March 2015. More Emergency Anchor Up Info.
After the article
Emergency Anchor Up (OpenCPN info too)
was published a fellow soloist gave me a phone call.
Irene lives aboard her Valiant32 and has like me had to "do the drill"
regarding anchor up on more than one occasion. And she's one smart
cookie with tricks I've since added to my arsenal.
This is Irene's sailboat Katja at
anchor in Fort Pierce, FL.
Helpful Hints for Anchoring Emergencies
Like me, Irene immediately starts
engine on her Katja when an anchoring event occurs. In
addition to the normal stuff (as described in the
Emergency Anchor Up
article) she has a few other things on hand that I'd
Rain gear by the companionway.
(being warm is especially important when clear thinking is
Gloves hanging on a hook and ready
to be used (watch your fingers on deck, especially around
A headlamp to light where she's
Headlamps are cool
gizmos. I have a couple of the units. Mine require one AA
battery and have a switch on top. To the right powers two
white LEDs and to the left is the center red night-vision LED.
Side Note regarding
batteries: Aboard Seaweed I've limited all battery powered
gizmos to use either AA (preferred) or AAA. It's quite
enough to stock two sizes and excluding my smoke alarms
(9-volt) the flash lights are all either sized double or
The head lamps have proven
particularly useful in bilges when I've been working on other
boats. Ditto when I've been digging in the back of a locker
on Seaweed for a particular item.
Also, Irene has a second
anchor ready to launch on the bow. Part of the danger of
dragging is in getting up on that lee shore where the boat can
be battered. Also, if in an anchorage with other boats one
wants to stay away from them and prevent damage to other
vessels along with your own.
Being able to immediately launch a second
anchor and make the boat stationary is an important safety
Another thing Katja has on
hand (tied to the forward stanchion and bow rail) are a couple of small
pieces of line. Sometimes relieving the stress on the
chain is important in helping to either retrieve or set set
the second anchor. Having short pieces of rope conveniently
Tools need to
be near where they are used,
especially in an emergency situation.
Having a piece of rope to
relieve tension on the anchor rode is smart. That same item in
a locker in the cockpit does little good when you need it on
the foredeck. As a soloist having the luxury of help is not
issue independently is one trait of a successful boater.
Like Irene, I intend to
keep a piece of string forward. For Seaweed, that will
probably mean attached to the remote for my windlass.
On our boat (the 40'er) we
kept a small hatchet/ax inside the anchor locker. A second was
inside by the door into the cockpit. If we needed to part a
rope (our rode was 1" three strand, following 40' of heavy
chain) the axe would serve the purpose.
I still have one of the
hatchets. It's just beneath the step to exit Seaweed on the
starboard side of my pilothouse. I do need to sharpen it
because frankly, at this point it's not likely to cut much of
It's a boat:
there are always things to do.
Have you any anchor-up tricks to share?
And do you have a way to cut your boat free from entanglements?
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