Anchoring under sail - 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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  #1  
Old 04-06-2008
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Anchoring under sail

I enjoy not using my motor as much as possible, especially since it is a small outboard that can be a real hassle to put down in the lazarette well and hook up to the gas tank. As I get better at sailing I find myself using the motor less and less, including dropping the hook. How can I be sure my anchor, a 33lb bruce on 5/16" HT all-chain rode, is properly set without backing down with my engine? When I backwind my mainsail my boat veers off to the side more than it goes straight back. I haven't had any trouble so far but it seems like dragging your anchor is like going aground, everyone does it eventually. I want to be safe and practice good seamanship.
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Old 04-06-2008
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Soul,

Not sure how big your boat is, but this is how I was taught on a 30' Shields Keel Boat with no engine.

1. Bring down the main and leave only the jib up.
2. Approach your spot on a beam reach.
3. When abeam your anchor spot turn into the wind.
4. When you are stopped drop (do not throw) the anchor.
5. Fall off and sail downwind until the anchor sets. Make sure you have adequate scope so the anchor will not skip over the bottom.
6. When the anchor sets you will know it as your bow will again turn into the wind.
7. Bring down the jib.

It worked for me. Good Luck.
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Old 04-06-2008
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You've already taken an important step to safe anchoring under sail: you have a Bruce anchor on an all-chain rode.

The Bruce sets well in almost any bottom. While its ultimate holding power isn't likely as high as some other anchors -- according to several anchoring test results and anecdotal information -- it sets easier than just about any other anchor. That's worth something!

I think I'd leave the main up awhile after anchoring. It there's any wind, this will create at least some load...perhaps enough to give you some confidence that the anchor is set -- or is likely to set deep when the wind pipes up.

And, until you're sure the anchor is really set, keep a watch onboard.

Bill
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Old 04-06-2008
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I use a running drop. I sail in to the anchorage on a run and drop the hook while still moving (not too fast), when the anchor sets it will stop the boat and turn you head to wind.
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Old 04-15-2008
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Yeah, I agree, plowing under sail works....

Not in City Island, though.... Mud there is so thick that I had to set all of my sail just to pull the anchor out. It was buried deep...
Then, I had to stop and wash it all off....most of the chain was filthy.
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Old 04-18-2008
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What also helps IHMO is puttting your hand on the chain, when the sail is still producing some load, you actually feel the anchor moving, no guarantee, but a good indication
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Old 04-18-2008
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
Jaysus good Lord almighty......
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Old 04-18-2008
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
The best way is to run downwind with a spinnaker, a genoa and mainsail all out...get as much speed as you can..then throw, not drop, the anchor over the stern...feel the chain in your hand....

then, as it rips thru the skin of your hand, do a dip pole gybe, and roll the genoa..., then, whilst picking up the bandaid box, and some of the crew that abandoned ship, tack...yes..tack...with the spi still up....it will flap a little, but ignore it....

By now you should ahve broached, or even knockroached....the boat will stop moving forward, and you can now see you are much closer to the water on the lee side..wash your hands and drop the Spi...unfurl the genoa and drop the main.....cut the spi pole free with a knife and roll the genoa...you should be now pointing into the wind...this method is a combination of all above but with more noise...

in the recentely plowed sea bed, you can plant parsley and beans....

not really...I am joking with you.

Last edited by Giulietta; 04-18-2008 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 04-18-2008
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HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Thanks Giu, makes for a good laugh this Friday afternoon!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Giulietta View Post
The best way is to run downwind with a spinnaker, a genoa and mainsail all out...get as much speed as you can..then throw, not drop the anchor over the stern...feel the chain in your hand....

then, as it rips thru the skin of your hand, do a dip pole gybe, and roll the genoa..., then, whilst picking up the bandaid box, and some of the crew that abandoned ship, tack...yes..tack...with the spi still up....it will flap a little, but ignore it....

By now you should ahve broached, or even knockroached....the boat will stop moving forward, and you can now see you are much closer to the water on the lee side..wash your hands and drop the Spi...unfurl the genoa and drop the main.....cut the spi pole free with a knife and roll the genoa...you should be now pointing into the wind...this method is a combination of all above but with more noise...

in the recentely plowed sea bed, you can plant parsley and beans....
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Old 04-18-2008
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Giu,
I tried your method and it works brilliantly. Te only problem I had was that my mast got struck in the muddy bottom when I was knockroached and the boat stayed upside down. It was uncomfortable swimming through the companionway into the boat, but I had to wash myself anyway (Yes wash myself every month weather needed or not).
In the morning I just cut the mast loose to right the boat.
By the way, can I use the anchor chain instead of the cut shrouds?
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