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Old 09-08-2016, 09:08 AM   #41
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Where I boat between FL and NJ.....there are so many floats ot there, it would almost be comical to hear a pan pan about a float or few feet of floating line (which would depend on the diameter you used...that's why I chose mine to be similar or weaker than pot line).

Sure you could call it in...but again I have to wonder....how long is anyone here going to abandon their main anchor?

Unless I have an emergency where I am incapacitated, someone most likely me is headed back to try and retrieve it. If I can't get back right away, I will pay someone to go back and retrieve it or put a better marking on it, or get a good lat/long and cut the floating line off.
I guess I should have been looking at this scenario more like crab pots. Its kinda of a grey area as to should I notify, must I notify, or is as you put, maybe I am overthinking, and others would find this annoying ,or comical. Have very little experience notifying the uscg, figure there are times you might be doing it on a daily basis. Thanks for your viewpoint.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:36 AM   #42
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I once had to find an alternate padlock key, as the key given to me didn't work. This was in a very small town, 100 Mile House, BC. Not having many options, there was a very small Auto Parts store, where I was able to buy the bolt cutter that I now carry in the bottom drawer of my red tool chest, under my helm seat. Haven't had to use it in desperation yet, but it cut through the hardened steel of a padlock with ease, so I am happy to carry it for emergency purposes.

I haven't looked at Harbour Freight, but I wouldn't reject their brand without a thorough examination of the quality and a few test cuts. HF stuff is usually cheaper than elsewhere, often due to poor quality, but sometimes just due to their greater buying power.

As for the thread creep to giving advice on what to do, I have only heard of one guy (boating in the waters of the South Coast of BC) having to let his anchor go. I don't know how he let it go, as that wasn't part of the story, but I do know that he was able to give a diver the lat and long to sufficient accuracy that he had his anchor and rode returned to him on a pallet within a week.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:42 AM   #43
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And the fast, no tools required snap shackle alternative is less preferable why?
This compunction to leave floating line in the water is odd to me...
I think a snap shackle is a great idea if you can get one large enough to match the working load of your chain. And under load they can still be hard to release, so a lever of some sort may be required - I don't know.

As for lines, I think they come into play in two different ways. First is to link the end of the chain to the secure point in the chain locker. If that's line, it takes some of the shock if you chain runs out uncontrolled all the way to the end, plus it's an easy way to release the chain in an emergency by cutting the line.

The other application of a line it to increase your chances of later recovery of the anchor and chain, rather than just abandoning it on the bottom. A yellow floating line, even if it doesn't reach the surface, will make it much easier to find the anchor when diving. And if the line does reach the surface, it's all the easier. Attaching a fender or other float works too, but in either case you wouldn't want to leave a floating hazard for any longer than absolutely necessary.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:51 AM   #44
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I think what I take out of this post is it is best to be prepared as Twistedtree points out,prior to an "s" condition, so that if it occurs, there is a procedure in place, rather than having to improvise on a heaving deck, with bolt cutters, or grinders, most likely in a panic situation. While not everyone can think of all possible scenarios on a boat, I think the collective knowledge this site provides me with is invaluable.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:00 AM   #45
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Not sure if you've ever tried to cut 3/8" BBB chain with a bolt cutter before, but it's pretty difficult with a good set of cutters on level ground. I have a D-clevis finger tight and a pelican hook (like shown in picture).

It allows anyone to pull a short lanyard and release the bitter end. I also carry a float on 100' of poly line that would allow recovery later.

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Old 09-08-2016, 12:12 PM   #46
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While envisioning different scenarios where you might be releasing your anchor chain, I think there are two distinct situations; under tension, and not under tension.

If you still have windlass or other control over your anchor, you can relieve tension on the chain, undo shackles, release pelican hooks, or pull snap shackles. That's one case.

The other case is where you have lost windlass or other control and the chain is under full tension. Worst case you are in deep water with your anchor and all your chain hanging straight down. It can be 100s, if not 1000s of pounds of tension on the chain. In this case I would worry about releasing a pelican hook or a snap hook for fear of injury when the thing lets go. It might not even be possible to release it under so much tension. Unscrewing a shackle would be out of the question. Cutting a short segment of rope strikes me as the safest. Cutting the chain with bolt cutters or a cut off wheel seems next safest.

I've never cut anything with bolt cutters, so don't know how hard it is as the chain size gets bigger. From a previous post it sounds like 3/8 is probably the limit, and even that can be pretty hard. I've got nothing against bolt cutters, but I think as you get into bigger chain, they really aren't an option, and at some point (unlikely for any of us) you are looking at a cutting torch as your only tool. BTW, I've heard of using a Sawsall as another option.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:16 PM   #47
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Sawsall blades will not work with hardened steel
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:00 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
While envisioning different scenarios where you might be releasing your anchor chain, I think there are two distinct situations; under tension, and not under tension.

If you still have windlass or other control over your anchor, you can relieve tension on the chain, undo shackles, release pelican hooks, or pull snap shackles. That's one case.

The other case is where you have lost windlass or other control and the chain is under full tension. Worst case you are in deep water with your anchor and all your chain hanging straight down. It can be 100s, if not 1000s of pounds of tension on the chain. In this case I would worry about releasing a pelican hook or a snap hook for fear of injury when the thing lets go. It might not even be possible to release it under so much tension. Unscrewing a shackle would be out of the question. Cutting a short segment of rope strikes me as the safest. Cutting the chain with bolt cutters or a cut off wheel seems next safest.

I've never cut anything with bolt cutters, so don't know how hard it is as the chain size gets bigger. From a previous post it sounds like 3/8 is probably the limit, and even that can be pretty hard. I've got nothing against bolt cutters, but I think as you get into bigger chain, they really aren't an option, and at some point (unlikely for any of us) you are looking at a cutting torch as your only tool. BTW, I've heard of using a Sawsall as another option.
Snap shackles are designed specifically to be released under tension. That' teir woe purpose, be it in sailing rig or towing bridles or tender lift rigging. If you have ever cut a poly line under tension you would see is is absolutely less safe than popping a lanyard. One would also hope that a snubber has been deployed already in the effort to break out the anchor.

Here again we have an emergency contingency where people speculate on whether something would work or not, or simply hope that their solution might work should the need arise, rather than test and practice the rig and procedure in question pre-need.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:46 PM   #49
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Dinghy thieves in the Eastern Caribbean have been using bolt cutters to cut through 3/8" BB, 3/8" stainless and even 1/2" (actually 12mm) chain. This is done at night with the owners sleeping on board at anchor.

Perhaps they are younger.
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:48 AM   #50
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"This is done at night with the owners sleeping on board at anchor."

That's why davits were invented.

Climbing on board to lower a dink, while waiting for the sound of a 10Ga to be chambered takes great courage.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:45 AM   #51
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"This is done at night with the owners sleeping on board at anchor."

That's why davits were invented.
Absolutely. Last February as the sun was going down one evening I counted over 30 boats near us at anchor with their dinghy partially or fully raised out of the water and only three or four with the dinghy still in the water.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:08 PM   #52
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Sawsall blades will not work with hardened steel
Good to know. Now I'll know not to both.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:13 PM   #53
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Snap shackles are designed specifically to be released under tension. That' teir woe purpose, be it in sailing rig or towing bridles or tender lift rigging. If you have ever cut a poly line under tension you would see is is absolutely less safe than popping a lanyard. One would also hope that a snubber has been deployed already in the effort to break out the anchor.

Here again we have an emergency contingency where people speculate on whether something would work or not, or simply hope that their solution might work should the need arise, rather than test and practice the rig and procedure in question pre-need.
I'll take your word on it. I realize snap shackles are meant to be released under load - just haven't done it myself under a heavy load.

As for a snubber I think that comes back to what's happened leading you to cutting your anchor and chain free. Stuck anchor is only one.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:05 PM   #54
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My petite wife can use a 12v angle grinder but has no hope using 42" bolt cutters .And I have made sure my wife/boat partner can access and use every thing on board no matter if its a safety item or cooking implement
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:44 PM   #55
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Back when I was stupid I flew hang gliders towed behind boats. We used several types of releases to drop the tow line under tension. We stole this idea from the guys who were even dumber than us. They jumped out of perfectly good airplanes.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-ring_release_system
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:40 AM   #56
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Back when I was stupid I flew hang gliders towed behind boats. We used several types of releases to drop the tow line under tension. We stole this idea from the guys who were even dumber than us. They jumped out of perfectly good airplanes.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-ring_release_system
That's a very clever device with successively less load on each ring, so less risk of the release binging up under tension.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:42 AM   #57
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Back when I was stupid I flew hang gliders towed behind boats. We used several types of releases to drop the tow line under tension. We stole this idea from the guys who were even dumber than us. They jumped out of perfectly good airplanes.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-ring_release_system
Back when Homestead AFB still had its Sea Survival School and I was a lucky guest.....

They towed us up to 1000 feet over Biscayne Bay parasailing .....we had to release and chute to the water and hopefully not drown.

When the towboat signalled, we had 2 big pelican hooks on our chute harness connected to the tow rope. They worked pretty dang well under load when finally opened.

Thought they were gonna have to point M16s at me to get me to release.....

We NEVER wore chutes in USCG helos....
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:48 AM   #58
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As for a snubber I think that comes back to what's happened leading you to cutting your anchor and chain free. Stuck anchor is only one.
It would be helpful for you to enumerate the others so we can discuss the various actions that could be taken in those cases.

For those who merely speculate about the approach I like, and it seems no one else here has been around these quick release shackles, here is but one example of the options you can study up on.

TYLASKA MARINE HARDWARE Snap Shackles | West Marine

Also great for tenders on a crane davit for the day when the winch breaks, or when a tow has to be released suddenly.
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:50 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Back when I was stupid I flew hang gliders towed behind boats. We used several types of releases to drop the tow line under tension. We stole this idea from the guys who were even dumber than us. They jumped out of perfectly good airplanes.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/3-ring_release_system
Duh what do you mean dumber?

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