Mike Clarke

Anchoring a Sprit Boat

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What's it like to anchor a boat with a big sprit, like a J/120? Does the anchor rode get all messed up with the sprit? Are there techniques that people have figured out to avoid that from happening? I'm not talking about anchoring for lunch, but rather serious days-on-end anchoring when long-distance cruising.

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We anchor our 130 all the time, no problem.   Great cruising boat, we used to carry a 44# bruce on a roller, I've since gone to a Fortress that I store on a bracket in the sail-locker aft.  We only use 30' of chain and 300' of rode to keep some weight out of the bow.    The problem with a sprit and anchor is not the anchoring part, it's keeping the kite clear of the anchor when hoisting or jibing, this is why we stopped using the roller.

 

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I anchor our 109 all the time, the anchor when stowed was too close to the sprit when extended. I re-did the plate holding the roller and now there is no problem. There was never any issue with the rode snagging the sprit, we even extend it at night to get it out of the v-berth. You do need to watch the kite closely.

A bigger issue is how much these boats move about in a blow at anchor. I am going to try a riding sail before next cruising season. If anyone has tried this, or has other ideas, I would like your input.

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My experience with riding sails: Completely worthless. Maybe worse.

If the waves are small, and not much rain, just wind, anchoring by the stern completely stops the tacking at anchor.

Hanging junk in the water off the bow to create lots of drag can help. Spare anchor, buckets.

Dual anchors or stern anchor. Take the headsails off the furlers.

Big downside of performance boats.

 

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7 hours ago, daddle said:

My experience with riding sails: Completely worthless. Maybe worse.

If the waves are small, and not much rain, just wind, anchoring by the stern completely stops the tacking at anchor.

Hanging junk in the water off the bow to create lots of drag can help. Spare anchor, buckets.

Dual anchors or stern anchor. Take the headsails off the furlers.

Big downside of performance boats.

 

If there's a bit of current, a bucket or two streamed off the stern works pretty well to stabilise things

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13 hours ago, steele said:

I anchor our 109 all the time, the anchor when stowed was too close to the sprit when extended. I re-did the plate holding the roller and now there is no problem. There was never any issue with the rode snagging the sprit, we even extend it at night to get it out of the v-berth. You do need to watch the kite closely.

A bigger issue is how much these boats move about in a blow at anchor. I am going to try a riding sail before next cruising season. If anyone has tried this, or has other ideas, I would like your input.

There is a good article on the J/30 website from 1997 about building a parking sail.  It was effective on my J/30.  I'm thinking of doing the same thing for my J/109.  I have plenty of old sails I could cut up to make one.

http://j30.us/blog/?page_id=341

Can you post some pictures of the modified plate please?

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I know what you mean. My current boat (a Wylie 34) sails to her anchor A LOT! A friend who did a five-year cruise in a sister ship - mostly in the South Pacific - told me that using an all-chain rode eliminates that tendency, although putting on an all-chain rode is a big commitment. 

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The original one piece plate and roller are on the left. I used a Mantus roller and new SS plate (center) to move the anchor to port a bit to clear the sprit. The cardboard template is on the right. The original set up was strong, but not sized properly for any of the modern anchors.

IMG_0248.thumb.jpg.0ad2ddf436d6f17a1478ba9db87b1139.jpg

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Here it is all installed. The photo perspective makes it look like the anchor is way out front, it is not. It took a lot measuring to get the set up to clear the bow, sprit, fuller  and still work with the windless. For cruisng it has been great, the anchor will self launch, and it all still unbolts for racing if needed. The rollbar anchor helps reduce snagging on the kite, but the point of the anchor can still grab the foot if we are not carefull.

IMG_0251.thumb.jpg.1a0d0add01c1f7d2ada4dd254506e26b.jpg

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6 hours ago, steele said:

Here it is all installed. The photo perspective makes it look like the anchor is way out front, it is not. It took a lot measuring to get the set up to clear the bow, sprit, fuller  and still work with the windless. For cruisng it has been great, the anchor will self launch, and it all still unbolts for racing if needed. The rollbar anchor helps reduce snagging on the kite, but the point of the anchor can still grab the foot if we are not carefull.

 

Thanks - Some configuration differences between the US and European built J/109.  The US built boats have chocks port and starboard just aft of the forward stanchion for the bow lines and cleats just forward and outboard of the aft stanchion.  It doesn't appear that these would cause a problem with the anchor system you installed.  You have a Harken Mk IV Unit 1 furler.  A picture I have on Google photos from when I did the purchase survey in 2013 isn't the best, but you can see it here.

My hull 266 was built in 2005 has a Harken Mark III Unit 1 furler.  Probably just Harken updating the design during the production cycle.  Where are your bow cleats located?

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My hull is 375, it was built without chocks. The cleats are in the same position as yours. So far it has not been a problem since we are fair weather costal cruisers.

I am not the original owner so I am not sure what was standard from the factory vs specked by the first owner. He had set the boat up for day sailing and light cruising rather than racing, but I doubt he made any changes that would upset the OD rules.

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"Anchor under foot" is the old term for dropping a spare anchor to the bottom with limited slack so it drags.  Really helps reduce swing, but I worry about dragging around an expensive anchor that can get hung on a foul bottom.  A trick solution would be a bag made out of large mesh, like a fishing net, that you could put a large rock in, maybe.

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We lived aboard our Dehler 29 for 8 months through the Bahamas, including several hard blows. All anchor rode is the best solution - significantly reduced the wagging. We tried a drogue off the stern - didn't make a difference. In 30+ you don't want to anchor by the stern - the dodger offers a ton of protection and you'd end up taking water down the companionway if it rains at all (which it typically does in those conditions). 

If I went again in those conditions, I'd consider also doing a second anchor 'under foot' - or just doing a kellet to further slowing things down. 

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On 1/5/2018 at 8:13 PM, Kenny Dumas said:

"Anchor under foot" is the old term for dropping a spare anchor to the bottom with limited slack so it drags.  Really helps reduce swing, but I worry about dragging around an expensive anchor that can get hung on a foul bottom.  A trick solution would be a bag made out of large mesh, like a fishing net, that you could put a large rock in, maybe.

Perhaps....sounds messy.

tacking at anchor is caused by the anchor chains catenary  force

Wind blows the boat back....the anchor chain straightens out .....force is built in the chain catenary....then  the boat is launched forward by this catenary force  .....it has to either veer port or starboard

you can steering wheel over , rudder to port or whatever.   and lock it to stay on one tack...but its not perfect 

the extra windage caused by roller furlers adds to the pull force and blows the bow down 

If its going to blow hard ...strip the headsail and generally reduce the windage of the boat is your  best defense

riding sails work in some situations..but again, messy and they always increase windage 

..

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I've found recently that the tag line for a kellet should go to the connection (I use big carabiners)  to the anchor line and the kellet should hang straight down from there rather than the tag line going to the kellet and then the biner.  Otherwise, the tag line pulls the kellet in-line with the anchor and the rode between the connection and bow can pass under the kellet, resulting in a wrap.  Not obvious, at least to me.  I've tried it both ways and bow-biner-kellet works.  Kellets are great for keepng lines well below the surface, avoiding drift and other boat props.  And unless you're in coral, eliminate the need for chain. 

For PNW, I'd carry a 50 lb kellet instead of any chain.  Lighter, better shock absorbing, less sailing at anchor, no muddy chain, why not?  Except for "everybody says to do it that way".

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