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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Default LIfting the anchor singlehanded.

    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.
    Tim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    17,818

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    Do you have a tiller pilot?

    If you had the raymarine tiller pilot ST2000+ then you could get the wireless remote - this would mean you could put the engine in slow ahead, get up front, get the anchor up (but not away) whilst maintaining some sort of steering.

    Another method would be an electric windlass with controls back in the cockpit ?

  3. #3
    Scotty_Tradewind's Avatar
    Scotty_Tradewind is offline Registered User
    Location : Me: South Oxfordshire. Boat: Portsmouth harbour, Wicormarine
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    Fireball has taken the words out of my mouth.... but this still leaves the problem of controlling the engine. Not so easily overcome if you are on the foredeck without an electric windlass controlled from the cockpit.
    I'm interested to know of other options.
    Last edited by Scotty_Tradewind; 10-09-09 at 10:40.
    You never get to where you want to go if you only travel on sunny days.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    16,660

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    It's not easy, that's why people have crew.
    I have on occassion resorted to cleating off the anchor chain with the anchor still in the water, then going gently astern into enough space to sort everything out. Not elegant, but it seems to work. If you leave the anchor say 1m under water you could go slowly forwards without it hitting the hull, at least enough to steer perhaps?
    I guess the electric windlass makers are onto something.

  5. #5
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    ok - lateral thinking - 2 bits of 'string' ... one to pull the stick forward, one to pull it back ... ??

  6. #6
    Scotty_Tradewind's Avatar
    Scotty_Tradewind is offline Registered User
    Location : Me: South Oxfordshire. Boat: Portsmouth harbour, Wicormarine
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireball View Post
    ok - lateral thinking - 2 bits of 'string' ... one to pull the stick forward, one to pull it back ... ??
    Come back Heath Robinson all is forgiven.??

    A remotely controlled engine would certainly help though.
    You never get to where you want to go if you only travel on sunny days.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    3,879

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    The alternative might be to walk back with the chain so you're pulling it into a bucket into the cockpit. Whether this is feasible without the chain taking chunks of coachroof with it very much depends on the arrangement of your boat.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by sighmoon View Post
    The alternative might be to walk back with the chain so you're pulling it into a bucket into the cockpit. Whether this is feasible without the chain taking chunks of coachroof with it very much depends on the arrangement of your boat.
    That's more or less what I used to be able to do with my old boat, didn't need the bucket though and she had clear bows and wood decks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by tt65 View Post
    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.
    That all sounds familiar. When I changed from an ancient working boat to a comparatively "modern" grp yacht I thought things would be easier but a lot aren't. The lugger had a comparatively clear bow, a rope/chain rode and a mizzen which kept everything under control so even though the anchor and cable were stowed under the cockpit side decks anchor handling was always very calm and controlled. Now I find feeding the chain through the navel pipe is slow and then I have to wiggle the anchor under the pulpit (a bit like one of those metal chinese puzzles when trying to hurry) and the roller furling line before I can stow it. I've recently got a tiller pilot but that's no good without steerage way!

    I am considering modifying the foredeck so I can stow a second rope/chain rode for use in settled conditions or short stops, perhaps I might even risk the little CQR (does the swear filter allow those 3 letters?) again in calm anchorages with little tide. I am thinking along the lines of a deck hatch over the anchor locker with a tier added forward for the second rode.

  10. #10
    NealB is offline Registered User
    Location : UK:Burnham on Crouch
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    If space/ time are tight, as soon as the anchor is no longer holding, make the chain off, then go back to the cockpit, and motor very slowly into deeper water until you have more space (I've not found it necessary to reverse).

    You can now drift, whilst cleaning and stowing. Dragging the chain and anchor through the water helps the cleaning, of course.

    In fact, it's sometimes necessary to do this even with a crew. The only difference is that they can be cleaning/ stowing en-route to the clear space.

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