Anchoring? Do we actually do it?

asteven221

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Just read a long thread over on the other side about anchors. Having been a raggie myself and having spent a lot of time over there, I have read numerous long threads on the subject over the years. Being a mobo man now (again) I can't seem to recall much debate on the subject here.Apologies if there has and I have missed it.

Or do we just use marinas?

Err, admission time - we do, but I have promised myself that we are going to start anchoring this year, even although anchoring makes me uneasy. I have of course taken precautions. No not new anchoring gear - just an excellent insurance policy which values the boat at double it's worth. Only kidding.

At the risk of digressing slightly, I have noticed something about anchoring my flybridge mobo that I have never seen mentioned in any books. Maybe it's not an issue for anybody else and perhaps I shouldn't be mentioning this for fear of being labelled a bit of an idiot. Anyway here goes. It's to do with getting the hook back on board which seems to me a lot more awkward than on a yacht.

Here's my observations:-

(BTW this has got nothing to do with my unease at anchor mentioned above. That's more to do with ending up eating rocks and seaweed for breakfast.)

I go to the bow and SWMBO is at the helm. She sticks the boat in gear and in seconds we are doing 3 or 4 knots on tickover and the windlass can't keep up. Much shouting then takes place to go into neutral. It's quite hard/impossible to get my observations on what's happening with the chain / windlass, "transmitted" in synch to SWMBO so she can try and keep boat speed to a minimum, using in-gear/out-gear actions. Half the time she can't hear me and I can't hear her due to wind , engine and general background noise. Lot's confusion, which is therefore great fun for onlookers!So.....

Next option is to consider using one engine. Nope, no good either. The boat turns to port/starboard thus making the chain / boat relationship out by about 30 degrees, which is far from ideal! So...

Next option is... I take the helm on the FB and control the windlass and throttle from up there all by myself. Nope, no good either. Although I can now see the windless spinning and can control the boat speed, I have not got a clue what's happening with the chain beyond the bow roller. In fact I only know the anchor is definitely free when I see it going into battle with the bow roller trying to climb aboard. So that's not ideal either. SWMBO could of course do the observations at the bow, but we have already established that we can't hear each other. So.....

Next option - stick to marinas!

It seems strange that nobody has mentioned this before AFAIK. C'mon what the secret? An anchor observation camera on the bow? Hmmm now that's an idea...........hey I thought of it first!!!!!!
 

benjenbav

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How about trying this:

You at helm. She at bow. You operate engines + windlass from f/b as you see fit until she can see the anchor is approaching the surface. At which point she signals (Play nicely now, more than just the one finger :D) and you know you're down to the last few meters which she can winch in slowly whilst you let the boat drift/hold position.

Btw, insuring something for double its value isn't likely to do anything more than make your insurer richer. They'll only pay what the claim is worth.
 

[2068]

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If single handed, I lean over the windscreen to click it in then out of gear just to get the boat moving a bit. Then, I move to the front, and try and use the windlass to keep the momentum going, but no more. So if it starts to strain and the chain goes taut, give it a couple of secs for the boat to catch up. Go back and give it another click of throttle again if needed.

Trying to coordinate above with two people is the same sort of thing.
I just give a small wave forwards to SWMBO if I want a bit of throttle. Open palm means neutral. Arm pointing to Port or Starboard indicates the optimistic desire to set the course in that direction, but rarely makes any difference: you're going to follow the path of the chain, forwards or sideways.

Keep things simple!
 

Ripster

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How about trying this:

You at helm. She at bow. You operate engines + windlass from f/b as you see fit until she can see the anchor is approaching the surface. At which point she signals (Play nicely now, more than just the one finger :D) and you know you're down to the last few meters which she can winch in slowly whilst you let the boat drift/hold position..


This is what we do on our FB.....it works a treat. Tried other methods, but those always end up with swearing and shouting! Only real issue we had at first (during training!) was the anchor hitting the bow roller at full speed. But this was solved by steady coaching oh and some outbursts of shouting when it nearly happened again!
 

adrianb

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Thought about PMR's with headsets?
No shouting, and no-one else can hear !:D

or

SWMBO pointing with arm outstretched where the anchor chain is?

Either option always worked for me.
 

Searush

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I guess you have a really BIG boat then with horrendous windage?

For my puny 31'r I can pull in the anchor chain by hand mostly. I start the engine (or raise the sails) but leave them "out of gear" & start pulling the chain up, slowly. The boat slowly move towards the anchor & I keep pace, snubbing when up & down so momentum carries me over the anchor & breaks it out. I then rapidly pull up what I can & snub again (even if anchor still not home, walk to helm & sail/motor into open water where I can heave to or go into neutral to sort out the fore deck.
 

MarieK

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Use some anchor chain markers to indicate when the anchor is close to coming aboard.

8007_Kettenmarkierung.jpg
 

MapisM

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You at helm. She at bow.
Personal preference of course, and it might also depend on the specific ground tackle to some extent, but personally I go for the other way round.
Provided that you can operate the windlass also from the bow (as is normally the case), I think that the helmsman job is the easiest one in this case, and also swmbo agrees.
Agreeing on a few visual signs is necessary, though (fwd/rear/neutral for port/stbd/both engines is enough, easier done than explained. The wheel is useless anyway).

PS: we swap positions when dropping the hook, though. Placing the boat precisely where you want/need before releasing the chain brake can be tricky, particularly in crowded bays. And releasing the chain is a no brainer, otoh - hence suitable for swmbo.
PPS: Don't worry honey if you read this, you know I'm joking...! :eek:
 
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MapisM

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Use some anchor chain markers to indicate when the anchor is close to coming aboard.

8007_Kettenmarkierung.jpg
Blimey, do you sponsor the producer of those thingies?
I also use them, but 8 or 10 of them are more than enough for each mark!
Besides, isn't a combination of 5 colours and 50 of them for just one mark confusing?
 

jfm

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We dont debate anchors here much because we carry big ones and have no problems!

For handling the anchor, as others have said there are many solutions. Painting the last but one metre of chain a colour will tell you when the anchor is about to hit the roller, but there are 100 other ways to skin this cat.

You didn't think of the camera first. Hurricane made a post about it on the Sq78 in build thread :)
 

jfm

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Blimey, do you sponsor the producer of those thingies?
I also use them, but 8 or 10 of them are more than enough for each mark!
Besides, isn't a combination of 5 colours and 50 of them for just one mark confusing?

Um, MapisM, that's not his anchor. It's a brochure shot by the manufacturer of the coloured things. Pour yourself another glass of Barolo mate :)
 

MapisM

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Ops, I should have though that not even Match could have such a spotless chain and anchor...! :D
 

PaulGooch

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I go to the bow, where i have a remote for the windlass. i wind in some slack rode and as it all starts to strain, i signal SWMBO to engage forward gear (making a beckoning motion). When the boat starts to overtake the windlass, i signal her again, with a kind of waving gesture and she knocks it out of gear. Repeat process until anchor is onboard, then point in the direction i'd like her to motor at tickover, so the boat is at it most stable while i walk around the side deck.

You just need to agree a signal for engaging gear and one for disengaging and make sure she just sits and watches you.

I also have some of those coloured chain markers. 3 yellow markers at 3m, 2 at 2m and 1 at 1m, just so i can tell when the anchor is getting close.
 

Bajansailor

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Shouting at and trying to hear each other only creates stress and disharmony........ have you ever watched crane operators at work? They can do very complex things, often 'blind' (eg picking up cargo in a ship's hold) just going on the hand signals given by their mates.
And the sign language used seems to be fairly universal, regardless of what country you are in or from - this observation is based mainly on seeing crews (of all nationalities) of ships here working their cranes, capstans and windlasses.
For instance, 'go ahead' or 'take it away' would be where you stick your arm up vertically and twirl it around; 'stop' would be a clenched fist held vertically.
VERY slow motion could be indicated by tapping index finger against thumb, followed by the clenched fist for when you want to stop.
 

oceanfroggie

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We anchor overnight significantly more than we use noisy caravan park marinas. In fact last season we only moored in three nights, every other night was swinging on the hook. Even after dinner ashore, we'd often slip the lines and motor to nearest anchorage for a tranquil night somewhere secluded with the prospect of a senic sunrise next morning.

Method 1
I use two slightly different techniques, one for slack wind and current can be done single handed from bow, or helm with windlass remote and colour marked chain sections, the other method from the bow giving simple arm signals to crew handling the throttles (ie from neutral to tick over, etc). The former technique with no wind or current involves just the windlass, taking up the slack then allowing chain weight to pull boat forward, then winding in the chain in steps. I like this as I can stop when the anchor is 2 ft under and give it a manual fast tug up and down to wash mud off or release any weed before taking it home into the roller. I can also do this from helm seeing my yellow 2m markers on chain, but have to then walk forward to clean anchor.

Method 2
The latter is used when too much wind or current would strain the windlass, so boat nudged forward with clicks of tickover throttle in steps with windlass taking up the slack. This requires crew at helm and me at bow using both arms for simple signals, one arm for each throttle lever, use foot switch to take chain slack as it becomes vertically available, and asymmetric throttle signals to keep her straight. Verbal commands are not used, nor hand gestures, just simple arm movements which are clear and simple.

Cleaning
I never use the windlass to pull boat against wind or current. I use a small bucket on a line to throw water over roller and fore deck in case any dirt from chain gets on the deck.

Anchor alarm
Overnight we set an anchor alarm in our cabin for added peace of mind. It's no use setting one at the helm as it would never wake us. In all the years we've slept swinging on the hook we have never dragged. The key is setting the anchor properly by really digging it in and having plenty of scope (5-7x).

Overnight anchoring in the right conditions is one of the highlights of cruising for us.
 

mjf

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As others say this is straightforward.

No need to speak even.


SWMBO goes forward indicates to helm direction of cable - I put engines in/out of gear as appopiate.

Once cable up and down with little or no weight commence heaving up - SWMBO indicates if cable takes wt by indicating direction of cable still deployed. I can hear the windlass too if there is wt on the cable.

SWMBO points to cable ties as they pass the windlass to ensure I have spotted same - I know how much still remains so know roughly when the anchors aweigh. Another colour tie shows when the anchors at the water line and if SWMBO keeps it there I know it needs a clean and then move slowly away with the anchor just in the water. Then at appropiate moment anchor brought right home and secured for sea. Hose deployed if needed.

Q.E.D>
 
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Robin

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The Blue Peter Approach..

This comes from an article a few years ago in PBO which we made and works. We bought kids 2-way radio headsets from Argos, about £10 per pair, note these are 2-way unlike PMR or VHF radios. Argos don't sell them any more but they are still around, I last saw them on Lymington market.

The headsets (overhead strap, two earmuffs and a mic boom) are of course sized to suit kids heads and need to be adapted. Only one of the earpieces is active, the other is a dummy. So either cut the plastic strap and insert an extra piece or in our case we disconnected the dummy end and fitted one end of the extension piece in there, overlapping the original (we used a ladies plastic headband from Boots or Superdrug, about£2) and taped to it with self amalgamating tape.

We used ours on a sailboat to enable quiet discussions from bow to helm when looking for visitor berths, especially if arriving at night, but also used it for difficult mooring or anchoring situations like picking up a mooring with strong wind against tide etc.

We are moving next to live aboard a mobo in the USA so kept our sticky back plastic gizmos we made earlier to use again there. If we wanted to go up market however there are ready made adult radio headsets on sale at $299 + tax per pair.

WalkieTalkie.jpg
 
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benjenbav

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I cant think of anything to discuss about anchors.

I dont recall discusions about hand brakes either.

Now you mention it, the first time I test drove a Merc, I couldn't work out how to release the handbrake until the garage bloke showed me the foot pedal. Also, Saabs used to - do they still? - have that weird thing where you couldn't get the key out without the parking brake being on, or was that "park" on an auto box? Finally, I really don't much like these electronic handbrakes that there are now which are either on or off. Just my 2d, you understand. :D:D
 
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