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Old 27 March 2012, 17:48   #1
Country: UK - England
Town: Dorset
Boat name: Seabadger
Make: Ribcraft
Length: 5m +
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Advice for lifting anchor in strong tide

I've anchored ribs many times in deep water along the dorset coast and occasionally snagged something or had difficulty retrieving the anchor, but at the weekend I anchored on the back of Peverill Ledge to fish and when I came to leave couldn't lift the anchor. I took up slack by driving into the tide to get the anchor vertical then swung the rib around and reversed against the tide to pull the anchor upstream. The waves where quite large against the wind and all I did was swamp the boat and put a lot of tension onto the anchor rope with no success. Its a 7kg Danforth Anchor with chain and rope.

In the end as I was out alone I decided to cut my losses and let the anchor go with a GPS fix. I have since dived it and sucessfully recovered it. The flukes are badly bent but it wasn't stuck too badly.

In the future what is the best way to recover an anchor from a rib single handed in strong tide? I've seen people using 'alderney rings' from large fishing boats, is this best practise? Thanks

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Old 27 March 2012, 18:43   #2
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If your only fishing you could drill a hole (some have them drilled already) shackle the chain to the bottom of the anchor near the flukes then run the chain back up and fasten it with a cable tie or weak link to the normal hole,
If it gets stuck a hard pull in a sideways direction parts the weak link and anchor then gets pulls out in reverse ,

Other method I used on my fishing boat was clip a dan bouy on the anchor line and drive around in a great circle keeping tension on the line Until it pops up

Don't forget that in a big tide the anchor line may appear to be vertical near the surface but the current drag acting especially on a thicker rope will still hold it ,even more so if it's latched under a rock ledge or the like,

Or fasten another line on the bottom of the fluke end and bouy it off,if it gets stuck you can then pull on the bouy line and pull it out in reverse.

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Old 27 March 2012, 20:25   #3
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Any idea from your recovery dive what the anchor was caught on? The Peverill Ledge is notoriously uneven (hence its overfalls). Sounds like you tried the right things at the time but the cause of the problem might teach lessons.
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Old 28 March 2012, 01:07   #4
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Is it a genuine Danforth or a copy? I'm just worried that you managed to bend it with a 5m boat & a 90hp engine
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Old 28 March 2012, 01:55   #5
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Most of the fishermen that I know using small boats, and single handed use homemade anchors, made up from steel reinforcing bar about 16mm, that way it will hold well but bend out if neccasary?,simpley made with 4 claw flukes, obviously this problem dosent really ocur on larger charter vessels because you have capstans,
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Old 28 March 2012, 02:59   #6
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Once you have the rode "up and down" ie pulled taught, can sometimes drop a chain loop around the rode (with another warp attaced to the chain loop) once you hace lowered this to the bottom of the rode, release the tension on the rode then pull up on the secondary line.

the idea is the chain loop passes over the anchor shaft and pulls the anchor out "backwards". this is a jury rigged version of a tripping line.
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Old 28 March 2012, 04:04   #7
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Danforth anchor - best left on the seabed.
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Old 28 March 2012, 10:44   #8
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I find that if the anchor gets hung up, the reverse pull *usually* works (the technique the OP mentioned: backing down against the current), but you need to give the ground tackle a lot of scope to pull the anchor horizontally against the set.

On a few ocasions, I've had to dive it to get it to unset (usually in shale where the flukes nest neatly under a ledge, but occasionally in rock as well.)

Bending flukes is actually pretty easy to do.

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Old 28 March 2012, 10:48   #9
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I'm guessing the usual method may not have worked as the direction of pull on the anchor may not have changed due to the seabed in that bit of the world . By this I mean all that ended up happening was the chain wrapped around another bit of rock which then meant the achor never ' turned' ?

I think there was a Google Map overlay thingy that showed the underwater topography of the Jurrasic coast somewhere ?

Of course its also sods law you will find the only thing to get stuck on when anchoring.
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Old 28 March 2012, 10:58   #10
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Originally Posted by PeterM View Post

I think there was a Google Map overlay thingy that showed the underwater topography of the Jurrasic coast somewhere ?
If someone could find this it would be very handy.


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