No idea how to anchor

geem

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It's that time of year. Lots of boats visiting the Caribbeam and loads of charterers.
A 50 Beneteau First came in to the anchorage. All very smart with stainless steel chain and a crappy Delta anchor. So far they are on their 6th attempt to anchor. My wife went over to speak to them to see if they needed any help. She explained that it's seagrass here and you may need to put more chain out. They totally blanked her. As if she didn't exist. Now just lifted the anchor again trying a different spot. It's not the anchoring spot, it's there raving inability to anchor. All the gear, no idea. These are Brits. Used to the UK. No idea how to anchor here. Now up to 8 attempts as I write this. Make that 9 and they still haven't got enough chain out.
What we know about Delta anchors, here. In grass, drop 5 times the depth. Don't power the chain out if you have an option to free drop. Don't let the boat go backwards if you have to power the chain out. If you go back too fast, the Delta anchor grabs a load of grass and fouls itself. We are up to 10 times and still counting!
 

westernman

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I remember a while back in a bay with very good sandy holding with about 12m depth, a boat arrived and tried to drop their CQR anchor while motoring backwards at 5knots or may be even more!

They tried 4 times before giving up and leaving.

I have a CQR and it always holds first time in that particular bay. Of course a CQR will never dig if you are moving. It likes to nibble a little bit at a time and takes time. Tom Cunliffe described his anchoring technique as to let it lie on the bottom while you take a cup of tea before making any attempt to dig it in.
 

wvansl

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Just out of curiosity, when you say:
Don't power the chain out if you have the option to free drop. Don't let the boat go backward if you have to power the chain out.
What do you mean exactly?

I have a delta anchor and I always try to do the following:
  1. Boat in neutral
  2. Drop anchor so it hits the bottom
  3. Put the boat in first click reverse (slowest possible) while keeping to drop anchor
  4. Keep going reverse till a good scope
  5. If the boat holds (still in first click reverse), boat in neutral and put the anchor snubber to the front cleats
  6. Then to test the anchor (and set a bit more): run towards 2500rpm and make sure you don't drag.

Is there some improvement to be made to my method?
 

geem

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Just out of curiosity, when you say:

What do you mean exactly?

I have a delta anchor and I always try to do the following:
  1. Boat in neutral
  2. Drop anchor so it hits the bottom
  3. Put the boat in first click reverse (slowest possible) while keeping to drop anchor
  4. Keep going reverse till a good scope
  5. If the boat holds (still in first click reverse), boat in neutral and put the anchor snubber to the front cleats
  6. Then to test the anchor (and set a bit more): run towards 2500rpm and make sure you don't drag.

Is there some improvement to be made to my method?
That might work fine in the UK with a nice sandy bottom. Not here. The bottom here is seagrass. Unless you can free drop, you simply drag the anchor along the bottom as you cannot get the chain out as fast as you are going backwards. The anchor clogs with grass such that it won't set. The Brits finally got their anchor to hold but it took 17 attempts! That must be a world record of incompetence. They never changed the plan. They did the same thing every time.
You never need to reverse here. The wind blows the boat backwards. Unless it is a dead calm why do you need the engine? Let the wind do the work.it works so much better when you free drop. Just about all the regular cruisers here, who are used to this seabed, free drop their anchor.
 

Sea Change

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Are you still in Antigua?

We don't actually have the option to power down- when I installed the windlass I only had one switch and obviously I used it for the 'up'!. I generally pay it out hand over hand and when I feel it hit the bottom I signal to SWMBO who puts a waypoint in. Makes it much easier to tell if we've dragged, and also helps when recovering, as you can motor up to the exact spot.
 

johnalison

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The action of wind or tide means that when anchoring my boat is always inclined to move while dropping. Also, we seldom anchor in more than 5-7m, so control is relatively easy. I invariably ensure that there is some motion since my anchor is likely to sulk if I drop a large heap of chain on top of it while it is thinking about having a bite.
 

Sandy

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It's that time of year. Lots of boats visiting the Caribbeam and loads of charterers.
A 50 Beneteau First came in to the anchorage. All very smart with stainless steel chain and a crappy Delta anchor. So far they are on their 6th attempt to anchor. My wife went over to speak to them to see if they needed any help. She explained that it's seagrass here and you may need to put more chain out. They totally blanked her. As if she didn't exist. Now just lifted the anchor again trying a different spot. It's not the anchoring spot, it's there raving inability to anchor. All the gear, no idea. These are Brits. Used to the UK. No idea how to anchor here. Now up to 8 attempts as I write this. Make that 9 and they still haven't got enough chain out.
What we know about Delta anchors, here. In grass, drop 5 times the depth. Don't power the chain out if you have an option to free drop. Don't let the boat go backwards if you have to power the chain out. If you go back too fast, the Delta anchor grabs a load of grass and fouls itself. We are up to 10 times and still counting!
Give the Seahorse Trust a ring, they will sort them out.
 

doug748

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"They totally blanked her. As if she didn't exist."

I've had the same treatment, offering to assist someone getting angrier and angrier trying to pick up a mooring. I guess all you can do is watch your topsides and let them get on with it.

.
 

Neeves

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That might work fine in the UK with a nice sandy bottom. Not here. The bottom here is seagrass. Unless you can free drop, you simply drag the anchor along the bottom as you cannot get the chain out as fast as you are going backwards. The anchor clogs with grass such that it won't set.

I think you mean like thisIMG_7557.jpeg

and this

IMG_7571.jpeg

and if you are lucky and it does set, it will not set deeply enough - and you will not power set, so have no idea.

J
 

john_morris_uk

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It’s nothing to do with whether you free drop or not. (I know Geem is addicted to ‘free dropping’ his anchor). It’s simply a matter of not allowing the boat to plough the anchor backwards and snag loads of weed before it’s had a chance to dig in. How you pay the chain out is irrelevant.
 
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