Anchoring With Wind Opposing Tide

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Jeff
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Anchoring With Wind Opposing Tide

Post by Jeff »

We used to really struggle to anchor in Dartmouth when the wind was against the tide - which is often the case.

We'd end up with the wind pushing the stern around so we'd effectively "ride the anchor" from one side to the other, then the situation would reverse, and we'd cross back over again. This would repeat until the tide turned. Six hours of stress, when we couldn't safely leave the boat.

Sometimes at the limit of travel, after picking up some considerable speed, we'd really slam to a halt which obviously was putting a massive load on the anchor.

One time we met a large boat coming the other way - somehow we avoided any damage.

A local liveaboard called John told us what to do.

Steer on purpose to one side (we found by trial and error that it's best to choose the side the wind is mostly coming from. If it's absolutely 180 degrees against the tide, either way is fine. Don't just the helm hard over and leave it there. Put it hard over to initiate the travel, then straighten up. As you come to a stop when the anchor rode goes tight, put the helm hard over again. This should lock you in position. Once done, then deploy a drogue from the bow, into the current.

We'd often streamed two buckets and a drogue from the stern which did seem to help a little, but now and then we'd repeat "the anchor dance" as it became fondly known. By instead streaming the drogue and sometimes a bucket also from the bow, we completely eliminated the problem.

Thank you John!

Here's a short video showing some boats "dancing" and us completely stable, with a diagram...

http://youtu.be/Gi80CyGyRBc
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Discus
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Post by Discus »

Good solution! You will always ride your anchor a bit more in those conditions because of your full keel catching the tide and fighting the windage from your wheelhouse. Anything that makes life a bit more relaxing has to be good. Putting a riding sail up your mizzen would also keep you more under control.

Looks cold there BTW.

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Post by Jeff »

It has been cold. Fire has been on pretty much constantly this month :(
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Post by Jeff »

Would a riding sail be any use in the extreme example of wind almost directly opposing tide? Wouldn't it exacerbate things?
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Post by Discus »

Don't know. The theory is it makes you sit head into the wind but I suppose it depends on how strong the wind is and how fast the tide runs. I see quite a few ketches from time to time in Barn Pool with a scrap of mizzen up - but tthat's probably out of the worst of the current there anyway. I imagine its a bit disconcerting with all those boats skating around. How do people work out their swinging room? Are you allowed to anchor with a kedge to hold you in position to the tide? (Forget that idea, bit of a faff about every 6 hours). Rent a mooring and get a big dinghy and ob ! :P

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Post by Jeff »

They guess very badly quite often - especially as we've got our helm hard over quite often. I had to go and ask two different boats within 6 hours to move the other day in fact. Happens quite often.

It's great fun! I'm not paying to avoid this entertainment!!
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Terry T
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Post by Terry T »

blimme Jeff what lengths you go to save a few bob :lol: Anchoring in a river is fine for a few weeks holiday but as a life style ? no thanks .... To much hassle governed by having to be onboard at change of tide coupled with having to monitor the anchoring and boat behaviour of adjacent boats.and crew. As you know I have enough troubles nicely tied up in a marina :roll: BTW it's still not completely repaired after all these weeks Dicky B Marine is utter rubbish since it's been sold :twisted:

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Post by Jeff »

Hehe. I love it. I'm working aboard most days anyway so turn of the tide is a moot point really.

Also it's saving more than just a couple of quid. We save thousands!
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