Join Date: Feb 2002
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I''ve used a Danforth exclusively over the years on my Westerly 25 without a windlass It weights in at about 6,000 to 7,000 pounds when cruising. I sail on a huge inland with plenty of wind and prarie thunderstorms, primarily sandy & muddy bottom (occasional clay). The primary anchor is a Danforth 13S, six feet of vinyl covered chain (I''d use 20 feet or more in coastal conditions) and 300'' of 5/8 double braided nylon (definite overkill).
I have great success setting this anchor on the first try. Here''s how I do it, most of the time single handed.
I move to the bow while the boat drifts to a stop into the wind (coastal---I''d come into the tide if any, the wind if not). When the boat stops and begins to fall away, I EASE the Danforth to the bottom BY HAND to keep it from fouling. As the boat drifts back, I let out line by hand so I can FEEL the anchor, keeping a bit of tension on the line to keep the anchor positioned properly. When the scope gets to 3:1 or so, I grip the line so that the anchor begins to drag along the bottom, waiting to feel the flukes begin to bite in. When the flukes do bite in, I tug just a bit to make sure they''re starting to hold, but not enough to break the anchor out (it''s on too short a scope at this point.) When I''m satisfied the anchor is beging to hold, I let out more line while continuing to drift back to the 5:1 range or so, and then give it a good hard tug to make sure the flukes are biting. Then I let out the line to the desired scope. If the wind is too gentle, I''ll back down with motor to finish the set. If the wind is blowing well, it''ll take care of finishing the set. If in doubt, back down with the motor.
I''m a firm believer in being able to feel the anchor through the line. It''s kinda like fishing. Knowing when the bite is happening will come with experience. If you''re boat is large enough to need a Danforth that is heavier than you can easily manage without a windlass, consider investing in Fortress anchor. It''s a great anchor. I''ve used ''em, and I like ''em.