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My husband and I along with two medium sized dogs will soon begin cruising the eastern coast of the United States with the hopes of heading to the Bahamas next year. We love the look and construction quality of 32 Westsail and 31 and 35 Southern Cross. We realize that both are not necessary for coastal cruising but would like to become familiar with a boat that could take us offshore. Since we will be anchoring, we're wondering about comfort at anchor. Can anyone shed some light on this since anchoring will be our preference? Thanks!
 

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Picnic Sailor
Moody 425
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My wife really hates rolly anchorages. I mean like it is an obsession for her, she simply will not tolerate it. She would much prefer that we ran aground on a reef than have a bad night at anchor, and if we do ever happen to have a bad night it would clearly be my fault.

In order to maintain marital bliss, I am very careful and have a few suggestions.

-Read cruising guides. Realise however that they are not infallible.

-Nothing beats local or cruiser knowledge.....tides/swell/wind can be tricky enough to figure out, however only prior experience will let you know about the swarming sand flies, or inter-island ferries that speed past every two hours until 1am :)

-I have yet to find any roll stabilization device that has worked FOR ME....the problem may however lie with me and not the devices.

-I always pick anchorages cautiously, if it's going to blow overnight I tuck up in the protected but maybe otherwise boring inlet... I don't let myself get tempted to risk the more exposed anchorage by the pretty beach :)

-Check your Depths, factoring in tide of course " Honey wake up, why is the boat leaning over??" :)

-Lots of Rode, paranoia about dragging whether justified or not always ruins a night at anchor.

Best wishes.
 

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Comfort at anchor

After a really heavy anchor and good chain, the things that contribute most for us are:

A GPS anchor alarm, preferably one that you can center on the location of the anchor. Does more to encourage a good night's sleep than anything else.

An effective flopper-stopper. We hang ours off the end of the spinnaker pole (the effectiveness of a flopper-stopper is proportional to the cube of the distance off-centerline).

A really good deck-level anchor light. We use a 12v flourescent work light hung from the radar arch, which floods the cockpit with light, discourages bad guys, and is at eye-level for drunk pangueros speeding through the anchorage.
 

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Telstar 28
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992 Posts
If you can get the SC35, get it... the extra space will make it more comfortable at anchor and it will be a better boat under sail than the Westsnail. :)

The most important factor to comfort at anchor is a decent ground tackle setup. For under $1000 you can get a Rocna 15, 30' of 5/16" G43 chain and 220' of 5/8" octo-plait nylon rode. Add a load-rated Crosby shackle for about $9, and you're ready to go. Having a good anchor that sets well and is not likely to pull out and not reset is key to being comfortable at anchor IMHO.

A flopper stopper can help if you're in a rolly anchorage, but picking a better location is a better choice IMHO. I've seen monohulls leave an anchorage I was in because they rolled so much that they were at risk of getting injured—a problem I didn't have since I'm on a trimaran. :)

Chall's advice on local knowledge is a good point... and one I'd second.

Also, I highly recommend that you pick an alternate anchorage nearby and have the course and heading information as well as any ATONs listed that you'll need to get there, in case the anchorage you're in becomes untenable for any reason. Having this all written down ahead of time means that at 0200, when the winds have shifted and now the anchorage is a dangerous lee shore, you don't have to figure out where to go, just whether you want to go or not. :)
 

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I'd rather be sailing
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If you're in a really rolly anchorage that's beam to you (or even sometimes on your bow) - On the side of the boat that you want to face the rolls, take two long lines from your anchor snubber and hook one line to your bow cleat on that side and the other to the midship or stern cleat on that same side. This will put you sideways to the roll. As the roll tries to push you over, your anchor will hold that side of the boat steady, so you won't roll. I wouldn't recommend it in really heavy winds (beam to the wind), but it works great in your standard rolly anchorage! Since you won't be bow to the wind, you may have to really work at it to get your snubber to reach your midship or your stern. Also, make sure your snubber lines are long enough - I don't know what the formula should be, but on our 40' boat we have two 25' lines connected to our snubber and they just barely make it (one to bow, one to stern, so the snubber is less than 10' off the side of the boat and it's REALLY hard to pull into the stern cleat). We were in an anchorage a few weeks back - Little San Salvador in the Bahamas - where even the catamarans were rolling hard, and this trick completely stopped our roll.
 

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Mermaid Hunter
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I use the general approach labatt described to hold the bow into the waves. It works well at reducing roll and increasing comfort. If the wind shifts enough to change the wave direction (which doesn't seem to happen often where I usually anchor - the waves wrap around and head straight to the shore almost independent of wind direction.
 

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My wife really hates rolly anchorages. I mean like it is an obsession for her, she simply will not tolerate it.
I'm with your wife on this.

I can't stand a rolly anchorage and will move even if it's 2:00am. I plan my anchorages well in advance and try to get the weather right but sometimes it changes in the night. Here's what I look for:
  • Obviously the number one is the quality of the holding. Try for mud, next is sand, next is shale. I avoid rock and anything that grows.
  • Obviously as well, look for an offshore wind.
  • Always anchor amongst boats similar to yours. A motor boat will react differently to wind and current than a yacht and when things change his movement relative to yours will be different. If you have a multi hull you're probably better off amongst the motor boats.
  • Look for a shoreline with trees. Avoid grass paddocks, the wind races down those with careless abandon. Avoid cliffs - any swell coming in also goes back out.
  • If there is little wind and a swell coming into the anchorage, I set a stern anchor as well and point my boat directly at the incoming swell. A pitch is better than a roll, less dramatic and stops much quicker.
  • If that doesn't sort it, I leave. I'd rather sail through the night looking for another anchorage than have my boat thrown around by an unruly sea.
 

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Obviously make sure you are well anchored, but we are talking about roll-ey anchorages. Labatt's trick really works and is quick and easy. Use a longer line from the stern and run it from the anchor line to a winch and it is easier to move the boat so that the swell is coming to the bow. I love my flopper stopper. It doesn't always cut all the roll, but it really does reduce it. Some guys have two flopper stoppers, one for the boom and one for the spinnaker pole. Stabilize the pole fore and aft, so it doesn't rub on a shroud! I'm too lazy to move late at night if I'm just a little uncomfortable. Also, where you sleep in the boat sometimes makes a difference. Lower and closer to the centerline is usually better.
 

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What Labatt says is quite correct and does work well, but if the wind is light and flukey you will still have an uncomfortable night. Theis is because some times the yacht will lie to the wind and other times to the swell or current. You need a steady wind 5 kts or more from same direction.

I actually use my boom preventer line to act as this long snubber. It has a snap shackle like a spinnaker sheet and is quick and easy to rig to the hook on the snubber.

By leading this line to a cockpit winch (via a turning block or mid ships cleat) I have full control of the angle from the cockpit. Each boat will sit differently.

If you are really straining to pull the gear in as it is too short, extend the snubber using a double sheet bend and a length of mooring warp. It is taking only a low amount of strain. If I am ever worried about knot this slipping, I use a tiewrap (zip tie) to seize the tail to the standing part.
 

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Telstar 28
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1977 Morgan OI 30
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Anchor sail helps

These guys have super ideas. I like a snubber, if the wind and current get us rolling. It may be another subject but a riding sail can help make anchorage comfortable too. We purchased one last year and it really made a nice difference. Our boat is a shoal draft and drifts easily but the anchor sail helps a lot.
 

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Telstar 28
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Been there...usually laughing quietly at the monohulls rocking to the swell... :)

It's the one time I really do hate Multis......when your sat in a rolly anchorage holding onto your dinner/drinks/cutlery/book for dear life and you look over and there is some schmutz reclining obliviously on a eerily peaceful Cat. :mad: :mad: :mad:
 

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Well, Cat's aren't always stable... I learned the sideways bridle trick FROM a catamaran in a rolly anchorage...
This is true. Any boat can be caught with a beam wave in an anchorage. Although I am sure it was less rolly under any condition at anchor.

Cats aren't perfect, and I was funning. It's just my choice, and I live with her faults just as we all live with some kind of fault each of our boats have. Have a fun, and safe trip on the way home. As I typed you are going to love riding the stream home.....BEST WISHES .....i2f
 

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Tundra Down
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My mooring in Seal Harbor rolls and changes constantly. If I am going to sleep aboard at the mooring to escape to the water just for an evening I sleep in a hammock. It hangs diagonally across main salon. With 2 snap shackles and a couple of permanent eye bolts installed, I can set up my simple rope hammock in a very short time and get rocked to sleep. I can sleep anywhere but I wouldn't choose the hammock if I could choose another anchorage and my berth.
 
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