I am wondering about proper backing down on our anchor to get it to set properly. My question is: Should we have the snubber in place before we back down to set the anchor? That's what I assume is the correct method because it doesn't seem right to put that much strain on the windlass. However, the way our snubber is setup, to have to undo it to try and reset would be a bit (not a lot) of a pain. I wonder how much strain the windlass can take because I'd like to be able to back down without setting the snubber for just the afternoon lunch hook, etc.
We have a Y-shaped snubber that goes thru the two chocks and hooks to the two (port and starboard) bow cleats and a chain hook runs thru the roller sprit to the anchor chain. Second question: Is there and chance of damaging the sprit by backing down at half-ish throttle? (only a single Perky 135hp motor) I'm alsays a bit paranoid I am going to yank the sprit off, so I might not be setting the anchor as well as I could/should.
You should always snub off the line vs using the windless. You could tear the windless right off the boat or strip out the gears. The other thing to consider is the scope is considerably longer using the snubber as it is lower then your bow and as such you'll get a more accurate indication of your true anchor set.
-- Edited by Daddyo on Wednesday 10th of November 2010 07:32:05 AM Now that I look at your pic again I would suggest if the snubber is a major pain then you temporarily snub to your sampson post until al is well then move to the two point snubber location.
-- Edited by Daddyo on Wednesday 10th of November 2010 07:34:59 AM
I anchor a lot and never have the snubber installed when I set the anchor.
After I have the length out I want (all chain rode) we tighten the clutch on the windlass and first tease in the anchor with wind power. Once we are directly into the wind I use the engine at idle until the chain is tight, then neutral and let the boat drift ahead a bit then reverse again and maybe go 1000/1200 *rpm to make sure we are set.
Then I shut down and install the snubber rig which for me is a single 1/2 inch line over the anchor roller.
A shock load on the windlass might be enough to do some damage. The gentle application of backing power will never put so much strain on your windlass or on your sprit that would cause any damage.
I use a similar setup, mine being a Lofrans Tigres on a teak 2x12 that extends 12 to 15 inches out from the bow. I have seen the sprit bounce in shock loading but never in backing down. With the clutch fully engaged, the windlass can take all the load, and more, that I have ever given it.
After setting, then snub.
As for "tearing out the gears" I don't think there is any way you could do so. I have never heard any anecdotes to suggest this has ever happened to anyone. Those small windlasses are over-built for the application. The weak part is in the size of the electric motor, not in the gears. Mine lifted a trailer off the bottom, probable weight over a ton of steel, finally powering out when I wanted to lift part of it clear of the water, so as to get a line on it and release my fouled anchor.
If ever there was a strain on the windlass, in excess of its capacity, that was it.
Thanks y'all. Been wanting to get (make) a single-line snubber to use as a lunch hook anyway. Perhaps there is room for both theories. I don't really want to put undue strain on my windlass, but I don't want to snub it every time we are just making a quick stop either.
What is the best way to set the windlass' clutch based on the activity? What I mean is, how do you set the clutch for normal operation and how for setting an overnight anchor? I thought you would never want the windlass clutch loose unless you were dropping the anchor using gravity or under some kind of emergency where you need to play out extra rode without power or if it was hung on something. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought you would want your clutch "locked" 99% of the time.
**EDIT** One other thing... Anyone know where I can get a larger (taller) Sampson post? I have seen boats like ours with taller posts. The location and height of ours puts a single-line snubber having to go around the windlass in an awkward manner. I'd rather go over it.
-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Wednesday 10th of November 2010 10:16:54 AM
Why use the windlass when anchoring? I would think you would set the scope. Cleat off the rode. (All chain. Isn't there a chain stopper of some sort?) Set anchor then set up your snubber. Why take the chance of stripping or breaking the windlass.
I have an entirely different set up with a winch. So I don't have this issue.
*I have the rode marked so I know how much line is out.
Even with an hydraulic winch I still cleat off the combination rode to set the anchor.
** Mr. Gonzo.* Keep in mind if you have a taller S' post and tie off higher, you'll increase the torque on the base of the post AND the fasteners.* Make sure if you get a taller post you beef up the backing plate.
** Would a viable option be to mount two new cleats on either side of your existing bowsprit somewhere around where your shore power cord now lies (in the picture) to tie off your double snubber?
-- Edited by RT Firefly on Wednesday 10th of November 2010 12:04:24 PM
We've never tried a gravity down. With an all chain, the weight of the chain in the water would quickly outweigh the boat end and turn it into a free-fall pile of chain on the bottom. That is, unless you set the clutch to let it out slowly. But I just see that putting heat in the clutch and shortening the life even more. But that's just me.
I understand what a taller Sampson post would do, but since these boats often are equipped with taller posts, I would bet that the backing would be the same across the line. But I would certainly check first. Still, Two more cleats would be great. Never thought of that. Will consider it.
The original windlass on the boat was power-in only. So we would deploy the anchor using gravity and use the friction brake to control the speed. The new windlass we installed a few years ago (Lofrans Tigres) has power out and in, so we deploy the anchor using the power-out footswitch. The Lofrans is a very fast windlass so the anchor deploys at about the same speed as it used to go when I did it manually.
We always deploy the anchor with the boat drifting slowly backwards. This prevents the chain from simply piling up on top of the anchor. When the amount of rode we've decided to deploy is out we install a short, heavy "setting line" which is about 15' long and has a chain hook spliced into one end. We put the hook on the chain and run the line back through the hawse to one of the heavily backed foredeck cleats. Actually we set this line up ahead of time. Once the hook is on the line we let out slack from the windlass so the line is taking the whole load. We then set the anchor against that, not against the pulpit or the windlass.
When the anchor is set we remove the setting line and install our snubber which is a pair of long (perhaps 50') 1/2" lines shackled to a chain grabber plate. These lines are brought back in a Vee through the two bow hawses . We feed chain out with the windlass and lower the chain plate until it's about ten feet underwater or so at which point we cleat off the two snubber lines to two separate deck cleats. The last step is to let out a long loop of chain from windlass to hang between the plate and the pulpit roller. The bottom of this loop is about twenty feet underwater.
Retrieving the anchor is simply a matter of hauling in the chain with the windlass. When the slack comes out of the long loop and the chain is straight, the grabber plate simply falls off the chain to hang down out of the way under the forefoot of the boat. If there is little or no wind we haul in some chain and then let the weight of the chain ease the boat forward, then haul in some more chain, the boat eases forward, until we're over the anchor. IF there's wind or a strong current we'll move the boat forward with power. Once we're over the anchor we break it out in one of several ways depending on how easily it unsets. Once the anchor is secured on the pulpit we retrieve the snubber bridle.
-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 10th of November 2010 12:36:25 PM
Vessel Model: Westcoaster 53 converted to pleasure
Join Date: Nov 2007
RE: Sorry, but I have an anchoring question...
We drop the anchor when stationary, watch the the chain counter and when I reckon the anchor has reached the bottom, give a little burst astern at idle. This lays the chain out along the seabed and when it's enough, allowing for tides etc, simply stop the windlass and the anchor rode will tighten and the anchor set.
Our windlass drops at about 1metre/sec.
In a breeze, the boat drifts back so a burst astern isn't needed. Still use the windlass to stop the drift - and set the anchor.
When we're set for the night, I put the snubber on. We only use a snubber during the day or when fishing if there's a bit of a sea running and the strain on the windlass is significant.
Thanks Marin. That must be some crazy deep water. A 50' snubber would be well over half of all the chain rode we set out around here. Bess' snubber goes down to about water level, but she does put out another 10' or so, of chain inside the "V" of the snubber to help it hang down instead of out.
We try to anchor in water that's between 30 and 40 feet deep. Not always possible as one goes farther north but in the areas we frequent that's the average depth. The reason we hang the loop of chain so low between the chain grab and the bow pulpit is to lower the angle of pull on the anchor. For this same reason we let the chain grab down to about ten or whatever feet below the surface.
The snubber lines are 50' long because they are, not because we ever put out 50' of snubber. Given the height of the deck off the water we'll have maybe 20-25 feet of snubber line out.
"We've never tried a gravity down. With an all chain, the weight of the chain in the water would quickly outweigh the boat end and turn it into a free-fall pile of chain on the bottom. That is, unless you set the clutch to let it out slowly. But I just see that putting heat in the clutch and shortening the life even more. But that's just me."
It doesn't pay out all that quickly. When it does start to accelerate we tighten it to stop the movement then open it up again until we let out approx 100 feet. (We normally anchor in 10 feet of water or less). I have only two chain markings...50 and 100 feet. I have found that covers me and we don't get confused by too many markings.
I have about 20 feet of snubber line and that gets the hook just below the water.
Marin's system/drill is excellent except I would power up to straight over the anchor even in no wind. But I would never pull the boat w the winch that you have. It's beautiful but it's lightweight stuff compared to Marin's Lofrans. Also I see from your pic that the windlass is not fastened to the deck but to the bow pulpit. How the bow pulpit is fastened to the deck is very important in your case. It could be very strong or quite weak. A high Samson post is (all other things being equal) considerably weaker than one closer to the deck. Your business area for ground tackle is beautiful. I love your chocks. I however would rather have my winch aft and cleats and/or chain stops fwd but my experience w winches is zip so perhaps I'm about to learn something. Believe it or not I'm still undecided about ground tackle. Since I've been shopping for boats as well I've found myself a lot more ready to spend what I need to to get the job done right and that's probably a move in the right direction. In the first post you mention setting the anchor w 1/2 throttle. I've only got 37 hp and I only use about 1500 rpm. I've read over and over again that setting an anchor slowly is best and I'll bet that'll be doubbly true with a weak setting anchor or a difficult bottom for setting.
-- Edited by nomadwilly on Wednesday 10th of November 2010 07:20:19 PM
That is, unless you set the clutch to let it out slowly. But I just see that putting heat in the clutch and shortening the life even more.
Not unless you let it get going really fast.* When we had the boat's original windlass I played the clutch with the friction wheel and let the anchor down at a relatively slow speed, about the same speed the new windlass powers it down.* We never experienced any heat issues.
This is the original windlass and the current windlass.* Note the big friction wheel on the old one.* The new one has a fricton clutch too but so far we've not used it.
-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 10th of November 2010 07:19:09 PM
We have the same windlass as Marin, and power up and down.* We anchor a lot in deep water and our chain wheel is getting worn. If we let the chain free fall down, after about 50feet is out, it's so heavy that it can start jumping the chain wheel, making it pretty exciting getting it stopped.* Once we have out all our scope, I tighten the brake, and power backwards.* Depending on the predicted weather, distance to shore, or bottom type, I often times reverse with both engines, take all the slack out of the chain, and give short bursts of FULL throttle.* I've been doing this for years without a problem.* (I tore down the windlass last winter for inspection, and there was no sign of wear on the gears at all.)* We then attach the snubbers and let out slack.* As for raising the anchor, I'd love to drive the boat directly over the anchor, but I can never figure out just where it is.* I've tried using a trip line and float, but got it tangled in the stabilizers more than once.* Now, I have installed an amp meter, with the shunt in the windlass power cable.* As I raise the anchor, while watching the amp meter, I can easily tell if I'm increasing or decreasing the strain, and adjust accordingly. The biggest problem I have is when the anchor wants to come over the roller upside down, but we already discussed swivels.* (I see another swivel has been recalled, reaffirming my fear of them)...............Arctic Traveller
Arctic Traveller wrote: ...our chain wheel is getting worn.
You may have checked into this already and decided against it*but you can replace the chain wheel on a Tigres.* As we don't have a wear problem I've had not reason to look into the cost but it's probalby not all that much in the overall scheme of things.
Personally, I think this business of anchoring is being made far more complicated than it need be.
Admittedly, my windlass/bowsprit assembley is pretty hefty for the size of vessel, but all the same, the windlass/winch, whatever you want to call it, on any decently equipped vessel should be adequate to the task, and this talk of them being ripped out by the forces necessary to just set the anchor doesn't really stand close scrutiny, in my view. The force involved in just breaking the anchor out and lifting the dead weight of chain from any depth is far greater, compared to that to just dig it in a bit, surely? I and previous owners of my boat have been setting the anchor by gently backing down on the all chain rode and 45 lb anchor all it's 35 yrs, and never come close to damaging anything. We only set a short snubber, about a yard of thinnish nylon hooked onto the chain just inboard of the roller to take the direct strain off the winch after the anchor is set, for day stops, and at night a longer one virtually down the the water surface, and then a loop of chain down almost to the water for over-nighters. The snubber's stretch does the shock absorption, and the length of it and the loop of chain lowers the angle of pull somewhat. That's plenty, and all anyone in these parts does, and we see remarkably little trouble, even in close quarters mooring. I think sometimes we tend to over-think and complicate what is basically a relatively simple process. I like the KISS principle. A nice companion to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it one......oh, and just to be cheeky, I might add, if you have one of the new generation roll-bar type anchors, they really set themselves....the weight of the boat will do it, especially if you use the yachtsman's set.....tho I'm sure Marin will keep doing his thing even tho he has a Rocna....
(ducks for cover, and waits for inevitable backlash...)
-- Edited by Peter B on Thursday 11th of November 2010 05:50:18 AM