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Old 09-20-2014, 11:29 AM   #1
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Stuck/Fouled/Lost Anchors

I did an 'advanced search' of all 137 thread titles about anchors, and didn't find one on stuck anchors.

My question is...how many people have had to cut themselves free and abandon a stuck anchor, and has it happened more than once?
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
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I did an 'advanced search' of all 137 thread titles about anchors, and didn't find one on stuck anchors.

My question is...how many people have had to cut themselves free and abandon a stuck anchor, and has it happened more than once?
25+ years boating all over the world and have never had to cut one loose..

brought up a HUGE chunk of coral in Tonga that took all the big Maxwell windless had to offer to get it to the waterline so I could go at it with a chisel and sledge hammer..

picked up a tree off the bottom of a bay in Northern B.C. that I had to go at with chisel, saw and hammer to get it loose..

Both times they got stuck on Bruce anchors.. I always carry dive gear along so I don't worry about it.

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Old 09-20-2014, 11:51 AM   #3
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When I was a teenager, I never bought anchors. I always found more than I needed when I was diving. Somebody loses anchors.
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:56 AM   #4
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When I was a teenager, I never bought anchors. I always found more than I needed when I was diving. Somebody loses anchors.
Ahhh...so...what were some of the reasons for them being stuck?
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:58 AM   #5
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I snagged a bunch of steel cable once, and had to swap anchor line to transom to get a hard pull. Finally pulled hard enough to get the cable off the bottom and was able to pull it up. Also in the coil was another danforth IDENTICAL to mine. So for all the work, I got two anchors back. What are the chances of that???

So far I have always been able to break it free or dive on it. Had some dicey offshore situations where it was rough and pulling hard either at the bow or stern put boat into some scary dynamics. Came dang close to cutting, but knock on wood, never had to.
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Old 09-20-2014, 12:12 PM   #6
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Yes. Lost a danforth in a rocky bottom too dark to dive on. Thankfully, I only had 10 ft of chain so I could cut the rode easily.

Since we're talking almost, I dragged a hell of a big cable up to the pulpit with a spade while anchoring off Key Biscayne, FL. I risked breaking my pulpit getting it off, but after an hour or so, finally released it by rigging the line to a cleat and then slacking the anchor chain. The tension was too much to untie, so I cut the line. Snapped like a whip.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. As I suspected, it seems to be a fairly rare thing to lose an anchor that refuses to release.

Going to upgrade things in the anchoring department, and just wanted a sense of how frequently/rarely one might have to flush all that money down the drain.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:28 PM   #8
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Don't want to lose my anchor if it gets stuck. I have all chain and it also concerned me that should I need to release the anchor in an emergency, I could not cut through a chain like a nylon rode. I came up with a solution which I am passing along with a caveat that I've never tried it so I don't know if it will work.

The deepest water we seem to anchor in is about 30'. So, I took 50' of poly line (which floats) and attached it to the end of the anchor chain, and then to the anchor point in the chain locker. The chain is no longer affixed to the anchor locker. The theory is if I run all the chain out, I can cut the poly line and free the boat. With luck, the poly line will float at the surface and I can come back and retrieve the rig. Does this make any sense?

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Old 09-20-2014, 01:33 PM   #9
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I snagged a 33k Ronca on a submerged pilling in the Delaware River. I was alone and unsuccessful even with the help of Tow BoatUS. The tow boat operator had to go buy bolt cutters.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:50 PM   #10
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In 45 years of boating only once did I nearly lose an anchor...several I back snagged and pulled free which I'll be the first to say is just as much luck as anything.

As an assistance tower for 12 seasons...I have probably had to have 15 or so boats cut themselves free, and I have backed out probably the same number of anchors from being stuck.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:51 PM   #11
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The Lost Rocna

It's still there.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:51 PM   #12
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Seems pretty common around the BC coast for people to lose anchors. Lots of logging debris in some of the coves.

Local dive company does well retrieving lost anchors for owners that have been marked with a scotchman float. Or finding them where abandoned and retrieving them for resale.
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Old 09-20-2014, 01:58 PM   #13
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Murray your neck of the woods is a good place to loose an anchor to logging debris. I was lucky in Alaska and didn't get snagged.

There is an option to the troublesome tag line. Don't know what they call it but it's like a ring shaped like an oval. You slide it on your rode (line is easier than chain) and get it to slide to the bottom of the rode. Then work it down the shank. Then the anchor can be pulled out backwards. Having a powered dinghy to pull on the working rode to keep it straight would be an advantage. Then you can pull hard w the mother boat. I've always intended to get one but so far failed. Used a tag line and float fairly often in SE but never had to pull an anchor w it.

Did you buy a Mantus anchor? With my Supreme roll bar anchor I attach the tag line under the roll bar. If you used a tag line a lot you could weld a tang w a hole in it to the back of the anchor. Lots of anchors that have a hole for a tag line shackle aren't in the best place.

Look at WM or Fisheries Supply under anchor accessories for the oval retriever.
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:21 PM   #14
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Seems pretty common around the BC coast for people to lose anchors. Lots of logging debris in some of the coves.
Quite soon after buying our boat I was in a Prince Rupert marine store looking for a new anchor as our 30' boat only came with a 7.5kg Bruce. The owner listened patiently to my stories about the new fancy-shmancy super duper wicked high holding power designs, then said, "Yeah, well, I get a lot of repeat customers around here". Food for thought...

Think we'd rely on our 10kg Lewmar Claw for most anchoring situations, but toss out the big fella when going hiking or when conditions might get grim overnight.
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Old 09-20-2014, 02:49 PM   #15
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A lot of timber in Tellico Lake and anchors will somehow find it? I will use a tag line that hooks to the opposite end of my ultra-anchor from my chain, and then passes through a float with a weight on the other end. It will float over anchor and can be used to pull my anchor free in the opposite direction. It is not much help when the chain wraps around something.
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Old 09-20-2014, 05:01 PM   #16
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Several years ago my brand new, never been used 45# Delta was hooked solidly on a some object in about 15 feet of water, I was not too far from an abandoned oil platform so probably part of it. I tried all maeouvers I could imagine with the boat, pulling from all directions, tighten, slack, etc it wouldn't budge. As I was about to give up and put hacksaw to chain I remebered something former TF member Charles told me years before. I had a short chain and made a loop about 1' diameter around the anchor rode. I tied it to a rope to the loop, pulled the anchor chain tight and vertical above the anchor. I lowered the loop down the chain it slipped down and around the anchor shank, I then loosened the anchor chain quite a bit and fastened the rope to a cleat and drove forward, as the boat moved forward the loop of chain and it's rope pulled the anchor free. It worked fine and saved my brand new anchor. I have never had to use the method again so no further experience.
That was on a January 13, with ice on the handrails that morning, the reason I didn't go swimming for it.
Thanks again Charles,
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Old 09-20-2014, 06:21 PM   #17
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Good trick Steve. I'll remember it.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Several years ago my brand new, never been used 45# Delta was hooked solidly on a some object in about 15 feet of water, I was not too far from an abandoned oil platform so probably part of it. I tried all maeouvers I could imagine with the boat, pulling from all directions, tighten, slack, etc it wouldn't budge. As I was about to give up and put hacksaw to chain I remebered something former TF member Charles told me years before. I had a short chain and made a loop about 1' diameter around the anchor rode. I tied it to a rope to the loop, pulled the anchor chain tight and vertical above the anchor. I lowered the loop down the chain it slipped down and around the anchor shank, I then loosened the anchor chain quite a bit and fastened the rope to a cleat and drove forward, as the boat moved forward the loop of chain and it's rope pulled the anchor free. It worked fine and saved my brand new anchor. I have never had to use the method again so no further experience.
That was on a January 13, with ice on the handrails that morning, the reason I didn't go swimming for it.
Thanks again Charles,
Same principle, we had a metal ring made just larger than the chain. It opens and closes so it can be slipped over the chain and it has a loop for rope. We've never used it but a long time Captain swears by it. Pull drirectly over, drop the ring, then use the rope to try to work the anchor free. Glad to hear it worked for you. Hope I never have to find out if it will for us.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:27 PM   #19
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25+ years boating all over the world and have never had to cut one loose..
Same here. We've come close a few times and had to get the hookah out but have never lost any ground tackle.

We snagged this one a few years ago. We were anchored for a week and the daily on-shore/off-winds helped us wrap our anchor chain around this anchor. Another cruiser came by and helped us untangle everything. We were lucky.
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Old 09-20-2014, 08:39 PM   #20
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Nearly lost two. We were anchored in Balto Inner Harbor anchorage area near the Trade Center. Several thunderstorms during the night wrapped our rode around the anchorage area buoy frayed wire cable. I was going to cut it free, but since we were away on vacation, we wouldn't then have an anchor. Took me 2 hours to dig it out.
The second was on a tuna trip anchored in 20 fathoms. A nearby boat was hooked up and unknown to us, their fishing line sawed through our rode. When we pulled anchor only 1/6 of one strand remained of our 1/2" line. We had been anchored by <1/8" of line for over 6 hours at night!
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