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  1. #21
    srm's Avatar
    srm is offline Registered User
    Location : Orkney (north Scotland)
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    I rarely have the problem of crowded anchorages but would often leave without messing around with the engine so some of the following may help.

    Control the tiller - a simple line and clamp, or trad boat type beam drilled for pegs will help (or tiller pilot but prefered a fixed clamp). Set tiller (or wheel) so that stern will swing when boat drifts astern and point the bows the way you want to go (about 95% reliable provided riding head to wind)

    Haul in and stow chain until anchor chain is up and down.

    When ready and bow is swinging the way you want break anchor out and bring it to stem head as quickly as possible (or in water clear of bow as previously suggested) This way you only have chain equal to depth of water cluttering the deck or a short length to quickly wind up on the windlass.

    Return to cockpit and unroll (or hoist) jib and sail slowly into clear water while stowing anchor etc.

    Round up and set main if required.

    No cameras, remote controls or other things to go wrong. Worked well with 42 ft sloop and 30 kg anchor as well as on 31 ft catamaran and 15 kg anchor.

    You will have to plan ahead and possibly change some of the things on your foredeck. Possibly a hatch to the chain locker so you can dump chain straight in would help.

  2. #22
    Ruffles's Avatar
    Ruffles is offline Registered User
    Location : Boat: Portsmouth, Us: Stewkley
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    My advice is don't hurry. I don't have a windlass at all. I just motor forward, then walk to the bow and take in the slack so that the chain is up and down. Have a rest and look about to see if and where the boat is going. The anchor will be breaking out as the tide takes the boat. If there's a risk of collision pop back and give the engine a burst in the direction of clear water. Now take in as much chain as you can. You can manoever the boat with the anchor in the water - helps wash the mud off anyway.

    I don't find it a big deal. Don't pull the boat up to the anchor - you'll wear yourself out. Get yourself some industrial gloves to keep in the anchor locker. They cost less than two quid.

    PS: It's safest to leave the chain cleated. That way you can if necessary chuck the whole lot back in and you're back to where you started. Otherwise you may be hauling in 30m of chain!

  3. #23
    Refueler's Avatar
    Refueler is offline Registered User
    Location : Far away from hooray henrys
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    2 things come to mind .... a) stop that tiller thrashing away by using a tillerpilot or light lashing, b) stop panic'ing ....

    Basically what you are doing thousands of others have to do. The boat goes nowhere until anchor actually breaks out - so majority of time you're up on the bow - boat is still held. Unless you are in strong tide / current or weather - then TBH - either you stay put or shouldn't be there anyway as a S/hander !

    Unless real bad situation - boat really doesn't drop of that far while you make way back to cockpit to give a bit of engine and steer ... I anchor my boat / manoeuvre as a s/hander as swmbo is pure passenger ...

    As to the mess ... and chain ... I always leave till I get tied up next place unless I have sufficient clear water and time to set tillerpilot and then I can set to with bucket, drag anchor in water to clean etc. Feed chain back into locker etc. It's one of life's compromises to have ****ey decks after anchoring !

  4. #24
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    A bit of thread drift maybe:- as mentioned above I am considering fitting a hatch to the chain locker this winter. I was thinking along the lines of one with a coaming raised an inch or two in which a slot could be cut to allow the cable to remain attached to the anchor. Alternatively a flush hatch requiring the anchor to be unshackled from the chain before itcould be shut - the disavantage I see with that is that the hatch couldn't be shut when anchored by that cable.

    Any other sugestions?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by NealB View Post
    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.
    That's fairly close to what I do. I am over 60 & sail a 31' W Pentland solo. I have a manual windlass but seldom use it as it is quite slow.

    To depart under sail, I start the engine (just in case!) put up the Mizzen (& Main if not too windy), get the anchor up & down, feeding the chain down the hawse pipe as I go. Have a good look around & pick my moment to give the anchor a really good haul up to break her free, then leave the anchor dangling over the bow (temporary cleated) while I walk back to the cockpit & sail (or motor) into clear water unfurling the Genoa as I go if needed. Once in clear water, I can heave-to & sort out the chain, stow & lash the anchor ready for sea. Simples.

    When anchoring, I flake the chain out to the correct length before approaching the anchorage. Check the depth on arrival, lower the anchor to the sea bed as she stops & wait for her to make sternway before letting out the correct length of chain & snubbing. Then check she is well bedded in.
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  6. #26
    Lee_Shaw is offline Registered User
    Location : Stoke on Trent
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    I do what Searush does too, but with a sloop so no handy mizzen, but I raise the main, if wind, tide and circumstance allow, putting in any reefs necessary whilst at anchor. It cleans the anchor off a bit too if you motor slowly with it cleated but in the water.

  7. #27
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    Apr 2004
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    Smile Thanks

    Hey thanks guys. This is a boost to my confidence as I see now that I am not alone.

    I will continue as before but I will mark the chain at say 5m intervals so I have a better picture of what remains underwater. I do have an autopilot. I also have a fancy stainless steel tiller rod that uses the autopilots fittings, so I will use this (should have thought of that before) to hold tiller in place. I will put some industrial gloves on board. When conditions feel right I will try sailing off and then heaving to, that sounds neat to me.
    And I will not panic as seems boat will generally remain attached to bottom or more or less so until anchor is actually off the bottom. (actually never did quite panic)

    I can trip over my own shadow so will not be rigging any more string for remote control.!

    Unlikely to attempt to sail the anchor out in the traditional way but may have a go as practice in case of loss of engine.

    I have an Autoprop which at idling (700 rpm) drives boat at up to 3.5 knots in calm water although acceleration is sluggish so unlikely to leave engine in gear, but will give a nudge before I start hauling in chain.

    Thanks again.

    Hey it should be a fantastic weekend in the Solent.
    Tim

  8. #28
    srm's Avatar
    srm is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by TamarMike View Post
    A bit of thread drift maybe:- as mentioned above I am considering fitting a hatch to the chain locker this winter. I was thinking along the lines of one with a coaming raised an inch or two in which a slot could be cut to allow the cable to remain attached to the anchor. Alternatively a flush hatch requiring the anchor to be unshackled from the chain before itcould be shut - the disavantage I see with that is that the hatch couldn't be shut when anchored by that cable.

    Any other sugestions?
    If your chain locker is self draining you may think along the lines of a flush hatch (which gives a better working area) with a cut out opposite the hinge just big enough for the chain to lead through. This way you can open the hatch when anchoring or recovering the chain, but leave it closed with anchor on the roller or on the bottom. It worked well for the second anchor cable on my last boat, which could be the light lunch hook or the seriously heavy storm anchor depending on conditions - both cables lived down there. You will just need a way of securing the cable and opening / closing the hatch. I have made a similar set up for my current boat with removable hinge pins so the hatch (pemanently secured by a webbing tape) can be part lifted and slid off under the main anchor cable when its in use and on the windlass.
    Just a gently warning, if your boat was not designed to have a chain locker hatch cutting the deck will seriously weaken the structure. You do need to think about structural integrity and strongly reinforcing the area.
    Hope this helps.

  9. #29
    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 TamarMike View Post
    A bit of thread drift maybe:- as mentioned above I am considering fitting a hatch to the chain locker this winter. I was thinking along the lines of one with a coaming raised an inch or two in which a slot could be cut to allow the cable to remain attached to the anchor. Alternatively a flush hatch requiring the anchor to be unshackled from the chain before itcould be shut - the disavantage I see with that is that the hatch couldn't be shut when anchored by that cable.

    Any other sugestions?
    My biggest fear would be that you are sacrificing water tight integrity? i.e.
    If in bad seas, would water get in?

    I have recently put in a much larger chainpipe, 50mm, to allow my 8mm chain to enter really easily. This can then be stuffed with a large spongue to keep out the green stuff when at sea and has so far been a good result.
    I can also feed the chain into the pipe as I manually heave it in.
    If feeding your chain is your problem, then I would advise this to be the easiest way to solve it. Also, and with respect, to cut your boat about doing 'amateur' DIY is going to do nothing for the value of your boat if it's any good at all. If the chain jams in its down pipe to the locker, then put a wider pipe in and try and open out the locker a bit if possible. Otherwise crew may have to knock over the stack of chain now and again to help it down the pipe.

    I normally take my time as I tend to put out more than enough chain. Being only 8mm it's not that difficult as long as I have brought the boat up to improve the catenary. This done in easy stages saves the old back and gives me time to admire the totty in the anchorage as someone manually heaving in chain is becoming something of a novelty these days.
    I have a Rocna so it doesn't break out easily. I tend to get to a vertical chain and often I've had to fix the chain down and push over the anchor with the engine to break it out.
    Last edited by Scotty_Tradewind; 10-09-09 at 18:03.
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  10. #30
    Ludd's Avatar
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    Location : Guadiana---again!
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    Talking anchors aweigh

    's easy! use winlass till up and down--then lead tripping line(which of course you rigged and stopped to chain with light cable ties when setting anchor) back to cockpit winch--- winch in which leaves only a loop of chain dangling---get under way and sort out later! Simple really----just like me!

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