Originally Posted by Alaskan Sea-Duction
How does the float attach to the trip line
It's tied to it.
...and then do you bring the trip line back to the boat or is it at the end of the trip line?
Not sure I follow your wording there.
When we deploy a trip line, to retrieve it we pull in the all-chain rode with the windlass in stages: pull some, stop and let the boat drift closer to the anchor as the catenary comes out of the chain, then pull some more, stop and let the boat ease closer to the anchor, and so on. We never put any more strain on the windlass than pulling in slack chain.
If a current or wind prevent this from working my wife drives the boat to the anchor as I pull the rode in with the windlass.
When the bow is over the anchor, the trip line float will be floating next to the bow since it's over the anchor, too. We used to pick up the float with our 16' telescoping boathook. I've since redesigned the pole so it's now tall enough that I can reach it from the foredeck unless it's too far out to reach, in which case we use the boathook.
I pull the float on board (my wife runs the boat during all this so I'm the only one on deck) and then I take all the slack out of the chain rode with the windlass to see what we're dealing with. At this point there are three things that can happen.
1, The anchor breaks out on its own under minimal pull from the windlass. Sometimes the boat bobbing up and down is all that's needed to do this.
2. The anchor does not want to break out with minimal pull, so the next step is to break it out with the boat which we do with our short, very strong anchor setting and break-out line that's fastened to a deck cleat. Again, no load is applied directly to the windlass gears or the pulpit when we do this. In fact the windlass is backed off during this process.
3. The anchor won't break out using the boat so we determine we need to back it out with the trip line.
The trip line is used only to back the anchor out. Once it's free of the bottom we recover it in the normal way.
During recovery I operate the windlass with a foot and pull the trip line aboard by hand as the anchor comes up. Once the anchor is on the pulpit I unclip the trip line from the shackle in the fluke and that's that.
Once we're simply hauling the anchor up off the bottom there is generally no need to maneuver the boat so my wife comes out to the foredeck and takes over dealing with the trip line while I continue running the windlass and washing down the chain as it comes aboard.
Takes a lot less time to do it than describe it.