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E34 anchor well... how much rode?

N.A.

E34 / SF Bay
This is a question for E34 folks:

--> If you have an E34, how much rode (and of what dia.) can you cram in the tiny anchor locker / well?

My anchor locker is... tiny, compared to other much smaller boats I have seen. I think they sacrificed it to make a roomier V-berth.

Anyway, before I go and buy 300-350' of 1/2" rode, I thought I'd ask about whether it was even likely to fit. I am honestly uncertain that much 5/8" 3-strand would, but am likely to go with 1/2" (different discussion; I know -- peace of mind from 5/8, etc -- but... 1/2" is stretchier, which is good in bad conditions, and a whole lot easier to handle given no windlass. Plus it might fit, and anyway is what Hinz's book recommends. Lots of chain sounds fine, but my boat is down by the bow if I even fill the V-berth water tank, so planning to keep it light up there. Plus that 'no windlass' thing.

Many thanks!
 

bsangs

E35-3 - New Jersey
I realize you said E34 folks, and not 35-3 folks, and I'm unsure how much different the anchor locker specs are between the two. But anyway, for comparisons sake, we have 325' of total rode that fits just fine in our anchor locker. It's comprised of 275' of 5/8, 8-plait nylon, and 50' of 5/16" G4 chain. So if the E34 locker is similar, I'd think you'd be fine with all nylon rode fitting in there.
 

southofvictor

Member III
Blogs Author
8 plait will fit into a small space much easier than 3 strand. I‘d say it’s worth the up charge if you’re concerned about space. Here’s a great site for comparing chain and rope strengths against boat displacements.

 

Pete the Cat

Member III
I think you need to carry what you think you would use. In Maine I need a lot of chain because of the rocky and boulder bottoms there. But I sailed from San Francisco to Maine via Panama over several years and can't recall a time I needed more than 150' of anything out because I generally found anchorages not in excess of 25'. In SF Bay I have never had more than 100' out at any time in the last 40 years because most of it is shallow mud. There were times when having a second anchor and rode (I would not sail any distance without both available and a 150' rode flaked ready to go in a milk crate) was a great comfort. Part of the rode sizing isn't just the load rating, you can manage chafe, but it is a consideration that you might want not to be thinking about when you are below in a choppy blow.
 

N.A.

E34 / SF Bay
Thanks for the links and suggestions! I'll reconsider 5/8" plaited.

I have a spare (and light) fortress "lunch-hook" anchor that I can use as a stern anchor, with 150' rode and some chain (it will move to the stern locker). The 300'+ of rode I am getting is for the main anchor (which I may upgrade to a heavier rocna) which is mainly for offshore emergency use on the Northern CA coast. I anchor seldom, and pretty much never inside the bay, but am starting to poke my nose out the Gate and don't want to end up on the beach due to some otherwise minor thing (enginer issue + little wind or something) cascading into a much bigger problem due to not enough rode to anchor well out of the surf. Frankly, I expect to never have to deal with something like that, but there are many things of that sort -- flares, GPIRB -- on the boat that fit in a similar category.

The E34 has a super-shallow anchor locker, so still very interested in anyone who's crammed a lot of rode in and E34.
 

Prairie Schooner

Jeff & Donna, E35-3 purchased 7/21
Hi N.A.
I've been doing some research on rodes as we want to replace ours. I came across this thread:
If you haven't seen it, there may be some clues and perhaps you could DM some of the 34 owners or ping them in that thread or here?
Following this with interest,
Jeff
 

Pete the Cat

Member III
Thanks for the links and suggestions! I'll reconsider 5/8" plaited.

I have a spare (and light) fortress "lunch-hook" anchor that I can use as a stern anchor, with 150' rode and some chain (it will move to the stern locker). The 300'+ of rode I am getting is for the main anchor (which I may upgrade to a heavier rocna) which is mainly for offshore emergency use on the Northern CA coast. I anchor seldom, and pretty much never inside the bay, but am starting to poke my nose out the Gate and don't want to end up on the beach due to some otherwise minor thing (enginer issue + little wind or something) cascading into a much bigger problem due to not enough rode to anchor well out of the surf. Frankly, I expect to never have to deal with something like that, but there are many things of that sort -- flares, GPIRB -- on the boat that fit in a similar category.

The E34 has a super-shallow anchor locker, so still very interested in anyone who's crammed a lot of rode in and E34.
I realize there is a general marketing thing about buying the "next size up" the "next generation" and heavier anchor gear to make folks feel safer. Last year, some cruisers in Costa Rica went up on the beach because they could not retrieve their buried, heavy gear and get out of the roadstead when the big waves from a far off storm suddenly appeared. Years ago, some 19 boats went up on the beach in Cabo and a good number of them said they could not retrieve their gear in the surf and were stuck until it finally parted as the surf increased. As you have noted, the Pacific Coast is mostly a lee shore with few harbors of refuge. My most dangerous near misses in my cruising life have not been having an anchor too small, but rather having too little personal fortitude to pick up and get out when things start to get dicey in lee shore situations before I had no choice but to stay on a boat that was pitching too violently to even inspect and manage chafe, much less pick up the gear. I was lucky each time, but in retrospect, it was not wise or seamanlike. I worry that so much marketing has gone into "never drag" anchor brands and types that folks are going to be lulled into the easy, but very dangerous choice to hunker down behind a $1000 anchor, when the only safe thing to do is get out in deeper water. And do it sooner rather than later.
I have sailed extensively outside the Gate and remind folks that you should never go South until you are beyond the first Channel marker buoy in any weather--you cannot always see the NW breaking swell before you are in it going South. Coming North you should come close to the lightship buoy (outside the separation zone and watch for the big guys out there moving at 20+Kts) before turning right into the Gate. The folks who end up on Ocean Beach are under reported--I had one very near catastrophe many years ago when I cut things too close to coming North--the swell is deceptive and the top current will take you ashore faster than you can motor or sail, even if the waves are not yet breaking. The only thing that saved me was luck. Had I been another mile or two offshore, I would have had no problem.
 

N.A.

E34 / SF Bay
Thanks again. My view of the main anchor is mainly a safety device if I _cannot_ sail away and am getting blown down onto a beach. If I can sail or motor away from a lee shore, I will (note: the 'top current' mentioned sweeping one onto Ocean Beach faster than one can motor against seems like a pe3rfect example of when the anchor would suddenly matter.)

Separately, I'm willing to slip/drop the anchor, leaving a float -- I have a spare anchor anyway, and singlehanding with no windlass there would be little other choice in any significant wind. Again due to no windlass, I'm going for minimum chain -- 90' (~ 100lb) of chain is too much for me to haul by hand, especially with a 30lb anchor on the end.

--> Does anyone else here have no windlass? If so, how do you break out the anchor while singlehanding? I assume one motors up, snubs the line, then goes back to the cockpit to break it out with the motor, then goes forward to haul it off the bottom, then goes to cockpit to adjust heading for deeper water, then goes back to foredeck to haul on that thing... But I assume there are tricks. Certainly interested in any the windlass-lacking have found handy.

PS:
@Pete the Cat : The advice re: going out the Golden Gate is deeply appreciated; I've done a bunch of homework on that (and been out a few times), but nothing I have ever seen mentioned this 'top current' off Ocean Beach, nor cautioned so usefully about the difficulty seeing the breaking NW swell when heading South (I guess as opposed to heading North). I plan to avoid the South Bar like the plague, but have questions.
--> So that others could find the advice easily later, I will split that discussion into a separate thread.
PS: That new thread is here: https://ericsonyachts.org/ie/threads/advice-re-sf-bar-golden-gate-offsore-near-san-francsisco.21260/
 
Last edited:

Alan Gomes

Sustaining Partner
Does anyone else here have no windlass? If so, how do you break out the anchor while singlehanding? I assume one motors up, snubs the line, then goes back to the cockpit to break it out with the motor,
On my current boat and previous boats, I'd let the boat do the work of breaking out the anchor, but the motor is not usually needed. I snub the line up short and then let the rocking motion of the boat dislodge it from the bottom. If you have a few others aboard you could all go up to the bow to put the bow down, tighten the rode as tightly as you can by hand, and then move back to the cockpit. The boats motion should break it out for you.
 

Pete the Cat

Member III
On my current boat and previous boats, I'd let the boat do the work of breaking out the anchor, but the motor is not usually needed. I snub the line up short and then let the rocking motion of the boat dislodge it from the bottom. If you have a few others aboard you could all go up to the bow to put the bow down, tighten the rode as tightly as you can by hand, and then move back to the cockpit. The boats motion should break it out for you.
I have no windlass on my Ericson, but I have a Simpson Lawrence vertical (Similar to a Lewmar V2) on my Tartan 37. I generally sail on SF Bay and some modest coastal cruising with the Ericson and figure that a windlass is added complication I don't need. I generally pick up the anchor on the Ericson by motoring directly over it, snubbing everything and going back and breaking it out with the boat. I actually do much the same thing with the windlass---I just use the windlass to reel in the chain and do the final lift after breakout. What I learned from overhauling the windlass twice (granted I have had it for 20 years and two of those were cruising almost full time) is that most recreational windlasses are not built for breaking out your anchor, nor are they built to stand the strain of backing down to set it--I didn't do either alot, but enough to break the bearing seals. I believe you will find this admonition in the instructions for most of them, yet I see folks do it all the time. Also, I learned that snubbing the anchor into the bow roller and leaving it stored that way, can distort the seal on the bearings (which, on my windlass are not much more than an automotive wheel bearing) and lead to failure--the bearings are necessarily mild steel for strength so the seals are critical. I use a 200+ ft chain rode in Maine because of the depths and rocks there, so a windlass is very handy for convenience of retrieval and stowing. But here in SF Bay and the Coast of California, it seems that the anchorages are generally 20 + or - feet an mud buries anything you put down (maybe not in SoCal?). So I would say the complication of a windlass on something less than 35 feet depends on how and where your sail. Of course the type of anchor and rode you carry will make a difference. I am a fan of having multiple anchors and rodes ready to deploy, rather than relying on a single heavy gear because, as I pointed out, sometimes it's more important to get out rather than stay put. If you have ever tried to retrieve ground tackle from a pitching deck, you know what I am talking about. I am hoping to avoid that experience for the rest of this lifetime.
 

Alan Gomes

Sustaining Partner
But here in SF Bay and the Coast of California, it seems that the anchorages are generally 20 + or - feet an mud buries anything you put down (maybe not in SoCal?).
There are very few good places to anchor in Southern California. At Catalina all the good places are already clogged with moorings. By the time you get past the mooring fields you are often in 100+ feet. Additionally, in many locations the bottom drops off sharply not far off the beach. (An exception to that is in my own stomping grounds, San Pedro.)
 

Marlin Prowell

E34 - Bellingham, WA
We have an E34 with the original anchor pan. We have 250 feet of 5/8” nylon 3 strand and 70 feet of 5/16” chain. It all fits in the locker along with a danforth anchor. The rode is snaked back and forth, not just piled in a heap, but everything fits with room to spare.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Does anyone else here have no windlass?

The vast majority of us don't. Ericson didn't install them and Bruce King didn't design for them.

Lots of successful installations, but our bows are kinda pointy and require compromises.
 

bsangs

E35-3 - New Jersey
Does anyone else here have no windlass?

The vast majority of us don't. Ericson didn't install them and Bruce King didn't design for them.

Lots of successful installations, but our bows are kinda pointy and require compromises.
Ain't that the truth. Previous owner installed one on Radiance and basically did it backwards. Requires some mental and physical calisthenics every time I use her, and is also the primary reason I have a nylon/chain rode instead of all chain.
 

N.A.

E34 / SF Bay
Thanks @Marlin Prowell -- that is extremely helpful.

@Pete the Cat -- if you're willing, I posted a follow-up question I had re: your 'outside the Gate' advice. If you're willing to add to your comments I at least would be quite interested. I was trying to move that discussion to a thread with a different thread topic title, so I posted the questions there:

Thanks for the anchoring comments everyone; definitely helpful and appreciated.
 

Teranodon

Member III
... most recreational windlasses are not built for breaking out your anchor, nor are they built to stand the strain of backing down to set it...
When I installed a windlass on the E34, I included an anchor lock, which I always engage before backing down so as not to strain the windlass. I always set the anchor when staying overnight. Even with my 15kg Rocna, I drag about 1/4 of the time when setting. I've never had a problem breaking out the anchor with the windlass, and I assume the breaker would pop before the bearings were damaged, but maybe I should re-think this. In general, I appreciate Ray's remarks. Good food for thought.
 
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