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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    2,549

    Default Too many anchors

    I get marketing email flyers from Practical Sailor magazine, and the sharp-eyed among us will be aware that at least two of its contributors are also regulars on here. So I was intrigued to note the theme of their latest e-book 'Specialty Anchors....'

    Here's a clip from their blurb:

    Practical Sailor recommends a cruising sailboat carry at least two anchors. And if you're cruising offshore, four anchors is your minimum.......
    Four anchors? Minimum? Shurely shome mishtake?

    I reckon if I delved down in my boatshed/polytunnel I could probably stretch to that number..... but why? One on each corner? Two for blow and two for show? Fourupmanship?

    C'mon, Thinwater! Spill the skinny on why oh why oh why, and why.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,347

    Default Re: Too many anchors

    Very simple.

    You may lose your primary, so you need a spare - Primary. Remember the scenario is - the nearest chandler is a long way away - and they might not have the size and model of anchor you want - and despite the adverts -- don't expect DHL to cover all of the world.

    You need a kedge, something small that you can row out, or throw out - quickly.

    You need something for thin mud, Fortress, Lewmar LFX or danforth (danforths are a bit heavy - each to their own) - and this is unlikely to be your primary (as your primary will probably (definitely) not work in thin mud.

    You might have lost the primary, so you are now down to three anchors - you might want to anchor in 'V', Bahamian moor etc.

    Our anchors each weight 8kg plus or minus, the FX 16 is a bit lighter, the FX 37 a bit heavier.

    We also have a little danforth copy - for the dinghy - I would not count that and a little wire reef anchor, like a chandelier frame - I don't count that either - good for retrieving a lost rode

    So that accounts for 4, so far.

    Your primary and its potential replacement might not be suitable in very hard or weedy seabeds.....

    When we go on long trips (38' x 7t catamaran), 3 months we carry.

    As primary, an alloy Anchor Right Excel and as a second primary an alloy Spade.

    We also carry a FX 16 for rowing out and deployment in sand, soft mud - and it will suffice as a kedge - its throwable. The FX 16 would also suffice as a primary in sand and mud, less useful in weed and stones. We also carry a FX37 for thin mud and if we missed a forecast and a 'Storm' swept out of the Southern Ocean - the FX 37 would be heroic, along with the Spade or Excel in sand set in 'V'. We have rowed out the FX 37 - but most times the FX 16 is good enough.

    But we also carry a spare rode, shore lines, chain to go round rocks (and trees) and we have strops, made from rope found on beaches, with splices at each end - also for trees and rocks (chain is a bit harsh on trees) and these can be sacrificial if we need to retreat in a hurry.

    We would not carry a Bruce, CQR nor Delta as a 'spare' - if they are not good enough and you changed to a Rocna, Supreme, Excel, Kobra - etc - why carry something that you were not happy with and is simply ballast.

    Now - if you are simply cruising for a weekend, or a week - this is all overkill. If you cruise in waters with good access to chandlers, marinas etc - this is all overkill if you cruise where the nearest road is 100km away - or further - it just seems cautious.

    We are perfectly happy will aluminium, and have been for the last 10 years. We also accept some people are happy with CQRs or Bruce - but my guess is they use bigger anchors - and Bruce a strongly reputed to work best in larger sizes.

    Horses for courses, what suits you.

    Zoidberg - any more questions?

    Jonathan

    We met a couple in Refuge Cove in southern Victoria, Australia - its on the edge of Bass Strait. They were sailing round the world (slowly). They had 7 anchors, including 2 large Danforth (both about FX 37 size) and a fishermans (which I never saw - they kept it under a berth). They had made their Atlantic Crossing in the first ARC, had sold their yacht, yawl, in America and bought another. They stopped when necessary to work, to fund the adventure, and were half way round in year 12 when we met. We were both sitting out a Storm, they had an anchor down and two shore lines, we had 2 anchors In a wide 'V', and one shore line.

    The Cove is well sheltered, or sort of, bullets and gusts, came down through valleys and gaps in the trees sufficiently strong to lift water off the surface and driving us through 180 degree turns - hence the resort to shore lines.

    end edit
    Last edited by Neeves; 20-07-19 at 03:47.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Where life is good
    Posts
    13,900

    Default Re: Too many anchors

    True,
    .but you are sailing a caravan withsails if it is 38ft and weighs 7tonnes.
    Life is too short to drink bad wine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,347

    Default Re: Too many anchors

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk View Post
    True,
    .but you are sailing a caravan withsails if it is 38ft and weighs 7tonnes.
    The 7t include 200l of fuel and 500l of water, 4 anchors (32kg), food, excludes the tuna, crayfish etc that we catch, and drink for 3 month. 7t is cruising weight.

    Not at all - We are sailing a BIG caravan with sails. Just like a caravan we can look out of the berth windows, check the scenery (and weather), cook breakfast (on the level) while watcing the sea go by, have cup of coffee and not worry that it falls off the table.

    Caravans have a lot going for them, especially floating ones.

    Now - if you know of any caravan (or 45' yacht, of which we have the same windage - except the yacht carries around a rather large lump of lead) that can average on the water 10 knots over a 100 nm and peak at over 16 knots (with one crew on deck and one off watch) - let me know. Monohulls seem so pedestrian and claustrophobic.

    Now - we sail down to Tasmania - in our summer they have one storm roll off the Southern Ocean about once every month. Winds on the island, its quite small, are over 30 knots somewhere on the island every day. It is in, roughly, the middle of the Roaring Forties - and we go down the west coast (where no-one lives for the crayfishing and hills) facing the wind systems. Ground tackle is important.

    As I said our anchor wardrobe is overkill for many - but NW Scotland, Norwegian Atlantic coast and the like - 4 is cautious.

    Though quite what a caravan has to do with anchors - beats me

    Jonathan
    Last edited by Neeves; 20-07-19 at 06:22.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Where life is good
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    Default Re: Too many anchors

    You have an Outremer?
    Life is too short to drink bad wine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Me - Zumerzet Boat - Wareham
    Posts
    12,215

    Default Re: Too many anchors

    I'm embarrassed to say that I carry too many anchors.
    Main: oversized Delta
    Backup: Large Danforth
    Kedge: Medium Danforth
    Alternate Kedge: Small Danforth (for pulling boat off riverside mooring when being blown on)
    Two folding Grapnels (for shore line and dinghy)
    Then if you take into account a Sea Anchor and Drogue !
    My rational: They are more useful on the boat than sat in the garage.
    The same goes for a couple of 30m lengths of Anchorplait.
    MontyMariner.co.uk
    Facilitated by AWESEM WP Agency

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    North Wales, sailing Aegean Sea or Menai Strait
    Posts
    21,903

    Default Re: Too many anchors

    We carry three serious anchors, Rocna, Delta and Fortress, plus a small grapnel for the dinghy that we did use for the yacht once in the Canal du Midi when waiting for the lunchtime lock closure to finish. The Delta was last used in 2009 but is retained 'just in case'. We did lose the bower anchor once: the swivel failure that triggered my testing of them.
    Answers to some technical queries at new website http://coxeng.co.uk

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,347

    Default Re: Too many anchors

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomahawk View Post
    You have an Outremer?
    Lightwave,

    Grainger design, built (locally) by Lightwave Yachts. 45^2m main, 45^2m screacher, mini keels, full caravan interior and crew, of 2, still with a 'need for speed'. (and dependability at anchor).

    Jonathan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    6,886

    Default Re: Too many anchors

    We don't sail "offshore" now, but we do sail in some of the western extremities of the Western Isles, far from marinas, so we anchor. We carry three main anchors. Rather than itemise the separate makes of anchors, lest this merely degenerates into the usual squabbles, I will say that each of the three are of markedly different designs, and can be used for different grounds.

    A few weeks ago, when our anchor was fouled, and there was a distinct possibility that we might have to cut the chain, and abandon it, I was very glad to have alternatives. As it happened, we did manage to retrieve the anchor, so all was well.

    I've never been keen on the idea of lines to the shore, preferring always to lie head to the wind, even if the wind is all over the place.

    We also have a small anchor, primarily for the dinghy, but it has been of use on occasion for the yacht.

    I would see nothing wrong in a well found boat having four anchors.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Sydney, Australia.
    Posts
    5,347

    Default Re: Too many anchors

    Shore Lines

    We have been hit by bullets arriving from opposite directions and the yacht driven until the anchor 'snatches' - without a snubber. But if you take a line ashore you can hold the yacht steady - the bullets, and sustained bullets, get the yacht moving and keep it moving - but the actual windage/tension initially developed is manageable.

    Its like a car on a hill, let the handbrake off and you can hold it - but you cannot stop it once it starts to move. Momentum seems a good word.

    It does help if you have shallow draft (or shore can be relatively close).

    In cases with those opposing, or almost opposing, bullets - the continuous moving is not conducive to relaxation.

    Jonathan

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