This is the first of four posts I'm going to write on ways to save money while cruising. These are not the sort of tips beloved of the sailing magazines that can save you a few dollars--you know the ones, "how to make your varnish brushes last longer"--but tips that can save you real money and keep you out [...]
You can have the best anchors and associated gear available, but if you don't use that gear properly you won't get anchored and stay anchored. In this post we carry on from Part 1 with some tips for techniques to help make you a happy anchorer.
Over the years, we have written thousands of words on the art and science of anchoring, so I thought it would be a good idea to summarize that information. None of what follows is theory. I have been anchoring boats for 50 years in challenging places from the Bahamas to Greenland and have used many [...]
In the last chapter on chain we looked at the three grades of chain normally used for anchor rodes on cruising sailboats. In this chapter we carry on from that base and examine the trade-offs between the grades and the things that you need to know when selecting the right anchor chain and gauge for your boat.
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 [...]
So the question is: Should you use one anchor or two, and if two, in what circumstances? Answer: if your boat is properly set up and equipped you should almost never need to set more than one anchor. Here is why: OK, I admit it. We have two bow rollers on Morgan’s Cloud, and back [...]
Trip lines are a royal pain in the neck to deploy and retrieve. In this chapter we review a better alternative.
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 at least partially answer that, we conducted an informal poll of users of both anchors and drew some conclusions in this chapter.
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 [...]
Most windlasses fitted to production cruising boats are simply inadequate and can leave you in very deep yogurt when things go wrong. In this chapter we show you what to look for in a good windlass and tell you about a feature, the lack of which contributes to about half of the dragging incidences we see.
[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. The first time, we were hit with gale force (34-40 knots) winds, gusting higher, just after dropping Grete, our scientist, off [...]
There are probably more misconceptions and just plain wrong information circulating about anchor chain than most any other piece of cruising gear. For this chapter I went to the experts at Peerless Chain to get the real facts.