Anchoring

Following you’ll find lots of anchoring questions and answers.

If you’d like to submit a question, click on “Cruisers Q&A” in the sidebar, whereupon you’ll find a form you can use.

Getting to the Bottom – Rocna

There is considerable discussion about Rocna vs Manson vs Spade floating about. This discussion is somewhat contaminated by the defensive jabbing amonst some of the designer/manufacturers.

Given your tacit endorsement of the Rocna, can you give us some real life (NZ to UK via Alaska) insight into where the Rocna proves to be superior and when it does not (e.g., bottom types, fast currents and shifts, storm conditions). Thanks!

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (April 28, 2009)    |    Comments (3)

Anchor Chain Shock Absorbers

Hello Steve and Linda…again my compliments on the Encyclopedia…it is most helpful…Just having difficulty understanding how to rig the shock absorber described on p40 for the chain anchor rode: how do you “tie” the nylon line to the chain…seems like it would slip with any kind of load…does it take a special knot? What about feeding the line through a selected link, say halfway down the chain such that both ends of the line then secure on deck? Wouldn’t this have the same effect as your tied rig without then having to secure the line on the chain twice? thanks mucho, Richard

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

ROCNA vs. Bruce Anchors

Hello, How about some coments about anchors Bruce vs ROCNA for the tropics for a 68 ft wt 68,000 sailboat. What size for the ROCNA do I go with their charts or go weigh up and do we keep a large Bruce also. Thanks, Fred

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Chain Galvanization

Dear Steve, From your books I learned you use schedule 70 chain. Have you had any problems with this chain losing its galvanization? Thanks! John

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Anchor Chain Washdown with Compressed Air

Hi Steve and Linda- First, I wanted to thank you for a wonderfully written and very helpful book. Glad I ordered it and have recommended it to others (including my father who will be ordering a copy for the library he runs at a technical college). Anyway, on page 50 you discuss different anchor chain washdown and cleaning systems to prevent and minimize the junk collected in the chain pipe. Have you considered using compressed air instead of water? It has the benefit of both cleaning and mostly drying the chain in one step. Downside is that it is more noisy than water. While I haven’t tried it in a marine setting, I use this technique very often for cleaning/drying my 1/2″ logging chains on land as I reel them in and stuff them back in their storage drums. It does a remarkable job and my chains last much longer than they used to. I’ve found that anything over 80 lbs does the trick nicely removing the thick mud I build up. Just a thought. – Jeff

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

System Seven Chainwheels

I am going to school on your experience. I am wanting to upgrade my windlass from an older AnchorMan that is better suited to line than the System 7 3/8th chain and 65-pound spade we have acquired.

I was intrigued by Maxwell’s offerings but their specs shown on the web seemed to indicate they support 3/8th SHORT chain? Have I missed something? The G-7 seems to have a diameter = .394", inside length = 1.23", inside width = .62".

Do you get a different chainwheel/gypsy? I saw a discounted Maxwell VW series 1200, but with a shorter chainweel/gypsy at my local chandlery that I would like to buy if it’s possible to get a chainwheel put in for the system 7 3/8th chain.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Anchor Chain Swivel

what is your view on using big swivel to connect the anchor to the chain? I was reading Earl Heinz’ book on anchoring and it seems important to put them on the right way around – Phil

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

ROCNA Anchor

When you get a chance could you please ask Steve what he thought of the Rocna anchor he bought after using it in Washington, Canada and Alaskan waters? Thanks, Dennis

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Electric vs. Hydraulic Motors for Windlasses

Hydraulic motors. You mention the problems with running your anchor windlass, the need for large wire size to minimize voltage drop on the long run to the bow. Why not power the windlass with a hydraulic motor? You already have a pump onboard for the auto pilot, even adding an additional pump would provide some redundancy for the autopilot system. Now all you need is a tiny motor and a couple skinny (1/4 in od) lines running up to the bow. These motors are robust, simple, easily speed and overload controlled, corrosion resistant (I own a chemical plant, believe me I know about corrosion!), very lightweight… I first saw these used at a plant in Norway. All the agitators drive motors (probably 10 total) were run by a single hydraulic drive pump. Speaking of multiple motors, how about that big power winch you use on Beowulf? Slap a hydraulic motor on that thing too and get rid of the need for a 24 volt electric system all together!

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Anchor Windlass with Multiple Anchors

Steve – I am preparing to install an anchor windlass on my light displacement 43′ sloop. Primary anchor is a 45# CQR with 75′ of 3/8 HT chain + 250′ 5/8" nylon rode. Secondary anchor is a Fortress FX-37 with 25′ of 3/8 HT chain + rode. I will carry a 100# Luke storm anchor. My question is how to manage multiple anchor lines/chains with a single windlass. I would prefer a low profile vertical windlass to keep weight down and stay out of the foredeck crew’s way when racing, and am willing to live with rope/chain splice and redoing same when any splice wear starts to show. But I do not believe this will enable handling two anchor rodes? Adding a drum to the vertical windlass will handle the second rope rode, but not the chain. What do you suggest? Thank you. – Bill

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Anchor Size – Flukes or Weight

Steve: You emphasize the importance of weight in anchors. Is it weight itself or fluke size that you think important? This issue has obvious relevance to buying a steel or aluminum version of an anchor where this is possible: Fortress and Spade. I don’t have an anchor windlass on my 40′ J120 and don’t want one. So I want a light anchor. I am considering a 33# aluminum Spade which is the same size as a 66# steel Spade. What do you think? – David

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

FPB Anchoring

Dear Steve Dashew, Many thanks for the fine web postings on the new powerboat. I have a question regarding your anchoring setup. How do you maintain the strength of the G7 chain through your shackle attachment to the Bruce? Do you have ACCO install an oversized link and use, say, a 5/8" shackle? Or do you have a source for high-test shackles? I am building a 19m powercat designed by Malcolm Tennant to be launched early ’06. See you in Patagonia! Thank you, Bill

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (2)

Tips for Electric Windlass

Dear Steve and Linda, Impressed by your books, esp. the encyclopedia. Still I’ve 1 question: I’m looking for a powered windlass for my new 50′ ALU ketch. In your books you hint electrical windlasses are good enough, however I hear from different people that they can only work for a short period because of heating of the DC motor. Indeed e.g. Muir says to me: max. 10 minutes running time. At a speed of 8 m.min that’s only 80 meters chain. Now you also write that anchoring involves 3 maybe even 5 trials before the anchor holds. How does that relate to each other? Wouldn’t therefore a hydraulic windlass be better? Many thanks in advance, Ronald

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Webbing Rode

We have purchased a Stevens 47 and the stern Danforth anchor has all webbing rode stowed on a reel. Do you have any knowledge of the adequacy of this rode? How does it stand up to UV? It has been coiled for probably years and never used as far as I can tell. – George

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Anchor Chain Storage

I am doing an extensive refit of an old Pearson Coaster (30ft) with the goal of doing some extensive cruising. One problem I have been attempting to solve is the storage of the anchor chain. I know were I want to store it, in the keel, but getting it there is the problem.

I want to deliver the chain to the keel from the windless through a PVC pipe to the keel. My theory is that the PVC pipe is something that should be considered a wear item. I would be installing it in such a way that it can be easily replaced. Thus far I have isolated that I need a minimum slope of 12 degrees and that I need to use a pipe size of 1 1/2″ ID for the 1/4″ High Test chain. The next size smaller PVC pipe, 1 1/4″ ID, is just the right size that if a link rolls up the chain will jam.

This appears to me as though I might be going about this from the wrong direction. I don’t have any experience in this area and something doesn’t feel right about my solution.

If anyone has had any experience in this area and would be willing to share any suggestions, they would be most welcome. If I am going about this from the wrong direction, please tell me, and if there is a better way to approach this problem, that I would also like to know. Thank you in advance, Fred C.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Bow Roller for 110 kg Bruce

Hi Steve, I took your advice and got the next size bigger Bruce for my 46 foot, 28 ton displacement schooner. The new 110 lb anchor is quite a conversation piece sitting in the shop while we try to figure out how to mount it. We don’t think a standard bow roller will work because of the 90 deg turn needed to bring the shackle and anchor up onto the roller. It’s difficult enough with the current 60lb CQR. We’re thinking that a pivoting bow roller may work but I’ve not found any rated for that kind of weight. Can you recommend a roller or have any suggestions? Thanks, Carl

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Anchor for French Polynesia

Hello, have a HR46 (40,000 pounds) with 75Lbs CQR; would you replace it with a heavier Bruce or Delta? Will sail to French Polynesia next year…Thanks for your advice, Giorgio

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Snubbers for Chain Rode

Does it make a difference where on the rode you attach a nylon snubber when anchoring? I would think that closest to the boat would be best – putting the snubber between most of the chain shock and the boat, but that would make it impossible to shorten your scope after setting the anchor. Suggestions? Mark L.

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Anchoring System for Hurricane

Aloha from Hanalei Bay, Kauai. I am in the process of making a hurricane plan for AVALON, one of your beautiful, well thought out and seaworthy Sundeer 60s. She is now happily living in Nawiliwili, Kauai.

I think that in the event of a hurricane I will anchor her in the harbor rather than leave her at the dock. I am considering a 50 lb Danforth style anchor on about 20 feet of chain shackled to the 120 lb Bruce on the 5/16 schedule 70 300 ft anchor cable. I also plan to put a 30 lb kellet on the chain rode. Thoughts? Aloha, Scott

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Gypsy and Chain Fitting

Will 3/8 HT chain work in a Lofrans 10 mm gypsy? Or will I have to order my chain in France? – Paul Camp

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Which Windlass?

Steve & Linda, thank you. I have read your books, kept up over the net, and most of all, have enjoyed your cumulative years of sailing wisdom. I singlehand a Columbia 50 and cruise the islands from Palm Beach, Fl. I have decided to install an anchor windlass and I am looking for suggestions. Ideal appeals to me but I am conservative as to the battery usage. Thank you, Dusko Bruer

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Anchor Shackles

Hello, Thanks for your excellent books and CDs. We have purchased your Encyclopedia and CD but have not gotten off cruising to the Carribe yet. Soon though.

In following your recommendations on anchoring, (we purchased a 65 lb Spade Anchor and will back it up with 200 feet of ACCO 3/8s Chain with oversized links on each – and following your admonition it must be the right size as our dockmates have laughed at the size we bought), but we had a question as to what shackle you are using with your system. We want to insure that our shackle will not be the weakest part of our system. Can you advise the maker and size of shackles in use on your boat? Ed & Sue

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Anchor and Rode for Circumnavigation

Hi Steve – You were kind to advise me regarding the draft for my new boat last year. Now I am in the process of equipping the boat for a circumnavigation primarily in the tropics. My boat is a 57-foot sloop from X-yachts in Denmark with little windage, the weight is 20 tonnes. I am going to use the Bruce as main anchor and the suggested size for stormy conditions is 30kg, but as I remember from your book you suggest to move up in weight, which in this case will be 50kg. Can you help me to decide between 30 and 50 kg?

I am bringing a 100m stainless chain. Can you recommend an appropriate dimension? Kind regards, Mogens

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Automatic Anchor Lights

Hi Steve: I’m interested in rigging a timer to my anchor light so I don’t burn it during the day when I’m away from the boat. Are you aware of any 12V timers I could put in the line to the light or another way to skin this cat? Thank you, Tom

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Chain and Rope Anchoring Combinations

Hi Steve & Linda, Thanks for the great Encyclopedia & library. We have been enjoying it for a long time now. Thanks also for your advice on the ROCNA anchor. We have now purchased one & hope to start using it & the boat soon. I’m wondering if you’ve any knowledge/feedback on leaded anchor line. We have 42 metres of chain but would like more. Unfortunately our anchor locker won’t take any more & I thought perhaps 50 metres of leaded anchor line might make a suitable compromise (added to the existing chain). We have not come across anyone who has used this product & are hoping you or one of your readers can help with some feedback. Thanks, Pam & Bill

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Sailing at Anchor

We are planning to buy a SAGA 43 which is a very narrow boat, with a narrow bow. We have been told that the boat sails while at anchor. We were wondering if this is a problem simply because of the narrow width and bow, and if there is some way to counteract and rid ourselves of this problem by anchoring techniques, use of wind vane, use of a riding sail, etc. We know that the Deerfoot is a narrow boat and hoped that your experience with narrow hulls might put us on the right track. We would appreciate any suggestions you might have. Thank you. Sandy

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Anchor Chain Size

Hi Steve, My name is Ethan Smith. I’ve got the Ovni 36 “Eyoni” across the basin from Beowulf. We spoke briefly before I bought it. I was fortunate enough to receive both the Encyclopedia and Surviving the Storm for Xmas. Yea me. Both a hugely informative and exceptionally well done, my complements. In your anchoring section in the Encyclopedia, you mention moving to high test and a smaller link and making up the difference (or some of it) in anchor weight & rode length. I’m in the process of redesigning the anchoring system on Eyoni and want to know, in your opinion, if 1/4 HT (G-4) is adequate in terms of swl and breaking strength (schedule 70 better?) for a cruising setup for Eyoni? She is of moderate windage and has a design displacement of 12,500 lbs. The boat currently has 200′ of 3/8 PC with is less than ideal. I had initially leaned towards 5/16 BBB or HT – do I sacrifice much by giving up the higher ultimate breaking strength of the (non-HT) larger links? We made it to San Miguel Is. for the first time on our recent 9 day holiday cruise. It was warm and flat as a lake! Thanks for your time and expertise. Hope to see you on the water soon. Sincerely, Ethan

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Bow Roller Material

Hello Steve, Would you please tell me the material you used for anchor rollers on Windhorse? Is there a good mix between something soft (quiet) enough and durable? Thanks, Bill

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)

Simpson Lawrence Claw

Steve – It’s finally time to take our Deerfoot 61/63 out the St. Lawrence from Chicago to Maine for the summer, then the Caribbean for the winter and the Med for the following summer. I have a question regarding anchors. I have a 105lb CQR that works well but needs replacing, as the point has rusted through. I am considering the purchase of the following: 105lb CQR, 140lb CQR, 110lb Bruce, or 110lb Claw (Bruce knockoff). Which would you recommend? In particular, have you gotten any feedback on the Simpson Lawrence Claw anchors? They typically are priced less than 50% of the same size Bruce. (FYI, I also have a Fortress FX85 and a 100lb Paul Luke fisherman anchor as backups.) Thanks in advance, Mike

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Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)    |    Comments (0)