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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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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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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.
I can only speak from my own experience, so those reading my posts can take what they think would be of use or nothing, as the case may be.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Jeff H and Capta - you're suggestions are very helpful. I don't know if I am fast enough to do all these tasks, go back and forth etc... My boat is a bit bigger than Arcb's but not so big that it could ever have enough momentum to travel 30-50 feet up wind once I've dropped the sails. I like doing things slowly and deliberately. The idea of heaving to in order to stop everything, then carefully going to the bow and gradually letting out the anchor and rode while the boat goes to leeward at one knot appeals to me. You guys may have better methods, I'm not arguing that.
 

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This is the method I use:

1. Heave to.
2. Drop the anchor off the windward side of the stern beside the cockpit. I store my 250 feet of anchor rode in a random heap in my stern locker in a laundry basket, along with the anchor and chain.
3. As soon as the 25 feet of anchor chain passes over the side, I pass the (fiber) rode through a snatch block.
4. I haul the anchor rode to the bow. A hauling line attaches to the snatch block that runs up to a bow skein chock (inboard of the shrouds), through the chock and back to the the snatch block (outboard of the shrouds) at the stern, in a loop.
5. I let out the appropriate length of rode, and then snub it off on the jibsheet horn cleat (at the stern).
6. The forward/downwind motion of the hove to boat (the motion is about 1 unit downwind for every 2 units forward) sets the anchor.

I’ve anchored without need of an engine and without ever leaving my seat in the cockpit.

Weighing anchor:

1. Raise the jib. Haul it to windward so it’s taken aback. (If the wind has picked up since anchoring, I left out more rode first to create a better catenary angle.)
2. Raise the main with the mainsheet let all the way out till the main begins to luff. Set the tiller to steer fully upwind. Tie it off.
3. Wrap the anchor rode around the jibsheet winch and haul the boat toward the anchor.
4. When the anchor unsets, I quickly haul some more line up by hand. (The boat is now underway, hove to.) Once unset, the only tension on the rode is from the weight of the anchor and rode/chain.
5. With the snatch block loop, I haul the rode back to the stern beside the cockpit.
6. Snub off the rode when the anchor is safely off the bottom.
7. Release the windward jibsheet and take in the lee jib sheet. Set the rudder. Set the mainsheet. (If I intend to get underway from being hove to.)
8. Haul in the anchor rode till the fiber rode-to-chain attachment is above the water line. (Dragging the anchor and chain through the water while underway usually removes most of the bottom mud.)
9. Take the rode out of the snatch block.
10. Haul the chain and anchor aboard by hand. Store the anchor and chain in the stern locker (where the sinky bottom mud never gets inside my cabin's air space).

I have now taken in the anchor and gotten underway without leaving the cockpit and without need of an engine.

Side remark:

If you can't perform all important operations without an engine, you don't have a sailboat. Instead, it's a wind-assisted power boat. I learned to sail in Sweden, where only lubberly wimps were dependent on an engine. I'm amazed at how few skippers here in the US don't even know how to take in their main without powering into the wind. Good luck if your engine doesn't start! Heave to instead. Here's how I do that (single handed):
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Patrickbryant- this is fantastic! My questions:

Is the anchoring load on the chock, the line looped to the snatch block, the snatch block itself, or the anchor rode and the cleat at the stern? Or a combination of those?

If a part of the load is born by the snatch block is it strong enough?

If a part of the load is on the stern cleat will this pull that part of the stern forward toward the anchor?
 

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I am not sure I understand this thread... but here goes:

I always anchor up and down under power. I have on occassion when conditions are favorable and I plenty of room sail off the anchor with main alone... then unfurl the genny.

I use an electric windlass with up down switches so I prefer to run the engine and not strain the electrical system.

I have remote switches in the cockpit which I can use as well. If it's windy and the bow is blown off the wind the chain sometimes is pulled out of the groove in the bow roller. So for retrieval I run the windlass with only a fair angle.

Hoisting and dropping the mainsail is greatly helped with the boat directly bow to wind. I do this by turning AP to a 0 wind angle and motor very very slowly on that course. I have to help the drop by pulling down on the leech of the sail a bit. If I had less friction in the mast track this wouldn't be required.

I motor on and off the mooring. To pick up I reverse throttle to stop the boat when the mooring is just to one side of the bow for an easy pick up. To leave I drop the mooring lines and let the wind blow the bow off and then motor out of the mooring field to an empty spot to raise the main. AP is engaged when clear of moored or anchored boats.

Usually sail with main alone or motor sail to follow channels as there is often traffic ahead, behind coming and going and some sailing (tacking) in or out of the harbor. I maintain better control with motor on. I unfurl the genny when I have a good point of sail and good visibility.

I have never hove to. In the ocean I sail a comfortable point of sail... even slowly of my desired heading. Nasty seas require that I helm the boat and let the AP have a break.
 

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Have a history of two footitis so had a secession of small boats. Go to technique with them.
Sort out anchor and chain/rode before entering harbor. Bop around and decide where to drop.
Approach that spot some yards to windward on a reach.
Once to windward of desired spot head directly into the wind. Leave sheets alone and sails flopping.
Run up to foredeck and drop.
Go to mast and drop jib or to cockpit and roll it up.
Drop main.
Would leave sheets slack throughout.
This worked on everything from 19’ to 36’. Worked with a reliable engine or no engine. If I had a reliable engine would do about the same but drop/roll jib before entering harbor.
With small engineless (or unreliable) boats having sails up let me get out of Dodge if I had to not drop for one reason or another and not hit another boat. Usually did this by myself.
 

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This is the method I use:

1. Heave to.
2. Drop the anchor off the windward side of the stern beside the cockpit. I store my 250 feet of anchor rode in a random heap in my stern locker in a laundry basket, along with the anchor and chain.
3. As soon as the 25 feet of anchor chain passes over the side, I pass the (fiber) rode through a snatch block.
4. I haul the anchor rode to the bow. A hauling line attaches to the snatch block that runs up to a bow skein chock (inboard of the shrouds), through the chock and back to the the snatch block (outboard of the shrouds) at the stern, in a loop.
5. I let out the appropriate length of rode, and then snub it off on the jibsheet horn cleat (at the stern).
6. The forward/downwind motion of the hove to boat (the motion is about 1 unit downwind for every 2 units forward) sets the anchor.
I’ve anchored without need of an engine and without ever leaving my seat in the cockpit.
I don't get how the above actually works. The above explains how to get the anchor and line down to the bottom, but it does not explain how you set the anchor once it is down. To me there are two serious flaws in this approach.

The first I have mentioned which is that hove-to the boat is moving sidewards too slowly to be able to properly set an anchor.

But probably the more critical is what happens once the anchor is down. In other words, when the anchor and chain is on the bottom, at least on my boat, the friction and weight are enough to pull the bow head to wind and onto the next tack even if the anchor is not set. Now you are on the next tack with the jib and main full and a bunch of anchor line out. If you drop or furl the jib, before the boats comes up into the wind and onto the next tack, you are caught beam to the wind without the jib to stop the boat, so you will be sailing with a full mainsail perpendicular to the anchor rode. If you ease the jib sheet, you are in exactly the same position. Dropping the mainsail with the wind perpendicular to it would be very difficult and would result in the bow trying to turn down wind and risk fouling the anchor rode on the keel.

As I noted above, it would seem to make absolutely no sense to try to anchor when hove to. It just makes things much harder to do.
I will also note, that despite the title of the YouTube video, that boat is not hove to since it never loses its bow wave and forward motion. More accurately it is forereaching and again. I am not clear how you anchor when you are forereaching.

Jeff
 

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So the OP with a 26 ft sailboat asks about anchoring technique on a heave to situation. He carries his anchor in the stern.

As typical some of the responses have nothing to do with his situation, but describe your own personal anchoring techniques. I do t think that’s really relevant and contributes to thread drift.

Try and consider what he is dealing with. He has no electric windlass So using that in your response isn’t relevant. He has a small foredeck and narrow gunnels so running to the bow isn’t relevant. He isn’t picking up a mooring, he is anchoring.

JeffH has described perfectly a technique which the OP could use.
 

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Patrickbryant- this is fantastic! My questions:

Is the anchoring load on the chock, the line looped to the snatch block, the snatch block itself, or the anchor rode and the cleat at the stern? Or a combination of those?

If a part of the load is born by the snatch block is it strong enough?

If a part of the load is on the stern cleat will this pull that part of the stern forward toward the anchor?
The entire load is on the anchor rode and jibsheet cleat. The only load on the snatch block and loop is the load needed to haul the rode to the bow from the cockpit (the stern quarter) while initially anchoring when the anchor has not yet been set, and to haul the rode back to the cockpit after the anchor has been unset. While anchored, all of the load passes through the anchor rode that runs parallel to the loop and snatch block. Of course, the jibsheet cleat has to be sufficiently robust to carry the anchor loads, and I've chosen a robust snatch block rated at 5,000 pounds- just in case. (https://www.garhauermarine.com/snatch-block-70sn.html)

One other advantage of this method is the ability to use a jibsheet winch to take in the anchor rode. Naturally, all of the components involved: bow skein chock, snatch block, winch and cleat must be robust enough to do the job.

Since there is no angular difference between the anchor rode passing through the bow skein chock and the loop (the lines are parallel) while the anchor is set, there is no yawing tendency caused by the loop. I'll take some photos of the setup this weekend and post them here.
 

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As I noted above, it would seem to make absolutely no sense to try to anchor when hove to. It just makes things much harder to do.
I will also note, that despite the title of the YouTube video, that boat is not hove to since it never loses its bow wave and forward motion. More accurately it is forereaching and again. I am not clear how you anchor when you are forereaching.

Jeff
So if I may, I will summarize your response to the original question: "Anchoring single handed whilst hove to?" I interpret your response above to say: "It makes no sense to do that."

OK, you are entitled to your opinion.

There are times when the wind is so light that I have no choice but to anchor on a downwind run. I infer that the OP means there is enough wind to heave to in the first place.

Your definition of "hove to" seems to differ from mine. It wasn't practical to include an instrument reading in the video, but I assure you, the wind was directly abeam (90 degrees offset from the boat's heading). You may have studied sailing somewhere different than I, or you may not be accustomed to the appearance of a boat with a full keel when hove to.

"... that boat is not hove to since it never loses its bow wave and forward motion."

Or you may not know that boats don't come to a dead stop in the water when they are hove to (why set the rudder if that were the case?). The boat will move slowly forward and down wind. Depending on the boat and keel design, the motion through the water will be offset about 45 degrees athwart toward down wind from its heading. Some fin-keeled boats with very effective rudders can go a little slower - but they never stop entirely when hove to. My boat has a speed over ground of about 1.5 knots when hove to. Any slower, and it loses streerage -- and you are no longer hove to. Instead, you are wallowing around in an unsteerable boat that's "caught in irons". Not a safe or pleasant condition to be in if you don't have a engine to effect an escape.

The whole point of heaving to is to place your boat in a condition where she will tend to herself (I once spent 24 hours in big ocean swell hove to without touching the tiller), where there is minimal forward movement (not zero), and minimal impact from swells and windwaves approaching from windward because they tend to collapse in the boat's turbulence. Stopping all forward motion (if you even can), negates the advantage of the boat's turbulence, making it an unpleasant, unstable, and unstreeable ride.

Once the main starts to be taken in, the boat naturally falls off into a slight downwind run when only the jib is effective. You can see that change by the movement on the sun in the video. I don't define that condition as "hove to." But it is the opposite of "forereaching." After the entire operation is completed, the boat has performed a complete 360 degree turn in a circle, using very little seaway.

We can argue terms forever. I didn't post to engage in a socratic argument. I'm only offering what works for me. Take it or leave it.
 
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