Avoiding and Undoing Keel Wrap

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dancrosswis
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Joined: 6/6/19
Posts: 3
Avoiding and Undoing Keel Wrap

Hi All,

We are Great Lakes cruisers, learning how to cruise The Bahamas.  Most anchorages here experience tidal flow, with the boats shifting from one end of their anchor perimeter to the other.  Though there normally is wind, the boat usually doesn't "swing" around the perimeter, with a taught rode.  I have watched us slowly drift directly over the anchor as the tide switched.

Two nights ago this resulted in a wrap around our keel.  We have a 1995 C36 with a wing keel.   We didn't discover the wrap until early morning.  It was blowing hard.  The wrap was tight.  40+ knots of wind were forecast to arrive in 6 hours from a new and unprotected direction.  Slack water would not arrive for two.  We couldn't wait that long.  I had to cut my brand new Mantus free.  The rode is on a float, and I hope to return and retrieve the anchor in two days, when the wind abates.   We tucked into a marina to hide from the blow.

I need to learn:

  1. How to avoid keel wrap, and
  2. How to undo a keel wrap.

Here are my initial thoughts.  I'm looking for corrections to any misunderstandings I have, plus any and all additional suggestions.

1.  So, how to avoid keel wrap?  I have (or, hope to soon again have) 70' of chain and about 200' of nylon 8 plait.  We were anchored in about 14' at low tide, which is fairly deep for an anchorage around here.  High tide added about another 3'; I estimate my bow at 4' above waterline.  Because of the high winds we were experiencing (upper 20's, gusts into the mid 30's) I set out a lot of scope, about 210', which gave me a 10:1 scope. 

I think the solution is to keep the rode hanging down vertically from the bow roller, when it's not under tension.
      a.  Probably the most obvious solution is to add more chain.  If I'm anchoring on all chain, even with a nylon bridle set up, the chain weight should keep the rode straight up and down.  The problem with this solution is cost, given where I am.  I had to buy additional Racor spin on filters while here, because of a load of bad fuel we took on.  They were $48.00, each. 
      b.  My next  thought is to add a kellet, putting it out a distance somewhere between my draft of 4'5" and the bottom we are anchored to (anywhere from 6'+).  I think that I don't want the kellet to drag on the bottom.  There's too much it can get caught on.  This should allow the rode to go vertical when it's slack.

2.  How to undo a keel wrap?   With the addendum:  and not wrap the d**n rode around the propellor?
     a.  Given the option of waiting for slack water, I anticipate I'll be able to dive and physically unwrap the rode.
     b.  Reduce rode tension?  We've all had to unload a winch to undo an override.   I suppose I could try to attach a separate line to the rode and haul that in to create slack.  The challenge will be attaching the line at a depth of probably 6'-10', likely with a current running.
    c.  Power up and turn the boat to unwrap the rode?  This option seems fraught with additional peril.  But, here's where I lack experience.  If I were to try it, I think I would have my snorkel and mask on, step down the aft ladder, watch what was happening under the boat, and relay instructions to the Admiral at the wheel.

I apologize for the length of this entry.  I'm still in the moment, and it was all-encompassing for a few hours.

Dan
sv Hiatus
1995 C36, tall rig, wing keel
 

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Haro
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Joined: 11/7/14
Posts: 314

Yes, hanging a weight down from the anchor roller and sliding down the rode on a block is the way that I prevent the wrap. I use a length of 24" piece of chain and slide down the rode 10 feet. That is 4' more than the draft. If the chain drags on the ground it would be ok. I have found to be sitting directly above the anchor in the middle of night with no wrap.

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Pgutierrez
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Joined: 5/14/12
Posts: 194

Haro, could you please post a drawing of your suggestion ?

peter g

2000 C36, MK2, Hull. #1897
wonderful, wonderful, wonderful ! ! !.   5 th Catalina

 

 

Pgutierrez's picture
Pgutierrez
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Joined: 5/14/12
Posts: 194

Haro, could you please post a drawing of your suggestion ?

peter g

2000 C36, MK2, Hull. #1897
wonderful, wonderful, wonderful ! ! !.   5 th Catalina

 

 

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pkeyser
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Joined: 5/18/13
Posts: 516

Dan-
I've used a stern anchor and the bow anchor to stop rotation, but in light weather, not in 40kts of wind.

Paul & Wendy Keyser
"First Light"
Newburyport MA/Rye NH
2005 C36 MKII #2257
Wing, M35B

rstonge
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Joined: 11/2/08
Posts: 46

I had this problem a couple of times in my first season with the boat. The boat was "sailing" up towards the anchor due to high winds. It would get past the anchor stall and fall back, wrapping the rode around the keel. I started locking the rudder hard over at anchor to force the boat to turn into the wind before getting past the anchor. I have had no problems with this ever since for the past 20 seasons.

BTW: I unwrapped it by tying the dingy to the aft cleat and pulling the boat forward to un wrap it. This might be difficult in 40 knots.

Ron St. Onge
C36 MKII Hull 1384

Ron St. Onge

1995 Catalina 36 MKII Hull 1384

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