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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 07-20-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

Let me know how you do I used to do it on a daily bass is before I was able to get into a local marina a last trick would be to turn downwind just before letting loose the hook
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Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

I do this all the time on a 25. As I approach the spot I drop the Jib and go in on main alone. Sail on a reach with anchor ready to go, turn upwind and luff, drop anchor (I do it from the bow, but what is the difference, stern should be fine. Then I backwind the main and get pushed back and set the anchor. Drop main.

Sail off doing the opposite. Main up, sail slowly to anchor, pull up (often from stern at this point) and drop in bucket for later cleanup and raise jib.

These tricks work best in light to medium wind. I don't really try it in a fresh breeze.

Only issue I see is when I need to set the anchor in a different direction than the wind going due to current or bottom contour. Using the motor is the only solution that is sure fire in those situations.
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Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

Anchoring a small boat while under sail is not particularly challenging once one knows how one’s boat behaves in various winds. Perhaps the easiest method is similar to that used to pick up a mooring. For that, one needs to know how far the boat will carry her way, head to wind at various speeds and in various wind conditions. With that, one sails on a broad reach under main only, which is the easiest point of sail to manage the boat on, particularly when in an anchorage with other boats. One reaches across the anchorage, down wind of the mooring by the distance the boat will carry her way. When directly down wind of the mooring one tacks head to wind, allowing the main to luff while the boat carries her way up to the mooring where the bowman grabs the mooring with a boat hook and makes her fast. If one is single handing this can be accomplished by sailing past the mooring and hooking the mooring from the cockpit and, with that walking the mooring line to the bow.

Anchoring a small boat can be accomplished in the same manner with a little preparation, which one can make with the yacht hove too. Firstly, one collects the anchor and sufficient rode to get the anchor back to the cockpit, leading the rode “outside” all the lines, of course. With that, one flakes out additional anchor rode on the foredeck of sufficient length for the anchorage at a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio for the depth of the anchorage plus freeboard and makes the rode fast to ones bow cleat or Sampson post. The line should be flaked so that it will run out cleanly as a strain is taken on the line by the ground tackle.

With these preparations complete, one tacks around, secures the jib and approaches the anchorage point on a reach in the same manner one does a mooring. When directly down wind of the anchorage point, ones tacks head to wind, allows the main to luff, and when the boat comes to a stop, drops the anchor over the side. By leaving the mainsheet slack, the yacht will fall back. To aid that, one can push the main out somewhat by hand, or with a boat hook, until she develops some way and one is thereby “sailing in reverse”. With this, the rode flaked out on the bow will feed out in an orderly fashion until the line is fully deployed at which point the strain on the line will set the hook. (Unless of course, you have picked a poor spot and dropped your anchor on grass/weed or cobbles, in which case you’ll have to recover the gear and start over at another location!)

We used the foregoing method on boats from 22 to 30+ feet for many years without difficulty once we had a little practice (best done in an anchorage empty of other yachts for the first few times). More important than knowing how to deploy the anchor under sail, is knowing how to recover it, without breaking one’s back. That’s another story…

FWIW....
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Last edited by svHyLyte; 09-30-2014 at 09:31 AM. Reason: correct Typo
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Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

I've anchored under sail in my 31ft wooden boat, and in my 41ft heavy fiberglass boat. Neither time was planned or voluntary.

I've tried using both sails, and I've tried main only. Main only is much better IMHO. A big genoa can be grabbed by the clew and moved to make a "U shape" which helps you sail backwards, but it also really gets in the way of the foredeck work. If you're using main only, the fore-deck is clear.

Other things to consider include anchor choice and how your boat behaves at anchor. My 41ft boat's bow would always get blown off and it would sail around at anchor if I didn't keep the mizzen up. This was used to my advantage as the sailing at anchor would bring the rode up short and load the rode to help "power set" it. The 31ft boat would just drift back. In order to set this one, I would allow it to get to the end of the road and then heave mightily on the rode until the boat moved forward.

Anchor selection is something to think about as well. In both cases where I anchored under sail, danforth style anchors were used. I do NOT think these are the best choice because they need some significant pulling force in order to "trip the flukes" and get them to dig in. I would think that a newer generation anchor, delta, or bruce would be better. If you do use a danforth style, just make sure to use short scope in the beginning and haul on it enough to move the boat forward several times in order to help set it.

I never have bothered running the anchor lines back to the cockpit. When you go forward to deploy the anchor you are in irons and the boat is not under control anyway, so who cares if you drift backwards. Besides, drifting is what you want to do at this point...

It's really much easier than it seems.

MedSailor
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Old 07-21-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

Thanks everyone!

Fortunately I'm on an underused lake, so I can practice things without having to worry about other boats too much. Saturday afternoon was great sailing, the airport reported 12 knots with occasional gusts to 20. We were out from 2pm till about 6pm and much of the time we were the only boat on the lake. It did look like it might rain, maybe that scared people away.

So I guess I'll try a few of these ideas and see what works best for this boat. The bottom is sandy mud and from my vast experience (twice) it seems like the Danforth-style anchor holds well.

Thanks again for all your help!
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Old 07-26-2014
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Anchoring under sail

As someone else pointed out, try leaving the mainsheet loose as you coast to a stop to drop the hook.
If the bow falls off to port or starboard the boat won't try to sail on.


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  #17  
Old 07-26-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

Forget the anchor; just 'heave to' and enjoy lunch. Don't have to get the anchor out or take any sails down. I did that many times on a small lake in W. PA years ago.
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Old 07-26-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by svHyLyte View Post
Anchoring a small boat while under sail is not particularly challenging once one knows how one’s boat behaves in various winds. Perhaps the easiest method is similar to that used to pick up a mooring. For that, needs to know how far the boat will carry her way, head to wind at various speeds and in various wind conditions. With that, one sails on a broad reach under main only, which is the easiest point of sail to manage the boat on, particularly when in an anchorage with other boats. One reaches across the anchorage, down wind of the mooring by the distance the boat will carry her way. When directly down wind of the mooring one tacks head to wind, allowing the main to luff while the boat carries her way up to the mooring where the bowman grabs the mooring with a boat hook and makes her fast. If one is single handing this can be accomplished by sailing past the mooring and hooking the mooring from the cockpit and, with that walking the mooring line to the bow.

Anchoring a small boat can be accomplished in the same manner with a little preparation, which one can make with the yacht hove too. Firstly, one collects the anchor and sufficient rode to get the anchor back to the cockpit, leading the rode “outside” all the lines, of course. With that, one flakes out additional anchor rode on the foredeck of sufficient length for the anchorage at a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio for the depth of the anchorage plus freeboard and makes the rode fast to ones bow cleat or Sampson post. The line should be flaked so that it will run out cleanly as a strain is taken on the line by the ground tackle.

With these preparations complete, one tacks around, secures the jib and approaches the anchorage point on a reach in the same manner one does a mooring. When directly down wind of the anchorage point, ones tacks head to wind, allows the main to luff, and when the boat comes to a stop, drops the anchor over the side. By leaving the mainsheet slack, the yacht will fall back. To aid that, one can push the main out somewhat by hand, or with a boat hook, until she develops some way and one is thereby “sailing in reverse”. With this, the rode flaked out on the bow will feed out in an orderly fashion until the line is fully deployed at which point the strain on the line will set the hook. (Unless of course, you have picked a poor spot and dropped your anchor on grass/weed or cobbles, in which case you’ll have to recover the gear and start over at another location!)

We used the foregoing method on boats from 22 to 30+ feet for many years without difficulty once we had a little practice (best done in an anchorage empty of other yachts for the first few times). More important than knowing how to deploy the anchor under sail, is knowing how to recover it, without breaking one’s back. That’s another story…

FWIW....
Quote:
More important than knowing how to deploy the anchor under sail, is knowing how to recover it, without breaking one’s back. That’s another story…
If you don't want to go up on the bow you can put a "tag" line on the anchor line, about a boat length out from the bow, back to the cockpit. Motor/sail upwind slightly off the wind/current, if any, pull the anchor line into the cockpit until over the anchor, then break it loose. Be careful not to run directly over the anchor line as it will end up in the prop, very bad. We used this method for years on our fishing boat, which had a windshield on it, making it difficult to work over.

Paul T
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  #19  
Old 08-04-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

I took all your good advice and anchored easily yesterday.

Sunday was nice and sunny with 5-10 knots of wind. There were five people on the boat, a new record for me. I dropped the jib and sailed along on main only. When I got to where I wanted to anchor I turned head-to-wind and loosed the mainsheet. Keeping an eye on the boom, I walked up with the anchor, tied it off, and dropped it. The bow of the boat wanted to blow off, but even right away the anchor gave enough drag to keep the boat head to wind. As we drifted backwards I payed out more rode, stopping sometimes to feel it jerk.

I didn't bother backwinding the sail to really set it, it felt like it had a good firm set the way it was. We weren't staying overnight or anything, and the winds were light, so it was good the way it was.

We swam off the back for about an hour, the anchor held, and all was right with the world
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Old 08-04-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

Slick! Nary an engine noise to be heard.
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