pjmsj21

Reducing Anchor Swinging

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My wife and I are getting ready for a Gulf Island cruise and I am trying to understand my options in reducing the amount of swinging while at anchor of our Santana 27.  In researching possible options it looks as the most common solutions are using two anchors or the use of a anchoring sail. Is one of these two options more effective or am I overlooking something else?  Thanks in advance.

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What's your motivation? Unless you're in a very crowded harbor,  I don't feel that swinging is a problem. 

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52 minutes ago, IStream said:

What's your motivation? Unless you're in a very crowded harbor,  I don't feel that swinging is a problem. 

Spousal comfort....for one...maybe the most important.  We will be travelling with a group of boats....a small cruising rally and our boat will be the smallest and many will carry an all chain rode vs line and chain.  Thus I anticipate that we will swing more than other boats unless we opt to anchor away from the larger boats in our group.

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12 minutes ago, pjmsj21 said:

Spousal comfort....for one...maybe the most important.  We will be travelling with a group of boats....a small cruising rally and our boat will be the smallest and many will carry an all chain rode vs line and chain.  Thus I anticipate that we will swing more than other boats unless we opt to anchor away from the larger boats in our group.

Consider using and anchor kellet / sentinel they can reduce swing in lighter weather conditions and may make your movements more like a larger boat with all chain rode.

http://www.petersmith.net.nz/boat-anchors/kellets.php

anchor-sentinel.jpg

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49 minutes ago, pjmsj21 said:

Spousal comfort....for one...maybe the most important.  We will be travelling with a group of boats....a small cruising rally and our boat will be the smallest and many will carry an all chain rode vs line and chain.  Thus I anticipate that we will swing more than other boats unless we opt to anchor away from the larger boats in our group.

I still think this is a theoretical problem that shouldn't be a problem in reality. Regardless of size, all the boats in the group should plan to anchor far enough apart that there'll be no collisions or entanglements due to differential swing. If you really want to be close, raft up. If anyone, friend or stranger, proposes to anchor within a radius less than or equal to the sum of our scopes, I tell them it's too close.

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If it's your first cruise through the Gulf islands, you'll often use a stern tie in the tight anchorages largely so more boats can squeeze in. Having a nice stern tie setup is nice to have and worth the effort.

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1 hour ago, KC375 said:

Consider using and anchor kellet / sentinel they can reduce swing in lighter weather conditions and may make your movements more like a larger boat with all chain rode.

http://www.petersmith.net.nz/boat-anchors/kellets.php

anchor-sentinel.jpg

I have never used a kellet myself.  However I note that Smith dismisses them entirely as a way of improving anchor performance, and is cautious about their benefits when used for other purposes

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43 minutes ago, TwoLegged said:

I have never used a kellet myself.  However I note that Smith dismisses them entirely as a way of improving anchor performance, and is cautious about their benefits when used for other purposes

Smith’s skepticism about impact on ultimate holding power is why I included the link. I didn’t want to link to some of the writers who suggest a kellet is an alternative to a properly sized anchor, as that seems unwise. Smith, however, does agree a kellet can offer reduced swing (in light conditions).

I would never suggest adding a kellet instead of using an appropriately sized anchor. If a kellet is used it should be for other benefits (reduced swing, increased damping, better position control with bow and stern anchors, keeping rode low to avoid stuff). Given the OP was concerned about synchronising his swing with a rope rode with boats using chainn rode....the kellet might be the answer.  As a possible additional benefit for a given anchor size a kellet should improve holding power especially at greater scope.

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KC , I agree with your post.

A keelet is no substitute for a inadequate anchor but is another useful tool to have in the box.

I have a cut away forefoot 5.5 ton sloop that loves to yaw around the rode.

Chuck the keelet actually Anchorbuddy on and happy days up to certain wind limits.

Trapped in by idiots without clues at tight anchorages  it can assist to shorten set and increase grip.

The OP is sailing a small craft that would not warrant a all chain rode so give it a go.

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To add my 2 cents.... I use a kellet when anchoring in SF Bay where we get significant tidal reversals.  My rope rode gets hooked on the keel without the extra weight.  

I don't think that it changes 'normal' swinging much, but I really only use enough weight to hold the rope down.. and I don't expect it to change holding much either.  It works for what I use it; I don't wake up sideways to the wind. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, pjmsj21 said:

.  We will be travelling with a group of boats....a small cruising rally

Ideally, use what your neighbors are using. Best if you can also have the same style of boat ;). Since you are planning on anchoring on string while in the company of boats on chain a kellet will help reduce your wandering comparatively. It's not the same and you'll notice that as the wind and tide change. If you're anchoring near boats on chain that have been at anchor for a while it can be hard to tell where their anchor is. They may just be hanging on a pile of chain. Give them extra room.There is a tribe that insists on short scope with their chain. They are evil and unclean. Give them extra room. Boats that have more water drag will behave differently than your boat when the tide is against the wind. Give them extra room. Boats with more air drag will... ...

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8 hours ago, KC375 said:

Consider using and anchor kellet / sentinel they can reduce swing in lighter weather conditions and may make your movements more like a larger boat with all chain rode.

http://www.petersmith.net.nz/boat-anchors/kellets.php

anchor-sentinel.jpg

A kellet does the same thing as a bunch of heavy chain.  In light conditions it can make swinging worse.  The bow blows off one way, stretching out the rode, then the weight of the rode pulls it back the other way.  Back and forth, back and forth.

A shore tie or stern anchor with some tension on the system can minimize or stop the swinging.

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Have J44 with 8' draft.sail in southern new England with 6 plus tides and light air. Use kellet hanging 9 plus feet down otherwise rode wraps keel when tides  change.

We use properly sized anchor, chain , rode, etc. Maybe even over sized BUT this is solution for me when anchoring in tide changes and current areas, especially in crowded Anchorages

 

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Granted this is for much larger vessels with two anchors... but we often used a  technique called "Anchor under foot - Letting an anchor go to the bottom, then holding on to the brake. This is sometimes done  to steady the ships head and prevent her from yawing about when lying to a single anchor."

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3 hours ago, blurocketsmate said:

A kellet does the same thing as a bunch of heavy chain.

No exactly. Chain has a lot of drag on the bottom. It is not uncommon for a boat to hang on its chain in light conditions. That seldom if ever happens with string even with a kellet. When there's enough pull to get most of the chain off the bottom both a chain and kellet are kinda similar f''', but that's not the whole story.

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3 hours ago, blurocketsmate said:

 

A shore tie or stern anchor with some tension on the system can minimize or stop the swinging.

OP Here....we have a 200' of poly line for a stern tie and a smaller plow anchor and rode.  Our main anchor is a 17lb Mantus.

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Choose the largest and friendliest boat in the group and tie to her stern.

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10 minutes ago, Sal Minella said:

Anchor stern to, no swinging at all.

Beat me to it. Anchoring from the stern also means you get more breeze into the companionway which is a nice feature on a hot day.

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2 hours ago, Bristol-Cruiser said:

Beat me to it. Anchoring from the stern also means you get more breeze into the companionway which is a nice feature on a hot day.

That would be a particularly attractive solution, as my boat was built prior to such conveniences as bow anchor lockers.  

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4 hours ago, Sal Minella said:

Anchor stern to, no swinging at all.

Wish it was as easy as you say. Throwing an anchor overboard  is one thing, recovering it back is another one. Imagine trying to recover an anchor dug deep , fouled in some way. Most of the time you  motor in to it/ hoist  and if you are lucky you untangle and break free even if somebody else has an anchor over yours. Try doing the same in reverse where the chain/rode is all over yor prop.

If you are all by yourself where you anchor and there is no chance of getting fouled it is ok.  Then again you should be able to swing the bow  and recover it conventionally. 

If the gear is light enough or you are strong enough to recover it by hand when it is blowing and the boat is surging. Go for it.

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3 minutes ago, Omer said:

Wish it was as easy as you say. Throwing an anchor overboard  is one thing, recovering it back is another one. Imagine trying to recover an anchor dug deep , fouled in some way. Most of the time you  motor in to it/ hoist  and if you are lucky you untangle and break free even if somebody else has an anchor over yours. Try doing the same in reverse where the chain/rode is all over yor prop.

If you are all by yourself where you anchor and there is no chance of getting fouled it is ok.  Then again you should be able to swing the bow  and recover it conventionally. 

If the gear is light enough or you are strong enough to recover it by hand when it is blowing and the boat is surging. Go for it.

it is that easy....you take the tail of the anchor rode forward and drop the line off the stern, the boat swings around and you power forward.  Have done it singlehanded multiple times.  Have you ever anchored?

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What about a weight off the stern? I've also heard of using a bucket with holes drilled into it. My boat has fairly high freeboard, a moderately light displacement and shallow forefoot. In light air it sails like a crazy mofo on a single bow anchor, completely out of phase with everyone else around us.

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Anchor only in close proximity to boats that have a similiar shape and keel form so you dance in unison.

If your boat has a tendency to sail at anchor and where this becomes quite violent when the wind comes up, a small anchor riding sail rigged on the backstay will hold it head to wind.

 

How-to-Stop-Sailing-at-Anchor_2.jpg

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

Anchor only in close proximity to boats that have a similiar shape and keel form so you dance in unison.

If your boat has a tendency to sail at anchor and where this becomes quite violent when the wind comes up, a small anchor riding sail rigged on the backstay will hold it head to wind.

 

How-to-Stop-Sailing-at-Anchor_2.jpg

I have heard that works...for some. My experience is the opposite in every way. I’ve not seen any tendency to tack in unison with other boats, so better to anchor with boats that don’t sail at anchor. I tried the anchor riding sail. Couldn't strike it fast enough as it made the tacking much worse with the additional power on the reach.

Anchoring by the stern certainly stops the sailing but has its own problems. The worst being rode around the rudder. Hanging spare anchors and chain over the bow helps, but it’s a chore and can make quite a tangle by morning.

Drugs and alcohol works.

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40 minutes ago, daddle said:

I have heard that works...for some. My experience is the opposite in every way. I’ve not seen any tendency to tack in unison with other boats, so better to anchor with boats that don’t sail at anchor. 

My reference to dancing "in unison" was only with regard to normal "swinging" not if you have a boat that "sails" at anchor. Sailing at anchor introduces a lot more potential problems other than proximity to other boats,  including fouling anchor rode, dislodging anchor etc.

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My boat is a bit larger but has a similar layout as pjm's. It moves a lot at anchor. I also am not set up for an all chain rode. I sail in the same area and the solutions mentioned here have limitations. We can not chose who anchors close to us, things can be tight with lots of power boats. Most are heavy trawler style and do not move at anchor. A stern anchor or shore tie works only if most of the boats in the bay are doing the same. Anchoring from the stern is nice in light wind when you do not move as much anyway. As it picks up the force on the boat picks up a lot especially with a dodger and the slap of chop on the stern makes sleeping a challenge. I have tried the bucket of the stern with no real results.

For the original poster rafting to a larger boat in the group would be a nice option, tying of to the stern would be a recipe for fiberglass repair. I wonder if anyone has real experience with a riding sail?  If it works it would be good lightweight solution.

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On 7/1/2018 at 5:05 PM, pjmsj21 said:

My wife and I are getting ready for a Gulf Island cruise and I am trying to understand my options in reducing the amount of swinging while at anchor of our Santana 27.  In researching possible options it looks as the most common solutions are using two anchors or the use of a anchoring sail. Is one of these two options more effective or am I overlooking something else?  Thanks in advance.

Two anchors is not the way to go. You will swing VERY differently than everyone which is much worse than being a rope guy around a bunch of chain boats.

Leaving enough space from others is the main thing.

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It's probably tiring to hear, but our old yawl with low freeboard and more windage aft (mizzen mast and rigging), sits like a duck at anchor in howling winds. Sure the mizzen sail keeps it pointed into the wind but we lower that if there is any wind (for noise). 

 

As I watch other boats sail around their anchor, it looks like simple windage forward, that causes it. High freeboard,  higher still houses and our thicker roller furling jibs on the bow present area for wind to contact.  Wind simply takes that surface area and sends it veering one way or the other - the anchor rode takes up: Jolt -  and off it veers in the other direction. 

 

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Kris Cringle said:

It's probably tiring to hear, but our old yawl with low freeboard and more windage aft (mizzen mast and rigging), sits like a duck at anchor in howling winds. Sure the mizzen sail keeps it pointed into the wind but we lower that if there is any wind (for noise). 

 

As I watch other boats sail around their anchor, it looks like simple windage forward, that causes it. High freeboard,  higher still houses and our thicker roller furling jibs on the bow present area for wind to contact.  Wind simply takes that surface area and sends it veering one way or the other - the anchor rode takes up: Jolt -  and off it veers in the other direction. 

 

 

 

 

That's interesting.  So if modern boats have more windage forward, which causes this behavior, then adding windage aft, in the form of a riding sail might correct the problem.  I don't think my boat sails excessively at anchor but I've been wanting to make a riding sail out of a blown up jib I have.

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19 minutes ago, Ajax said:

That's interesting.  So if modern boats have more windage forward, which causes this behavior, then adding windage aft, in the form of a riding sail might correct the problem.  I don't think my boat sails excessively at anchor but I've been wanting to make a riding sail out of a blown up jib I have.

That makes sense, but adding windage may cause other problems as wind increases(strain on rode)? I guess a good step in those conditions is lowering the roller furled headsail which may achieve both. Reducing windage forward would have the same effect as adding it aft. 

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21 minutes ago, Ajax said:

That's interesting.  So if modern boats have more windage forward, which causes this behavior, then adding windage aft, in the form of a riding sail might correct the problem.  I don't think my boat sails excessively at anchor but I've been wanting to make a riding sail out of a blown up jib I have.

Or, add more resistance up forward. Tying a simple bucket to the rode where it enters the water can dampen the tendency to horse around.

 

See Earl Hinz's book Complete Book of Anchoring.

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I tried a big butterfly riding sail off the backstay on a Mapleleaf 54 (big heavy cruiser).  Didn't work.  Just another data point.

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A few weeks back we had to use a friend's O'Day 27 as a committee boat for a Lightning regatta (Great Lakes, no tidal changes to worry about).  Winds 10-15.  We added a small triangular canvas piece (maybe 3x4x5 feet) that was built as a rain shield for front hatch.  Tied one corner to outhaul, one on main halyard above outhaul, and ran line from other corner up to tack,  There were some grommets along each edge and we tied/lashed bottom edge to boom in a few spots.  This GREATLY reduced swinging/hunting on an anchor that had maybe 10 feet of chain.

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6 hours ago, Tom Keffer said:

Or, add more resistance up forward. Tying a simple bucket to the rode where it enters the water can dampen the tendency to horse around.

 

See Earl Hinz's book Complete Book of Anchoring.

I might give this a try next weekend and report back. 

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On 7/3/2018 at 12:53 PM, Kenny Dumas said:

I tried a big butterfly riding sail off the backstay on a Mapleleaf 54 (big heavy cruiser).  Didn't work.  Just another data point.

Maple Leaf 50 here.  All the Maple Leafs have a lot of windage at the bow, and not much underwater up there.  We thought about a riding sail but decided it probably wouldn't work.

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On 7/2/2018 at 8:48 AM, Bristol-Cruiser said:

Beat me to it. Anchoring from the stern also means you get more breeze into the companionway which is a nice feature on a hot day.

The problem is noise -- little waves slapping under the stern all night.

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You want to use an old sailing ship technique called Anchor under foot.

First anchor normally. Then, drop a second, ridiculously small, anchor vertically off the bow. On my 36 tonne boat, I used a 5 pound dinghy anchor. Toss another 5-10 feet of rode in the water and belay the second rode and relax.

As the boat starts to sail off on one tack, the small anchor is enough to trip things up and cause the boat to tack. Your boat won't stop sailing, but the swing will be reduced to nearly nothing.

 

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1 hour ago, Moonduster said:

You want to use an old sailing ship technique called Anchor under foot.

First anchor normally. Then, drop a second, ridiculously small, anchor vertically off the bow. On my 36 tonne boat, I used a 5 pound dinghy anchor. Toss another 5-10 feet of rode in the water and belay the second rode and relax.

As the boat starts to sail off on one tack, the small anchor is enough to trip things up and cause the boat to tack. Your boat won't stop sailing, but the swing will be reduced to nearly nothing.

 

I have done this with a 55ft cat that tacked a lot at anchor and it works really well. Definitely worth a try,

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Get rid of your furling jib.

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The solution for multihulls is a bridle. In the case of a multi, each arm should be = beam, therefore bridle =2xbeam. 

IIRC, the Pardeys found bridling a monohull to be useful as well. “Use a rolling hitch on your anchor rode and run it back to your winch, either one, and essentially move your boat off center so it stays on one "tack".

Courtesy of Lin & Larry Pardey”

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2 hours ago, Max Rockatansky said:

...bridling a monohull....

+1. Works great.

WRT stern anchoring, anchor from bow and confirm good set. Now, think of point on rode where snubbed at bow as point A. One LOA + couple feet further along the rode think of as point B, one more LOA is point C. Take B back to stern, leading it outboard of stanchions and shrouds, cleat off. Back up to bow, release A, and secure rode at C. Boat is now anchored stern-to, yet you can easily/quickly release rode at stern to swing bow-to-wind for storms or up-anchoring.

I also always keep a smaller anchor rigged and ready to launch at stern, for lunch hooks or a quick stop. If swinging, drop that at far point of swing and you can snub up on it to stop swinging.

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