Storms on the Chesapeake

A forum for discussing topics relating to MacGregor Powersailor Sailboats

Moderators: Catigale, Paul S, Heath_Mod, beene, Hamin' X, kmclemore, tangentair

User avatar
eodjedi
Engineer
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:25 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Glen Burnie, MD

Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by eodjedi » Wed May 23, 2018 3:33 pm

So was anyone else caught in the storm 12 May 2018 out in the Annapolis area?
I was, thought I would be perfectly safe anchoring at Sandy Point and waiting it out. Almost turned into a complete disaster. First, my Rocna Anchor didn't hold in the sand. Second, once the storm hit, the wind was so strong, I almost felt we were going to capsize. Now looking back, maybe not so much but once we hit 45 degrees heel with a good 50 knot gust, I was convinced. (And yes the ballast was full) This was anchored mind you. We ended getting pushed to the shoreline and grounding. We somehow managed to dodge all the pilings. Once we were grounded, we weren't going anywhere which in itself was a blessing and one of my favorite design features of the :macm: Once the storm subsided, I jumped in the water, pushed her out and decided not to risk it and pulled her out at the dock. Amazingly enough, no damage what-so-ever. We had a come to Jesus moment when we almost lost the main though, I had a couple of sail ties on her and realized it wasn't enough when we started fighting the wind to put 5 more sail ties on before disaster struck.

So when it comes to weathering a storm at a safe harbor, does anyone have any advice? Has anyone ever experienced a near capsize while anchored in extreme storm conditions. This was the first time I have ever gone sailing without my mainsail cover (never again). How about anchoring? I don't feel throwing a second anchor aft of the boat would have been a good idea. Maybe offset 2 anchors from the bow?

Anyways lessons learned and all that good stuff.

User avatar
Tomfoolery
Admiral
Posts: 5208
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Rochester, NY '99X BF50 'Tomfoolery'

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by Tomfoolery » Wed May 23, 2018 4:40 pm

eodjedi wrote:First, my Rocna Anchor didn't hold in the sand.
Yikes! What size is the Rocna? Is there hard pan or mud under the sand? :|

User avatar
NiceAft
Admiral
Posts: 4036
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 10:28 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Upper Dublin,PA, USA: 2005M 50hp.Honda4strk.,1979 Phantom Sport Sailboat, 9'Achilles 6HP Merc 4strk

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by NiceAft » Wed May 23, 2018 5:04 pm

A) Did you let out enough rode. Normally 5-7 foot of rode per each foot of depth (bow to sea floor), but in storm conditions, 10 foot of rode per foot of distance from bow to sea floor. The proper length of rode helps the anchor to hold.

B) You mentioned insufficient sail ties. It seems that the combination of high freeboard and lose sail gave the wind something to get its teeth into.

I was in such conditions once. I know how it feels. That’s what scotch is for :D

Ray

User avatar
Ixneigh
Admiral
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:00 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Key largo Florida

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by Ixneigh » Wed May 23, 2018 6:59 pm

Rocnas are prone to pulling out in certain bottoms. Mud, grass, sticky muddy sand. I had a 25 lb brand new. 2nd time it pulled out with a big ball of weeds on it I took it to the marine thrift store in town. I now have have a 50 lb Luke anchor probably the largest anchor in the Mac fleet. Laughably overkill for most. However I spend a lot of time anchored various places and it's surprisingly easy to handle the way I have it set up (I have a windlass) When anchored I pick up the rudders and board. The boat will blow from side to side and ease the impact of the gusts. She shouldn't capsize and I don't worry about it. Lightning and waterspouts concern me more.

The anchor
Because i park in shallow waters often close to shore, my timeframe to deal with a dragging anchor before I wind up on shore is small. That's why I use that particular anchor system, just one big anchor, 70 feet of 5/16 chain and a 40 ft peice of 5/8 nylon as a snubber.
I have small stern anchor but seldom use it.

Ix

whgoffrn
Captain
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:55 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by whgoffrn » Wed May 23, 2018 7:07 pm

Honestly unless you're hull bent on rocna being the end all of anchors I'd switch anchors ..... I have a 35lb Mantus anchor (YouTube some videos of how well Mantus anchors bite in) and I've been in some nasty nasty storms..... the fastest wind was a few years back and I was on Indian river lagoon and the worst storm I recall ever being in while in Florida (and there's some bad summer squalls) I heard a report cape Canaveral clocked it at max gust of 93mph so on the water maybe 70-80? But my boat never budged an inch ...it only lasted about 30 mins but it was a scary 30 mins and that Mantus never budged
I have 2 Mantus anchors a 25 and a 35 and neither one has ever drug in numerous squalls and supposedly holding power isn't even their strong suit it's ability to bite in and dig and reset quickly IF it ever did pop out of the sand it's supposed to roll and dig in immediately. A 35lb anchor with such a long shaft is a pia to deal with o n a boat with no bow roller but its doable and I guarantee your boat will not drag

If you like watching sailing videos check out sailing uma they rode out hurricane Matthew with a Mantus and never budged

With the Mantus anchor i don't use nearly as much chain as most do ... I have a different anchor for rocky bottoms (the grappled anchor) so with the Mantus only use prob 15 feet of chain just for abrasion protection on the anchor rode from sliding on the sand and or small rocks .... if I suspect a lot of load will get put on I have one of those shock absorbers from west marine that supposedly will handle 2k lbs and I chain it to the bow eyelet and run 2 more ratchet straps or ropes to the 2 bow cleats to distribute the load to 3 points ....prob over kill but mother nature will make you pay if you under estimate it

User avatar
Ixneigh
Admiral
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:00 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Key largo Florida

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by Ixneigh » Thu May 24, 2018 6:12 am

I looked at the Mantus site and the videos are pretty entertaining.
But every anchor maker has videos showing how their anchors set faster. I might have to buy a small one and do my own comparisons here in the keys with our difficult anchoring conditions.
Ix

User avatar
Tomfoolery
Admiral
Posts: 5208
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Rochester, NY '99X BF50 'Tomfoolery'

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by Tomfoolery » Thu May 24, 2018 7:54 am

If anyone has a couple of months with nothing to do (you guys down unda', perhaps?), here are 188 forum pages of anchor setting pics with more than 2800 posts. And I've read them all. :P

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f11 ... 26073.html

Some manufacturers chiming in, touting/defending their products, along with the usual defense of whatever-brand-of-anchor-you-already-own type posts (human nature, I suspect), but lots of good pics, with some mermaid shots diving on anchors, or just going for a swim, just to keep it interesting. :D

Surprising to me how many boats, especially sailboats, are still using CQR anchors, designed in the 1930's, and the first small anchor for yotties that wasn't a 'fisherman's' type.

But that's getting far off topic, so I'll leave it there. :|

User avatar
eodjedi
Engineer
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:25 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Glen Burnie, MD

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by eodjedi » Thu May 24, 2018 8:33 am

Anchor was the 25 LB model and I set it with plenty of rode. At least two boat lengths and this was in about 6 ft of depth. Problem was, the wind changed directions multiple times causing the anchor reset again and again. I've never had an issue with my Rocna, but this was definitely a first. The lightening show was something else too.

whgoffrn
Captain
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:55 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by whgoffrn » Thu May 24, 2018 10:20 am

Lxneigh you're right prob every anchor maker has the same claim but youtubing it will show it in pull tests beside other anchors ... I'm sure those videos also could have been edited and had 1000 takes until it showed what they wanted it to show but I also take my boat also frequented south Florida and the keys and that anchor never budged... now granted when in the keys i anchor (for the night) on the gulf side and make sure I'm in a patch of sand but its never drug there either
For reef fishing in the keys i use my grappler anchor because the prongs on it will bend out as i can't tell what is down there in 75 feet of water ... I don't want to lose my Mantus anchor to a big boulder

OP... as far as wind shifting direction supposedly that's the mantus anchors strong suit is it resets faster than others anchors.... maybe thats advertising propaganda or the truth i dunno but all I know is my accounts.... almost all squalls come with a wind shift and a dramatic increase in wind speed
And I've been in many and sometimes I've underestimated mother nature and anchored close to islands or the bank and when the wind shifted it started blowing me towards the bank and that anchor has saved me numerous times when I made anchoring mistakes or only has 3 to 1 scope etc etc for what it's worth I'm very cheap very frugal I won't spend the money on a good chart plotter or ais vhf because I'm too much of a tight wad to spend the money but although expensive anchors I own a 35lb and a 25lb Mantus

User avatar
Sea Wind
First Officer
Posts: 402
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:45 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Mayo, MD Suzuki DF90hp

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by Sea Wind » Thu May 24, 2018 12:29 pm

were you anchored in the inside basin?
could it be that the bottom was soft mud?

User avatar
Sumner
Admiral
Posts: 2374
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:20 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26S
Location: SE Utah
Contact:

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by Sumner » Thu May 24, 2018 12:55 pm

eodjedi wrote:Anchor was the 25 LB model and I set it with plenty of rode. At least two boat lengths and this was in about 6 ft of depth. Problem was, the wind changed directions multiple times causing the anchor reset again and again. I've never had an issue with my Rocna, but this was definitely a first. The lightening show was something else too.
In conditions like that I'd have more than 52 feet out in 6 feet of water. How much chain and what size do you have?

For the rode I'd have at least 7 times the depth plus you need to add the height from the water to the bow so 6 ft. plus that height. For that situation I'd be putting down 70-75 feet plus the 25 foot of chain I have. Overkill? Yes, but I've never drug and have been in that kind of wind gusts. But if I knew it was going to be doing that I'd also put down our second anchor in a "V" off the bow, never the stern.

Our primary is a 25# Manson and the secondary is a 22# claw. I've even put down more than the 7 times figure if I'm not near anyone and have room to swing. I've never had a problem doing that and we anchor all the time we are out unless we beach the boat in a lake where there isn't a tide. Also was the 6 foot depth the depth at the highest tide? You need to account for that also.

You will find all kinds of opinions on using a second anchor. Myself I'd like to know that the boat would have to be pulling two along the bottom in order to drag. I sleep through about anything so need good anchoring gear,

Sumner

============================
1300 miles to the Bahamas and back -- 2015

The MacGregor 26-S

The Endeavour 37

Trips to Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Canada, Florida

Mac-Venture Links

User avatar
Tomfoolery
Admiral
Posts: 5208
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:42 am
Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
Location: Rochester, NY '99X BF50 'Tomfoolery'

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by Tomfoolery » Thu May 24, 2018 1:01 pm

There's 6 ft of water plus another 3 ft to the bow, so 9 ft in 50 ft is only 5.5:1 of scope. I'd be paying out a lot more if I had it (which I do, for just such an emergency). Fortress publishes 70% holding force at 5:1 and 100% at 10:1 scope, so it is a diminishing return (on anybody's anchor), but when things turn sour, a little more is always good. Though I do understand a big problem was constant shifting of wind direction, but if the anchor is dug in deep enough with a shallow rode angle, it should rotate under the bottom and not pop out. Should.

But I'm glad you and the boat survived without a scratch. If the admiral was on my boat and that happened, she'd never go on another boat again. And I might be locked out when I got home. :|

Edit: Too slow. :|

User avatar
Ixneigh
Admiral
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:00 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Key largo Florida

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by Ixneigh » Thu May 24, 2018 3:59 pm

Never forget the time I was anchored right in the Lee of a mangrove island in very shallow water. The bottom was grassy. I put the rocna down on 70 ft of rode. Late that evening the expected weather hit. One really strong gust laid the boat over and out comes that anchor and the boat starts drifting towards assorted markers, boats and jetties at a very brisk pace in the horizontal downpour. I had to pull in all that rode, the anchor had a big ol grass wad on it, get the motor going and try to find a place to reanchor. at that point I was so wet cold and disgusted that I nosed the boat right into the mangroves and threw the anchor at them. It held the rest of the night but was hard to extract from the roots the next morning.

Ix

User avatar
eodjedi
Engineer
Posts: 110
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:25 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Glen Burnie, MD

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by eodjedi » Fri May 25, 2018 10:51 am

Wish I had some mangroves to anchor to. Alas, I had to count on the muddy ground I was stuck on to hold me steady.

Wayne nicol
Captain
Posts: 625
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:21 pm
Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Queen CHarlotte Islands,B.C.---------------- lightning white 2012 26M "Merrylegs"

Re: Storms on the Chesapeake

Post by Wayne nicol » Fri May 25, 2018 11:54 am

each to their own
but for me and my conditions( far north , PNW) i swear by the Bahamian moor..
i use two 25# plow anchors, and have a spare on board down below- i use retractor lines on the heads of the anchors with small scotchmen
i have anchored in quite a bit more than 50Kn of wind- its rough, but all held well.
the bahamian just negates the need for the anchor to have to reset.we deal with big, fast tides here.
but in a big blow- that i am anticipating, i will set out a tandem head anchor with the rest of the bahamian system

just me, like ixneigh, i dont like to take chances- i went the other route with 3 anchors on board- i like redundancy- there is very solid arguments for and against both systems.
we have deep water channels- steep drop offs , and there are no second chances for a dragging anchor up here.
some of the better sites are still 60' deep and maybe only 100' off shore-
some channels can be 300' deep 10 feet from the bricks!! :o

Post Reply