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Old 02-18-2016, 12:05 PM   #1
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question: backing down on an anchor

I was enjoying a book recently on trawler cruising, when I was surprised to read that the author gradually went all the way up to 2000 rpm when backing down on an anchor. I don't think I've ever gone over 1200 rpm. How hard do you back down on your anchor?
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:16 PM   #2
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Unless your vessel is going to stay with the same heading as when you backed down I see no reason to do it beyond a fast idle. I have frequently seen 360 degree swings in two tide changes with variable winds.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:38 PM   #3
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The reasoning of high power back down would be if you expected a blow and were unsure of the bottom.

We all have had false sets where the anchor caught yet really wasn't set...only one way to find out..or wait and see.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:59 PM   #4
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I think it also depends on the boat/hp/prop's. Sail boater will back down hard, yet the props are small and the HP low, do that in a sport-fisherman and you will always pull out the anchor, so as others have said it depends on the type of boat etc you have.
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:02 PM   #5
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I use a high idle, maybe 1200 rpm.
With my "ex" boat, I used to do the same, but after I repowered (with more HP) I kept pulling the anchor out. I had to change to idle speed only.
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:17 PM   #6
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With 660 Hp I back gently until chain goes straight. If I expect harsh weather I will re test later at moderate RPM. I use Spade type deep digging anchors and have had no issues with the gentile approach. In the past with other anchors I had more issues with increased wind especially big wind shifts. I believe a higher power back down can shock load your bow gear anchor and chain and it is not necessary.
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:59 PM   #7
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I back down with one engine engaged at idle, then bump it to 1000-1200 RPM in a short burst after we've stopped to check it. Doing this with 2 engines is too much on my boat. I'll alternate engines as needed when I back down to keep my track straight.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:05 PM   #8
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Does anyone really think people go out there and use 500hp or more and a clean and jerk to set their anchors?
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seattleboatguy View Post

author gradually went all the way up to 2000 rpm when backing down on an anchor.
That's what I do if the wind is expected to come up during the night in the current direction.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Does anyone really think people go out there and use 500hp or more and a clean and jerk to set their anchors?

Based upon the responses so far, no. But as the OP asked, is 2000 RPM necessary? in some vessels that may be 500 HP or more HP in a clean and jerk.
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Old 02-18-2016, 04:32 PM   #11
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Based upon the responses so far, no. But as the OP asked, is 2000 RPM necessary? in some vessels that may be 500 HP or more HP in a clean and jerk.
True...I would have just guessed that most would recognize the differences at 2000 rpm across the breadth of vessels....
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:04 PM   #12
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You don't need to back down if you have a Rocna.

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Old 02-18-2016, 05:46 PM   #13
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I work the ground tackle and my wife operates the boat so I don't know how hard she backs down on the anchor. I'm sure it's not 2K RPM though. That would put us at seven knots.


2,000 RPM is different on different boats so it really has no meaning.
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Old 02-18-2016, 05:46 PM   #14
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You don't need to back down if you have a Rocna.

Ted
Just toss it overboard?
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:57 PM   #15
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Just toss it overboard?
That's what I did 2 hours ago.

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Old 02-18-2016, 07:20 PM   #16
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Does anyone really think people go out there and use 500hp or more and a clean and jerk to set their anchors?
I have seen boats drag on multiple attempts to set when applying too much HP. I have wondered if they where charter boats. If you spend enough time and years hanging around anchorages you get to see some strange stuff. Not everybody out there knows what they are doing. I have always thought that sailors were better educated regarding how to use their boats and anchors. It is easy to buy a power boat turn the key and off you go not so with a sail boat. The lazy types shun sailing too much work and too much to learn. So the answer is yes maybe not a full 500 HP but much more than called for and I have seen boats pulled up abruptly on the anchor set and yes it is way wrong.
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Old 02-18-2016, 07:39 PM   #17
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Just measuring the audience...


And remember there others on here with some pretty extensive experience too....
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Old 02-18-2016, 08:30 PM   #18
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I use 1400rpm.

And I think setting is mostly an act of testing the bottom ....
The biggest variable in anchoring.
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:10 AM   #19
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I don't check the rpm. I check the anchor rode. When it is set, it is set, so I go to all stop.
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Old 02-19-2016, 01:19 AM   #20
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I back down at 12 to 1400 rpm. Any more than that I fear I would rip the cleats off the deck
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