Fork mooring

In stronger winds most boats will yaw more than 90 degrees, some as much as 130 degrees if the wind is gusting down adjacent valleys. One solution to this is to lay a second anchor in a technique known as ‘fork mooring’. The second anchor is laid at about 90 degrees to the bower, with the same scope. This is more easily done from the dinghy but is possible by moving the yacht, although estimating just where to drop the kedge is not easy. The boat’s yaw angle is considerably reduced by this measure.

This photo shows our typical arrangement in blustery conditions. The chain with snubber to starboard, our Fortress on Anchorplait to port.

This photo shows how the various lines are led on the foredeck. The slack chain passes over the starboard bow roller with a 12 mm nylon snubber protected from wear by plastic tubing over the port roller. The kedge Anchorplait is cleated to starboard, passing through the port fairlead. If we remain in this arrangement for more than a day we would also protect the Anchorplait from wear with plastic tubing.
The main disadvantage of the technique, other than the difficulty of laying the second anchor, is that wind direction changes can cause the two rodes to become tangled. This takes considerable effort to resolve! It would be well worth recovering the second anchor as soon as there is any sign that the wind is reducing in strength or changing direction.

This video Fork mooring was filmed during a strong meltemi  when anchored off the island of Andros in the Aegean Sea. Our dinghy was not inflated at the time, with led me to lay our Fortress FX16 kedge from the bow of the yacht. In the even the angle between anchors was only about 60 degrees and the scope was only 3:1 in a depth of about 5 metres. Despite this the anchor held well for a further two days and proved to be very well dug in when we recovered it.