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Old 12-13-2015, 09:23 AM   #1
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One Anchor or two?

Looking to purchase a new 58' MY, and have the option of having a single or double anchor and windlass.

I've gotten some "opinions" on whether or not to spend the extra $$ for the double windlass, and wanted to get some additional input.

Regardless of which I select, I will still have a back-up anchor and rode for those times when it might be needed.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:28 AM   #2
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I have only once needed a second anchor and that had to be a stern anchor. Other folks may use two off the bow on a regular basis.


I'm assuming you are an experienced boater so think back and count the times you have had to use two off the bow. Now consider the extra cost vs. the benefit. It's your choice.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:38 AM   #3
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I am a firm believer in a single, big anchor on the bow, with a backup available but not used unless something happens to the main one.


Once in a while I have anchored with two forward, in a V arrangement. I did that when the wind was kicking up and thought the holding power of two would be better. But invariably the wind shifts overnight and you end up with the two rodes wrapped together that takes a bit of doing to untangle.


So I have up graded the size and style to a new Manson Boss on the bow, with a Fortress available to tie on a second rode if something happens to the Manson.


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Old 12-13-2015, 10:09 AM   #4
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I'm building a new 50ft trawler and have opted for a single on the bow. Will keep a kedge of about 1/2 weight with short chain leader. That will be used as a stern anchor, which seems to come in quite handy and is easy enough to row out in the dinghy and retrieve by hand.
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:43 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I have never needed two off the bow before, and in emergencies or other situations, the fortress back-up off the stern has proven very reliable.

Although there are times when getting that second anchor off the sandy bottom has been a challenge.
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:57 AM   #6
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This brings up a question I've had concerning two anchors on the bow.

Let's say you have a regular anchor and a storm anchor, and deploy one of them. Could a situation occur with wind and current that a boat drifts directly over the deployed anchor, and its rode then gets caught in the anchor on the bow?

I imagine the racket made by an all chain rode would alert those on board, but if a nylon rode was used the chafing could have catastrophic consequences.
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Old 12-13-2015, 11:36 AM   #7
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You should never have a "regular" anchor and a storm anchor. You should deploy your biggest anchor at all times IMO. Then there is no need to get up in the middle of the night when the wind pipes up to deploy your storm anchor. Or stop your boat from dragging.

I guess it's possible for your ride to foul on your second anchor. But highly unlikely. Unless the second anchor was hanging slightly below where the upper anchors rode was coming off of.
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Old 12-13-2015, 12:01 PM   #8
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You should never have a "regular" anchor and a storm anchor. You should deploy your biggest anchor at all times IMO. Then there is no need to get up in the middle of the night when the wind pipes up to deploy your storm anchor. Or stop your boat from dragging.
Well, maybe in Florida.

Here in northern BC, as in Alaska, there's a big difference between boating in summer and winter. There are also many anchors lost to submerged trees with their root wads still attached, or cables around bundles of logs which have also sunk. Why risk your 60 knot capable storm anchor in summer when the most wind you'll see might top out at 30 knots? Also, with 20' tides, narrow mountainous channels, and estuaries with sharp drop offs, it makes sense to have a regular set up and one where you can anchor in 100'.
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Old 12-13-2015, 12:08 PM   #9
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I've seen boats with 2 anchors on the pulpit. Usually the one on starboard side is connected to chain & windlass.
The anchor on port side is not.
Best I can tell...to use the other anchor you have to physically swap the anchors and dis-connect and reconnect to chain to be able to use the other.
Is this correct?

In the PNW, with lot of unseen bottom hazards, do many people use a highly visible, labeled buoy/float on the anchor to provide another direction of pull to dislodge it?
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Old 12-13-2015, 12:59 PM   #10
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I would love to have a double anchor / roller / windlass set up. Personally I would then have two different anchor types, in my case something like a Delta as an everyday anchor, and a SuperMax or Fortress/Danforth as a thin mud anchor and second anchor for storm use (in tandem with the main) or setting up a Bahamian Moor. I always keep a second anchor rigged and fully ready to deploy manually, but it is a PITA to retrieve. There are less expensive alternatives, such as just having a roller for the second anchor and using the capstan to bring up the rope part of the rode.

I guess it really depends on how much you will be anchoring and over what range of geography you will be cruising. For me, a double anchor double windlass is a "dream boat" must-have.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:40 PM   #11
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Well, maybe in Florida.

Here in northern BC, as in Alaska, there's a big difference between boating in summer and winter. There are also many anchors lost to submerged trees with their root wads still attached, or cables around bundles of logs which have also sunk. Why risk your 60 knot capable storm anchor in summer when the most wind you'll see might top out at 30 knots? Also, with 20' tides, narrow mountainous channels, and estuaries with sharp drop offs, it makes sense to have a regular set up and one where you can anchor in 100'.
If that works for you in Alaska fine. But the OP seems to be in Mass. So there and most other places in the world, I still like deploying my biggest, best anchor first.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:45 PM   #12
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I would love to have a double anchor / roller / windlass set up. Personally I would then have two different anchor types, in my case something like a Delta as an everyday anchor, and a SuperMax or Fortress/Danforth as a thin mud anchor and second anchor for storm use (in tandem with the main) or setting up a Bahamian Moor. I always keep a second anchor rigged and fully ready to deploy manually, but it is a PITA to retrieve. There are less expensive alternatives, such as just having a roller for the second anchor and using the capstan to bring up the rope part of the rode.

I guess it really depends on how much you will be anchoring and over what range of geography you will be cruising. For me, a double anchor double windlass is a "dream boat" must-have.
Could not agree more!
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Old 12-13-2015, 02:26 PM   #13
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Old school was to have two different kinds of anchors, both sized for the boat. One was a plow type, CQR/Bruce for weeds/rock/hard bottom and a wide fluke, Danford/Forjord for sand/mud/soft bottom. However most had only one windless. The new school is to have one all purpose with a back up just in case.

We have 4 anchors 100 lb Fordjord mian with all chain, a 70 lb Danforth with chain and line and/or a 70 lb QCR depending on the kind of bottom. Also a 50 lb Danforth stern anchor. I look at installing a stern windles, but have not stern anchored that often. We also have a dredge/storm anchor to keep the bow into a waves/wind when depth is to deep to anchor. Used the storm once when a raw water hose on single main slipped off, until temporary repair. Oh, make sure you have Emergency Tape and/or spare hose.

Anyway, two anchor with one windless was old school.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:45 PM   #14
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Ever looked at the bow of almost all commercial vessels? Yup, 2 anchors. Required by Classification Societies, always with a double gypsy windlass. Ever seen them deploy two at the same time. Rarely. Usually only in a river envoironment where the vessel will stem the flow and the anchors are spread out 30 degees each side of the bow. Need that on a recreational boat? Probably not. But if you are building your dream boat? Go with redundancy and safety. No brainer.
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:04 PM   #15
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In the PNW, with lot of unseen bottom hazards, do many people use a highly visible, labeled buoy/float on the anchor to provide another direction of pull to dislodge it?
Frequently. This is what our setup looks like.
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:07 PM   #16
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Frequently. This is what our setup looks like.
Hi Marin,

Does that anchor buoy have a gizmo which takes up and releases line to the anchor as the tide goes up & down?
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:09 PM   #17
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I already hear all chain talk and w two rodes of all chain there will be a lot of unnecessary weight on the bow. One storm anchor used all the time like Bill says will be cheaper, lighter and easier to handle.

A double gypsy (chain both sides) presents the risk of being SOL if the electrical pack it in so w the double gypsy I'd be think'in a hydraulic winch.

Is this Old School Phill?
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:36 PM   #18
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Hi Marin,

Does that anchor buoy have a gizmo which takes up and releases line to the anchor as the tide goes up & down?
No. We thought about that; there are all kinds of homemade setups and off-the-shelf devices that profess to do this but in evaluating the reality of anchoring with a trip line we decided that all of them would end up being more of a hassle than they're worth.

We deploy the line and float just before lowering the anchor. We javelin the float and line off to the side and then deploy and set the anchor as we normally do. Once we're happy with the set one of us takes the dinghy over to the float, coils up the slack leaving enough to compensate for the tidal range and hangs the coil off the float.

It's a dirt-simple setup with no rigging or pulleys or hanging weights to tangle or jam. We've been using it for 15 years or so and never had a problem. The float in the photo is the original one I made. I have since modified it with a longer pole so we can grab it from the foredeck without having to use a boathook.
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:05 PM   #19
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I like the idea of a float with a pole. I was just going to put a norwegion buoy on mine but that requires a boat hook to recover. I really like the idea of being able to reach over the side and grab the pole. I think I will copy that. Well done!
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:10 PM   #20
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A double gypsy (chain both sides) presents the risk of being SOL if the electrical pack it in
As opposed to a single gypsy????

Or the hydraulic pump packs it in, or hose leaks, or whatever drives the pump....
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