There are two opposing views on chain catenary: those who believe that having a lot of chain on the bottom increases holding, and those who have observed an all chain rode being pulled bar straight in any winds above about 30 knots and therefore hold that catenary does nothing useful in anchoring. Who is right? Read on to find out, and also for John’s recommendation for the best chain grade to use.
John has a few preliminary thoughts ending with a key point.
Here is Part 2 of John’s tips on how to decide which old salts to listen to, as well as how to decide between conflicting opinions expressed by experienced voyagers.
Blindly following the teachings of old salts, no matter how experienced and well meaning they are, can lead to poor gear choices and big mistakes once out there. But how do we decide who to believe or between two conflicting opinions? John has ten tips that even the most inexperienced offshore sailor can use to make that easier.
Several questions have repeatedly surfaced within the hundreds of comments on our Heavy Weather Tactics Online Book. So I have pulled those together in this chapter and added my thoughts.
John believes that AIS person overboard beacons are the biggest advance in person overboard (POB) recovery in his lifetime.
That said, we have recently discover two issues that meant that for much (maybe most) of the first season after we fitted them to the Spinlock lifejacket/harnesses that we wear at pretty much all times when underway, they would not have self-activated.
And while most of the fault lies with us, our experience does bring to light two potential problems that others relying on the auto-activation features of the MOB1 beacon from Ocean Signal, particularly those who bought before mid 2018, need to be aware of.
We write a lot about safety here at AAC: person overboard, storm survival, fire at sea, and so on.
All important stuff but we do worry about how this all relates to our primary goal here at Attainable Adventure Cruising of helping you go cruising.
So, here’s how John and Phyllis balance safety and actualy getting out there.
So now that we have bought AIS Person Overboard Alarms, all is safe and good, right? No, not really. We also need to make sure that we are going to get an alarm on the boat that will set a rescue in motion. And that’s a lot more complex than just relying on a beep from our AIS receiver or plotter. But never fear, John has done the research, come up with a good solution, sailed with it for a season, and even made a video of a live alarm test.
There are few subjects that offshore sailors like to discuss and argue about more than which is the best storm survival strategy and related gear. But it’s time to stop the debate because it’s a solved problem.
John has long advocated for preventers rigged from the boom well outboard to the bow as the only right way. We now have solid engineering, and a tragedy, to show how important this is.
Earlier in the summer, John wrote a rigging tips post, which was popular and also spurred several members to share more really useful tips. A win, win. So here’s another post in the same vein.
The most common reason for yacht abandonment at sea is being capsized by a “rogue wave”. But is “rogue” a good description of these boat-killing waves? And are there things we can do to reduce roll-over risk?
Based on the great comments from experts on a previous post, Phyllis and John have substantially changed their thinking on fighting a fire aboard.
John links to a must-read article on hull design for heavy weather and highlights a couple of really important things he learned from it.
The single biggest bitch we hear about battery monitors is that they are always wrong. John shares how to fix that and make your batteries last a lot longer too.