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Preventing or reducing anchor swinging
UPDATE - POST #43 HAS MY COMPLETE TRIAL RESULTS AND SHOULD WORK ON (sail)BOATS 40' and UNDER I TESTED ANCHORS AND TECHNIQUES BOTH!!!
I didn't even think about this until the other night when I was out on the hook in 20ft of water and we had a huge wind storm come along pushing over 45 mph and gusting to 65.
Earlier in the night, the breeze was from the west, so I set my anchor and a 7:1 scope properly and went to bed. Well, at about 3AM we get these retardedly huge wind storms from out of nowhere, and I was woke up from a great sleep by the lid on the anchor locker slamming down on the deck and the sound of the rigging whistling. Not too fun, I think. I don my pfd and foulies over my boxer shorts and run upstairs to the cockpit.
I climbed out to the cockpit and turned on the gps and set the anchor drift alarm for 200 feet, thinking that if I busted that ring, it was slipping out and would need to be reset. I then rethought this idea because the line on the 7:1 was pulling strong, so I reset the alarm for a 100ft circle. I was clearly shooting left to right and back quickly on the gps screen, but not falling backwards. When I got to the far side of either swing, the boat would hang then she would sloooolwy creep over to leeward, then fly back to the other direction.
I went back to the bowsprit and dropped out another length of anchor rode to increase the line to over 220 feet according to my rode markers... This was out of sheer nervousness and when I am thinking of a semi-survival situation, I like to have to think I can do something else to help me stay safe. Remember, it was dark, I was dazed from being jostled from my sleep, cold, and now starting to get wet. Not the best of times on a boat, and why I was "fiddling" to try to help myself out. It's almost like if I'm productive during a storm or another problem, I can feel like I am doing something to better the situation so I do little tasks like re-check everything or so fotrh.
Well, I never slipped, but I was getting annoyed with how much the boat swings at anchor. I was all alone, so could not have someone to help me set up to hove or heave-to. I could not have time to start the engine, then run to the bowsprit and haul up the anchor before I was pushed the 1/2 mile to shore by the wind.
I was considering throwing out the para-anchor behind the boat to slow the creep-creep-creep-then fast swing to port then creep-creep fast swing to starboard garbage... is this a correct assumption? Can I put it out to slow this swinging, or should I use something else???
I really don't want to drop two anchors off the ship, I singlehand about 90% of the time and I need as little interruption to geting underway as fast as possible when conditions get worse than my anchor can hold. Is there something better I can drag or tow to reduce this? I keep hearing that people have tow-warps? What is this for and what are they?
Some details -
7800lbs, 30ft boat, full keel, 4 feet of freeboard, 1 foot of cabin over the deck, bare poles under anchor
rode is 10ft of chain, 400ft of 3 strand
12kg Scottish Bruce anchor. (nope it has never slipped...)
Winds often exceed 40mph in shallow (under 30 feet) water, so it gets VERY confused out there I'm confused too, should I just never sleep on the hook out there, and pay the slip fees, or is there a remedy?
Last edited by Lancer28; 07-23-2008 at 03:41 PM.