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Thread: Anchoring woes

  1. #1
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    Default Anchoring woes

    My new (old) boat, tacks all over the place at anchor. In 10 knots of breeze she swings back and forth a little more than most. In 20 knots of wind she turns broadside to the weather and pushes forward. So much so that I had to up and move during a lull so as not to endanger surrounding boats.

    I rigged a corner of a tarp at the backstay to act as a sail to try to keep her in line and it definitely helped until the wind really kicked up and then became ineffective.

    Ive never experienced this on my or any other boat.

    Why is she doing this and does anyone know how to calm it or stop it?

    28 foot sloop, nothing special, no wierd protuberances, no dodger, no cockpit awning. Wheel is centered and locked.

    Help!

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Throw a drogue, a strong bucket even, over the stern on a line.

    You do not mention tidal currents?
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Have you tried anchoring from the stern? That just might alter the dynamics enough to avoid swinging about like that. Big waves hitting the transom square on may make that not an option.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Upgrade to chain.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Is this a centerboard boat or a tip up rudder jobbie?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Salt Pond Block Island. Tide was not an issue.

    Added another 20 feet of chain, havent tried it yet. Dont have room for an all chain road.

    Fin keel, spade rudder.

    I just dont get why she turns broadside. Makes no sense to me. ...

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    A lot of people use an anchor sail on the backstay.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Try a bridle, belayed to some cleats/ points each side and aft of the stem, with rode bearing on that ahead of the boat.


    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Smallish fin keel boats on rope rodes are always the liveliest in the anchorage. I've learned to anchor far away from them after a bad experience.

    Boat on chain all seem to react together and stay parallel. I don't think its the chain out by the anchor that does it, but the chain between the boat and the bottom. It acts as a damper, preloads the system, and in light winds effectively loweres the scope. When the wind is strong enough the chain is bar tight, the performance will be about the same as the rope rode.

    A riding sail might be your best bet. This is another reason I'm thankful for my long heavy keel.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post
    Salt Pond Block Island. Tide was not an issue.

    Added another 20 feet of chain, havent tried it yet. Dont have room for an all chain road.

    Fin keel, spade rudder.

    I just dont get why she turns broadside. Makes no sense to me. ...
    Try hanging a weight halfway down the rope rode. Slide it down suspended from a big shackle on a separate line. Google Kellet. It makes the rope behave like chain.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Once I anchored on the side of the river. There was enough current to cause the boat to move forward at anchor and then move back. It not only moved just forward and aft but also side to side, making a rough figure 8. BTW, this was an all chain rode at the time. Since the boat needed to stay pointed parallel to the river bank I used my dinghy to take my second anchor and run it out from the stern a bit, then tightened it up. She stayed put.
    Will

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Try hanging a weight halfway down the rope rode. Slide it down suspended from a big shackle on a separate line. Google Kellet. It makes the rope behave like chain.
    I was thinking the same thing. Heard it called a monitor, not familiar with the term kellet. My understanding is to let it ride just shy of the end of the rope.

    I think an anchor sail is order as well; belts and suspenders...

    Thanks all.
    Jordan

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    While any boat can tack at her mooring or anchor, some make a real sport of it. Granuaile, my LFH Marco Polo 55' LOA by 10" B, tacked with gusto.

    Leading the rode to the end of the bowsprit did a little to reduce the swings.

    Granna had a long boomkin that I could hang a weighted drogue from. That slowed the oscillation but did not reduce the total arc.

    Some boats have hulls that act as a sail and they will sail out to wherever the aerodynamics on the hull are overcome by the anchor rode, which then forces the boat to the other tack.

    Sometimes locking the helm to one side or the other helped. I always lock the helm to one side anyway.

    Anchoring with two anchors spread on a 60 degree or so V will work till the wind shifts.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Heh, glanced in a couple of books I had to hand, one said "Some small boats dance at anchor." and? and that was it, just a fact of the universe stated. Then another "Small boats are often lively on their anchor, performing figure 8 patterns, so..*turns page expectantly* don't anchor in close quarters."
    2019: returning from being sidelined with medical probs, crossing fingers worst is over, still in "armchair enthusiast" mode for time being.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Sailboat riding sails work. An advance on the conventional riding sail is the Delta pattern - a bit like a plough. Best of all is the "FineDelta" riding sail. Google it, my connect is slow right now and I can't get the pic over.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Spent the morning on the google machine. Lots of info on riding sails. Took the one I rigged in that s@%tstorm Tuesday morning and pulled it off center and rigged it to one side. Im on a big ass mooring on Block, so ground tackle is out of the equation. When the riding sail is centered she tacks back and forth like a metronome. When its pulled to one side, say 15 degrees, the dynamic changes. Its pulled over to port right now and the wind has been picking up for the last hour. She tacks off to starboard, takes the slack out of the pennant and slips back , rides to port and hangs theres for a while, nose to the wind. After a bit she tacks to starboard and it all starts over again. The motion is slower and the swing is definitely reduced to port.
    Tomorrow night Ill be at Fishers Island with lots of room, good holding and a predictable 15 knots kicking up at 4pm. Will deploy the anchor with the added 20 feet of chain, rig the riding sail and see what happens
    As Ian points out the delta shaped sail seems to be the ticket. Gonna see how it goes tomorrow and Saturday and make a decision.
    No matter what, Im going to add another 10 feet of heavier chain between the anchor and the existing chain rode. I have to imagine that the riding sail adds windage and pressure on the ground tackle so adding heavier chain can only be a good thing.
    Stay tuned...and thanks again for all the advice.

    Jordan

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    The reason the boat sails at anchor is similar to why it sails in the first place. I've owned one that didnt and then I altered it and it did, and had to use the tricks as above to settle it down. Ie the 'sail plan ' of the boat sails down has too much ce forward relative to clr. Too much windage forward.
    When i added a furler to waione the extra windage of that made her skittish at anchor. I did 2 things. Took the rode right out to the end of the bowsprit. Worked.
    Ran an angel/kellet/anchor buddy.worked.
    Putting a riding sail on literally adds sail area aft, so you see what I mean. A dodger would actually help.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    This is one reason why God created yawls and ketches. Cheers/ JC

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    I've not tried this, but in a small boat, would trimming it bow down by shifting ballast forward keep the bow into the wind?

    Tom
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Quote Originally Posted by willin woodworks View Post
    Spent the morning on the google machine. Lots of info on riding sails. Took the one I rigged in that s@%tstorm Tuesday morning and pulled it off center and rigged it to one side. Im on a big ass mooring on Block, so ground tackle is out of the equation. When the riding sail is centered she tacks back and forth like a metronome. When its pulled to one side, say 15 degrees, the dynamic changes. Its pulled over to port right now and the wind has been picking up for the last hour. She tacks off to starboard, takes the slack out of the pennant and slips back , rides to port and hangs theres for a while, nose to the wind. After a bit she tacks to starboard and it all starts over again. The motion is slower and the swing is definitely reduced to port.
    Tomorrow night Ill be at Fishers Island with lots of room, good holding and a predictable 15 knots kicking up at 4pm. Will deploy the anchor with the added 20 feet of chain, rig the riding sail and see what happens
    As Ian points out the delta shaped sail seems to be the ticket. Gonna see how it goes tomorrow and Saturday and make a decision.
    No matter what, I'm going to add another 10 feet of heavier chain between the anchor and the existing chain rode. I have to imagine that the riding sail adds windage and pressure on the ground tackle so adding heavier chain can only be a good thing.
    Stay tuned...and thanks again for all the advice.

    Jordan
    Go ahead and try anchoring off of the stern, or one of the stern quarters Jordan. I know, nobody does this but in theory at least it should work. It will only take a few minutes to just give it a whirl.

  21. #21
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Go ahead and try anchoring off of the stern, or one of the stern quarters Jordan. I know, nobody does this but in theory at least it should work. It will only take a few minutes to just give it a whirl.


    Due respect, Gib, but anchoring from astern is quite lubberly. More to the point, should it come on blowing, one might regret it.

    Kevin


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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    I know that Kevin, but should it get blowey one can always switch ends, and on some boats it just may work quite well, especially off of the quarter. I'd try it myself but all of my boats are double enders.
    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 07-26-2019 at 02:40 PM.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    If and when all else fails, try setting a second anchor in a V pattern to lock you within the center point of rode convergence. Worth a try.
    Jay

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Multihulls are notorious for not behaving on a mooring. What finally worked for me is a short mooring pendant and a bridle system. as was suggested above you can try a bridle. Light line can be attached with rolling hitches to the far end of your pendant then cleated at the rail a ways back from the bow.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Another vote for the bridle. I always used them on my trimarans and catamaran -- even on a mooring. I also found that it worked well on a little 18' pocket cruiser I had. The farther apart you can get the leads, the better it will work.

    Here's the principle:
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Bypassed Fishers Island and went up the CT River to Hanburg Cove. On a mooring again and rigged the riding sail. Same result. Not much breeze but enough to have most of the boats doing a gentle dance.

    Going to make up a larger riding sail and add ten more feet of chain. Ill scoot over to a local anchorage some afternoon when the predictable 4pm southwestern kicks up and see how she does. Might melt down the old shower pan and cast myself a kellet as well.

    Anchoring from the stern just feels all wrong. If there was some place I could go and try it without being seen I might consider it. Kinda like renting a moped or buying a cowboy hat....

    Thanks again.
    Jordan

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    I've anchored from the stern, works well, but can lead to a bit of slapping on the transom in a choppy anchorage. Also tried anchoring normally followed by attaching a line between the anchor rode and a stern cleat, then ease out a little on the rode and take in a little on the stern line to bring the stern slightly to windward. In this attitude she lies steady. This is a good way to deal with wind and swell coming from different directions.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Try hanging a weight halfway down the rope rode. Slide it down suspended from a big shackle on a separate line. Google Kellet. It makes the rope behave like chain.

    Interesting:

    Sinking a Myth – The Anchor Kellet

    If an anchor does not set well or hold well and tends to drag, some people will advise adding an anchor sentinel, angle, chum, buddy, rider, or kellet. Like many subjects in boating, the benefits of using a kellet are in fact controversial and subject of much debate.
    There are basically three potential uses for a Sentinel or Kellet:

    Use #1 - To improve the angle the anchor addresses the bottom

    The smaller the angle the anchor addresses the bottom the greater its holding power. To improve (reduce) the angle you would position the kellet weighing about 25-50 pounds close to the anchor shank. You thus exert the greatest possible downward force on the end of the shank and make the pull closer to parallel to the bottom.
    However, this effect of this is negated in heavy wind as your rode goes taut. This is a fact irrespective of whether a rope or chain rode is used.
    The best way to improve the angle the anchor addresses the bottom is to increase your scope (more rode). An anchor's holding power increases with increased scope.
    Use #2 - To provide additional dampening (shock absorption)

    One of the primary reasons an anchor may not hold is that it is literally jerked out of the bottom. To reduce the shock loads that cause this one needs to add dampening. On the one hand this may be elasticity of the rode. A nylon rode is good here, and for an all chain rode one would add a nylon snubber.
    The catenary effect can also provide better dampening. This is well illustrated with an all chain rode, which sags in the middle. It requires energy to straighten the chain and this reduced the shock loads to the anchor.

    A 25-50 pound kellet as close to mid way down your rode (chain or rope) will thus also provide improved dampening and improved shock absorption.

    However, this only works in light wind, where it is least needed. The benefit of any catenary is negated in heavy wind as your rode goes taut. As before, this is a fact whether you have a rope or chain rode.The best way to improve the dampening of your rode is to increase your scope (more rode) – assuming, of course that you are using a Nylon or polyester rope for your rode. Doubling the length of your rode will double the amount it will stretch and thus double the dampening. Likewise you would double the length of your snubber to double its dampening with an all chain rode - having already lengthened the chain to improve the angle.
    The truth about Kellets

    In either of these scenarios (1 or 2) you would be better advised to deploy a larger, preferably a better designed, anchor than to add 25-50 odd pounds of lead to your tackle.
    Yes, it is usually advisable to add a length of chain to your rode, as this will help prevent chafe on the bottom, and will provide an initial improvement to the angle the rode addresses the bottom while setting.
    Use #3 - To keep the rode from wrapping your keel in light winds or shifting currents

    If you are in a situation where there may be shifting light winds or changing currents, then it is indeed advisable to deploy a small 1-2 pound kellet. You would position this just shy of the depth of the water from your bow, so that it will drop the rode to the bottom as your boat swings over it.


    My immediate reaction on hearing about an anchor that will not set would be asking if the person is using a Danforth copy or a CQR; neither of which hold well. If this is the case, one should first and formost consider purchasing a good modern anchor. Any one of the modern scoop type anchors (Rocna, Manson Supreme, Spade, Ultra, etc) sized correctly for a vessel will hold well in most any type of bottom.
    If you have another type of anchor and it is not holding then my suggestion stays the same. If an anchor is older and in any way damaged, bent or worn, or is a knockoff and poorly engineered, it simply will not hold properly irrespective of what you attach to it or to your rode and is thus to be considered unsafe.
    Remember also, that a larger anchor of the same type will hold better – bigger is definitely better.
    http://cruising.coastalboating.net/S...g/Kellets.html
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Missing from the above analysis is the advantage of a kellet to stop the boat swinging around so much in light winds. It will help with that. Not 1-2 lbs as described above, more like 20-40 lbs.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    Or a bridle that weighs maybe a pound. I don't see how a kellet can be totally effective. My boats would even swing left and right on a mooring. The kellet may hold station, but that won't stop the boat from yawing this way and that, although granted, the boat might not make those big swings that risk contact with a neighbor. The bridle is easy to rig and keeps the boat head to wind, which also prevents it from making those wide arcs.
    -Dave

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    Or a bridle that weighs maybe a pound. I don't see how a kellet can be totally effective. My boats would even swing left and right on a mooring. The kellet may hold station, but that won't stop the boat from yawing this way and that, although granted, the boat might not make those big swings that risk contact with a neighbor. The bridle is easy to rig and keeps the boat head to wind, which also prevents it from making those wide arcs.


    +1

    Kevin


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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Anchoring woes

    A 15lb cannonball set about halfway down my rode will have noticeable effect in the 15-25 kt fluky winds we might experience here at anchor. I anchor by the stern regularly if that is where the view, or the breeze is, from the cockpit. I also set two anchors when expecting a blow; Accolade will handle major swell with little motion or stress when bow on. They all work some. / Jim

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