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Barquito
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Discussion Starter #1
I have trouble keeping the bow from falling off when I come to a stop to anchor. My reverse gear is not very powerful, to get stern-way on. Even if it was, I would have the same trouble anchoring under sail (which I would like to be able to do, occasionally). Say I am doing this single-handed, too. Would a riding sail help to keep the bow pointed into the wind while I am deploying the anchor? Any other tricks?
 

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Bill SV Rangatira
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I have trouble keeping the bow from falling off when I come to a stop to anchor. My reverse gear is not very powerful, to get stern-way on. Even if it was, I would have the same trouble anchoring under sail (which I would like to be able to do, occasionally). Say I am doing this single-handed, too. Would a riding sail help to keep the bow pointed into the wind while I am deploying the anchor? Any other tricks?
i usually anchor on downwind course and pay the rode out behind when i get to desired scope secure rode and as the anchor sets the boat pivots to point upwind
after setting anchor is when you use an anchor sail
 

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Mebbe not as much experience as others; but I use the falling off to pay out rodeandset anchor, if scope is close enuuff..Single hand.prep rode and anchor beforehand. keep some way on and pull up into the wind at *just* the right spot ;) for scope and. anchoring limits. Drop the hook at near to full stop. Wait patiently while frettting over scope and. dragging into other boats :D Keep engine running to have power available to avoid collision ;)

HTH,
Paul
 

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I use the wind to my advantage when anchoring under sail. I anchor under sail most of the time so this is how I do it. my technique is; I cleat off my anchor line at the required scope. To be fair I use the same anchorage frequently so depth is known. Just before my approach I set my quick release pin on the anchor roller to the release line which runs to the cockpit this is so I don't need to go forward to deploy the anchor. pull the line from the cockpit and anchor is released. So luff up until the boat almost stops, back the jib, drop the hook, put the helm over the same side the jib is backed, and let the wind move the boat backward letting out the required scope. in effect sail the boat backward until the anchor sets. I have roller furling so I take up 50 percent of my genoa. Just need enough sail to move the boat backward. White 74's suggestion is a much easier way when solo. some of my gunk holes don't afford me much room to maneuver so this has worked well.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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My guess is that you are overly concerned. I always anchor single handed (my cat isn't much help. In fact he is usually in the way.) Unless you have a very light sailboat and a very strong wind your boat isn't going very far in the time it takes the anchor to drop. I have an "up only" electric windlass so "down" requires opening the brake (or just taking the chain off the gypsy.)

My strategy:
1. When approaching the anchorage release the anchor and chain so that the anchor and a few inches of chain are hanging off the bow. In very rough waves this would cause the anchor to hit the bow, but if it is that rough there are more problems than just anchoring.
2. Approach my spot such that I have about 0.3 knots of way - this seriously hampers my ability to steer so the last bit is a bit ballistic. Using my Mark I eyeball (degraded by age) I guess when I have enough time to walk slowly to the bow and throw the boat in neutral. I walk up, dump the chain off the gypsy (my chain locker is open - not a hole in the deck) and let the anchor go. When I have a big pile of chain on the bottom I grab the chain and put it back on the gypsy. I then make a cup of coffee, have a smoke, and pet the cat. At this point the boat has pulled some or most of the pile of chain off the bottom and is settling into its final spot. I then put the boat in reverse at idle and wait to see what happens. Hopefully at some future point the boat will stop. If so I walk to the bow and adjust my scope. If I have room in the anchorage my normal scope is 200 feet of chain and at least 50 feet of rode as a shock absorber (yes, even in 8 feet of water, I like to sleep well at night.) The boat will continue backward until it stops again. At this point I throttle up for a bit of a tug of war, then shut things down, set the anchor alarm, reprise coffee, smoke, pet, and make my log entry.

IMHO the key to all of this is that the boat isn't going anywhere important in the minute it takes to get the anchor down. If it is then I am in the wrong anchorage.

Fair winds and following seas :)
 

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BJV
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Bow will normally fall off, no big deal its normal. Helps let you know when anxhor sets as it will pull back into the wind once you snub the rode.
 

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Old soul
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Not sure I see the problem here Barquito. As others have said, get the anchor ready to rapidly deploy ahead of time. For me that means opening the clutch on our manual windlass and letting the anchor roll down a bit, then snubbing it with the chain snubber.

When we get to our target anchor spot I let the boat come to a stop, and then start to drift backwards into the wind. As we're moving back I pay out the anchor and chain so it lays out flat. The bow will start to fall off, but that doesn't change things. Once I get out about 2 or 3:1, before the bow swings too far off the wind, I try and put some tension on the rode. Our Rocna often starts to set even here, but even if it doesn't there's usually enough force to pull the bow back around.

This approach gets the anchor digging in, and ensures the rode is nicely paid out. I continue to pay out and gently snug to keep the bow under control. When we're all out I'll backwind the main if we're anchoring under sail, or (more commonly) slowly ramp up the engine.
 

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I don't worry about the bow falling off. Its got nothing to do with the lay of your anchor.


I head up wind, put the engine into neutral, put the auto pilot ON, walk slowly to the bow and let go the anchor when the bow is in the right spot, as fast as the windlass will allow so the anchor hits the bottom where I want it.
Then I lay out 2/3 of the scope, not worrying where the bow is facing etc.

As the boat falls back the bow will straighten up and I can go astern slowly to pull the chain back into a straight line and dig in the anchor.

When dug in I put out the rest of my scope.

One funny thing doing this is that the anchor goes in the right spot and the neighbours hear the chain, they come up and look, but by that time the bow has fallen off and they think I have anchored too close. As they start yelling I pull out a book pretending its a How to Sail book and run around the deck looking over the side.
Well, it makes me laugh :)
 

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Would a riding sail help to keep the bow pointed into the wind while I am deploying the anchor? Any other tricks?
I don't think so. I have a yawl and usually have the mizzen up anchoring under sail. Once you're anchored, it will help keep your bow to windward.

I like to furl my genoa before anchoring and sail into the anchorage on a beam reach, down wind of my anchoring target.

Once the spot is abeam-steer dead into the wind luffing the main-lower the anchor as the boats way is exhausted(hopefully over your target spot), and then lower rode by hand/cleat. This keeps the bow into the wind so the main luffs. Then drop the sail.

Try it in light winds with plenty of space. As long as you have some tension on the rode, your boat won't sail off.

 

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Plenty of excellent advice given.

This maybe self evident, but I've been known to say stupid stuff before, and the older I get the more stupid-er I get.

Under power, into the wind, the bow does have a tendency to fall off the wind. The key to preventing this is to remember that unless you have a bow thruster, the only thing you can do with your motor and rudder is move the stern around. And the rudder doesn't do anything unless water is flowing around it. Yea, I know, pretty basic.

So if you are motoring into the wind, if the bow starts to blow off a little, your reaction is to get the stern back in position so you remain pointed directly into the wind. As soon as it really starts to go, it's hard to recover, so you need to react early and often, and continue to correct with small movements. One good exercise I have new boat owners do is hover. Keep the boat in one place pointed into a stiff breeze by short bursts of engine power in forward and rudder movements.

This won't help you so much in single handed anchoring, there are some excellent other posts on that above.
 

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Barquito-
Maybe it is just a matter of timing? Change your timing, lash the wheel and scoot up forward while the boat still has enough way on, so that you can drop the anchor before the bow falls off. (Wheel, tiller, whatever, rashly assuming you can lash/lock it.)
Or, take the anchor aft, running the rode outside of all rails and lines. That way you can stay at the helm and still drop the anchor without going forward right away.
But I think just working on your timing, so that you can go forward while the boat is still making progress, might be sufficient.
 

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I only see advantage to the bow falling off, as the increased windage will help set the anchor. Plus, as mentioned, you know your rode/chain is fully extended when the bow starts to come back around. You should be putting out rode/chain in increments anyway. I like roughly 2X depth at a time.
 

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Barquito
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the replies. On my previous boat, I was trying to anchor under sail had the bow fall off far enough that I managed to get the rode tangled in the keel cable. I think is a matter of getting the anchor onto the bottom a little quicker. I will also try deploying the anchor from the stern. That sounds like a very relaxed way to do this single handed.
 

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Have not tried this, but if you have the jib down & the main still up, sheeting the main in tight, with the traveler centered, may reduce the bow fall off?, easy to try ahead of time.

Paul T
You might also sail quickly to the next anchorage....
 
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I would suggest if anchoring under sail is after you have your scope out hoist the mainsail and with the traveler centred let out enough sheet to be on a beam reach. When the bow starts to turn you tack. Do this a few times and you should be well dug in. The method is also used to sail off your anchor. After each tack you will have slack so during that time you retrieve your rode.
 

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Use a stern anchor.

Just kidding. lots off good sugestions already.

The bow blowing of isn't a big deal. They do that.
Get your anchor ready ahead of time. while aproaching you chosen anchorage.
I like to lower it down to the water off the roller and cleat of. with the required amount of rode flaked on deck. (Rope and Chain No winch) This way I don't have to worry about it hitting gel coat. more modern boats with straight bow might need it to go lower.

When I reach spot turn into the wind and stop the boat. go forward un cleat and lower quickly to bottom.easy to tell from weight.
the bow blows of a little bit of drag from a turn round a cleat and bow comes back into the wind.
Often just let it blow off and boat pickup a bit of way then cleat of and the momentum of the boat coming to a stop digs it in.

If under sail and if there room. I often approach downwind, Furl the jibas I get there sheet the main in hard, drop the pick(it was already at water) desired amount of rode cleated off. Put ruder over a bit in the direction I want to swing. And let the boat do the rest. stow the main after brought up.
I have done this after carrying the anchor back aft and hanging of a stern cleat, I'd rather take the walk forward..
Some times I drop the main and sail in with the jib and do the same.

Sailing in to busy anchorage down wind with full sail gets some intresting reactions though.
 

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Thanks for all the replies. On my previous boat, I was trying to anchor under sail had the bow fall off far enough that I managed to get the rode tangled in the keel cable. I think is a matter of getting the anchor onto the bottom a little quicker. I will also try deploying the anchor from the stern. That sounds like a very relaxed way to do this single handed.
Give it a try,it works.
If your boats small and you canbringthe whole anchor and rode back aft the cockpit it's easy.If not
Make very very sure you lead it back from the bow roller outside every thing. And have the rode cleated off at a pree determined scope.
You will need to lay the chain along the side deck by the gunwale outside the railings and shrouds.
You can keep anchor on deck aft and throw well clear, be aware of how it goes past life lines or rail.(Don't bring under and throw over) or hanging from a stern cleat works well but chain rubbing against gelcoat not so good.

If you don't want to lay along the side deck, you have to cleat it of at roughly a boat lenth on the bow which defeats the purpose.

Just my opion going forward is simpler and much less work. particularly if anchor is 10kg or more or any Danforth.
 

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Uricanejack makes a good point. once the boat boat is stopped get the hook down on the bottom. once there you still have positive control of the boat. Don't worry about the bow let her do what she wants. If you can peg your tiller or helm hard to weather, the backward motion will prevent the boat from completely going beam to the wind, and she will fetch up nicely when the hook sets
 

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You might also sail quickly to the next anchorage....
Ah, could be, as mentioned, I have never tried it. If the tiller is free it may not sail too much, unless the boat is perfectly balanced on the main alone? Our boat always had a bit of weather helm with both sails up.

Or, as others have said, just let it fall off.

On our fishing boat we used to launch the anchor from the cockpit, as mentioned. We put a tag line, about a boats length, on the anchor line & retrieved from the cockpit, worked fine, just don't run over it. :D

Paul T
 
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