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Old 04 February 2003, 15:38   #31
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Right folks, time for a really stupid question that has just occured to me.

Errrrrrrr...just how do you use an anchor? More specifically, how should I use the folding grapnell anchor in my little sib? Do you just tie it to the boat and bung it overboard, or is there more to it than that?

I told you it was a stupid question.

Keith (doh) Hart
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Old 04 February 2003, 19:17   #32
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Nope, it's not stupid

Anchoring reliably is not easy. You need to know what the bottom type is underneath you. A grapnel is not a wonderful anchor but, for a sib, it'll be fine. However, it can easily get into crevises and you'll not be able to recover it. A small sib may not have the power to release it from certain types of material. On the other hand, in gravel it may hardly hold at all. If you can, attach a tripping line and it may help if you can pull it in reverse to loosen it if it becomes lodged. It the summer months, I'm normally anchored in the Outer Hebrides for 4-6 weeks. Believe me, you have to do it properly if you are to have confidence in it. A flattish anchor which will bury itself in sand is wonderful.
As an extra to this, but not really for a sib, I've settled on chain only, for various reasons.
A thought has just occurred of a mistake I once made. When the anchor hits bottom, stop paying out the warp/chain until you feel the boat falling back a touch. This will prevent you dropping the warp/chain onto the anchor. If the anchor is fouled by the warp or chain it will NOT dig in. As they say, trust me on this. As always, there are other mishaps that may befall you. But, if you know too much, it might spoil your fun. Take care.
JW.
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Old 04 February 2003, 19:47   #33
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The hard thing to do with grapnels is throw it out so you can kedge yourself across a channel or fix position. It has a habit of closing as the collar spins around.

As with all anchoring you need the right anchor for the bottom conditions, but a compromise is often made. A grapnel should work in rocks and sand / gravel, but not very well in each. Thats why I would call it a secondary.

My primary would be a bruce as no moving parts and very strong hold in sand / mud / gravel, but not so great in rocks.

Tripping lines work well if they are well set up. On the other hand it can be another piece of string in the way. I would not bother with a small grapnel. If it jams try dropping it, there are many ways to play around getting the anchor back, most are recovered by chance rather than judgement.

Lastly you need to consider what weather you will be in, you will need more line if it gets rough. If i had the room I would have 200m of line on any boat, this allows you to get ashore and reanchor the boat in the bay, but that would sink a 3m SIB. The small SIBs I work with are never out alone so they do go out in F5 wind but they have at least one 5m within 1mile of them and they have the same level of safety kit.

Tiger
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Old 08 February 2003, 02:59   #34
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Hmmmm....just as I thought it's a bit more complicated than just throwing the anchor over the side.

I don't envisage me actually anchoring the boat up though. I plan to keep it onboard as an emergency item. For example in the event of loss of engine power it would prevent me drifting into danger or keep the boat in one place whilst awaiting rescue/help.

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Old 08 February 2003, 03:27   #35
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Keith

considering the areas that you explore, you may never reach the bottom with an anchor !

Assuming your engine cut out for any reason then I would have thought your first course of action in your size boat is to reach for the paddles

Assuming you have someone else on board, you or they can try and restart engine whilst paddling !

Catch 22 about anchors I find is that I use them most near a beach to stop boat being bashed to bits in the surf, you then swim / wade in to the beach. The larger wave movement near the beach constantly pitching a boat can easily drag your anchor, you quickly find boat soon ends up dragging into the beach
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Old 08 February 2003, 04:36   #36
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Quote:
considering the areas that you explore, you may never reach the bottom with an anchor
How true. The lochs at Kylesku are up to 111m deep!

However in the Moray Firth alongside Hilton of Cadbol the slope of the seabed is much more gentle. Much of the coastline is rocky and is not suitable to land. My idea is that if I loose power, yes I will use the oars, but if there is a strong onshore wind the anchor could be used to stop the boat getting pushed onto the rocks.

Keith (stick in the mud [subtle pun there]) Hart
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Old 08 February 2003, 06:25   #37
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Keith,

Your question about how to drop the anchor confused me a little. If this is teaching people to suck eggs, sorry, but it might help someone.

As has been said, the water can be to deep to bother with the anchor, though I think rowing should be saved until you are sure it is of use in an emergency, you may need the energy later.

It is important to tie on the end, this is also known as the bitter end by many as there are many bitter tales told after throwing the anchor out, watching the rope follow and sudden you realise you are not tied to it. It should always be tied on and ready to deploy at all time in case you need it fast so you can just through it out. But thats not the way to lay an anchor really.

I go through the process that I think through. I assume that the anchor, chain and rope are in good condition in the first place, that you have used a chart to ensure you are in a suitable place to anchor and that weather / tide conditions are known.

1. Check the bitter end is tied on to the boat to something strong like a cleat (not a rubber handle).
2. Check that the shackles are tight onto the chain and anchor and that splicing / knots are secure (i.e. Make sure there is no chance of the anchor disconnecting from the rope.)
3. Lay the line out on deck in ovals 1m long, so that it is not tangled and will run free with no knots. (Keep your feet out of the loops of rope)
4. Make sure the boat is stationary.
5. Hold the anchor over the side.
6. Measure out a meter of chain / line in your hands and lower the anchor into the water by 1m.
7. Repeat this, 1m at a time counting the number until the anchor becomes light, that should be the bottom (you should have an expectation from the chart and tide tables of the water depth in that location already)
8. Say it 10m deep, then you need to lay out 3-5 times that amount of line, so thats 30-50m of rope.
9. If its low tide you must allow for the increase in depth as the tide comes in.
10. If in doubt, pay out. If you are unsure if its enough, use more.
11. If the weather is rough you should also let out more, it stops the anchor being snatched up from the bottom as you go over large waves.
12. Cleat off the line so it is secure at the bow, keeping it pointing into the wind / tide.
13. Use a little reverse to pull the line / chain and hopefully encoarage the anchor to bite into the seabed.
14. Check the position through triangulation, and / or a nav aid like gps.
15. ONLY when you are happy that you are not moving from position can you turn the engine off.

Im sure others can add to this if people have questions, but the text & diagrams in books are normally good.

Tiger
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Old 08 February 2003, 10:19   #38
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Although I always go into overkill with anchor and rope (pulled too many guys out of breaking waves because they can't effectively park following breakdowns) I still always carry a sea anchor (drogue). Takes up very little space and really slows you down, i.e. gives everyone else more time to get to you. Also lets you drift at the most comfortable angle to the sea, and increased comfort = decreased probability of irrational actions.
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Old 08 February 2003, 10:53   #39
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We also use a bruce and it is fine ,never let us down on our sib.

And a sea anchore is also a must as long as you dont mind moveing with the tide and it can also be used for other very important situations.

There was a story about a experienced crew who all deployed to a life raft at sea,they had no sea anchore hence the liferaft spun like a top with them in it.It was so bad for them that they abandoned the raft due to sea sikness and motion and tried to hang on to the outsides of the raft,they found the raft eventually but all 6man crew were lost.

All RNLI Inshore rescue boats have both.
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Old 08 February 2003, 13:52   #40
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Keith

if your engine packs up and your heading for the rocks, whilst I'm sure the details provided by Tiger 2 are informative and no doubt correct......


I would personally just lob the bl**dy thing as far as you can ( preferably the opposite way to which you dont want to drift ) !!!!!!!!


Thats my prefered less technical approach lol
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