Anchoring and Dinghy towing in rough weather

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brigadoon
Posts: 176
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:58 pm

Anchoring and Dinghy towing in rough weather

Post by brigadoon »

My wife and I recently returned from cruising the San Juan Islands in WA.
Not much sailing but motored about 150 mi. all told. Unfortunately the wind never did cooperate so the iron Jenny got a workout. The islands are beautiful with great hiking and good anchorage’s. We used mooring balls when available but also anchored from time to time. I keep 40 ft of 5/16 galvanized chain with 400 ft of 1/2” double braid but have only used the first 100’ of line. My main anchor is a 25 lb Rocna which has worked great. I a
So keep 2 spare anchors and have used a double anchor on occasion. At one location we were going through a pass but were fighting a 6 kn. currant and it just wasn’t going to happen so we anchored for 2 1/2 hr in place. The anchor never dragged an inch. When slack tide came along we went right on through.The day before we were pulling the boat we crossed the strait from Lopez isle to John Wayne marina , Sequim. The crossing is 21 mi across 3 major shipping Chanel’s. Winds were forecast at 6 kn. Tides would run at 90 deg to our course going in or out. The tide started running out against the 6 kn wind about 4 mi. out .With 80 mi of fetch waves built to 4’ with about a 10 sec period on our beam . The boat really rocked with the port rail at the waterline whenever the wave hit us , I kept the keel all the way up to prevent it from smashing a hole , the ride was a bit rough but the boat handled it fine. We were towing a hard 8’ nesting pram on a 10’ line. I’ve read that it can be risky towing a dinghy in rough seas but if you do you should use enough line to keep the dingy far enough away so it will not surf into the stern. We were able to maintain 6 kn over water while motoring, the dinghy stayed in track directly behind the boat where waves were already cut and never took on a drop. I know this would not have worked in a following sea or in high winds but it worked fine for the week and a half we crusied. The dinghy worked great and never took on water until the last night when a seal thought it looked like a good place to rest. The dinghy has 3 ballast tanks and was floating jut below the surface water 1/2 in over the gunnels in the morning. I was glad my winches were in good working order. Hope everyone is having a good summer sailing .
Rick C26 SV Brigadoon
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