SailNet Community banner
1 - 20 of 76 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
222 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone have tips for single handed anchoring? The idea of going from cockpit to bow and back seems inconvenient or worse during heavy weather. Also difficult to do under sail.

Does anyone lower the anchor from the cockpit (either under sail or power), cleat it on a stern cleat, set it, uncleat it, then let out scope and cleat it on the bow?

Or cleat it on the bow but lead the rode outside the lifelines and shrouds back prior to anchoring, then lower it from the cockpit whilst on a reach or run and wait for it to set and swing you around?
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
9,220 Posts
Why the bow to cockpit runaround?
Just sail up to where you wish to drop the anchor, loose the main halyard and jib sheet, go forward and drop the anchor and cleat it off when sufficient scope is in the water. Especially in heavier weather, the boat will drop back and set the anchor; really not much for you to do. While she is dropping back you can be dropping the jib and furling the main.
Every single day we see people anchor quite nicely, then unanchor themselves by backing down on their gear. Then up it comes and they do it again, and again. Sometimes it takes 4 tries, when they had done the deed the first time, just fine. I am not talking about bareboaters here; these are cruisers who just don't seem to have mastered anchoring, even though I'm sure they have been at this for some time.
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
9,220 Posts
Thanks capta, but what do you mean by "backing down on their gear"?
Using the engine in reverse to set the anchor.
Obviously if you are Med style mooring, you need to back down on your gear, but otherwise it is usually unnecessary and counter productive.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,345 Posts
Sailing by ones self to anchor is a bit more that I wpuld recommend :)

I motor up... Then with a SLOW walk, I slowly wander towards the bow and nonchalantly lower the anchor the normal way.

I try to imagine the whole anchorage watching and taking off points for any panicked movements, so i do it all in shuch a relaxed manner.

It works.

Now I an anchor in any weather close to anyone else. :)



Mark
 

·
美国华人, 帆船
Joined
·
2,528 Posts
Now I an anchor in any weather close to anyone else. :)
Mark
Hahaha.... what would do when you wondering around looking for anchorage, everyone is standing at the bow and staring at you like they are just ready to ripe you head off.

Many moons ago, I had an instructor who is a big fellow often stood at the bow starring at anyone within a mile away. I was embarrassed. Geeze, can we co-exist. The last time I look, there is no law stating that the first anchored boat owes all surrounding water.
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
Using the engine in reverse to set the anchor.
Obviously if you are Med style mooring, you need to back down on your gear, but otherwise it is usually unnecessary and counter productive.
I don't agree. It does make sense to let the anchor settle a bit and make sure there is enough rode out before backing down, but the engine won't generate anything like the force of even medium winds. Backing down on your anchor is good practice.

I motor up... Then with a SLOW walk, I slowly wander towards the bow and nonchalantly lower the anchor the normal way.
Exactly. There really shouldn't be any drama.

The last time I look, there is no law stating that the first anchored boat owes all surrounding water.
True enough. There is a long-standing custom that the first anchored boat establishes the pattern (one anchor or two, amount of scope) and politeness dictates that the first anchored boat defines how close "too close" might be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
253 Posts
I just anchored under sail and singlehanded for the first time this last weekend. Capta's description pretty much described the process. They key was planning the approach and having everything ready to such as the anchor being ready to drop. I sailed off the anchor too. Definitely makes one feel like a salty sailor of old and no engine noise!

Josh


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,345 Posts
Hahaha.... what would do when you wondering around looking for anchorage, everyone is standing at the bow and staring at you like they are just ready to ripe you head off.

r.
That happened the other day! They finally went below to sulk when they realised I was going to anchor there anyway. I had a friend on board and she was in the cockpit, and I was dropping amidships to them. As I dropped the bow fell off a bit and swung pointing directly at the other boat. I screamed, sounding panicked, at the top of my voice: "Watch out for the boat in FRONT!!". And didn't they bolt into their cockpit at the speed of startled gazelles? I burst out laughing so hard that they cracked themselves up too. It was very funny :D

However standing with arms folded is the MOST ignorant thing a sailor can do! You dont know who is in the boat coming into the anchorage. It could be a new life long friend. It could be last years Americas Cup skipper, it could be your sailing hero of life and you can made yourself look like a total dick-head.

When someone does that to me I purposefully park close to them. Its one of my duties in life to call out dickheads!

What I do when someone comes into the anchorage: i go into the cockpit, wave to them in a friendly manner. And then go down below!
I get out of their sight!
I remain out of their sight for 30 minutes after their anchor has hit bottom. (I might spy through a window ;) )

Then i will go up and have a look.
Normally, I find, that anyone who has anchored too close realises it after about 20 minutes as the boat has had time to lie correctly, and they have had 10 extra mins to decide to up-pluck, and have.
No one can be perfect in anchoring and it does take time to work it out if the boat has gone where you intended.
But its also impossible to tell from another boat from where the pick of another boat hits the water where the anchoring boat will end up.

So I would suggest you form a 30 minute rule.

And if they are still there after 30 minutes and too close get off YOUR ass and go over in your dink, (no yelling from the foredeck,) and welcome the people, in a friendly manner, to the anchorage... Tell them where the locals stuff is, etc, be their welcoming party. Don't mention the anchoring. You will find they will bring to up and say something like "do you think we are too close"? And then you can say something like "well the holding here is pretty crappy (even if it isnt)" or "I dunno, what do you think?" Or something like that.... You will find your diplomacy works and you can still make a friend of that person! :)

Hope this helps anyone who thinks they might be an arm folder!

BTW: its fine to have your anchor UNDER their boat, thats not fouling their chain. Its under their boat but in clear water. But there are a few people who get peeved at that. But i like masses of chain out so it doesnt make me close to them, it just makes me safer :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,833 Posts
Sailing by ones self to anchor is a bit more that I wpuld recommend :)

I motor up... Then with a SLOW walk, I slowly wander towards the bow and nonchalantly lower the anchor the normal way.

I try to imagine the whole anchorage watching and taking off points for any panicked movements, so i do it all in shuch a relaxed manner.

It works.

Now I an anchor in any weather close to anyone else. :)

Mark
I do the same thing, forcing myself to move slow. Mostly for safety.
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,686 Posts
You dont know who is in the boat coming into the anchorage. It could be a new life long friend. It could be last years Americas Cup skipper, it could be your sailing hero of life and you can made yourself look like a total dick-head.
I understand and appreciate your point, but I must say some of the worst anchorers (is that a word?) I have encountered are racers who are ONLY racers.

I encountered a boat full of guys who were celebrating their win of the AYC season cup on charter in the BVI. Took them five attempts to pick up a mooring. I'm glad I didn't see them try to anchor!
 

·
Senior Smart Aleck
Joined
·
2,150 Posts
I anchor singlehanded with no problem. I use the simple, inexpensive, finesse method:

1. Drop jib (eliminates lines for fouling and clears foredeck);
2. Activate autopilot while sailing toward anchorage under mainsail/engine;
3. Fetch 200' of three-strand nylon anchoring line from cockpit locker;
4. Walk to foredeck and secure;
5. Fetch light-weight, tried and true, Danforth style anchor with 6' chain;
6. Walk to foredeck and secure;
7. Attach anchor line to chain and anchor;
8. Survey anchorage for best spot available;
9. Head boat toward best spot available;
10. Drop main or put engine in idle before reaching best spot, using momentum to arrive at best spot;
11. Gently lower anchor to bottom and hold;
12. Gradually pay out sufficient scope of anchor line while boat drifts away from anchor; and
13. Secure anchor line on cleat and tie bitter end to mast.

I understand there is another expensive, forceful, complicated method involving new generation anchors, all chain rhodes, radar, spotlights, full power reverse engine, headsets and walkie talkies, hand signals, flares, and all manner of real Captain-envy gear and technology.:rolleyes:

I prefer the simple, inexpensive, finesse method. It has held my boat in brief hurricane force winds on occasion with no problems.
 

·
Mechsmith
Joined
·
240 Posts
Or cleat it on the bow but lead the rode outside the lifelines and shrouds back prior to anchoring, then lower it from the cockpit whilst on a reach or run and wait for it to set and swing you around?[/QUOTE]

I use this method but have my anchor on a bracket outside the cockpit arranged so that I just pull a pin and the anchor drops clear of everything. The rode is attached to the boat always, and if I don't need all the scope just take a couple of turns around the winch and let her ride. A combination fairlead-chafeguard puts enough drag on the rode so the anchor lands properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
667 Posts
I guess I am with Aupicious on backing down on the anchor. Don't see why not, if you drag going astern then chances are better you will drag in high winds. If you drag a number of times backing down, as Mark of Sealife mentioned, then I would question the holding and move to a different spot. If I anchor under sail I will use the main to back down but that is typically in light winds. If I anticipate higher winds and anchor under sail I will, after the anchor settles, sail back and forth under main to dig in the anchor.
 

·
Bombay Explorer 44
Joined
·
3,619 Posts
First of all PLEASE always back down on your anchor. ESPECIALLY if you anchor upwind from me.

Some types, CQRs, seem to do better if allowed to marinade for 10 minutes and I don't understand why but I have been using them for 11 years of living on the hook and it does seem to help.

I back down at idle for a couple of minutes to straighten things out then slowly increase to 2/3 throttle.

I have done it under sail a few times as practice and twice because I had to. Come into wind under main alone and drop the hook leave it for 5 minutes then push the boom out to back down a bit.

There is a technique that I have observed used by a couple of single handed engineless French sailors who anchor with a Danforth type and string. They approach downwind under a scrap of jib and with the anchor rode already cleated off at the bow and led around the outside of everything to the stern. They drop the anchor at the desired spot, chuck the rode over and continue at a slight angle. The rode goes tight setting the anchor and spinning the boat around. Pretty impressive to watch when it works.

Best tip I have for the rest of us. Get an electric anchor windlass that you can operate from the cockpit.
 

·
snake charmer, cat herder
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
i watch here as folks anchor..it is a place notorious for really bad holding, so everyone backs down hard on anchor tackle here..lol and then, first time wind is over 20 kts, they DRAG......YES, you CAN back down too hard and pull up your anchor in the process...
last time i anchored out in this lagoon i had winds back me down... as my bruce caught and acatches easily each time, i was amazedto see tha twhen i pulled anchor to chicken out of anchoring and enter marina(no engine an d 30+kts winds daily) that my 66 pound(30kg) original bruce had only a small amount of bottom mud on the end of one fluke and the back of the anchor had mud..bad set... good thing i chickened out, as no one would be here to assist, and no engine is not anchorable boat.....
SOOOOOOOOO......lol..i love my bruce..even only poorly set, it held fast in 30 plus kt breezes. this is only anchorage wherein i dont back down until i do not move...as even backing down you will be moving here. is silt over some sand or some hardpan or whatever the river used to be ..... oh yes..and i keep 160 ft chain on bottom..keeps even a poorly set anchor holding well... folks come in here and use 75 ft chain, but without a kellet or some other extra management, that anchor WILL drag. guaranteed. every one with only 5 to one scope here has dragged. i would have dragged had i only left 75 ft on bottom.
depth here is barely enough to cover most of our deep keels and hulls..8-10 ft at mean low tide.
overkill??? hellyes, but I DO NOT DRAG at anchor.

oh yes, and i raised my anchor hand over hand method, as electric windlasses are only as good as the connexions keeping them juiced up, and the battery state...and the mechanisms inside their constantly freezing up selves. i also have manual windlass fro use when i am tired of heaving and lifting chain. no i use no rope rode unless i am kedging off a bar or shoal....lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
I anchor singlehanded with no problem. I use the simple, inexpensive, finesse method:

1. Drop jib (eliminates lines for fouling and clears foredeck);
2. Activate autopilot while sailing toward anchorage under mainsail/engine;
3. Fetch 200' of three-strand nylon anchoring line from cockpit locker;
4. Walk to foredeck and secure;
5. Fetch light-weight, tried and true, Danforth style anchor with 6' chain;
6. Walk to foredeck and secure;
7. Attach anchor line to chain and anchor;
------
James - it's going to be interesting if you are ever presented with an emergency which requires you to anchor RIGHT NOW.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
847 Posts
-----

BTW: its fine to have your anchor UNDER their boat, thats not fouling their chain. Its under their boat but in clear water. But there are a few people who get peeved at that. But i like masses of chain out so it doesnt make me close to them, it just makes me safer :)
Mark -
makes it a little awkward if you want to leave before they do lol.
 
1 - 20 of 76 Posts
Top