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Old 07-27-2014, 05:44 PM   #1
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Solo anchoring

So I'm new. I don't know many people where I am so I tend to go out boating by myself. I have never attempted to anchor alone.... I have never anchored period. I mostly just cruise around, fish and then go back to my slip.

I'm thinking I should install a second remote windlass switch on the fly bridge for starters, being that's where my only set of controls are.

Aside from drifting into danger or getting mangled in the wildcat, or tossed overboard....

Does anyone on here anchor alone or am I the only jackass that will be attempting this ??

Thanks
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:51 PM   #2
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I've been doing it for decades...most of my crews have not up to the task at either the foredeck or helm.

I also have to do it regularly on my assistance towboat, often with a large vessel dangling off my tow line in narrow spaces that aren't ANYONE's best choice of anchorages.

Like any solo operation...just think through the steps...don't do it if any variable takes you outside of a safe evolution...and practice like crazy when the conditions are benign.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:54 PM   #3
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Does anyone on here anchor alone or am I the only jackass that will be attempting this ??

Thanks
Do you mean anchor when you are the only person on your boat? Or do you mean anchoring with no other boats around?

In either case, I do it all the time. Alone on the boat because my SO does not care for boats (but I care for her, and so reluctantly accept that), and alone in the anchorage because of the part of Florida where I live ("The Forgotten Coast.") No problems. Set the anchor, pour yourself a sundowner, and settle down to watch the sunset.
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Old 07-27-2014, 05:58 PM   #4
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Alone on the boat
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Old 07-27-2014, 06:00 PM   #5
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The second set of controls at the flybridge will make life easier. The problem will be in lifting a dirty chain. If you are at the flybridge you cannot wash the chain down as you lift it. Some well equipped boats (think Nordhavns) have wash down jets that will wash the chain as it is lifted.

Lowering chain and anchoring from the flybridge is not a problem. Do it all the time from the pilot house by myself even with the Admiral on board.
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Old 07-27-2014, 06:04 PM   #6
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While having anchor controls at both the helm (switches) and at capstan (foot pedals), I've always controlled the anchor at the capstan. Find it easier being close to the action, and always single-handled. Yeah, and one can rinse the chain as it comes up (note hose) although I'm letting out the anchor in this photo.

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Old 07-27-2014, 06:08 PM   #7
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I anchor single handed all the time, and with no windlass. Sometimes it takes a few dashes between helm and forepeak to get boat right over anchor, then back down to pull it free. Run back up and shake it clean and stow in its mount.

Even if I have crew, most have no idea what to do. So I just do my normal routine.
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Old 07-27-2014, 06:13 PM   #8
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I anchor single handed all the time, and with no windlass. Sometimes it takes a few dashes between helm and forepeak to get boat right over anchor, then back down to pull it free. Run back up and shake it clean and stow in its mount.

Even if I have crew, most have no idea what to do. So I just do my normal routine.
Reminds me of my sailboat, without capstan (pre-trawler) days.
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Old 07-27-2014, 06:37 PM   #9
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Thanks for building my confidence
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:08 PM   #10
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I'm with Ski, winches are over rated...



Until I get mine working
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:08 PM   #11
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Setting and retrieving the anchor in a relatively calm setting is a breeze. Even a light breeze or mild current won't be a problem. As mentioned, practice often, in varying locations and conditions. And be safe when you do.
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:17 PM   #12
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Please get back to us with what you learn. It is such a normal thing that I have no fresh perspective on the subject. What you will learn will add greatly to this thread.

Now as to the choice of controls. Each has it's advantages. The capstan area footswitches are great when a washdown is needed. The helm located controls are advantageous when current, tide or wind is pulling on the boat and power assistance is used to relieve the strain on the rode when departing.

I use freefall to drop anchor.
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:42 PM   #13
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Yup - most of my boating is single-handed. Anchoring is easy. Retrieving the anchor can occasionally be a PITA. Having a vertical capstan, I need to manually keep tension on the rode, so remote windlass switch would be of no use. This makes it challenging is rough or windy conditions.

It can be tricky keeping track of exactly where your anchor is set. When motoring forward to release tension on the rode, its often easy to lose track of where you are in relation to the anchor. I'm always worried about over-running the rode and getting it hung up in the prop. It often takes 3-4 or more trips between the helm and the windlass to get on top of the anchor. With all chain this wouldn't be so much of an issue.

One suggestion is to use an anchor buoy on a trip line attached to the crown of the anchor. This has a couple advantages.
- It offers a second retrieval line if your anchor is stuck, or your rode is cut (or not tied off)
- It shows you (and other boats) exactly where your anchor is set so you can position the boat more accurately during the retrieval process.

Remember to allow enough line on the anchor buoy to account for high tide.
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:43 PM   #14
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I generally boat with my admiral but I always anchor alone.

Piece of cake.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:33 PM   #15
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I always do the anchor drill on my own - the SO usually stays buried in her book, and I have worked out a routine. I usually do it all from the lower helm, especially coming up. Sometimes if up top I drop the pick from there. All chain with horizontal gypsy makes it easier, and I have long ago given up obsessing about the odd bit of mud on the chain. Most of that is on the anchor if at all, and I sometimes pause with the anchor just under the water and swing the boat slowly around to rinse it off - that or go for'd and hose it. Only when using the deck-wash do I need the wife at the helm to flick it on and off while I gesticulate which. Frankly, anchoring on you own is a piece of cake compared to docking on your own, and it sounds like you are well versed in that.

Maybe if you list the specific concerns you have about it we might be able to be more helpful..?
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:52 PM   #16
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It's all in the preperation. Get the anchor swinging free while pulling in, when you have a lot of room. Head straight into the wind, take her out of gear and go forward and drop about half your chain. Go back and pull it snug, take it out of gear and drop the rest of your chain. Pull it snug and then set it. There are various schools of thought on how to set the anchor. Practice, you'll see how easy it is.
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:55 PM   #17
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It's all in the preperation. Get the anchor swinging free while pulling in, when you have a lot of room. Head straight into the wind,
I head into the current, typically running between 1.5 and 2.5 knots. It all depends on the environment, doesn't it?
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:14 AM   #18
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I love my windlass with it's rope / chain gypsy! I just sit on my bridge and flip a switch. I have a very good view of the anchor and chain from my bridge. I lived without a windlass for several years after buying Possum but those remote control windlasses just looked so neat I had to try one. I won't go back and Possum is a pretty small boat.

To deal with the mud problem I switched to stainless chain. The mud doesn't seem to stick to the stainless like it does to galvanized chain. My galvanized anchor comes up a mess but it's hanging off the pulpit so the deck doesn't get dirty.
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Old 07-28-2014, 12:34 AM   #19
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You are absolutely correct!
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:46 AM   #20
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Have you considered a wireless remote? You can carry the remote with you anywhere on the boat and control the windlass.

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