Re: We Didn't Mean To...Drag the anchor

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Posted by Alex Forbes on July 28, 2003 at 22:42:22 from user Pitsligo.

In Reply to: Re: We Didn't Mean To...Drag the anchor posted by Andrew Craig-Bennett on July 28, 2003 at 21:40:31:

I always figured two things with the Goblin's tidewalking: 1) Seeing as Jim was using chain rode and was only intending to anchor for a short time, he anchored with 3:1 scope, or less. Unwise, but in a rush, perhaps possible. 2) Goblin was dancing a bit in the eddies of the changing tide and, as she shifted, the rode fouled the anchor stock, tripping the anchor and sending them off to Flushing. By the time John noticed the grating of the chain on the bobstay (a ghastly sound) they were off the shelf and the anchor was hanging straight down in the deeper water.

I haven't a clue if the bottom topography of Harwich allows that explanation, but that's how I always pictured it.

Just got back from several days of sailing aboard my sloop, including a night where I was wondering about my own ground tackle. Thursday night I happened to anchor in just the right spot to be introduced to a fierce tide eddy. With 7:1 scope (I use 7:1 as ideal, 5:1 as acceptable in a pinch, and 3:1 in tight quarters when anchoring only "for lunch"), using 3/4" nylon rode on a 35# fisherman anchor, in mixed ground of mud, sand, and rock, my 19' sloop was orbitting the anchor at a pretty good clip. I would not have been surprised to trip the hook, and had the sweeps ready to go, just in case. As it was, my faith in the fisherman anchor was entirely justified, the tide eddy moved on at about 03:00, and I had a few hours sleep before the next day's sail.

When the anchor came up Friday morning, it was a hard pull, and came up festooned with kelp; signs of rock bottom and heavy weed. If it had tripped, and been tangled in weed, it might not have re-set without my having brought it to the surface, cleared it, and re-set it as if from the beginning.

If the anchor trips, and doesn't re-set for whatever reason --hard ground, fouled by weed, fouled by rode, stock key slips out and the anchor un-stocks itself-- scope by itself won't do you a darn bit of good. Fisherman, Danforth, CQR, Bruce, Plow, whatever. They have to bite to hold.


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