Deploying Two Anchors


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Bill Balme
Bill Balme
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Forgive the inexperience, but to date in my short sailing career, I 've never set two anchors at once. I 've been fortunate that I have not needed to - but recently heard of an approach that seems considerably easier than any other two anchor deployment methods that I have previously heard of...

1. Deploy main anchor and set.
2. Motor ahead of the first anchor and deploy the second anchor and set it.
3. Release tension on the second anchor rode and fall back to lie on the first anchor again. Leave "some" slack in the second anchor rode.

As I understand it, the first anchor holds the boat, but if she should begin to break out, the boat will fall back to lie on the second anchor, with greater scope.
If the second anchor fails, in doing so, there is a good chance that the first anchor would be able to re-set - since it would have ceased dragging while the second anchor took up the load.

Wind change through 90 degrees would tend to convert this anchoring system into a more normal; one to starboard one to port type arrangement I guess - and when it goes through 180 degrees, I imagine the first anchor would be allowed to drag a long way before the second anchor took up the load...

So question to you all - have I got this all wrong? I plan to try it out sometime this season - so maybe you can tell me where I 've got it wrong in advance of making an idiot of myself! Thinking I 'd do it with short scope to try to encourage movement - thoughts?

Bill Balme
s/v Toodle-oo!

Bill Balme
Bill Balme
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Hi Daria,

I did not try the two anchor method last year - actually completely forgot the project... However in re-reading my post, I remain intrigued by the prospect (can 't remember where I read about it). It seems to me to have a great advantage over the tandem anchoring you describe, since you can actively set each anchor on their respective scopes - whereas the tandem approach could leave you with one anchor upside down or at least not set. I think we 'd all agree that when things start dragging is not the time to hope an anchor is going to set...

I take your point regarding possible tangles - but I suppose it 's no worse than people that deploy two anchors at 45 degrees... ?

Hoping to be in your neck of the woods next year - heading to the Azores for a while and then planning to cruise the west coast of Ireland in August/September... (I 'm thinking it 'll likely be wet!)

Cheers!

Bill Balme
s/v Toodle-oo!

dcaukill
dcaukill
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Daria. Four random observations.

1. You say don 't use a plough as your primary because if it slips your secondary will find poor holding. Ploughs for this purpose must include Rocna, Spade etc? What anchor combination do you use?

2. Isn 't the poor holding psoint true whatever type you use? A Danforth as a primary makes much the same mess of the bottom ( unless it pulls out entirely)

3. Whenever I have set a Bahamanian Moor, I have ended up with a right tangle. It would be useful to be able to work out how many times one has spun through 360 degrees BEFORE you try to recover it. Any tips?

4. In the rolly anchorage situation, with swell and wind in different directions, I usually prefer to set a bridle to bring the head down into the swell. Attach a warp to the anchor rode, (rolling hitch) and lead it to a stern cleat. It takes a few minutes to set up but it is easier to retrieve than a second anchor. Any thoughts?
dcaukill
dcaukill
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Plough or scoop (or Danforth), whatever you set as your primary, if it is dug in and then drags (as opposed to pulls out) isn 't it going to make much the same mess of the bottom and ruin the holding for the secondary? I can 't imagine that furrow will be any less disturbed by a scoop than a plough so I still don 't see the advantage of deploying in tandem. You are relying on the holding of the primary - once that slips.....

As regards Bahamanian mooring, yes, i am used to putting a weight down to keep clear of the keel - but I have always used a separate rode for each anchor. I imagine it might be hard to recover such a rig on a single rode ..... but frankly no harder than untangling the cat 's cradle that follows a lively night in a narrow anchorage in variable conditions. I will try it.
wmccandless
wmccandless
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Two anchors are a waste of energy and can be a big problem if trying to up anchor in a crowded anchorage in a blow. Take the weight of two anchors and convert to one big anchor and a heavy chain rode. Sleep well at anchor and stop fiddling around. On our Najad 490 we had a 50 kilo bruce and 10 mm chain and never dragged once in 10 years. Cheers
BillonAdvent2
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I totally agree with wmccandless. Combine the weight of the two anchors and use it all the time. It served us well for 10 years. We use a 50kg Bruce on a 36ft boat. Then last summer we were hit with (ofically reported) 60 kts and dragged. 6:1 scope. About a mile later the storm subsided. At first I thought the anchor was hooked into something, but when I got it up it carried a huge ball of bottom. All I had was a 100kg dead weight of anchor and bottom mud. I couldn 't even see the anchor. It took many minutes of poking at it with an oar to break the ball of bottom from the anchor. Instead of digging into the bottom, the anchor "grabbed" a chunk of the bottom and pulled it out.
I still use the big Bruce, but I think a tandem burying anchor would have prevented my dragging. I think I would want the burying anchor the farthest from the boat, with a infinite scope.
Bill Doar
s/v Advent II
sveasygo
sveasygo
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On Easy Go we have set Bahamian Moorings, two chain anchorage moorings, two chain v moorings and my favourite a Moitessier Mooring. The Moitessier mooring is simple to set and retrieve, does not allow the chains to get tangled on each other and has incredible holding power. We have successfully sat out a couple of Cat 1 hurricanes with this mooring. We were once blown ashore after setting a v two chain mooring.

We set the Moitessier mooring by putting down our main bower which is either a Bruce or Fisherman 's Anchor. We set this well giving it the entire scope required for the depth. If we have anchored in less than 25 feet we will then retrieve the chain until we have about 60 feet remaining in the water. We attach a second anchor, out little bruce usally, to 30 feet of chain and attach this chain to the main chain rode with a shackle and swivel. We set this anchor down carefully and again let out all the chain we need for the anchorage we are in. This places the anchors about 30 feet apart. We have only one chain over the bow roller, no tangles and if the wind gets up we can let out more rode and even put a float on the rode to act as a hydraulic damper/snubber. We have swung around on this system without dislodging the anchors and have never had a foul up even in kelp.

We have yet to drag anchor with this method and Easy Go has been known to sit to this anchor system for four months.

To retrieve we bring in the chain until we get to the connection of the two chains then bring in the 30 feet and small bruce, while staying connected to the bottom, put this all away then finish getting our bower up and stowed.
dcaukill
dcaukill
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To be clear, the smaller Bruce is set in line with the main bower?
sveasygo
sveasygo
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I 'm a better sailor than an artist. I hope the sketch I have drawn explains the anchoring method. Unfortunately the image is not loading to this message. If you would like the image email me and I 'll send it along.

Use whatever anchors your comfortable with and are appropriate for the circumstances.

Easy Go has a junk rigged schooner sail plan and tends to wander around quite a bit in strong winds in an anchorage. I have found that the Moistessier set dampens that somewhat. I 'll often put a second small anchor over the bow roller on its own chain to the depth of the water plus another fifteen feet. This drags around the bottom and stops the boat from wandering as much. If the wind shifts it is easy to raise and allow the boat to swing.
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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If send me the diagram by email I will work out how to save it on the Forum.
Simon
Simon@medex.org.uk
GO

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