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Old 04-26-2011, 12:44 PM   #1
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Setting anchor with the windlass question

Having never had an electric windlass before I have a question about setting the anchor. *After lowering the appropriate amount of (all chain) rode I want to set the anchor. *My question is, do I need to use the snubber to set the anchor or is the windlass able to handle the load? *I could flip down the chain lock on the windlass but that would still keep the load on the windlass. *Does this matter? *My plan is to lower, set, let out the last third of rode, then snub, but I am open to correction!

Thanks,

Dave

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Old 04-26-2011, 12:55 PM   #2
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

I let the windlass take the whole load while setting once in a stiff wind and the chain ended up jumping the gypsy.* What I like to do normally is pay out the amount of chain* for the scope I think appropriate and then tie the snub off short to take the load.* If we set then I lengthen the snub and increase the bight of slack between the chain hook and the bow roller so that the chain is hanging down into the water.
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Old 04-26-2011, 01:07 PM   #3
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

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Egregious wrote:
I let the windlass take the whole load while setting once in a stiff wind and the chain ended up jumping the gypsy.* What I like to do normally is pay out the amount of chain* for the scope I think appropriate and then tie the snub off short to take the load.* If we set then I lengthen the snub and increase the bight of slack between the chain hook and the bow roller so that the chain is hanging down into the water.
*for the most part I concur.. unless your windless is REALLY big and the windless load is spread out and well backed it isnt a great idea to load up the windless too much. On Volunteer I would set the hook with the right amount of scope, back down easily on the anchor and let it hang in gear for about a minute.. if all went well ( and even with a Bruce it almost always did ) I would then run out the snubber as mentioned above.. then crack the prerequisite beer!

Happy Anchoring

HOLLYWOOD

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Old 04-26-2011, 01:27 PM   #4
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

OK makes sense. So let it all out, snub short, gently back it down, then run out the snubber a bit and then crack a beer. This works for me. Thanks!

Dave
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Old 04-26-2011, 02:42 PM   #5
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

All this sounds great for a light winds or less ** ....and only if that's what happens. I'd want to secure the rode for over 1000lbs pull and set the anchor semi hard (1/2 max rpm in reverse) at 4-1 scope or more, then adjust scope for the anchorage and conditions. To be really safe you'd rig for 80 knot winds every time and even that would be insufficient at some point. It's like going or not going on the weather forecast. Everyone's got a different line in the sand. If the forecast is for light and variable do we still set the drift alarm on the GPS? and after we shut down do we always close the seacock? Some folks just dump a bunch of ground tackle in the water, shut off the engine and head for the beer. Some people check the weather forecast 4 times a night and avoid the beer altogether. I'm in between and so are you*** ....but where?
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:
All this sounds great for a light winds or less ** ....and only if that's what happens.
*I did it my way in 25kt winds about 3 weeks ago.* Of course it is only 12 feet deep and the bottom is excellent holding sand.**

What kept me awake all night was the fear of a bear swimming out and killing me.* I don't have a gun on board!* JUST JOKING.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:52 PM   #7
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

Quote:
Egregious wrote:What kept me awake all night was the fear of a bear swimming out and killing me.* I don't have a gun on board!* JUST JOKING.
*A fish and game guy I met last week on the Keni River told me the best bear deterrent is a road flair.

Said it stops them in there track.**Even at full charge.

SD

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Old 04-26-2011, 04:55 PM   #8
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

Quote:
skipperdude wrote:Egregious wrote:What kept me awake all night was the fear of a bear swimming out and killing me.* I don't have a gun on board!* JUST JOKING.
*A fish and game guy I met last week on the Keni River told me the best bear deterrent is a road flair.

Said it stops them in there track.**Even at full charge.

SD

*

*If the road flare is one of those types that drip flaming slag I'd be very careful. The cure may be worse than the disease if not handled well.

*
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:33 PM   #9
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:
and after we shut down do we always close the seacock?
I'd be interested to the answer on that. I have to admit the only time we close our seacocks (5 of them) is if really bad weather is forecast, at which point we are usually on our home mooring. If we are on the boat anchored with such a forecast, I still don't close the engine one as, if we have to start up quickly in an emergency (dragging, or whatever, usually in the middle of the night), I don't want to have to deal with first opening up the engine compartment and crawling down there to open the seacock while all hell is breaking loose before I can start up and move.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:39 PM   #10
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

I've never been a big fan of 'setting the anchor' with any help other than the prevailing wind.* I am a fan of testing the anchor once it sets if I anticipate adverse conditions overnight.* The problem with backing down on an anchor initially, IMHO, is that it may prevent the anchor from digging in as its designed to do, which works best when it is allowed to settle into the sea bed by the force of gravity and the relatively gentle tug of wind and current.*

I will typically let out most of what I feel I need for scope and if the wind doesn't do it for me, will apply just enough power astern to straighten out the chain.* I'll then go find something to do for 20 minutes or so, then put a bit of power in reverse to ensure that the hook is set.* Then the snubber for insurance and comfort and that's it.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:08 PM   #11
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:
*and after we shut down do we always close the seacock?
*Or do*we trust high bilge*alarms when we're onboard,*asleep?



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Old 04-26-2011, 09:20 PM   #12
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

When at anchor always have the vessel ready for instant start.
I allways set the anchor for the worst weather expected, you don't want to be trying to let the snubber off and lay out more anchor chain with a strong wind blowing and
waves pounding the boat.
Use the snubber to set the pick, in my opinion don't use the windlass for this unless you have a build in chain stopper to carry the load.
After you have set the anchor you can always lay out a bit more chain, then settle and have a few coldies.

Benn
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:39 PM   #13
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Setting anchor with the windlass question

Our anchor winch*has a*drum containing 320' of SS cable attached to 40' of 3/8 chain and a 44 lb*Delta.*

There is no easy way to set/stop the cable without using the drum brake/lock (A carpenter's clamp might work, but*it would be cumbersome and dangerous).

So, the anchor is usually set at a 4-5:1 scope (hasn't*been a problem setting), then adjusted*to 3:1 for tight*quarters if needed.*

This is a robust winch, and the*drum lock is sufficient to take the strain.* It's been through 60 knot stuff without any indication of weakness or failure.*

Anchor Steam is my anchor beer of choice.

All thru-hulls open when the vessel is in operations mode.


-- Edited by Jay N on Tuesday 26th of April 2011 09:42:09 PM
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:56 PM   #14
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

I would never close the sea cocks just because I was anchored... what a p.i.t.a.!, I cannot imagine having to remember to run down into the engine room and open the cocks in a emergency. If they are going to fail I want it to happen when I am aboard. That is what they make those loud bilge alarms for..

HOLLYWOOD
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:15 AM   #15
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

Quote:
dwhatty wrote
Quote:
"I don't want to have to deal with first opening up the engine compartment and crawling down there to open the seacock while all hell is breaking loose before I can start up and move."

I'd definitely roger that........

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Hollywood wrote

I would never close the sea cocks just because I was anchored... what a p.i.t.a.!, I cannot imagine having to remember to run down into the engine room and open the cocks in a emergency. If they are going to fail I want it to happen when I am aboard. That is what they make those loud bilge alarms for..

And that......

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Delfin wrote:
Quote:
I've never been a big fan of 'setting the anchor' with any help other than the prevailing wind.* I am a fan of testing the anchor once it sets if I anticipate adverse conditions overnight.* The problem with backing down on an anchor initially, IMHO, is that it may prevent the anchor from digging in as its designed to do, which works best when it is allowed to settle into the sea bed by the force of gravity and the relatively gentle tug of wind and current.*

I will typically let out most of what I feel I need for scope and if the wind doesn't do it for me, will apply just enough power astern to straighten out the chain.* I'll then go find something to do for 20 minutes or so, then put a bit of power in reverse to ensure that the hook is set.* Then the snubber for insurance and comfort and that's it.
*And I agree basically with the above. *If you have a quick-setting anchor that's all it takes.

Any anchor that takes*1/2 revs*astern to set is one I don't want to be hanging from, sorry Eric.

*As a result I basically do what Delfin described above with the Sarca, then maybe if the forecast is a bit iffy, I might give it a tug astern after we have settled at full scope to confirm beyond doubt we have not done the freakish thing which happened once, and had a large loose rock settle on the fluke, but in that case it was obvious something was wrong as we dragged in just the current and a 5 kn breeze.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:30 AM   #16
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

When one anchors inside reef areas or other remote areas you will always set the anchor by going astern even with a good fast setting anchor.
You would never see a large ships just drop its anchor and leave it to chance.
It's a prudent skipper that sets his anchor , then possibly lay out some more chain sit and watch for 20 or 30 mins to ensure all is well for the night or the next few days.

Benn
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:19 AM   #17
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

In most anchorages , with an anchor that is not a watch fob , just a touch of reverse is usually enough to assure the anchor is set.

We use nylon so a cleat , not the windlass gets the load .

The stern anchor should slow the drag should the fwd anchor upset.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:10 AM   #18
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

Having actually made the mistake*many years ago*of starting the engine with a closed raw water seacock I lwill be leaving the engine key draped over the seacock handle when it is closed.

Dave
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:06 AM   #19
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

If you are really in tune with your boat and your exhaust is above the water line, you will notice that the exhaust sounds significantly different when there is no water coming out of it.....And of course you should always check for water flow.....

TO add to the anchoring comments....nobody has mentioned weighing anchor tactics...they are surprisingly similar to anchoring. I just motor up over the anchor and take the slack in with the windlass and if the anchor is being stubborn, there is no reason to put excess strain on your equipment. Just hover over the anchor in neutral with 0 scope(okay I guess it would be 1:1) and open a beer. Enjoy your beer. If there is any wind at all, the anchor will come loose whilst beer is being consumed and then bring the anchor up and off ya go!!!!!
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:26 AM   #20
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RE: Setting anchor with the windlass question

I am getting the impression that most windlass/anchoring operations are powered by
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