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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > 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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Old 07-19-2014
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Anchoring under sail

I have a 22' boat on a small city lake that doesn't allow gas engines, so I use a trolling motor. I have a Danforth-style anchor stored in a cockpit locker. I don't even want to go over the clown show that was me anchoring on Independence Day. Suffice it to say there was a small amount of blood.

Anyway, here's my plan for dropping the anchor for lunch/swimming: Take down the jib while sailing. Go to the anchoring location close hauled. Leave the main sheeted in tight and point head-to-wind. Walk the anchor up and drop it, feeding out the rode as the boat drifts downwind. After enough rode is out cleat it off, then push the main out to backwind it and set the anchor. Take down main and have lunch.

Is this a reasonable plan? Any better ideas or things I should be aware of?
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Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

I do this 1. Ready the anchor while sailing to anchorage bringing it around rigging to cockpit
2. Allowing p,entry of free rode when I reach the spot I wish to anchor I slip the anchor over the side and continue sailing the momentum of the boat sets the anchor and at the same time swings me directly into the wind.
3. Drop sails and enjoy lunch I have used this technique for years to even set for overnight seems to work quite well for me
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Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
I do this 1. Ready the anchor while sailing to anchorage bringing it around rigging to cockpit
2. Allowing p,entry of free rode when I reach the spot I wish to anchor I slip the anchor over the side and continue sailing the momentum of the boat sets the anchor and at the same time swings me directly into the wind.
What point of sail are out on? It seems like unless you're going mostly downwind this would set the anchor at a different angle than you'll be swinging, so it would have to re-set once you drop sails and swing downwind.
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Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

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What point of sail are out on? It seems like unless you're going mostly downwind this would set the anchor at a different angle than you'll be swinging, so it would have to re-set once you drop sails and swing downwind.
I have used this from a broad reach to a downhill run just have to plan the anchoring according to the wind at the time .
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Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

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Originally Posted by Minnesail View Post
Take down the jib while sailing.
Recently a whole article on just this point was published in a recent issue of Cruising World. It was written by Tor Pinney, who added a couple of 30-year-old photos of himself What a waste of space.
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Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

You could set the anchor better by backing the main after you drop the anchor, and sailing "in reverse" to set it. Also, bring the anchor aft (rode under and outside the lifelines) so you can toss it from the cockpit, one less need to scramble back-and-forth in order to back the main.

Of course if it is just lunch and setting the anchor isn't really a big deal...Sure, just drop it, tug, drop sail.

Why so little blood? If you're going to make offerings to the gods, be generous about it!
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Old 07-19-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

There was just a very good thread on this subject on Sailing Anarchy, so I'll just link to it:
anchoring under sail - Cruising Anarchy - Sailing Anarchy Forums
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Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

You already have the anchor in the cockpit, so why not just drop it over the stern? If you want the breeze in your face, you can walk the rode forward once it's set. A lot less trouble that way.
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Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

Never anchored a small boat, but it seems to me that leaving the main sheeted in while you bleed on the fore deck is asking for a senic tour of the other boats anchored nearby.
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Old 07-20-2014
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Re: Anchoring under sail

Right. Drop it from the cockpit. I don't know why I didn't think of that.

I learned anchoring on bigger boats with anchor lockers and windlasses, and I think I was just trying to re-create that.


Anyway, yesterday turned out to be kind of blustery. It was fun sailing, but it wasn't really lounge-in-the-cockpit or swim-off-the-back kind of weather, so we just sailed and never bothered with the anchor. Next weekend I will try the dropping it from the cockpit technique.
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