This technique is also used with a sea anchor.
Oftentimes an otherwise pleasant anchorage will be spoiled by seas wrapping around a point of land and coming at you sideways to the wind. With the boat laying to the wind and the seas hitting you beam on, even a small swell can result in a nasty roll that makes relaxing or sleeping impossible. The solution to this problem is to get the bow pointed into the waves and the wind coming over one side or the other. Traditionally the method to accomplish this is to lay out a second anchor. The problems encountered are that to really position the second anchor properly you need to do it from the dinghy which means loading lots of heavy and dirty chain and anchor into the dinghy and pulling it out in the direction desired. If the wind or swell shifts later on you may need to do it again .
More of a concern is that if you need to get to sea quickly it can be quite a problem to raise both anchors in a hurry. We have found a better method using only one anchor.
First we anchor normally with the exception that we veer about 20% more scope than usual. In strong winds you may want at least 30% more. Then we attach a 100’ line with chain claw onto the anchor rode in front of the bow roller. The line is led outside of everything and back to a block and cockpit winch on the side opposite the direction of the swells. Next veer 20’-30’ more chain while you pull in on the line. The result is a bridle running to the bow and stern of the boat. By individually adjusting the chain and line in or out a bit you can exactly control the direction where the bow points. Once the bow is into the swells the rolling will stop. The additional scope will lessen the load on the anchor which is increased because the boat is side on to the wind. If conditions change it is an easy matter to re-adjust your position relative to wind and waves and of course in an emergency you only have one anchor to raise and you can get safely out to sea.
This same technique can be used while hove to and using a sea anchor.
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