern while solo. Setting the anchors doesn't seem like too much of a problem but it is raising them that appears to be tricky. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-15-2009
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Bow and stern, solo

Bow and stern is something to be avoided, if possible. I've done it, solo, but only under the most favorable conditions.

As shown by the Cabo San Lucas disaster of 1982, if things go wrong with the weather, and you're set up B&S, it can be unlikely that you'll extract yourself successfully. See the writeups on that event by the Pardeys or by Dashew.

But in settled weather, if you've got to, then it becomes a kind of Zen thing: go with the prevailing forces. Drop the bow anchor, drop back to 2x scope, drop the stern anchor and winch yourself up to the midpoint. Disassemble in the reverse order of assembly. Don't try to fight a crosswind, either dropping or retrieving. Reread the last sentence.

Among other things, that procedure requires that you have enough rode on the pointy end to let out 2x scope in the depth you find yourself in.

Once you're anchored B&S, if there's a crosswind, the forces on the whole system become REALLY big.

If things start to go wrong with the weather, be prepared to weight, cut away, and sink (i.e. lose) your stern rode and anchor in order to make your escape.

If I find myself in an anchorage where I've got to anchor B&S, I move to another anchorage.

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post #3 of 11 Old 06-16-2009
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If you MUST anchor bow and stern, lead the stern anchor from the bow, cleat it off on the stern and anchor it from there. That way you can always uncleat it and you are back to two bow anchors. Much easier to deal with.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-16-2009
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I'd point out that if you're needing to use two anchors on a regular basis, regardless of how you've laid them out, you probably need larger ground tackle.

99% of your anchoring should be done on a single anchor IMHO... and if your primary isn't large enough to handle that, then you need to re-think what you've got for ground tackle.

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post #5 of 11 Old 06-16-2009
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For those of us that lake sail and spend nights in coves, bow and stern are sometimes necessary because there is no room to swing. Previous advice is good - drop the bow and back down with sufficent rode to drop the stern. Then just pull on the bow rode to center yourself up. Again, you need sufficent rode on your bow anchor to make this work. When retrieving just reverse the process.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-16-2009
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It really depends on why you want to anchor bow and stern.

For example, if you're simply trying to orient the boat to the swells in an anchorage in order to minimize rolling, you'd set your main anchor and then take the stern anchor to it's desired position in your dinghy. Dropping back on the main anchor rode wouldn't get you where you want to be.

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post #7 of 11 Old 06-16-2009 Thread Starter
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B&s

When I arrive at coves in Southern California (Catalina Island & the Northern Channel Islands) many of the anchorages have boats anchored bow & stern. Usually this is due to the limited space for swing - either from other boats or the size of the cove. I must anchor as the earlier arrivers have done.

My original question had to do with the problem of letting out the bow anchor to bring in the stern anchor when departing. I intend to let some off of the bow, gather the stern, and repeat until I can get over the stern anchor. I can see problems if other boats are nearby and/or conditions are not fairly calm. I've done this plenty with crew onboard but never solo. I'm just looking for any advice. Thanks again for all comments.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-17-2009
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It is even more fun as you weigh anchor you find that you have ensnared another boat's anchor.

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post #9 of 11 Old 06-17-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepxx View Post
When I arrive at coves in Southern California (Catalina Island & the Northern Channel Islands) many of the anchorages have boats anchored bow & stern. Usually this is due to the limited space for swing - either from other boats or the size of the cove. I must anchor as the earlier arrivers have done.

My original question had to do with the problem of letting out the bow anchor to bring in the stern anchor when departing. I intend to let some off of the bow, gather the stern, and repeat until I can get over the stern anchor. I can see problems if other boats are nearby and/or conditions are not fairly calm. I've done this plenty with crew onboard but never solo. I'm just looking for any advice. Thanks again for all comments.
I can feel your pain. I've always had to do bow and stern at Catalina as the anchorages are always tight. It also makes for a more comfortable night as the wind and the waves never line up.

I use a small Bruce-knockoff as my stern anchor, and use my dink to set and retrieve it, even when solo. At Catalina, it seems like the bow anchor is always in deep water and the bottom comes up fast. I doubt that I can get in close enough to drop my stern anchor anyway, so why try. When I need to retrieve the anchor, I don't motor. I simply pull myself to the anchor by using the rode, bring the anchor into the dink and then use the rode to get back. Once back, then I deal with the bow anchor.

Last edited by windward54; 06-17-2009 at 04:18 PM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-17-2009
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I anchor at the Southern CA Channel Islands all the time solo. Yes, you need a bow and stern anchor. I usually set and retrieve the stern anchor from the kayak. You need to do this in the morning before the wind comes up. Lengthen rode on the stern and pull yourself up to the chain on the bow anchor but don't break out the bow anchor. Cleat off and your boat will sit very motionless right over the bow anchor. Go get the stern anchor in your kayak. Get everything all stowed and ready to go. Light the engine, get the main ready to hoist. Then break out the bow anchor and carefully exit the cove. There will be boats all around.
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