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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 09-17-2011
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Type of Anchor without windlass..

Hello to everybody,
I'm a new owner of a folkboat sailboat 26'..
This sailboat is without windlass and has 2 bruce anchors.
I want know which is the best anchor for use in a small sailboat like this and best way to
recover the anchor from botton by hand.
Due the fact that I've one big cleat on the bow, this is is enough to keep this boat at anchor or I need something different?
Please I Need your advise and your experience!
Thanks and thanks again for helping me.

Last edited by regatta; 09-17-2011 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 09-17-2011
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I will duck the anchor question with a few questions. What size are the anchors? Where do you plan to anchor? What type of bottom?
Do you have a bow roller? If not a roller makes retrieval much easier. I fabricated one for the MC to fit my needs. The best advice I can give you is be patient. Let the boat and mother nature do the heavy work. I am usually single-handed so I slowly pull in the rode, this can be a pain if it is blowing and choppy but just take it slow. There have been times when I had to motor forward drop it in neutral dash up to the bow pull in some rode cleat off and repeat. I use mostly chain so fouling the rode is not to big of a worry. The idea is to get directly above the anchor and cleat of the rode. I have a large sampson post so I can use it to secure either line or chain. You will have to figure out what works for you. When I am over the anchor I power forward a little and work the anchor lose. This also takes some time and maybe several attempts so again be patient. You can fell the anchor come out. If single-handed and in a crowded anchorage do not waste any time getting the anchor on deck and getting back in control of your boat. If you know you are in a muddy area a rag helps your grip. Keep your fingers clear! Dan S/V Marian Claire

Last edited by marianclaire; 09-17-2011 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 09-24-2011
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A hefty bow cleat (and chocks) are probably enough to keep you attached to the anchor rode. Bruce anchors would seem like overkill to me for a Folkboat, but it depends a bit on where you're anchoring and what the bottom is like. They are difficult to stow unless you have the rollers that Dan suggests. Danforths are easier to handle and can often be lighter than other types for equivalent holding power. We set ours with about 20' of chain spliced to a nylon rode. We're usually anchoring in sand or mud, in about 20-30' of water.
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Old 09-25-2011
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No windlass ? Surely a Fortress would be the go, alternatively given you are in Europe an aluminium Spade.
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Old 09-25-2011
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I have a 15Kg Bruce and 60' of chain. And no windlass. And a bad back.

I'll get a windlass one of these days, but as marianclaire says, patience is the answer. Take your time. Let the motion of the boat help break the anchor free. If I am in calm seas and by myself, I just slowly pull, and wait for the boat to come up on the anchor.

Patience is also quite useful when setting the anchor as well.

Depending on conditions, you may find you don't need a windlass. Try patience first.

It's cheaper
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Old 09-25-2011
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To add to the other suggestions above, if you've no immediate plans for an anchor winch, fit a chain pawl..

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Old 09-26-2011
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A full answer to your questions is quite involved so here is my abreviated suggestion. Start by figuring out what you need your ground tackle to do. What is the maximum wind speed (I would recommend sizing for a big squall at least)? From this, you can look up the predicted loads on the ABYC recommended loads chart. Will you spend the night at anchor? What are the bottom types you will be encountering?

A logical component to figure out first is the anchor. You already have 2 anchors that are of a decent design. Bruce anchors tend to set well in most bottoms and stay set if the direction of pull changes but their holding power is very low for their weight. The smallest bruce that I would want to use in a bad squall on your boat would be 33lbs. If you decide that you need to purchase an anchor with more holding power, I would recommend either a Manson Supreme or a Fortress. The manson supreme has very good holding power, sets in almost all bottoms, stays set in a veering situation and a 25lb anchor would be great. The fortress has the highest holding power to weight ratio but only works well in most mud and sand bottoms and will not stay buried if the wind shifts making it inappropriate for overnight anchoring.

Connected to the anchor you need some length of chain. The only reason to make the chain really long is if you live in a place with coral or something else that will chafe a line. Otherwise, a good rule of thumb is to have the same length of chain as your boat is long. For your boat, 1/4" G40 or 5/16" BBB should have enough strength. Good shackles are also important.

Then you need line attached to the chain. 1/2" or 9/16" line should be fine for the scenario of a severe thunderstorm. Either 3 strand or anchorplait will work just fine for this. You need adequate scope (5:1 or greater) for the deepest anchorage you ever plan to use at high tide.

On deck, a single cleat is fine provided that it is sufficiently large and well attached. The most important thing is eliminating chafe which is a combination of good chafing gear and well setup chocks. Tubular webbing works really well for chafing gear.

For comparison, I have a 30' full keel sailboat without a windlass and use a 35 lb manson supreme with 30' of 5/16" G40 chain and 250' of 5/8" nylon rode. This has worked in thunderstorms and tropical storms with sustained winds up to 50 knots and gusts up to 70 knots.
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