Have recently started single handed sailing on my W.Fulmar 32 ft, bilge keel, tiller steered. I am finding that lifting the anchor is a nightmare. It simply takes too long to do. My bow is a bit congested with Pulpit, double bow roller with forestay attached, furling drum, furling line, SL manual windlass and my big feet.
What I normally do is to pull the anchor in entirely by hand which seems quicker than using the windlass until anchor shaft just reaches the bow roller, leaving the anchor just clear of the water, jam the chain into the gypsy and then shoot back to the cockpit where the engine is idling and the tiller is swinging wildly by now. This leaves a messy loose pile of chain on deck and and a muddy anchor swinging off the bow roller. I then move into clear water, stop and sort that lot out. The whole business is fraught and generally messy.
All of that with minimum tide running, I dread to think what a mess I might make if there is any significant tide running and/or the anchor is difficult to break out and the anchorage is congested! I would probably end up staying until everyone else has gone home. I generally have 15 to 20 metres of chain out.
Any one got any advice to make things easier and safer for me. I have done seaching here and not come up with anything useful.