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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Anchoring/leaving under sail
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-01-2014 08:12 AM
GetWeh
Re: Anchoring/leaving under sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
....... and frankly I like the looks from other boats in the anchorage.
Thats why I do it
05-01-2014 05:03 AM
Omatako
Re: Anchoring/leaving under sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
As for sails when sailing to anchor, we will beat up into the bay on the sails that have been up for the voyage. At about a mile from the spot we plan to anchor, we furl the main and continue up wind under Yankee, reefing it each time we tack, until there is only a handkerchief pulling the boat along at about a knot. When we are just below where we want to anchor, I'll put her into the wind, furling up the last bit of the Yankee. As we fall off, Nikki is letting the anchor drop, so that the chain runs clear of the anchor.
And we have a winner - at least I do. Not that I'm trying to educate anyone, you understand. It's just my thinking, YMMV.

So you come into an anchorage with the main up, ease the main sheet as you approach your chosen spot to slow the boat, someone on the foredeck lets the anchor into the water.

And then the wind hits the trees, cliffs, buildings (see my earlier post) and it backs around and comes at the main sail from the stern. The main is already on the shrouds and nowhere to go and the boat gains speed. And there's an anchor in the water. And the 80ft Hinckley in front of you is suddenly awfully close and closing fast. And seamanship goes out the window and in comes mild panic.

And everyone around you wonders why you never motored in - especially the Hinckley owner.

If that is done in the name of good seamanship, I clearly have a poor level of seamanship - I see no value in putting my (and others) assets at risk for the possibility of looking cool.

If I have to sail into any restricted space, I'd do it on headsail only because I can either quickly furl it in and out or in an emergency as above, just let it fly and that's the only way you can guarantee continued control.

Other than the soft putter of a reliable diesel of course.
05-01-2014 03:09 AM
ScottUK
Re: Anchoring/leaving under sail

Quote:
Yes and Seamanship means use all of the available resources to make the journey the safest possible.
That was the implication of my post you quoted. However rarely do I see boats motoring in with their sails ready to deploy and their halyard attached to the main. I am guilty of this myself.

Quote:
Just a question: What sails would you have up to sail into an anchorage?
I would have both up to get to the anchorage. Roll in the headsail once there and then use the main to get to the spot I want to drop in. My first consideration when picking a spot, given the wind direction, is where I would be heading if I were to drag. Depending on the conditions I might drop the main just prior to dropping the hook or leave it up. If I drop the main I will raise it again after settling to back down on the anchor. If there is no wind to back down then I likely will start the engine and use that - I do want to have a restful night. If I have some wind I will tack back and forth to dig the anchor in. Having done it enough times now I feel I can set it about as well as I can with the engine.

To pick the anchor up I again raise the main, centre it on the track and ease the sail about half way out to the shroud tacking back and forth while retrieving the slack after each tack. I ensure that the last tack prior to having the anchor up will allow me to bear away on a course that keeps me clear. I find this so easy I pretty much do this whenever there is enough wind.

I do this not so much to be a purist though that could play a part but to mitigate stress should my engine die and I only have sails to shift the boat. I want to be as comfortable with it as I am using the motor. The two main reasons for this is if my engine breaks down I don't want to have to rely on the nearest shop to effect repairs and if I am in a remote area I want to be able continue cruising until such a time it can be repaired.
04-30-2014 10:34 PM
capta
Re: Anchoring/leaving under sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post

Just a question: What sails would you have up to sail into an anchorage?
As for sails when sailing to anchor, we will beat up into the bay on the sails that have been up for the voyage. At about a mile from the spot we plan to anchor, we furl the main and continue up wind under Yankee, reefing it each time we tack, until there is only a handkerchief pulling the boat along at about a knot. When we are just below where we want to anchor, I'll put her into the wind, furling up the last bit of the Yankee. As we fall off, Nikki is letting the anchor drop, so that the chain runs clear of the anchor.
Leaving, we will either put up the main once we've shortened up to 50' of chain, or wait until the anchor is up and then pull out the Yankee. With the main, we try and time pulling the anchor with the swing of the boat, so we will not have to jibe. We very rarely power up on the anchor as it almost always fouls if we do. Using the windlass a bit and the weight of the chain to pull us up to the anchor has worked very well for us, and we never get the chain caught under rocks or ledges any more.
As for what some did a half century ago or so, we should remember that just like the roads, the waterways are much more congested than they once were and many times what was fun and easy way back when, is just not prudent seamanship these days. When I see somebody sailing through the anchorage like a bat out of hell for fun, I do not think, "oh what a great sailor that man is.". No, I think him a fool, and a very poor seaman, with extremely poor judgement.
There may come a time when it becomes imperative that one must do something awesome, like sailing an 84' schooner to the dock, but until that time comes (and hopefully it never will), it is always best not to tempt one's fate beyond prudent limits.
04-30-2014 10:18 PM
TQA
Re: Anchoring/leaving under sail

Well I do it fairly often but usually pick the more open anchorages like Falmouth Antigua or Clarks Court Bay Grenada.

I think it is something everybody should practice but there is nothing wrong with having the engine running just in case.


Don Street would be a good person to ask this question to as he sailed Iolaire for 37 years without an engine. Mind you it is likely you will hear in great detail why it should only be done if you have a yawl rig.
04-30-2014 09:47 PM
tdw
Re: Anchoring/leaving under sail

I'd probably want headsail and main. There is always a temptation to just go under main alone but the extra manouvrebality you get from the headsail outweighs the complication of two sails I reckon.

Maybe if the escape route was downwind then main only.

I confess that most of the times I have done this it has been onto a mooring rather than to anchor.
04-30-2014 09:12 PM
Omatako
Re: Anchoring/leaving under sail

Hmmmm . . . .

Many of the anchorages we visit are often quite crowded and sometimes the holding is not great. Getting a boat to sit in the right spot without swinging onto others is not always easy and when sailing in, it is more tricky.

For example, you sail in between two boats with another boat 100yds astern - the anchor drags and the wind drifts you back onto the boat behind. How well does your boat handle under sail in reverse? I'll bet not as well as you think. A drifting boat gobbles up 100 yds in a very short time.

And if you do manage to get the boat turned in time, how quickly does it begin to make way under sail? And if you're like a goodly percentage of visitors to this forum, your engine may not start all that well not least because as a purist you haven't used it for a while. Right?

In addition, many (most) anchorages are in a bay or inlet of some sort where surrounding elements (trees, cliffs, buildings) will cause unexpected wind eddies and that could compromise your efforts at doing this without touching other boats.

The wind is often light enough to sail with some confidence into a crowded space but then it is perhaps too light to set the anchor properly and at 03:00AM someone else is going to have you leaning against them when the wind does fill in a little. Please God, don't let it be me!!

And remember also that if you have to move at 03:00AM, you're technically the last boat into the anchorage and you have to give space to everyone else there, even those that came in many hours after you did.

So I get the "purist" thing about "I'm a sailor" but I often see guys coming in under sail and in my nervousness I wonder "What is the down side to motoring in?" And this is even more intriguing for those who sail in with the motor idling

I motor into an anchorage, I set my anchor properly and that's where I'm spending the night. Nobody around me will have any cause to be nervous. Those purists who get it wrong and drag onto me in the middle of the night will be moving and it probably won't be under sail.

But that's just me . . . .

Just a question: What sails would you have up to sail into an anchorage?
04-30-2014 08:20 PM
tdw
Re: Anchoring/leaving under sail

Pretty much every mooring field or anchorage that I know of is now jam packed with other craft and those are a damn sight bigger than when I was young.

That is probably the major difference 'tween now and the middle ages.
04-30-2014 08:08 PM
zeehag
Re: Anchoring/leaving under sail

if one hasnt an engine, one need not use it.
so why is it such good seamanship to have an engine idling when the job is more seaworthy done under sail. i am in stitches reading you guys. have fun. when you get real, let me know. i am out here. lol. is it coffee break time yet????
we were on and off mooring when we were CHILDREN, sailing a 1903 built sloop, gaff rigged, as CHILDREN(i was 7, my bros were 6 and 3 respectively),.,, so , what is so hard about that which you are attempting to do in modern boats.......
04-30-2014 06:57 PM
tdw
Re: Anchoring/leaving under sail

I confess I don't do it as much now as I did with our smaller boats but it is the most glorious way to start or finish a sail.

Unless you stuff it up.

Then I can understand people in crowded anchorages getting a mite stressed.
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