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Author Topic: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval & Chain Hook Flix  (Read 6411 times)

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Stu Jackson

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Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval & Chain Hook Flix
« on: June 29, 2009, 08:20:54 PM »

I have been working my way back into sailing shape after my January skiing accident.  While I can’t walk without a crutch, yet (!), I can get around quite well on board Aquavite – there are the great hand holds, and there are a lot less stairs than we have at home!!!  Last weekend was my first attempt at a solo cruise that included anchoring.  

We don’t have a windlass.  I anchored in fifteen feet of water at Paradise Cove, where the usual summer winds come up around noon, and always blow offshore.  There were about ten other boats in this open roadstead, with lots of room for everyone.

Normally we pull in the rode and motor up and over the anchor to break it free.  I wanted to try something different.

I had noticed an unusual feature of this anchorage compared to the many others here that we use regularly.  While there is a large shallow shelf of 10 to 20 feet of water out two to three hundred yards from the shore, the shelf ends in an abrupt drop off to 45 to 50 feet.

Very early and before the wind came up, coffee mug in hand, I hauled in our 7:1 scope anchor rode until I could just see the beginning of our 35 feet of chain, giving us a new 2:1 scope.  After a nice breakfast I hung out in the cockpit and sure as clockwork the wind started up, hitting 15 knots in short order, blowing us off the shore.  I started the engine and left it in neutral.  As planned with the deliberately reduced scope we started to drag out towards the deeper water.

Once the depth sounder started reading 40 feet I hobbled up to the bow and pulled the now dangling anchor up cleanly onto the bow roller, secured it, unfurled the jib, stopped the engine, and sailed home.

Knowing the “layout” of the bottom below you can be very helpful.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 08:44:42 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ken Juul

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2009, 09:05:14 AM »

necessity the mother of all inventions :clap

glad to see your getting back out on the water!!
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Ken Heyman

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 06:49:05 PM »

Stu,

 it's always a good feeling when you think something through and it works out exactly as planned.

Well done,

Ken
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Ken Heyman
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Mike and Joanne Stimmler

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2009, 11:19:21 AM »

Stu,
I haven't tried this yet but I was going to use a snatch block on the anchor rode (if it's rope)connected to a halyard to keep the rode off the deck and use the headsail winch as an anchor winch.
What do you think?
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2009, 03:03:23 PM »

Mike, you really don't need a snatch block or a halyard.  See reply #5 here:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,4921.0.html  The bow rollers, even my old toy bow rollers, work fine.

Speaking of bow rollers for the old toy bow thingies, my two old white ones were seriously deteriorated.  Because of so much use, one just broke, so I moved the other one over (we use the port side roller because we put a port side cleat on and use the center cleat to tie the starboard bow line at docks), and have been looking for replacements for awhile.  Considered using the Boats Parts list on the 'site and going through Catalina, when all of a sudden our new dock mate in his 1982 C36 was sporting brand new black rollers!  Source: the obvious, Catalina Direct, $10 apiece.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 03:58:51 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ron Hill

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2009, 03:30:46 PM »

Stu : I've retrieved my anchor a number of times solo.
I have a wire tie at 15'(red), 16'(yellow) of chain and again at 25'(green) of chain.  I pull in the road until I see the 16' foot yellow wire tie and adjust how far above the water it is depending on the depth of the water I anchored in.  Then I place a Cunningham hook into the chain link.  That hook is tied in a loop of Stay Set X that I place over the center bow cleat.  I backup to break the anchor out and when I see numbers on the Knot log gage I stop the boat as the anchor is broken out. 
Then you retrieve the anchor as usual. 
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2009, 03:54:08 PM »

Ron, I use a chain hook in the same way you use your cunningham hook.  My story was a bit of humor as well as a different way to do things because of the unusual bottom conditions at that particular location.  Most of the time we're anchored in a big pool, with similar depths all over. 

With our new Rocna 10 (22#) anchor I cannot, cannot, cannot back up to get it out, even with a shortened scope.  It is absolutely necessary to run over it in forward to break it out.  It will NOT come out of the bottom once it's firmly set using the correct procedures of backing down on it.  Dare I say we just LUV our new anchor!?! :D

I will try your suggestion to shorten scope (we always do so) and then pull back on it next time we're raising anchor, like this coming Sunday night, but our previous attempts at doing so were fruitless.   We'll keep ya'all posted...
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 03:55:26 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Ron Hill

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2009, 04:40:10 PM »

Stu : The only reason that I back up during breakout is to keep the dirty chain/nylon from making marks on the hull. 
If you are over the anchor with no slack in the road, I believe that any anchor will break out - forward or reverse. 
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2009, 02:17:53 PM »

Tried it pulling backwards on Monday morning and it worked.  This was in a "normal" situation where the depth of the water all around us was the same.  The thing that prompted this topic was an unusual case.

However, I did have crew this day, so he was able to yank the last few feet up and had felt it give.  Singlehanding with our Rocna and backing down on it (again, of course, with the chain vertical) I don't know - yet.  We'll keep testing.  Great excuse to use the boat! :D

Thanks for the heads up, Ron.

We did get our new black bow rollers from CD, haven't installed them yet.  $20 +s/h - good deal.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2009, 02:22:25 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Jim Brener

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2009, 04:31:17 PM »

A bit off the subject. I don't have a windless and retrieve the anchor and rode by hand.  So many times I have seen others risk injury by using their arms and back to muscle it up.  What works for me is to squat down like sitting down in a chair, butt back, and knees not forward of your toes, then stand up, using the large muscles of the leg, when almost upright, move hands to a new position, squat down and repeat until the anchor is seated. I always use gloves when deploying the anchor and retrieval.

A fitness instructor or book will give you suggestions on how to strengthen your leg muscles. Don't do this against medical advise.  An added benefit, working the large muscles burns calories.

Back on the subject, I pull the line and chain until I can't, lock the chain around the cleat, motor forward until the boat surges forward, then pull the rest of the way. Now the sticky, thick, Chesapeake mud is another issue.

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Stu Jackson

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2009, 06:02:08 PM »

Good points, Jim.  We leave the anchor locker hatches open and do it all sitting down.  We use the roller furling line to hold up the starboard door and a bungee cord with plastic hooks on the port door attached to the little hook on the pulpit.  Not fun having a door pop down on your foot or leg.

In lieu of tying the chain around the forward cleat, we have a new idea.  The chain sometimes would "lock" on the big cleat.  We bought a chain hook, and had years ago installed a port separate cleat.  With a short line on the hook connected to the port cleat, there's enough room between new cleat and the bow roller to attach the chain hook to the chain.  It's a "poor man's" anchor stopper!
« Last Edit: July 11, 2009, 10:45:53 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Stu Jackson

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2013, 06:31:55 PM »

Like Ron's cunningham hook idea, here is our chain hook:
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 06:45:37 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Stu Jackson

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 06:32:21 PM »

The hose holder is a great place to hang the rode.  Thanks to our PO.  Before the chain comes in, I coil all the rode and hang it on the holder.  Very convenient.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 08:16:12 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

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Stu Jackson

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2013, 06:33:02 PM »

please ignore the rotten Danforth, I gotta get to this...
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

Mike and Joanne Stimmler

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Re: Singlehanded Anchor Retrieval & Chain Hook Flix
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2013, 12:10:24 PM »

Another note here.
If you're ever in need of a chain hook and don't have one handy, a rolling hitch will work on either chain or the rode. A handy knot to learn and use.

Mike
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