Weathervane Anchoring

Weathervane Anchoring

by MAL

We installed bronze series drogue brackets on two of our sailboats, our Southern Cross 28 and our Aquarius 23.

While he have never had cause to use a series drogue, we have routinely used our series drogue bridle to anchor from the stern of our A23.

We found the A23 far more stable anchored from the stern using the series drogue brackets and the series drogue bridle. Previous whenever a serious blow was imminent, we would set two bow anchors and deploy a riding sail to try and keep the A23 from sailing at anchor...swinging from one side to the other with rather violent tugs on the ground tackle. Managing chafe was crucial.

Our experience was on Wyoming lakes where we regularly faced 40, 50, and even 60+ winds. At several thousand feet above sea level, the thin air would have a bit less punch than at sea level. Moreover, with the smaller bodies of water we sailed upon, there was not an enormous amount of fetch to build up very large seas like you might experience when anchoring at sea.

We used our A23 to practice engineless sailing, so the big motor bracket V in the stern was wholly open. No water shippped aboard despite this exposure to the chop. Anchoring from the stern felt VERY secure. The boat cinched down on the anchor rode with an unmoving steady pull. No swinging and no violent tugging at the ground tackle. A singular, steady, straight pull on the ground tackle. Besides the noise of the wind in the rigging, there were occasionally noisy slaps of water at the stern, but no jerk or movement.

It proved so effective that anchoring from the stern became our preferred means of anchoring for overnight or bad weather.

The only downside was the lack of flexibility in regards to attaching our anchor rode to the series drogue bridle. We used a bowline with the excess rode brought back to the cockpit. It meant there was not an easy way to add more scope, so we would err to an excess.

We might anticipate some issues with the companionway hatch boards taking a beating if done in the ocean with more fetch and bigger waves. I think a center cockpit vessel would do very well. Other boats might want to beef up their companionway to be water tight, maybe something like what Roger Taylor has done with MingMing II.

Please add your comments if you have experimented with this kind of stern anchoring.

Please, no comments from armchair sailors who have not tried it.

Information on stern anchoring on the Jordan Series Drogue site.

Some "research" data points...

1. If currents are predominate factor, anchor from the bow (especially if gear is mounted on stern...self steering, dive platform, outboard engine). If wind is predominant factor, anchor from the stern.

2. Weathervane anchoring from the stern using a bridle makes adding more scope a bit more work.

3. The Mantus Marine snubbers are useful for attaching a bridle to a nylon rode.

Bronze series drogue plates on an Aquarius 23.

Bronze series drogue plates on a Southern Cross 28

Steel 1/4" with doubler for shackle bearing surface and backing plates. To pair with Mantus Marine bridle (which has stainless thimbles and shackles) recommends 316 stainless to prevent galvanic corrosion.

We have used CQR, Delta, Bruce and Danforth anchors. Great anchors in their day, but surpassed by Mantus Anchors

Sailing is safer than driving a car…except for the part where you're often alone, distant from medical facilities, and frequently beyond communication. Carry a Trauma Kit from Mountain Man Medical.