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Preview: Anchoring a Boat, Part 3 — Creative Solutions with a Traditional Anchor

January 16, 2013

Getting a large yachtsman anchor aboard a classic sailing yacht without damaging the topsides, toe rail or deck can be a ticklish operation; anchoring a boat like this takes special care.  Claas van der Linde, ALERA’s owner and skipper, shows us the way he does it.  As you watch, please note that there is little wind, tide, chop or nearby hazards to deal with. If any of these were present, it would make sense to have another crew member on deck to help.

For more anchoring tips and techniques, be sure to check out our other anchoring videos:

How to Anchor a Boat, Part 1: Anchoring a Small Powerboat with a Yachtsman

Anchoring a Boat, Part 2: Reliability & Versatility of a Danforth vs. a Yachtsman Anchor

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– [Male Narrator] As sailors, we all find ourselves faced with new situations that cry out for creative solutions. Anchoring varies greatly boat to boat and person to person. There’s no single right way to go about dropping, retrieving, or stowing an anchor. Because keeping his 19.5 sloop Alera authentic is important to him, Claas van der Linde uses a fisherman-style anchor. He also likes that these anchors dig in reliably, with short scope on a wide range of sea bottoms. Although his method might not be for everyone, and could benefit from a second person at times, his solution is innovative and gets the job done neatly. So let’s take a look.

– I have the problem of how do I get the anchor up onto the boat without banging into the boat, and also without breaking my back. So in order to do so, I first have to prepare the boat. That means getting this out of the way, otherwise I cannot operate the winch. So that’ll go up now. This, by the way, is the old capstan which Alera has had all of her life. So this capstan is from 1905. And I don’t know how many times the boat has been anchored using it. So I’m just trying to see if I can pull her up by hand, which works. And then in a moment, I have to use the capstan to break out the anchor. There she is.

– But now it’s very difficult because the anchor has been sitting in the ground for a couple days. And I have to break it out. And it’s not a one-person job usually. Now I have it. I just want to get the anchor further up. So now I’m going to go out there where I have more space, so that I can see if the anchor’s dirty, then I can clean it, and then I can take it onboard. So I’m going to release the anchor slightly because I see it’s dirty, and by just going with it through the water, I don’t have to work as hard. It’s a, a risky thing, because I might ding the boat if a lobster boat with a wake comes now. That looks pretty good. But now I’m going to attach the rode to the jib halyard. So the grommet goes around the rode, and then I simply put it through here, like this. And it’ll then just bite into the rode. And the halyard is conveniently close, and I can easily detach it with what are called sister hooks. So these two open like that, and close. So I’m going to pull that down. So now the anchor rode is basically attached to the jib halyard, and when I pull, you know, you can see that it already comes up. So that means that I now can release the anchor rode here. And the anchor really slowly comes aft. You can see in one hand I have the halyard, in the other one, I have the two-part halyard, and I’m able now to push out the anchor. And that’s the important bit. And I have a two-part purchase, so I only have to pull half the weight of the anchor. And now, I just pleat the halyard, take my brush here, and without the halyard, I would not be able to do that. And then you see I also have brushes on top of that brush, so I can also get the underside, and try to get at least some of the mud off. Now I carefully place it onto the rode, and not onto the deck. Because I do not want to damage the deck. Take this out. OK. Now I’m going to work on the anchor. So, and then, I can take that off, and just temporarily putting it here. And then the nice thing, of course, with the fisherman anchor is it’s pretty easy to take it apart. You simply have a cotter pin here. This latch. So, and, in a way, if I coil the anchor rode like that, I can always use the anchor. To use the capstan or bring in the anchor, and to break it out of the ground, just normal procedure. But then I had the problem of how to get the anchor actually on top of the boat. And for that, we used our grommet attached to the rode, and then, used the two-to-one jib halyard, which allowed us to bring it safely onboard without dinging the boat and without scratching the boat. That, with an anchor like that, which weighs 48 pounds, is a pretty big issue. And otherwise, I think I would not be able to handle it on my own.



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