Windlass Anchoring

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by Rain City, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Hey guys I have a windlass on the Commander and so far I've only anchored for short periods in protected bays. Someone said something about not anchoring offshore with one and I couldn't understand why. After doing some YouTube searches it seems like you need snubbers or bradels etc.? I have zero experience with this thing so was hoping for a bit of advice from y'all. Got any pro tips?
     
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  2. ab1752

    ab1752 Well-Known Member

    Off shore and inshore anchoring are 2 different things, neither of which I claim to have any confidence in at all so I will be following this thread carefully too.
     
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  3. Foxsea

    Foxsea Well-Known Member

    https://www.sportfishingbc.com/foru...up-lets-hear-what-you-have.75477/#post-935000
    There's some good info here on anchoring generally.
    I've anchored many times up and down the inside from the San Juans to the Broughtons. Lots of protected anchorages. With some good gear, practice and good procedures it's pretty straight forward.

    Anchoring offshore or in exposed locations overnight is not recommended. Even with a good bottom you are at the mercy of changeable winds, tides and currents. It's just not worth the stress.
     
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  4. Robert Snyder

    Robert Snyder Well-Known Member

    Great topic, following thread as well...
     
  5. RiverBoy

    RiverBoy Well-Known Member

    Hey:
    if you mean offshore anchoring as in anchoring up for hali straight off your windlass this is very very dangerous. picture your bow being pinned directly to the ocean floor and an abnormally large swell or wave comes along its gonna be all over .
     
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  6. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Yeah I have a ton of experience anchoring and spending the night on the hook, including ending up against a rock face at 4am! Specifically I'm asking about using a windlass and how to protect it from damage. Right now the anchor is just supported by the windlass when it's stored. I slacked it off a little so the chain isn't tight as I had just assumed that made sense but one video showed a guy storing with another rope to a cleat. Is that overkill? Is anchoring up for lunch in calm waters straight off the windlass that big a deal? Same as with halibut anchoring, in a calm sea is it really all that terrible/dangerous in a 30' closed bow boat?
     
  7. ab1752

    ab1752 Well-Known Member

    Probably a good idea to have a safety line from the chain to a cleat when the anchor is stowed, I'm doing that say most of the time. Issue with anchoring off the windless is if one of my rotten kids decides to play with the drag or the clutch fails I'm on the rocks in no time, amongst probably 10,000 other things I'm not thinking of. Anyway I'm going to add a bridle to the kit for this summer.
     
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  8. Sentinel

    Sentinel Active Member

    For halibut anchoring in deep water, a cockpit deployed setup with a quick release for safety is always the best choice. For very temporary anchoring in calm waters where you are not leaving the boat, just dropping pick with windlass and a light tug back and leaving on windless may be ok. For everything else when using the windless you should always get a good reverse power set and I would not leave rope/chain on windless when performing the set. You will need to tie off to cleat anyway for semi- permanent mooring. Rope will usually provide enough shock absorption on pick but if you are shallow and do not get to rope portion of rode, additional snubbers will be needed on the chain.
     
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  9. Sentinel

    Sentinel Active Member

    I used to hate anchoring fo overnighter’s and endured some early am fire drills. After getting a manson supreme 35# anchor with proper rode and learning how to set properly, I sleep like a baby on the pick. This is on a 28’ boat (33’ oal). Overkill some would say, I call it a perfect match ;)
     
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  10. Foxsea

    Foxsea Well-Known Member

    Manufacturers recommend that a windlass should never be used to hold the boat. That's what cleats are for. Always belay the anchor rode to a cleat or samson post to take the strain off the windlass; otherwise the tension will eventually cause the gypsy to fail. A nylon line with a chain hook can serve as a shock-absorbing snubber. Also, the windlass is not designed to break out an anchor. Use boat momentum to do that, then the windlass retrieves the anchor and rode.

    There are safe methods to anchor for halibut in suitable conditions. Many have noted them and the risks of doing otherwise, on this forum. Anchoring from the bow with the primary anchor is not among the recommended practices. Ultimately you are the skipper and you will determine what is safe.
     
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  11. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Is this a samson post? Screenshot_20200425-120456_Chrome.jpg
     
  12. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Having all the strain of the anchor solely on the bolts on your windlass - or worse on the brake of the windlass - is potentially dangerous - when the strain comes on - as other posters have pointed-out. The big boats typically use a combination of devices to help take the strain off the windlass and brake - one called the "guillotine" or "chain stopper", and another specific type of turnbuckle that latches onto the chain:
    https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://anchorschains.com/upload/3153/o/19_1_chain_stopper_0.jpg&imgrefurl=http://anchorschains.com/5-1-chain-stopper/201439/&tbnid=AbfqX6A39RK_zM&vet=12ahUKEwiRj5yEnoTpAhWWmp4KHdKhBO4QMygCegUIARDyAQ..i&docid=mSfN3_2zV_H_uM&w=600&h=450&q=anchor chain guillotine&ved=2ahUKEwiRj5yEnoTpAhWWmp4KHdKhBO4QMygCegUIARDyAQ
    https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/chain-stopper-anchor-large-ship-1122871718

    The sportie/pleasure craft versions below:
    https://www.amazon.com/Norestar-Stainless-Anchor-Tensioner-Anchoring/dp/B00EA1TRXG
    https://www.alibaba.com/product-det...m=a2700.7724857.normalList.170.6eb3738cmISMs4
    https://www.uscargocontrol.com/Crosby-Galvanized-Turnbuckle-Jaw-Jaw-1-4-x-4

    As you said - even rope would help in a pinch.

    Another thing that the big boats do is "walk the anchor out" using the windlass when the water is deep so that they don't loose the anchor when the brake fails trying to stop a long, heavy chain in a deep spot like this:


    The big boats are specifically rigged for deeper anchoring and the weight & momentum associated with the anchor and chain. This blog also describes those anchoring techniques & equipment - which is somewhat relevant to the smaller boats, as well - esp. the deeper anchoring issue:
    https://www.quora.com/When-ships-dr...at-is-the-maximum-depth-an-anchor-can-go-down
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
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  13. Thunder21

    Thunder21 Well-Known Member

    That’s what I have on my Commander. Not sure what it’s called but once I pay out all the line I need I tie off to it. Works well. I’m sure you know by now the difference between anchoring off the bow vs using a proper short term anchor for halibut etc offshore but if not I think Dave Murphy has a good YouTube video showing it.
     
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  14. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Man this is funny now I swear I remember seeing a length of rope with a hook on the end stored somewhere and had no idea what it was for. I'm also starting to understand why there's foot pedals up there. I realise I sound like a complete idiot right now. Everything I've learned, or haven't learned, about boating has been on my own. Maybe I should have spent more time learning the boat and less on re-rigging for fishability.
     
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  15. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    I've seen and understand the anchor setup guys used for halibut but no I've never actually halibut fished myself before.
    I've never hit the rope, I think there's over 150' of chain on mine. Does the windlass pull the rope the same?
     
  16. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    I think this exact point ^^^ above is why I find this forum so valuable, RC. Everyone shares their hard-earned knowledge - maybe even occasionally saving a life when people are forewarned and prepared. NEVER be afraid to admit what RC admitted - that you don't know something - are open to learning - and ask for help. Way to model responsible and professional behaviour, RC. You have my respect - and anytime I can - my assistance. I know many other posters on here feel the same way and tirelessly contribute their hard-earned experiences and advice.
     
  17. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    :oops::)
     
  18. Foxsea

    Foxsea Well-Known Member

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  19. eriks

    eriks Active Member

    RC
    You need a snubber for overnight anchoring with all chain rode, as the noise will drive you nuts.
    The windlass is not designed to handle shock loads, so you need to tie the snubber off onto a cleat, as others have pointed out.
    It’s great that you have all chain rode, you’re so much better off than most boaters.
    If you’re going to anchor even fairly regularly, I can’t emphasize enough how much better you will sleep at night with a Rocna anchor. They’re not inexpensive, but it’ll provide you peace of mind.
    Hali anchoring in current is another ball game all together. Lots of threads on that in the past.
     
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  20. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    After the "incident" on the bayliner I got a Rocna and you're right they are WAY better. I remember being jerked back when I set it for the first time lol. Too small for this pig though obviously so I'll have to pick up another one. I guess with the windlass size won't really matter anymore though which is nice. So the post thingy is behind the windlass in my case, how do I tie that off through the same pulpit roller? I've anchored off one side of the bow before and it's side to side all night, which I'm sure is causing more drag. I bought 30' of 3/4" nylon rope to make a sling around both bow cleats with an eye in the center for hooking onto a mooring ball. After using it though I realised that it wasn't long enough for me to easily negotiate hooking the mooring ball and getting it over to the other side. Forgot how long the boat was :confused:. So is tying off to that Samson post possible in that case and if so again do I run it through the pulpit?
     

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