Instead, try springing the rode. Simply tie a long dock line
to the primary anchor's rode at the bow using a rolling
hitch. Then lead the line aft, outboard of the bow pulpit,
stanchions, and shrouds, to the cockpitís starboard sheet
winch. On a center cockpit boat pass the line through a
stern quarter turning block before bringing it to the winch.
Finally, pay out the anchor rode about ĺ of a boat length
and take up on the spring line with the sheet winch until
there is equal pull on the rode and the spring, the two
forming a V-shaped bridle to windward. The boat will lie
broadside to the wind, facing the swell.
You can adjust the vessel's heading for other angles of wind
and swell by shortening or lengthening the spring or the
rode, thus turning the boat incrementally. With a little
experimentation you'll soon master this simple, useful
A few more pointers:
If the wind is much
above 10 knots, scope out the anchor rode 10:1 (length to
depth) or more before attaching the spring line. The
anchor might need the extra holding power with the boat
lying broadside to the wind.
If the waves are abaft
the beam it may be easier and equally comfortable to face
the stern into them rather than the bow.
Remember: To turn the
bow to starboard, run the spring line to the port quarter.
To turn to port, use a starboard quarter spring line.
Reverse the rule to aim the stern into the surge.
If the wind picks up
and you feel uneasy about the strain your boat's beam-on
position is putting on the anchor, you can instantly
return her bow to the wind just by releasing the spring
line and walking it forward (slack) to the bow. Untie it
from the rode later when you weigh anchor.
If the breeze dies
altogether, deploying a stern anchor may be the only way
to hold your boat end-on to the waves.
When a surge has you rolling at anchor, give your boat,
your crew, and yourself a break. Spring the rode!