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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #11  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

I do think you can have too much chain and too much anchor weight. When it becomes unmanageable and is no longer providing additional necessary holding then you have too much. I feel good with a 25lb Manson Supreme and 30' of chain on my anchor rode on a ~8000lb 28' boat. However I'm not anchoring and leaving it alone for months at a time like Aaron...if I were I'd upsize. I'm typically on the boat while it is anchored.

I like the Manson Supreme a lot. It's expensive, but it sets (and resets) quickly. I have a Fortress as my lunch hook/secondary anchor and it doesn't set as nicely.

Note that you can also back down the anchor by sailing backwards by pushing the main sail out on the boom. There is nothing more peaceful than dropping and leaving anchor by wind and leaving the engine turned off. Of course this works best in large open anchorages.

Don Casey has a different take on anchor scope in this article that is worth considering:
Ground Rules: Anchoring in Three Dimensions | Sail Magazine

In Seattle we have much larger tidal swings than on the Chesapeake, so I've never had the experience of anchoring in 7' of water. Last Sunday we had >15' swings, so anchoring in 7' of water would mean you'd be in 22' of water later on. That makes you think a lot about scope.

I usually seem to anchor in 20-40' of water and go for a 5:1 scope. My rode is 300' total, so I can anchor in up to 60' of water with that scope.
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

When I had a Gemini 105Mc I could back up to a tree and anchor in 2 feet. Not that we did all that often but...
I've held up to 17 boats (over 150k pounds) on my 25 lb danforth the trick is to give it time to settle in and dig.
Even the 'next gen' anchors that are deep diving designs need time. If you aren't actually drifting, just wait.

Now on the Irwin 38, I have no windlass. I typically wander up to a cruising boat (like Xort's who posted above), throw out a fender and dock to them. Of course if you don't know them before doing this it might be cause of a slight problem, or it might be a spontaneous party. Hey, it's not your fault they weren't listening on the VHF when you asked for permission to raft up
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

Lots of good advice. To emphasize a couple points:

Danforth is fine for the Chesapeake. We anchored for years with one all over the Bay with no issues. And without all chain. On boats ranging from 22-34'. Yes the new gen anchors are great. Even better with all chain rode. (Yes I do sleep better now). But technique is the key for all anchoring situations. Develop yours and follow it.

Couple things from our practice:
- develop a hand signal system that works for you. We never have to holler back and forth
- put the anchor gently on the bottom with a slight amount of aft way on. Don't let the anchor touch while moving fwd or it will lay down wrong and it's uphill from there
- pull gently initially while at btwn 3 and 5:1 - your choice and some bit of feel involved. Goal is to get the danforth diving into the mud. Once pointed that way, it'll tend to stay that way.
- 5:1 for day, 7:1 for overnight, 10:1 for bad conditions (wind, current, shifts, bottom, etc) - Don't forget water to bow distance. We have scope table taped on the door of the anchor locker. I don't want either or us to screw up our math if we're tired.
- Once scope is out to what you want, pull hard while lining up a range off the beam. I never trust instruments to tell me I'm set. I want to see a range not change
- sit back, relax, and watch your range marks for awhile to make sure.
- ask others in the anchorage how much scope they have out.
- if something isn't comfortable, it's not right. That odd feeling should never be ignored.
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex W View Post
I do think you can have too much chain and too much anchor weight. When it becomes unmanageable and is no longer providing additional necessary holding then you have too much. I feel good with a 25lb Manson Supreme and 30' of chain on my anchor rode on a ~8000lb 28' boat. However I'm not anchoring and leaving it alone for months at a time like Aaron...if I were I'd upsize. I'm typically on the boat while it is anchored.

I like the Manson Supreme a lot. It's expensive, but it sets (and resets) quickly. I have a Fortress as my lunch hook/secondary anchor and it doesn't set as nicely.

Note that you can also back down the anchor by sailing backwards by pushing the main sail out on the boom. There is nothing more peaceful than dropping and leaving anchor by wind and leaving the engine turned off. Of course this works best in large open anchorages.

Don Casey has a different take on anchor scope in this article that is worth considering:
Ground Rules: Anchoring in Three Dimensions | Sail Magazine

In Seattle we have much larger tidal swings than on the Chesapeake, so I've never had the experience of anchoring in 7' of water. Last Sunday we had >15' swings, so anchoring in 7' of water would mean you'd be in 22' of water later on. That makes you think a lot about scope.

I usually seem to anchor in 20-40' of water and go for a 5:1 scope. My rode is 300' total, so I can anchor in up to 60' of water with that scope.
Well, yeah. You can have too much indeed. I'm only leaving her out for 2 weeks at a time, and it's out in front of my house, and my wife checks on it. I used to leave it out for months years ago in places like Pacencia Belize. Back then I put out a much bigger set up. As I have no engine, I'm older and I am hand hauling, I've reduced my rhode to 30 feet of chain and a 35 pounder. When I was younger I had a 45 pounder and all chain. Point being, I love my Manson and my big Chain. It's as small as I'll go. This is my shalow, 30 feet or less set up. Gen. I'm in 15 and less feet of water. I am currently setting my self up for a deeper set up which will be a fortress and small 3/8 chain on some little 1/2 inch line or something like that.
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  #15  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

It could just be that you have an undersized anchor, there's a lot of truth to the old saying that your anchor isn't big enough until people start telling you it's too big:-)) My wife and I have worked out a set of very simple hand signals for anchoring (forward, back, neutral, increase/decrease rpm, left/right, depth?), we rarely need to say a word.
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  #16  
Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

One thing for communication between the helm and anchor person would possibly one of those little $65.00 headset equipped VHF radios for the anchor person and it would be almost hands free operation. You probably have other spots where the little radio would come in very handy, and it really is $65.00 and comes with the headset.

Just a thought.
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

Sorry for the slight drift.

we tried headsets and we both hated them - too much emotion. Went back to hand signals. Here's what we use:

Hand pointing up - idle forward
Hand pointing up and going in circles - add a little throttle in forward
Hand sticking out to side - neutral
Hand point down - reverse
hand pointing down and going in circles - add a little throttle in reverse
Hand pointing 45 deg either way - steer that way (picking up a mooring, hoisting the anchor, etc)

Would love others' suggestions for improvement.
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Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by paperbird View Post
Sorry for the slight drift.

we tried headsets and we both hated them - too much emotion. Went back to hand signals. Here's what we use:

Hand pointing up - idle forward
Hand pointing up and going in circles - add a little throttle in forward
Hand sticking out to side - neutral
Hand point down - reverse
hand pointing down and going in circles - add a little throttle in reverse
Hand pointing 45 deg either way - steer that way (picking up a mooring, hoisting the anchor, etc)

Would love others' suggestions for improvement.
Oops, that is not good, emotions should not get out of line when performing small tasks or large ones, but that is definitely a topic for another place. It seems to look like you have all the signals you need...I did notice you are missing one I used to get from my girlfriend when we were together on the boat...
Hand up with palm facing toward body, middle finger extended, all others curled into a fist.... I think that meant something like "if you don't like the way I am doing it, do it yourself, I am going to lay out on the cockpit cushions and drink iced tea".
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  #19  
Old 06-26-2013
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Headsets made things worse?
They're called marriage savers for a reason!

How well can she see your hand signals in the dark with pouring rain?

Hand signals allow virtually nothing for nuance. Move to starboard...how far?

We consider ours one of the best pieces of necessary gear aboard.
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Old 06-26-2013
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Re: Anchor Setting Woes

While all chain is the right choice for high chafing areas, there is another advantage.

A knot is always weaker than the line itself. I worry as much about the connection of the rode to the chain or anchor failing.
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