Stuff We Gotta Do—The Anchor Roller Version

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.

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for 25 years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 20 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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