I just spent an enjoyable but roly couple of days at anchor at Tangalooma (Moreton Bay). I am told this area attracts swells almost regardless of wind direction. I noticed that one small yacht was using some type of stabilizing mechanism in the water attached to the Spinnaker Boom which was out at right angles on the starboard side. The main boom was over on the port side helping to hold up a boom tent but I could not see if there was another stabilizer on that side. I imagined that it was using a system that trawler operators use when they put their boards out when at anchor in swells where the resistance on the upswing on each side dampens the rolling.
I was wondering if anyone uses such a set up in an RL and if they work or what risks there may be?
Is there an inexpensive way of fabricating such devices and storing them on small boats?
I found a link to a system in the US: http://www.boatstabilizers.net/ but these are very expensive.
Hi Greg. Thanks for the link to the trailer sailing web site. It looks like a good place to learn a lot.
On the stern anchor – would you leave this setup overnight/through tide changes. I noticed the boat in questioned did have a stern anchor out but I wondered if this was risky given wind at 15+ knots and a strong tidal current 1/2 the time in the opposite direction.
You will find that a sturdy plastic bucket lowered over the side and attached to the staunchion base can be quite effective, you will need a little sand in the bucket just to ensure it will stay below the surface. The effect is not through the weight in the container, but the horizontal surface size.for even better performance try two buckets a side., this also works even better if the containers are extended out on the boom and spinnaker pole. It is not difficult to make up two flat sheets of fibreglass approx 30 x40cm and attach a line to each corner to make a bridle, this is easy to stow and very effective.
Russel, my experience using the stern anchor was mostly in the Whitsundays, I soon learnt to pick anchorages and positions where the swell was more predictable, the little trailer yachts don't need much swell with any angle to roll you around.
Currents flowing in and out with the tide ads another perspective to the puzzle but the principal is similar regardless of anchorage. I tended to set the bow anchor solidly with an excess of length. I then reversed the motor turning it in the well pulling the yacht sideways until I was positioned where I wanted to drop the stern anchor, I would drop but not bother to set the stern anchor (this may be incorrect and you may need to set the stern anchor in your case). I would let out the stern anchor line until the hull was back to its original position on the bow anchor then tie it off. I would haul in the bow anchor letting the stern anchor drag the stern across until the bow pointed at the swell regardless of the changes in the wind.
Each anchorage and local conditions will be different but the principal should be good some of the time. I say some of the time because wind waves and currents have an ability to trick all of us some time.
I generally use a Fortress anchor for use in sand and mud and a plough anchor for coral rubble and other difficult hard bottoms. In coral I use 10-12meters of light chain for both anchors. The fortress site has good information on tackle which seems wise and well proven.