No, we do not stow the anchor when sailing. Such a plan has good aspects, but I think, on balance, it is a bad idea. An anchor, ready to deploy, is an important part of a boat's safety systems. Of course, in the middle of the ocean it is of no use, but on approaching your destination, what to do if the weather is not suited to a safe re-installation? I might change my mind on a boat small enough that the anchor was easily managed by hand on a pitching deck, but that’s not true of an SM—at least not for me!
I think it’s important that what ever method secures the anchor, it is capable of pulling it tightly, and holding snuggly so the anchor does not bounce around on the roller, even in boisterous sailing conditions. We consider the chain and electrically disabled windlass as the primary holder of the anchor, and the lashing as the backup. I am not sure what arrangement of cable could be made to snug the anchor tightly, but if a suitable arrangement can be made, nothing wrong with using cable.
On Harmonie we have a high amperage breaker that is dedicated to the windlass motor, so activation by error—or malfunction—can be avoided.
In general, if the anchor and securing line are routinely moving around enough that chafe is a serious issue, I would find that unacceptable. If I see the anchor moving on the roller while underway, I consider that a serious problem that needs fixing quickly.
On my old boat I used a hook on a locking lever that did an excellent job.
Royal Island, Bahamas
---In amelyachtowners@..., <karkauai@...> wrote :
Thanks, Bill. I'll definitely tighten the clutch from now on. I take it that you do not stow your anchor while underway. In reading about anchoring, that is recommended by some.
I'm thinking of securing it with a cable that won't stretch instead of line that's more prone to stretching and chafe. A pelican clip might be useful to snug it up tight. Any reason not to use cable?
On Harmonie we do likewise, except the anchor safety line is permanently attached to the center cleat on one end, and the other end ties to the cleat on top of the windlass. That way you can easily see—from the helm—that the anchor is secure. Learned that one here from Bill Rouse...
The safety line also goes through the shank of the anchor, bypassing shackles, and any other bits that might fail.
Last thing on this, when underway, we turn power off to the windlass motor, and tighten the clutch.
I never saw anyone lose a boat from losing an anchor, but I saw someone lose his job after an anchor came undone and his response was...suboptimal.