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Stern anchor

forbin

.
Nov 4, 2013
159
Tartan 3700 Seattle - Elliot Bay
If you're tight on room would you bother carrying a stern anchor to the San Juans and Gulf Islands? I've got a Fortress FX-16 and about 200 feet of rode that I replaced with a Mantus 25# and 330 ft of rode, I'm debating whether to bring it or not. If I was flush with extra space it would be a no brainer but what do you think with limited space, would it be useful?

Brian
 
Aug 28, 2006
458
Bavaria 35E seattle
Yes, you should. I've been in a couple spots in the Gulf Islands where it's needed. Particularly if you get a real blow going at night.
 

forbin

.
Nov 4, 2013
159
Tartan 3700 Seattle - Elliot Bay
Alrighty, that's three for and none against, I guess I'll find room!

@nightowle - could you tell me generally in what situations you used it?

Thanks, Brian
 

vetch

.
Dec 3, 2011
109
Catalina C27 Bellingham
I've never used a stern anchor but I have frequently used a stern line ran to shore and made fast to a tree to limit swing in a tight anchorage. For instance the North harbor on Jones island.
 
Dec 25, 2000
4,871
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Ditto on the use of a stern anchor; never used one. I always carry a spare, but have never used it. As I recall there only two anchorages where I've used a stern tie; Smuggler Cove and Princess Cove. In the future I prefer our main Danforth anchor for holding in PNW waters in all types of weather. Stern tie is okay if calm waters are in the forecast. If a blow, no stern tie here.
 
Mar 26, 2011
2,804
Corsair F-24 MK I Deale, MD
Yes, always a spare anchor. If you havn't snagged or otherwise lost an anchor yet, you haven't been anchoring out enough. I've only lost one, but it would have been ugly not to have had a second.
 
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Dec 25, 2000
4,871
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
If you havn't snagged or otherwise lost an anchor yet, you haven't been anchoring out enough.
Knock on wood here, but have anchored hundreds of times over the years with our trusty 40 pound Danforth and it remains. It has snagged stuff before; water hoses, cables, anchors, anchor chain, etc. In a blow it has a tendency to dig deeper and deeper, making anchor raising the next day a bit of chore, but so far...
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,386
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
If you're tight on room would you bother carrying a stern anchor to the San Juans and Gulf Islands? I've got a Fortress FX-16 and about 200 feet of rode that I replaced with a Mantus 25# and 330 ft of rode, I'm debating whether to bring it or not. If I was flush with extra space it would be a no brainer but what do you think with limited space, would it be useful?

Brian
Yes. I carry three anchors for the yacht and one dinghy anchor when I‘m fully loaded for cruising. Bow & stern anchoring is, regrettably, commonplace in Southern California, especially at the offshore islands. One reason is b/c much anchoring is done in open roadsteads, sometimes up close to the island to achieve the shallow water. The skippers wish the yacht to face the open sea, the direction of incoming swell. Otherwise, lacking wind pressure such as most nights, the yacht may lay beam to the seas and roll all night. The yacht can rock excessively even when facing the seas. Hence, “flopper stoppers.”

Also, when anchored in very tight coves, skippers wish to prevent the boat from swinging into rocks or shoals with wind changes. This could require bow & stern, plus a third anchor off a beam. In anchorages where there is not room for many yachts to swing together, each on a single hook, everyone will put down bow and stern anchors so the yachts can lie closer together, making space for new arrivals. If you are the new arrival, you’ll likely have to anchor bow & stern as well, or else move on. So, it’s best to have the second anchor aboard.

We encountered a related situation in King Harbor @ Redondo Beach once. Visiting for a weekend, there were NO slips available. The only way to remain the night was to anchor behind the sea wall, which was permitted. BUT—you were required to anchor bow & stern. Since we had two anchors aboard, it was not a problem. Our friends who had gone there a couple of weeks earlier faced the same situation. But lacking the second anchor, were forced to return to Long Beach, 12 n.mi., nearing nightfall, and of course miss out on their weekend. Now, there are bow-stern moorings there. Free to use.

The “regrettable“ part from above, however, is that skippers see many yachts so anchored and seem to get the notion that that is how they should anchor even when none of the above situations apply. They mimic it, but may or may not understand whether there is an actual need for it.

Nearly all of my exploration of BC and the San Juans has been as skipper of bareboat charters. The charter boats are usually not equipped with a second anchor. Their owners essentially do not so equip them. There may or may not be stern ties aboard to run ashore. I always ask that a spool be put aboard for me. I’ve used them in Princess Cove (Wallace Island), and in the Harmony Islands up Jervis Inlet toward Princess Louisa. (Very pretty place.) So, not that often.

I don’t really like doing it, and would much rather swing to a single hook with ample space around me!
 
Last edited:
May 7, 2012
898
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
If you're tight on room would you bother carrying a stern anchor to the San Juans and Gulf Islands?
Sort of 2 questions in 1. As most of the other posts have stated, a 2nd anchor is a safety item and should be carried. I have the original Lewmar Delta with 150' of anchor line and 30' chain stored under the mattress in the aft cabin. Not easily accessed but onboard none-the-less. And in 12 years of cruising the Gulf and San Juan Islands I have never had a need to deploy it. Stern tie yes; but, not stern anchor. To my recollection I do not ever remember seeing anyone using a stern anchor in these cruising grounds. Not to suggest that there has not been. I cannot fathom that you are unable to find storage room for a secondary anchor in a 37' boat. I used Parkinson's Law in an email earlier this morning and it seems relevant here:
“Your belongings will expand in order to fill all of the storage space (time, money, space ) that you have available.” Use that space wisely.
 
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Dec 25, 2000
4,871
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
I'm debating whether to bring it or not.
Hi Brian, bring it as a spare as others have suggested. I would never deploy a bow and stern anchor together, especially in blow. Either or is okay, I suppose, but not on my list of things to do. Deploying both in a blow places undo pressure on both when the wind is abeam. If you have concerns about swing, select a spot that gives you the room you need. In all the years of anchoring hundreds of times in our PNW waters, our Danforth has done the job. Whatever anchor you use, the importants of proper setting and scope play more in holding than other factors.
 
Jul 27, 2011
4,386
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Hi Brian, bring it as a spare as others have suggested. I would never deploy a bow and stern anchor together, especially in blow. Either or is okay, I suppose, but not on my list of things to do. Deploying both in a blow places undo pressure on both when the wind is abeam. If you have concerns about swing, select a spot that gives you the room you need. In all the years of anchoring hundreds of times in our PNW waters, our Danforth has done the job. Whatever anchor you use, the importants of proper setting and scope play more in holding than other factors.
I wouldn’t allow myself to lay beam to the seas for long, if at all. Just ease the stern rode until the boat swings ‘round bow to the seas. I had a situation at Fry’s Harbor (Santa Cruz Island) one night where the 30-kt gusts appeared on the port quarter. We just veered the stern rode until the boat began to swing around, then transferred the stern rode to the bow; giving us two anchors on the bow facing the wind.
 
Oct 19, 2017
6,730
O'Day 19 Littleton, NH
And... make sure you can get to your spare quickly. The times you will need the second anchor are; one: when anticipating a blow and you want two anchors out, two: when you don't want to swing with the wind or tide and three: when you've lost your main anchor. In that case, you may be drifting into things you don't want to drift into in the middle of a storm in the middle of the night. My exprience is, when that happens, you don't want to be fighting to get it out from under the dinghy lashed upside-down on top of it while you're keel is finding the bottom on a shoal. That will lead to a call for the CG that could have been avoided.

-Will (Dragonfly)
 
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