anchor rode size & dropping hook on busy tidal river - SailNet Community

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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 08-12-2007
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anchor rode size & dropping hook on busy tidal river

My boat is a Oday 30 and weighs about 12,000 lbs wet. My anchor rode is like 7/8"! and it's that stiff nylon 3 strand which I hate! or should I just buy a new rode? 100ft should be more then enough. I'm thinking 7/16" or 1/2" ?

The tidal Delaware has a deep shipping channel, but it's ok to and often deep enough to drop the hook outside the channel. Trouble is, the flow is always 6-8 knots. It's real chore to drop the hook and even more so to pull it up. I do belong a network of yacht clubs of which I can use the facitilties if the timing is right. But that doesn't really help me if I need to stop quick. and I do need to master this technique anyway.

So, I'm wondering how others manage to stop for an hour or so when you have to drop a hook in strong current? I've heard mention of "lunch anchor" in other postings.
I don't think dropping a small anchor off the transom is a going to work. I have thought of dropping the hook off the transom and using a line to pull it back from the bow when it's time to pull it. Possibly i could use one of the Primary winches to do the work? sounds awful messy No I don't have an electric anchor winch. it's on the wish list!

Thanks everyone for all the help as always!

Denise
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Old 08-12-2007
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Denise...7/8's is pretty heavy duty for your boat but if it is stiff due to age and salt water you might try dropping it in a tub of warm fresh water with some dishwashing liquid in it an making like a washerwoman for a bit.

On the other hand 1/2" rode is about right for you and easier to handle.
A lunch anchor is simply a smaller/lighter anchor that you wouldn't want to trust overnight or in unsettled weather, but which is sufficient to hold you in normal conditions when you will be aboard the boat to watch for dragging. Something like a lightweigt Danforth or Fortress might be good for the situation you describe as they are light and easy to set in a mud/clay/sand bottom and are good if the pull is is one direction only.
One option for setting in current singlehanded is to rig the rode normally over the bow and snub it on a cleat after you remove a boat length of rode from the locker, but then carry the lunch hook back to the cockpit so you have about a boat length of rode or so carried back from the bow. When you are motoring up to where you want to anchor....just drop the hook from the stern where you want it a pay out the rode as you walk forward as the boat is driven back by the current. She should snub up for you at about 30 feet and now you are forward and can let out more rode as necessary.
Without a windlass, you need to do as you suggest which is awkward and messy or have the physical strength to pull the boat up to the anchor and then the anchor from the bottom. Get the windlass ASAP...even a manual one...would be my advice!!
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Old 08-12-2007
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Thanks Cam, When I put my boat on it's mooring it's not very difficult to hold the whole boat against the current. I often take the pennants and put one under my sneaker while I loop the other around the cleat. How about a mast winch? It's way closer to the bow and right inline with the anchor roller! From my experiance with my son on the boat the wakes from boats going by will easily break the hook out of the mud when the bow is over it. I'll get a rode that's softer and smaller. I can do this!
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Old 08-13-2007
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I'd probably be getting 2-300 feet of 1/2" diameter line. I think you'll find the day 100' is a little shy of what you will need.
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Old 08-13-2007
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Denise-

Lewmar makes a nice manual windlass, called the Anchorman, and it can handle 5/16" chain and 9/16-5/8" rope. It isn't very large or heavy, and uses a standard winch handle to operate. If you want more information about it, PM me. I just installed one of these on my boat for use with my primary anchor.
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Old 08-13-2007
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denise; re anchor and rode

i also have an O'Day 30. i have a 25# standard danforth w/6' of chain and 1/2" laid line. 100' of rode isn't enough. there will be times when you will have to anchor in deeper water or high winds. a few years ago at the annapolis boat show we had to anchor in 40 plus feet with a 30 knot wind blowing, i was glad we had that 200' of rode. this means that in high wind or current situations and you want to have a 10/1 scope you can't anchor in more than about 10' of water. 200' of rode is the minimum i would consider adequate. 9/16" or 5/8" line i don't think is overdoing it. i prefer the laid line as it has better stretch characteristics than the others for shock absorption. with this setup we have never drug anchor in 19 yrs of sailing this boat. we even didn't drag when we encountered a tornado in fairlee creek one night about 10 yrs ago with wind speeds in excess of 125knots.
as to a lunch hook we keep a small 10# danforth w 100' of 3/8" line. in the anchor locker to the side of the main anchor. plenty of room for both. BTW make sure the bitter ends of both are tied off to the eye in the locker. don't want to accidentally have either go completely overboard.
anchor rode can be easily cleaned up by a little dish washing liquid and just hosing it down while its still in the locker. i do this a couple times a season. besides you want to make sure that the drain for the locker is kept clear of any mud, leaves, grass or whatever. we found out about this the hard way once in some very big seas that were breaking over the bow. locker completely filled with water and overflowed into the v berth. a wet berth isn't a comfy berth.

P.S if the anchor is difficult to pull, just bring the boat up to as short a scope as practical, maybe 2/1, cleat it off, then just yank it out with the iron gennie. works like a charm. we've been doing it for years.

S/V Que Pasa?

Last edited by capnjim02; 08-13-2007 at 09:01 AM.
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