|25 - 30 knots in Upper Loch Carron with lots more to come overnight.|
|Sancerre rock solid in the gale at Upper Loch|
Carron riding to the Bower with c 10.5 Kg on
the chain acting as a "Chum".
Without that luxury or in a real storm like "Evert" that lashed the Isles of Scilly in July 2021 causing multiple boats to be driven ashore after their anchors or moorings dragged it would be prudent to be rather more pro active, also some precautions to help getting the anchor(s) up would be useful.
My post "Anchors, Drogues & Emergency Steering" describes the ground tackle I have on board so I will not repeat much of it here, one area that I will expand on is trip lines and there use.
And don't forget to secure everything on deck, get the dinghy onboard and deflated and take extra care of a furling headsail by putting multiple sail ties around it, 40 or 50 knots of wind could destroy a loose headsail before you have time to secure it.
I mentioned in the other piece that trip lines should be robust and easy to handle and recommended 6mm or preferably 8mm. In storm conditions it would be sensible to use a long 10 or 12 mm line. Modern anchors are designed to dig in when under load which is good but, in sand or mud they can bury themselves very deep, I have always managed to get them out using the rode but others have not been so lucky and have had to get a diver to go down to dig them out. Patent devices to trip a fouled anchor are unlikely to work if the whole anchor is buried.
A strong trip line might enable the anchor to be pulled out backwards, to do that it might be necessary to take the line to the windlass or back to a serious winch, or to use the engine if the boat can be aligned correctly. A 10 or 12 mm line 20m long or more would be a lot easier to handle and the 10 mm has a 2.4 tonne breaking strain rather than 820 Kg for 6mm. It would also work on a windlass or self tailing winch. I don't carry lines specifically for this, but a long dock line could be utilised, in my case the 25m lines I have on board for use in locks and against high walls.
|The calm before the storm at Lindisfarne 2021 the anchor trip|
buoy off the starboard bow.
Backing up the anchor.
A quick fix is to back up the bower anchor with something heavier than a relatively light weight "Chum" (see "Anchors, Drogues & Emergency Steering") the obvious thing to use is another anchor, in my case my 10 Kg folding stock wired shut plus some chain. That would certainly help and would make the ride more comfortable but it does have some disadvantages, the anchor could get buried even deeper and if it doesn't work the back up anchor will get in the way when trying get the main anchor up to reset it.
Some recommend using 2 anchors in tandem, one anchor, usually the kedge, is linked from the normal attachment point to the trip point on a second anchor with a length of chain and the two laid out, hopefully with both digging in. It is reported to work well but is going to be very difficult to get back on board, if the water is deeper than the length of chain between the two anchors you would be underway with 2 anchors hanging off of the bow.
Two Anchors at an angle.
Short of a super heavy "Hurricane Hook" this is the traditional solution, the bower and kedge anchors are laid with an angle between them of about 45 degrees (less rather then more), the kedge, in my case probably the 24 Lb CQR, should have some chain to protect the rode from chafe where it is close to the sea bed, I use 5 metres of 8mm which should be adequate, more would be better but that lot already weighs 18.2 Kg / 40 Lb plus the warp, as much as I would care to carry in the dinghy or heave up.
The kedge anchor is either laid from the dinghy or it may be possible to lay both from the boat by manoeuvring under engine perhaps against the first one to be laid - it helps if there is spare cable on the Bower to give some space but care is needed to avoid getting one around the prop or rudder. If the Bower is on chain and the kedge on mainly rope then the latter will need to be much longer than the used amount of Bower rode.
For strength I would probably use my 80m length of 14mm platted rope on the kedge rather than my 100m 10mm cable laid rope, but it does have the disadvantage of having a spliced in thimble at each end for the drogue so that it can not be fed through the windlass or blocks to a winch. A very expensive snatch block would help, my cheaper but still expensive one is not big enough or strong enough for the 14mm.
I would probably back up the bower with the 3.2Kg Grapnel and some chain and perhaps use the rubber "Shockle" anchor snubber. The kedge would have to look after itself, the nylon rode is very stretchy so with the reduced snatch at the anchor end it should be OK. I would be loath to risk the chafe of running a weight down nylon.
Getting the two anchors up could be a challenge, it may be necessary to buoy the kedge rode with a fender, get the bower up then pick up the kedge. Both anchors should have a heavy trip line, just in case.