A couple of years ago I was browsing the shelves of a marine store in Halifax when I overheard the following conversation between one of the sales people and a customer who had just walked in the door carrying a brand new modern anchor.
Customer: I need to return this anchor.
Salesperson: Sure, we can do that, but what's the problem?
Customer: Oh, I'm sure the anchor's fine. I even read about how much better these new anchors are, but it does not fit my bow roller, so I guess it's back to my old CQR.
Now, it's quite possible that this guy is a local weekend sailor who never goes far, and/or only anchors a few times a year, perhaps just for a lunch stop. In that case his decision makes sense, particularly since here in Nova Scotia most anchorages are blessed with good sticky mud that even a CQR will set reasonably reliably in.
But it did get me thinking about the number of cruising boats I still see with old-style anchors on the bow, something that always perplexes me, since changing from a CQR to a SPADE some 18 years ago was, and still is, the biggest single gear-related advance in Phyllis' and my enjoyment of cruising, bar none.
And then I started wondering how many of those cruisers didn't make the change because (like the guy in the store) a better anchor would not fit their existing bow roller.
And, further, how many cruisers have accepted the for-shit bow roller that most production boats come with, without ever really thinking about how much better and safer things could be with a well-designed and well-built replacement.
It's All About Priorities
And that in turn got me thinking (as I often do) about task prioritization. Probably the most important thing we need to get good at if we want to get out there voyaging and enjoy ourselves once out there.