Anchoring in roadstead, the five right maneuvers to do no harm


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anchorage in roadstead
A good anchorage in the roadstead will give you peace of mind even if the gale comes (pictured above, 50 knots in Croatia!).

Before you start: to find the right place for anchoring in the roadstead you must first, when possible do a reconnaissance of the bay at low speed.

This is the only way to realize the distances from the coast and other boats, as well as the depths that need to be probed by getting as close to the shore as possible so as to get a complete picture of the seabed and any obstacles.

Anchoring in roadstead, what you need to know

In making the choice, due consideration should be given to the possibility of quickly abandoning the anchorage in the roadstead if the wind turns and the bay is no longer sheltered. So, in crowded roadsteads it is best to be the last to get to the back of everyone, avoiding crashing into tight spaces. But what is most important for calculating the distance, and thus the radius of rotation, is to know the chain lengths dropped by your neighbors: if you give 5 and the others 3, when the wind turns you have a good chance of colliding.

anchorage in the roadstead - the radius of rotation
Anchoring in the roadstead. The radius of rotation. Figure 1 shows the different circumferences described by the boats at anchor in the hypothetical wind rotation: light on the left, stronger on the right. In the second case, the boats stretched the same amount of chain. Figure 2, if the distance between one boat and the other is poor, in the rotation the boat comes to be behind may have difficulty in hoisting the anchor.

Therefore, in tight spaces, you need to ask how much chain the boats closest to yours have lowered. The anchor should always be lowered while the boat is stationary; the anchor winch clutch is used to adjust the downward speed of the chain in relation to the speed of the boat going backwards.

Once the required amount of chain has been given(which varies from 5 to 7 times the depth), it is necessary to check the tightness of the anchor in reverse by gradually increasing the turns.

Now let’s turn to maneuvering for a perfect anchorage in the roadstead.

Anchoring in the roadstead – The correct anchoring maneuver

We follow the numbered diagram below for the “classic” anchoring maneuver in the roadstead:

anchoring in the roadstead - right maneuver
Anchoring in the roadstead in four moves
  • 1. Bottom is given with the boat perfectly still.
  • 2. When the anchor has reached the bottom, reverse gear is engaged at idle while the anchorman continues to lower chain.
  • 3. Proceeding in reverse at idle, lower chain to three times the depth and then tighten the anchor winch clutch.
  • 4. Still in reverse, you have the chain tensioned until it is about to enter traction; only then do you still spin chain up to 5 times the depth. You tighten the clutch and wait for the boat to back off. When the chain is all stretched out, accelerate in reverse gradually to drive the flukes into the ground.

Anchorage in the roadstead – Afforco

In anchoring two anchors, it is necessary to decide how far apart to place them and thus the angle between the two chains. The stronger the wind, the narrower the angles should be: from the 60° in Figure 1 to the 30°/45° in Figure 2.

anchorage in roadstead - afforco
Anchoring in roadstead – The technique of afforco

In fact, the angle comes to tighten on its own when, as the wind increases, you are forced to spin more chain. Therefore it is always advisable to keep from the beginning with a more open angle. Afforco has the advantage of reducing the turning radius, the yaw on gusts and spread the load over two anchor lines.

Anchorage in the roadstead – Apennellaggio

To increase the grip of a roadstead anchor, a second anchor can be attached to the line of the main.

anchorage in the roadstead - plugging
Anchorage in the roadstead – The technique of hanging.

In Figure 1, a 3/4-meter piece of chain attached on the eye (or bar) of the claw of the former is used.

In Figure 2, we attach the second anchor directly to the first. Compared to afforco, this system, known as finking, involves less maneuvering but by working two anchors on the same chain, it should be employed with well-sized anchor lines.

Anchoring in the roadstead – The maneuvers to anchor two anchors

In sequence 1, from left to right, the motor afforco.

Anchorage in roadstead - motor anchorage
Anchoring in roadstead – The technique of motor anchoring

Withanchor A in shot, we head toward the point B chosen for the second anchor at a 60-degree angle. When you arrive at point B, you bottom out the second anchor and then, skidding, let go of the second line until both have the same tension. This method works only on even bottoms without rocks.

anchorage in roadstead - anchorage with tender
Anchoring in the roadstead – The anchorage with the tender

Sequence 2 illustrates anchoring with the tender. Best to keep the second anchor line on the dinghy; spinning it off the boat will make it hard to proceed. Lowering the second anchor on point B, you return to the edge by spinning the line.




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