Anchoring in a Hurricane

In your (absolutely fabulous!) Offshore Cruising Encyclopedia, you talk on page 46 about using a “Fortress to back up the Bruce in a hurricane” Would you link the Fortress to the Bruce via a chain trace? if so, what sort of length would you use? or would you run the Fortress on a completely separate chain back to the bow (with the risk of the chains winding around one another)? This is important to me because we have both anchors, plus a delta on our Fisher 32, and may be going into the tropics next year. Whilst we would aim not to be there in the cyclone season, I won’t go until I know what to do if we get one!

I will be very grateful for your suggestions. Best regards, Stuart

Hi Stuart: My preference would be to use the anchors separately. This way you have some freedom for moving the boat away from danger – perhaps somebody drifting down onto your present position.

While the issue of twisting the rodes around each other is not to be lightly dismissed, you will typically have a pretty good feel for how the winds will vary during the storm and set the hooks accordingly.

Using two anchors on a single rode is typically done when you are leaving the boat unattended. The easiest way to do this is to shackle a short chain rode off the fluke of the Fortress to the head of the Bruce.

Lets hope this discussion stays theoretical! – Steve Dashew

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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