Some of my favourite anchorages are strongly tidal, a perverse eccentricity you may think. But I love the living feeling of the boat as she swings to the new tide, and the ever-changing view scratches my curiosity constantly and gives me a heightened sense of place. Other than that, tidal anchorages only offer endless possibilities [...]
This morning we have a very exciting announcement from AAC-Labs, the research arm here at Attainable Adventure Cruising Ltd World Headquarters. After a six month intense project made possible by funding from the Government of Canada, The US National Science Foundation, and the European Union, we are pleased to announce the formulation of a set [...]
Time to stir things up. And there is no better way to do that than a post on anchoring that takes a lot of accepted wisdom to task. (Being stuck in an apartment on a walker makes me feisty.) So the question is: Should you use one anchor or two, and if two, in what [...]
A couple of years ago, inventor and AAC reader Antoni Campins was kind enough to send us one of his AnchorWitch fouled anchor retrieval devices.
After seven years of using a ‘new generation’ anchor, it’s been quite an education to go back to the older generation. A bit like exchanging your Porsche 911 for a Volkswagen Beetle—both will get you from A to B, but there the similarity ends. For the last two years we have chartered yachts for our [...]
It always amazes me how often you see boats motor into an anchorage, choose a spot, seemingly at random, and then immediately drop the anchor with no more ado. And it’s not really surprising how often the same boats go through the whole anchoring process again because they ended up too close to the shore [...]
I have written in the past about our distrust of moorings and how we generally prefer to be on our own anchor when the winds blow hard. However, there is one exception to that rule: our own mooring at our Base Camp. We just had it checked and took some photographs of the process, which [...]
Our position here at Attainable Adventure Cruising Ltd has been, and continues to be, that the Rocna and SPADE are both great anchors that have made previous generation anchors like the CQR and Bruce obsolete. But that leaves the question: What are the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two anchors? To try to at [...]
As I write, the still gale force remnants of the Halloween Storm of 2011 are howling in the rigging as Morgan’s Cloud tugs at her anchor and bucks to the chop here in Great Salt Pond at Block Island. I sometimes call cruising, particularly when tired and crotchety, “death by a thousand decisions”. And deciding [...]
In my last post I wrote about us having to anchor twice and weigh anchor once in gale and strong-gale force winds with higher gusts. In this post I’m going to write about the capabilities you need to have in a windlass when the anchoring gets tough. And these features are not just for those [...]
[Written on July 30th] Last night, for the second time in less than a week, we got hit with much stronger winds than forecast, generated, we think, by the proximity of the Greenland icecap.
One of the cool things about running this site is that gear manufacturers are now beginning to recognise the purchasing power and general clout that you, our readers, wield. So now when I ask a whole bunch of questions about a manufacturer’s products—many of them dumb, I’m sure—they are more likely to find the time [...]
Question: I am looking for suggestions on how to best rig an anchor trip line?
Our chafe material of choice in the past has been to take old rags and wire tie them to the appropriate place on the dock line or mooring pendant. However, this tears (literally!) through a lot of rags, uses up a lot of wire ties, looks a bit disreputable, and takes some finagling to undo.
It was 4:00 am on a black early morning anchored at Cape Lookout Harbour when Phyllis and I were awoken by a crash from up forward followed by a sickening scraping sound. A quick look out the companionway showed the outline of another sailboat reversing away from our bow. The outline looked a lot like [...]
On Morgan’s Cloud we are always looking for new and better ways to minimize the chance of damage when riding out storms or hurricanes at anchor or on a mooring. And given that we have spent a lot of time in the high latitudes and further that I kept boats on moorings year round in [...]
We have never seen the point of anchor swivels. In our opinion all they do is add a potential point of failure to the anchoring system and provide no benefits in return.
Question: [edited for brevity] We have a horizontal windlass with a chain wildcat on one side and a rope drum on the other. How can we handle our hybrid secondary anchor rode made up of 50 meters of chain and 40 meters of rope with this set up?
During our time in the Rias of Galicia we’ve enjoyed many comfortable nights at anchor. But as is the case in any area surrounded by hills we’ve had plenty of wind at times, rolling down off those same hills, or funnelling down the valleys. We had one memorable night where despite the fact that we [...]
Question: We’re about to build a shoreline system. We have two reels from Easyroll that can take about 150 m of 12 mm line each. I’ve seen the system used by Polaris, and it looks very solid, but my concern is, obviously, the cost of using Dyneema [Spectra]. As far as I can see the [...]
We are finally out of the boat yard after the re-power and so I thought I would celebrate with a Photo Short.
On 28th December last year a beautiful Saga 40—an English design not to be confused with this boat—was lost when she went ashore at Sint Eustatius in the eastern Caribbean when a mooring provided for yachts by the local marine park, STENAPA, failed in what looks from the photograph to be benign conditions.
Question: A few months ago we published a photo essay about Polaris, the custom Hutting 54 especially designed and built for cruising remote places, owned by our friends Michael and Martina. Since then several people have asked about the line reels shown in the photographs. I passed these questions on to Michael and got the [...]
This summer will remain in my memory as one for strong winds and great sailing. By the time we reached Scotland in early July we had just about seen the last of the light winds that we had enjoyed in West Cork, and a more mixed regime had set in. No matter—these were ideal conditions [...]
What does the word “harbour” mean to you? A safe haven, perhaps, sheltered from all sides? Well, in some of the less frequented parts of the world it can mean something quite different. Many “harbours”, such as Hugh Town on St Mary’s in the Isles of Scilly, are far from safe in all conditions, being [...]
The Problem: When we bought Morgan’s Cloud in 1991, she came with a 75lb CQR primary anchor that fit on the bow roller beautifully. Over the next few years we made cruises throughout the North Atlantic and associated Arctic waters. Our rule was that once north of Newfoundland we did not even try the CQR [...]
We think this anchor is the next best thing to sliced bread! We like the SPADE so much, we have a 120lb as our bower anchor and a 66lb as our secondary anchor. The SPADE has replaced the Luke as our primary high latitude anchor because it is the only stockless anchor I know that [...]
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Question: The Jordan Series Drogue website is fascinating and leads to an interesting question. Faced with anchoring/mooring Morgan’s Cloud for a hurricane, would you be inclined to go stern-to? Jordan makes a fairly compelling argument…although I imagine Morgan’s Cloud is relatively stable as compared to the latest cruiser/racer hull forms.
Question: I see that the aluminum Fortress anchor did really well in SAIL Magazine anchor tests. I’m thinking of buying one, what do you advise?