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Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?

Another heaving to question.

I usually heave to when I need to reef the main, and I usually heave to at the end of my sail to start the outboard and then drop the sails...

Does anyone have experience heaving to, going to the bow and dropping the anchor from there, crouched down behind the backed jib? The only problem I can imagine is if setting the anchor causes the boat to tack. So once set I'd have to quickly get the sails down. I would plan to lower all my sails whilst at anchor - would not plan to be hove to and anchored simultaneously.

I'm always trying to figure out ways to anchor single handed. My current practice is to drop the anchor from the cockpit, set it, and then walk the bitter end of the rode to the bow, cleat to bow, then uncleat the stern cleat. Reversing the process when its time to go. I generally do this while motoring. But I'm trying to become less reliant on the motor.
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Re: Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?

Fun topic.

I shot a Youtube video on this very subject this summer but haven't gotten around to editing it yet. My boat is cat rigged, so no jib, but no big deal.

I am talking about a small boat (21ft) with a small anchor here.

So what I do, roughly is.

Heave to

Get everything set up. I use mostly rope with a bit of chain. I take a half turn around my bow cleat then bring the anchor back to my cockpit, run free and outboard of everything. I then run the other end of the anchor line back to a cleat on my coach house roof.

Then I chuck the anchor over the side and take the lashing off the tiller, allowing the boat to sit back on the anchor line and set the anchor. I use an imitation Bruce btw. Once everything is set ish, I walk up to the bow and take a bit of slack out of the line and cleat it off to my bow cleat and remove it from the cleat on my coach house roof.

Once I am done my tea/soup/nap. I reverse the process, starting by raising the sail, then heaving to, then retreiving the anchor, then finally removing the lashing from the tiller and sailing away.
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Re: Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?

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Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
Fun topic.

I shot a Youtube video on this very subject this summer but haven't gotten around to editing it yet. My boat is cat rigged, so no jib, but no big deal.

I am talking about a small boat (21ft) with a small anchor here.

So what I do, roughly is.

Heave to

Get everything set up. I use mostly rope with a bit of chain. I take a half turn around my bow cleat then bring the anchor back to my cockpit, run free and outboard of everything. I then run the other end of the anchor line back to a cleat on my coach house roof.

Then I chuck the anchor over the side and take the lashing off the tiller, allowing the boat to sit back on the anchor line and set the anchor. I use an imitation Bruce btw. Once everything is set ish, I walk up to the bow and take a bit of slack out of the line and cleat it off to my bow cleat and remove it from the cleat on my coach house roof.

Once I am done my tea/soup/nap. I reverse the process, starting by raising the sail, then heaving to, then retreiving the anchor, then finally removing the lashing from the tiller and sailing away.
Thanks. I'd love to see the video. Do you find that when it's time to retrieve the anchor the raised sail and the leeway makes it difficult to retrieve? Do you try to sail up to it first?
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Re: Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?

Yes, if necessary.
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Re: Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?

I can't see any reason at all why anyone would want to heave to when anchoring. It is totally counter productive to the maneuver of anchoring. We sail onto our anchor quite often. As we tack up to the anchorage on our yankee jib alone, we usually take a few wraps on it at each tack so we barely have a handkerchief of cloth when I turn head to wind to drop the anchor. When all forward motion is off the boat the anchor is payed out and Skipping Stone's bow begins to fall off, I roll up the remainder of the yankee and my wife tends the anchor. At the appropriate scope she locks up the windlass and puts on the snub and were done with anchoring and sail furling.
Were one to heave to, I don't see how you would fall back to let out scope or put enough pressure on the anchor tackle to set the pick.
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Re: Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?

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I can't see any reason at all why anyone would want to heave to when anchoring. It is totally counter productive to the maneuver of anchoring. We sail onto our anchor quite often. As we tack up to the anchorage on our yankee jib alone, we usually take a few wraps on it at each tack so we barely have a handkerchief of cloth when I turn head to wind to drop the anchor. When all forward motion is off the boat the anchor is payed out and Skipping Stone's bow begins to fall off, I roll up the remainder of the yankee and my wife tends the anchor. At the appropriate scope she locks up the windlass and puts on the snub and were done with anchoring and sail furling.
Were one to heave to, I don't see how you would fall back to let out scope or put enough pressure on the anchor tackle to set the pick.
Sounds like you are not attempting to anchor single handed. I usually sail single handed. My wife isn't available to tend the anchor like yours is unfortunately. Count yourself fortunate.

If one were to heave to, presumably the one knot of leeway one would have would fall back and set the anchor. Again, the problem I see is that once the anchor sets the boat might tack. So one would have to lower the sails expeditiously.

As I said, I like heaving to when I need to reef, start the motor, get ready to dock etc etc.... I can stop everything and do the next tasks one at a time. I thought the same might apply to anchoring.
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Re: Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?

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Originally Posted by matthewwhill View Post
Sounds like you are not attempting to anchor single handed. I usually sail single handed. My wife isn't available to tend the anchor like yours is unfortunately. Count yourself fortunate.

If one were to heave to, presumably the one knot of leeway one would have would fall back and set the anchor. Again, the problem I see is that once the anchor sets the boat might tack. So one would have to lower the sails expeditiously.

As I said, I like heaving to when I need to reef, start the motor, get ready to dock etc etc.... I can stop everything and do the next tasks one at a time. I thought the same might apply to anchoring.
Sorry, I did go off topic, however, I do exactly the same single handing. At the point I turn her head to wind, I loose the sheet and go forward and do the anchoring, then walk aft and furl the tiny bit of jib.
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Re: Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?

Small boats Capta, so they have tiny foredecks. Pretty tricky to sail these little boats from out on the bow. Heaving to gives you a more stable platform to work from.

Like the OP, I heave to even just to start my outboard.

I agree, it might not make sense on a bigger boat.

Heres a look at my foredeck. About 18 inches across with no life lines. No anchor locker either. My anchor is stored in a cockpit locker.
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Re: Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?

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Heres a look at my foredeck. About 18 inches across with no life lines. No anchor locker either. My anchor is stored in a cockpit locker.
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Re: Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?

I anchor my 38 footer routinely single-hand under sail. Basically I have two methods that I use, semi-conventional and dead stick. In my semi-conventional approach I come in only under my mainsail with enough speed that the boat will carry and stop perhaps 30-50 feet to windward of where I want the anchor to be. In preparation I pre-coil the main halyard with a figure 8 so it will run freely and do the same with the anchor rode.

Then I turn up into the wind, lock the helm on center, blow the halyard, pull down as much sail as I can quickly before moving forward. On my boat I need to remove the anchor from the locker, feed the anchor through the pulpit and over the roller which I do quickly. When I am a few feet shy of where I want the anchor to end up I drop the hook and carefully feed out the chain until I get to the nylon rode (roughly 40 feet) and then once the chain is below the hull I snub the line to stretch the chain and then uncleat the line again. I then go back and make up the mainsail on the boom allowing time for the boat to stop and pay off to one side and begin to pick up speed paying out anchor rode as she goes. When I get the right amount of line out, I snub the line around a cleat to slow the speed of the boat and set the anchor... you can pretty much tell if she set, but if not, I let out more line, let her fall back and then I hand over hand the anchor line into the boat, and do that fall off and build speed maneuver again until she does.

The dead-stick is a bit more risky in some ways but works better in anchorages where the anchor is harder to set. Here I drop sail perhaps a hundred yards almost dead upwind of where I want the anchor set, then kick the helm over and head back for the spot where I want to anchor with the wind from astern. As the boat builds up speed, I walk forward and like before feed the anchor and lower away perhaps 30-40 feet from where I want the anchor to set, only this time I feed out the rode carefully since there's a lot more speed involved. Once I have enough rode plus some for good measure I tension the line and use momentum of the boat to set the hook. This takes some practice since you don't want to tension the line too quickly or you will snap the anchor out of the bottom, or too slowly where you won't have enough momentum to set the hook.

If in doubt, If I am feeling energetic I don't crank the engine, but walk the anchor line aft so that I am about amidships, and that will cause the boat to swing perpendicular to the anchor line and then I lean into the line pulling perpendicular to the keel to set the hook. If it doesn't feel like it is setting I will get under way under sail and try again. If I lack the energy to do all of that, once the boat has swung bow to wind, I start the engine, either back her down or else pull up the hook and reset it.

Getting under way, I pull up most of my rode so that I have perhaps a 1:2 scope. Then I raise the main about a 1/3 of the way up, which holds the boat head to wind and leaves me less sail to hoist, Then I tension the rode vertically and clean the mud off the deck with a bucket on a rope and brush. The vertical tension usually is enough to break the anchor out of the bottom. Once the anchor off the bottom, the bow usually pays off to one side and the boat starts to build to steerage speed. Once the anchor is stowed I walk back to the cockpit and throw the helm over hard to leeward, the boat will pay off and build speed and then spin around in a circle with enough speed to come close to head to wind and I raise the sail as fast as I can once the boat is above a beam reach so that its up and full by the time the boat is head to wind.

I then quickly make up the main sheet and roll out the jib, back it or fill it to bear away to the side that I want to go and I am off. Timing is important and getting to know your boat and ground tackle before doing this in a crowded anchorage is also a good idea. Otherwise...

Ain'noooo'big'ting.

(I should note that I am doing this on a very maneuverable, moderately light displacement 38 footer. I am not sure that a dead stick approach would be the best idea on a larger, heavier boat since there is less acceleration and steering capability and of course the ground tackle is much heavier.

Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 4 Weeks Ago at 07:54 PM.
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