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post #1 of 20 Old 04-15-2011 Thread Starter
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Stern Anchoring Question

So, I've read a lot about setting an anchor and all the various techniques folks use. I have set an anchor from the bow of my 26' sailboat several times now using under power using the typical "approach anchor spot, lower anchor, back away under power slowly, set anchor, back down hard to make sure set" technique.

However, I'm interested in honing my setting anchor under sail skills. The question is, why not set the anchor the following way:

1. select anchor spot
2. approach spot sailing dead downwind, main up only, control speed
3. deploy anchor over the stern, from cockpit
4. let 3X scope out then cleat
5. anchor should set and stop downwind motion of boat
6. move rode to the bow chock and cleat

So what am i missing? Why is this technique never used or talked about? Seems a lot easier, especially for singlehanding, rather than dealing with tackle at the bow.
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-15-2011
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That would require pretty tame conditions or the rode is going to tear through you hands as you walk forward, thread it through a chock and cleat it down.

Try this:

Sail or motor into wind to a stop
Go to bow and drop 2 times depth in rode
Wait for wind to push back., no need to motor. Patience.
Ease more rode to proper scope and cleat.
Back against it if you must.


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post #3 of 20 Old 04-15-2011 Thread Starter
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I don't think i would have the tearing thru hands problem if i cleat off the rode, then walk the bitter end to the bow, cleat, then release stern cleat right?

I Appreciate your directions, its exactly what i read everywhere. Any other reasons my technique wouldn't work?
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-15-2011
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The downwind technique will work if you aren't going too fast. I've seen it executed very neatly by a single hander many years ago, but haven't done it myself. You may want to go the the bow and let out more rode, however, as you get a set.
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-16-2011
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Steve Colgate has a "tip" that's a variation on that under power. Seems like it should work under sail if you can avoid getting tangled up in sheets--maybe even better.

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post #6 of 20 Old 04-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandofish View Post
... Why is this technique never used or talked about? Seems a lot easier, especially for singlehanding, rather than dealing with tackle at the bow.
I've used a variation quite often. It's definitely not revolutionary.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandofish View Post
I don't think i would have the tearing thru hands problem if i cleat off the rode, then walk the bitter end to the bow, cleat, then release stern cleat right?

I Appreciate your directions, its exactly what i read everywhere. Any other reasons my technique wouldn't work?
The change I would suggest that you make to your plan is to also cleat the anchor rode at the bow before you deploy the anchor from the stern. That way when you uncleat at the stern, you can essentially just release the rode and let the boat spin. Probably best to walk it up a short ways to make certain the boat spins in the right direction.

That said, you need to be very careful when deploying an anchor from the cockpit. You'll need beefy hardware and you'll need to be very careful about making sure no one gets tangled in the anchor rode. If you have much chain on the rode, it can be a bear hauling it all back -- led outboard -- to the cockpit and making sure it doesn't do damage to crew or boat. Not always a simple operation when you are short handed.

We have a stern anchor, stern rode locker, and a stern anchor roller, which makes it comparatively easy.


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Last edited by JohnRPollard; 04-16-2011 at 06:29 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-16-2011
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If you are going too fast danforth type anchors plane very well.marc
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-16-2011
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If your going down wind and need to anchor, there's a good chance further downwind is something you don't want to hit. For me, this isn't a time to mess around with techniques. If the anchor doesn't set, you'll have to tack or jibe, with an anchor rode trailing behind you. If it does set, your going to potentially jibe also as the boat swings into the wind. On a 26'er your weight is probably manageable so maybe no problem. Also, if the worst your going to hit is a sandbar, that may be ok also. For where I sail, failure of the maneuver has a great chance to cause great damage or loss of the boat.

I guess if I didn't have a motor this would be something to work at, but why screw around?
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-16-2011
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Why use the main? If you use the jib, it can be furled to reduce the area and the power (if you have a furler). When you let the jib fly free, you can ignore it. you don't have to worry about a gybe.

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post #10 of 20 Old 04-16-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandofish View Post
I don't think i would have the tearing thru hands problem if i cleat off the rode, then walk the bitter end to the bow, cleat, then release stern cleat right?

I Appreciate your directions, its exactly what i read everywhere. Any other reasons my technique wouldn't work?
As long as you account for the length of your boat in the scope, that would technically work better than walking the bitter end forward. I'm trying to imagine the process to do so. First you estimate the depth where you drop the anchor. That should be close if you have a chart and know the tides. Then walk to the bow and tie it off after measuring the correct amount of scope and walk back to cockpit for the stern anchoring procedure. Don't get too close to running out of rode or you won't be able to cleat the remaining.

You could do the stern anchor and only let out the required scope, less the length of the boat, cleat it off at the stern, then go forward to cleat the bitter end, then return to uncleat the stern. This also has the potential of not having put enough scope to set the hook in the first place.

If you have enough rode, there is no harm to releasing the proper amount from the stern to set the anchor, then extending more as the boat swings around to the bow.

However, with all the back and forth, I'm failing to see how this is that much easier. If you have any wind and get the boat to a stop head on, the entire procedure can be done with one trip to the bow and back.

It only gets more complicated in a crowded anchorage if you're single handed. Otherwise, go to the bow, drop the hook and let the boat do whatever it wants. Pretty simple.


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