Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-14-2020, 10:30 AM   #1
Veteran Member
 
City: Safety Harbor
Country: US
Vessel Name: Yankee Peddler
Vessel Model: Grand Banks Eastbay
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 38
The Art Of Anchoring

THE ART OF ANCHORING

It takes skill, experience, and good judgement. Many of the variables are not under the control of the captain of the vessel such as weather, the condition of the sea bed (sand, rock, mud, grass, hard or soft, etc.), and the boat owner who just anchored up wind of you. There is no “perfect anchor’ for every situation but we are not limited to using one anchor assuming we have more than one on board.

For many years we kept our boat in the British Virgin Islands which is not very safe from hurricanes, but everyone knew the island of Culebra on the east side of Puerto Rico was the absolute perfect place to anchor if a serious hurricane came by which it did in 1989 named Hugo reaching category 5 status. Our boat was docked in Road Town, Tortola and unfortunately, I was not able to fly down and move it to Culebra. One of our best friends who owned a Valiant 40 like ours lived on his boat with his wife and moved his boat to Culebra going early to get a very safe location and set out four anchors plus tied to the trees on shore, removed all the sails and running rigging, and put everything away. They even took their dinghy out to each new arrival to help make sure they anchored correctly. They then watched as more and more boats showed up as the hurricane got closer. As it got close to H-Hour the newbies were in a panic and many just threw out an anchor, jumped in their dinghy and sped to shore.

By the time Hugo arrived there were more than 100 boat in the harbor and those that came in last were to windward of the boats that came early and had taken great care caution to anchor their boats. With The winds now over 76 MPH and Hugo wasn’t over yet having been predicted it to reach 150 MPH. Some of the late commers who did little to anchor correctly were beginning to break lose drifting down on the boats to leeward. Debris from shore became a hazard and it was difficult to stand up outside. Even in the Harbor seas were huge and the boats that came adrift were crashing into other boats, tearing down standing rigging and breaking masts. Boats at the front of the pack were beginning to stack up. The noise was awesome and those at the back were now imprisoned with no chance of escape. At 100 MPH whole buildings on shore were coming apart, roofs were flying by and even small farm animals were airborne (pigs really can fly!). In order to go check the anchor line you had to wear a dive mask and crawl across the deck. The rain was stinging your body if not covered. Anchor rodes were bar tight; If one broke the line could kill you if you were in the path of the recoil. Any sails that were not taken down were shredded. Windows broke from wind pressure or debris allowing boats to flood and sink. People watched their boats disintegrate before their eyes. People were injured with no help possible and the worst was yet to come with the huge amount of damage which was all bundled into a pile. Stuff was everywhere. Many were in shock.

I tell this story to remind viewers anchoring is often subject to another boat owner’s inexperience, bad judgement, or sheer stupidity. Many set out multiple anchors in a V pattern, but this creates a giant net for boats out of control and drifting to leeward. Once in the net it is very difficult to arrest their escape. A better option it to create a single rode with multiple anchors in a single line anchor to anchor so wayward boats can slide by. Not all anchors have a provision to attach a line at the front. I was once anchored behind a 70 foot ketch whose 5/16th chain anchor broke. It sounded like a canon shot and it happened so fast we were only able to power out of their path and having a chain rode we could do this without fear of fouling our prop. If you are in warm waters consider diving down to the anchor and set it by hand, especially with a grass seabed.

Our boat which was left at the dock in Road Town never got a scratch because Hugo turned west aimed directly to Culebra. My friend with the other Valiant had serious damage and ended up having his boat put on a barge and taken back to the factory in Texas. The repair lasted two years.
__________________
Advertisement

Mike Negley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2020, 11:28 AM   #2
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 22,157
Not sure what you mean.

A skipper nowadays does have decent weather/ hurricane forecasting, does have control where he anchors/ or not, and does have some options where in an anchorage whether up or downwind of others.

I am under mixed opinions whether anchors in multiple locations or tandem are best. Like you said though, it can depend who might drag into you.
__________________

psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2020, 11:46 AM   #3
Guru
 
HiDHo's Avatar
 
City: Scottsboro, Al.
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hi-D-Ho
Vessel Model: 1987 Krogen Manatee
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,354
I agree anchoring is an art as much as a science. I have witnessed boaters who don’t get it. They usually develop a phobia and blame it on the anchor, rode, weather, holding ground or windlass, and end up buying different anchors Etc. Some give up anchoring and live by rushing from marina to marina. I have never understood someone who buys a boat with a toy anchor on the bow. There rationale is they don’t anchor because marinas offer restaurants, etc. They forget the safety feature of anchoring if they loss propulsion.
HiDHo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 06:41 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
City: Burgess, VA
Country: USA
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiDHo View Post
I agree anchoring is an art as much as a science. I have witnessed boaters who don’t get it. They usually develop a phobia and blame it on the anchor, rode, weather, holding ground or windlass, and end up buying different anchors Etc. Some give up anchoring and live by rushing from marina to marina. I have never understood someone who buys a boat with a toy anchor on the bow. There rationale is they don’t anchor because marinas offer restaurants, etc. They forget the safety feature of anchoring if they loss propulsion.
I read on a previous thread a comment/question about using a bow and stern anchor to stop swinging while at anchor. Reminded me of a conversation with a customer a few weeks ago. Florida boater and wanted to buy two of our anchors so he could anchor off bow and stern with the threat of coming hurricanes. He wanted a proper sized anchor off his bow and smaller off his stern. I asked why bow and stern and he replied he did not want to swing. I asked if he ever anchored in preparation for an incoming hurricane and he said, “no.” I asked how often he anchored at all and he said, “not so much.” I asked him if he considered what might happen to a boat that can not swing when hurricane winds and wave actions are off his beam and not off the bow and he said he did not know.

I asked what would happen to the smaller anchor set once the wind and wave action clocked around off his stern? He said then he wanted to change his order to two of the same size (as his main bower). I referred him to Rudy and Jill’s book, “ANCHORING- A Ground Tackler’s Apprentice.” I then said, I would sell him a properly sized main bower but would not sell him a second anchor. I told him I did not feel comfortable with his experience in anchoring to sell him a second anchor to be used off his stern for hurricane anchoring protection. He did buy one for the main bower and may have gone to another brand for a stern anchor, don’t know. He did say he would get the book and read it.

The “Art of Anchoring!”

Steve
__________________
Steve Bedford
Burgess, VA
Steve Bedford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 07:24 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
City: Barrington
Country: Plymouth
Vessel Name: Hippocampus
Vessel Model: Boatless at present
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 447
Have seen a definite change in anchoring behavior in recent years.
Due to expense, weight and need for upgraded windlasses see more rope rode. If you’re only in muddy places like the Chesapeake probably doesn’t matter. But if you’re anyplace where abrasion may occur it does. Similarly given very few use a kellet at equivalent distances chain is less likely to drag.
The nexgen anchors seem to work just fine on very short amounts of rode out. Until they don’t. Given how tight some anchorages are see increasing numbers of people using less than 3:1. We have always carried enough rode to allow 5:1 to :7:1 up to 50’ of depth. Have often anchored out and put up with the longer dinghy ride in order to be safe and at 5:1.
People don’t understand sometimes you backdown to set an anchor and sometimes it’s best not to. They don’t pay attention to what kind of bottom they’re anchoring on.
People are more resistant to advice and less polite. Have had to get in the dinghy telling someone (usually a charter boat) they will swing in to me or they are dragging. In the past got a thank you. Now get abuse. So now take the phone with me and snap a lot of pictures. Then when they are abusive remind them I’ve documented their poor anchoring technique for the insurance company claim to come.
See boat candy anchors. Beautiful stainless jewels on their bows grossly undersized and of less effective patterns due to aesthetic concerns.
It’s gotten so bad we’ve moved on occasion or just placed fenders across the bows to mid ships and hoped for the best.
Culebra was a fun place as was Culebrita but even without a hurricane coming it’s a zoo. Mix of sail, small power, large power and a fair number of big sportfish. Wouldn’t be my first choice as a hurricane hole. Even Hurricane Hole would be a better choice. Of course best choice is to get out of dodge or haul.if I recall Sopers got wiped in that storm as well.
Hippocampus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 07:40 AM   #6
Guru
 
City: Rochester, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 2,244
With the smaller chain and more mixed rodes, I think that's partly a function of people trending torwards bigger anchors and then saving some weight in the rode to keep total weight reasonable. Personally, I carry a large anchor and a mixed rode (90 feet of chain, 300 of rope). For where I boat, it's adequate and allows plenty of scope in the deepest places I would have any reason to anchor. If I were heading to the Bahamas or other areas with coral and rocks, I'd switch the combo to 150 / 250 (figuring I'd never need more than the 150 of chain in those areas), and if I were on the west coast where coral in deep water is an issue, even more chain.

I absolutely agree that most people just don't know much about anchoring and many assume that whatever anchor the boat left the factory with must be good enough. And yes, most use way too little scope. Intentionally anchoring at 3 or 4:1 in a good bottom with an oversized anchor (plenty of extra holding power you can afford to lose with short scope) is one thing, but anchoring at 3:1 in an unknown bottom with a too-small anchor because you just don't know better is a whole different story. I personally short for around 3.5 - 4:1 in good weather in deeper water, 4 - 5:1 in shallower water. That's for during the day. Overnight, I'll usually go around 5:1 in deeper water, at least 5:1 in shallower water unless I know it's a good bottom, good weather, and I've got a reason to stay shorter.
rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 09:16 AM   #7
Guru
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,484
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippocampus View Post
.......People don’t understand sometimes you backdown to set an anchor and sometimes it’s best not to.
Interesting comment Hippo - I've done a fair amount of anchoring, but suspect you have a LOT more. Surprised at the comment that there are times where backing-down is not a good idea. Can you elaborate?

Thanks in advance -

Peter
__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
Current Location: Ensenada MX
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 09:32 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
City: Barrington
Country: Plymouth
Vessel Name: Hippocampus
Vessel Model: Boatless at present
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 447
In loose mud as is common in the Chesapeake, Block island and parts of Long Island sound nexgen anchors fail to perform. To improve performance they need to settle through the soup and reach a firm substrate. We will drop a Rocna (or similar) and using the engine if necessary to fight wind or current put no strain on the anchor allowing it time to settle. Then use the wind alone or just a tap of engine to lay out the chain. Then just sit. Usually a minimum of 1/2h as we do the putting the boat to bed chores.
If you put tension on the anchor before it has sufficient time to really dig into something firm as soon as you back down you’ll just pull it out. Often in those settings we never backdown. Just put the boat to bed, have dinner and hang out. I may restart the engine and do a low rpm backdown before sleep but usually not.
If I’m going to be in a loose mud area for awhile I might flip to the fortress. It does a much better job in those conditions.
Hippocampus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 10:42 AM   #9
Guru
 
Nomad Willy's Avatar
 
City: Concrete Washington State
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Willy
Vessel Model: Willard Nomad 30'
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 17,171
Hipp,
That’s quicksand.
I don’t think the seafloor has been piling up long enough to create such conditions out west.
I always back down. And to determine if I’m on a Chesapeake bottom I’d need to drop and back down. And the anchor wouldn’t hold of course and I’d go elsewhere.
__________________
Eric

North Western Washington State USA
Nomad Willy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 11:31 AM   #10
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 22,157
With my new 60lb Manson Supreme, I think I back down, maybe 20% of the time.


Most other times the current or the wind has already signaled to me a good set.


If I feel I have a good set but want to check it because it is forecast to blow over 25 knots (less than 10% of the times I anchor) hen a backdown is warranted for checking.
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 11:55 AM   #11
Guru
 
City: Rochester, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 2,244
I typically don't back down like some do by moving backwards quickly to tug the anchor into the bottom. If there's enough wind, I just let the boat blow downwind in a slow, controlled manner to pull the rode tight and make the initial set. If there's light wind, I'll use the engines to do that. But I generally do it pretty gently. Then after that initial set and a few seconds for things to settle, I'll smoothly bring up tension on the rode again and then sit against it with both engines in idle reverse until it's fully stretched and boat speed shows 0. Then increase to 1000 RPM and let it settle. That gets it nicely dug in and confirms the anchor isn't just caught on something weak and that the bottom isn't total crap.

If I'm in a bottom where I can't at least pull idle reverse against the anchor without it dragging or breaking free, then I'm moving, as I won't trust it to hold in any kind of wind.
rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 12:12 PM   #12
Guru
 
Alaskan Sea-Duction's Avatar
 
City: Inside Passage Summer/Columbia River Winter
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Alaskan Sea-Duction
Vessel Model: 1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,034
Over the past several years cruising the PNW and the Inside Passage I always back down the 77lb Rocna and when it catches and digs the chain rode will go to 45 degrees on the bow pulpit. Then on the average I would put out around 200ft of chain rode.
Alaskan Sea-Duction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 12:48 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
GoneFarrell's Avatar
 
City: La Conner, WA
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Imagine
Vessel Model: Farrell 34
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 434
Score: Bollard 1, Anchor 0.

https://thumbs.gfycat.com/AcrobaticT...restricted.gif
GoneFarrell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 05:25 PM   #14
Guru
 
firehoser75's Avatar
 
City: Nanaimo
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Pilitak
Vessel Model: Nordic Tug 37
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 1,229
Hippo,
Interesting info regarding not backing down, and to me, it makes sense the way you describe it.
I also agree with the other western posters (PNW) that we always back down. The conditions you reference are rare here, and I would want to know that holding was poor so I could move.

After reaching the bottom, we slowly back down (in and out of gear or allowing the wind) while we "lay out" the chain. Once we have the desired amount of rode out, we secure it and very slowly back down to gradually tighten the rode. It will eventually go bar tight at a 45 degree angle like ASD described. We then will slightly increase RPM and hold while sighting 2 landmarks to determine we are set. Usually a couple of minutes ensuring set.

Doing this, gives us reasonably good confidence that we are properly set and that we can sleep without undue worry. Scope used is usually 5 to 1, at high tide, (unless very crowded anchorage and /or very calm predicted.) In very deep water (say over 80 feet) or when anchored on a steep incline and stern tied, we will go 3 to 1.
I carry 250 feet of chain and 150 feet of rope for rode. We are usually all chain when anchored.
__________________
Tom
Nanaimo, BC
firehoser75 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 06:12 AM   #15
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9,422
Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
With my new 60lb Manson Supreme, I think I back down, maybe 20% of the time.


Most other times the current or the wind has already signaled to me a good set.


If I feel I have a good set but want to check it because it is forecast to blow over 25 knots (less than 10% of the times I anchor) hen a backdown is warranted for checking.


I tend to anchor in less than 20' of water, drop the Rocna and 7:1 chain over, add the snubber and call it good. If I'm expecting more than 25 knots, I'll do more.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 06:20 AM   #16
Guru
 
mvweebles's Avatar
 
City: Saint Petersburg
Country: United States
Vessel Name: Weebles
Vessel Model: 1970 Willard 36 Trawler
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1,484
Surprised at comments that some folks don't always back-down when setting their anchor. Honestly, I thought that was a normal best-practice that was done as a matter of course.

Is this an east-coast vs west-coast thing?

Peter
__________________
M/V Weebles
1970 Willard 36 Sedan Trawler
Current Location: Ensenada MX
mvweebles is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 06:45 AM   #17
Guru
 
O C Diver's Avatar
 
City: Fort Myers, FL... Summers in Crisfield, MD
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Slow Hand
Vessel Model: Cherubini Independence 45
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 9,422
Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Surprised at comments that some folks don't always back-down when setting their anchor. Honestly, I thought that was a normal best-practice that was done as a matter of course.

Is this an east-coast vs west-coast thing?

Peter
If I were short (IMO) scoping or using a farming implement for an anchor, I would maybe feel the need to do more.

I look at it this way. If the anchor comes out of the bottom on a tidal current or wind reversal in the middle of the night, the anchor is going to have to reset itself without my help, and there won't be any backing down to set it either.

Ted
__________________
Blog: mvslowhand.com
I'm tired of fast moves, I've got a slow groove, on my mind.....
I want to spend some time, Not come and go in a heated rush.....
"Slow Hand" by The Pointer Sisters
O C Diver is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 07:47 AM   #18
Guru
 
City: Rochester, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 2,244
To me, backing down serves 2 purposes. 1 is to set the anchor deeper so it's less likely to break out from minor yawing and such causing a slightly angled pull. But the big reason is to feel how it digs into the bottom and holds. So even if it's not necessary to set the thing, it confirms that it'll hold at least X amount of pull in this bottom, so I know the bottom isn't garbage.
rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 08:08 AM   #19
Guru
 
psneeld's Avatar
 
City: AICW
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Freedom
Vessel Model: Albin 40
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 22,157
It may be more of a " local" thing based on environmentals.

As I posted, its rare that wind or current doesn't move the boat enough to signal a reasonable set.

Its also rare fior me to anchor in more than 15 feet at low water....which may be another factor (water depth).

If I have a doubt, I will back down..... but its only maybe one in ten sets.

Its worked fine for years with no dragging and pulling in the morning tells me whether I gambled right or wrong.

Don't get me wrong, I used to back down all the time, then occasions allowed me to test the no backdown option (for my setup, as it may not work for all combos) , after awhile I got comfy with what I felt was necessary.
psneeld is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 08:11 AM   #20
Guru
 
City: Rochester, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 2,244
The depth thing is a good point. It takes a lot less wind / current to feel what the anchor is doing in 10 feet than it does in 50 feet (where there's a lot more rode out and it has a lot more give).
__________________

rslifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012
×