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Old 10 October 2009, 12:48   #1
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Anchor type in event of emergency

I carry a decent plough anchor with 6 meters of chain and 40 metres of warp.

I also have a drogue type sea anchor.

I often wonder which would be best to deploy if the engine failed if nasty conditions in open water in say the bristol channel or the solent in 20-35 meters of water.

Would you want to be fixed at anchor or would the drogue be safer even if you do drift a little. I am working on the assumption that I am not heading close to rocks where of course the fixed anchor option would be the only one.

With a total of 50 meters connected to the anchor and based on a scope of 5:1 then I guess the maximum depth it would be effective at would be circa 10 meters?
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Old 10 October 2009, 16:24   #2
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A sea anchor or drogue can be very effective in such conditions and is much easier to deploy quickly.

If you haven't sorted your problems then you can always launch the anchor. Whilst a 5 or 3:1 scope is ideal remember ribs are far lighter than yachts and don't have much windage - they don't exert much pull on an anchor really.
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Old 10 October 2009, 16:35   #3
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If it was a bit rough I would tend to set anchor, only from the fact, if say you got engrosed in looking at the engine you may drift a lot further/quicker than you think and therefore may end up nearer danger than you would like!!.

Calm conditions i would probably deploy the drogue or just drift.

This is just my personal opinion, but just call me cautious ( I have 2 sets of flares and also carry a personal flare set on my lifejacket and 2 Vhfs - 1 handheld and 1 fixed) But then I sail in the English channel and its busy!!

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Old 10 October 2009, 18:39   #4
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somtimes with a drouge or sea anchor and depending on the boat it can have the effect of bringing you beam on making it uncomfortable unless the wind or tide are reasonably strong ,if its something thats going to take more than a min to sort out think i would drop the main anchor ,,as bingomike said its suprizing how far you can drift when perhaps trying to mend or sort out the engine ,,and as codders just said even though its better to be safe a lot of the ratios regarding anchor line lengths/scopes are calculated for large displacement yachts ect with traditional anchors ,and with a decent modern anchor a rib or small boat should hold with a lesser scope.
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Old 10 October 2009, 18:40   #5
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Depends on the type of emergency.

In rough weather with sudden engine failure the sea anchor is quick and easy to deploy to make the boat safe (ie bow into the wind). It is also more comfortable to lie to a drogue in a large swell than to an anchor on the sea bed.

The sea bed anchor puts more strain on the boat but keep you in one place.

Also need to consider where you are in relation to shipping lanes etc.
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Old 20 December 2009, 20:22   #6
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in my experience (not a good thing in this case) i use the sea anchor/drouge in open water and use my anchor when i am close to the coast (within 50-100 yds)

down to personal preference really, but on the crew, this is usally what we do
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Old 21 December 2009, 02:26   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris View Post
I carry a decent plough anchor with 6 meters of chain and 40 metres of warp.
I think I would be inclined to add as much chain as there is space for, 10m of water sounds quite close to rocks.
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Old 21 December 2009, 04:00   #8
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Will also depend what's underneath you. I can think of a few miles of Clyde coast where at lowe tide tourists have been paddling up to their ankles a good 100 yds form the shore, and suddenly dissapeard up to their proverbial oxters as they stepped off " the edge".

One case where at high tide the "bottom anchor" will go from useful to useless in a matter of a couple of yards.
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Old 21 December 2009, 04:03   #9
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One case where at high tide the "bottom anchor" will go from useful to useless in a matter of a couple of yards.
Although being blown offshore is a good time to use a sea anchor.
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