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Old 01-10-2009, 09:58 PM   #1
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Hi all you're solo sailer's

i would like to know Wat different ways you are using when dropping anchor so you can go onshore for few day with piece of mind

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:59 PM   #2
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As a solo sailor (mostly) I am always aware that there is no foolproof guarantee of leaving a boat unmanned at anchor ... I was informed by the harbourmaster in Newport, RI, that it is illegal to leave an anchored vessel unmanned in that harbour ... other harbours & locations probably have similar local laws ... my boat is 28ft & I carry anchors designated for 35/40ft boats ... I only ever leave Tadpole unmanned at anchor if I absolutely have no other option & then I make the trip as short as possible, never if the weather looks changeable, never longer than a single tide direction & never without hooking 2 anchors off the bow & checking for hold including diving for a look if possible ... I find this to be just one problem of many that I encounter as a soloist, things which are routine & simple when sailing with hands become tricky when singlehanding .... examples : picking up a mooring, hoisting anchor (the boat begins to drift as soon as the anchor clears the bottom), docking & tying up when there is nobody to grab a line ... when underway I am able to leave the cockpit to deal with foredeck stuff etc thanks to my Tillerpilot ... the Tillerpilot is like having a crewmember on board ...

Any other singlehanders have any tips & tricks to share ?
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:36 PM   #3
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The best anchor or mooring around isn't enough if the anchorage you have chosen encounters severe weather. In the Caribbean, some bays are exposed to the North, and can experience serious swells if northern storms are particularly serious. The problem is that you will often not get the warnings sufficiently far enough in advance if you are not on board when they develop. I have watched the officials in St. martin visit all the boats anchored in Marigot Bay and inform them that they have to find shelter, usually in Simpson Bay Lagoon. The bad swells that came into the bays in March, 2008 did tremendous damage to docks and beaches. All but a few boats had left when they were told to, fortunately.

For security reasons, both from unexpected storms and thieves, it might be prudent to put your boat into a secure marina if you plan to leave it to go inland for several days. No matter how securely you are anchored (and I do not recommend a Bahamian moor if the boat will be unattended for any length of time), threats come as often from other boats that are not securely anchored as from your own ground tackle failing.

That said, and I hope Frank is around to put his two cents in, our experience has been that a series setup for two anchors is probably the most secure anchoring technique under most conditions.

imho

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Old 01-11-2009, 06:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by JeanneP View Post
and I hope Frank is around to put his two cents in, our experience has been that a series setup for two anchors is probably the most secure anchoring technique under most conditions.

imho

Jeanne
Hola Jeanne, nothing much to add to that as I agree with all you say. I got rid of my CQR a few months ago ( it was literally worn out) and replaced it with a 25 kg Rocna which I am very happy with. I had been having a lot of trouble getting the CQR to set in many anchorages... going south to Pto Williams between October/December the Rocna set first time every time in anchorages I had been having trouble in before...

That said I only sleep well and I only go ashore in anchorages where I can moor with lines ashore to the trees.....

Frank

Edited to add.... I have never used a series anchoring setup
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:12 PM   #5
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I sail solo a lot, mostly in the E. Med. I always prefer anchorages to marinas and harbors. The waters in the E Med are very clear so, after anchoring I can snorkel and check my anchor. If it is not well dug-in I re-anchor. If strong winds are expected I use two anchors. Most of the times I have no problems but every so often any anchor will drag.

If I am to leave the boat for several days I always take her to secure harbor or marina, like Jeanne has recommended.

Catching a mooring or mooring stern-to in a harbor while one sails alone takes a lot of practice and planning ahead. I usually enter the harbor/anchorage survey it, decide on a plan of action, and then exit to prepare the boat (lines, fenders, etc.). I then re-enter and drop the anchor from the bow by loosening the capstan. This way the anchor goes down quickly. I then back up SLOWLY while letting out chain with a set of windlass controls in the cockpit. When near the quay I stop the chain so that the anchor will hold the boat and keep her away from the concrete but still let her close enough for me to jump out holding a stern line. If there is a kind person who will catch the line I can avoid the jump. Many years ago, this maneuver seemed impossible to me but I practiced with my daughter who is a very good sailor. She did not do anything but she was ready to take over if I made a mistake and very often she did. But with practice I gained enough skill and confidence to be able to this solo. But no amount of skill can compensate for all conditions. With strong cross-winds this maneuver can be untenable. Then, either you find someone ashore who can help you or you go to another anchorage.
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Old 01-11-2009, 08:53 PM   #6
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As a Baltic sailor, I have always been surprised at the Mediterranean moor. Why moor stern too whan it makes letting the anchor go difficult for the single-hander, allows every passing person on the dock to look directly into your boat and, worst of all, exposes your stern gear to possible damage on the quay.

To my way of thinking, the Baltic moor, bow-to, is simpler and wins hands down, the stern gear being safe in deep water, full privacy and letting a stern anchor go is no big deal.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Nausikaa View Post
As a Baltic sailor, I have always been surprised at the Mediterranean moor. Why moor stern too whan it makes letting the anchor go difficult for the single-hander, allows every passing person on the dock to look directly into your boat and, worst of all, exposes your stern gear to possible damage on the quay.
This is a good question Stephen. I have moored bow-to several times to preserve my privacy. But I do find it harder. First, I have to bring a heavy anchor (in most places in the Med a light anchor will not hold) and its chain astern. Then, painfully lower it by hand. But the worst is the departure. Raising the anchor without the use of a windlass.

Now, if my boat was large enough and she had a second windlass at her stern ...
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:34 PM   #8
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First, I have to bring a heavy anchor (in most places in the Med a light anchor will not hold) and its chain astern.

Now, if my boat was large enough and she had a second windlass at her stern ...
In the Baltic, most boats have a light anchor fitted in the stern just for mooring purposes. Of course, the holding ground might be better here.

Now a second windlass. My goodness! I have not got my first yet. Nothing like heaving up an anchor and 30m of chain by hand before breakfast to start the blood circulating.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 01-12-2009, 12:47 PM   #9
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Nothing like heaving up an anchor and 30m of chain by hand before breakfast to start the blood circulating.
Showoff!

Getting off your boat onto the quay when you moor bow first seems a bit difficult for these old bones. We loved the marinas in the Baltic where you attached a line to a mooring ball to keep the boat off the dock, then went in either bow-to or stern-to. getting off was a piece of cake - just let the line go! The chandlers sell quick-release shackles and long, long light strapping to make this possible. I gather this is not so common in the Med, though.
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Old 01-12-2009, 01:08 PM   #10
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My preference is for the bow-to mooring and the two poles in the water, one on each side of the stern. If it is your own berth, one can rig a wire from each of the poles to the dock and have a bridle rigged with a block on each wire and a snap-shackle in the middle. Snap the shckle onto a ring at the bow and your bows will be guided in, keeping dead centre.

If you then have a sternline fixed on each of the posts, of the right length, and with an eye splice so that one simply hooks it onto the bits then the boat ends up exactly where it should. Keep the engine idling ahead and go forward and secure bow lines. Couldn't be easier.

The long, light strapping you refer to can also be found on reels to be mounted on the pushpi rail. Add an anchor and a fathom or two of chain and you have the simplest stern anchor for use when berthing in good weather

Aye // Stephen
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Old 01-14-2009, 10:12 AM   #11
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I also have great paranoia about leaving boats alone on anchor... Like most people, I carry an oversized anchor, but only a small amount of chain tied to the rode - Maybe 30-40ft. Where the rode connects to the chain, I then use a bunch of old chain that is bundled up, in what can really only be described as a knot! It can't be too heavy though, as you end up hauling up this chunk of messy chain along with your real chain, and the whole thing becomes very heavy, very quickly (no windlass). This keeps the useful chain stuck to the sea floor, as well as providing additional holding weight. While it's a bit of a pain to setup, and heavy, it gives me piece of mind - I then throw another anchor over the side which is more or less the same, but without the additional anchor chain weight. The technical name for doing this escapes me right now, however I've had great success with it.

Cheers!
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:55 PM   #12
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Where the rode connects to the chain, I then use a bunch of old chain that is bundled up, name for doing this escapes me right now, however I've had great success with it.
You will find a lot of different commercial products which are used for the same purpose. This additional weigh is called "Anchor buddy", "Mobilest", kellet, Chum, angel, etc…

The main advantage of it is mostly psychological, and if you want the biggest efficiency, this weight has to be located as close as possible to the shank of the anchor (not at the chain/rope junction)

There is an excellent web page explaining this: « Tuning your anchor rode » http://alain.fraysse.free.fr/sail/rode/rode.htm

If But ifyou feel the need of using such a « psychological » accessory, perhaps it is time for you to look at the « Next gen » anchors. For the same weight they are much more efficient than the last century anchors...

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Old 01-26-2009, 05:49 PM   #13
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If actually anchoring and not on a mooring, you can set two anchors on one rode and greatly increase your chances of staying put. The concept is to take your normal-use anchor--say a CQR that is properly sized for your boat (or some such anchor you normally use) and have another anchor on about 10 or bit more ft of chain attached to eye of your CQR. That other anchor ideally would be a hefty fisherman style anchor. Because your both your first anchor down (in this case the fisherman) and the second anchor on the rode dig in, the chain from the first anchor down to the second anchor lies parallel to the bottom giving a nicer bite. Normally a fisherman doesn't hold well unless it can snatch onto a rocky area or some seagrass, but this combo seems to work well for both the fisherman and another anchor in series as long as the fisherman is the one on the extra bit of rode. You can use any two anchors you've got. I believe that this is better than setting two anchors on two rode as that will allow the boat to cycle on and off of each of the two anchors and create more opportunity for each to drag.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:01 PM   #14
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The important issue is that of the drag. This is why the rode should be chain. It is the chain that holds the vessel and the anchor holds the chain. Look at a ship anchored. It is only in the worst conditions that the anchor cable is taut and then the ship is very likely to drag.

You can, of course, use a chain / rope combination but I for one would not sleep soundly if I did not have chain all the way from the vessel to the anchor.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:21 PM   #15
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you can set two anchors on one rode and greatly increase your chances of staying put. .

This technique is known as "TANDEM" anchoring and it has never be proved to increase the holding.

On an imaginary level, it might seem like two anchors should hold better than one. This is however only true when both anchors can set perfectly. Whatever anchoring technique you use, there's never a guarantee that both anchors are going to set well. On the contrary, once the first anchor is set in the seafloor, it will hinder the other anchor from setting also.

When an anchor has dragged, a trench formed behind it and this quickly backfilled with loose un-compacted sand. These areas can be still visible after several tides and may explain why some popular anchorages are criss-crossed with patches of poor holding.

Then, if the most proximal anchor set, they are very good chances (?) that the distal anchor will fall down in this loose bottom, with, as a consequence, a poor holding! and this is enough to explain why two tandem set anchors doesn't have twice the holding of one single anchor..

Therefore attaching two anchors to one rode, known as tandem anchoring, should be avoided.

Now, Redbopeep, may I suggest you to look at the anchors you are using??

- CQR, has been invented about 80 years ago! Much progress has been made since that time…

- Fisherman, this anchor has been invented in antic time, more than 2000 years ago!

May I suggest also you to try one of the "next gen" anchors? Then you will never think of using a complicated and unsafe technique…
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:57 PM   #16
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Hi Stephen,

Once more I should fight against all these "perceived wisdom"

Chain is the best way to avoid chaffing of the chain on the sea bottom...

It is the anchor that holds the vessel, note the rode... or if it is the case with your boat, it's time to look at another more efficient anchor!

Quote:
It is only in the worst conditions that the anchor cable is taut
With standard scope and rightly sized chain, the chain will start to be taut with winds up to 25/30 knots (see catenary formula) then if it is the chain which hold the boat you will get into trouble!

Holding of a chain alone on a sandy bottom is about twice its weight... nothing compared to the holding of any 'New Gen" anchor

Quote:
I for one would not sleep soundly if I did not have chain all the way from the vessel to the anchor.
If using an all chain rode, you MUST have any kind of elasticity, such as an efficient snubber or to use a mix chain/ rope rode.

For more explanations see: "tuning an anchor rode": alain.fraysse.free.fr/sail/rode/rode.htm
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:21 PM   #17
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Hmm, perceived wisdom?

Quote:
If using an all chain rode, you MUST have any kind of elasticity, such as an efficient snubber or to use a mix chain/ rope rode.
Ever seen a ship with a snubber? The only function a snubber performs is to make the boat ride more easily. If there is sufficient chain of sufficient dimension out this is not necessary. It would protect your paintwork though.

But to be fair, I have not tested a "New Gen" anchor. Perhaps I should and then reassess my opinion

Aye // Stephen
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:40 PM   #18
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...
Gracious. We all have our own opinions don't we?

Stephen, I agree that all chain is preferred--and this is our rode situation on this boat and the last one. And--is a must for the rode between the two anchors if one employs the series (tandom?) system I described.

Regarding the anchor in series technique I described, it does work both in theory and in practice it is a good technique, properly used, to assure holding. I can only vouch for the use of a plough primary and plough or fisherman series anchor, though as that is all I know will work for certain from my own experience or experience of a close friend who is a merchant mariner. I would be sure there are many other more experienced seamen who can discuss the matter than I. I just know it works. It is thought that the tandem anchor (in the case I suggested a fisherman) does its job not by providing any great "extra" holding at all but rather providing an ability to catch in case the primary anchor (in the case I gave CQR (Plough type) as example) drags. One is not doubling their holding power but rather simply trying to keep the holding power one started with

The primary is set first (and one hopes the secondary isn't needed) I do suggest the fisherman in that though it is difficult for it to be used as a successful primary anchor, when things drag, frequently the bottom is not as one thinks it is--there are rocks, trash, whatnot causing problems for the primary anchor, and in these situations a fisherman CAN catch onto seagrass, rocks or other debris which are making it difficult for other anchors to stay fast.

There are numerous types of anchors one may choose to use. And, many more modern than I reference. However, my own experience with appropriately sized CQR (plough), danforth/fortress (fluke) , and fisherman is they all work in bottom conditions suited to each. As an aside, I do believe that most sailors are trying to hold fast with anchors far too small for their boats and with too little chain on a combo chain/rope rode.

Fair winds,

P.S. Yes, I like good "old" technology that works Just because something is "modern" doesn't make it better... than 80 year old or thousands of years old technology. Only the advertisers and marketing folks will have you believe that!
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Old 01-26-2009, 08:01 PM   #19
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Ancoralatina, you seem to have very strong opinions about anchoring. What kind and size of boat do you have or are you a merchant mariner (and if so, what type of ships)? What are your cruising grounds or planned cruising grounds? What type of difficult anchoring conditions have you personally experienced that bring out such strong opinions?

Many people are sucked into advertisements and marketing glitz by various marine products--including anchors--it is always most interesting to learn about the experiences of other mariners with their own ground tackle rather than just hearing about an advertiser's product sales pitch.

Fair winds.
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Old 01-26-2009, 10:17 PM   #20
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Ancoralatina, you seem to have very strong opinions about anchoring.
Yes I have strong opinions about anchor and anchoring, all based both on matematics and on a very large expérience :

- King and size of boats ? I’ve been sailing for more than 50 years from dinghy to blue water cruisers, doing competition at National level, racing and fulltime living aboard for nearly 20 years in half of the seas of the world.

Last years, I’ve been involved in designing and testing anchors in one of the worst place of the world, Tierra de Fuego, Patagonia, and Antarctica….

I perfectly know all the "perceived wisdom" I can read on this forum and I will be more than pleased to deeply discuss them..

You may note that I didn’t make any sales pitch, not talking about any product brand. Please discuss technique and do not try to avoid answering technical questions behind such an excuse

But now ? may I ask you the same questions ? What kind and size of boat do you have, What are your cruising grounds and what is your anchoring experience ??

Fair winds and peaceful anchorages
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