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Author Topic: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?  (Read 3417 times)

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Noah

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Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« on: August 06, 2021, 11:33:23 AM »

Looking for advice: technique/procedures and tips and tricks for solo / single-handed anchoring. What’s your method? Do you drop stopped or in reverse? Drop quick or slowly pay out? How do you keep boat straight when backing? Are you at the bow most of the time??? Running back and forth??? Difference in dropping and retrieval with windlass vs no windlass?  Folks sharing stories/methods on this topic would certainly be helpful (for me anyway). 8)
« Last Edit: August 06, 2021, 11:56:47 AM by Noah »
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Jim Hardesty

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2021, 03:20:18 PM »

I single hand and anchor most of the time.  Here's what I do.  With the anchor ready to drop. Pick where to drop the anchor.  If possible motor slowly around about at the max of the boat swing, watching the depth sounder.  Point into the wind.  Leave the boat running in neutral.  Try to drift to a stop where I want to drop the anchor.  Drop the anchor.  It's on windless with gypsy  so don't have a choice with speed.  Hopefully the boat is drifting back by then.  Run out to wanted scope and cleat the rode before the windless. Go back to the helm and back down on the anchor.  That  works for me most of the time.  I should say have a claw anchor, 60 feet of chain then 3 strand nylon rode.  Rarely anchor in more than 20 feet.
For retrieving take in a few feet at a time, the boat will get going too fast for me if retrieved too quickly.
Pretty basic.  Hope someone replies with some better techniques.
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
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KWKloeber

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2021, 05:02:04 PM »

Noah

Given caveats:
1. Every situation has its own challenges;
2. I don't have a windlass :cry4` ;
3. I have 4 fewer feet to trot. :cry4` :cry4`:cry4` :cry4`
4. I have a lighter anchor
5. All the usual precautions apply before below:

I *always* want to be at a dead stop, but (see #1) wind and current and timing are what they are.

It's great if things are so that I can drop from the bow (see #1) but...
When due to conditions (see #1) I can't come to a dead stop and drop anchor at the bow, I'll prepare by bringing it aft to drop anchor from the cockpit, let her backwind while walking forward (or hurrying, see #1) to secure the rode when I've paid out my predetermined length (per the scope.)  Then, back down to (I hope, see #1) set the anchor.  Then go
fwd for final adjustments.

If I had to (see #1,) I could run the rode (150') to the cockpit and back to the bow, hang the anchor from the roller, and while slowly backing down pay out my predetermined length.  Then cleat it off to set the anchor. 
Then go fwd, recleat at the bow and make final adjustments (then go back, uncleat the rode, go fwd to store the 60 foot excess.)  It can be a crazy back and forth dance.  How are you at ballet w/ the knees?
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WTunnessen

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2021, 10:52:00 PM »

Setting the anchor is generally easy:  bring the bow into wind,  stop or even drifting backwards at the point where you want anchor, go forward and drop the hook. Let ome scope out, tie it off, then go back to helm and back the boat down to set the anchor.  Then let out more scope.

Bringing the anchor up can be more challenging depending on the conditions. I don’t have a windlass but only use 20 ft of chain tied to a nylon rode and a Mason 35. I’m also on Chesapeake and anchor in shallow water and mud bottoms. Never dragged yet.

If there is no or light wind, I can usually get the boat moving forward just by pulling up the rode which can be enough momentum to free the anchor. 

If there is wind, I put the boat in forward in low rpm with autopilot and then pull up the rode  quickly. Sometimes if the anchor is stubborn, I tie off the line or chain and up the rpms to free the anchor. Then go into neutral or lower the rpms with autopilot (depending on what’s in front of me) to finish bring up the hook.

When I singlehand, I try to anchor in places where I will have clearance in front of me in case I have motor to free the anchor.  I have not had any difficulties anchoring solo
but the Chesapeake is easy anchoring.
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Jim Hardesty

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2021, 06:57:50 AM »

Quote
Every situation has its own challenges;

I agree.  Often the challenge is anchoring in a crowded anchorage.  When I pick a place in that situation, look for some one who is at anchor and looks like they did it right.  If there's a breeze anchor a couple of boat lengths down wind of them.  If possible ask them how much rode they have out and match that.  I've never had a problem with that.  I don't use an anchor bouy, tried a couple of times and was not comfortable retrieving. 
Did I say how much I like my windless.   :D
Jim
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Jim Hardesty
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2021, 02:30:46 PM »

Good advice.

I have no windlass.  Actually, "standard" techniques that have been developed are quite good, and most any reputable anchoring resource, i.e., books, online resources, will give you the basics, which I'm sure you know and/or can find.

In my 24 years of owning Aquavite, I have anchored often, almost always singlehanding.  We did so, too, with our earlier boats, a C22 and a C25, since 1983.

My "unpublished" tips:

1.  Never be hesitant about pulling the anchor off the seabed and letting it hang without catting it.  Of course, you have to know the bottom around you.  I once did this deliberately and included it in the 101 Topics.  Use this to move or to clear other boats around you.

2.  Even without a windlass, I know you MUST get a chain stopper or a way to get the chain off your windlass to avoid loading the windlass.  I just had a chat day before yesterday with my friend, Len, who has a beautiful Hunter e33, a boat much like ours.  He travels extensively here and anchors often.  He hasn't solved this yet and knows he should.  A ss stopper, or even a line to a cleat with a chain hook will work. 

3.  Work out a useful bridle arrangement.  Len bought the first generation of the Mantus chain hook, but found the plastic cam to be difficult, if not impossible, to use in reality, too stiff.  We discussed a new piece of gear discussed just last week on sbo that makes a lot of sense (Dave Lochner starting at post #30 with pictures and discussion in following posts):  https://forums.sailboatowners.com/threads/chain-snubbers.1249930582/  This sbo thread also includes my reference to Steve Dolling's bridle technique also included in the 101 Topics.

4.  Don't bother with your autopilot either coming in or weighing anchor.  They don't work for that use.  At all.

5.  Learn to move up on your rode, if necessary, with your engine slowly ticking over, in&out of gear, a little at a time, to get all load off.  In your case with a windlass, in mine, my back!  :D

6.  Another item you might want to consider, if you're not already alone:  pretend that you are.   I've found that ,singlehanding, I've learned a great deal by avoiding unnecessary extra steps and back-and-forths that way.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2021, 08:35:20 PM by Stu Jackson »
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Jim Hardesty

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2021, 06:17:09 AM »

Does anyone single-hand anchor and tie stern to shore, like often done in the North Channel.  I would like to add that to my anchoring options.
Jim
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2021, 09:17:30 AM »

Jim, it often is a technique used here in the Canadian Gulf Islands.  Rather than an anchoring technique, I have always thought of it as anchoring normally first and then getting in your dinghy to tie a separate stern line ashore.  Two separate activities.  From all accounts I've read, and from what I've seen, a ready dinghy with floating line just grabs and goes when the bower is set.  There have been many accounts of preferred methods of tying the line ashore, usually with the proviso of returning the line to the boat for a quick release without using the dinghy.  Many anchorages here in the Gulf Islands have rings embedded in rocks ashore for just this use.  Others run their lines around trees or large rocks.
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waughoo

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2021, 09:40:27 AM »

Stern tie anchoring is one of my favorites Stu.  The last time I did it was on Wallace Island: great spot.
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Stu Jackson

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2021, 09:59:04 AM »


The last time I did it was on Wallace Island: great spot.

Princess Cove or Conover Cove?
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KWKloeber

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2021, 10:26:51 AM »

i.e., a “Mediterranean anchoring”
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Ron Hill

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2021, 12:43:48 PM »

Noah : Guess that I do it a bit differently than others.  I do it in 2 steps - 1st get the anchor to HOOK and then once hooked, SET the anchor.

I come in to the anchorage and decide which is the dominate factor wind or tide(current). 
I point the boat into the dominate factor, stop the boat, hustle to the bow and drop the anchor so it sits on the bottom with about a extra 5' of rode.  I let the wind or tide move the boat aft until the anchor sets and the boat stops. (if necessary I move the boat aft with low rpm)
Then I let out the appropriate amount of rode for the depth and go back to the wheel while the boat drifts aft. Then I engage the engine (low RPM) in reverse and start to set the anchor.
When I see that the anchor is set - I rev the engine to make sure the anchor is well set.
Then I go forward and install the snubber on the chain or let out another 5' - 10' (or appropriate length) of nylon.  (usually anchor in 15 ft of water)

I have a 35 Bruce, 50' of chain and 200' of braid on braid nylon.

A few thoughts

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waughoo

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2021, 09:57:27 PM »

Princess Cove or Conover Cove?

Princess... my preferred spot after walking the island and viewing the options.  It was pretty magical.
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captran

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Re: Single-handed Anchoring? How do YOU do it?
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2021, 11:16:40 AM »

In the Bahamas when single handing I used the "running Bahamian Moor".   Kept one anchor at the stern cleated off to a little more than double my expected rode.  when I got close to it being tight, which would dig in the stern anchor I just dropped, I would go forward after putting the motor in neutral and drop the main bow anchor and drift backward, with the bow already cleated off to the intended rode length, then go back and and bring the stern line up to the bow. After settled between the two anchors I'd back down pulling on both to set, unless it was in a current situation, with one anchor up current and one down current like at Double Breasted or at West End.   Worked like a charm.  Although later I noticed less people were putting out a second anchor unless in a current situation or as some harbors got more crowded with mooring buoys.
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